Wondering how to two hand weapons in Elden Ring? The inputs are a bit different than they are in the Souls games.

Elden Ring: How to Two Hand Weapons

Wondering how to two hand weapons in Elden Ring? The inputs are a bit different than they are in the Souls games.
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Sometimes you just need more strength to wield a weapon or increased attack power to cut through an enemy, and you can achieve that when you two hand weapons (or shields) in Elden Ring. But doing so in From Software’s latest ARPG in the Souls family doesn’t work exactly the same as you might remember it. 

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When you two hand weapons, it increases the damage output, even if by a little, giving you that much more power to cut through enemies and bosses. This is especially effective in fights where shields or armor won’t do much good. If you’re dodge-rolling for most or all of the fight because strong attacks melt your endurance or rip right through your defenses, choosing to two hand might be the way to go. It will also raise your Strength stat a bit.

It’s also useful for when your current stats or level won’t let you wield a particular weapon or shield in one hand effectively. A two hand approach can help you get past some stat restrictions. 

How to Two Hand Weapons (or Shields) in Elden Ring

In previous From Software titles like Dark Souls 3, you could two hand weapons by simply pressing Triangle on PlayStation and Y on Xbox. But the controls in Elden Ring are a bit different.

In order to two hand weapons or shields/off-hand weapons:

  • Hold Triangle/Y and press R1/RB for right-handed weapons.
  • Hold Triangle/Y and press L1/LB for left-handed weapons.

Technically, you can press both buttons at the same time, and it will usually work. However, we’ve found that left-handed/off-hand weapons are a bit fickle this way, so the best way to make sure you switch to two hand is to hold Triangle/Y.

Repeat the same commands to return to one-handing weapons/shields. If you choose to two hand anything in either your primary or off-hand then switch to the other hand, you will go from two-handing to one-handing, and then have to repeat the input to two hand again. 

It’s worth noting that there are different attack animations for most weapons when you two hand them. For example, the standard attacks for the Sword of Night and Flame are a downward, arcing slash from right to left (R1/RB) and a thrust (R2/RT). These turn into an overhead slash and mid-level right-to-left slash respectively. Be sure to practice with your weapon of choice to learn its animations before taking on any foes.

And that’s how you two hand weapons in Elden Ring. The input motion is a bit awkward to learn at first, especially for long-time Souls players who have grown used to simply pressing a single button, but it quickly becomes second nature. For more tips and tricks, visit our Elden Ring guides page.

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Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.