How to Counterattack in Forspoken

There's more to defense than blocking. Become a parry master with the Forspoken counterattack.

The best defense is a good offense, or so the adage goes. In action RPGs like Forspoken, that means understanding how parries and similar systems work. Here, the mechanic comes in the form of counterattacks, which you'll need to master to survive.

While other systems in Forspoken may have good tutorials or be fairly easy to understand, like crafting, this parry-like system isn't communicated the most effectively in-game. This guide details the counterattack mechanic and how it works within the combat loop. 

Forspoken Defense 101

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Coming to grips with counterattacks first requires an understanding of the game's defense system. Continuously holding the circle button on PlayStation, for example, initiates parkour mode. During parkour mode, Frey avoids every strike except unblockable attacks

However, Frey can also block all the same attacks that she is capable of dodging. All attacks except unblockables and piercing strikes are blocked automatically. Keep in mind that blocking does not negate damage. It merely reduces it. 

How to Counterattack Parry in Forspoken

Now that you understand how Forspoken's basic defensive system works, you can graduate to counterattacks, otherwise known as parries. Every normal attack can be countered by pressing the Triangle button on PlayStation, for example. 

When Frey blocks an attack, you'll notice an icon in the middle of the screen that looks like an arrow deflecting off a surface. Press the Triangle button, or the appropriate prompt on a keyboard or Xbox controller, to counter or parry any attack

You may notice that Frey doesn't respond when pressing the prompt. Despite generous visibility regarding your defensive status, you still need to react quickly enough. The icon remaining on-screen doesn't necessarily indicate that you're within the counterattack window. Your reaction times need to be almost instant.

If playing on PlayStation 5, switching to performance mode for combat encounters might help with timing, considering the sometimes problematic performance and additional input latency in the quality and ray-tracing modes. 

Attacks That Can't be Countered

There are only two attack types that can't be countered or parried: Unblockables and piercing attacks. 

  • Piercing attacks can be dodged, but they can't be blocked. All piercing attacks are communicated ahead of time by a windup animation and a purple cross icon over the enemy. 
  • Unblockable attacks can be neither dodged nor blocked. Technically, you can avoid unblockables with the Skip ability, which isn't unlocked until the final boss of the game. However, because these attacks can't be blocked, a counterattack or parry is also out of the question. Unblockables are communicated through a windup animation and a red cross icon over the enemy. 

That's what you need to know when it comes to understanding how counterattacks and parries work in Forspoken. There's more to know about the open world of Athia, and that can be found on our Forspoken guides page, where we cover topics like fast travel, fall damage, and upgrading magic

Featured image via Square Enix.

Featured Contributor

Games Forspoken Genres ActionRPG Platforms PCPlayStation 5 Tags forspoken guides
Published Jan. 18th 2023

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