In Valheim, survival hinges not only on your ability to find food and craft new items but also on your combat prowess. Among the various combat mechanics, parrying stands out as a crucial skill that can turn the tide of battle. This guide will walk you through the essentials of parrying in Valheim, ensuring you're well-prepared to face any foe that comes your way.

Despite Valheim's simple graphical style and usual gaming movement mechanics, it's combat is surprisingly deep. Using the now age-old term of 'souls-like' combat mechanics, Valheim allows users to roll through attacks, granting them invulnerability frames while doing so, or they can defend themselves by blocking with their weapon in-hand or shield. Weapons won't do for parries however, as this is a skill exclusive to the shield off-hand slot.

Valheim Parry

Understanding How to Parry in Valheim

Parry an attack in Valheim by blocking an attack at the precise moment it is about to hit you. When executed correctly, parrying not only negates the damage but also briefly stuns the opponent, sending them reeling backward. This stagger effect creates a valuable window of opportunity to strike back and deal significant damage.

Players deal x2 damage to an enemy while they are staggered, which stacks multiplicatively with a weapon's secondary attack. As an example: swinging a Mace's secondary attack into an enemy that is stunned deals 2.5 (the multiplier for the secondary attack on Maces) x 2 (damage against staggered) = 5 TIMES DAMAGE! Parrying in Valheim can be vital to landing these devastating hits.

The Mechanics of Parrying

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to execute a successful parry:

  1. Equip a Buckler-Style Shield: Ensure you have a buckler equipped, as only these smaller, more agile shields can perform parries.
  2. Time Your Block: As an enemy attack is about to connect, press the block button (usually the right mouse click) at the exact moment it's about ti hit you. This requires practice and timing.
  3. Watch for the Stagger: If done correctly, the enemy will be staggered (doing a wailing stunned motion), giving you a brief moment to counterattack.

Benefits of Parrying

The primary benefit of parrying is the 'stagger' effect it inflicts on the enemy. This stun temporarily incapacitates your opponent, allowing you to land powerful hits.

It’s a vital tactic against small to medium-sized enemies, providing a significant advantage in combat. Not only does parrying stun your opponent, but it FULLY negates all incoming damage you would have taken, both to your Health and your Stamina. A tower shield can't do that!

Mastering the Timing

Parrying becomes easier with practice. As you fight an opponent multiple times, you’ll begin to recognize their attack patterns and timing, making it simpler to execute successful parries. Memorizing these patterns is key to becoming proficient at parrying. This is where veterans of the 'souls' genre will recognize a pattern quickly and adapt to their enemies' behavior. Once you have seen how your enemy can attack you, use that to your advantage!

Other Ways To Stagger Enemies

While parrying is a highly effective defensive technique, it’s not the only way to stagger enemies. Heavy weapons like maces and clubs can also inflict stagger through sheer force.

In some situations, especially when facing multiple foes, relying on heavy weapons might be easier and more effective than attempting to parry. The Stagbreaker is an early-game favorite for many due to it's wide smash radius and ability to handle many enemies at once. It will continuously stagger enemies with ease that it hits due it's immense weight.

Limitations of Parrying

While parrying is incredibly useful, it has its limitations:

Bosses in Valheim cannot be parried due to their immense strength and unique attack patterns. All magical attacks as an example cannot be parried making this use against bosses such as Eikthyr or the Elder even less effective if it were possible in the first place.

Interestingly, you can parry ranged projectiles, which will stagger the enemy who launched them. This is particularly useful against archers and other ranged attackers. Greydwarf rock throwers or Skeleton archers who are parried will be stunned in their original position, just as though it had been a melee attack.

Enemies That Can Be Parried

Nearly all small to medium-sized enemies in Valheim can be parried. This includes creatures like Greydwarfs, Skeletons, Trolls, and Draugr. Learning to parry these enemies can drastically improve your combat effectiveness and survival rate. This even applies to late-game enemies such as Goblins, Deathsquitos, and nearly everything in the Mistlands and Ashlands.

Valheim Dead Troll

Practice Makes Perfect

To master parrying in Valheim, practice is essential. Spend time fighting various enemies to learn their attack timings and refine your parrying technique. As you become more skilled, you’ll find that parrying can be a game-changer, turning difficult encounters into manageable skirmishes. Truly practicing a parry against an enemy can make it second nature and save bountiful Stamina across long fights.

Get a Shield and Get Parrying!

Parrying in Valheim is a critical skill that can enhance your combat strategy and improve your chances of survival. By mastering the timing and learning to recognize enemy attack patterns, you can effectively stagger and defeat your foes. Equip your buckler, practice your timing, and become a parry master in the harsh, unforgiving world of Valheim. With the brand new Ashlands update released and enemies dealing more damage than ever- you'll want a reliable tactic for damage prevention.

Valheim Troll Explosion

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