How to perform a critical hit in Elden Ring

Deal maximum damage with your weapons

Image via FromSoftware

To succeed in Elden Ring, players need to be able to deal the most damage possible to their opponents. Whether that opponent is a random enemy on a walkway or a full-on demigod, players can make life much easier in the Lands Between if they know how to inflict the maximum amount of damage. The best way to do that, aside from exploiting an enemy’s weaknesses, is by landing a critical hit.

A critical hit is a mechanic that allows players to deal extra damage with one hit. Sometimes, this extra damage isn’t noticeable but certain bosses in Elden Ring fall at the knees when players inflict a critical hit. In addition to weakening an opponent, enemies will also stop fighting for a brief spell once critically hit. This gives players time to heal, consume another item, or perhaps call in a Spirit Ash summons.

A critical hit can singlehandedly win a fight in some cases, so every player should know how to take advantage of it.

Landing critical hits in Elden Ring

There are a few different kinds of critical hits in Elden Ring. The most commonly used one is when players sneak up behind an enemy, press the attack button, and perform a backstab. This deals extra damage to an opponent and also causes them to fall to the ground. To take advantage of the backstab, all players need to do is either stealthily sneak behind an enemy or go behind a human enemy’s backside and press the melee button. Humans are susceptible to backstabs even if the fight is ongoing.

The next critical hit is the parry/guard counter. This is a mechanic that allows players to stop an incoming attack and then retaliate with one of their own, dealing additional damage than a normal attack. To perform this, players need to wait for their enemy to attack with a melee weapon of some kind. Once they do, players need to hit the block button at the perfect time. If done correctly, the enemy will fall back slightly. If players only hit the block button, then they’ve just parried. But performing the block and then hitting the melee button will trigger a guard counter, which deals extra damage and sends the enemy flying backward.

Finally, the last kind of critical hit is when an enemy has run out of stamina. If an enemy or boss has been dealing attacks or moving around for several seconds, they’re likely close to being out of stamina. Once they are, which is signified by the enemy moving slower, players can swoop in for an attack. This attack will cause the enemy to flinch, which opens the door for another attack of the critical hit variety. This next attack will deal additional damage and force the boss to retreat to recoup their stamina.

Critical hits are a mechanic that takes time to master in Elden Ring. But once players do, they have a whole other strategy to use against enemies.