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Dark Souls II
Strategy Guide

Author(s): Andrew Mills
Editor(s): Andrew Mills
First Published: 05-05-2014 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 12-02-2019 / 19:25 GMT
Version: 1.0 (????) 21-08-2019 / 01:31 GMT

Dark Souls II Guide Download PDF

Last updated 6 months ago · Guide Information
Combat 101

Exploring Your Melee Moveset

Your character can do an awful lot more than just swing a sword one way or attack in a single manner. Using a combination of button presses you can trigger a variety of unique moves to surprise your opponents with. Let’s take a closer look at them…

  • **Normal Attacks:** Press *R1/RB/PC key* to attack once and uses the least amount of stamina.
  • **Heavy Attack:** Press *R2/RT/PC Key* to perform a more powerful attack. Uses up more stamina than a normal attack.
  • **Running Attack:** Press any attack button as you're running to initiate a harder-hitting move.
  • **Backstep into Attack:** Press *Circle/B/PC Key* to step backwards and then as you're jumping, press the normal or heavy attack button to leap forwards for a surprise counter-attack!
  • **Roll into Attack:** Roll towards and enemy and as you're rolling press either attack button to launch a surprise attack as you come out of the roll!

Here's what the Rolling attack and Backstep Attacks look like with a Great Sword.


Pressing the attack buttons in succession will start off a combo with one move flowing into the next. The actual moves performed vary between weapon-types; but every weapon has a combo available to them.

Important! Naturally, using combos drains up your stamina (and does so much quicker than a regular attack). Make sure you can afford to spend this stamina and that it doesn’t leave you open to attack if you miss! Even having a sliver of stamina left after a combo affords you a roll to safety if it all backfires.


If you want to look like an uber-badass then dual-wielding weapons is definitely something you should try. If you’re prepared to forego the use of a shield (so for those of you who prefer to roll over blocking, you’re laughing), then you can pull off some additional moves and deal even more damage whilst you’re at it!

If your stats are high enough you can use a Power Stance when Duel-Wielding to unlock new moves!

But it’s sadly not quite as simple as picking any two weapons you feel like and going bonkers with them. There are some specific requirements you need to meet first before you get to go medieval on everyone’s ass.

  • You want to ideally use two weapons from the same category (2 x Maces, 2 x Great Swords etc). You *can* mix and match, but it's far from ideal.
  • Do remember that attacking with your left hand tends to do less damage than attacks dealt with weapons held in your right hand.

Power Stances

If you’ve got 1.5 times the required Strength level for any weapon; then you can hold down Triangle/Y/PC Key to trigger off a Power Stance (not multiple of any other stat is required). You’ll notice your character shift their pose when entering the Power Stance mode.

This opens up new attacks for you to take on the enemies with. Simply use L1 and L2/LB and LT/or assigned PC keys to use your new-found power moves. Be warned though, these moves will use up more stamina than any of your regular attacks!

You can try mixing different weapon types. But the coolest moves come from matched weapon groups.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Platforms
    Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Genre
    Action Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    5 May 2014
  • Last Updated
    12 February 2019
  • Guide Author
    Andrew Mills

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