This is a guide about the For Honor character; The Berserker, i will go into detail for their Lore, moves/attacks and i'll talk about strategies aswell.
Other For Honor Guides:
- All Collectible Locations - Knights Campaign.
- All Collectible Locations - Vikings Campaign.
- All Collectible Locations - Samurai Campaign.
- Orochi Guide.
- Berserker Guide.
- Basic Guide.
Firstly, a Bit of Berserker Lore
According to For Honor's Lore
The Berserker's are a group of vikings that live in the vast Forest's of Valkenheim, they are said to be possessed by the spirit's of the animal they whorshipped, at times, Berserkers join up with the regular Vikings to fight alongside them, the reason for this is completely unknown, they are said to charge into battle without any fear or shame and are ready to slaughter anyone who stands in their way.
Berserker outfit's consist of a shirt with leather belts around their waste and shoulder area, they wear a mask (In an apparent attempt to scare enemies even more) that covers most of their face, they are bald on the sides of their head and have long, decorated hair, they also have a animal pelt around their back waist which covers a part of their upper legs aswell and a water bottle strapped to their belt alongside a knife.
They fight with Twin Hand axes, it was once a simple tool that they made into some of the deadliest weapons on the battlefield, the Berserker's fight fast with swift strikes and harrasing moves at their disposal.
STORY MODE SPOILERS AHEAD - Helvar's Story
One of the Berserker's, Helvar, Accompanied The Raider on his quest to bring his people back to glory, which started by hunting down Ragnar, they managed to kill Ragnar and take over his army to free Stigandr and the other Warborn from the claws of Siv, a feared female Berserker that kept them in her fortress, Helvar was told to wait for a signal from The Raider in order to attack once the Raider free'd all the captured Warborn (Who are, funny enough, Berserker's) , once the Raider free's all the captured Warborn he signs to Helvar and The Valkerie Runa to attack the fortress, The attacking Warborn members attacked the fortress and overwhelmed most of Siv's troops, until Siv screams out The Raider's name for him to come forth and fight her, The Raider engages in a duel and kills her, freeing the remaining Warborn and their Jarl, Stigandr, Helvar and Stigandr (who are apparently old friends) give eachother a handshake as they reunite.
Stigandr is re-assigned as Jarl and they invade the Shipyard where their ships were kept, Helvar was waiting behind the gate of the Shipyard to attack the Blackstone Legion members who were guarding it, once Stigandr opened the gate; Helvar and the other Warborn members attacked the fortress and started the attack, he and Stigandr encountered the Blackstone leader; Julius, who sent troops their way which they quickly defeated, Stigandr and Helvar engage Julius in combat, succesfully killing him and securing the Shipyard back to the vikings.
While Stigandr is pointing out the odd loot they found, Helvar notes they got this from Samurai ships that have been loading up all summer long, Stigandr get's an idea from this and orders the Warborn to attack the Samurai.
The Great Raid began with Helvar, The Raider, Runa and Stigandr leading the charge into the old Sea Fortress the Samurai were guarding, They overwhelmed them as they took over the fortress, The Raider engaged in a duel with the Fortress's Commander, the Commander is killed by the Raider and the great raid was anounced to have begun.
Some time later, they arrive at the biggest city the Samurai had to offer: Koto, the raid began with the Warborn preparing themselves for their possible final and most spectaculair raid, Helvar accompanied the Warborn again here and fought alongside all of his other Warrior Brothers and Sisters to the city, when they arive, their path is blocked by an apparent gate, Helvar corrects this and notes that ''It's more like a door'' and he and other Berserkers start ramming their axe's into the door in an attempt to break it down. Stigandr finds a grapple hook which he fires off over the ''Door'' and stars climbing it, Helvar notes that it may not be a bad idea and that he might live.
During their brief moment of peace, however, The Samurai Forces' Leader; General Tozen, appears and effortlessly slaughter most of the Viking forces, the Viking Soldiers retreat back to the side where Helvar and the rest were standing and await their orders, The Raider simply shouts ''Valhalla!'' as Helvar and Runa shout along, they bid their (presumed) farewell's to eachother and charge in for the final assault.
After a brief battle, The Raider encounters General Tozen, who claims that the Raider's skill impresses him and that he's gonna enjoy the fight, he often compliments the Raider that he's ''Legedary'', After a long and tireing fight, The Raider finally manages to kill Tozen and invade the city, as Stigandr opens the door which allows the Warborn to start raiding the city and plunder all their goods, officialy ending the great raid and the Vikings' story.
According to Historical Accuracy
Berserkers (or berserks) were champion Norse warriors who are primarily reported in Icelandic literature to have fought in a trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the English word berserk.
These champions would often go into battle without mail-coats. Berserkers are attested to in numerous Old Norse sources, as were the Ulfhednar (wolf-coats).
It is proposed by some authors that the berserkers drew their power from the bear and were devoted to the bear cult, which was once widespread across the northern hemisphere. The berserkers maintained their religious devotions despite their fighting prowess, as the Svarfdæla saga tells of a challenge to single-combat that was postponed by a berserker until three days after Yule. The bodies of dead berserkers were laid out in bearskins prior to their funeral rites. The bear-warrior symbolism survives to this day in the form of the bearskin caps worn by the guards of the Danish and British monarchs, the Royal Life Guards and the Queen's Guard.
In battle, the berserkers were subject to fits of frenzy. They would howl like wild beasts, foamed at the mouth, and gnawed the iron rim of their shields. According to belief, during these fits they were immune to steel and fire, and made great havoc in the ranks of the enemy. When the fever abated they were weak and tame. Accounts can be found in the sagas.
This expression berserk most likely arose from their reputed habit of wearing a kind of shirt or coat (serkr) made from the pelt of a bear (ber-) during battle. The bear was one of the animals representing Odin, and by wearing such a pelt the warriors sought to gain the strength of a bear and the favor of Odin.
To "go berserk" was to "hamask", which translates as "change form", in this case, as with the sense "enter a state of wild fury". One who could transform as a berserker was typically thought of as "hamrammr" or "shapestrong". 126 For example, the band of men that go with Skallagrim in Egil's Saga to see King Harald about his brother Thorolf's murder are described as "the hardest of men, with a touch of the uncanny about a number of them...they [were] built and shaped more like trolls than human beings". This is generally interpreted as the band of men being "hamrammr".
Playstyle and Moveset
The Berserker is a swift, hard hitting assasin with a low defense and health pool but a high Stamina pool, he is the most effective when harrasing the opponent with Feints, guard breaks and general confusion
The way you want to start as a Berserker is practicing feints, Feint's are automatically assigned to E on the PC and Square on the PS4, Feinting is a big part of the Berserker's moveset as it allows him to confuse the enemy and open up oppurtunity's to attack the opponent, keep in mind that YOU CANNOT FEINT A LIGHT ATTACK!
Guard Breaking is another big deal of his playstyle, Feinting a heavy into a guard break is a great way to open up enemies, don't use it too much though, as it get's punishable once players figure it out!
Harassing the enemy is an important aspect, feinting helps with this, throwing out a Light and not continueing is a good way to make enemy's counter you thinking you were going to throw the infinite combo, try to mix things up by creating your own style of harassing.
Now, let's look at the Berserker's moveset.
The Berserker's moveset contains 2 Infinite's, and 3 combo's that grant you Super/Hyper Armor.
The Bear Mauler combo consists of a slow, 3 way heavy attack chain the does a lot of damage if all of them connect, the combo can only be started by doing a heavy attack from the side, not from the top, this combo goes as followed: Heavy, Heavy, Heavy, easy as that, after 3 hits the combo will stop and you will go back to guard mode, this chain costs quite a bit of stamina and is pretty punishable, so watch out when you use it!
This combo is great when getting 2v1'd, as switching guards constantly will make the Berserker turn towards the other player and he will keep swinging his axes, it's also a good tactic to feint during the third hit of the combo, to confuse the enemy and make them think you are throwing the combo all the way.
Boar Rush is executed by sprinting and pressing the heavy attack button, it's an out-of-guard-mode move that involves the Berserker sprinting a little and swinging his axes to the right, i rarely use this move so i have only 1 thing to say about it, it is a great way to help out a teammate in 2v1's as it pushes away the enemy a bit and gives you time to engage him/her in combat, giving your teammate an easier time.
Head Slicer is executed by dodging forward and pressing the Light attack button, it involves the Berserker hopping forward and swinging an axe swiftly downward on his enemy, this attack is the less punishable version of Head Crusher and it also costs less stamina, but it is still predictable and i don't recommend using it in direct combat, it is a nice attack to ambush players, however, and is also a good attack to counter opponent who dodge a lot, since it gives you a layer of Hyper Armor! you can use this to counter people spamming Light attack or catch a Shinobi/Peacekeeper dodging around you.
Head Crusher is a guard mode move that invloves the berserker sprinting a little bit, jumping towards the opponent and lunging his axes downwards onto them, this attack does a lot of damage, but i dont recommend using it to start fights, as it slow and very predictable, it's great to ambush players, however, and also a great way to tank though some attack since this attack grants you Hyper Armor, meaning that once you Berserker jumps, he cannot be interrupted and the attack animation will still go on.
This attack is great for engaging in 2v1's to help out a teammate or to ambush unexpecting players, it dishes out quite a lot of damage aswell so make every chance to use it count!
Dance of the Paired Blades
Firstly, we have his most straightforward combo and propably the easiest; The Dance of the Paired Blades, this infinite chain combo can start with Either a heavy or light attack from the side, which most then be followed by the opposite of what you started with, so for example: Heavy, Light, Heavy Light so on, so on. after 4 hits you will be granted Hyper Armor and it will cost less stamina to throw the attacks needed for the combo, a great way to end the combo is with a top heavy, though since it's slow i wouldn't recommend doing it all the time.
The Dance of the Paired blades isn't the greatest combo Berserker has, it is very punishable and can only be used if your opponent is stupid enough to fall for it, if they do, let 'er rip!
Spin Chop is a short attack that can be used by dodging to the side and pressing the Light attack button, it involves the Berserker spinning to either to left or right side and swinging to side to the side he spun towards, this attack is fast but kinda predictable, but can be used to attack a slow reacting opponent, it's also a good way to counter attack, as it is a dodge and an attack in one.
The Berserker's Zone Attack is used by pressing both the heavy and light buttons at the same time, it involves the Berserker spinning around forward, hitting everything around him, this attack always hits from the left side of the opponents view, so countering it shouldn't be too hard, using it is another story; use it on playing who are not expecting it, this can be seen by them having their guard not on the right side, this attack has a bit of startup lag so use it wisely, this attack is great for fending of 2v1's or 3v1's since it hats everything around the Berserker, givining you some room to breath.
This is basically the reversed Zone Attack, a very underused move, it is executed by pressing back and pressing both attack buttons at the same time, this move is also handing for making an enemy back off, as it covers your front and some of the sides, this attack can also start the infinite chain if it hits anyone with the final hit, though this happens rarely, if it does however, make us of it.
Okay, this.. this move is amazing, it is done by dodging in the direction of the enemy attack at the exact moment it's about to hit you, yes, it sounds hard and it is, but once you get the timing down, it will be so awesome.. so basically what this does, is it gives you a free guardbreak, yes, you heard that right, a free guardbreak if you manage to pull it off, that is.. deflecting is very risky! practice it A LOT before using it, i advice to stick to Parrying and Dodging before using Delfects, practice with a bot or play Duel's to hone your skills!
Combat, Strategies and Tactics
The Berserker shines as a close quarter fighter, as the Berserker doesn't exactly have very long weapons or reach in general, walking forward or dodging forward to close the gap between you and your opponent is adviced, as it keeps the tension up and it makes the most out of the Berserkers moveset.
The Berserker is one of the fastest characters in the game, USE THIS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! outrunning your opponent can save your or some else's life! take advantage for capping control points with your speed aswell!
Blocking is NOT adviced, as it isn't really effective and since the Berserker can only hold his guard up for so long before going into a neutral stance, you should either Parry or Dodge, depending on your reacting times. Parry will give you a free side heavy/light or a guard break, depending on your own choice.
Speaking of guard breaking, don't be afraid to throw one in from time to time, even if your opponent counter it, you atleast mixed it up a little, giving you the oppurtunity to change playstyles to keep harassing your enemy, and like i said earlier in the guide, feinting a heavy into a guard break a great way to see if your opponents fall for your tactics, if they do, you already have a small advantage on your side.
Throwing a lot of lights is a great way of keeping your opponent on their toes, keep the Infinite for suprising the enemy after a few light attacks, Feinting heavies into Light's is also a good way to dish out damage or start a quick combo.
Another thing about Heavy attacks, don't. use. his. overhead (Up heavy), it is VERY slow and VERY punishable, howevery, if you push someone into a wall and make them stunned, you can throw an overhead right after to guaruntee a hit.
Strategies and Tactics
The Berserker is a great character for capping control points, especially the middle point where all the Soldiers are since his zone attack goes on for a long time and hits a lot, he is also great at helping clearing out control points that are filled with enemies, since his atttacks are fast and hit hard.
This is a tough one, since this is basically a plain 4v4 killfest, your best bet is to go along with another teammate and prevent him from being 2v1'd, ambushing players and confusing them is the best way to deal with everyone here, since they most likely go for the direct approach and try to kill you as soon as possible.
Elimination, Duel and Brawl
These gamemodes don't differ much from eachother, so i made a strategie that apply's to all of them.. The Berserker is a pretty fucking great 1v1 fighter, harassing people in a duel is a bit harder but it's less frustrating since you dont have to be careful for any enemy's jumping on your back or joining in with your opponent, the best way to 1v1 is by feinting and guard breaking, feinting helps you open up opponents by making them try to parry your feinted attack, giving you an oppurtunity to counter him/her and dish out some damage, don't use the Infinite Combo here! it is way too predictable and easy to punish! use your Spin Chops and Slashing Rushes more to keep your opponent at bay and on their toes!
Now, what to upgrade and what not to...
Your mask should be focussed on Defense and Exhaustion recovery, Debuff resistance isn't really noticeable and is, quite frankly, completely useless, dont use it!
No, not that new Nintendo game. Your arms should be focussed around Defense and Stamina Cost Reduction, Stamina cost should be your top priority, since using attacks and feints cost a lot of stamina, you'll be wanting to have plenty whend doing so.
Your Chest can go two ways:
- Have Defense and Revenge gain as a main focus, this will make Revenge mode a lot shorter but you'll gain more faster.
- Have Revenge gained and Duration as a main focus, this will make Revenge your top priority and makes 2v1's easier and way less frustrating, your base defense will be relying on your Mask and Arms, though, so keep that in mind.
Your Right had should be focussing on Defense penetration and Attack, Block damage really isn't important as it doesn't really do anything.
Have EVERYTHING focussed on Revenge here, your attack doesn't matter, just focus on Revenge Gained and Revenge mode attack, attack more so than Gain, though.
The handles should be focussed on Attack and Execution health regeneration, don't use revive speed since you're an asassin, that isn't your job.
What Playing Like the Berserker Looks Like
I've taken a video of mine and another one of my favorite Berserker players' video to show you what it is to play the Crazy Axeman.
Written by Hatless Mann.