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The best skills in Bayonetta 3

From laser beams to a flock of bats, here are the best abilities for Bayonetta, Viola, and all the weapons

Bayonetta stands near Viola on a sunny day in Bayonetta 3. Image: Platinum/Nintendo via Polygon

Picking the best skills in Bayonetta 3 is a tough task. After you’ve completed Chapter 1, you’ll gain access to a skills menu for Bayonetta. But that’s not all. Every weapon you unlock in the game also has its own skill tree that includes abilities and attacks for its corresponding demon.

Here are the best skills to choose from for all of Bayonetta 3’s various skill trees. Keep in mind that we’ll be mentioning all weapons in the game, so tread lightly in case you don’t want any surprises spoiled.

Bayonetta - Best Skills

Bayonetta’s skill tree becomes available during Chapter 1.

Bat Within

If you press ZR when you’re hit, Bayonetta will turn into a flock of bats and avoid damage completely. This is a must have, as it adds an extra defense layer in case you miss the timing for a perfect dodge.

Dodge Offset

This skill is available from the get-go, but it’s easy to overlook. The key is that whenever you’re dodging, you can hold either X or A to offset your current combo, thus continuing it after the dodge. It’s really useful!

Viola - Best Skills

Viola’s skill tree becomes available after finishing Chapter 7.

My Name Is

Darts may seem a bit underwhelming at first glance, but this skill revitalizes them. Once unlocked, hold the Y button to charge them with magic, then release them to throw explosive darts instead.

Hungry Hi-Hat

This skill has two cool purposes: When you’re fighting enemies that might be keen to pin Cheshire down, emerging from the ground with this attack can grant you the advantage. In addition, when you’re fighting barehanded, you’ll have a bit of crowd control thanks to the shockwave punch that knocks foes back.

Bass Boost

If you want an alternate (or a great companion) to Hungry Hi-Hat, then Bass Boost is the one for you. It serves similar purposes on both fighting instances, but focuses far more on range instead.

Bayonetta 3’s menus shows skills for Madama Butterfly. Image: Platinum/Nintendo via Polygon

Colour My World and Madama Butterfly - Best Skills

Colour My World and Madama Butterfly are unlocked after finishing Chapter 1.

Chrysalis

While I couldn’t get used to Bullet Climax, the pre-req skill, unlocking Chrysalis for Colour My World made ranged attacks so much better. Just hold Y to transform your weapon into a laser beam.

Royal Escort

Yes, it costs quite a few orbs, but Royal Escort is worth the price. While spinning, press Y to summon three protective butterflies around Madama Butterfly. Aside from providing a defense, the butterflies explode in contact with enemies and make them flinch. It’s a bit like Geralt’s Quen move from The Witcher 3, but for a very tall demon.

G-Pillar and Gomorrah - Best Skills

G-Pillar and Gomorrah are unlocked after finishing Chapter 2.

Twin Scorcher

This G-Pillar skill in Bayonetta 3 is not only useful, allowing you to cause a ton of damage in an arc movement, but it also looks really cool.

Super Demonium Ray

Speaking of cool attacks, this skill unlocks a powerful ray beam. It’s going to take a bit to charge, and it only fires in one direction, as opposed to Diffusion Laser, but the damage is much more concentrated.

Ignis Araneae Yo-Yo and Phantasmaraneae - Best Skills

Ignis Araneae Yo-Yo and Phantasmaraneae are unlocked after finishing Chapter 3.

Flying Saucer

Turn your spider friend into a spinning UFO catcher with this skill, which summons the demon from the air and performs a rotating attack that covers a lot of ground around you.

Heaven Or Hell

This skill has a strange premise, but can be quite devastating in the right situations. Once unlocked, the spider will have the option to self-destruct, causing damage with a massive explosion to all nearby enemies. On one hand, you can always switch to any of the other two available Slave Demons (as long as they’re not incapacitated), but hey, this also serves a good purpose if the spider is about to go on a rampage or if you believe a boss is about to pin them down. Plus the spider will be back after a moment, so don’t worry.

Dead End Express and Wartrain Gouon - Best Skills

Dead End Express and Wartrain Gouon are unlocked after finishing Chapter 6.

Gear Scream

If you want to go off the rails with the Dead End Express, it doesn’t get any better than Gear Scream. While the attack itself requires a bit of build-up, you can hold B for a total of three laps, crushing through everything that stands in your way or dealing more damage to a larger enemy.

Loop Signal

The Wartrain Gouon is an interesting weapon, but it’s quite hard to control, especially when you start to move the rails vertically. Loop Signal can help with this, making it so the train spins in place like a rollercoaster — perfect for airborne enemies.

Ribbit Libido BZ55 and Baal - Best Skills

Ribbit Libido BZ55 and Baal are unlocked after finishing Chapter 9.

A Capella

This might be an annoying skill to get to in the tree, but it’s worth the orb investment. This has Bayonetta shouting into the mic and creating a sonic blast in front of her, which has a wide area of effect that acts as a cool catch-all.

Brisé Volé

Not only does Baal look majestic while performing the Brisé Volé skill, it’s also a really useful tool that isn’t hard to pull off either. With this, Baal will do a flip and kick up and down while spraying poison. And hey, you can tap B repeatedly for a few additional hits, too, if the situation allows you to.

Simoon and Malphas - Best Skills

Simoon and Malphas are unlocked after finishing Chapter 9.

Khanjar

If you want a swift and deadly attack to help you close the distance between you and an emey, Khanjar — a charge forward with an aerial slash that returns you to place after a quick swing — is your best bet.

Tempest

Yes, Malphas can create literal whirlwinds with this skill. Once active, it draws in enemies and any nearby objects — all foes who are caught are automatically picked up and spun around until they’re flung away. It’s quite the spectacle in action, as well as being a great attack for crowd control.

Tartarus and Umbran Clock Tower - Best Skills

Tartarus and Umbran Clock Tower are unlocked after finishing Chapter 11.

Chain Of Megaera

Whether or not you’re fan of Hades, Supergiant’s incandescently popular roguelike, the Chain of Megaera skill is one you should get for Tartarus. It creates a spiked ball that Bayonetta will spin around while flying upwards, attacking anyone who is nearby and lifting them up with her.

Emperor’s Dread

The Umbran Clock Tower skills are quite complex, but if you’re looking for an interesting one that is quite useful in both of its variants, Emperor’s Dread makes a strong case. As you’re controlling the tower, the top will detach itself and start stomping enemies repeatedly. If you’re piloting the Umbran Armor, you will instead stomp on the ground to create a shockwave.

Abracadabra and Mictlantecuhtli - Best Skills

Abracadabra and Mictlantecuhtli are unlocked after finishing Chapter 12.

Shuffle

Who doesn’t want to turn into a flock of bats? Shuffle allows Bayonetta to do just that, and thankfully, the movement isn’t fixed — you can go ahead and traverse in that form freely to catch any enemies around.

Storm Stinger

If you’re looking for a focused and devastating laser beam using the demon’s electricity, Storm Stinger is perfect for the task. Bear in mind that it takes a few seconds for the action to perform, but thankfully, you can do so at a safe distance as the laser has a decent range.

Bayonetta 3’s skill tree shows abilities for Cruel Altea. Image: Platinum/Nintendo via Polygon

Cruel Altea and Labolas - Best Skills

Cruel Altea and Labolas are unlocked after finishing Bayonetta 3’s main story.

Quad Gatling

It’s hard to see Cruel Altea and not immediately look for a skill that lets you spam several punches at once. Quad Gatling allows you to do just that with a long-range combo that can be extended by repeatedly tapping the X attack.

Maneuver: Crescent

With this skill, Labolas is going to split itself and form a horizontal line, firing dozens of ice shots. Of course, you can tap the Y attack repeatedly to fire even more shots. In addition, it doesn’t tend long for the skill to activate, so go ahead and make haste.

Alruna and Alraune - Best Skills

Alruna and Alraune are unlocked after finishing Chapter 3’s Phenomenal Remnant (you’ll need all three Umbran Tears to gain access to it.)

Grind Stripper

If you want to take your new weapon for a spin, I recommend choosing the Grind Stripper skill, which sees Bayonetta spin at high speed while covering a ton of ground around her with vines. You can also move around while doing so, in case any enemy dares to move away from range.

Madam’s Ardour

This attack charges at enemies in front of the demon, catching airborne foes if they happen to be in range as well, and then ends with a tail slam against the ground. Cool stuff.

Cassiopeia and Kraken - Best Skills

Cassiopeia and Kraken are unlocked after finishing Chapter 14’s Phenomenal Remnant (you’ll need all three Umbran Tears to gain access to it).

Black Entry

This is a great skill to have to push enemies away from you while dealing significant damage. Once activated, Bayonetta will rise into the air with an attack using the tentacles, followed up by a slam movement against the ground. Then, there’ll be an ink splash that can throw small enemies, which is useful for repositioning yourself if you need to.

Onyx Stampede

Have the Kraken march forward with grace using Onyx Stampede. With this, the demon will charge forward while swinging the tentacles once, ending with a ground slam using both at the same time.

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