Dodging and weaving in combat is a huge part of Vampyr, and there are various abilities you can obtain to help you through old London. In this Vampyr combat guide, we'll be walking you through everything there is to know about combat in Dontnod's game, as well as providing you with a list of the best Vampyr abilities that you can obtain.
If you instead need help with anything else on Vampyr, you’ll want to head over to our complete Vampyr guides hub. It’s here that you’ll find all the information you need on how to get started with the game, including a full beginner’s guide and tips.
Don’t expect combat to be at all easy or forgiving throughout Vampyr, as Jonathan Reid isn’t going to have it easy as a newborn vampire. There’s only one standard difficulty setting in Vampyr, and you’ll need to master the art of dodging enemy attacks if you want to survive long on the streets of London.
In the early hours of Vampyr, we’d recommend always hanging back and watching enemy attack patterns. You’ll find out that your human enemies are incredibly easy to predict, and often have just one main lunge attack. It’s after an enemy attacks that you’ll want to close in for the kill, and because of the difficult nature of Vampyr, you should rarely put yourself on the offensive.
The red meter near the top left of your HUD is your blood meter, and this dictates whether you can perform special attacks as Reid. The only way to regenerate this meter in combat is to stun someone. You’ll want to do this by locking on to one enemy with the right stick, and then pressing Y/Triangle to bash into them, which decreases their stun meter under their health bar.
When a stun meter has reached zero on an enemy, you’ll then be able to press A/X when near them to feed on them. This doesn’t do a large amount of damage to the enemy, but instead regenerates your blood meter, so you can then perform special attacks or heal yourself in combat. Keep in mind that it’ll often take more than one bash attack to fully stun an enemy, and performing these attacks is a good way to drain your stamina meter very quickly.
How to Unlock Special Abilities in Vampyr
Jonathan Reid has been blessed (or cursed), with certain vampiric powers, and he can put these to use in the heat of battle. All throughout Vampyr, you continually earn XP points for every enemy you kill on the streets of London, as well as every quest you complete, and innocent citizen who you mesmerise and then drain their blood.
You can then take these XP points, go to the nearest hideout on your map of London, and then interact with the bed to level up. You’ll now come to the character upgrade screen for Jonathan Reid, and you can spend your XP points on unlocking new abilities to use. These abilities include:
- Spring - Warp to the nearest enemy, and deal damage on contact.
- Shadow Veil - Drains your stamina to fade into the shadows, becoming invisible to most enemies.
- Claws - Produce a demonic claw in Reid’s left hand, and strike the nearest enemy with it.
- Bloodspear - Throw a spear made of blood, passing through multiple enemies.
- Shadow Mist -
- Coagulation - Block your target’s blood in their veins, rendering them defenseless for a few seconds.
- Blood Barrier - Creates an invisible barrier, which absorbs hits until it is destroyed.
These are all the basic vampiric abilities that Dr. Reid can purchase through spending his XP points. But there’s another type of vampiric attack, that we’ll outline just below.
How to Unlock Ultimate Abilities in Vampyr
The Ultimate vampiric abilities are your most powerful in Vampyr, and you can only have one of the three following abilities active at any one time:
- Rage - An AI beast teleports around the arena, damaging all your enemies that it comes into contact with.
- Abyss - Create a shadow vortex at your target’s feet, which damages their attacks an inflicts huge damage in an area.
- Blood Cauldron - Causes your target’s blood to explode, dealing out huge blood damage and temporarily stunning them.
In the first few hours of Vampyr, you’ll only be able to unlock one of these abilities, so pick wisely. However later on in the game, you can unlock either two of the additional Ultimate abilities, but at the hefty cost of 1000 XP points.
When you’re first getting started out in Vampyr, we’d recommend going with the Blood Cauldron ability. You won’t meet many enemies in the early hours of Vampyr who are resistant to blood-type attacks, and it deals out some hefty area damage on top of damage to the main target.
We might be at the end of this guide on how to get to grips with the combat and vampiric abilities of Jonathan Reid in Vampyr, but make sure to head over to our Vampyr Medicine guide, where we’ll be walking you through how to compose and distribute medicine as quickly as possible.