Parrying is a Combat mechanic in Elden Ring. It can cancel certain enemies' attacks and make them vulnerable to a critical hit.

Parrying in Elden Ring

How to Parry

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First, you must have a Shield equipped in your left hand with Parry or another parry skill. Then when the enemy makes a parriable attack, press the skill button at just the right time so your shield is coming up just as the enemy's arm is coming down. You'll know it works if your enemy recoils and you take no damage from the attack. If you didn't get the timing quite right, your shield will still block some of the damage from the attack but the attack will continue and you'll take a big hit to your Stamina.

For most parriable enemies, a single successful parry is enough to bring them to their knees and make them vulnerable to a critical hit. Other enemies (usually bosses) must be parried multiple times before they fall. Unlike Stance damage, an enemy's parry counter doesn't decay after a period of inaction, so you can take your time between parries without fear. Be aware though that some parriable enemies won't become vulnerable to a critical at all: instead, they'll just stumble briefly, giving you time to land some normal attacks before they start attacking again.

Under the covers, each parriable attack has a certain range of frames (often only one) in its animation where it can be successfully parried. Similarly, each parry skill has a certain range of frames during its animation where it can successfully parry. If an attack's parriable frames line up with your parry frames while the attack's hitbox overlaps with your shield's, it will be parried. Because this depends so heavily on finding that moment of overlap, it's a good idea to choose a parry skill with a large number of parry frames!

What to Parry

Not all enemies are parriable, nor are all attacks even from enemies that are! As a rule of thumb, the following categories are more likely to be parriable:

  • Humanoid enemies. Soldiers are parriable but Giant Bats are not.
  • Enemies that aren't huge. Omens are parriable but Trolls and Golems are not.
  • Attacks with weapons, particularly when the weapon is swung in an arc. Tree Sentinel's Halberd Combo is parriable but its Horse Bash and Charge Attack are not.
  • Physical attacks. Margit's Swing Flurry is parriable, but his Hammer Smash is not.
  • Flails and Whips attacks cannot be parried.
  • Ranged attacks are never parriable, except with special parry skills.

The best way to determine whether a particular attack is parriable is to try parrying it a few times. If it seems like you're getting the timing right but the parry still isn't happening, you're out of luck.

Parrying Spells

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Parrying doesn't have to be limited to melee! With the Carian Retaliation skill (or the corresponding sorcery), you can parry most magical projectiles. It works a little differently than a normal parry: when a projectile hits the blue orb created by the skill, it vanishes and is replaced by three glintblades that will fire back at the enemy once they come in range. There are a few caveats, though:

  • Parrying a spell won't give you an opportunity for a critical hit.
  • Parrying a spell won't give you any invulnerability frames.
  • Each use of the skill can only parry a single projectile. This means that parrying isn't safe if multiple projectiles are flying towards you at once, since only one of them will be stopped and the rest will still connect.

You can also parry spells with the Thops's Barrier skill (or the corresponding sorcery), but this won't create any glintblades. The only advantage is that Thops's Barrier doesn't consume any FP.

Why Parry?

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Parrying isn't for everyone. It requires more precise timing than dodging or guard countering  attacks and you often take a lot of damage if you get the timing wrong. Even if you nail your parries, you'll deal less total damage per critical hit than if you were using jump attacks or guard counters to try to stance break your enemy instead, since those attacks do damage even before the critical. Still, there are a few great reasons to learn to parry:

  • Interrupting: Bosses in Elden Ring often make it hard to get an attack in edgewise. They hit quickly and frequently, with relatively few openings for you to counterattack. Parries can be the best way to interrupt these relentless assaults and ensure you ca safely whittle down your foe's HP.
  • Crowd Control: When you successfully land a parry, you get a few frames of invulnerability where other enemies around you can't land attacks. When you land the follow-up critical hit you get even more invulnerability frames, and when that animation completes enemies around you will stumble back and give you room to escape. This makes parrying an excellent tool for dealing with groups of enemies without getting overwhelmed.
  • Fun: Elden Ring is all about honing difficult skills for satisfying results, and parrying is a prime example of this. Learning all the parry timings for a challenging boss and never letting them land a hit is fun because it's such hard work at first. Once you become an experienced parrier, many boss fights start to look like a walk in the park.

Getting Good

Here are some tips to help you improve your parrying skill:

  • Practice, Practice, Practice: Mastering parries is as much a matter of building up muscle memory as it is learning to consciously do the right thing. Take the time to do dedicated parry practice to teach your subconscious just when to hit that button in order to land the parry. The woods outside Groveside Cave are perfect for this: it's full of Godrick Soldiers who have a variety of attacks, almost all of which are parriable. You can also practice on particular bosses with parry-only practice runs, where you commit to only doing damage through critical hits.
  • Watch the Hand: Although it's tempting to watch an enemy's weapon when deciding when to press the parry button, it's often more reliable to watch the hand that's holding the weapon instead. This gives you a better idea of when their momentum is actually shifting towards you, which is the best indicator of when you should press the skill button.
  • Notice Tells: If you're struggling to parry a particular attack, pay close attention to the enemy's entire animation leading up to that attack. Try to find a particular nuance of the animation that happens around the time you need to press the skill button, then make a couple parry attempts exactly when you see that tell. If you're too early or too late, find a different tell and try that until you find one that works consistently. For example, you might notice that parrying Tree Sentinel's Jump Attack works best if you press the button just as it pauses at the apex of its leap.

Parry Skills

While the Parry skill comes attached to a number of shields, there are a variety of different parry skills scattered throughout the Lands Between. The "vanilla" Parry skill itself even has different parry frames depending on what type of shield or weapon you attach it to!

  • FP indicates how much FP is consumed when you successfully parry. Not all parry skills use FP, and those that do only consume it when the parry is successful. You can still parry even if you run out of FP—it will just behave like the basic Parry skill.
  • Delay measures how many frames (at 30FPS) elapse between pressing the skill button and being able to parry an attack. Lower is better.
  • Duration measures how many frames (at 30FPS) the skill is active and able to parry an attack after the delay. Higher is better.
  • Recovery measures how many frames (at 30FPS) elapse after the parry frames end but before you're able to roll again. See also Recovery Frames below. Lower is better.
Name FP  Delay Duration Recovery Description

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Golden Parry

4 4 6 15 In addition to having the best delay and duration of any parry skill, this can parry attacks from a short distance away.

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Carian Retaliation

8 4 6 15 In addition to having the best delay and duration of any parry skill, this can parry spells and send glintblades back at the enemy. As FP is only consumed when parrying spells, this provides the best melee-parry without additional FP cost.

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Buckler Parry

- 4 5 16 Unique to the Buckler, this is by far the best parry skill that doesn't require an Ash of War, as well as the best one available without leaving Limgrave.

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Parry
(Small Shield)

 - 5 5 15  The basic Parry skill is at its best on small shields.

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Storm Wall

3 5 5 15 Blocks projectiles in addition to parrying. This has better stats than the basic Parry skill when applied to a medium shield, although still worse than Golden Parry or Carian Retaliation.

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Parry
(Dagger)

- 6 4 15 If you want to parry with an offensive weapon daggers are your best bet, with worse stats than a small shield but better than a medium shield.

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Thops's Barrier

- 4 4 15 Blocks spells in addition to parrying. This has better stats than the basic Parry skill when applied to a medium shield, although still worse than Golden ParryCarian Retaliation, and even Storm Wall.

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Parry
(Medium Shield)

- 6 2 17 With a long delay and a very short duration, using Parry with medium shields is not recommended.

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Parry
(Thrusting Sword)

- 6 2 17 With a long delay and a very short duration, using Parry with thrusting swords is not recommended.

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Parry
(Curved Sword)

- 6 2 17 With a long delay and a very short duration, using Parry with curved swords is not recommended.

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Parry
(Fist)

- 6 2 17 With a long delay and a very short duration, using Parry with fists is not recommended.

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Parry
(Claw)

- 6 2 17 With a long delay and a very short duration, using Parry with claws is not recommended.

Recovery Frames

Different actions take more or less time to perform after a parry. Note that left-hand attacks are only possible after parrying with a shield if you're holding that shield in your right hand.

Name Roll Skill Attack Guard Quick Item Item Walk
Right Left
Golden Parry 15 16 13 16 14 15 16 17
Carian Retaliation 15 16 13 13 14 15 16 17
Buckler Parry 16 18 14 17 15 16 17 19
Parry (Small Shield) 15 16 13 16 14 15 16 17
Storm Wall 15 16 13 13 14 15 16 17
Parry (Dagger) 15 16 13 16 14 15 16 17
Thops's Barrier 15 16 13 13 14 15 16 17
Parry (Medium Shield) 17 18 15 19 16 17 14 17
Parry (Thrusting Sword) 17 18 15 19 16 17 14 17
Parry (Right-Hand Fist/Claw) 15 16 13 13 14 15 16 17
Parry (Left-Hand Fist/Claw) 17 18 15 15 16 17 14 17
Parry (Curved Sword) 17 18 15 15 16 17 18 19

 

 




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    • Anonymous

      Does heavy equipment load weight make your parry slower...or perhaps faster if weight is at light or zero?

      • Anonymous

        if you look closely there isn't a single parry tool whose total parry frames (windup + parry window) are larger than 10 frames (10/30 = .33 or 330 ms).

        if you are complaining about the page because things like small shields and parry daggers are "not recommended", consider that the timing remains constant. a parry dagger has 6 windup frames (6/30 = 200ms) and 4 parry frames (4/30 = 130ms), while Carian Retal has the opposite - 130ms windup and 200ms parry window. you can press the button at the same time as you would with a dagger and get the parry every time. The only time you'd be in trouble is if you learned to parry with Carian Retal and then decided to switch to parry dagger or one of the less forgiving parry tools.

        • Anonymous

          Worth noting that if you miss the timing on Parry and it counts as a block instead you can't seem to guard counter off the 'block' so in that way it's not really a block

          • Anonymous

            I wish there was no block on unsuccessful parry. Blocking with a weapon leaves you without any stamina and it's oftentimes worse than taking a hit.

            • Anonymous

              that feel when the worst parry tool is the only one you manage to parry with but 95% succes rate,
              i dont understand???

              • Anonymous

                that feel when the worst parry tool is the only one you manage to parry with but 95% succes rate,
                i dont understand???

                • Anonymous

                  The only thing "not recommended" is this entire page, as it uses frame data for 30 fps. This is only important for ps4 users, which make up only 9% of the playerbase.

                  • Anonymous

                    I think its a bit over the top to literally list half of these parry options as "not recommended". I have zero problem with parrying enemies and players alike with a scimitar its just more difficult and definitely took an hour or two of practice for a couple days.The extra frames on buckler are worth mili-seconds of time. It's a bit of a stretch to say everything else should be thrown in the dumpster.

                    • Anonymous

                      In past games parrying power was generally inverse to opportunity cost. Buckler was the worst shield for blocking, and so was the (arguable) best for parrying. Medium shields had the best block, and thus the worst parry of the shields, and small shields were in between. Weapons had fairly poor parries because they could also attack from the offhand. Carian Retaliation and Golden Parry offering the best parries in the game to some of the best blocking shields is a mistake, imo. Besides equip load, there's no advantage to a small shield anymore, and Parrying Dagger has no purpose at all anymore, because daggers with better damage and/or crit multiplier can equip the Parry ash of war and parry just as well as it.

                      • Anonymous

                        Dont let the statistiques run to your head . even If you fail a parry with a medium shield with 100 dmg chances are it will count as a regular block dépending on the timing. And personally i found it so much easier parying with anithing but the bucler the animation and the timing dosent feel natural + the waky modele designe ....just try everything with every item
                        Me i llike the curved sword or the wakasishi or wtv the katana dagger cause it can be power stance with reg katana so i can get parry and unsheat
                        And finaly take the shield you like the most even if its not a 100 dmg negation your 80%dmg + armor will absorb a lit dont forget 100% of 1 it still is 1

                        • Anonymous

                          Does the non-shield parry also block some damage if you get the timing wrong? Talking about dagger or sword parrying.

                          • Anonymous

                            Honestly, ER has a much better parrying system than any of the DS games IMO, I having to land multiple parries for a riposte makes parry only challenges for some bosses incredibly fun without the boss, some bosses have stupid parrying windows like Malenia, but for others like Radagon, Elemer, and Noble it's so much fun. It doesn't outright trivialize some bosses if you learn their parrying times like with Gwyn or Pontiff, and you can parry ANY humanoid melee boss, unlike in DS3. Radagon is the best example IMO, he takes 3 parries to riposte with really tight and straightforward windows, and always follows up with either his sunlight spear or grab attack after a non-riposte parry which is really easy to take advantage of

                            • Anonymous

                              Honestly buckler parry sucks ass. Having one specific shield be effectively better than all other parrying options is annoying and boring.

                              • Anonymous

                                Funnily enough, I find parrying with fist weapons more intuitive than with Medium shields or Small shields (buckler excepted). Even with delay being what it is I find it parries when I expect it to.

                                • Anonymous

                                  Incorrect information on the buckler "is by far the best parry skill that doesn't consume FP," because Carian Retaliation "only costs FP when successfully parrying a spell (not a physical attack)."

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