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Kingdom Come: Deliverance guide: Combat and combos

Learning to die less and kill more

Warhorse Studios
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Like so much in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, there’s no quick or easy answer to the question “How do I fight better?” Your stats, weapons, armor and skill perks all make combat a fairly unique proposition for each player. And the realism built into Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s mechanics make fighting even more difficult to learn. But there are some tips and generalities that will help you get (a little) better. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to become a better fighter.

Find the gear that works for you

Every weapon in Kingdom Come: Deliverance handles differently. Some are made for slashing, others for stabbing and still others for bludgeoning. That means you have to pick a weapon based on your style of play. If you’re a slow and heavy weapon kind of player, stick with something like a mace. If you prefer fast and agile, short swords (like hunting swords and sabres) are probably more your speed.

You can tell from this picture that we prefer swords.
Warhorse Studios

After you find something you like (or have decided to try something new), use it. Using a weapon earns you levels in that weapon. And levels unlock perk points that you can use to learn new combos and just generally be better with that weapon. If you find you’re still struggling, though, don’t be afraid to swap out your weapon for something else.

You have to consider your non-weapon gear while thinking about combat as well. Certain helmets restrict your field of vision, for example, making fights that much harder. Similarly, shields are wonderful for protecting yourself (especially when you’re outnumbered), but not carrying a shield, in our experience, made it easier to pull off some of the more advanced fighting techniques like combos.

Captain Bernard in Rattay

Captain Nonchalant
Warhorse Studios

Once you know the weapon you want to fight with, you need to know how to use it. Head to the combat arena on the northeast edge of Rattay and talk to Captain Bernard. Practicing with Captain Bernard is free, and you can do it as many times as you want. And that means you should do it and do it often.

You’ll have a few options here.

  • Training combat with a practice weapon. This is just one-on-one combat. There’s no goal or time limit. You’re just swinging wooden swords at one another. That means neither of you will take damage and you can work on your technique.
  • Training combat with a real weapon. This one is just like above, but you’re using real weapons and dealing real damage to one another. Choose this option when you’re ready to try out your skills in a more realistic combat environment.
  • I’d like to learn combos. Combos are a very useful, but very frustrating aspect of combat in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. We’ll talk about them a little more below.
  • Master strikes. This is where you learn to turn a parry into a riposte (a block that turns into a damage-dealing attack). You’ll need to practice with it a lot — both here and out in the world — to level up the skill enough to make it more useful.
  • Training. This is just like training at any other vendor. You pay to earn a level in defense, axe, polearms or swords.

Learning to do combos

Combos in Kingdom Come: Deliverance are just like combos in any game — a series of attacks that will deal some extra damage. Combos are very difficult to do correctly.

Warhorse Studios

The best way to figure out combos is to keep practicing with Captain Bernard. Just keep talking to him and asking him about combos over and over again until you think you understand it. Then, switch over to practice combat and try to do it in a fight. (And then go back to the combo training some more because, it turns out, you didn’t really understand it.)

Beyond practice, the key to understanding combos is to think a swing ahead. You have to move to the next position and attack as soon as the current attack lands (or, seemingly, just before it lands). But you also can’t move too fast or you’ll skip a step. Combos are about timing, and there’s no shortcut to learning them.

Warhorse Studios

You’ll unlock additional combos as you gain levels in each type of weapon. If you forget the pattern, you can check them in the Combat tab of the Player section of your menu. Select the combo you’ve learned, then press the button for Info to see the pattern.