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Devil May Cry 5: How to get better style ranks

From Dismal to Smokin’ Sexy Style

V, Nero and Dante walk stylishly in key art for Devil May Cry 5. Capcom

Devil May Cry 5, like its predecessors, is all about style. While the game’s three playable characters — Dante, Nero, and V — all have their own unique abilities, they all have the ability to gain the same stylish ranks throughout the game’s combat.

In the Devil May Cry series, your ability to chain together unique attacks increases an on-screen score called your Style Rank. This scale typically goes from D to A, all the way to SSS, based on the complexity of your attacks and your ability to maintain a long combo string. Outside of being a fun goal to strive for in each combat encounter, your Style Rank affects how many of the game’s resources drop from enemies when you defeat them. The higher the rank, the more Red Orbs you get for instance, which allows you to unlock more abilities and buy more items.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of Devil May Cry 5, it’s best to learn how to increase your Style Rank so you can play with the most style and reap the most benefits.


Nero riding a rocket arm Capcom via Polygon

The more creatively and longer you fight enemies, the more your Style Rank goes up. Several factors affect your Style Rank. Keep these in mind regardless of who you’re playing as.

First and foremost, keep your combos going. There’s no combo counter on screen, but you’ll notice better ranks and more damage if you maintain a steady series of varied skill moves and attacks. As a rank appears on screen, you’ll notice that it’ll drain over time if you don’t maintain that combo. Keep attacking. To get all the way up to the final rank, SSS, you don’t have to keep a persistent combo up the whole time, but you can’t have a lot of dead time in between attacks.

While keeping up combos is important, you should also know that you will get demoted a rank whenever you get hit. Be on the lookout for flanking enemies while you’re dishing out damage. Even if you’re in the middle of an attack, another enemy can cancel your attack, dropping your combo, and demoting you a rank.

Taunting is also a helpful way to boost your rank. You can taunt throughout a fight in several ways: before you start an attack, after knocking down an enemy from a combo, or mid-air for a quicker way to get taunts in between attacks. Regardless, keep in mind that taunting leaves you wide open, so don’t get hit while teasing your enemies.

Lastly, be sure to mix up your attacks. Each of Devil May Cry 5’s three characters have unique moves and weapons. Some attacks deal a ton of damage or have multiple hits which will boost your rank initially. But if you keep using them, their contribution to your Style Rank will diminish. So vary how you attack. Use different combos, weapons, and techniques to freshen up how you boost your Style Rank.


Devil May Cry 5 - Nero holding his sword, the Red Queen Capcom via Polygon

Nero has two unique systems that will help you increase his Style Rank when you use them in tandem with basic concepts like combos and taunting.

The most obvious tool is his different Devil Breakers. At first you can only equip three of these mechanical arms that change Nero’s attacks, but eventually you can have a whole arsenal of them to equip.

Each Devil Breaker has three attacks:

  1. A grappling attack that pulls enemies toward you and lets you extend combos
  2. A specific attack based on the unique properties of each arm
  3. A powered-up attack which deals huge damage but destroys the Devil Breaker in the process

Most of the time, you’ll be using each Devil Breaker’s first two uses to add variety to your attacks. However, if you’re in a longer engagement and notice your Style Rank dipping, you can use your current Devil Breaker’s powered-up attack to land a huge blow against an enemy. That will destroy your current arm and equip the next available Devil Breaker.

Using a different mechanical arm in the same fight will mix things up, but don’t rely on this too much, or else you’ll run of arms.

The other tactic to use with Nero is his Exceed system. By revving up his sword, Red Queen, Nero deals more damage with his basic attacks and special moves. Initially, you only have access to Exceed level one, but further upgrades can bring it up to level three. At its final level, Exceed attacks will not only increase the damage of his special moves, but they’ll also change their properties, making them hit harder or adding additional hits. Doing the Exceed version of Nero’s special moves counts as a different type of attack, thereby adding more complexity and improving your Style Rank.

Once you get the Ex-Act ability for Nero, you can instantly power up one level if you time your rev up right at the moment an attack lands. The final version of Ex-Act will let you rev up to the third and final level after a single attack, but that upgrade is expensive, so don’t expect to get it until much later in the game.


Devil May Cry 5 V and Griffon Capcom

Unlike the game’s other two characters, the mysterious V rarely gets up close and personal during fights. Instead, he controls two familiars — the long-range Griffon and the close-range Shadow — to do his dirty work. When an enemy is about to die, V can rush in for the final blow. Regardless, V has several tactics to max out his Style Rank.

V’s Devil Trigger system can power-up both Griffon and Shadow. Whenever they are in Devil Trigger mode, they are powered up, but they attack on their own. To put them into Devil Trigger mode, hold L2 on PlayStation 4 or Left Trigger on Xbox One, then press their respective attack buttons. When activated, your creatures will glow purple, indicating that they are powered up, but out of your control.

Learning all the skills each creature has for multi-hit is the best way to improve your Style Rank. Since each of your familiars fight on their own in Devil Trigger, make the most of that automated period. When learning new skills for each creature, choose ones that hit multiple enemies so you can get the most benefit when they are powered up and out of your control.

While you can use Devil Trigger slots to power up your familiars individually, once you have three Devil Trigger slots available, you can summon a third familiar: the massive Nightmare. Unlike Griffon and Shadow, Nightmare is uncontrollable at first. The lumbering creature will emerge onto the battlefield when summoned and deal melee and huge area of effect attacks on its own. Upgrades to V’s skills allow him to control the familiar, but it’s best to let it attack on its own since it doesn’t last that long anyway. Because Nightmare can cause huge amounts of damage to multiple enemies, its presence will cause your Style Rank to skyrocket.

Using Nightmare and the powered-up versions of Griffon and Shadow can really boost your Style Rank. However, that costs a lot of Devil Trigger slots. In longer fights, it’s actually possible to summon Nightmare multiple times while also powering up your normal familiars. To do so, you need to use V’s reading command. During battle, pressing and holding R2/RT will cause V to whip out a book and read some poetry. Doing so makes him walk slowly and turns him into an easy target for enemies — but he also builds up his Devil Trigger quickly.

As long as you position yourself far from the fray, you can read and use all three of your minions at once. When all these are done in tandem, V is one of the easiest characters to get the max SSS ranking with.


Devil May Cry 5 Dante Royal Guard Style Capcom

Veterans of Devil May Cry series know Dante is the king of style, and he’s one of the most fun characters to build up a high Style Rank with. Unlike other entries in the series, once you can control Dante later in Devil May Cry 5, he already has a few weapons and four fighting styles at his disposal. As long as you’re quick with your weapon swaps and fighting style changes, you’ll have no trouble playing with style as legendary demon hunter.

While Dante has several skills and techniques per weapon, one of the best ways to increase his Style Rank is to switch his fighting styles mid-combat. In Devil May Cry 5, Dante can switch between four fighting styles at will by pressing the D-pad:

  • Gunslinger will add attacks to each gun you’re carrying
  • Swordmaster adds new attacks to each of your melee weapons
  • Royal Guard allows Dante to parry attacks and hit enemies back with the strength gathered from their attacks
  • Trickster allows you to dash around the battlefield to dodge

To really maximize Dante’s potential in fights, you should not only switch between his various weapons, but all of his styles.

Use Gunslinger when a long-range attack might be the best way to extend a combo. You can use special Gunslinger attacks mid-combo to deal damage, juggle enemies that you’ve knocked up into the air, or to land multiple hits on far away enemies as you close in.

Swordmaster allows you to chain special attacks on top of your normal attacks. For instance, when using Dante’s sword, the special attack button allows him to spin or throw his sword around in ways you couldn’t normally do. These attacks hit multiple times and deal a lot of damage, perfect for building up your Style Rank.

Royal Guard demands perfect timing to negate incoming strikes, but it can lead to devastating counterattacks. As you level up Royal Guard, you can store more and more attack energy for each parried attack. Once you’ve completely filled out your Royal Guard gauge, pressing forward and the special attack button will release the stored energy which will obliterate any enemies close to Dante.

Trickster doesn’t allow for any flashy attacks that can increase your Style Rank, but it gives Dante the most mobility. Dashing around the battlefield can help you dodge attacks or close the gap between enemies and keep a combo going.

When in doubt …

When in doubt, buy new skills and attacks for each of the game’s main characters. Doing so will increase your options in combat and as you progress, getting higher Style Ranks becomes easier the more you’re able to do. You may not be able to get high Style Ranks in every fight, especially early in the game, but if you use the tips above, you’ll be racking up the elusive SSS rank in no time.

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