Game Guides

Elden Ring: How to Parry

Shields up.

Elden Ring
Bandai Namco

As you face down the unspeakable horrors of Elden Ring, you’ll need every advantage you can get. One of the most deceptively simple abilities in the game is the Parry, a sweet little move that lets you cancel an enemy’s attack and then open them up to your own critical hit. If you’re a real sicko, you can use Parries to put even bosses in their place, instead of trying to dodge things like normal folks. Of course, the problem is that the Parry is actually quite difficult to use, more so than past FromSoftware games. With that in mind, we’ll walk you through exactly how to do it, along with a few tips for getting good in Elden Ring.

How to Parry in Elden Ring

Timing is everything for pulling off successful Parries.

Bandai Namco

Your first step to becoming a master of Parrying is to get equipment that can actually do it, meaning a shield. While almost every small and medium shield in Elden Ring can parry, there are some exceptions. Because of that, you’ll always want to check the equipment description at the top, and make sure your shield has the “Parry” skill. The last thing you need is to look like a fool trying to Parry an invader with the wrong shield. Certain weapons can also have the Parry skill, including the Dagger, Thrusting Sword, Claws, and Curved Sword.

As for the actual act of Parrying, you need to Press L2/LT to execute a parry and block the enemy attack. Of course, you’ll need to time it at just the right exact moment, which can be tricky to do.

It’s important to note that Parry only works to deflect physical attacks and physical projectiles, but there are specific skills that let you “Parry” magic attacks as well. Those skills are Carian Retaliation and Thop’s Barrier, and you’ll use them the exact same way as Parry. Just be careful as the timing windows for success will be different.

Tips For Parrying in Elden Ring

Practicing with The Buckler is one of the best ways to get better at Parrying.

Bandai Namco

The number one way to get better at Parrying is simply practicing. Just like everything in Elden Ring, the more you do it the better you’ll be. Find some low-level enemies, like soldiers in the starting area, to practice your Parries on, before moving onto tougher enemies or bosses. The best way to practice is by using the Buckler, as it has a larger window for Parries than any other weapon in the game.

The easiest way to get the Buckler is to start with the Bandit class, as it comes equipped with one. However, Bandit starts the game with lower base stats so it might be tougher to use if you aren’t an expert. Otherwise, to get the Buckler you’ll need to purchase it from Gatekeeper Gostoc in Stormveil Castle for 1500 Runes.

A good rule of thumb for using Parry is you’ll want to hit the button the second you see an enemy’s hand start moving for an attack. Watching the enemy’s hands is often the best way to get the timing right, as you want to watch for the split-second that their hand starts to blur for the attack. Of course, this might not work for every single enemy, especially bosses. In those cases, you’ll want to use the age-old Souls tradition of studying the tells and animations. Keep an eye on how each attack animates and look for the tell whenever the enemy is using it. Time your Parry for the second you see that tell happen.

Now, if you really want to make things even easier on yourself, there is an alternative.

Making Parrying Easier With Ashes in Elden Ring

Find the Golden Parry on the bridge just outside of Leyndell.

Bandai Namco

Elden Ring has an Ash that teaches you a skill called “Golden Parry,” which has a significantly easier window to use than the standard Parry. Of course, the catch is you’ll need to get your grubby hands on it first. You’ll have to find a Teardrop Scarab with the skill.

The easiest way to do this is to teleport to the Outer Wall Phantom Tree Site of Grace, then head toward the massive bridge. You can find the scarab sitting on the floor near the massive shut doors, the ones that have people begging beneath them. Make sure to target the Scarab and keep it in your sights as it runs away, then land some hits when it slows down. After that, you’ll get the Golden Parry Ash that you can put on the weapon or shield of your choice.

Golden Parry has the best window of any Parry skill in the game, and as a bonus it can even deflect attacks a short distance in front of you.

Hopefully, you now feel better equipped to become the parrying champion of The Lands Between, and as with all things in Elden Ring, you’ll just need to put in the work.

Elden Ring is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The Shadow of the Erdtree launches on all platforms on June 20.

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