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Blades Combo Guide
How to Score Combos in Blades
While playing The Elder Scrolls: Blades, you may have noticed the combo indicator popping up on your screen occasionally while fighting enemies in dungeons. You probably thought it had something to do with successive hits against a target, but you'd only partially be right. Combos in Blades are actually generated by attacking from alternating sides of the screen. By placing your finger and executing the attack from a side of the screen, you can cause your attack to swing from that side. Alternate those sides one after the other and you'll start racking in a combo! Combos begin at 2 successive hits from alternate sides and continue upwards from there.
Note: The combo does count for tracking purposes, but will not display a counter to you (such as a 3x, 4x, 5x, etc). So you can get a 6 or more combo, but the screen will not indicate to you how many in a row you actually had.
Combo Text in Blades
What Interrupts a Combo
Accruing a combo requires more than just successful execution with your fingers. Certain things will interrupt and end your combo. These things include:
- Hitting an enemy's shield. Note that the enemy must actually be blocking with it, and just visually connecting with the shield.
- Having an enemy block your attack, even just by blocking with a weapon and not with a shield.
- Having your attack miss the enemy altogether or have the enemy dodge your attack. Large spiders will often back up to dodge attacks. Be mindful of them and other more mobile enemies.
- Taking damage, including a damage-over-time effect, will NOT stop your combo! This may have been changed in early access but standard damage will not stop your combo. However, being stunned will. However, getting slowed will not stop it.
This means it can be difficult to pull off combos against enemies that block or dodge frequently but you can go fairly aggressive on enemies that don't. A good enemy to try this on would be the troll, which will rarely break your combo. This makes it a good enemy to practice on and rack in all the bonus damage. It's also worth noting that a blocked attack will still count as an addition to your combo, however it will break the chain and your next attack will not increment the combo counter. For example, if your 5th attack is blocked, you will still reach a 5x combo.
Why You Should Care About Combos
While it isn't essential to rack in combos all the time, they do serve a fairly meaningful roll in combat within Blades. The benefits of racking in combos include:
- Combos do additional damage. Though the exact formula isn't quite clear, the extra damage will definitely help you out and it is significant. Attacks normally doing 80-90 can easily break 130-140 damage. It is particularly useful against enemies with high health regeneration, such as trolls or a lich, where you really want to scale up your DPS to prevent them from out healing much of your damage.
- Combo "Challenges" are very common, such as "Perform X-Hit Combos." You will most likely see 4-Hit, 5-Hit, or 6-Hit Combo challenges in your log and have to pull them off 6 times. Challenges, found in your Quests menu, grant gold and refresh every hour, making them a fairly good source of gold. Combo challenges are one of the challenges I would recommend holding on to. Other challenges may be good as well, offering fairly generic challenges such as "Do X Damage" but some require certain types of damage that you may not have built into your character.
- While speed may not be that valuable to you, any additional damage and optimal play can help propel your character further down the Abyss as well, unlocking extra gold, experience, and rare items. For more information on farming the Abyss, check out my full guide.
Overall, combos should be considered another key way to optimize your character. Practicing and landing combos are a key part of combat similar to how you optimize your gear to perform just a little bit better.
A Few Good Ways to Land Combos
One minor hint to try and rack in combos, particularly if you have a "4-Hit Combo" challenge is using abilities. The ability "Quick Strikes," the first ability on the far right side of the Abilities tab, executes two attacks in quick succession, automatically triggering a Combo. That means you can swing twice, hitting a 2x combo, then use the ability to basically automatically give you a 4x combo!