With three playable characters who all have different styles and abilities, there’s a lot to get your head around in Devil May Cry 5. Here are some combat tips to start you off.
Want more? Here’s how to unlock and complete all DMC 5’s secret missions.
DMC 5 General combat tips
Don’t keep using the same move
It might be obvious to veterans of the series, but newcomers need to know this one key: mix it up a bit. You won’t ever rack up SSS combos by spamming a single attack. It might get you through the game, but you’re missing out on everything that makes Devil May Cry great.
The game tracks what you do and the combo meter climbs up faster the more you mix up attacks. Do ground combos, pause between attacks, switch targets, use your gun, pull enemies to you, perform launchers (pull back on the stick and hold attack) and get into the air.
Another great tool to get that combo meter up is the taunt. Tap the touchpad on PS4 to do a taunt and let the animation play out until the combo meter ticks up a notch. It’s best deployed in the middle of a combo after knocking enemies away from you. Just be ready to dodge when the enemies inevitably come to squish your cocky face in.
Keep moving and don’t get hit
Getting hit is bad. Not only does it take away a chunk of your health, it also drops your combo score and messes up your flow. Lock onto enemies and use horizontal jumps to flip away from incoming danger, and stay in the air as much as possible.
DMC 5 Nero combat tips
Learn to jump cancel
It took me a while to wrap my head around jump cancelling and it might do for you as well, but it’s worth mastering if you want to be as effective as you can be with Nero and Dante. Before you even get started, however, you need to purchase an ability called Enemy Step.
This allows you to jump off enemy heads, which sounds pretty useless, I know. However, use it in mid-air and it’s your ticket to perpetual air combos. You never have to touch the floor again, just yank enemies up to your domain, jump off them, give them a spanking, and do it again.
Jump cancels are called such because they also interrupt any animation that’s playing. This means you can reset combos and flow into a different move. It’s particularly useful for resetting Calibur, a dashing air ability that can normally be used only once per airtime. Not only will it make you better at the game, it’ll up your enjoyment of it. Just remember to yank enemies to you when playing as Nero – you’re in charge around here.
Learn how to use Devil Breakers and Exceed
Exceed is one of those abilities that seems kinda pointless when you first use it. Taps of L2 rev up your sword until it glows, then you get a couple of fiery, overpowered hits in the next time you swing the Red Queen. The thing is, you’re using it wrong.
Tap L2 to moment a normal strike lands and you’ll rev it mid combo, changing your moveset in the process. It’s how you pull off some of the flashiest finishers and it’ll help you whittle down a boss’s health in no time.
Now let’s talk about those Devil Breakers:
Overture: This one looks cool, but it’s actually pretty boring. Tap Circle and it sends out an electrical charge in the direction of the nearest enemy. The move it generates is context sensitive and based on where the enemy is in relation to you.
Gerbera: Firing off the Gerbera with a tap of Circle will get you out of danger with a shockwave blast, shooting you into the air. It’s a Breaker designed for mobility, allowing you to glide around the battlefield. You can also use it offensively by taking enemies up into the air with you, or corkscrewing into them when they’re already in the air. If you charge up Gerbera while on the ground, a huge and powerful beam ray fires out, allowing you to aim it. Make sure you’re away from danger for this one. If you charge it up and fire it while in the air, it shoots out loads of smaller beams and sends them automatically ricocheting around.
Punch Line: My personal favourite, Punch Line is a rocket fist that fires off and harrasses enemies. Fire it with a tap of Circle, then hold Circle once it’s fired to ride on top of it. Fly it through enemies, spin it around by pressing Square, speed through Enemies with Triangle, then hop off with Circle to continue the punishment on-foot. You can also charge it again to explode the rocket and break the arm if you want to end with some serious damage.
Tomboy: This one’s pretty straightforward – you use it to power up your sword or gun. The tradeoff is that you can no longer lock-on to targets.
Ragtime: The primary function of this Devil Breaker is to create a time field to slow enemies trapped it its reach. It’s best used to take enemies temporarily out of the fight as you focus on others, or to hammer the ever-loving shit out of enemies trapped in its hold. Charge it up and it almost freezes every enemy around you, allowing you to launch into some impressive crowd control combos.
Helter Skelter: This drill-like contraption works slightly differently to the others, in that it’s most effective when you constantly tap Circle, causing it to burrow deeper into demon flesh.
Rawhide: The Rawhide is a crowd control Devil Breaker that sends out whips, lashing enemies all around you. It’s great for interrupting small enemies and can be charged in mid-air to grab a single enemy while damaging those around you simultaneously.
DMC 5 Dante combat tips
Switch styles and weapons as much as possible
By the end of the game, Dante has four melee weapons and four ranged weapons. If it becomes overwhelming flipping between four weapons, you can switch them out on the customisation screen. However, the key to getting SSS Rank combos with Dante is in switching between those weapons and using their unique skills for the right situation. Get accustomed to each and learn how various enemies respond to them – you’ll be switching like a pro in no time. It’s also worth remembering that there’s a unique skill for each weapon when using the Swordmaster style and a unique move for each gun with Gunslinger – these also change if you’re in the air.
Learn to use the Welter Move
Dante’s gauntlets, the Balrog, have two forms: Kick Mode and Blow Mode. Hold attack while in Blow Mode and you’ll trigger Welter Move, an advanced offensive technique that switches up Dante’s moveset and allows him to bob and weave. It’s one of the coolest moves in the game and allows you to add an extra flourish to a combo, providing you dodge and weave when required.
DMC 5 V combat tips
Get used to multitasking
While he’s not as technical as the other two heroes, playing V is a lot like playing Twister with a DualShock. The best way to use him is to be constantly attacking with one familiar while holding the attack button for the other, readying their charge attack. Flow between each familiar this way and you’ll soon rack up those SSS combos, as long as you’re stringing together finishers. You can also hold L2 and press attack on a familiar to sacrifice a portion of your Devil Trigger gauge, sending them on autopilot if things get a bit much. And don’t forget, dodging horizontally recalls Shadow, while dodging vertically recalls Griffon – it’s the only way to get them away from danger.
Call nightmare in as much as possible
You might be tempted to keep on saving up that Devil Trigger gauge, but it replenishes very quickly – especially if you spend time reading poetry by holding R2 during battle. Use Nightmare as much as you can. Call him in and let him wreak havoc. Unlock Promotion and ride on his back, firing beams at the enemies below while attacking with Shadow and Griffon – you’ll soon be getting that Smokin’, Sexy Style.