Parrying is a crucial skill if you want to become an Elden Lord in Elden Ring!
The combat system in Elden Ring might look quite similar to what you would expect from a Soulslike.
Nevertheless, there are significant differences at its core that make the game quite different from its predecessors.
Elden Ring introduced Ashes of War for combat variety and tweaked small but meaningful core combat mechanics such as parrying.
These changes in the parry system can make this defensive action feel a tad more complex than what players experienced in Dark Souls III.
These are all the tips and tricks you need to become a master at parrying in Elden Ring!
How to Parry in Elden Ring – Tips and Tricks to Master Parrying
Parrying is a simple task on paper. It is a skill that consists of pressing L2/LT right before an enemy attack lands to stagger and break their stance with your shield or weapon.
This leaves the enemy open for a counterattack, thus allowing you to cause massive damage. However, mastering this albeit simple technique can be quite a hassle.
The following tips will help you get better at parrying in Elden Ring. We will use some comparisons with Dark Souls III to help further those who played the previous game.
Nevertheless, this information is still applicable for those whose first Soulslike is Elden Ring!
1. Get the Right Shield or Weapon to Parry for Your Playstyle
Each shield is different, and none is perfect. If you have more damage absorption, the shield is likely heavier, thus requiring more max equip load capacity.
Additionally, not all shields can parry in Elden Ring! You need to make sure the shield you want for your build includes the Parry skill.
Furthermore, you can purchase the Parry skill Ash of War from Knight Bernhal at the Warmaster Shack in Limgrave.
With this Ash of War, you can add the Parry skill to several daggers, curved swords, thrusting swords, fist weapons, and medium and small shields.
If you visit this location, you can also start Knight Benhal’s questline in Elden Ring.
Also, you can obtain this Ash of War from the Twin Maiden Husk at the Roundtable Hold after giving them the Bernahl’s Bell Bearing.
The following shields natively include the Parry skill:
- Rift Shield
- Scripture Wooden Shield
- Rickety Shield
- Red Thorn Roundshield
- Leather Shield
- Albinauric Shield
- Sun Realm Shield
- Round Shield
- Scorpion Kite Shield
- Blue-Gold Kite Shield
- Large Leather Shield
- Flame Crest Wooden Shield
- Hawk Crest Wooden Shield
- Beast Crest Heater Shield
- Red Crest Heater Shield
- Blue Crest Heater Shield
- Inverted Hawk Heater Shield
- Heater Shield
2. Parrying Windows Vary in Elden Ring
Each type of shield in Elden Ring has a different parry window.
This sounds complex, but we will make it as easy as possible while also giving you all the data needed to make the right choice when choosing a shield.
What Is the Parrying Window in Elden Ring?
To begin, we need to understand what a parry window means. The parry window in Elden Ring is the number of frames available to successfully trigger a parry when an attack is about to land.
In essence, it is the “margin of error” you have available to perform your parry successfully.
This means that the longer the parry window of a shield is, the more time or “margin of error” you will have to complete a parry.
What Shields Have the Best Parry Window in Elden Ring?
Redditor Seboy666 made a helpful chart to illustrate these differences per shield type.
Based on this data, the shields with the better parry window in Elden Ring are the Small Shields and the Buckler.
This is not surprising, considering they are less effective at blocking damage, so a higher parrying window is an excellent balance for these shields.
These are approximately the parry window timings for each shield type (the bigger the number, the easiest to complete a parry):
- Dagger – Around 7 frames
- Main Hand Claws – Around 6 frames
- Medium Shield – Around 7 frames
- Small Shield – Around 13 frames
- Buckler – Around 15 frames
- Ceastus – Roughly 5 frames
In summary, if you are struggling with parrying and can take a bit more damage, you could try the Small Shield and Buckler to get used to this technique.
Once you feel more comfortable with parry, you can try other shields with lower parry window and more damage absorption.
To make reading the graph below a simpler task, the bigger the green bar is (amount of frames available to land a parry), the easier it is to perform a successful parry.
3. Understanding Parry Distance
What is Parry Distance in Elden Ring?
This is the distance from which you can effectively parry. This is basically how far away, or near to an enemy, you have to be to parry their attacks.
How Close to an Enemy Do You Need to Be to Parry?
Elden Ring’s parry distance is a bit tricky to master. You might think of keeping distance and parrying once the boss or enemy weapon is just about to hit your character.
On Elden Ring, you need to keep the enemy you want to parry extremely close. In essence, what you would aim to parry is not the weapon coming at you but the hand of the enemy.
This could be hard to anticipate, but having this in mind will make practicing parry much easier.
4. You Can Not Parry All Attacks
This is a complex principle to master! All enemies have a variety of attacks they can perform, and some of these can not be parried. This includes ranged and melee attacks.
Given all the possible combinations of attacks, it is hard to determine which will be your enemy’s next move!
The only way to master this skill is through observation, trial, and error.
Even though it is hard to determine an attack pattern, you can still identify the visual queues a boss or enemy triggers when about to perform a particular move.
If you want to become a master at parry in Elden Ring, you will have to be observant and practice the skill with patience.
5. Why Is Parry Harder to Achieve in Elden Ring Than in Dark Souls III?
There are two main reasons why mastering parry is harder in Elden Ring than in Dark Souls III, timing and distance.
Elden Ring’s parry requires to be triggered earlier when it comes to timing. In Dark Souls III, usually, parry requires a few more frames before entering the parry window.
Distance is another drastic change for this mechanic in Elden Ring. In Dark Souls 3, parry was possible as long as the enemy’s weapon was in contact with your character.
On the other hand, you need to be close to an enemy to parry its attack on Elden Ring. These changes make it a bit harder for those used to the previous parry system to get adjusted.
As well, this new combination of requirements means you have to be closer to the enemy and react faster, thus leaving your character more open to damage.
Redditor YoruTsubasa exemplified these two nuances in the video below!
If you have all these five tips and tricks in mind, you will be a master at parrying in Elden Ring in no time!
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