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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla dual wielding guide

How does it actually work in the latest Assassin’s Creed game?

Viking raider Eivor battles an enemy warrior in a snowy setting from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Image: Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, you can dual wield everything — two axes, an axe and a hammer, two shields, and — eventually — two two-handed weapons. You can use two weapons at the same time from the very start of the game by just putting the weapon you want in your right or left hand and then another weapon in the other. But the real question is: Why dual wield?

What benefits does it give you? Does it really increase your damage? The answer is: It’s complicated, and in this Assassin’s Creed Valhalla dual wielding guide, we’ll teach you all about it.

Does Dual Wielding increase my damage?

The short answer to this question is no.

Wielding two weapons — rather than a weapon and shield — does not increase your damage or even your attack speed.

However, some weapons aren’t as heavy as shields. The lower your weight, the less stamina you use to you dodge. And you’ll be dodging more when you don’t have a shield.

But just because you have two weapons in your hand doesn’t mean you attack with both. The primary attack button only swings your primary weapon, meaning your bread-and-butter combo is the same whether you’re using a second axe or a shield to support yourself.

So what does dual wielding get you?

The equipment system is simple in Valhalla. You put a weapon or shield in your main hand (Slot 1 on the Inventory menu) and in your secondary hand (Slot 2 on the Inventory menu). With a light attack (R1/RB/Left mouse button) and a heavy attack (R2/RT/Shift + left mouse button), you swing the weapon in your right hand. With the secondary hand trigger (L2/LT/Right mouse button), you can aim or use an Ability.

If you have a shield equipped in your secondary hand (Slot 2), you’ll raise it and block when you hit the Left Hand Action button (L1/LB/Q). A shield also makes parrying a lot safer.

When you equip a weapon in Slot 2 (Eivor’s left hand) and you hold the Left Hand Action button (L1/LB/Q), you’ll use the weapon’s special ability. With the axe, Eivor goes into a frenzy and starts chopping with both axes as her stamina drains. With the hammer, Eivor slams it into the ground. Different weapons behave differently.

You can tap the Left Hand Action button (L1/LB/Q) to parry with your weapon, but you can’t block without a shield.

The question of if you should dual wield in Valhalla is personal. If you really like using that secondary Ability, then you should totally go for it — you can even get the Dual Swap ability on the skill tree to quickly swap weapons between your hands. But if you find you’re not using your secondary Abilities much, it may be worth using a two-handed weapon or just equipping a shield for safety.