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How to guard counter in Elden Ring

Guard countering is a new combat mechanic (Image via FromSoftware)
Guard countering is a new combat mechanic (Image via FromSoftware)

Elden Ring continues FromSoftware's legacy of a challenging, yet rewarding combat system. There is always room for improvement, and the game encourages this. However, like the players who enjoy the games, FromSoftware isn’t above improving combat altogether.

For example, Sekiro had the Posture technique, while Bloodborne had Visceral Attacks. Both combat mechanics were unique to those titles.

With Elden Ring, a new technique has been introduced: guard counters. And it is not unlike Sekiro’s deflection mechanic. Should you master the guard counter, it can prove to be a devastating attack against your target.

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Elden Ring: a guide to guard counter and breaking an opponent's stance

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Guard counters can be game-changing, considering that a successful one breaks your target’s stance and leaves them open for an attack. Naturally, that means dealing extra damage. As expected, however, there is a high level of risk and reward with guard counters.

To perform a guard counter, you first have to successfully block an attack. Of course, that means you will need a shield and ample stamina. Should your stamina bar deplete from attempting a block, the guard counter will fail and you will take damage.

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After you have successfully blocked an attack with your shield, attack immediately. You will know you carried out a guard counter successfully if you see a small light emanate from your character and hear a shimmering sound effect. Both the visual and audio cues are quite subtle.

Not only does guard countering break your opponent’s stance and deal extra damage, it also negates the damage you would otherwise have received. However, not all foes are created equally, and many will require more than one guard counter before their stance is broken, like Elden Ring bosses.

The complete Elden Ring PS4 is available here.

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This is why it is important to assess the situation moment by moment and consider if it is worth attempting a guard counter. In some cases, it is best to simply dodge or — if you have the timing right — parry the attack. With that said, guard counters should not be ignored but practiced, just as players should practice parrying. And there’s ample opportunity to practice guard counters during Elden Ring's tutorial.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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