A new Elden Ring mod completely overhauls melee combat in the RPG game with a whole range of new systems including deflections, sword clashing, step dodges, and perilous attacks that are inspired by both Sekiro and Bloodborne. The mod also includes several reworks to major Elden Ring bosses designed to make them better suit the new combat.
The Sword Mastery total combat overhaul mod by creator AntiSteak is an incredible feat of modding, with a full kit of reworks and new systems. Many of the game’s melee weapons have seen their movesets dramatically altered, with a range of new attacks and combos. Some moves will allow you to initiate a combo branch, which can lead to follow through attacks, guard frames, parry frames, charge moves, or delayed attacks.
The deflection system is described as a much more dramatic rebuild from an initial prototype which adopted Sekiro’s deflects into the open-world game. Upon deflecting successive attacks, you gain a period of improved stamina regeneration. AntiSteak explains that this provides ample reward, but prevents trivialising encounters as players cannot simply knock away a series of very heavy attacks in quick succession. An icon is displayed to show your deflect window, allowing users to easily see how the mechanic works.
Weapon clashes can occur when two opposing forces both swing at the same time. Whoever lands their attack first will follow through with their attack, while the opponent is forced into a deflect animation. There are a total of six different deflect categories depending on the weapons involved, from quick-recovering but short-lasting deflects with light weapons through to long, fancy deflects with heavy guard frame windows when using colossal swords and greatswords.
Dodging has been reworked, too, with the new system implementing a blend of the Sekiro forward step, Bloodborne side-to-side dashes, and the classic quickstep already found in Elden Ring and Dark Souls III. Meanwhile, bosses have been equipped with “true perilous attacks” that see them glow white in the windup – these cannot be deflected and they deal 40% more raw damage than normal on hit, but if you can successfully dodge them you earn the opportunity to chain into a guard counter attack and punish your foe.
There are also unique infusions, each of which can alter your weapon’s playstyle in distinct ways. Once again, this is too deep to explain in full, so we recommend you check out the mod’s full description. Some examples are keen infusions, which enable use of a Iaijutsu quick-draw deflect; quality infusions, which turn certain weapons into left-handed blocking tools with unique combos; and bleed infusions, which cause you to lose health when attacking but apply an attack speed and lifesteal buff while under a certain life threshold.
You’ll need every advantage you can get, too, because most of the main bosses have been reworked. Some have been made faster and more aggressive – AntiSteak notes that this is not about making them harder, but better allows them to play off the new combat systems.
They also recommend a rough order to take on the major boss fights based on the estimated difficulty post-reworks. In addition, dynamic boss cameras have been implemented for several of the bosses that the mod focuses on. These aim to increase player visibility during the fights while also adding “a level of cinematic flair” to the encounters.
If this high-precision mod seems a little too intense for your liking, another Elden Ring mod adds DnD style classes with their own unique sets of powerful abilities. The fantasy game’s community are also on the hunt for a new home for Elden Ring PvP, so if you have any favourite locations then perhaps consider chiming in.