FromSoftware’s wildly successful open world fantasy RPG Elden Ring has been out for nearly a year, giving its player-base lots of time to discover interesting exploits and combinations of character abilities that let them excel during PvE and PvP combat. Time since release has also given FromSoftware the chance to adjust and fine-tune the combat mechanics of Elden Ring with numerous patches, which have buffed and de-buffed certain weapons and spells, eliminated bugs, and even adjusted unintentional gameplay features such as spell combos. Elden Ring players waiting for the next DLC should try mastering these powerful combat strategies before patches included in said DLC change the game’s meta once more.


When Street Fighter 2, which introduced combos to fighting games, was under development, developers working on the game’s special moves accidentally created an exploit where players could chain certain attack inputs to trap their opponent in a string of consecutive blows; Street Fighter 2 designers chose to keep this happy accident in their game, and the rest was history. Similar happy accidents occurred in Elden Ring, a game larger and more complex than any action fantasy RPG FromSoftware had worked on to date. As canny gamers experimented with the intricate combat system of Elden Ring, they discovered unintentional but surprisingly potent exploits like the ones listed below.

Related: How Dark Souls’ “GiantDad” Build Changed Combat In Elden Ring

Elden Ring’s Perfect Block Exploit Is Weird But Effective

An Elden Ring player in plate armor holding a twin blade and shield in one of the underground, purple-tinged areas.

The “Perfect Block,” one of the newest high-level combos being tried out in Elden Ring, is an unintentional exploit born from the intersection of game mechanics for blocking and game mechanics for sprinting. Normally, a Tarnished player character who’s hit by an enemy’s attack freezes up for a moment, even if they block the attack and suffer no damage. Wearing armor sets with high poise (51 or higher) lets Elden Ring PCs endure certain enemy attacks without flinching, giving players the ability to trade blows with an enemy and overwhelm them with damage to health and posture (high poise also makes it easier to use the Guard Counter mechanic against players in Elden Ring Colosseum PvP battles).

If an Elden Ring player in PvP or PvE sprints towards an opponent, then releases the dodge button and presses the block button just before an enemy attacks, they’ll be able to absorb an enemy attack without being staggered or flinching (though the player’s character will still lose stamina and lose a bit of HP if their shield or two-handed weapon doesn’t absorb all the attack damage). The timing needed to pull off this Perfect Block is no easy feat, but Elden Ring players who master this idiosyncratic combo can glide through enemy attacks in order to either counter-attack or slip behind them for a back-stab (this maneuver generally only works against humanoid enemies and other players in PvP).

Certain Spells In Elden Ring Can Still Be Chain-Casted

A split image showing two different types of magic in Elden Ring, the blue Glintstone Sorcery on the left, and the golden lights of Incantations on the right.

In general, the combat of Elden Ring (on and off horseback) is designed to minimize attack combos during player versus player duels; if a player gets hit by a swung weapon or a spell projectile, they generally have time to roll away or block before the next attack hits. Before the version 1.05 patch of Elden Ring, certain quick spells such as the Carian Slicer and Swift Glintstone Shard Sorceries or the Catch Flame and Bestial Sling Incantations had a curious property. If a player activated one of these quick spells, then switched to and cast the next spell in their memory slots, they’d cancel the start-up animation of the new spell and hit their enemy again before they could dodge away.

Many of these chain casting glitches, unintended perks of the best Elden Ring spells similar to the first combos of the original Street Fighter 2, was mostly removed by FromSoftware developers in Patch 1.05. A weaker version of chain-casting does still exist as of the latest version of Elden Ring, though. If a spell-slinging Elden Ring character casts certain quick Sorceries or Incantations while jumping in the air, they can still cast the second spell in their memory slot at a faster (though not as fast as pre-patch) pace. It’s unclear whether these still-extant, not-quite-as-powerful spell combos will be patched in a future Elden Ring DLC, or if they were deliberately left in by FromSoftware.

Related: How Poise Works In Elden Ring’s Combat (Compared To In Dark Souls)

Colossal Sword Crouch Pokes Are Still Present In Elden Ring PvP

Four players engaging in PvP combat in Elden Ring's colosseum DLC.

A key part of PvP combat in Elden Ring (particularly outside of combat in the Elden Ring DLC PvP Colosseums) is learning how to rush down and strike out-of-reach opponents before they get a chance to drink healing flasks or cast healing magic. Greatswords, great spears, and colossal weapons have the reach and damage needed to poke opponents to death from afar, but their attacks come out slow as a cost. However, a quirk in the attack animations of Colossal Swords like the Zweihander or Ruins Greatsword causes their slow, heavy thrust attacks to come out faster when the player character is crouching; this led to a PvP meta where Strength Build characters would spam the “crouch-poke” move over and over.

The 1.07 patch (not to be confused with the unique Elden Ring side character Patches who also appears in Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne) decreased the speed and hit detection for the crouching and rolling thrust attacks of colossal swords, making that specific move a lot less useful for damaging enemies just outside a character’s usual melee attack range. Shortly after, though, the 1.08 update that introduced Elden Ring‘s Colosseum DLC walked back the nerf to colossal swords, slightly increasing the speed of crouching and rolling attacks once more. This seems to have made Colossal Sword crouch-pokes useful once more (but not exceptionally overpowered) in Elden Ring’s PvP.

The interesting thing about the combat exploits described above (in contrast to long-gone exploits like Elden Ring‘s Carian Retaliation Instakill Bug) is that they’re not strictly bound to a specific character build or equipment loadout. A lot of Elden Ring PvP strategy guides couch their advice in terms of creating overpowered characters – champions with the sturdiest armor sets and shields, spell-swords with the most overpowered weapons, spells, or Ashes of War, or combinations of enchantments and talismans that briefly boost a Tarnished warrior’s attack damage into the stratosphere. These combat exploits, in contrast, work the best in the hands of Elden Ring players who master the basics of the game, like controlling combat and baiting enemies.

More: How Elden Ring DLC Can Add A New Ending

Source: Bandai Namco Entertainment America/YouTube

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