This guide is designed to provide some structure to the melee combat to help with the initial learning experience. Keep in mind everything is intentionally left very brief for this reason. Future guides and tutorials I have planned will delve into more detail. I’ll be assuming the default controls and bindings are being used.
There are two main types of attacks. Strikes, and stabs. Perform a Strike with Left Mouse Button. You can perform a Stab with Mouse Wheel Up.The direction of these attacks are determined by your mouse movement.
If you miss an attack it will cost stamina and will start a recovery period in which you can’t input any attacks until it’s over. You cannot parry during this period either, leaving you exposed to your opponent.
If you are hit during an attack with a melee weapon it will be interrupted and cancelled.
Attacks in Mordhau are rendered in real-time. There are no lock on animations, you have complete control. This means you can manipulate your attack using mouse movement and footwork during the attack window itself. This can be done for many reasons, some include: repositioning an attack to hit an opponent where they aren’t expecting, redirecting an attack from one opponent to another in a group engagement, or throwing off the timing of your opponent by making your attack hit them earlier or later than expected.
Reverses & Spins
Attacks will not hit players directly behind you, and if you try and spin around while attacking they will just glance off of your opponent, dealing very little damage.
If you start up another attack halfway through your current one, it will chain them together forming a combo. This can allow for quicker follow-ups on most weapons and are a means of prolonging your control over the fight’s pace. You can perform combos with both strikes and stabs. Combos consume stamina when you miss. Missing two consecutive combo attacks will result in a compounded loss of stamina. One last thing to note, a comboed attack will always go right to left, or left to right. There are no same side combos.
Hitting Right Mouse Button will perform a parry. This will block your opponent’s attack if you’re aiming at it, and if you time it correctly. You can also parry projectiles if you’re quick enough.
Once you have successfully parried, you have the option to riposte. A riposte is an attack you can perform after a successful parry, and it’s the only attack that can’t be interrupted. To perform a riposte, start an attack as you parry. The timing might take some time to get use to.
During the windup of your attack you have the option to feint it with Q. This allows you to cancel it in an attempt to trick somebody into parrying early, or if you simply wish to not commit to the attack. Keep in mind feints cost stamina.
There’s a couple more quick things worth mentioning regarding feints. You cannot feint ripostes, but you can feint strikes, stabs, combos, morphs, chambers, and kicks.
Feint into Parry
You can go straight into a parry if you perform a feint. This is useful if your opponent will land their attack first.
Chambers allow you to swat away an enemy attack with your own. This requires you to mirror your opponent’s attack angle, and to perform your own attack just before theirs hits you. The timing is very similar to a parry, except you just use a mirrored attack instead. You can also chamber stabs with a stab of your own. You do not need to mirror stabs. Chambers can be used as a quick counter attack, or as a way to deal with feints. Keep in mind that chambers are only an effective way to deal with feints, if they are timed properly. They aren’t a guaranteed counter in every scenario. Chambers cost a significant amount of stamina, so use them wisely.
During the windup of your attack you have the ability to convert it from one type to another. This is called a morph. This can be from a strike to a stab, or vice versa. These can only be performed on the same side, you can’t go from a right stab into a left strike. Morphs are not only altering the timing of your attack, but are also changing the attack type. This can completely throw off a chamber attempt if it is timed properly. They can also be used to close more distance with your attack.
Kicks are an attack that can’t be parried. Landing a kick on your opponent will deal damage as well as consume their stamina. Kicks can be used against someone using a shield that is holding it up to stun them to get a free hit. You can avoid a kick yourself by just walking away from it, or performing a kick yourself. Kicks are also slower if you perform one right after a feint, or if you morph into them.
A clash is what happens when two attacks collide. If you and your opponent start attacks at roughly the same time, you might clash. You can go straight into another attack once this occurs, which can lead to some intense exchanges where you and your opponent are trying to squeeze a hit in. You can also clash with projectiles too.
Most combat actions will cost stamina. If you try and parry or chamber a melee attack on low stamina you will be disarmed. This leaves you exposed and your opponent can perform a very quick counter-attack. In most situations you won’t be able to block the counter-attack, so it’s important to bring a secondary weapon just in case you survive that blow.
Keep in mind that different weapons have different draw times. For example, switching to a Dagger is faster than switching to a Halberd.
You will also be disarmed if you are hit by a melee attack while holding non-melee equipment, such as a bow.
Alternate Weapon Modes
Most weapons have an alternate mode of use. A longsword can be flipped upside down into a mordhau grip, allowing it to be used as a blunt weapon to deal greater damage to armoured opponents. A greatsword can be halfsworded which will make the stab much more powerful. If a weapon has two sides you can flip it around, and some polearms can be gripped further up or down the shaft to allow for more range, typically at the cost of speed. If a weapon doesn’t have an alternate mode, you can usually throw it.
Some weapons have blunt attacks. These can only hit a single target, unless it’s a killing blow. Blunt attacks have a very consistent hit to kill across all armour types, and tend to do the most damage to heavy armour.
Weapons with a defined blade will cleave through people on hit. These weapons tend to vary quite a bit more when it comes to damage. You will deal less damage the heavier the armour is.
Shields allow you to hold a block. Shields also increase the surface area of your block meaning it requires less accuracy. This can make it easier to deal with a ton of attacks, especially morphs and feints, but they leave you exposed to kicks. Shields also offer the ability to passively protect against projectiles. If a shield is on your back a projectile won’t be able to hit you from that direction.
Climbing & Vaulting
- MORDHAU: Shield Guide
- Last Oasis Melee Combat Guide for Beginners
- Warhammer: Vermintide 2 – Secret Weapon Combos Guide
- Absolver: Faejin Guide
- The Scroll Of Taiwu: Mechanics of Attack Skills