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I'm struggling with the combat system in FFXV. While I kinda got used to the controls and animations of most things I still find myself having problems with parrying attacks so I wanted to know if there are some tricks I haven't heard about that can help with parrying attacks.

My current problem is that I often see the "Square to parry" Icon appear but whenever I press (or hold) square in that moment I either roll away (normal dodge) or I'm just sent flying around by the opponent.

I have 3 questions about parrying:

  1. What determines whether an attack is parryable? (For example facing the enemy, strong attacks, ranged attacks etc)
  2. What is the time window and the method of parrying? As I said i tried holding/pushing the parry button at different times when the icon appears but I can't really see a pattern of when and how to press the button.
  3. Is parrying even worth it? I have the impression that parrying is strong but I'm a complete noob when it comes to Final Fantasy. Is it better to just roll/dodge when I'm under attack?
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From my experience, you will be unable to parry (despite the prompt making you think that you can) if you are still carrying out an attack. This has been the most common reason I've failed parries.

  1. I can confirm that what direction you are facing will not prevent you from being able to parry an attack, as I've parried attacks that were coming from behind, simply by holding the Square button. As long as you have the Square button pressed when the attack hits you, you should parry successfully.

  2. The time window varies with enemies, as they attack at different speeds. For instance, I've parried the Slime-type enemies (Flan, etc) by holding down the Square button as they approached and it's taken up to 10 full seconds before I actually parried (if not more) as they approach very slowly. For faster enemies like a Coeurl, you will have less than a second to react, and, from experience, if you're mid-attack at all, you won't make it. Using quick weapons like the shortswords will give you a better chance to successfully pull off a parry. Using a greatsword, on the other hand, results in very few successful parries.

  3. As to whether or not parrying is worth it, definitely. I have survived many fights that my party members have all died during simply because I stopped attacking and just parried everything I could.

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    It does seem to all come down to good timing. If you'd like to practise, from the title menu, select Tutorial, then Practical Drill, and do the Parrying tutorial with Carbuncle.
    – David Yell
    Dec 7 '16 at 15:39
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    #3. Not only this, but a parry can trigger a link attack (term may be incorrect) with a party member, causing extra damage to the enemy that would not have normally occurred Also, the only way to counter is to first parry, when that is an option. Dec 7 '16 at 16:08
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    @Khale_Kitha I did mention the link attacks in my answer as well as a slightly increased chance to break appendages off of enemies which is something I noticed when parrying a lot.
    – Ramirez
    Dec 7 '16 at 16:10
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    @Khale_Kitha no worries. It's kind of hard to complete with Vemonus sometimes :P
    – Ramirez
    Dec 7 '16 at 16:13
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    If you have a 'Friendship band' accessory item, you can trigger a Link Strike from distance with a parry counter as well. Coupled with the Link Strike dmg boost ascension skill, it can be a nice combo.
    – David Yell
    Dec 8 '16 at 10:00
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From my experience attacks that can be parried have to be targeted at Noctus only. I have not personally seen any sort of swipe or AOE attack able to be parried. When you see the parry button on your screen you can hold down the button any time during that button to parry the attack, you might be having problems with other enemies attacking you while you are holding the button causing you to stagger and not able to parry. And to answer your last question parrying is extremely valuable to combat, when you parry you may be able to perform a link attack with another party member. Another bonus is that breaking appendages and making enemies vulnerable seems to more common when you do perform parries on enemies.

Hope this helps.

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    One thing I struggled with early on is that you do have to hold the button, until the attack. The tutorial seems to suggest that tapping it is good enough (I don't remember the text, but it was good enough in the tutorial fight, which was enough that I picked up a bad habit), but that doesn't work in reality.
    – Random832
    Dec 7 '16 at 17:55
  • Yeah best rule of thumb for parrying is to just keep your finger smashed on that button until you perform the parry.
    – Ramirez
    Dec 7 '16 at 17:56

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