This is how and when to use two-hand weapons in Elden Ring

By Kenneth Williams

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Feb 25, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Elden Ring doesn’t teach players how to two-hand their weapons, but it’s definitely something worth learning. 

The technique can greatly increase damage output in certain fights, especially when a shield or casting instrument isn’t necessary. Two-handing in Elden Ring applies several buffs beyond just damage, but it also comes with a few downsides. Here’s how to activate two-handed mode for either weapon and what it actually does in Elden Ring.

To two-hand in Elden Ring, hold down the “interact” key and hit the light attack button at the same time. This will make the player character grip their right-hand weapon with both hands. Holding interact and pressing the block command will two-hand the weapon in the left slot.

On PlayStation 5, the buttons for two-handing are triangle and either shoulder button. Xbox players should hit Y with the corresponding attack or block trigger. Assuming PC players can get Elden Ring running properly, they can do the same by using the interact button and the mouse. Keyboard players should check their custom bindings to find the exact combination for two-handing in Elden Ring.

What two-handing actually does in Elden Ring

Two-handing provides several buffs and debuffs to the player. Most notably, it results in a significant damage increase of around 30%. The exact boost seems to depend on the weapon, so test it out on smaller mobs before charging into an Elden Ring boss.

Two-handing also provides a boost to stat applications. If a player has strength or dexterity stats below the required number, they might be able to still wield the weapon two-handed. It’s possible that the two-handing damage buff depends on scaling, but it’s difficult to say for sure.

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Lastly, two-handing weapons in Elden Ring provides a significant buff to poise. Poise is an attribute that determines if a character gets staggered after being hit with an attack. The poise buff from two-handing also appears to vary by weapon in Elden Ring, with greatswords and halberds providing the biggest buff. Players can check poise in the center column of the status page in the menu.

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