For Honor is a game that seems to combine multiple genres, which means it can be difficult to determine the best strategies. We’ve taken the liberty of compiling some of the best combat tips for the For Honor Alpha so you can get a jump on the competition. We’ll cover how to block, tackle, guard break and many of the other top strategies for one vs. one (1v1) combat.

Stances and Blocking

Each hero has three stances they can attack from: Up, Left and Right. Likewise, there are three block options: Up, Left and Right. In order to successfully block an attack, you need to use the Right Analog Stick to switch to the same stance the opponent is attacking from. If you try to block Up while your opponent is attacking from Right, you will get hit.

If you’re attacking and want to throw off your opponent, stay in one stance, then just before you attack immediately switch to a different stance. While an opponent with good reflexes will still be able to block your attack, it makes it much harder to keep up with your offense. The more you make your opponent work, the better off you’ll be.

Guard Breaks, Throws and Tackles

One of the single most important aspects of For Honor combat is the guard break system. You can change your stance all you like, but a skilled opponent will still block all of your attacks. A guard break is the only way to get through an opponent’s guard. On PlayStation this is the Square button. If you tap it twice your character will transition from a guard break to a throw or tackle (which varies depending on the hero).

A guard break can be countered if the opponent sees what you’re doing and goes for their own guard break. As soon as you see the opponent going for a guard break press Square (on PS4) to cancel it out. It’s also important to note that guard breaks do not stop attacks. If your opponent has already started an attack and you attempt a guard break, the attack will connect and your guard break will have no effect.

Positioning and Environment

How you position yourself is extremely important in For Honor. Most hero classes have the ability to knock you off of ledges or into spiked walls to land an instant kill. Never have your back to these deadly environmental hazards. If you can maneuver around the opponent so their back is to these dangers, you’ll be one step closer to victory.

It’s very easy to get caught with a barrage of attacks, especially if you’re new to the game or up against multiple enemies. Never be afraid to turn around and run. Keep a close eye on where your enemies are at so you don’t get surrounded, but running away so you can regroup is never a bad suggestion. Even if you’re playing four vs. four Dominion Mode and need to hold an area, it’s best to lose that area and come back with reinforcements instead of dying and having to wait for your respawn timer.

Hero Classes Matter

While it’s certainly possible to succeed with any of the hero classes in the game, you need to know what each class is capable of if you’re going to defend properly. This is especially important when you’re facing a two vs. one or greater odds. We’ll be covering all of the hero classes available in the Alpha soon, but this should give you a quick summary.

For Honor Class Chart
Hero Class Best Attributes Weaknesses How to Defend Against
Berserker Very agile; endless attacks. Low damage; short block window. Keep them at a distance and block or parry their attacks.
Conqueror Unblockable flail attacks; good range. Slow attack speed. Dodge unblockable attacks and take advantage of their slow attack speed.
Kensei Long reach; great Up stance. Slow attacks in Right and Left stances. Block all Up stance attacks to force them into Right or Left stance.
Orochi Speed, agility, parries/deflects and counter attacks. Low damage; sheathed sword stance is telegraphed. Focus on guard breaks and throws so they can't get guaranteed attacks after a block/deflect.
Raider Charge/tackle into environmental dangers; long reach. Slow attack speed. Make sure your back is not to an enviromental danger and use agility to your advantage.
Warden High damage. Slow attack speed. Block or dodge all attacks and use speed to your advantage.