Honkai Impact 3rd is a fiesta for fighting fans. While hack-and-slash combat in most mobile ARPGs can feel like an afterthought – closer to the mindless button spamming of MMOs – Honkai’s fighting system will have you itching to get your thumbs back into the action.

With a mix of characters, weapons, fighting styles, parries, counters, special moves, ultimates and tag-team combos (*inhale*) there’s enough depth here to rival games like Bayonetta and other score-attack slashers. Here’s how Honkai Impact 3rd’s Valkyries work together to fight the good fight.

Working Together

Your starting Valkyries – White Comet Kiana, Crimson Impulse Mei and Chariot Valkyrie Bronya – are a perfect example of the girls’ synergy. With one of each class (Mecha, Creature and Psychic) going into battle with the trio you’ll always have one Valk on hand to gain the advantage over any enemy type. Using the trusted rock-paper-scissors method of Mecha beats Creature, Creature beats Psychic and Psychic beats Mecha, you’ll be able to swap to the best girl for the job in every deployment.

Their synergy runs even deeper with your formation’s cross-over skills: QTEs. These aren’t quick-time events as we’re used to (no there’s no weird Shenmue-style Simon Says games to play). In certain situations you can summon in the help of another Valkyrie to perform a tag-team takedown, for example, knocking enemies airborne with Kiana’s White Comet Valkyrie will trigger the QTE for Mei’s Crimson Impulse. By tapping Mei’s flashing portrait on the right of the screen, she’ll swap in and deal a devastating blow to the juggled enemies, smashing them into the floor at the end of the combo! Each Valkyrie has their own QTE criteria, so mixing and matching characters to find a trio that lead into each other is one of the most satisfying ways to play.

The Perfect Mix

Each character has a stable of different Valkyries, and these aren’t just a change of clothes either. Each offers a different type, new combos, a shiny ultimate and special evasion skill to master. Mei’s Shadow Dash Valkyrie changes the tempo of battle compared to her default Crimson Impulse; her sword attacks are more focused, rather than a whirlwind of blades, and her ultimate summons an illusion to fight alongside you. On top of that, if you manage a perfect dodge, it will spawn a shorter-lived illusion to also fight with you, meaning you can chain together illusion spawns and not even have to lift a finger yourself!

Of course, with the type change to Mecha, this means some shuffling of your team, and her QTE criteria will also benefit from being paired with other Valkyries, so there’s a lot of testing to find your perfect mix. With hundreds of story stages, side missions and weekly and daily events, it’s a good job there’s plenty of space to stretch your wings and find the Valkyries you want to fight with.

Cut Loose!

Once you’ve earned enough SP through smashing your foes, it’s time to unleash your Ultimate. Each Valkyrie has their own Ultimate, based on the weapons and fighting style they use. For Kiana, who fights with dual pistols in a form of Gun Kata like the movie Equilibrium, these range from summoning a giant cat’s paw to swipe at enemies, or a huge laser rifle to vaporize them with a sustained hyperbeam.

Fighting styles also influence which Valkyries you want to send into battle. A good mix of melee and ranged fighters helps you deal with any combination of enemies that a stage can throw at you. From guns to blades to crucifixes and giant robot bunnies that do your bidding, everyone has their own style in the art of war. Which will be yours?

Download Honkai Impact 3rd today!