One of my favourite things about multiplayer melee game Mordhau (opens in new tab) is its character creator. Rather than push you towards a set playstyle, it gives you a bunch of points to spend how you please, shared between armor, perks, weapons and consumables.
It’s a flexible system: if you wanted, you could create a heavily armored brute who only throws smoke bombs, or a fist fighter who restores health with every fatal right hook. But if you want to craft a playstyle that’s genuinely useful and won’t get boring after five rounds, it’s hard to know where to start.
Forget the sword and board. I’ve come up with five unconventional builds for both beginners and advanced players—they might not look like the most efficient, but they’re all fun to play and can genuinely have a big impact on any battle. Most of them are designed for Frontline, Mordhau’s main team-based mode, although some will work in duels too.
Check out our Mordhau tips (opens in new tab) for more general advice on mastering the medieval combat.
The front line Engineer
Bring the hammer down
- Armor: 2 head, 3 torso
- Blacksmith Hammer
- Perks: Wrecker, Smith
The default engineer class bores me. Carrying the toolbox lets you build spikes and wooden walls but limits your firepower. If you ditch it you can free up points for weapons and armor while keeping the Blacksmith Hammer to construct defences around control points. This puts you directly on the front line, where you’ll see more action.
Your armor and Greatsword make you a strong brawler, and you can switch between whacking on walls and lopping off heads whenever enemies get close. The Smith perk lets you build defences faster than usual, and you can repair a wall more quickly than a group of attackers can break it down, cancelling them out (see clip above).
The Wrecker perk comes in handy when you’ve pushed an enemy force back: You’ll deal extra damage to the other team’s structures, so you should lead the charge and smash down their defences. Your team can then flood through the gap.
The mauled Assassin(opens in new tab)
The backline bastard
- No armor
- Smoke bomb x 2
- Perks: Acrobat, Cat, Rat and Rush
Quick, nimble, and able to smash skulls in one swing, this build is perfect for zipping around enemy backlines, picking off archers and other stragglers. With zero armor to slow you down you can bounce from unsuspecting target to unsuspecting target, and the Rat perk dampens your footsteps so they won’t hear you coming.
You’d normally expect an assassin to carry daggers or a short sword, but it’s better to equip the slow-swinging maul, which will kill all enemies in one strike to the head.
Nearby enemies will spot you if you miss, so make sure you have an escape route planned out. Remember that enemies get a speed boost if they chase you and keep their cursor on your body—try to play around buildings or other objects that will break line of sight. Use your smoke bombs in sticky spots to slip away undetected.
This build isn’t useful in contested mid-fights, but I like switching to it when my team has been pushed back to our spawn. If you can slip round the side of your enemies then they won’t think to check behind them. It’s also especially good on Grad, where you can hide behind buildings and haystacks, you sneaky bastard.
The big ol' Archer
Stab, then swap to your bow
- Armor: 2 head, 2 torso
- Recurve bow
- Messer (or your favourite five-point weapon)
- No perks
Archers don’t have to cower on the back lines. With this build you can both hang out at mid-range hitting headshots and push forward into the front lines to support your teammates. With a balance of armor and speed, you can go where you’re needed most: If you see an ally battling two opponents, wade in with your Messer. If enemies are holding strong in a choke point, pull out your bow and thin them out. You won’t deal lots of damage, but chipping away at enemies will help your allies, and I often lead my team in assists when I use this build.
In more open fights, you can walk around with your sword out to fool the enemy team. When an opponent comes sprinting towards you, quickly swap to your bow to soften them up. They won’t expect it, especially if you make your character look like a melee expert. Pile on the pounds in the character creator and pick a scary helmet. A cheap tactic, maybe, but we all know that chivalry is dead.
The ultimate Battle Medic
The heartbeat of your team
- Armor: 3 head, 3 torso, 1 legs
- Medic Bag x 3
- Perks: Friendly, Fireproof, Tenacious
- No weapons
Running into battle brandishing a cloth sack sounds silly, but you’ll nearly always pass a sword or spear on your way to the front. When you see one you want, throw down your first medic bag and pick up the weapon. The bag will act as a healing station for retreating allies.
After that, your job is to place your bags in spots that allies can reach, but enemies can’t. Behind structures or buildings is a safe bet, and will protect your team from arrows while they’re healing. Sticking one in the middle of a control point is usually a bad idea unless you’re actively pushing the enemy off the point and want to keep the momentum rolling.
Using this build will nearly always put you near the top of the leaderboard—Medic Bags are fairly rare in Frontline mode, and your team will jump on any they see. The bags vanish after they’ve healed a certain amount so you should keep returning to supply bins to stock up, giving your team a constant stream of HP. Heavy armor and the Tenacious perk should keep you alive, as long as you’re not too aggressive.
The Short Spear Soldier
- Armor: 1 head, 1 torso
- Short Spear x 3
- Perks: Huntsman
The Short Spear is my favourite weapon in Mordhau. Its quick stabs are surprisingly powerful: One thrust to the head can end an unarmored foe. Best of all, you can throw it javelin-style by pressing R and it’ll deal even more damage.
With this build, you should play tucked in behind heavily-armored allies, picking off flankers and retreating foes. Because you’re close to your targets you won’t miss many throws: Don’t get too greedy with headshots, because hitting their chest will often be enough. Just remember to retrieve your spears after you throw them, and always keep hold of one for hand-to-hand combat. If you see a teammate getting double-teamed, dive in.
Mordhau sadly doesn’t have Jarate, but you can grab the Hunstman perk to boost your damage against archers. Focus on any that are being a nuisance.
If you’ve come up with an enjoyable, unconventional build, tell me about it in the comments below.