Guardians of the Galaxy simplifies the role of battlefield commander in a fun, action-packed RPG that every Marvel fan can enjoy. You’ll control Star-Lord through the entire story while giving commands to your fellow Guardians as they fend off waves of enemies in true Square Enix fashion. While the different skills may feel like a lot to swallow, combat becomes easier once you understand combos. Here is the complete guide to mastering combat in Guardians of the Galaxy, including the best Guardian combos in the game. The controls explained in this article are tailored to PlayStation.
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Guardians of the Galaxy combat overview
Before we get into the finer details, let’s go over how combat works in general and each Guardian’s role on the battlefield. Star-Lord will have Gamora, Groot, Drax, and Rocket available to him most of the time. There will be times when Star-Lord is left to fend for himself or perhaps one of the Guardians is missing in action. So what role does each Guardian play in combat?
Star-Lord is the field general and leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. His Elemental Guns will never run out of ammo, but they’ll enter into a brief cooldown period after firing off what we’ll call a “clip.” You’ll unlock a rapid-reload perk early on, similar to the Gears of War reload mechanic. His blaster deals decent damage as is. As the game progresses, you’ll unlock four elemental ammo types to use against susceptible enemies. You’ll know what every enemy is weak to by the icon over their head.
Star-Lord cannot fight for the other Guardians. However, he can direct them to use their unique skills to deal devastating damage. Those skills enter a cooldown after each use, so you’ll have to plan their use. However, we don’t recommend hoarding your skills for the “perfect moment.” Plenty of fights in Guardians of the Galaxy felt a little button-mashy between launching different skills and using Star-Lord’s blasters.
Drax often refers to her as “The Assassin” or “The Traitor” early on in the game. Their history goes way back, but as Gamora proves herself in combat, Drax eases up on his preconceived notions. She’ll deal the most combat damage to single enemies but can still attack multiple enemies at once. She holds her own and rarely goes down.
Gamora’s sword, Godslayer, was a gift from her father. The blade is forged from Asgardian steel and meant to work as a weapon against Odin’s people. While the story of Thanos is different in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora’s sword still did some severe damage across the galaxy.
Drax is your primary source of stagger damage (which we’ll go over later). He’ll leave powerful enemies vulnerable to follow-up attacks and can clear a crowd in true Drax the Destroyer fashion. Fueled by nothing but vengeance, the Katathian warrior dual-wields a pair of ancient blades.
Rocket fights from a distance as the tech expert among the Guardians. His Bye-Bye Engine unfolds into a variety of other weapons, some twice the size of the base gun itself. He’ll lob grenades into groups of enemies that’ll deal heavy damage to anyone in the blast radius. He can also toss grenades that’ll draw enemies together, leaving them open to other group combos.
We found the Rocket tends to go down easily in combat. While the revive system is quick, it still poses a challenge when your long-range expert is out of the fight.
Groot is arguably the most crucial Guardian when it comes to combat. As the support/tank, Groot’s primary task is to snare enemies in place for the other Guardians to attack. He can trap several enemies at once with his Entangle skill or one large enemy with Mammoth Grab.
As the last Flora Colossus, Groot is a spectacle on and off the battlefield. He’ll attract the keen eye of Lady Hellbender when the Guardians head to her palace. However, our little tree friend isn’t the best liar, and that’s all we’ll say.
Using skills in Guardians of the Galaxy
Skills are the keys to combat in Guardians of the Galaxy. As you earn skill points through combat, you’ll unlock two additional skills for each Guardian. Finally, all five members have what we’ll call an ultimate ability that unlocks as the story progresses. This special skill is denoted in purple on their skill wheel. Ultimates also operate on a separate cooldown, so you can use a Guardian’s ultimate ability and immediately use one of their skills.
To use skills, press and hold L1 to bring up the Guardian wheel. From here, you’ll use the Face buttons to select a Guardian and then the Face buttons again to select a move. While navigating the skill menu can be confusing at first, you can think of each skill as a different set of button commands.
Each Guardian’s primary skill binds to the same face button as their character on the skill wheel. For example, to use a Groot skill, you’ll press Square on the Guardian Wheel. Groot’s primary move is Entangle, which grapples multiple enemies at once and holds them in place. So, holding L1 and double-tapping Square will always entangle a group of enemies. The same goes for Gamora, Rocket, and Drax’s primary moves.
Things get tricky as you unlock more skills and need different moves in different situations. However, once you memorize the button commands, everything gets easier. Thankfully, time slows when you enter the Guardian menu, allowing you to plot out your next move without becoming a bullet sponge.
Star-Lord’s skills are activated by pressing L3 and using the appropriate Face button to launch one of his skills. We found Vantage Point to be the most useful Star-Lord skill. With Vantage Point active, Star-Lord triggers his jet boots and hovers around the battlefield for some time. This keeps him out of most danger and gives him a better picture of the fight to command his fellow Guardians.
How to combo with Guardian skills
Once you start unlocking skills, you’ll want to use them together for the best results. There aren’t many enemy variants in Guardians of the Galaxy. There are small and big enemies in wave-based gunfights and large fauna that you’ll occasionally encounter. Most of the time, you’ll be dealing with small pockets of enemies led by one big enemy.
Every combo in Guardians of the Galaxy stems from Groot’s skills. Once Groot snares a group of small enemies, trigger Rocket’s primary Cluster Bomb attack to lob a grenade into the group. This will deal heavy damage, leaving little to clean up. However, once you unlock Gamora’s Shadow Strike ability, you’ll want to use that instead. Groot’s entangle skill doesn’t take long to cool down, so alternate between Gamora and Rocket’s multi-enemy attacks for the best results.
You’ll know big enemies when you see them. These should be your primary targets before worrying about the smaller enemies. While fighting the Church of Truth, big enemies will heal smaller ones on the battlefield, making it more imperative that you deal with them first. Once again, all combos stem from one of Groot’s abilities.
Groot’s Mammoth Grab costs you three skill points to unlock, but it’s the first expensive skill we recommend buying. Mammoth Grab will ensnare a big enemy and deal moderate stagger damage. Now, trigger Drax’s primary Destroy skill to completely Stagger a large target, leaving them susceptible to all incoming damage. This tactic is great for dealing with shielded Nova Corps enemies and, as mentioned, the Church healers. Once staggered, send Gamora in with her Deadly Strike skill to do the most damage. We don’t recommend using Rocket’s grenades against big enemies, even when snared. Let him deal with the smaller guys afterward.
As mentioned, we found the only useful Star-Lord skill to be Vantage Point. While Fan the Hammer looks cool on paper, it’s not practical. Why? Because Star-Lord is rendered immobile while using it. While he’ll deal crazy amounts of damage to enemies in front of him, he’s highly susceptible to damage from every other direction. Don’t ever use Fan the Hammer while surrounded by enemies; you will die.
Otherwise, Star-Lord’s Eye of the Hurricane skill is good but not too exciting. You’re better off spending your skill points on the best skills for every other Guardian.
Call-to-action prompts and momentum
As you string together combos, you’ll build up your momentum. Your momentum is indicated by the off-white bar underneath Star-Lord’s HP. There will be words like “Fantastic!” over it. The more momentum you build, the more call-to-action prompts you’ll see on the battlefield. These include objects Drax can pick up and throw at enemies, ropes Gamora can cut, and explosions Rocket can trigger. Groot can also use the call-to-action prompts, but we didn’t find them as helpful as the other three Guardians’.
What is stagger damage?
Attacks deal two types of damage in Guardians of the Galaxy: Standard and stagger. Standard damage will eat away at an enemy’s HP bar. Stagger damage builds up a different bar underneath the enemy’s HP. When the stagger meter fills, that enemy is rendered incapacitated and will drunkenly bob back and forth for a few moments. Stagger leaves them open to multiple attacks.
Stagger is only important for big enemies. Little guys are susceptible to all damage anyway, so you don’t have to worry about staggering them. That’s why Groot’s Mammoth Grab and Drax’s Destroy skill work so well against large enemies. Once they’re staggered, Gamora can go in for the kill.
As the game progresses, you’ll unlock four elemental damage types for Star Lord’s weapons. They are frost, shock, wind, and fire. These damage types will be helpful in and out of combat, as Star-Lord will have to use them in the environment to progress the level and find secret paths.
In combat, you’ll see indicators over each enemy’s head telling you what they’re weak to. While we didn’t find it crucial to use your elemental ammo to win gunfights, it’s certainly helpful. The best time to use elemental damage is against enemies weak to shock. Shock damage will jump between enemies, staggering them for a moment and leaving them open to more damage.
You’ll eventually encounter snipers that are out of range of Star-Lords blasters. Use the wind ammo to pull them within melee range and then punch them with melee attacks. It doesn’t necessarily say that Star-Lord receives a melee damage boost against enemies affected by wind, but he does.
Whenever you kill an enemy, they’ll drop two kinds of pick-ups: Health and elemental ammo. Health pick-ups are the tiny green orbs that’ll explode out of a fallen enemy. Star-Lord has to walk over them to pick them up. However, the Consumables Magnet perk will suck them in from 15 meters away. Elemental ammo pick-ups are the white orbs that explode out of enemies and operate the same way.
If you need a few quick HP pick-ups, use the wind ammo and melee combo to climb back to full health. Melee kills generate more pick-ups, and the melee buff you get from wind ammo makes getting those kills easier.
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