The Combat Guide to God of War

Prepare yourself! Ragnarok approaches.

God Of War 2018 Combat Battle Guide

The highly anticipated God of War Ragnarok is coming out very soon on November 9 of this year. Many people are replaying God of War or playing it for first time to prepare for Ragnarok. We’ve got some essential combat tips to help you out on your journey to tallest peak of the realms.

Learn how to become the Elden Lord with our gameplay guide for Elden Ring.

Armor

Armor is the biggest factor that impacts Kratos’ stats and combat prowess. You’ll find a large variety pieces of armor to equip full sets as you progress through the game. Each piece of armor increases certain stats, which are:

  • Strength – Increases all damage by regular attacks
  • Runic – Increases all damage by runic attacks
  • Defense – Reduces amount of damage taken
  • Vitality – Increases overall health
  • Luck – Increases the amount of XP and Hacksilver gains
  • Cooldown – Reduces charging time of runic attacks and talismans

For example, some armor sets are tailored for aggressive playstyles because of the large Strength and Runic boost that they possess. And each piece of armor includes sockets to equip magical Enchantments to further boost certain stats, such as extra Cooldown or Vitality.

Armor Runics Enchantments

The last component of an armor build are talismans. These possess powerful active or passive abilities that can greatly aid Kratos in combat. For instance, the Amulet of Kvasir slows down time after a last second evade, allowing for a counter attack when it normally wouldn’t be possible.

Experiment with different combinations of armor sets, enchantments and talismans. If you prefer offensive gameplay then an armor build revolving around Strength, Vitality and Runic would be best. If you’re constantly dying too quick then a high Vitality/Defense build with a defensive or health regenerative talisman is a great option.

Weapons

Leviathan Axe

This frost elemental axe is the main weapon of God of War and a key component when exploring new areas and solving puzzles. As you consistently hit enemies you will charge the axe for more permafrost damage that will freeze the enemies.

God Of War Fight

Hitting an enemy with a charged heavy axe throw will freeze them completely. Some enemies can block axe throws from the front with their shields or weapons but they can’t block the axe recall if it hits them from behind.

Recalling the axe can take a bit too long to return and will leave you open to taking damage. You can click the recall button then quickly dodge to avoid any incoming attacks while the axe returns.

Utilize the Returning Whirlwind skill to instantly recall the axe with a spinning attack no matter how far away it is from Kratos. This skill allows you to seamlessly transition between the axe and bare handed combat for devastating and flashy combos.

Bare Handed Combat

Inflicting stun damage is the main use of bare handed combat. An enemy may have alot of health but stunning them using bare handed attacks allow for a quick finisher move.

There are many skills of bare handed combat that allows you to easily knock down enemies. Keep this in mind when playing near cliffs, ledges or pools of lava. Kratos can knock enemies off of these ledges to instantly kill them.

Parries were a small aspect of previous God of War games but it’s a very important component in this entry. Unlocking each parry skill as soon as you can is critical.

Enemy attacks with a red aura means that it is unblockable and must be dodged. Attacks with a yellow aura can be parried but it will break your blocking stance if you fail to do so.

Blades of Chaos

These classic dual wielding weapons of God of War are excellent when surrounded by groups of enemies. Because of the chains, these blades have a long reach on their attacks to interrupt approaching enemies.

Just like the permafrost of the Leviathan Axe, the fire elemental damage is built up after every successful hit without taking damage. Naturally, these weapons are very effective against frost elemental enemies. Runic attacks of the Blade of Chaos are very destructive and adds an afterburn effect that last a few moments afterwards.

The disastrous damage of the Chaotic Rampage attack string is extraordinary. This combo can literally melt down almost any enemy in a matter of seconds. It can also break through an enemy’s guard with ease. Use this attack string liberally whenever facing tanky opponents like Heavy Draugrs, Travelers and Orges.

Atreus

Atreus is the the second main character of God of War and son of Kratos. Honestly, he is weak during the early stages of the game. But Atreus becomes a lot more powerful and useful as you unlock his skills, upgrade outfits and obtain the different arrow types and Runic Summons throughout the game.

Boy

Outfit

Atreus can wear different types of outfits. Each one influences him with different perks and effects:

  • Fighter Tunic – Increases melee damage and longer chokeholds
  • Runic Vestment – Provides healthstone to Kratos when at critical health and faster recovery from enemy attacks
  • Sharpshooter Garb – Reduces Talon Bow’s recharge time and enemies in air receive extra damage

Bonus effects and perks are added when upgrading these outfits.

Arrow Types and Runic Summons

The blue Light Arrows obtained from the Light of Alfhelm inflict a lot of stun damage. Combine these with bare handed combat to quickly stun enemies for a finisher moves.

Shock Arrows are great for temporarily shocking enemies, leaving them vulnerable for any attack. These are especially useful when facing groups of enemies as the arrows will create a chain of lightning that will shock multiple enemies at once.

Runic Summons are special moves that will summon certain animals to aid Kratos and Atreus in combat. A few of the best ones are:

  • Wrath of the Wolf – This is great for almost every situation. This pack of large wolves will pounce on enemies multiple times to inflict a lot of stun damage and leave them vulnerable
  • Falcon’s Dive – A flock of deadly falcons that swarms onto every enemy to deal massive amounts of damage
  • Bitter Squirrel – The mythological squirrel Ratatoskr digs up ragestone and healthstones while delivering hilarious, foul mouthed insults

Enemies

You’ll encounter a wide variety of enemies as you explore the realms. Every enemy can be easily defeated by studying their attacks and exploiting their weaknesses. Most enemies are straightforward and easy to deal with but some are more troublesome to handle:

  • Dark Elves – They don’t deal a lot of damage but these flying creatures love to constantly fly away from you. High permafrost dealing runic attacks like Ivaldi’s Anvil will greatly slow them down. A charged heavy axe throw will completely freeze them long enough to finish them off.
  • Dark Elf Summoner – You’ll recognize this elf because of its glowing tattoos and special staff it carries. It has the ability to summon more Dark Elves to battle so try taking care of it first. The main thing is to keep it from finishing its summoning dance so do not allow it the chance by pressuring it with constant attacks.
  • Revenants – These enemies can be a real pain in the early game when Atreus is still very weak. His arrows are the only way to keep these disappearing spirits in one spot long enough to deal damage to them (lightning arrows are very effective against them). Prioritize them first since they love to attack from a distance and your blind spot. Using bare handed combat to build up stun damage for a finisher is an effective strategy.
  • Wulvers – The quickest normal enemy in the game. They become even faster and more aggressive after a transforming into an enraged frenzy. You’ll need to hit them fast and hard with everything that you have before that happens. High permafrost runic attacks do well against them.
  • Travelers – These heavily armored warriors have the most defense and vitality out of the normal enemies. They won’t even flinch if you hit them with a runic attack. The Chaotic Rampage attack string of the Blades of Chaos are very effective. The Executioner’s Cleave is a good way to chip away at their health. Eventually, they will lift up a magic skull that will explode in a few moments unless you knock it out of their hand with an axe throw or a blade toss. Or you could stay out of range and let the skull explode to freeze surrounding enemies.

Valkyries

The ferocious Valkyries are the optional boss fights of the game. You can battle them once you’ve obtained the magic chisel to open the locked chambers scattered around the realms. There are four Valkyries in Midgard and one Valkyrie in each of the other available realms.

Valkyries are the quickest and strongest enemies that you’ll fight against. However, the key to beating them is the same as any other enemy – understand their attack patterns and know how to effectively counter/punish their attacks.

Make sure you have a strong armor build and powerful runic attacks before facing them. Any runic attacks that deal massive burst damage are great to use, such as Nemean Crush and Hyperion Grapple.

Do not get cornered! Stay in the middle of the arena to have plenty of space to dodge their attacks. Most importantly, be very patient.

In the beginning of the fight, Valkyries do not attack right away so that’s a good opportunity to unleash all of your runic attacks onto them. The Wolves runic summon of Atreus is very effective against them.

Beware of the Valkyries when they dash away because oftentimes they will dash right back at Kratos with an attack. If they dash to the right then they may do an unblockable dash attack with a long reach so dodge to the side (preferably to the right). If they dash to the left then a blockable dash attack may be coming.

Valhalla!

The devastating Valhalla attack is considered the most frustrating attack at their disposal. They will scream Valhalla before quickly leaping up then diving down on Kratos to stomp him to death.

The timing to dodge this attack is very tight. When she leaps up, the instant that she disappears from your screen is when you need to evade. But, be cautious of consecutive Valhallas. Having an upgraded Amulet of Kvasir is very useful as it’ll slow down time just enough to deal some damage.

The Valkyrie Queen

Once you’ve defeated all eight of the Valkyries then it’s time to visit the Council of Valkyries on the Lake of Nine to challenge Sigrun the Valkyrie Queen.

Sigrun Valkyrie Queen

Sigrun is the hardest, most vicious enemy in the God of War. She has all of the abilities of the Valkyries (except for Kara’s Drauger Summoning ability) with even more aggression and speed. She also has the most health and defense out of all of the Valkyries so prepare for a long fight.

Remain patient, stay alert and never stand still during the battle. A fully upgraded set of Ivadil’s Armor or Valkyrie armor is very useful in this fight. It can take many tries to defeat her so do not get discouraged.

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Desmond Harvey
Desmond Harvey

When Desmond isn't writing articles then you can bet that he is working on animation projects, napping or watching documentaries.