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God of War: Ragnarok

How to Use Runic Attacks

Nathan Garvin

Information about Runic Attacks in God of War Ragnarok, including details about obtaining, equipping and unlocking Runic Attacks.

What Are Runic Attacks in God of War Ragnarok?

Runic Attacks are powerful abilities you can use in combat, and while their effects vary - some focus more or less on elemental damage, physical damage or stun - they’re generally significantly more powerful than normal attacks. To compensate for this, Runic Attacks have a cooldown, the duration of which differs depending on the exact Runic Attack in question and Kratos’ God of War: Ragnarok ScreenshotCOOLDOWN stat.

In addition to stat variances, the range, area-of-effect and the number of strikes performed by each Runic Attack differ, and these intangibles are worth considering depending on the enemy you’re fighting. Sometimes you’ll want more crowd control, other times a multihit Runic Attack that keeps a single enemy stunned, while against enemies who are aggressive and difficult to stun, you’ll just want to deal as much damage as possible as quickly as possible (you’re not always capable of defending yourself during Runic Attacks). Whatever the tactical situation, however, Runic Attacks are more potent the higher Kratos’ God of War: Ragnarok ScreenshotRUNIC stat is.

At the beginning of the game, Runic Attacks won’t likely have a tremendous impact on most fights, being a relatively rare special attack you can fall back on when you need a damage spike. Later in the game, however, as you accumulate a greater library of Runic Arts to choose from and your God of War: Ragnarok ScreenshotRUNIC and God of War: Ragnarok ScreenshotCOOLDOWN stats improve, you’ll use these attacks more frequently and with greater effect - they may even go from being a supplemental bit of flashy offense to your primary means of dispatching enemies!

Runic Attacks are special attacks tied to one of Kratos’ weapons. You can equip one Heavy Runic Attack and one Light Runic Attack to each weapon.

How to Use Runic Attacks

Runic Arts can be acquired in the same ways most loot can - you can obtain them as drops from enemies (these drops are static, and almost always from bosses), you can loot them from Legendary Chests, and you can earn them by advancing the main questline or completing Favors.

Once you’ve obtained a Runic Attack, you can equip it via the Weapons tab in the menu. All Runic Attacks are tied to one of Kratos’ weapons, and they come in two categories: Light Runic Attacks and Heavy Runic Attacks. Just select a weapon and pick the Light Runic Attack or Heavy Runic Attack slots to choose from any relevant Runic Attacks. For example, the [Winter’s Bite] Runic Attack is a Light Runic Attack for the Levithan Axe. Each weapon can have one Light Runic Attack and one Heavy Runic Attack equipped at a time, and their cooldowns are separate for each, meaning you can spam Runic Attack by swapping out weapons - the more weapons you have, the more Runic Arts you can make use of at a time.

To perform any Runic Attack, simply equip a weapon with Runic Attacks assigned and hold the DualSense-L1, then press the DualSense-R1 button to perform a Light Runic Attack or DualSense-R2 to perform a Heavy Runic Attack. Some Runic Attacks will gain additional effects/attacks if you mash or hold the DualSense-R1 / DualSense-R2 buttons down during the attack. Check the description of each Runic Attack in the Weapons tab to get an idea for what each Runic Attack will do when used.

How to Upgrade Runic Attacks

While Runic Attacks are fairly powerful with their base effects, you can upgrade them to make them even more potent. Upgrading Runic Attacks will increase the attack’s stats (elemental damage, physical damage and/or stun), and may expand the Runic Attack’s range, give you the ability to charge the attack, or perform multiple attacks in succession. Needless to say, to get the most out of your Runic Attacks, you’ll need to upgrade them.

You can upgrade Runic Attacks simply by selecting the desired Runic Attack in the Weapons tab of your menu - the same place you go to equip them. Just hold down the DualSense-ButtonSquare button and - assuming you have the required XP - you’ll upgrade the Runic Attack to the next tier.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Platforms,
    PS4, PS5
  • Genre
    Action Adventure, Fighting, Hack-n-slash
  • Guide Release
    5 November 2022
  • Last Updated
    9 January 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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God of War Ragnarök is an action-adventure game developed by Santa Monica Studio released on November 9th, 2022. Follow Kratos, and his teenage son Atreus as they journey through the Nine Realms to prevent Ragnarök from occurring. As you progress through the story, you’ll uncover many secrets left by the Giants regarding the impending doom that awaits them.

This guide offers information on all the essential aspects of the game, including:

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