I am a PC player of the Dark Souls II game. I am already in NG+ and have invaded and killed hundreds of other players. I have huge difficulty performing backstabs. In fact, I have never actually done one. My theory is that a lot of PC players for dark souls 2 use a controller, and there is something specific with the controller controls that allow easy backstabs. You go behind someone and you press a specific button. Usually in a fight, if I show my back even slightly, I get insta-back-stabbed. But when I run behind people and light attack their back, nothing ever happens at all, in a month of gameplay. even mobs. Even a tutorial mob that was facing with its back to me. I just keep regularly attacking it's back even when I am in the perfect angle. So, who plays Dark Souls 2 on PC, and how do you backstab?

made a video about the problem: http://www.twitch.tv/surgetheurgegaming/b/537807314

  • I tried reposing and my enemy falls down on the floor, and when i try to hit them to do critical damage, my sword basic hits them and they are kind of knocked away but it causes them to stand up. So it's like I pull people out of the repost animation. Jun 12, 2014 at 16:08
  • This is a slightly new mechanic for the riposte/parry. There is a required delay between a successful parry and the initiation of the riposte.
    – Ben
    Jun 12, 2014 at 16:47
  • For troubleshooting purposes, have you tried using a controller? If so, does it work as intended?
    – k1DBLITZ
    Jun 13, 2014 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


When you are in the right position for a backstab, you need to use the light attack, and only with your weapon in your right hand. (The right hand is the attacking hand, and left hand, or 'off-hand' is the defensive).

To pull off a riposte, you need to wait momentarily (about 1 second) after deflecting the attack then use a light attack to initiate the riposte animation. This is also similar with the guard break animation. (Forward and light attack).

Trouble is, there appears to be a slight delay between players in most situations. When a spell is cast for instance, it would appear the spell hit, but then the other player would roll away, unharmed. This also affects back stabs and ripostes. You may appear to have correctly initiated the backstab or parry, but in fact the opponent has managed to avoid it.

I believe this is generally because when you invade, the person has a better connection to the server is favoured. Regardless whether you are the invadee or the invader.

This video may help explain the mechanic a little clearer on how and when to initiate the riposte (hit the attack button) after a parry.

I did a bit more research and found that the issue with keyboard and mouse is that there is an untimely delay when attacking with a mouse, making it extremely difficult to achieve the window required for the backstab/parry/etc. Try using a different keybinding for the light attack ('U' for example). This should eliminate the delay on your mouse.

  • I am trying to pull this off on a non player character. Hostile human like monsters on my own computer. I knock them on their butt by swiping my shield, they fall on the ground, then no matter what, the repost doesnt happen. I am using my black knight hally. If I light attack, they get hit in by the light attack as they normally would. If I heavy attack when they are on the ground, I hit them really hard and they bounce to their feet. I did wait a few seconds in a few situations. It is as if the controls input is wrong. Jun 12, 2014 at 16:50
  • I just tried it with richars rapier. Same thing, I knock them on their butt, they are laying on the ground, up to five seconds, waiting for me to do the animation. When I light attack, the enemy gets pushed back slightly and stands up onto their feet as if they were standing when i poked them. Same thing for heavy attack but tripple hit. Again nothing I try works. The keyboard inputs dont allow players to perform backstabs or reposts. Jun 12, 2014 at 16:53
  • It shouldn't make a difference but are you one-handing or two-handing? It is very odd, as the mechanic is meant to be that if you hit in the correct window, a light attack with a weapon will activate the riposte.
    – Ben
    Jun 12, 2014 at 16:58
  • it looks like using a mouse and keyboard just doesn't work. I'll try to make a video Jun 12, 2014 at 17:06
  • Yeah I have had some weird ass delay things when playing Dark Souls 2, I use keyboard and mouse.
    – user131717
    Jun 15, 2016 at 1:30

Sorry for the huge trouble. It turns out that the backstab weapon MUST!!! be right handed. This is bad for me because I am a lot more used to holding down the right mouse botton and then using the left mouse button periodically, like hitting stuff. I suppose I can switch controls but it would be weird right side controling left side and left side controlling right side.

ANYWAY the reason why I couldn't backstab is because i was trying to backstab with left hand weapon, and only right hand weapon will work.

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