Every weapon is special. And every weapon has a special. Learn to make the most of yours with this guide to every special move in Dauntless.
SWORD: SLICE AND DICE
If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward weapon, start with the sword. The sword’s special meter fills every time you successfully land a hit on a Behemoth. While your primary attack (/) will fill the meter faster, your secondary attack (/) will do the job as well.
As soon as your meter hits the first bead, your special move is ready to go. Hit / to launch an energy projectile at your unlucky target.
Using the sword’s special move also triggers a buff that raises your attack speed and damage. The fuller your meter is when you hit , the longer your buff will last. Plan ahead to make the most of your time in this super-enhanced slash mode.
CHAIN BLADES: PUSH AND PULL
While the sword’s meter builds every time you land a hit, the chain blades’ meter is based purely on damage. Do more damage to fill more meter; do less to fill less.
Each time you max out the crescent-shaped meter, you’ll fill in one bead. These beads can be spent with / to activate one of two special moves: a push and a pull. If you’re in close combat range, will cause you to push off and away from whatever you’re fighting. With a brief window of immunity built in to its beginning, the chain blades’ push can also help you escape from dangerous situations – like a Quillshot gearing up for a quill rain.
If you’ve filled in all of your beads and your meter is full, activating your / push will also create an AOE explosion, dealing hefty damage at the site of activation.
If you’re further away when you activate your special, you’ll chuck your chain blades at the Behemoth and pull yourself into melee range. Play around with this one to get a feel for the distance. You can even cancel a successful secondary attack (/) into a / pull to add some reach to your chains.
Master the chain blades’ push and pull and you’ll master the battlefield itself. Just don’t forget to get some hits in there too. Your fellow Slayers are depending on you.
AXE: STACK AND SMACK
Powering up the axe takes a bit more finesse than building meter with the sword or the chain blades. Because the meter only climbs when you land charged hits, you’ll need to plan a bit to get those blows in. Hold / or / to charge your swing, then unleash on a Behemoth and watch your meter climb.
The longer you charge your attack, the more meter you’ll gain when the hit connects.
Once you’ve filled the axe’s special meter, you’re ready to unleash. Hit / to execute a brutal overhead slam.
Did you think you were done? Far from it. The axe’s true power lies in its stackable damage buff. When you land your first special (/) hit, you’ll earn your first stack. Watch the glowing area around your special meter to track how long your buff has left.
If you can get another special hit in before your damage buff expires, you’ll add a second stack to your buff. Fill your special meter a third time and squeeze that / hit in before your double-stack expires to achieve an even more powerful triple stack. But beware: Each added stack makes the timer count down faster. With a 3x buff you’ll have less time to super-chop than you would if you were at 1x stack.
Of course, time doesn’t matter if you’re a true axe master.
Once you’ve hit three stacks, getting another special in before the buff expires will cause it to refresh – making it possible (at least in theory) to keep your 3x damage buff going forever.
HAMMER: LOCK AND LOAD
The hammer takes a unique approach to specials, replacing the meter with an ammo count. Spend it alone or in combos with /.
Once you’ve buried the last of your ammo in the side of a Behemoth, it’s time to reload. Hit / and you’ll see a reload indicator start to move across the bar above your ammo. Your goal is to hit a second time when that indicator overlaps the middle section of the bar.
If you miss the middle, you’ll reload normally. But time it right and you’ll score a perfect reload – triggering equipped effects on your weapon and armour.
WAR PIKE: BUFF AND BLAST
Remember how the sword builds its special meter? The war pike works in a similar way, with every hit adding a bit to the meter. But where the sword gets more juice from primary attacks (/), the war pike builds its meter faster when you lean into your secondaries /).
The war pike’s meter is also unique in that it decays. As long as you’re landing attacks, it’ll stay full and happy, but stop for long enough and you’ll see it start to drop. You’ll also see it crash back down if you take damage during battle. This is because the war pike’s special meter is also a damage multiplier. The fuller it is, the more damage you’ll dish out.
If a full meter means more damage, why bother with your special move at all?
Tapping / once your meter has passed the first horizontal segment takes all of that meter and converts it into ammo. The more meter you sock away, the more powerful that ammo becomes. You can store up to three shots this way – one per meter banked. When you’re ready to fire, hold down to enter aiming mode. Releasing will fire your shot.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE: AXE JUGGLING
Now that you know how each special move works, how about a challenge? Craft an axe, take it into battle, and see how long you can keep that triple stack damage buff going. We recommend starting with a slow-moving Behemoth, but once you get that timing down you can practice this challenge wherever you hunt.
If you haven’t unlocked the axe yet, you can get there quickly by completing dailies, crafting new weapons, and upgrading the weapons you already have.
Let us know how you do by tweeting a video clip @playdauntless with #DauntlessAxeMaster. We’re looking forward to seeing those skills.