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8 things to know before starting Lies of P

There’s more to Pinocchio Souls than its Bloodborne clone-a-fides

A monster attacks in Lies of P Image: Neowiz/Round8/Nough
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.

Lies of P is a delightful game where you battle your way through a London-inspired city called Krat, destroying mechanical puppets. Forged in the style of From Software’s titles, Lies of P is full of slow, deliberate combat that demands guarding and dodge rolls.

Also, it’s called Lies of P because you play as Pinocchio. Yes, that Pinocchio — the puppet from the Disney movies and the Italian fairytale. And, believe it or not, this adaptation rules.

In this beginner’s guide, we’re going to walk you through nine things you should keep in mind during the opening hours of Lies of P.

Lies of P combat is all about blocking

Lies of P might look like Bloodborne, but it actually has more in common with Sekiro: Shadow’s Die Twice: It’s all about blocking.

In Lies of P, you can dodge enemy attacks — and you’ll need to when they glow red and become unblockable — but the game incentivizes you to guard with your weapon instead. It’s much faster to counter-attack your enemy after blocking an attack with guard. Similarly, you can go from an attack to a guard move very quickly in Lies of P. Rolling, on the other hand, is pretty sluggish in our experience, which makes guarding a better offensive and defensive play.

When you get hit with your guard up, you’ll take a small percentage of the damage (based on your weapon), and gain an effect called Guard Regain. Guard Regain gives you a chance to regain some of the health you just lost by going on the offense and attacking your enemy. This is another system that just makes guarding better in Lies of P. Sure you can just roll out of the way and take no damage, but you can also accidentally time your dodge wrong and get hit for 100% of the attack instead of just a portion — a portion that you can heal back with Guard Regain!

Make sure to time your guards

A monster attacks in Lies of P Image: Neowiz/Round8/Nough

If you time your guard just as you get hit by an enemy attack, you’ll perform a perfect guard.

On a perfect guard, you’ll receive zero damage from a blocked attack and — even better — you’ll potentially open up your enemy to being staggered. After enough perfect blocks, your enemy’s health bar will pulse white. If you’re able to hit the enemy with a charged attack within a short window, you’ll stagger the enemy, causing them to fall down, opening them up to a massive attack.

This is one of the best ways to kill bosses and big targets, so pay very close attention to your enemy’s attack patterns so you can block them accurately.

Don’t be afraid to spend your Pulse Cell charges

The Pulse Cell is your healing item in Lies of P, and you’ll gain several charges (more as the game goes on) every time you rest at one of the Stargazers. However, this is not the only way to get Pulse Cell charges back once you’ve spent them to heal yourself.

Once you’ve completely zeroed out your Pulse Cell — as in you no longer have any charges — any damage you deal will slowly charge your Pulse Cell back up. Once you refill the bar, you’ll gain one Pulse Cell charge, but will stop accumulating energy on hits. This means that spending all of your pulse charges early in a fight isn’t a death sentence. Instead, you’ll just need to play carefully until you can get another charge back into your Pulse Cell and heal yourself.

You can repeat this process endless times — assuming you survive.

Run, don’t walk, to your dropped Ergo

The streets of Krat are lined with puppets Image: Neowiz/Round8/Nough

Ergo is the currency you gain from killing enemies in Lies of P, and you’ll use it for basically everything — buying new weapons, leveling up your character, etc. You’ll also drop all of the Ergo that you have on you when you die, and will need to pick it back up again by returning to your body.

This is pretty common in games like Lies of P, but there is a fun twist to the dropped Ergo mechanic here. Every time you get hit on your way to your Ergo, the game will reduce the amount of Ergo you can recover, so it behooves you to rush back to your body, ignoring combat as much as possible.

However, if you do get hit, you can return some of the Ergo to your old body by killing enemies. It’s a risk vs reward system that makes corpse runs a little more interesting. Thankfully, any Ergo you drop when dying to a boss will appear outside the boss’ arena.

Keep your weapon sharp — especially during a boss fight

As you use your weapon in Lies of P — for guarding or attacking — it will progressively lose durability. You can recover this durability by using the Grinder item that you get very early on in the game. After just a few seconds of grinding — even mid-combat — your durability will be back at max level and you can keep fighting.

This is one of those mechanics that you’ll never really understand the importance of until you forget to do it that one time and it ruins you. If you let your durability drop to zero, your weapon will break, causing it to deal less damage than normal and bounce off of enemies. If you break a weapon in this way, you won’t be able to repair it with the Grinder until you rest at a Stargazer.

You’ll chew through a lot of normal enemies in Lies of P before needing to grind up the durability on your weapon. However, you will need to regain durability in the middle of some of the game’s longer boss fights, as blocking breaks down your weapons pretty quickly.

Be extremely patient in boss fights

Speaking of bosses, they can be really tough in Lies of P — especially if you’re trying to roll around erratically like you might in FromSoftware’s games. But as we mentioned earlier, this is a blocking game, not a dodging game.

To take down bosses like the Scrapped Watchman or Fallen Bishop Andreus, you really want to carefully watch them make attacks and step away for the first few swings. Size them up and don’t worry about fighting back. Analyze their moves, then step in and place yourself in the danger zone. Only worry about blocking for the first few hits. Once you’re comfortable surviving their attacks, try and time your blocks so you get a perfect guard.

Only once you feel like surviving their moves isn’t a problem should you try weaving in your attacks. You’ll likely stumble a bit when you add another ball for you to juggle, but establishing a defensive baseline first will help you take down these bosses with skill, rather than hoping you get a good attack pattern.

Purchase multiple weapons from shops and vendors

A bunch of evil monster puppets point toward a coffin Image: Neowiz/Round8/Nough

You’ll pick your first weapon and handle early on in Lies of P. You’ll get that weapon for free, but you can buy the other two weapons and handles you rejected once you find the first shopkeep.

Each weapon and its handle has an ability associated with it, and you can activate these abilities by charging up and spending Fable (which you earn by dealing damage). These abilities range from powerful sweeping attacks, imbuing your weapon with an element for a short time, a guaranteed perfect block, and more.

Eventually, you’ll unlock a weapon crafting system that will allow you to mix and match weapons and handles — and the abilities that come with them. Because of this rad weapon crafting mechanic, you want to make sure you have a large roster of weapons to choose from so you can create your perfect tool for taking down puppets.

Trade out your weapon handles to improve your weapon scaling

Speaking of weapon handles and mixing and matching, your handle actually determines which stats your weapon scales off of.

If you’re investing heavily in Motivity (strength), but decide you don’t like the heavier weapon types, you can pair a fast blade with a heavy handle. The fast blade’s original handle may only have a C in Motivity scaling, while the heavy handle has a B in Motivity, which impacts how much damage your stats contribute to your weapon’s attacks.

This is a really cool and complex system, and it allows you to build the perfect weapon that fits with your playstyle and the stats you’ve already upgraded. As the game progresses, you can even upgrade your handles at the upgrade shop in the hotel, increasing their scaling from a B to an A, for example, allowing your skill to contribute even more to its overall damage.

For more Lies of P guides, learn how to respec, or study our boss fight strategies for the Scrapped Warden and Fallen Archbishop Andreus.

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