Fighting the Crownless in Wuthering Waves
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Wuthering Waves Combat Guide: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Skills

Combat in Wuthering Waves is complex, but amazing. Here are some tips to get you started.

Putting aside the tried-and-true open world and gacha mechanics, one of Wuthering Waves‘s main selling points is, undoubtedly, its combat. It’s tight and technical, with an enormously high skill ceiling and plenty of variety. Thankfully, there are some tips and tricks you can easily learn to make yourself a better fighter and take on the game’s hardest challenges.

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Wuthering Waves Combat Tip 1: Learn to Parry

Parrying an enemy in Wuthering Waves
Screenshot by GameSkinny

To parry in Wuthering Waves, you need to attack the enemy right when two golden rings intersect during certain attacks. Note that your attack needs to land as the golden rings intersetc. Simply pressing the attack button when they do so will only ensure you take damage from the hit.

The parry sigil in Wuthering Waves
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Additionally, learning how to parry is probably the single most important combat tool you can have in Wuthering Waves. While dodging allows you to avoid damage, parrying not only negates an attack but also takes a massive chunk out of your enemy’s Toughness bar. Drain Toughness, and you stagger your foes, increasing the damage they take and stunning them for several seconds.

To practice your parries, I suggest fighting the various world bosses, particularly Crownless. Not only can you get good Union EXP, character ascension materials, and, most importantly, boss Echoes, but their parryable attacks tend to be the easiest to see coming. The fights are also single-target, meaning you have no distractions and can focus purely on practice.

I’d also recommend that you fight bosses when they’re at their technically weakest: just before you ascend a new world level and your characters are at their maximum potential power. For instance, if you’re at Union Level 20 and are preparing for your first ascension quest, go fight the Crownless or any other of your favorite bosses. They’ll be a measly Level 25, and your characters could be as high as Level 40. In this scenario, you have much more leeway to make mistakes while still learning and practicing parries.

Wuthering Waves Combat Tip 2: Learn Your Rotations

Verina using her Ultimate in Wuthering Waves
Screenshot by GameSkinny

While Wuthering Waves is only a three-character team-based game with different combat mechanics to its main inspiration — Genshin Impact — optimal gameplay relies on you using your character abilities and attacks in specific rotations. In other words, you use one character’s Resonance Skill and Liberation and their Echo, transition to activate their Outro Skill, and then repeat the process until each character has used their abilities.

Usually, your on-field DPS is at the end of the rotation to maximize the amount of time they receive buffs from your other characters, though that’s not always the case. In short, you use each character in rotation, moving from one to the next such that by the time you rotate back to your first character, their abilities are off of cooldown and the whole process can start again.

Once you have three characters you enjoy using, you need to actually figure out their rotation, then practice not only doing the sequence correctly but also working on timing it out. Does your DPS stay on-field long enough for your Support’s Liberation to come back, or do your Support buffs run out before your DPS needs to rotate out? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer.

Wuthering Waves Combat Tip 3: Learn to Not Spam Attacks

Jiyan using his Ultimate in Wuthering Waves
Screenshot by GameSkinny

If you’ve played less technical action RPGs, you might be predisposed to simply attack as much as possible whenever your DPS is on the field and fully buffed. I know I am. However, in Wuthering Waves, you need to fight those habits. There are a couple of reasons:

  • Character combos and rotations require specific timing. If you click Attack all the time or use your Resonance Skill and Liberation without thought, you’re liable to get hit and, in the later game, one shot. Learn how to properly time your combos and rotations so your buffs are always active, abilities always off cooldown, and your damage optimal.
  • Spamming inhibits parries. As we discussed in the parry section, successfully executing parry takes a particular timing, and if all you’re doing is pressing the attack button mindlessly, you’re as liable to parry as you are to get hit.

Most importantly, spamming can make it difficult to accurately see what your enemies are doing, as your and their attacks get lost in the visual noise. Sure, Jiyan’s Resonance Liberation is horrifically powerful, but because it confers stagger resistance, damage can easily pile up, and suddenly, he’s dead at the exact wrong moment.

Wuthering Waves Combat Tip 4: Make the Most of Intro and Outro Skills

Using an Outro Skill in Wuthering Waves
Screenshot by GameSkinny

While this tip is technically a part of learning rotation, I think it bears some extra mention because of its uniqueness. Intro and Outro Skills are exactly what they sound like: Skills that activate when your character enters or exits the battlefield, respectively. You build up the ability to use these special Skills by attacking with your characters, and when the circle to the left of their health bar fills, you can swap to another character to trigger their Intro and trigger the swapping character’s Outro. Each non-active character’s portrait on the right side of the screen will light up, showing they’re ready to activate their Intro Skill, and so on.

Intro and Outro Skills tend to feed into the gameplay loop of each character. DPS characters tend to deal damage, healers heal or provide buffs, and hybrids do a bit of both. Get to know your character’s unique Skills because the sooner you understand when to activate them and in what order, the sooner you’ll further optimize your damage and be able to take on tougher content.

Wuthering Waves Combat Tip 5: Learn to Cancel Attacks and Abilities

I’ve put this tip last because it’s only applicable if you want to absolutely maximize your damage and combat efficiency. Canceling attacks, including Resonance Liberation Ultimates, is essential to reaching the highest damage thresholds and using characters like Calcharo at their highest tier. In practice, a cancel is just that: timing another attack or a character swap at just the right moment to allow the first character to continue their attack while a second character acts at the same time.

The first major interaction where swaps will showcase their power comes when we can all try out a Calcharo and Yinlin team comp. Swapping between the two characters and canceling their animations over and over will likely be the highest possible damage in all of Wuthering Waves, but it’s an incredibly precise technique and only necessary for the highest-level play in the game. You should take time to practice it if you want to get more out of your DPS characters, but it’s not strictly necessary for most content.

Those are my five best tips for improving your combat in Wuthering Waves. It ultimately boils down to learning not to spam, mastering rotations, and ordering your Intro and Outro Skills correctly, then practicing all that until you’re a master.

For more content, check out our Wuthering Waves guides hub, including a piece on whether you can play the WuWA on Steam Deck.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.