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.
When blocked by the opponent, the Hero is unable to continue their combo. However, the opponent is Exhausted, this is not the case.
|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.
A Hero can continue attacking even if their Heavy Attack is blocked, unlike blocked Light Attacks.
|Guard and Blocks||Self explanatory, Guards and Blocks are all resolved as "deflects" (not the Assassins' move, Deflect) within the game. By holding the right directional stance, a Hero can bounce off attacks coming from the same stance.
Some Heroes will have the ability to hold an all-around Blocking stance (check Stances). Others cannot hold it indefinitely (Assassins, and Assassin-based Hybrids), called Reflex Guard, 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.|
|Offerings/Banners||Tribute, Breach||An offering, also known as banners, is a neutral objective in the two noted gamemode that can be picked up by either sides, carried by Heroes to be deliver them to the team's shrine. Once placed in the shrine, the team gains a certain bonus. If a Hero carrying the banner is hit, they will drop the banner.
When carrying an offering, the Hero is slowed down. They can still fight back against enemies trying to claim the offering, although, as noted above, being hit will cause them to drop the offering.
While in Tribute, offerings can be taken out of the shrine, Offerings in Breach are consumed once placed in a Shrine and cannot be removed.
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.
Not all types of moves are available to every Hero. The list below outlines some basic knowledge for class-specific traits that have not been already explained. These Moves will help the player use their class or Hero to the best of their ability.
|Charge||Listed in descriptions||A Charged Attack is a move that grants the Hero either an improved attack or a unique one. Charged Attacks are initiated by holding the designated button before releasing it to initiate the move. There are two types of Charges: Standard and Held.
Standard Charged Attacks are time-limited charge moves which increase the effectiveness of the base move. Most of these moves have benefits to fully charging the attack, such as Centurion's punch which will knock down enemies if fully charged. Heroes with this are Warden, Centurion, and Shugoki.
Held Charged Attacks, unlike standard charge moves, can be held indefinitely, although at the price of consistent stamina consumption. These moves have stages to their charge, and allows the Hero to move while readying their charged move. The Conqueror can charge their flail for an unblockable Heavy attack, while the Shinobi can charge their kusarigama for a range grab or attack.
|Deflect||Assassins & certain Assassin Hybrids||Deflects is the Assassins' unique counterattack tool. While all Heroes have the option to block, dodge or parry an incoming attack, Assassins can choose to time their dodge into an attack (dodge left when an attack comes from the left) for the last second, initiate a unique animation to indicate a successful deflect. Deflect represent the high-risk, high-reward nature of Assassins, as the window for a deflect is even shorter than a parry.|
|Bleed||Assassins & certain Assassin Hybrids||Bleed refers to the overtime damage effect some Heroes have, either innately in their moveset or by a Feat. Bleed is a deceptive manner of inflicting damage, as they are usually applied to moves that have a base damage lower than the other moves of the Hero, but overtime deals much more total damage.
There are only a handful of means to stop bleeding, and it can be the bane of Heroes without any means to heal up during a Duel.
Shaman has special interactions when her opponent is bleeding.
|Stances||List in Stance page.||Some Heroes have accesses to Stances, a mode they can enter for certain benefits. There are three types of Stances: Step Back, Full Block and Augmented.
Step Back lets the Hero take a step back, dodging attacks during the startup. While stepped back, the Hero can perform certain moves they are only allowed to perform during the stance.
Heroes with Full Block can block attacks from all side manually. Holding this stance consumes Stamina.
Augmented Stances changes the moveset the Hero has access to, usually into moves that are enhanced, at the cost of not being able to block and parry.
Refer to the Stance page for more.
|Stamina Combat||Centurion, Gladiator, Jiang Jun||Aside from health, stamina is another important factor of combat, as all attack moves require some amount of stamina. Attacks that failed, either by being dodge or parried, will cost more stamina. Once stamina is gone, a Hero is Exhausted, becoming unable to use combos, cannot sprint (unless they have the Iron Lungs Feat) and will be knocked down if knocked back, so are limited to playing defensively. Players should be cautious not to be Exhausted too much.
While all Heroes have a means to drain their opponent's stamina, either through parries or through guardbreaks, some Heroes have a few more moves to drain stamina, such as through kicks or unique throws. A handful of Heroes though are great duelist for Stamina Combat, as they either have effective means to drain stamina or can maintain their own better than most Heroes.
All Heroes who are excellent for Stamina Combat are listed to the left.