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How to parry in Elden Ring

A quite satisfactory way of critically hitting enemies.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring using the Buckler shield
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogamer

While striking enemies with devastating weapons or one-shotting them with spells is great, you can also parry incoming attacks in Elden Ring and land a stylish killing blow.

Elden Ring allows multiple play styles, from those based on direct combat and dodging sequences of deadly attacks to less aggressive approaches that use spirits to call enemies’ attention and wait for the right moment to attack. Part of the experience of playing the game is to find which style is the best for you.

In case deflecting attacks is what you want to do in Elden Ring, then we’ve got you covered. This guide explains how to parry in Elden Ring and what is the best shield to parry.

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How to parry in Elden Ring

In Elden Ring, parry is the mechanic of deflecting an enemy’s attack by using a specific skill which some shields have. You can’t deflect attacks without a shield. To parry an attack, you must use the parry skill at a specific moment while the enemy performs the animation of the attack. When playing with controllers, this means pushing the L2/LT buttons.

Parrying attacks is a great way to defeat enemies in Elden Ring. When you deflect their attack, they get staggered and you can use a riposte attack, which is a guaranteed critical hit. Depending on the enemy, a riposte attack can one-shot them.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring using the Brass shield
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogamer

You should keep in mind that you can’t parry every attack in the game. Some enemies have moves that, although they seem simple physical attacks, can’t be parried. Although you can parry the attacks of most common enemies, when facing stronger foes, such as bosses, you need to try parrying their attacks since there isn’t another way of finding out.

The exact moment that you must use parry depends on the type of shield you’re using. There are three sizes of shields in the game, small, medium, and greatshields. Each size has a different parry window, which means that depending on the shield you’re using, it’s possible to deflect an attack even if you act too early. While the small shields have the largest parry window among the sizes, the greatshields are the ones which require more precision.

Best parry shield in Elden Ring

Although you can use any shield with the Ash of War: Parry to deflect attacks, the best parry shield is the Buckler shield and the best Ashes of War to parry are the Carian Retaliation and the Golden Parry.

If you just want an early shield to start to deflect attacks and land critical hits, the Buckler shield is your best option. This small shield has a unique Ash of War called Buckler Parry and it’s among the best ones to deflect attacks because it has a large parry window. You can get this shield by picking the Bandit as your starting class or buying it from the Gatekeeper Gostoc in Stormveil Castle after you have completed their quest.

If you want to try something differnt though, you can check-out our round-up of the best Shields Elden Ring has to offer.

Carian Knight's Shield screenshot from Elden Ring with the text "A teardrop-shaped, medium-sized shield embedded with blue glintstones. Carried by knights who server the Carian royal family."
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogamer

Now, the Carian Retaliation and the Golden Parry are the best ones because they have the largest parry window in the game. Different from the Buckler Parry, there aren't shields already infused with these abilities. However, they work perfectly on small or medium shields.

You get the Golden Parry by killing a Teardrop Scarab on the main stairs at Capital Outskirts in Leyndell. You can take the site of grace called Outer Wall Phantom Tree and go northeast until you find the stairs. On the other hand, you can buy Carian Retaliation from Pidia, Carian Servant, who you can find in Caria Manor. However, if you just want the regular Ash of War: Parry, you must visit Knight Bernahl at Warmaster’s Shack east of the Stormveil Castle entrance.

Need more help? Jump back to our list of Elden Ring weapons or our Elden Ring walkthrough.

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