The Art of Battle refers to the battle system designed by Ubisoft Montreal specifically for For Honor.
This innovative fight control system allows players to be the warriors they always wanted to be. It was created by combining two passions - weapon handling and multiplayer games. Its design gives the player a believable feeling of control. This presents a whole new challenge but in a way that is fun and rewarding. Players are able to block using three different stances in "Guard mode", along with being able to strategize and quickly adapt to incoming strikes through parries and fients.
There is no "block" button for blocking attacks. Players will need to read their opponents carefully and react with the proper stance and abilities to deflect and counterattack. As an example, with a controller, moving the right stick to the left places the weapon to the left side of the character's body. Moving it to the right moves the weapon to the right side. By reading the stance and weapon position of the enemy, players will be able to determine their next intended move. Again, there is a triangular symbol showing one's current stance while showing with a flickering red flash when an enemy is striking from a given direction.
Below we will go over the basic and advanced strikes and counters available to every warrior. For quick information on which buttons to use on your PC or console, see Controls. For information on the different modes, see Game Modes.
|Guard mode||Guard mode is the designated mode where the three stances are used, meant for a Hero to duel with another opposing Hero. Without Guard mode, a Hero cannot appropriately block incoming attacks. Movement and attacks are different between being in Guard mode and not.|
|Movement||Players can move their warrior in four different directions. Front, back, left and right.|
|Dodge||Dodging allows the warrior to move in a specified direction away from the oncoming attack.
While all Heroes are capable of adequate levels of dodging, some of more well-versed at it than others.
|Light Strike||A Light Strike is a basic weapon strike. It is faster than a Heavy Strike but also does less damage.|
|Heavy Strike||A Heavy strike is slightly slower to activate but does a fair amount of damage. Within a chain of attacks, Heavy Strikes are more likely to have crowd-control effects.|
|Guard and Blocks||Self explanatory, Guards and Blocks are all resolved as "deflects" within the game. By holding the right directional stance, a Hero can deflect attacks coming from the same stance.
Some Heroes will have the ability to hold an all-around Blocking stance (Heavies). Others cannot hold it indefinitely (Assassins, and Assassin-based Hybrids), requiring them to shift stances often to keep their guard up.
Upon a successful block, the Hero will briefly gain an all-around block, allowing them to block all incoming attacks for that moment, especially when faced with external enemies. Check External Block below.
|Guard Break||Performing a Guard Break allows the players to push through the opposing warrior's defensive stance, but has lower priority if the opponent is also attacking. It can be combined with a grab and throw maneuver, or an offensive follow-up.|
|Capturing a Zone||Dominion||Killing all enemies within a Zone is required to capture a specified territorial zone. Staying within a captured Zone will double the zone's point output for one's team; this does not apply for the center Zone that Soldiers compete in. While being competed, Zones will not reward points to either team. Some Heroes have skills that allow them to capture Zones faster.
Typically, each team has a Zone that is located closer to their spawn than their Opponents. If not, then all Zones are equally displaced from each team.
|Soldiers||Dominion||Soldiers are the team's 'minions'. They will spawn at the team's respective spawn zone, moving forward towards the center Zone. They will accumulate in the center Zone, their primary purpose being to assist with conquering and holding that area of the map. Although they cannot be targeted with Guard Mode, Players can kill them in and outside of their Guard stances.
Although weak and disposable, a horde of Soldiers can be the end of a careless Hero.
|Buffs||Elimination||Buffs are located in the Elimination game mode, granting one of four statistical buffs: running speed, offense, defense and Fourth Ability. While the first three are self-explanatory, the last one is just as good of a buff as the others. It grants the Hero access to their Fourth Ability (typically their strongest ability), something that will not always be accessed during the duration of a round.|
Each class has attack chains that allow a certain variety of attacks with their specific weapon. These chains are accomplished using a combination light and heavy attacks. Additional tactics can be deployed by combining sprint, dodge and basic attacks. To view class specific attacks and learn how to use them, click on the Customize tab from the main menu, select Heroes and visit How to Fight. The Moveset option will display hero specific moves.
|Guard Break Interrupt||A Guard Break Interrupt, also known as the Guard Break Counter, is a way of preventing being Guard Broken, performed by initiating a well timed Guard Break as the Opponent performs one too. This window is small, but is between the opponent starting up their Guard Break attempt and before they have a full hold of your Hero. If the interrupt is successful, the opposing player fails their break attempt and is forced to take a step or two backward (basically a 'push'). Due to how failed attacks exhaust more stamina than a successful one, interrupting Guard Break attempts is another way to tire a foe.|
|Parry||To parry an attack, the player will need to match the enemy's guard as if to block the incoming attack, proceeding to initiate a timed Heavy Strike. This will negate the opponent's attack, including unblockables, to allow the Hero to strike with their own. While light attacks are harder to parry due to the smaller window necessary to perform a successful parry, it is more rewarding than parrying a heavy attack.|
|Feint/Cancel||A Feint can be executed by selecting the designated Feint key or button while performing an attack. This can either be followed by a move in a different direction, or be used as a cancel when desiring to be cautious not to waste stamina.
Some Heroes are incapable of a Feint or Cancel; others have specific chain combos that play around the use of Feints and/or Cancels.
|External Blocks||Players faced with another warrior can still block flanking attacks using the Guard mode feature. External Blocks are performed either on the Left or Right side, and never from the Top; the direction to block is based on which side of the Hero the other enemies stand. As with all abilities, timing is essential.|
|Revenge Meter||Defensive actions fill a bar called a Revenge Meter. The bar is yellow and is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Once the bar is full, the player can activate the bar using (R) on PC or (Y) on console. Players will receive a short boost to Attack, Defense, unlimited Stamina and auto-Parries during activation time. Heroes will also have other benefits, depending on which Hero they are.
Some Heroes have abilities that let them build the Revenge Meter faster.