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Assassin's Creed Odyssey combat: tips for combat, how to parry

Unleash your Spartan warrior.

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Combat has definitely changed in drastic ways and while Assassin’s Creed Odyssey isn’t all that different to Assassin’s Creed Origins, there are certainly some techniques that you need to get a good grasp of to succeed. Parrying attacks from opponents requires sufficient timing, and knowing when to dodge instead can be the difference between victory and defeat. In this guide, there are tips for combat basics, as well as how to parry attacks.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey combat guide

If you’re looking for more advice on the basics of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, then head over to our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey guide for more information to get you up to speed.

Kassandra fighting two bandits in a cave.

Tips for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Combat

Fighting in recent Assassin’s Creed games has become a lot more focused on timing attacks sufficiently well, in addition to having the best gear equipped for the fight. Since Ancient Greece is in a state of war, knowing how to fight competently is as important as ever, particularly when dealing with large scale battles and mercenaries on your tail.

Enemies have several tiers separate from just their levels. If their level just has a grey border, they’re common enemies that can usually be killed rather easily and are very vulnerable to assassination techniques. Depending on the faction, they could have larger shields, though this is quite rare.

Elites have a gold border around their level. They’re your captains or Polemarchs, as well as any Leaders for either the Spartan or Athenian armies. These enemies generally hit harder and have better equipment, as well as access to unblockable attacks. Mercenaries are considered elite units, but also have their helmet icon displayed above them.

Be sure to also check the skills you have unlocked, to which you can find out more about the best ones to start out with in our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey skills guide. Here are some tips for maximising your potential in combat.

  • The Adrenaline bar fills up during combat as you attack, dodge, and parry, which in turn allows you to perform special attacks that you have equipped. Keep an eye on how much it is filled by as techniques will reduce each segment by one.
  • Engravings can be used at Blacksmiths to improve your weapon/armour quality. This can range from adding many perks to improving its capabilities.
  • With ranged combat, there are different arrow types such as poison, fire, and paralysing arrows. Make use of cover when you can as arrows can be fired from behind it. Using the special ability Ghost Arrows to fire through walls can be advantageous too.
  • Your ship’s crew can help in battle, much like the rebels you rescued in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood could.

Parrying an enemy's attack

How to parry attacks

The most important thing you should get to grips with is when to parry. By default on a controller, it is done by pressing both the shoulder buttons – L1 & R1 on a PS4 controller or LB & RB on an Xbox One controller, while on keyboard it is Q.

It should be timed as you see the enemy’s weapon shimmer slightly, though there isn’t a massive amount of time to react to it if you’re in mid-swing, so always watch out for it. If it ever goes red however, this is an unblockable attack so it’s better to hold the dodge button (Space on keyboard, Square on PS4 controller, X on Xbox One controller) to avoid it.

With that our combat guide is complete. If you’d like to learn about skills, head to our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey skills guide, or more information on the side quests where this is possible, check out our extensive Assassin’s Creed Odyssey side quests guide.

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Dave Irwin

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As guides writer for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it is my privilege to understand how to play certain games well, so that newer players can understand the more complex things about them.

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