Overcome the demons of Nier Replicant with this combat guide

There are various Nier Replicant weapons, spells, and more at your disposal in Yoko Taro's upgraded action-RPG. Developer Toylogic has excelled in updating the combat system from the original Nier, making the combat faster, more satisfying, and more like 2017's Nier: Automata.

When you unlock all three Nier Replicant weapon types, you can switch between them at will, even in the middle of combat. Combined with magical Sealed Verses, you have lots of different ways to defeat the demons that stand in your way. Despite that, knowing when to dodge-roll and when to parry is essential, so find out everything you need to know about all that and more in this Nier Replicant combat guide.

Nier Replicant weapons guide: Types, spells, and more

(Image credit: Square Enix)

One-handed sword

Best for: Bosses

One-handed swords offers the fastest combos of Nier's weapon types, but be warned that it's the only type available for the first half of the game. Both light and heavy weapon combos are very fast, but, one-handed weapons lack the range and power of the other types. That said, you can shore up your damage output and give yourself some range with the Sealed Verses you unlock during the first half of the game.

Two-handed sword

Best for: Armoured enemies

Two-handed swords are tend to be significantly more powerful than one-handed swords and lances. But Nier struggles to control these heavy weapons, which leads to slowly-executed combos. Whether it's worth the speed trade-off is something you'll constantly need to assess. Two-Handed Swords also lack a true aerial combo, and generally, you should learn how to dodge and guard out of long attack animations fast. 

However, if you're facing an enemy that guards a lot or has armour, you'll be able to break through easily with the two-hander.


Best for: Mobs

Lances boast a nice balance of attack power and speed. However, the real strength of the lance comes in its sweeping attacks. Light attacks are forward-thrusting and can do a lot of damage, while heavy attacks sweep the lance around you. 

The versatility of these combos makes the lance best for cutting down mobs of Shades without too much difficulty.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Sealed Verses

Sealed Verses are the magic spells your floating-book-companion, Weiss, will learn in the first half of the game. Most Sealed Verses, like Dark Fist and Dark Whirlwind, are offensive in nature and supplement your damage output. Others, like Dark Wall and Dark Gluttony, reduce the damage you take.

Which Sealed Verses you end up using will depend on your playstyle. You could use Dark Fist with the one-handed sword to help break defences, or Dark Gluttony to suck up enemy bullets while pulling off a combo with the two-handed sword. The choice is up to you.

Dodges, guarding, and parrying

While attacking is important, knowing when to protect yourself can be even more so. You can dodge away from enemy attacks, but you should also try your hand at guarding. Guarding right before an enemy hits results in a parry, knocking your enemies back and opening them up for a counter-attack. It's helpful for any enemy giving you trouble, but you have to time it correctly.