Stances, Force, and custom lightsabers: All you need to know about Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s improved combat

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Stances, Force, and custom lightsabers: All you need to know about Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s improved combat

A crash course in the latest Jedi combat techniques.

Nobody said that the path of the Jedi would be an easy one, but things are particularly rough right now for Cal Kestis. Perennially hunted by authority figures and fame-seeking scoundrels alike, Cal soon finds himself struggling once again. You’ll need to guide him as he searches for friends old and new alongside his explorer droid companion BD-1. Fortunately, you’ve got the power of the Force on your side, but that’s small consolation when it feels like everything is against you. Fear not, however–we’ve got some feature highlights and combat tips to get your latest journey through the Star Wars universe off to a lightspeed start.

Battle stances ready

Lightsaber stances have been expanded in Jedi Survivor. There are five different stances available, three of which you’ll have access to from a very early point in the game: Single, Double-bladed, and Dual Wield. You can equip two stances at a time and swap between them in combat with a press of left or right on the D-pad. Let’s take a quick look at each of these starter stances.

Single: The classic Jedi wielding stance also happens to be the most balanced of the bunch, rewarding players who can time their strikes and parries. It’s perfect for those epic one-on-one duels, but it offers some ranged and crowd-downing attacks as well. 

Going through the skill tree will open up a powerful penetrating lightsaber toss, a stagger-inducing jumping strike, and dash strikes that can knock down enemies on the ground or in the air. 

Double-bladed: Are you in need of some crowd control? Then the double-bladed stance is what you’re looking for. Swinging the double-ended lightsaber around makes dealing with a crowd of enemies surrounding you much less of a hassle. 

Throw the dual-ended saber in a wide boomerang arc to damage multiple enemies. Or if you’re facing a battalion of blaster fire, hold L1 to twirl the lightsaber in front of you as you move, automatically parrying all the bolts headed your way. There is also an ability later in the game where you won’t even need to hold L1 to perform this maneuver. Building this skill tree up will grant Cal a spinning lunge attack, a group-stunning aerial dive-bomb, and even a special controllable flying lightsaber attack that acts like a mini-helicopter of pain.

Dual Wield: This stance is for players who love fast-paced, all-out offense. Your defense and range ratings take a hit, but you can make up for it: you’ve still got a long-range lightsaber toss, and by holding down the triangle button, you can auto-parry quite a few incoming melee attacks–just not the really big ones. 

Enhancing this stance’s skills will up the power of the parry and reward you for precise timing, as well as perform a quick backwards-dodge after a strike and split blaster shots into two damaging bolts when parried. At high skill levels, you’ll be able to toss multiple blades at separate enemies like a Jedi juggler. 

Fighting Force

Complementing your combat stances are Force skills, which use energy from the force meter. Cal’s telekinetic push and pull abilities aren’t just for manipulating the environment: you can use them to throw enemies around the field like ragdolls or group them closer together for easy picking-off. You can also use the Force to snatch away pesky shields and lob environmental objects–or even the enemy’s own weaponry–at attackers. Cal can also use Jedi mind tricks to temporarily confuse a foe into attacking their teammates. Also, Cal can briefly use Jedi concentration to slow down time and get a brief but oh-so-important advantage over an attacking foe. 

Using Force skills wisely alongside your lightsaber stances can give you a definite edge in combat. Rather than running straight at that battle droid flailing your lightsaber around, why not sneak up behind them while their back is turned, drag them towards you, and do some big damage before they know what’s going on? Or, once you’ve improved your Force-manipulation skills, you can gently coerce a large, angry specimen of local wildlife to focus their rampage against a group of patrolling stormtroopers. Be wary, though, because some foes are more Force-resistant than others–but building skill power can help with that.

Jedi mastery

Having multiple lightsaber stances and Force skills at your command is awesome, but as you progress in the game, you can power up existing attack skills and learn new attacks for all of your stances. The skill tree system from Jedi: Fallen Order returns in Jedi Survivor, and it’s been expanded significantly, with each stance having its own separate skillset. 

By spending skill points, you’ll unlock a full repertoire of attacks for each stance–but you’ll also have to balance upgrading lightsaber skills with survival and force skill trees. Don’t worry too much about making bad upgrade choices: if you’ve invested heavily in a stance that doesn’t click with you, you can always reset and spend all the points you’ve earned differently. (The first reset is free, further resets cost one skill point each.)

Skill points don’t come easily, though! It usually takes a while before you earn even one. Defeating foes is the easiest way to gain experience toward skill points. Since enemies respawn when you rest at meditation points, you can farm experience from reappearing high-value foes…slowly. However, you also gain a bit of experience for everything BD-1 scans on the field, certain activities, and every Force Echo you listen to while exploring. That EXP starts to add up after a while, so keep your eye out for things to examine. 

Perks of the job

Another new addition to Jedi Survivor is Perks, equippable bonuses with various beneficial effects existing outside of the skill tree. Like with the skill tree, perks are viewable and equipped at meditation spots. You can have multiple perks equipped as long as you’ve got enough slots for them–and take note that the more effective perks take up multiple slots: for example, a simple perk like Flux that gradually regenerates Force is one slot, while Versatility, a perk that gives you a damage boost after a stance switch, takes three. You’ll be able to buy, find, and earn perks on your adventure (as well as obtain more slots). Always try to find and use perks that benefit your playstyle or help shore up weaknesses.

Customize your lightsaber

Who says the Jedi can’t be stylish? Cal can find and buy plenty of cosmetic items throughout his journey–including a wide array of custom lightsaber parts. While these parts don’t affect or enhance your abilities, you can’t deny that they look positively rad.

To change the parts and colors on your lightsaber (and on BD-1, too), you’ll need to find a workbench. These are scattered around the world, but you’ll first encounter one on Cal’s ship. From here, you can swap numerous lightsaber parts in and out. By obtaining certain color palettes, you can give your lightsaber a fresh coat of paint and even specify how much weathering you want it to have. Like that well-worn look, or maybe you prefer a shiny chrome saber? It’s all up to you.

Now that you have a better idea of what to expect before walking the path of the Jedi, make sure you check out Star Wars Jedi: Survivor  once it takes off on April 28 for PS5. 

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