Backstabbing is a big risk for any character in Dark Souls II because it almost instantly results in death. Here, we’ll give you a few tips on how you can protect yourself, turn the tables, and become the assassin, without leaving your back vulnerable to attack.
Avoid attacks from behind
Out of nowhere, a sword can fly into your back, sending your life bar plummeting to zero. It’s not uncommon to find yourself in this situation at one time or another in Dark Souls II; even a seemingly harmless opponent can master the technique if you turn your back on them.
If you don’t want them to come in for the kill, you need to move cautiously without turning a blind eye to any enemies. A lifeless skeleton, for example, can quickly get up, track you, and hit you with a deadly blow–usually from behind–as soon as you pass it.
Mark your enemies, so that the camera automatically focuses on them.
If you see a potential enemy, mark them by clicking the right analog stick of your controller. A small circle will appear on the center of your enemy. The advantage is that the camera automatically aligns itself with the selected enemy. As a result, they can’t get behind you, but that doesn’t mean that the enemy is alone, and you still need to be careful.
Inflicting a deathblow
To perform a backstabbing attack yourself, mark your enemies (as described above). Observe their movements. If the enemy attempts a heavy blow, roll under the attack; this quickly puts you behind them.
Unlike in Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, this immediately sets you up in the right position to launch a backstab attack. First, start with a normal blow. This gives the opponent a fraction of a second to escape the mortal blow. From there, you can inflict a subsequent blow which will literally impale your enemy and cause considerable damage.
Backstabs work with most simple enemies, as well as with most weapons, particularly handy, fast weapons like daggers. Large enemies or bosses, however, are usually unimpressed by these sorts of attacks. Against these enemies, you have to find other methods, and we’ve attempted to do just that with our 8 tips for surviving Dark Souls II.
Dark Souls II backstabs can easily make or break you
Backstabs are a basic element of Dark Souls II. Whoever can master them has a great advantage. Those who neglect this serious danger will die more often than not. This applies not only against computer-operated enemies, but also in the PvP (player-versus-player) battles. Be on guard and faster than your opponent if you want to survive these deadly blows.