Tears of the Kingdom – All Combat Movements & Strategies

There’s more to combat in Tears of the Kingdom than you might think. This guide covers just some of those complexities.

Screenshot via Gamepur

Though it may not look it at first glance, but combat and traversal in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is actually particularly deep, with hidden mechanics and skill-based maneuvers that will give you an advantage and make traveling across Hyrule all the more enjoyable. We’ll cover all the advanced techniques you’ll want to learn — and master — to get the most out of your time with Tears of the Kingdom.

Advanced Combat Techniques in Tears of the Kingdom

The core combat of Tears of the Kingdom is simple: block with a shield, swing your weapon in a three-hit combo (if it has one), and use a bow at a distance. If you dig even a little deeper, however, fighting gets a whole lot more satisfying. There are three main mechanics to keep in mind when getting more out of Tears of the Kingdom combat: flurry rush, parry, and airborne archery.

How to Flurry Rush in Tears of the Kingdom

Screenshot via Gamepur

A flurry rush is a series of lightning-fast counterattacks following a perfectly timed dodge. Whenever any enemy in the game attacks you, you can dodge to the side (if the attack was vertical) or do a backflip (if the attack was horizontal. Succeeding at a perfect dodge slows down time for about five seconds, and you can spam the Y button to execute as many attacks with your weapon as possible within that window.

The catch is that every enemy has different attacks and attack speeds, so perfectly timing a dodge is not a one-size fits all solution. If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up at the Game Over screen at least a few times trying to learn specific enemy attack patterns. Once you have them down, however, you can effectively farm that specific foe for whatever materials and weaponry they drop, hitting you will be the hardest thing they do all day.

How to Parry in Tears of the Kingdom

Screenshot via Gamepur

Parrying is exactly what it sounds like, but unlike in most other instances of the mechanic, you can parry almost any attack in the game: weapon swings, ranged attacks, animals charging at you — you name it, you can probably parry it. To parry, you have to press the A button while holding your shield up and your animation needs to have started just before the attack would land.

Parrying in Tears of the Kingdom has very tight timing, and shields all have about a quarter second of start-up frames, so going for the parry at the exact instant you’d be hit will see you actually get hit. If you’re even less than a quarter second late with the parry, the animation also won’t play, and you’ll take damage. Successfully parrying will stagger the enemy for several seconds and nullify their attack, but won’t give you the opportunity for a Flurry Rush.

Airborne Archery in Tears of the Kingdom

Screenshot via Gamepur

Much like a Flurry Rush, if you aim your bow while in mid-air, time will slow to a crawl to give you a chance to better aim your shot. Doing this maneuver also rapidly drains your Stamina bar, so use it with caution. The kicker with this ability, however, is that you can do it from any airborne distance, including a dismount from either your horse or an enemy you’ve mounted. You can even chain mounts and arrow shots as long as you have Stamina to spare.

Advanced Traversal in Tears of the Kingdom

There are two core facets of advanced traversal in Tears of the Kingdom: shield surfing and paraglider flashing.

How to Shield Surf in Tears of the Kingdom

Screenshot via Gamepur

We have a full guide to shield surfing, but the short version is, you hold your shield out with ZL, jump with X, then as you move forward, press A to land on top of the shield. Depending on your momentum and the grade of slope you’re on, you can traverse the world faster than on horseback and sometimes faster than an Ultrahand vehicle. You will use up your shield’s durability doing it, but if you have a shield you don’t plan on using, or a trash one from a Bokoblin, by all means, go nuts.

How to Paraglider Flash in Tears of the Kingdom

Screenshot via Gamepur

Using your paraglider is even more important in Tears of the Kingdom, as you’ll spend tons more time in the air than even Breath of the Wild. And because using the paraglider consumes a lot of Stamina, even if you’ve upgraded it, you’ll need a way to conserve your resources. That’s where paraglider flashing comes in. The concept is simple. Instead of keeping your glider active for your whole glide, “flash” it, or quickly equip and unequip it as you move between points A and B.

How often you flash will depend on the height difference between you and your destination. Leave yourself enough verticality that the drop between flashes doesn’t make you miss your mark. The farther you are from where you want to be, the more more you’ll do this maneuver, as the closer you get, the more you’ll want the paraglider out to be sure you make it where you want to be.

And that’s it! Check out our other The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom guides below to help craft, explore, and tackle challenges across Hyrule.

Tears of the Kingdom Complete Guide | Every Ability & How To Unlock Them | How to Get The Paraglider | How to Get & Use The Travel Medallion | All Armor Locations & Where to Find Them | All Construct Materials & Where to Find Them | All Shrine Locations & Strategies | How to Get More Heart Containers