Guarding (also referred to as "Blocking") is a Combat mechanic in Elden Ring. It allows you to block some or all damage from incoming attacks and return powerful counterattacks.

Guarding (Blocking) in Elden Ring

How to Guard (Block)


In order to guard, you must either have a Shield equipped in your left hand or you must be two-handing a weapon.

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Guard Hold L1 Hold LB Hold Right Click

While you're guarding, all incoming damage is reduced according to your shield's Guarded Damage Negation stats. Each shield has a separate Guarded Damage Negation stat for each Damage Type (although Physical damage reduction applies to StandardStrikeSlash, and Pierce damage). For example, if a shield with 59% Fire Damage reduction blocks an attack that would normally deal 132 Fire Damage, you'll only take 54 damage.

Every attack you block while guarding costs you some Stamina. How much depends on both how strong the attack is and on your shield's Guard Boost stat: the higher the Guard Boost, the less stamina you lose. If you lose all your stamina while guarding, you'll be briefly stunned and vulnerable to a critical hit, but you'll still block just as much damage.

Certain weapon types can even attack your enemies while you're simultaneously guarding with your shield, allowing you to remain safe while dishing out damage. All Thrusting Swords, Heavy Thrusting Swords, Spears, and Great Spears can do this.

Staggering Enemies

shield stagger

When an enemy hits your shield while you're guarding, they may stagger backwards briefly. This is a great time to counterattack or guard counter.

Whether an enemy staggers depends on how heavy their attack is and how hard your shield is. Small Shields are the least likely to cause attackers to stagger, Greatshields are the most likely, and Medium Shields are in between. You can also use Dragonbolt Blessing to make your skin as hard as a Greatshield for 70 seconds, or Barricade Shield to make any shield even harder than a Greatshield for 5 seconds.

Guard Counters

guard counter

Immediately after blocking an incoming attack, press Heavy Attack to do a special counterattack. See Guard Counters for more information.

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Guard Counter Guard → Heavy Attack


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    • Anonymous

      By how much is the stamina recovery rate lowered when guarding and how is it calculated? I would like to know how efficient stamina recovery increases are when guarding.

      • Anonymous

        So, the block/guard % is after an attacks damage is calculated through any Defense or Armor? I mean am I only adding a touch more defense when I guard to block an attack? Or does the Guard/Block % override the Armor %?

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