Combat for NieR: Automata features the basic and advanced combat mechanics of the game, this includes interactions, movement, and combat. 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 move and play the game on its own free will. 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.
NieR Automata Game Key Features
- Action-Packed Battles – Players will switch between using melee and ranged attacks in battle against hordes of enemies and challenging bosses across a variety of open field maps. The tight controls and incredibly fluid combat are simple to learn for newcomers while offering plenty of depth for more experienced action gamers. Players can perform high-speed battle actions—combining light and heavy attacks—and switch through an arsenal of weaponry while evading enemies with speed and style.
- Beautifully Desolate Open-World – The game seamlessly joins together hauntingly beautiful vistas and locations with no area loading. The environments are rendered in 60fps and contain a wealth of sub-events in addition to the main storyline.
- Masterfully Crafted Story and Characters – NieR: Automata tells the story of androids 2B, 9S, and A2 and their ferocious battle to reclaim a machine-driven dystopia overrun by powerful weapons known as machine lifeforms.
- Elements of an RPG – Players will obtain a variety of weapon types, level up in battle, learn new combat skills, and customize a loadout that caters to their playstyle.
- Utilize the Pod Support System to Assist In and Outside of Battle – Pods can attack the enemy in both manual and lock-on modes. They can also assist outside of battle, such as allowing the player to glide through the air. Pods can be enhanced throughout the game, with upgrades including new attack methods and variations.
- “Auto Mode” Available for Beginners – Novice players can elect “Auto Mode” for easy attacks and evasions.
NieR Automata Helpful Links for Combat
- Playable Characters: Learn about the playable characters in NieR Automata, discover their backstory, endings, how to unlock, combat tactics, and more.
- Skills: the Skills page covers detailed guides on the two types of skill categories, Pod Programs and Plug-in Chips. You'll find an informative table on the Skills page, to learn about levelling them up or fusing.
- Weapons: our Weapons page covers a full list of all the available weapons in NieR Automata, as well as information for a weapon's stats and where to find each one.
NieR Automata Combat Guide
Things You Need to Know in NieR Automata
Get Chippy by Installing Chips
Let's start by reminding you that you can alter your perks and abilities by installing Plug-in Chips for your favorite YoRHa android. As you progress throughout the game, you will find Plug-in Chips that will allow you to tinker with 2B's Perks and Abilities. Perks provide the playable character with extra bonuses such as more damage, item drops, increased defense, better evasion, unique abilities, and many more. As exciting as it may sound, you'll need to be smart with choosing which Plug-in Chip to use since you can only allocate a certain number of chips depending on the total number of memory you can use.
As far as Memory goes in NieR Automata, Shop Keepers or Merchants sell Memory, and purchasing these is a must to further expand the amount of Memory. More Memory means more Plug-in Chips! At some point in the game, you will acquire duplicates of a Plug-in Chip, and fusing two chips of the same kind at a shop further boosts the stats and/or bonuses, as well as decreases the amount of memory required for that chip. With a variety of Plug-in Chips, you can have a total of three sets that can be switched between while you roam around. Apart from that, players can also auto-equip a full set of chips that are tailored to a specific style of gameplay. Use this to your advantage so that you can quickly adapt to the situation you are in, especially during boss encounters.
What's Dead Isn't Lost
NieR: Automata can be challenging at times and eventually, you'll die and lose some of your items. Luckily, you can retrieve what you've lost as long as you return to the spot where you died and simply interact with your body to retrieve the item/s. You can do this while you are free roaming or during boss fights that trigger within the main story.
A prompt to recover your body when you walk over it will appear to recover the item/s — just be careful and make sure you don't die along the way as you try to return to the scene of your death, dying right before you retrieve your body will make the items disappear for good.
No Auto-Save in NieR: Automata - Beware!
Let it be known that in NieR: Automata, there is no Auto-Save feature! So always do a quick save and play the game with caution. The game does advise us about this with a small message when starting the game but it doesn't remind us about it later on. Always make a habit of manually saving the game via the menu when you are within safe areas or via the Access Points with Quick Save.
You can save your progress via Access Points, terminals in the Bunker, and manually saving via the pause menu — TIP: try to avoid dying during the Prologue section of the game since it doesn't have any save points that you can use to save your game, if you die, you'll get bumped back to the main menu and lose your progress.
Revive Fallen YoRHa Units: Online Co-op
Yes, NieR: Automata features a co-op mode (sort of) and unfortunately, the game doesn't fully explain this feature or even how it works. When the world finally opens up, where you can freely roam, you'll see a prompt to toggle Online Mode On or Off, we highly recommend that you turn it on and leave it on whenever you play so that you can trigger co-op play from other players who are currently online. As you roam around open areas, you will find bodies of YoRHa units, these are players who are online and recently died in their game.
As you approach a body, you have two options on what to do with it, you can Retrieve or Repair the player's body. Retrieving a body will instantly heal you and provide you with a buff based on what the dead body (player) has, and sometimes, you'll also acquire some G (Money) or items. If you choose to Repair a player's dead body, this will revive its body and an A.I. will help you in combat. After some time it will leave or die if its health is fully depleted during combat.
Combat Tips for NieR Automata
Combat Tactics for 2B
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.
Combat Tactics for 9S
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.
AI Partner in NieR Automata
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.
Pods are the Best Companion in NieR Automata
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.
Evading in NieR Automata
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.
Self-Destructing in NieR Automata
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.
NieR Automata Other FAQs
What year is it in NieR Automata?
NieR: Automata, the game, takes place in the future, in 11945 AD, and revolves around a proxy war between the human-made androids and an invading army of machines from another world.
What should I play before NieR Automata?
The universe of NieR takes place within an alternate timeline of the Drakengard series, if you want to know where the game takes inspiration from, and if you had the chance, try Drakengard, created and directed by the same director of NieR: Automata, Yokō Tarō. However, you can also try out the NieR: Replicant that is available in previous gen-consoles (PlayStation®4, Xbox One) and it is also available on PC and playable in current-gen consoles, PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Where can I watch NieR Automata Ver 1.1a Anime Series?
The Anime Series, NieR Automata Ver 1.1a is streaming on local channels for viewers in Japan, on the other hand, for international audiences, it is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Where can I play NieR Automata?
You can purchase a physical copy at your local game store or depending on your platform, purchase the digital version of the game. NieR Automata is currently available to play on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Is NieR Automata a PlayStation Exclusive?
No, NieR Automata is not exclusive to the PlayStation®4 or PlayStation®5, and it is currently available to play on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Who do you Play as in NieR Automata?
NieR Automata focuses on three Playable Characters, each having a total of three different Routes, containing multiple Endings. But for players who start their first gameplay, you will get to play as YoRHa 2B and follow her story as she teams up with YoRHa 9S to destroy the machines who have infiltrated Earth.
In NieR Automata a Dark Game?
Yes, NieR Automata is a dark and reflective game. Since you play as YoRHa androids who at first have a primary objective to destroy the machines that invaded Earth, the arc of each character shifts and they start to possess human personalities that they shouldn't have in the first place. They start to question their purpose, and their existence, they begin to have emotions, compassion towards the other machines, and so much more. The game also delivers different endings and we get to step into the shoes of three different Playable Characters, each with their sentiments of how they see the world as it is.
How to Hijack in NieR Automata?
In NieR Automata, hacking is the term used in the game. And players can only use the hacking ability when playing as YoRHa 9S during Route B. He is a scanner unit who can hack into an enemy's system to deal damage or stun them, and he can also unlock chests that require to be hacked. These chests contain special items that are useful in player progression and combat.
What are Replicants in NieR Automata?
In the original NieR, Replicants were new bodies that was created through Project Gestalt. This suggested that Project Gestalt was a success and were able to fuse with the replicants since in NieR Automata, we are told that the surviving humans flew to the moon after the invasion on Earth. However, in Route B, as you take control of 9S, we find out that Project Gestalt actually failed after Devola and Popola lost against the Shadowlord, this lead to the destruction of the project and ultimately, all the Devola and Popola android models gathered the Replicant data and sent it off to the moon as a beacon, this resulted as the data relay point that transmitted the human propaganda messages the YoRHa androids received.
How do I install the game, NieR Automata?
NieR Automata is available to be played on consoles such as PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®5, Nintendo Switch, and PC (via Steam). Depending on the platform you are using to play the game, players can simply insert the game disc or cartridge of the game, or you can simply download it online if you purchase the game digitally.
- Any Console: if you own the physical copy, simply insert the disc or cartridge in the console and it will automatically copy the content for you and it will notify you once it is playable.
- PlayStation: the game automatically downloads after you purchase it from the PS Store.
- Xbox: similar to PlayStation, purchasing the game via the Microsoft Store automatically downloads and installs the game.
- PC: purchase and download the game via Steam and choose which drive on your computer to install the game.
Should you play NieR Automata?
Should you play NieR Automata? The answer is yes, you should play NieR: Automata. Even though the game was released in 2017, the visuals, story, music, and art, make it stand on its own and was a successful game in its year. Gameplay is also similar to fans who love Hack-and-Slash games like Devil May Cry, and if you are trying to look for a Hack-and-Slash game to try out, the NieR Automata is the game you should get. A compelling story, a mesmerizing soundtrack, lovable characters, androids, and multiple endings that you can discover makes replayability worthwhile.
Is NieR Automata on Mobile?
NieR Automata is only available on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®5, Nintendo Switch, and PC (via Steam). However, fans of the NieR series can download a different NieR game that is only available for Mobile, NieR Re[in]carnation. It is available to download on the Google PlayStore for Android users, and the App Store for users who own an iPhone or iPad.
What do you do in NieR Automata?
You play as YoRHa android units YoRHa 2B, YoRHa 9S, and YoRHa A2, each having a different path where you are required to play complete each route before you can take control of the next YoRHa unit. The primary goal of YoRHa units 2B and 9S is to eliminate the threat of the machine that invaded Earth, to help out the resistance group of humans, and hopefully, reclaim the troubled planet. However, as you progress through the game, several challenges arise and uncover a secret that is beyond what these units have comprehended.
Is NieR Automata Good on the PS4?
The game is playable and in good condition to play on the PlayStation®4. The game originally released on 2017 and was tailored for the PlayStation®4.
Do you have to Grind in NieR Automata?
The answer is yes. You'll have to grind and play a number of hours in order to max out the player level of your character, or simply, to just increase the level to survive or fight high-level enemies or bosses. Yes, there is easy mode and you can finish the game casually. But for those who are looking for a challenge, you will have to grind for XP, Materials, Components, and Items if you want to create a strong build for your character.
Is NieR Automata Free on PC?
Unfortunately, NieR Autoamta is not free-to-play or is a free game to download on PC. Although, sometimes, Steam applies a discount on special occasions like Christmas, Autumn, or any holiday. So be sure to keep an eye out for an Steam Sale event and they might include NieR Automata in the list. You can also wishlist the game so that you get notified via email (if you are subscribed to Steam's newsletter or email updates) about the game being on sale.