Parrying is the art of deflecting an enemy’s attack away from you, with a qualifying shield or weapon , in turn stunning them for a few seconds (or even pushing them to the ground) and allowing you to get in a critical damage hit. Parrying is very much a high-risk/high-reward strategy as it all comes down to timing (which will vary between enemies).

To attempt a parry you first need to ensure your shield or weapon (such as a Rapier) can parry (you’ll know if you look at the shield in your inventory as it’ll tell you the shield type at the top). Certain shields can also parry back magic attacks (and not just physical attacks); so it’s worth double-checking your shield class prior to equipping it.

There’s not many things as satisfying as pulling off a successful parry and landing a riposte!

Once you know your shield or weapon is capable of parrying then the real fun begins. It’s worth practicing this technique in the Forest of Fallen Giants at the start (near the first bonfire) as those enemies don’t 1-hit kill you if you mess up and the nearby bonfire allows you to replenish your health and respawn them (up to 14 more times) if need be.

How to Parry

Wait for an enemy to get close and then attempt to attack you. Stand right in front of the enemy and just before their weapon is about to strike you, press the strong attack button that your shield/weapon is equipped to and if you’ve timed it right; it’ll knock the attacker back (or for some enemies knock them to the ground on their back).

If you’re too fast, or too slow, with the parry then you’ll miss and take the full brunt of the attack. That’s why it’s worthwhile practicing this move on smaller enemies until you’re able to execute the move a good 50%+ of the time.

The Riposte (Counter-Attack)

If they’re too big to knock onto the ground (such as bosses that can be parried), then they’ll be briefly stunned allowing you to get a free attack in. If the enemy falls to the ground now’s your chance to stand right in front of them and push the regular attack button to trigger the ‘riposte’. A riposte is a counter-attack that triggers a high-damage critical hit; killing most enemies in the process.

Your character will do a really cool animation when you successfully pull off a riposte.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Platforms
    PC, PS3, PS4, 360, XB1
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    5 May 2014
  • Last Updated
    7 December 2020
  • Guide Author
    Andrew Mills

Share this free guide:

You are an Undead, the bearer of a curse, who has gone “hollow” and half mad searching for a cure to restore your humanity. You have arrived in Drangleic, a place rumoured to harbour powerful souls that can help you regain your humanity and avoid this terrible fate. You must seek out these souls and save yourself and others from a fate worse than death itself. But it will not be easy…

  • A full game walkthrough.
  • The main differences between Dark Souls 1 and 2.
  • Keeping the Grim Reaper at bay with our top 10 essential survival tips.
  • An in-depth guide to the most important thing in Dark Souls 2 - the combat.
  • The character builds that saw us sail through the single-player story mode.
  • Learn what the new covenants do (and what you need to do to be able to join them all).
  • All the bosses made easy with helpful HD videos!
  • NPC info and much, much more!

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account:

Discord logo