Combat in Dark Souls 3 is a tense, and complicated affair. There are tons of moves, all dependent on what weapons and items you have equipped during the battle. If you’re like most players though, you’ll have a shield on your left hand, ready to block incoming attacks as necessary. Along with this, you can use some shield to parry attacks, deflecting them away and leaving your opponent open to a counter. Pulling this off, and know how it works is a bit complicated though, so here’s our quick guide on how to parry in Dark Souls 3.

First off, you need to have the proper item equipped. This is usually a small shield, or possibly a dagger of some sort. On the equip screen, just three rows from the top, each item will display whether it will let you parry, use your Weapon Arts/Skills, or just have no effect at all. If it says Parry here, then feel free to equip it and get ready.

All you have to do to parry in Dark Souls 3 is to hit the left trigger on Xbox One or L2 for PS4. This should have your character swing their shield through the air in the direction that you are facing. Make sure that you’re always facing the enemy that you want to parry, using the lock on system if you prefer. Now it’s all about the timing.

Parry too early or too late and you’ll probably take a ton of damage before you’re able to recover. You also need to be the right distance, so don’t stand too far back. You want their strike to hit right about where your shield will be during the parry attack. Wait for them to begin their strike and hit the parry button (again, left trigger or L2) right when it should hit you.

If you did all of that right, the attack should miss you entirely, and the enemy will just be standing there open. Hit the attack button to perform a devastating counter attack, dealing tons of damage to them. Just be mindful of what attacks can be parried as well, since some stronger attacks will simply power through your parry. Try to only use it on enemies whose patterns you understand.

Also, feel free to check out our Dark Souls 3 Beginners Guide for more tips on combat, and all things Dark Souls 3.