What are the best skills in Devil May Cry 5? What skills should you be spending your red orbs on unlocking? What's the most effective way to play each of the game's three characters? In this in-depth guide, we're going to try and answer all of these questions. We're going to breakdown the skills that you absolutely have to buy, as well as outline character strengths and play styles. If you're totally new to Devil May Cry, or even if your skills are just rusty, this guide will hopefully help highlight your path through what can be quite a difficult game.
But before we get into the details, let's first cover the basics of combat in Devil May Cry 5 with some tips and tricks.
Devil May Cry 5 Combat Basics - Tips and Tricks
Below, we've listed a number of tips and tricks that every demon hunter should utilise. Whichever character you're playing as, make sure that you don't forget the basics, regardless of the situation.
It's all about timing
Like in a fighting game, correct timing is absolutely key to finding success in Devil May Cry 5. Whether it's stringing together a combo or evading an incoming attack, always keep timing in mind. Remember, you can only do one thing at a time -- you can't just magically evade while you're in the middle of a sword swing. It obviously comes with practice, but you need to know when to act appropriately.
This leads us neatly to...
Keep your eyes on your enemy
This seems like an obvious point, but when a game's as good looking as Devil May Cry 5, you can easily get distracted in battle. Try to keep your eyes on your enemy at all times and learn how best to react to their actions. This is especially true of bosses, as they each have their own attack patterns and telling signs that they're about to do something crazy.
While the enemies in Devil May Cry 5 don't quite signal their attacks as blatantly as foes in other actions titles such as Monster Hunter, for example, you can usually tell when something dangerous is about to happen. When in doubt, hit that dodge button.
Speaking of which...
Reposition with dodges and jumps, don't get surrounded
Many of Devil May Cry 5's combat scenarios pit you against groups of enemies, and so it's extremely important to have some idea of where each foe is positioned. One of the easiest ways to get killed during standard encounters is to be surrounded.
As such, you should always be thinking about dodging and jumping in order to find a more advantageous position on the battlefield. Sometimes you'll be fighting in tight corridors or small rooms that make this task a lot harder than it seems, but it should be noted that your dodges in particular leave you invulnerable for quite a generous amount of time. If you're really stuck and you're about to get destroyed from every angle, you can do a lot worse than spam your sideways dodge as a last resort.
Oh, and when it comes to actually keeping track of your enemies...
Consider moving the camera farther from your character
Buried in the gameplay options menu, which you can access at any time during gameplay, is the ability to position the camera. The lower you move this slider, the closer the camera will be to your character during gameplay. The higher you move this slider, the farther the camera will be from your character. If you're having trouble keeping track of enemy groups during combat, we'd recommend moving the camera back so that you can see more of the battlefield.
You don't always have to be locked on
With the default control scheme, you can lock on to an enemy by holding down the R1 button. Being locked on provides a number of essential benefits, most notably: you can only dodge when locked on and your attacks will automatically track to your opponent when locked on.
However, this doesn't mean that you should always be locked on to an enemy. In some situations, being locked on is for the best -- against single targets or bosses, for example -- but if you're fighting a group of foes, not locking on allows you to move freely, which can prove to be a massive help when repositioning.
When you're ready to go one-on-one with your opponent and dish out some real damage, opt for the lock on. If not, use free movement to better set yourself up for the action.
In the beginning, don't worry too much about your style rating
As you rack up combos and pull off increasingly impressive attacks in Devil May Cry 5, your style rating will improve. It goes from Dismal to Crazy to Badass to Apocalyptic to Savage, and even beyond if you're really feeling it. A higher style rating nets you bonus red orbs, but if you're new to the game, try not to worry too much about getting a high rank.
At first, it's best to just get an overall feel for the game. Combos will come naturally in time and you'll gradually start to work out which attacks suit specific situations. If you're totally new to Devil May Cry or you're just not very experienced with action games in general, your priority should be survival. Learn to play it relatively safe, don't go in too hard, and then once you're comfortable with the controls and how enemies tend to behave, you can start working towards the craziest of combos.
In other words, learn to walk before you try to run.
Devil May Cry 5 Character Advice - How to Best Play Nero, V, and Dante
In this section of the guide, we're going to highlight the strengths of each playable character in Devil May Cry 5. Utilising these strengths should help give you an edge in battle and help you understand how to best use Nero, V, and Dante.
Nero is the game's most straightforward character, but don't mistake 'straightforward' for 'simple'. What we mean is that Nero is probably the easiest character to learn on a fundamental level, and that's probably why the game starts you out playing as him.
Nero has two primary weapons, both of which are easy to understand. His sword, named Red Queen, can be swung quickly and is capable of dishing out big damage with both singular attacks and combos. For long-range attacks, Nero has a large, revolver-like gun named Blue Rose, which can be fired indefinitely to either keep enemies at bay, or deal continuous damage at a distance.
Nero also has access to Devil Breakers -- mechanical arms that each provide a different technique. The Overture, for example, lets off a blast of electricity, while the Gerbera gives you the ability to boost through the air. Before each mission, be sure to equip the Devil Breakers that best suit your style of play, or at least try to go with the arms that you're most comfortable using.
Keep in mind, however, that Devil Breakers can break if Nero is hit by an attack while he's using one. If this happens, you'll automatically switch to your next Devil Breaker. You can also find Devil Breakers throughout missions. Pick one up, and it'll be equipped automatically.
The last main component of Nero's arsenal is his grappling wire. This wire shoots from his Devil Breaker arm, and can be used to either drag lesser enemies to your position, or pull Nero towards a bigger foe. That said, some enemies may simply deflect the wire, so don't rely on it in every encounter.
How to play Nero effectively
Here are some key points on how to play Nero:
- Don't worry about breaking Devil Breakers. They're easy to find lying around, and you can purchase more from Nico. Even if you run the risk of breaking them, you're better off actually using Devil Breakers when you have them instead of never utilising their power. In some circumstances, Devil Breakers can make all the difference, whether you need the extra damage in a combo or a quick and reliable attack in a desperate situation.
- Use the grappling wire to sustain combos and damage. When it comes to the majority of smaller enemies, Nero's grappling wire is the difference maker. In between combos or during, use the wire to keep your target under constant pressure. This works especially well when you're in the air, as many enemies won't be able to reach you as you continue to dish out the pain.
- The Blue Rose's charge shot can open enemies up. If you find yourself under pressure, try charging up Nero's Blue Rose by holding down its assigned button. When charged, the Blue Rose will fire what is essentially an explosive round, and you get three of these for every charge. These powerful blasts can often be enough to stagger smaller foes, or even open up the defences of bosses or bigger enemies. If your sword can't get through, take a shot.
- Aerial combos keep you out of harm's way. Launching an opponent into the air and following them to deal additional damage with a combo is one of the safest strategies in Nero's playbook. In the air, many enemies won't be able to hit you with their attacks, so if there's a specific, lesser foe that you want to deal with first, it's usually a good idea to launch them and then take them out of the equation.
V plays very differently to any other playable character to ever feature in Devil May Cry as a series. Instead of getting up close and personal with his enemies, V can stay at a relatively safe distance and simply command his pet demons to do the fighting for him. V's fighting style can seem tricky to grasp at first, but he's not all that difficult to use well once you've got the hang of his abilities.
V has two primary demons: Griffon, your long-range attacker, and Shadow, your melee-based attacker. These two demons essentially function as weapons -- each one being assigned to a single face button -- but they move around the battlefield on their own. Most of the time, the two demons tend to move close to the targeted enemy unless you're giving them commands.
It should also be noted that both Griffon and Shadow have their own health bars, situated below V's. If they take too much damage, the demons will be temporarily removed from combat. Having V stand closer to their crystallised form will speed up the recovery process if the demons are knocked out.
On top of Griffon and Shadow, V has a third demon called Nightmare, who basically acts as his ultimate technique. In order to summon Nightmare, you'll need at least three full Devil Trigger bars. Once summoned, Nightmare will go about his own business, shooting powerful lasers and throwing out huge physical attacks. Once V's Devil Trigger runs out, Nightmare will disappear.
A side effect of having Nightmare enter the battle, Griffon and Shadow will have their health restored. This makes Nightmare an incredibly effective tool in turning the tide of a particularly difficult battle.
V's demons may do the fighting for him, but they're unable to actually kill off enemies. When playing as V, your only option when finishing a foe is to go in and do it yourself. Fortunately, V can teleport to foes by locking onto them.
How to play V effectively
Here are some key points on how to play V:
- Stay at a safe distance. Without his demons by his side, V has no real way to defend himself. Stay out of the danger zone when possible, and have V overlook the battle from a distance. If enemies break off from your demons and head for V, use his double jump to reposition.
- Use Griffon and Shadow at the same time. Unlike Nero and Dante, V can use his two primary "weapons" -- Griffon and Shadow -- in unison. By hitting both of their assigned buttons at once, you can have both demons attack at the same time.
- Never forget about Nightmare. Nightmare is the ace up V's sleeve. When the going gets rough, or when you just want to deal some big damage, summon Nightmare and watch as your enemies crumble. Having Nightmare in play can reverse even the most dire of situations.
- Get Griffon and Shadow out of danger by dodging. If Griffon or Shadow are getting beat up and their health is running low, you can pull them out of battle and back to your position. For Griffon, simply perform a double jump and he'll return to you. For Shadow, perform a sideways dodge to immediately call him back.
- Recall Griffon and Shadow to heal them. If your demons are looking a little weary, you can call them back using the abovementioned techniques, and then stay near them in order to heal their wounds. The closer V is to his pets, the better the healing.
Dante is the most complex of Devil May Cry 5's three playable characters. Using him efficiently and effectively means taking advantage of his ability to switch between both weapons and fighting styles on the fly.
That's not to say, however, that constantly switching weapons and styles is the best way to use Dante. It's very possible to get great results out of Dante by focusing on just a couple or weapons and one or two styles at a time. You just need to know how to get the most out of them.
Dante has access to four styles in total: Trickster, Swordsman, Gunslinger, and Royal Guard. Each one comes with its own specific actions.
Trickster adds evasive techniques that are great for avoiding incoming attacks, repositioning, and chasing down enemies.
Swordmaster adds additional melee attacks that are great for enhancing combos.
Gunslinger allows Dante to deal additional damage from range with his guns, making them more viable as standard damage dealing tools.
Royal Guard gives Dante the ability to block incoming attacks and counter. However, these techniques require a portion of the Devil Trigger gauge.
On top of his styles, Dante has access to a total of four melee weapons and four ranged weapons. The easiest melee weapon to use is his sword, which is good for basic combos and does reasonable damage. Next up is Balrog -- armour comprised of gauntlets and greaves. The Balrog allows for especially fast melee attacks that are great for adding to your combos.
Dante's third melee weapon is Cavaliere, a demonic motorbike that splits in two to form two huge chainsaw-like blades. This thing's slow but deadly, and can cleave through more defensive enemies.
Dante's fourth and final melee weapon is Cerberus, a shapeshifting set of elementally-charged nunchakus that serve a variety of uses depending on their current form. Cerberus is perhaps best utilised as a tool for rounding off Dante's arsenal, filling the gaps when you need extra hits or high damage. It's probably the most advanced melee weapon available to Dante.
As for his ranged weapons, Dante brings the heat. His iconic Ebony and Ivory twin pistols are easy to use and can juggle enemies that have been launched into the air. Meanwhile, Coyote-A is a stagger-inducing shotgun that's best used at close range. It can deal chunky damage and open up an enemy's defence.
Faust Hat is the third ranged weapon that Dante acquires. Unlike any other armament in the game, the Faust Hat eats up your red orbs to dish out some super stylish attacks. It's a crazy weapon, but it's best left for more advanced players purely because of its ability to chew through your red orbs -- and you need those things to unlock skills.
Dante's final ranged weapon is the Kalina Ann 2, which is perhaps the most straightforward of the bunch. This rocket launcher fires a single projectile at a time, dealing a decent chunk of damage on impact. Good for finishing off a combo.
How to play Dante effectively
Here are some key points on how to play Dante:
- To start with, focus on one style at a time. Dante can be an overwhelming character at first, and so your best bet is to concentrate on learning one style at a time. Pick the style that sounds the most appealing, and roll with it until you're comfortable.
- When in doubt, switch weapons. Dante's immediate set of moves may seem quite limited compared to Nero's, but this is because switching weapons is key to keeping up his combos and keeping the pressure on your opponents. Weapons can be switched at any time in between attacks, meaning that with Dante, you can seriously dig deep into Devil May Cry 5's combat system. The combinations are almost endless, so if you find your offence to be somewhat stunted, try switching weapons and continuing the attack. The best way to work Dante out is to experiment with what you have.
- Consider the enemy, then use the tool that best fits the job. Devil May Cry 5 has a wide range of enemies that are ready to ruin your day, so switching to the right weapon for each specific situation is where Dante truly shines. If you're up against a familiar enemy, think about how they attack and when they're vulnerable. If they're defensive, break out the shotgun. If they're a basic foe but they've got friends, whip out your sword and get launching to take them out of the game. If you want to master Dante, you need to consider what you're up against and find the most effective tool at your disposal.
Devil May Cry 5 - Best Skills to Unlock
What skills should you spend your red orbs on in Devil May Cry 5? In this part of the guide, we're going to look at the skills that you should prioritise when spending your red orbs at the in-game shop. These are the skills that are either crucial to getting the most out of a character's fighting style, or are just so good that they shouldn't be ignored.
Essential skills for Nero:
- Wire Snatch 2/Wire Snatch 3 - Upgrades Nero's grappling wire with extra reach. The difference between the base reach and the increase with Wire Snatch 2 is noticeable, with Wire Snatch 3 being even more obvious. Since the wire is so crucial to Nero's combos, increasing its range is a no-brainer. Fully upgraded, you can snag enemies from across some of the widest arenas.
- Air Hike - Gives Nero a double jump, adding extra evasion while in the air. Being able to drop an aerial combo and instantly jump away can make a huge difference during tough battles, and especially against bosses.
- Streak - Streak is often Nero's best bet at getting in close to enemies. Not only does it propel Nero forward at speed, it also does good damage and the slash has a wide arc, meaning that it's able to hit multiple enemies. Fantastic for breaking up groups of foes and for keeping combos alive on the ground once you've knocked an opponent away.
Great skills for Nero:
- Table Hopper/Table Hopper 2 - The timing takes a little practice, but Table Hopper essentially grants Nero a perfect way to counterattack. Table Hopper 2 lets you perform an additional dodge after evading, allowing you to get out of some very sticky situations if you're able to nail the timing.
- Color Up 2/Color Up 3 - These upgrades give Blue Rose a chunky kick when firing off your explosive bullets. A great way to open up enemies or stagger them.
- Red Queen Combo B/C/D - Red Queen is always going to be your main source of damage and the linchpin of Nero's entire moveset. The more options you have, the better, with Red Queen Combo C is especially great at scattering groups of lesser foes.
- Roulette Spin - Perfect for adding a bit of style to your aerial combos, and performing it actually pulls you a little higher into the air, which is always a relatively safe place to be.
- Shuffle - This one takes a bit of practice before it really starts to shine, but master it and you've arguably got one of Nero's best moves. With precise timing, it allows you to avoid attacks and strike back with a powerful blow. If you get to know the behaviour of tougher enemies and even bosses, Shuffle can be a beastly tool.
- Payline - Another excellent attack, Payline allows Nero to strike grounded foes from the air. The best part is that Nero goes straight through enemy attacks as he's performing it.
- Hard Way - Another attack that takes some getting used to but is well worth practising, Hard Way gives you an different option when it comes to closing the distance between you and your target. The twist here is that unlike Streak, Hard Way doesn't blow the enemy away -- it slams them into the ground, opening them up for more attacks.
- Calibur - One of Nero's most powerful strikes, Calibur presents another air-to-ground attack. It's a damn good choice when it comes to finishing off a tougher foe.
Essential skills for V:
- Trigger Heart - The Devil Trigger gauge depletes at a slower rate with this skill, meaning that Nightmare can rampage for longer. There's simply no reason not to snap this up, given how powerful Nightmare is.
Great skills for V:
- Promotion - Riding atop Nightmare gives V total invincibility.
- Royal Fork - Royal Fork allows V to kill multiple weakened enemies instead of just one. It also comes out fast and can add a huge boost to your style rating.
- Flank Attack - With this, Griffon gets an easy way to launch smaller enemies while also doing decent damage to tougher foes.
- Double Check/Double Check 2 - One of Griffon's most powerful attacks, Double Check has a real punch to it, and it can hit multiple enemies if you deploy it at the right angle.
- Griffon Vigor - Gives Griffon more health. Ideally, Griffon and Shadow aren't getting hit too often to begin with, but this and its subsequent upgrade give you a lot more room for error.
- Breakthrough - A great way to get Shadow from one side of the battle to the other, all while dealing good damage.
- Hedgehog - Deadly against groups of enemies, Hedgehog also has huge range.
- Guillotine - Makes Shadow a force to be reckoned with while attacking airborne enemies or larger foes. Guillotine hits a bunch of times and tears through weaker demons.
- Skewer - One of Shadow's most powerful strikes, Skewer is usually either going to stagger or outright kill lesser enemies. What's more, its range is ridiculous.
- Shadow Vigor - Gives Shadow more health. Ideally, Shadow and Griffon aren't getting hit too often to begin with, but this and its subsequent upgrade give you a lot more room for error.
- Domination - Pretty much the most devastating attack in V's arsenal, Domination allows Nightmare to shoot a giant laser. Annihilates lesser foes and, given proper aiming, tears through bosses.
Essential skills for Dante:
- Air Hike - Gives Dante a double jump. The extra evasive option is a good enough reason, but being able to jump away from danger while in the middle of an air combo is too useful to pass up.
- Trigger Heart - Dante's Devil Trigger gauge depletes at a slower rate with this. Given the power of Dante's Devil Trigger, this is an obvious choice.
- Stinger/Stinger 2 - Allows Dante to get in close with a fast, powerful attack. A must for linking sword combos and starting your offensive.
- TS Style 2/3/4, SM Style 2/3/4, GS Style 2/3/4, RG Style 2/3/4 - These skills upgrade each of Dante's four styles. They give you extra abilities depending on the style, amplifying that style's effectiveness. If you want to maximise Dante's potential, you need to upgrade your favourite style(s) to get the most out of them.
Great skills for Dante:
- Million Stab - An easy way to rack up some combos and does good damage to boot. The fact that it comes after such an effective attack like Stinger is the icing on the cake.
- Bantam Revenge - With the right timing, Bantam Revenge begins to transform Balrog into an especially beastly weapon. Allows you to go toe-to-toe with even the most aggressive foe and land a swift, powerful hit while dodging incoming blows.
- Fly Dragon - A follow up to Balrog's primary means of getting in close to an enemy. Powerful and smashes enemies away.
- Rolling Blaze - May not seem like much, but the small blast that Rolling Blaze lets off as Dante jumps can be enough to interrupt groups of enemies and give you an escape option -- or a surprise opening.
- Ignition 2 - Ignition powers Balrog up as you land more and more hits. With this skill, Balrog can melt enemies if you're in the zone and pulling off crazy melee combos.
- Slipstream - A deadly way to start your offence with Cavaliere. Even just as Dante is moving forward, enemies will get caught up in the attack.
- Highside - Pretty much Cavaliere's best standalone aerial attack, Highside can do big damage, and it keeps Dante out of harm's way for a time.
- Idling - A super strong combo that wrecks lesser enemies and does big damage to bosses, even if it is on the slow side.
- Revolver - A deadly attack that comes from the air, Revolver has multiple hits, it's fast, and it racks up damage quickly. A great combo ender.
- Ice Age - An effective way to get a little breathing room, Ice Age summons a small storm of ice to protect Dante for a short time. Also hits any surrounding enemies multiple times and pushes them away.
- Long Revolver - Revolver's good on its own, but Long Revolver is especially brutal. Takes a little while to charge, but if you've got the time and space, it's a monster.
So who's your favourite character to play as in Devil May Cry 5? What are your favourite skills? If you've got any tips or tricks of your own, be sure to share your knowledge in the comments section below.