Mordhau is bloody brilliant. Its multiplayer, medieval-style hacking and slashing is some of the most fun we’ve had in a game this year. When you finally pull off the perfect parry and counter-stab, you feel like a melee god. But reaching that point is hard! When you first start, you’ll feel like everybody else is faster than you, moves more smoothly than you, and knows exactly which position to stand in. It can take tens of hours to feel fully comfortable with the combat mechanics. To help you get better faster, we’ve put together a list of handy Mordhau tips that will help both beginners and intermediate players. Let’s take a look!
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Practice on Duel Servers
Mordhau has custom servers alongside its three main game modes — and playing on 1v1 duel servers is the best way to improve your fundamentals. In these servers, a bunch of players spawn in a map. You pair up with an opponent by twirling your sword at them. Nobody else will butt in, so you get to practice without distractions!
By spending a couple of hours dueling, you’ll soon find out where you need to improve, and pick up tricks from other players. These servers are much friendlier than Frontline mode, too (for all its wonderful gameplay, Mordhau can feel awfully toxic at times). That makes this your chance to ask for advice from others. Duels are also a great place to mine XP and gold in Mordhau.
To find these servers, just search “Duel” in the custom server menu.
The Simplest Trick Is Also One of the Best
The feint is the simplest trick you can use in Mordhau, but it’ll win you a lot of fights on its own — especially in Frontline mode. To feint, press Q during the wind-up phase of your strike. That will cancel the attack. The aim is to make your opponent think you’re striking, baiting them into a parry. You can then follow up with a real attack while they’re still recovering from their parry, helpless.
Practice the timing and get a feel for feinting with your favorite weapons. You want to feint at the last possible moment, making it more likely your opponent will react. You can also feint chambers and morphs!
Contort Your Body to Change Attack Speed
If you’re standing straight, relentlessly swinging at an enemy, your attacks are easy to predict. Foes will parry you with absolutely zero trouble. Getting through an opponents defense’s in Mordhau is all about mixing up your timing; you can throw off your enemy with feints, but can also change the speed of your strikes through “drags” (i.e. slowing down) and “accels” (as in acceleration).
A drag slows down your attack by widening your angle of approach. If you’re swinging from the right, you can drag by moving your cursor to the right on your backswing. Your sword will travel further than normal, and therefore take longer to reach your enemy. That will often trick them into parrying early. The opposite is true for accels: If you striking from the right, for example, move your cursor to the left — as if trying to pull your sword through and past your enemy. Practice using both until you throw your opponent’s timing off.
Parry Late, Parry Often
To avoid getting tricked by a feint, and to stay safe from opposing drags and accels, learn to parry as late as possible. Ideally, you want to get used to parrying just before your enemy’s weapon hits you. That way you won’t fall for their feints (your opponent will lose stamina in the process) and you’ll be able to deal with different attack speeds. That’s not always easy, of course, but erring on the side of “too late” rather than “too early” will put you on the road to the right habits.
Do NOT Panic
Speaking of reacting to opponents: As soon as you panic in a one-on-one, the fight is lost. That usually involves a panic parry, leaving yourself open for a hit. Practice keeping your cool and study your opponent’s moves. Odds are they only know or rely on a couple of simple tricks (much like you probably do too). There’s no shame in that! However, you should absolutely take advantage of predictable patterns. If you’re in control, you have a much better chance.
Check Other Custom Modes
If you get bored of the three main Mordhau modes, or just fancy a change of scenery, then here’s a tip: Head to the server browser and see what people are playing. In addition to Duels, we’re very big fans of Skirmish. It’s a team fight mode in Mordhau with no respawns. This encourages a more cautious approach. More cautious play, naturally, leads to more interesting and protracted battles. And longer battles give you more time to learn!
Keep Your Cursor on Retreating Enemies
If you’re getting the better of your opponent, they might turn and run. Don’t worry! You’ll get a speed boost for as long as you keep your cursor on them. That will let you chase them down no matter how heavy your armor is.
Remember, though: If you turn your back on a fight, the same thing will happen to you. If you need to retreat, the safest bet is to back up while facing an enemy — preferably moving towards a group of friendlies. And if you have to flee, always try to break line of sight first. The speed boost doesn’t apply automatically, after all. The other player still needs to keep themselves trained on you.
There Are Ways Around Shields
Going up against shield users is a real pain in Mordhau. At times it seems impossible to get through their defenses. You can try getting in their face and kicking, but that’s risky, because if you miss they’ll have a free shot. Only consider that if they’re pushing up on you. Otherwise, take your time and try to get above, or around, their shield.
Overhead strikes can sometimes get above shields — especially if you jump during a strike, or drag your attack by looking up at the sky. You can also stab above some shields; start aiming low so they drop their shield, then flick your stab up. Finally, striking around the sides of shields is also an option. Try to circle your opponents to disorientate them first.
Keep a Headcount to Create Mismatches
In team modes, you should always join in one-on-one fights. Winning a two-on-one is easy, even if you’re horribly outmatched, as long as you take your time and avoid swinging wildly. You can also often catch enemies from behind, which is essentially a free kill.
This doesn’t just apply to dueling adversaries, though. You should always count groups of battling enemies and allies. If both squads are the same size, and you can turn a 3v3 into a 4v3 for example, chances are you’ll end up wiping out all three foes. That can have a real impact on the flow of battle. Create mismatches whenever you can!
Try Playing Support
If you’re struggling during your first few hours, then carrying a medic bag — which you can throw on the ground for allies to heal from — will make you extremely useful for very little effort. It will help sustain your team through a hard fight over a capture point. Grab two bags, if you like, and you can always pick up good weapons off the ground.
The blacksmith’s hammer is another great support option in Mordhau. you can build defenses around control points, which will make it much harder for enemies to push through.
Lighten Those Legs
When crafting a Mordhau build, you can only allocate a finite number of points — used for armor, weapons, and perks. If you want to free up some points, consider stripping off your leg armor. Players very rarely aim for the legs at all, instead preferring to hit right around center mass. Getting out of those greaves make you move faster, too, with a minimal loss of protection.
Grab the Friendly Perk if You’re Not Very Precise
Mordhau swords are individually modeled physics objects that damage anything they touch. That includes your teammates. If you like fighting on the front lines, consider grabbing the Friendly perk. For just one point it will reduce the damage you deal to your own team if (or, let’s be honest, when) you accidentally hit them. You’ll take less damage from them as well.
Looting Weapons is Great for Beginners
Downed enemies drop their weapons and, naturally, you can pick up any you see on the ground. This is a great way to try out a variety of weapons for the first time, when you’re just starting the game. It’s also an easy to grab expensive weapons that you couldn’t afford in your loadout. The powerful Zweihander is no longer out of reach!
Riposte Beats Stab Spam
Riposte is the first advanced defensive move you’ll learn in Mordhau. You perform it by attacking the instant after you parry an enemy’s blow. Doing so successfully will make your counter faster than a normal strike. Use this to counter enemies that just want to face you front-and-center with stab spam.
The Basic Rhythm of Battle
You can win fights with feints and drags, but a lot of 1v1s come down to spacing and positioning. You always want to stand on the edge of your opponents’ range, tiptoeing back, forth, and side-to-side to bait out attacks. When they strike, take a step back, start your own attack, and push forward after you’ve dodged. They won’t have time to react, and you’ll get a free hit!
Don’t Defend Against Multiple Enemies
If you’re stuck fighting multiple enemies, the absolute worst thing you can do is crawl into a defensive shell. Simply backing up and parrying won’t cut it. Instead, they’ll cut you with a bevvy of unblockable blows from every which way. No! You can’t defend your way out of this one… You have to take the fight to them.
First, try to isolate one opponent by moving to the side of the group you’re facing, putting one enemy between you and their friends. Then be aggressive. Make your movements erratic and switch targets mid-swing if you can. Your enemies will already think the fight is won and probably won’t play smart. Take advantage! I’ve seen players win 4v1s by staying aggressive. Even if you don’t win, though, taking a foe or two down with you is better than getting cornered and turned into a pin cushion.
You Can Still Fight on Ladders
You feel very vulnerable climbing ladders — but don’t forget that you can use one-handed weapons while you’re on them. It’ll often surprise enemies who think they just found an easy kill. And one of the best Mordhau tips we can give you is to do whatever it takes to catch your enemy off-guard.
Respect the Grunting
Every attack in Mordhau divides into two phases: a wind-up and the forward strike or thrust. You can only feint an attack, or morph from one type of an attack to another, during the first phase. When the second phase starts, your character will grunt loudly.
That’s not tremendously helpful on its own, but this is: You can hear enemy grunts as well. If an enemy hasn’t grunted yet, that means they might still feint or morph. Put another way, it’s too early to counter them. If you train yourself to react specifically to this audio cue (assuming that’s an option for you) then you’ll stop falling for most of the common tricks Mordhau players employ. It will absolutely make you a far better dueler.
If you have any Mordhau tips and tricks, feel free to leave them in the comments below! Otherwise, if you’re an absolute beginner, we lastly recommend playing the game’s tutorial (obviously). It’s simple, but easy to overlook when there are so very many advanced tips to be on the lookout for.