I am by no means a natural PvP expert. Whatever the game, it is certain that I will end up helplessly ripped to shreds before I find a sliver of hope, breeze through the learning curve all of a sudden, and finally “get good.”
The same is no different with Ubisoft’s For Honor. I found that even though I won my first PvP, the upcoming duels destroyed my morale. It took more than a dozen battles to finally get a little bit better, and even then, there was still some struggle. So with the open beta coming up soon, I thought it would only be helpful to jot down a couple of the lessons I got from the closed beta so you could find your footing in the game faster.
Timing is everything
Think of the boss battles in Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Some of the most difficult boss fights boil down to finding the smallest openings for attack and taking advantage. It’s one thing to see it, but it’s another thing to time it.
The same goes for the duels and brawls of For Honor. The game’s mechanics force you to play smart and find the right timing. Most players will learn how to block easily and so if your attacks are readable, you’ll be hard-pressed to even make a dent on your opponent. Attack just before your opponent does and more often than not, you’ll be able to make the first proper strike and chain it until your opponent ducks out or falls to your blade.
Play defensively first
I get it. You’ve got a shiny steel weapon on your hand and you are overcome with a serious need to run to your opponent and hack and slash away. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way with For Honor. A great offense is a great defense. If you’re just starting, it’s always a good idea to be at the defensive and read your opponents attacks. Some of them will have easy-to-read patterns which you can then exploit.
Also, learning how to defend from an aggressive opponent’s chain of attacks will train you to find those small openings for faster counter-attacks.
Keep an eye on your stamina
Running out of stamina is one of the worst things that can happen to you. It slows you down, prevents you from dodging, and basically just puts you at a bigger risk of losing. You may be tempted to go all out once you’ve found your opening, but if your opponent blocks your last two attacks and you run out of stamina. You’re bound to lose should your opponent retaliate.
Just remember to stop attacking once you find your stamina bar close to full depletion. If you feel like you can potentially lose, back away as fast as you can, go on the defensive and wait for your stamina to go back up.
Understand each hero’s strengths and weaknesses
The controls of For Honor are fairly straightforward but each hero has a different approach when it comes to attacks, blocks, and grabs. The Samurai’s Nobushi for instance wield long weapons, so they’re good at poking and keeping enemies at a safe distance. The Knight’s Warden however is easier to control and can chain attacks faster once it gets through your defenses.
Once you learn the different heroes and their move sets, it becomes easier for you to pick and choose the hero that matches your playstyle more. I for one, find fighting easier as a Nobushi or a Kensei because of their long range melee weapons and their fast dodges.
Don’t be afraid to switch it up
With that being said, don’t be afraid to switch to a different hero when you’re just not feeling your main hero. Changing your hero will be healthy for you and will actually help you discover its vulnerabilities, thus preparing you for future opponents.
Whenever I get frustrated when battling a certain hero, I switch to that hero so I can understand when is the best time to attack or defend from it. After switching back to my main hero, I do my best to keep what I’ve learned in mind in case I face them on the battlefield again. Of course, I’ll probably revert back to making the same mistakes, but what’s important is you catch yourself before you get into a terrible losing streak.
Be aware of ganks
During Brawl and Dominion Mode, you will encounter your fair share of dishonorable enemies who will attack you whilst you’re going one-on-one with an opponent. I myself have resorted to ganking the enemy until someone pointed it out that it was a shameful tactic.
Sadly, I don’t have any solid tips for you to avoid this or to find a way to get the upper hand, as I myself have fallen victim to this numerous times. You can try to block them as much as you can so you can activate revenge mode, and get some distance. Stick with your teammates during dominion mode so even if you’re ganked, you at least have a bit of a fighting chance. These are the only ways I can think of to even out the playing field while staying honorable but sometimes they’re still not effective in the face of dirty tactics.
With that being said, I leave you with a video of my first PvP. I’m quite proud of this despite my obvious lack of refinement and poise.
I can assure you I’ve trained a lot after that because I was decimated in the next match.Do you have any For Honor tips you can share? I’d love to hear them so I can “git gud” faster.