The Guard Counter is a combat action in Elden Ring that has the player execute a counterattack immediately after blocking an enemy attack. Most Tarnished will know about Parrying, a similar action that has the player character swing out their equipped shield the moment an opponent’s strike lands. Performing a Parry requires extremely skillful timing and can be moderately challenging to do, especially when up against fast-moving enemies. On the other hand, Guard Countering in Elden Ring is a much easier and safer option for those not confident enough to Parry, as it allows the player to shield themselves while conducting a counterattack.
Guard Countering in Elden Ring
To Guard Counter in Elden Ring, approach an opponent with a drawn shield. For controller users, hold up the shield using L1 and press R2 as soon as the enemy’s hit lands. Conversely, PC users should hold the Right Click on their mouse to block and then Shift + Left Click immediately after blocking a foe’s attack.
If players successfully execute a Guard Counter in Elden Ring, the counterattack significantly damages the enemy’s Poise. As a result, their stance can be easily broken, staggering the opponent in the process and leaving them open to a critical strike. This effect will usually occur immediately for weaker enemies, such as the humanoid Godrick Soldiers roaming the Gatefront Ruins of Limgrave. However, bear in mind that the Poise of stronger enemies and bosses cannot be easily broken. It may take several successful Guard Counters in Elden Ring before a more formidable foe such as Margit is staggered by the player’s blocking counterattack.
Similar to Parrying, it is impossible to Guard Counter effectively without knowledge of enemy attack patterns. Even though the window of opportunity to act is longer than a Parry, players must still time their Guard Counters carefully to execute the counterattack properly. In other words, understanding how enemy mechanics work in Elden Ring is vital to breaking their stance with a Guard Counter. For instance, some elite enemies have chain attacks, striking the player with one blow after another. If the player attempts to Guard Counter during such combos, they risk being vulnerable for several moments during their counterattack. Accordingly, be sure to have a general understanding of the timing of an enemy’s attack pattern before blindly Guard Countering.
Elden Ring is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.