If you're having difficulty with the combat in God of War, we've put together these basic tips and tricks to help you seize victory and get to grips with the combat gameplay.
On this page:
- Tips and Tricks for Beginners in God of War
- Should I Use Leviathan Axe or Fists?
- Blocking and Dodging
- Throwing the Leviathan Axe
- Using Atreus in Combat
Tips and Tricks for Beginners in God of War
God of War's combat system is a unique one based around crowd control and maneuverability, in which players must prevent themselves from getting overwhelmed. Here's some basic advice for dealing with enemies.
- Throw the Axe - This might seem obvious, but this is a new move for Kratos and something that's easy to forget about early on in the game. This is useful if you're being overrun by a group of enemies and want to take them on from a distance.
- Use Atreus - Atreus is also new to the series and can fire arrows. Use him to help you out and even stun enemies so you can finish them off.
- Consult your abilities on the pause menu - There's a lot to take in when you start God of War. Pause the game and look at your abilities to make sure you're making the most of Kratos' moveset.
- Explore - There are secret chests and hacksilver all over the place in God of War, all of which will contribute to your stats, skills and weapons. Take your time to explore and smash vases.
- If you're having trouble with the controls, we've got them all listed here, as well as how to change them.
Should I Use Leviathan Axe or Fists?
Kratos has two forms of attack: his Leviathan Axe, and his bare fists (with a third weapon introduced about halfway through the game). The former is an excellent way to deal out big damage quickly, and you can chain multiple attacks together in quick succession against weaker enemies like Draugr, by following up a few quick attacks with a single heavy attack, slamming your enemy down onto the ground.
However, if you instead use your fists, you’ll be building up a ‘stun’ meter on each enemy that you successfully land hits on. If you repeatedly land unarmed attacks on an enemy, you’ll eventually receive a button prompt to press the right analog stick, which will enable Kratos to deliver a massive finishing attack to his enemy. There’s also enemies that won’t be affected by the Leviathan Axe, and these are ice-based enemies, who can be identified by their icy skin. On these occasions, Kratos will need to switch to unarmed attack to deal any damage.
Blocking and Dodging
Blocking is a huge part of the combat of God of War, especially when you’re going up against multiple enemies at once. You’ll want to hold the left bumper to block, and you can execute dodges and rolling dodges while blocking with your shield, allowing you to jump back and deliver a few quick attacks to an enemy. There’s also instances where God of War will go slow-mo for a brief second when an attacking enemy hits Kratos’ shield, and this is your chance to press the right bumper and have Kratos attack the enemy with his Leviathan Axe, sending them flying and dealing out huge damage in the process.
Throwing the Leviathan Axe
Aiming and throwing Kratos’ Leviathan Axe is also a big part of the game, and can be used to pummel enemies and freeze them in place. Aim with the axe equipped and you’ll get an aiming reticle on the screen, which you’ll need to aim at an enemy and then press the R1 to throw the axe at them. When hit with the Leviathan Axe, the enemy will freeze in place. You can now either summon back the axe to deal some damage to the enemy by pressing triangle, or you can go up to them and press R2 to kick them away, dealing massive amounts of damage if you can manage to kick them into a wall.
Using Atreus in Combat
Once you’ve defeated the troll Dauoi Kaupmaor at the end of the tutorial, you’ll be able to command Atreus to shoot arrows at enemies by pressing Square. If you want Atreus to shoot an arrow at a particular enemy, or to target the part of an especially large enemy, you can aim with the left trigger and then press square to have Atreus loose an arrow at that spot. It’s a useful diversionary tactic to draw enemies away from Kratos temporarily, but don’t worry, Atreus won’t actually be harmed by any attacks that are launched in his direction.
If you're not filled with Spartan rage at God of War's difficulty, why not read some of our other content? You can see Caty's talk with the game's stars to see how they were impacted by the game here, or see Kat wrestle with her thoughts on the game itself here.