Combat Information



To lock onto a target, press R3 when you are within lock on range to it, indicated by a small white dot on the selected enemy. Lock-On is a feature which focuses the camera on a target letting the player easily direct their attacks and other abilities. It also allows the player character to face the locked on enemy at all times, even when moving away from them so that they could not be backstabbed.

  • Note that lock-on is also useful to check if the perimeter is safe. Pressing R3 in dark environments will lock on to hidden foes, provided they are within line of sight of the player character, so that the player can spot enemies even if they are too dark to be seen. Mash R3 as you slowly advance in dark areas (or alternatively equip a torch).
  • Certain enemies disguise themselves as statues or corpses. By locking onto them, the player can spot their disguise at ease.
  • Only enemies can be locked onto. If an NPC is friendly, pressing R3 in front of them will not cause the camera to be locked on to them.
    • Alternatively, if someone appears friendly but can be locked on to, that means they are hostile.



Health is displayed in the top left of your screen with a small red bar, and it determines your capacity to take damage without dying. It can be restored through the use of various blood vials, and the regain system. If it runs out you will die. It's maximum amount can be increased by leveling up Vitality or equipping certain runes. Damage can be lowered per attack by wearing different attire sets or blocking with the Wooden shield.


Stamina is noted at the top left of your screen underneath your health, and determines how many attacks and dodges you can perform before needing to recharge, how long you can sprint for, etc.. It's maximum amount can be increased by leveling up Endurance or equipping certain runes. Different actions will consume different amounts of stamina.
Your stamina would regenerate whenever no stamina-consuming moves are being performed (walking does not consume stamina). If stamina runs out completely, there will be a slight delay until regen begins again. The rate of stamina regeneration may only be boosted by equipping the Hunter rune and consuming blood of Arianna. Since capacity and weight is removed from the game, one can no longer boost stamina regeneration by equipping lighter equipment. Green blossom consumables and special equipment that boosts stamina regeneration are also removed from the game.

Attack Rating

This is the value that determines the power of your attacks. It changes depending on your stats, chosen weapon and its upgrades.
Attack rating is dependent on the weapon itself and the player character's offensive stats: strength, skill, bloodtinge, and arcane, each corresponds to different weapons. Strength and skill increases trick weapon (melee weapon) damage; bloodtinge increases firearm, Сhikage, and Bloodletter damage; arcane increases magic (certain hunter tools) damage and trick weapon damage if it deals arcane damage.


Most Trick Weapons can be transformed for a different move set. To transform your weapon, press L1. If you press L1 during combat (after attacking or dodging), you will perform a transforming attack that deals damage as well as transform your weapon.


Poise is removed in Bloodborne. Every attack will stagger the player (unless they are performing certain moves that grants temporary poise), and every attack the player does will stagger small enemies.


Similar to other Souls games, doing significantly more than an enemies full health in a single shot will yield 1.2 times as many blood echoes.

Battle Tactics


Regain System

In Bloodborne, the best defense is good offense. To compliment the faster-paced combat and keep the action fast and furious, players can regain some of their lost health if they successfully counter-attack against enemies within a certain window of time. Just be careful not to take more damage in the process. Be strategic, but strike fast. Even getting a few chunks of health back from a devastating attack can ease the burden put on your blood vials.


Combat in Bloodborne is fast and frenetic, and dodging and evading enemy attacks to stay out of harm's way and position yourself strategically to strike is the key to survival. Use the Circle button to back-step, roll, or hold it to run if you need to get somewhere, or away from something, fast. If you aren't locking onto a target your character's dodge animation will be a basic roll similar to the roll from the previous souls games, however, when locking on the roll animation is replaced with a side-stepping dodge motion like strafing and has more distance than the standard back-step from the previous souls titles.

Parry/Visceral attack

Firearms equipped to the left hand have varying ranges and attack power. But they all have one thing in common: timed just right, a blast from your firearm at close range can "parry" an enemy mid-attack and give you an opening to go in for a Visceral Attack.

  • Note that you can only perform a visceral attack if you and the target is at the same level of elevation (when not on a ramp)


Charge Attack

Charge attacks are a powerful tool in every Hunter's arsenal, but they take time to power up and leave you wide open to attack. Use them sparingly and carefully, and time the attack to the range of your weapon and the distance of the enemy.


There is only one shield in Bloodborne: the wooden shield (which does a mediocre job at deflecting attacks). Other than that, blocking is removed from the game. Hunters will need to stay mobile and utilize dodge and parry in order to avoid taking damage.


Sneak up on your enemy by walking quietly, light pressure on the left stick. When you get within range, hold R2 and execute a fully charged R2 attack. Should the attack land on the opponent's back, it will be knocked down and open to a riposte, performed by pressing R1.
[Backstabs can be used in PvP as well.]



Jump Attack

By pressing forward and R2 at the same time you will perform a forward jump attack, giving you extra range and power.



Plunging Attack

By pressing R1 while falling you can perform a plunging attack on anything below you.

  • Note that plunging attacks deal damage twice. Once when the player character lands on the enemy, and once when their weapon hits it.
  • The plunging attack is the most reliable move in the game


Dash Attack

By holding circle you can dash. Pressing R1 or R2 while sprinting will have the hunter perform a dash attack.

  • Note that unlike Dark Souls, each weapon form has 2 dash attacks instead of 1. Pressing R2 and R1 while sprinting will result in different attacks.

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    • Anonymous

      Something that really pisses me off is when you aggro another hunter that's even remotely near them, even if the other hunter is in a different room, the second one will be immediately become aggro'd too

      • Anonymous

        Why does it say the best defense is a good offense when it's talking about attacking for hp? In that sense wouldn't it be the other way around?

        • Anonymous

          For all of you reading an article about how to fight in bloodborne, im sorry, but you just have to git gud

          • Anonymous

            Pardon my ignorance, but shouldn’t one given attack deal the most dps? Is it not best to use one certain attack over all others because it will do more damage during an opening?

            • Anonymous

              I should probably add the fact that even weapons that don't charge up when transformed, like the threaded cane can put enemies on riposte if you hit them in the back enough times, useless for stealth but you have the untransformed mode for that.

              • Anonymous

                One *extremely* useful thing to know about the combat in this game is that when you press R1 after dodging sideways or backwards from an enemy, you will lunge forward a great distance with your follow up attack - even if you switch targets in the middle of the dodge. This is extremely useful for fighting fast-moving enemies, and keeps you quickly dashing around and being evasive when you engage groups of enemies. If you dodge forwards, you can only hit enemies that are directly in range of where your dodge puts you.

                You can test out your lock-on moves without a target in the hunters dream if you equip the monocular

                • Anonymous

                  ive played this game straight for over a year nownow and ive found sort of an exploit in the dodge system NO MATTER THE WEAPON YOU USE if you look at an enemies swing about one frame before they hit you if you dodge you will get hyper armour and will not be stunned or take any damage what so ever i practice this dodgeing techique on the old hunters in the nightmare but if you dont have the dlc you can literally practice on any enemy this is great for anyone who doesnt parry or likes to jump into battle like i said you can literally dodge into someones attack and not take any damage but 70% of the timeyour going to dodge to the side even if you dodge head on the target your locked on to and this also works if your one of those people that doesnt lock on to an enemy

                  • Anonymous

                    are there any and will they be like dark souls shields where you can stand behind them and tank all the hits

                    • Anonymous

                      Is there a higher chance that you are able to parry your enemies attack depending on which gun you have equipped? Or is it all the same regardless of which gun you use?

                      • Anonymous

                        I'm curious about the stun attacks. They are much easier to pull off with the blunderbuss. Is that because of the number of shots it fires, the spread of the shots, amount of damage, hit location, or something else? I have tried soo many times with a pistol and have seen it hit enemies in mid charge with no effect, where the blunderbuss would have stunned them for sure. I thought the pistol would have been a faster more accurate option for this combat mechanic, but am so far disappointed and confused about how all this works.

                        • Anonymous

                          is there a combat system in bloodborne? wow really all I see is non-transform ludwig r1 spam and parry fishig... nice try fromsoft.

                          • Anonymous

                            For any trick weapons that let the user two-hand, pressing L2 will cause your character to attack with a unique pattern of attacks (ex. using Ludwig's two-handed L2 will attack with 3 slashing attacks and 1 thrusting)

                            • Anonymous

                              I think it would be informative to add stealth information. You can walk quietly past almost any mob in the game. As long as you don't enter their line of sight they will not become aggro. However, sometimes mobs act as a group, meaning, aggro one, aggro all.

                              • Anonymous

                                Press circle without moving the analog stick for a short back dash, while dashing press R1 or R2 For 2 different counter dash attacks. Pres forward and R2 at the same time for a leap of faith attack. Theres also a special move with L2 But dont know how to pull it of exactly. Its almost like the leap of faith attack but with a shorter and faster leap attack. PSN: DWALER045

                                • Anonymous

                                  I was just playing Bloodborne using the Holy blade and i was using the normal attack and i stunned the giant healing church guys with the axe and i was able to use a visceral attack on him has this happened to any one else?

                                  • Anonymous

                                    Been looking into using Visceral attacks more often ever since I saw how effective the Evelyn is against some bosses. What's the time window on being able to visceral an enemy once they've been parried? When I first started the game I assumed that the time window was small, so I never bothered unless the enemy was at point-blank range and I could press R1 without even needing to close the distance (I also used Ludwig's Rifle a lot, which apparently has a long reload).

                                    • Anonymous

                                      It seems that the Damage from your visceral attack is increased based on the physical damage of your main weapon. On my current character i have 2 saw cleavers, one if purely physical the other is purely bolt. The bolt does roughly 750 damage and the physical does 1200ish. Anyone else seen this happen?

                                      • Anonymous

                                        This page seems to be missing at least two other attacks. (I would fill them in but I'd rather not mess up the page as I probably would.) The Lung Attack is performed when you dodge backwards and then immediately hit the R1 bumper. Your hunter them dashes forward slightly and strikes the enemies in front of you. (To be honest I hate this attack since it seems to be 80% of the time and I never want to perform it but rather just attack normally.) The Transform Attack occurs if you press the L1 bumper while attacking with R1. Your character changes weapon modes and also attacks with the weapon. (For example the Threaded Cane will do a diagonal strike with the whip when transforming it into the whip and a stab with the cane when transforming it back.)

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Press circle without moving the analog stick for a short back dash, while dashing press R1 or R2 For 2 different counter dash attacks. Pres forward and R2 at the same time for a leap of faith attack. Theres also a special move with L2 But dont know how to pull it of exactly. Its almost like the leap of faith attack but with a shorter and faster leap attack.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            You know what I miss? Being able to cancel my attacks just before they would actually damage an enemy. In pvp it was great for tricking other players by using a regular attack, but cancel mid-swing by rolling/backstepping, then using the follow-up of whatever move I did. In PvE, it was great because I could cancel my move if I make a split second decision to NOT attack so I can dodge instead (stupid Defiled Chalice Watchdog). You couldn't stop attacking when the weapon would deal dmg, e.g. it's hitbox would "activate", so it was in no way OP. If I had this in Bloodborne, I would probably have 30% less deaths...

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