When I first started playing Mordhau, I got absolutely wrecked in combat. It seemed like every time I got a kill, there were 5 enemies behind him ready to dice me up into tiny pieces.
Then there was newbie me accidentally taking out my teammates. I’ve been nearly kicked from several sessions for team killing while trying to get the hang of the combat. Fortunately, I figured out dozens of mistakes I was making, so now I’d consider myself a halfway decent player.
There weren’t many guides that I found that truly helped me, so I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to start improving in Mordhau.
Set your region correctly
I’m not exactly sure if the region is set to worldwide by default or if I stupidly changed it, but MAKE SURE YOUR REGION IS CORRECT.
This was the number one thing holding me back from improving at the game. I thought that I was getting wrecked because I was bad at the game (which was partially to blame), but it was mostly because my ping was sitting around 120ms. This meant that when someone swung a weapon at me, it would take my game literally 2 seconds to respond.
Blocking was nearly impossible, arrows killed me before I even saw them, and my swings barely ever connected with the enemy. It’s absolutely crucial that you are in a region with good ping, or else you’ll never improve.
Some people may still have issues with bad ping, and a possible reason for that is bad internet connection. If your region is configured correctly but your internet isn’t up to par, then I’m sorry to say that you’re gonna struggle big time.
If you find yourself with bad ping, just check to make sure you’re set to the correct region. I’m annoyed that I didn’t figure this out sooner, so learn from my stupidity.
Play the tutorial
I know, I hate playing them too. I recently played it after many hours of playing, and I realized that it’s the perfect beginner’s guide to the game.
I’ll go into more depth than the tutorial does, but it will acquaint you with the basics you need to survive. To top it all off, you get 2,500 gold just for completing it, which allows you to unlock many more weapons and armor for character customization.
Essential combat moves
Mordhau is all about the combat, so you need to know how to hold your own in battle. This game is not a Call of Duty game, so you can’t just run amuck stabbing whoever you want. Doing that will ensure your death before you even knew what hit you.
This is a basic guide to all of these combat moves. They are easy to learn but take a long time to master. Even then, simply having a basic understanding of them will make you a better player.
Mordhau is not a Call of Duty game. You can’t just run around dispatching enemies with lightning reflexes, but instead, you need to play mind games with your opponents.
Swings and stabs
With any melee weapon in the game, you’ll have the two basic attacks: swings and stabs. Some weapons will excel at stabbing, such as a spear, while weapons like axes will be best when swung at your opponent. Swinging is done by simply clicking the left mouse button while scrolling the mouse wheel up executes a stab.
Swing attacks are much more dangerous for your teammates, as many weapons will go through multiple players before stopping. These are great for combat in open areas where there are few players but is terrible when fighting in confined spaces.
Any swing that connects with the environment will immediately halt your swing, leaving you vulnerable to enemy attacks. Use stabs when you’re in a tight corridor or room, and also if your team has bunched up around a group of enemies.
You need to be more accurate with stabs, so they are best used in conjunction with swing attacks. Using both attacks unpredictably is a good strategy to confuse an enemy you’re fighting. If you’re spamming the same attack every time, they’ll know how to defeat you every single time.
Get comfortable with both of these attacks, and know the best times to use them. There’s nothing more angering to your teammates than you slicing off their limbs while just trying to get a few kills.
Now that you’re familiar with the basic attacks, it’s time to actually use them properly. Every attack in the game must be properly directed at your enemy. Each attack is rendered as you swing, so it’s up to the player’s direction to make sure the attack connects.
You can swing left and right, as well as diagonally both upwards and downwards. While attacking, you need to adjust your direction mid-swing, because players will move constantly to avoid your advances.
Every time you swing, do your best to hit someone. A missed attack will result in a short recovery period that leaves you extremely vulnerable to getting hit.
If a player parries at a certain angle, it’s possible to hit them from another angle. Enemies in a large crowd can be more effectively attacked using an overhead swing, as that’ll avoid the heads of most of the players in the battle.
With most weapons in the game, always aim for the head. You could also aim for vulnerable appendages, which are best hit with a bladed weapon. My favorite weapon to use at the moment is the halberd because I love going in for executions with its ranged downward swings.
Stabbing or swinging at the improper angle could result in you hitting an object, canceling your attack. In the event that teammates are next to an enemy, swing from the opposite direction of where your teammate is. Friendly fire not only results in the death of a teammate but also it can cause enemies to get a free hit while your character recovers stamina.
Along with properly directing your attack, you need to attack at the right times. You can slow down or speed up swings based on the movement of your mouse.
To make a swing slower, move your mouse in the opposite direction of the swing. To make it faster, move the mouse towards the swing. Changing up the timings will not only confuse opponents but also give you more time to close a gap between them.
It’ll take a bit of practice, and it’s hard to tell the difference at first, but different timings can be very effective in combat.
Parry and riposte
To perform a parry, aim your mouse towards the swing of another player and right-click. When a player attacks, the attack can be parried to prevent damage. Parries are extremely important to get the hang of, as basically set the stage for most of the combat moves in the game.
If you timed the parry properly, you’ll catch your opponent off-guard and can perform a riposte. A riposte is an attack immediately following a parry, and it’s more difficult for opponents to block due to how quickly it happens. A quick opponent will be able to block it, but they won’t always see it coming.
It’s also possible to parry arrows and other small projectiles if you’re reflexes are good enough. This has saved my life more than a few times when archers fire on me.
PRACTICE PARRYING. If you can master the art of parrying at the right time, you’ll be able to survive much longer on the harsh battlegrounds of Mordhau.
Almost every weapon in your arsenal has different attack modes. Different attack modes change the way your weapons work in terms of range and damage. For example, you can increase the range on a halberd by holding it lower on the pole.
Swords are able to be held by gripping the blade and hitting the enemy with the hilt. Another move is holding the blade of the sword with one hand, increasing thrust damage. For a really bizarre attack, you can remove the pommel of your sword and chuck it at an enemy.
To switch your weapon mode, simply press R on the keyboard. It’ll take a lot of experimenting with the different modes, so have some fun messing around with them.
A combo is an attack immediately following another attack. They are another awesome tool for catching enemies off guard, as they aren’t very easy to see coming.
Combo attacks always swing from the opposite side you started on. For example, if you swung a sword towards the left, the combo attack will be swung to the right. This is important to note because not having directional control could cause you to take out a teammate or two.
However, you don’t want to miss combos, as you lose more stamina each missed swing. Completely running out of stamina will leave you vulnerable to being disarmed, so keep an eye on that stamina bar.
Feints and Morphs
Besides parrying, you absolutely need to master these 2 maneuvers. Feinting is when you start to perform an attack but stop before following through with it.
It’s a pretty basic move but it’ll make a huge difference in how many opponents you can take out along the way. It forces you to play smart, because you never know when an opponent is going to feint an attack. Blocking at the wrong time will probably cost you your head.
I still have to practice feints, because usually I only perform morphs. Morphs are an attack that becomes another attack at the last second (ie a swing becomes a stab and vice vera). It’s extremely confusing to most players and has resulted in me getting more kills than anything else in the game.
For the best results, randomly feint and morph attacks with intervals of normal attacks. Your main strategy is to be unpredictable while being strategic in your attacks.
Once I learned about morphing, my game was elevated to the next level. No longer was I wondering why it seemed like enemies were parrying an infinite number of times, but instead I was faking them out and slicing through them with a longsword.
Now we get into the more difficult attacks to perform. A chamber happens when you mirror the enemy’s attack at the last second, which gives you a free hit on them without losing stamina.
I’ve seen it stated online that you should basically think of it as your character looking in a real mirror so that you copy everything from their attack to their direction. I personally have trouble mastering these, because they really are difficult to do.
When you do manage to pull one of these off, it’s extremely satisfying due to the impeccable timing needed. The free hit is an awesome feature that makes chambering a must-know skill for more advanced players.
Clashing with weapons can make for some really exciting duels. Basically, a clash happens when you and an opponent start an attack at the same time. Both your weapons “clash” and bounce back, allowing you to attack immediately after.
Sometimes you can manage to pull off multiple clashes in a row, known as a clash chains. I’ve only ever been able to do this once, but it added some awesome intensity to the fight.
Choose every battle wisely. It should be common sense to turn and run when an angry horde runs towards you with swords, but other video games have taught us otherwise.
Fighting more than one opponent dramatically increases your chances of death. For three or more, it’s pretty much a death sentence unless they are terrible.
STAY WITH YOUR TEAM. Getting separated will ensure that you are about to die a swift and unpleasant death. Always check out your surroundings to make sure you have the tactical advantage. If you’re on a platform, you can jump off while swinging your sword at the enemy. Or, you can use long-reaching weapons to poke them from above.
Use footing to your advantage. Like I said in the combat section, you have complete control of your attacks, including your footing. Move forward when performing an attack, but move back when trying to avoid one.
Try your best to take cover when being bombarded by arrows and catapults. Getting knocked over by a catapult will allow enemies to get an easy kill. Archery in Mordhau is harder than other games, so zig-zag around when being shot at with arrows. This will generally make most shots miss you unless you’re dealing with a skilled archer.
Coordinate with your teammates to find weak spots in their defense. I know, it’s hard to find a sensible player in Mordhau, but a friend can make this game a million times better.
Learn your weapon
If you’re like me, you’ll keep switching classes during a game until you find a groove with one. This is probably a very bad way to play, as you can’t get good with a single weapon like this.
It’ll probably take you several hours of using a weapon to see its advantages and disadvantages. A player experienced with a weapon will know how far away they much be to hit another someone, how much stamina they can use, and the best spots to aim for on players.
Know your enemy
When a player rushes towards you with a lute in hand, you know you’re about to slice him up without difficulty. However, if a heavy raider class rushes towards you while playing as an archer, you better run.
However, light classes can easily outdo heavy classes simply by attack speed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used the engineer’s rapier to take out battleax-wielding brutes. Sometimes speed outmatches strength, so use this to your advantage.
You can make any class viable if you have many other players around to overwhelm them in combat, but duels are a different story. Always judge the enemy before engaging with them.
In addition to judging their physical class, you should also analyze their movements in combat. Some players will constantly morph attack, still, others spam stab half the time. You can use this to your advantage by counterattacking their weak points.
Understand your weaknesses
Since I play with a halberd most of the time, I was forced to compromise on the leg armor. My character’s legs are extremely vulnerable to slicing attacks, so I must always be on guard for that area.
Like I mentioned before, always watch out for speedy characters when playing as a heavy. Archers will always be vulnerable to melee attacks, as any hit to them will send their bow flying. Shorter range weapons will usually be outmatched by halberd and spears, so always be careful when approaching longer-range classes.
Overall, just make sure you know the downsides of your class and weapons before engaging with certain enemies. You’ll thank me later when all your limbs are still intact.
While you can watch and read all the guides in the world, nothing can really fully prepare you for the chaos that Mordhau is. It’ll just take experience and learning from your mistakes in-game. Eventually, you’ll be on the top of the leaderboards.