Combat for Nier: Automata is covered on this page. The game's fast paced combat is combo based and makes use of a variety of Weapons. The game takes different perspectives, from 3rd person action, to sidescroller, to shoot em up. The bulk of the game's combat takes place in the 3rd person perspective.

For players who want to coast and just watch the game play out like a movie, you can equip auto Plug-in Chips that will effectively make the android Playable Characters to play the game for you.

When you die the game's Reliquary System features a mechanic similar to the Dark Souls series where you can return to the site of your death to recover gear.



2B is able to carry two different weapons at once. Each weapon type has a light attack combo and a heavy attack combo.

The first weapon equipped will always perform its light attack combo, and the second weapon equipped will always perform its heavy attack combo.

It's also possible to vary the combo by variating the timing of your button presses (similar to Devil May Cry) and you can perform combination attacks.

To perform a combination attack, press triangle during a light attack combo. There's a unique combination attack for every combination of two weapons:

Small Sword + Small Sword

Small Sword + Large Sword

Small Sword + Spear

Small Sword + Combat Bracers

Large Sword + Large Sword

Large Sword + Spear

Large Sword + Combat Bracers

Spear + Spear

Spear + Combat Bracers

Combat Bracers + Combat Bracers

Changing the order in which the weapons are equipped does not change the combination attack.

9S does not have heavy attacks or combination attack, but can instead Hack. Hack when you're close to an enemy to trigger a Bullet Hell mini game.

If you manage to complete the mini game, the target will blow up, damaging nearby units. If you hacked an enemy that didn't notice you, you also get the option to convert or remote control the enemy.

Tougher enemies require several button presses before they can be hacked, and they offer tougher mini games. Not all enemies can be insta-killed by Hacking them.

Several Plug-in Chips offer effects that are specific to Hacking, and if you have an Auto-Heal Chip equipped, then you will likely be fully healed at the end of the Hack. 

Being defeated in the mini game costs about 25% of your health. You can be defeated by absorbing three separate hits or failing to kill the target within the time limit.


A lot of damage in Nier Automata is dealt by means of Pod Fire. Pod Fire comes in 3 types: Machine Gun - Laser - Homing Missiles, depending on the equipped Pod.

You start out with Machine Gun. Machine Gun pellets are accurate but decrease in damage at long ranges. Using Lock-on helps with aiming but creates bullet spread.

Pod Programs are special abilities that require some time to recharge after being used. There are multiple programs that may be acquired, and you begin with "Laser".

Pressing L1 triggers a unique Pod Program. By holding L1 you can charge up the Pod Program. Acquiring additional Pods, increases the number of possible charges.


Mounts can be used against enemies. Use the sprinting button to set up a powerful charge attack. Pod Fire is enabled when using mounts.


Many enemies can fire energy volleys at the player. Those energy volleys come in two types: "Regular Red" and "Dark Red".

Regular Red energy volleys can be countered by pod fire and melee attacks, while Dark Red energy volleys can only be countered by melee attacks.


Evades can be performed by pressing R2 on the PS4. Evading is in itself quite simple, and you can evade most attacks by repeatedly pressing R2.

You are however briefly vulnerable right after an evade, when you can be damaged by nearby projectiles. It's best to avoid large projectile clusters!

You cannot attack and evade at the same time, so only attack after evading all attacks. R2 can also be used to dash forward in mid-air.

Pressing dash while moving will allow you to sprint. Maintaining this sprint for about 4-5 seconds will slightly increase its speed, indicated by slight motion blur. Hitting obstacles such as bushes or small rocks will cause you to stumble, breaking your sprint.

Pressing the light attack button while sprinting initiates a charge attack. If you press R2 while in mid-air you will automatically perform a back dash.

By pressing R2 and Square at the same time, you will perform a special attack. Press Square or Triangle after an evade to perform a counter attack.

Counter attacks vary based on which weapons you've got equipped. Having a weapon set as either heavy, or light, also changes the counter attack.


At several points in the game you will do combat while inside a YoRHa Fighter. YoRHa Fighters share many of the protagonist's basic functions.

Pressing R2 will perform an evade. R1 will trigger machine gun fire. The Fighter has light and heavy melee attacks, while L1 is a special attack.

The YoRHa Fighter has two modes in which it can fight: "airplane" and "mech". Switching happens automatically and it changes melee attacks.

The mech form can fire in a 360° angle, while the airplane form can only fire at targets directly in front. Fighters don't have combination attacks. 


There will be moments when you will be accompanied by other characters. You can select their orientation in combat with the following options:

  • Balanced
  • Close-range
  • Long-range
  • Aggressive
  • Cautious
  • Passive

The secondary character cannot die, making Aggressive the most useful combat orientation.

But, aggressive characters will attack every enemy, even enemies that haven't been aggroed.


It's possible to self destruct by holding L3 and R3. For 2B and 9S this triggers a powerful explosion, undoing them of their precious pants.

Self destructing doesn't actually kill you as you will retain 1 health, but you'll remain crippled for a while, and only be able to use your pod.

Doing the same for A2, instead triggers Berserk Mode. This greatly increases her attack at the cost of lowered defense and health sapping.


Dying in the field will cause you to drop all of your equipped Plug-in Chips (in an android corpse). The same does not apply to boss fights.

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    • Anonymous

      To do a Rising Attack with 2B or A2, press JUMP and, before the jump animation starts, then press HEAVY ATTACK.
      To do the same with 9S, press JUMP and, before the jump animation starts, then press LIGHT ATTACK.

      Rising attack can throw the enemy in the air: while it's flying, the enemy cannot counter your attack. It's totally defenseless.
      So a good combo will be like: Rising Attack, then, with the enemy still in the air, continually press LIGHT ATTACK to do a mid-air light attack combo.

      BONUS: Rising Attack makes you jump really high. So, if you want to reach a very high place, instead of double jumping, try Rising Attack and the JUMP.

      • Anonymous

        9S does have Heavy attacks. They require a short pause after the first attack, then you can continue and he'll do his heavy combo.

        • Anonymous

          Flight units can swap weapons based on pods you have unlocked. Press pod switch in flight unit to swap between machine gun/homing missiles/piercing laser

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