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.
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.
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.
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:
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.