Elden Ring Two-Handing Weapons Explained

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Elden Ring is a decidedly different beast to other FromSoftware games. It takes the classic formula that you know and love, but puts smart twists on it. Crafting has been introduced, as has horseback combat and exploration. There are plenty of new features to get to grips with, as well as staples like one and two-handed combat.

Like in other Souls games, you have the option to hold weapons in one or both hands. Doing so increases damage output, while usually slowing down your attacks as a trade-off. You'll also lose blocking ability depending on the weapon, having to rely on dodge rolling and evades instead of parries and blocks.

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Even though the ability to two-hand weapons has been a part of the series since the very beginning, it works a little differently in Elden Ring. To help you get to grips with it, we've explained how to switch to two-handed combat in this guide. We'll outline the benefits for doing so, and give you some tips on using a weapon on horseback.

Elden Ring Two-Handing Weapons Explained

To two-hand a weapon in Elden Ring, hold Y/triangle (interact button on PC) and hit either LB/L1 or RB/R1. This will put either your left-hand or right-hand weapon into the two-handed stance. From there you will have access to a different set of moves, as well as special attacks and Ashes of War. To switch back to one-handed, you can either press left or right on the d-pad, or repeat the same combination you used to go two-handed.

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three tarnished face off against a large knight boss in Elden Ring

How Does Two-Handing Weapons Work on Horseback?

One of the major changes brought in by Elden Ring is that you can now fight on horseback. This gets tricky, as one of your hands is always occupied with the reigns of the horse, while the other is open to a weapon. Essentially, you can not two-hand while riding a horse. Instead, you switch weapons with the left and right d-pad, or by holding Y/triangle and pressing the left or right bumper.

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Why Should You Two-Hand Your Weapons?

Knowing when to put your shield away and two-hand your main weapon can be the key to defeating some enemies. You'll do more damage using a melee weapon in two-handed mode, and will have access to special attacks and Ashes of War. Use this when fighting large bosses, who will likely break through shields even if you block. It's also recommended to ditch the shield when fighting slower enemies, as you can use dodges to circle around and backstab, doing huge damage. Not all fights will be suited to two-handing, like faster enemies and those with ranged attacks. Being able to block might be better than the extra damage per attack.

That's all you need to know about two-handing weapon in Elden Ring. For more on the game, be sure to check out our guide on getting the Spirit Calling Bell. Once you're done there, head on over to our page on getting Smithing Stones.

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