Stellar Blade Beginner's Guide: A few quick tips maximize EVE's potential and defeat the Naytiba with ease

Get ready to drop! Stellar Blade, the highly anticipated action RPG from Shift Up, is officially available, and whether you're just starting out or picking up from where you left off in the game's playable demo, you and EVE might need a few bits of advice we've learned from our time with the game. To that end, we've come up with a few useful tips and hints to help you make the most of your journey to defeat the Naytiba.

Keep on reading for more, and keep an eye on the official RPG Site Stellar Blade page for further guides, including for the best gear, collectible locations, side quest walkthroughs, and a full rundown of every outfit and cosmetic unlockable in the game. For more about what we think of the game, check out our official Stellar Blade review.

ABS = Always Be Scanning

A short while into the game, you'll learn to use EVE's little hovering drone buddy to conduct an environmental scan. This scan pings your surroundings, highlighting treasure, enemies, interactable objects, and even the path forward. It's your single best navigation tool in Stellar Blade, so don't ignore it.

Scanning also brings up the in-game compass, which is a helpful tool for getting oriented in regions without a map, like Eidos 7. The compass also highlights the direction of the nearest tracked quest objective, an invaluable help when revisiting areas to tackle side quests and collectibles.

You can also upgrade your drone using Drone Upgrade Modules found in the world to make a scan's highlighting effects last longer, and reduce the cooldown time needed before scanning again.

Explore Constantly

In line with the advice to keep scanning the world for hints as to everything and everything, you should always be sending EVE wherever you can think to bring her. The game world is chock-full of secret areas and places that don't seem like they would be accessible but actually are. You'll often get hints of where you can go from the scanning view, usually by the presence of a body or a box of resources visible in some high, out-of-the-way location. You'll also see hints like visible handholds or branches and poles to swing off of signalling the presence of a traversal challenge.

Places like that often hide hidden caches of resources or collectibles, including new outfits, cosmetic accessories, and soda cans for EVE to amass. Finding everything you can will also give you surpluses of valuable items like Drone Upgrade Modules, Rechargeable Tumbler Upgrades, Omnibolts, and materials for upgrading EVE's Exospine or crafting new Nano Suits.

That said, don't feel pressured to absolutely exhaust every area you pass through. Stellar Blade is fairly generous, and the plot does a good job of signaling its "point of no return", so feel free to pursue the story and side quests as much or as little as you please until then.

Save Up for Survival Skills

Stellar Blade allows you to improve EVE's capabilities using Skill Points (SP) earned in battle, and you can spend them across several different categories of skill. The most important set of skills to prioritize in the early game fall under the "Survival" category. Survival skills contain some vital improvements to EVE's combat performance that make mastering the game that much easier. Consider saving up your early skill points to prioritize picking these key Survival skills before just about anything else:

  • Perfect Dodge - Perfect Dodge is absolutely essential, as it's the only way to, well, perform a Perfect Dodge move, which fully powers one of EVE's strongest move sets.
  • Focus Boost - Perfect Parries are already unlocked by default, but this skill widens the timing window slightly to perform a Perfect Parry, and will make fighting enemies with longer attacks strings that much easier to combat.
  • Reflex Boost - Like Focus Boost for Perfect Dodge, Reflex Boost widens the timing window to perform Perfect Dodge.
  • Blink - Blink is another critical survival tool, because it unlocks the ability to perform the Blink reaction to certain enemy attacks.
  • Repulse - Repulse is a counterpart to Blink, but allows EVE to counter an enemy using ranged instead of melee attacks.
  • Double Dodge - This allows you to perform a second dodge immediately after the first. Because EVE's default dodge distance is a little too short to carry her out of some enemies' reach, this move is pretty much required to improve EVE's evasion.
  • Threat Detection - This one's more nice-to-have than essential, but it makes Blink and Repulse both easier to perform.

Remember that you can practice almost all the available skills in Training Mode on the Skills menu. It's also fairly trivial to reset full branches of your skill purchases, so if you've committed some points, you can "respec" without a penalty.

Fighting Safe is Fighting Stylish

Though you might be tempted to go all-out and have EVE attack enemies willy-nilly, it's best to save the button-mashing for the weakest enemies. For all others, Stellar Blade favors a more defensive playstyle, with EVE waiting for enemies to strike first and reacting with a parry, dodge, or a powerful Beta or Burst skill.

Playing defensively also keeps you from being wrong-footed by enemies with long, multi-hit attack strings. Even a non-perfect parry will reduce the damage you take by blocking the hit, saving you precious health items.

EVE's most powerful moves are also linked to parries and dodges, as parries can quickly deplete an enemy's "Balance" gauge, opening them up to devastating Retribution attacks, while dodges give EVE crucial "invincibility frames" that mitigate incoming damage.

Blue Means Blink, Pink Means Repulse, Yellow Means Dodge

Stellar Blade's combat system takes a page from Souls-like titles and Sekiro by putting a lot of focus on perfectly timing EVE's defensive actions. Dodging and parrying blows in time will save you from a lot of damage and deplete an enemy's Balance gauge, opening the up to a powerful Retribution strike that can often kill them outright.

However, enemies also have their own big hits, and will often signal the ideal response in the form of a color-coded effect.

When an enemy glows yellow, they're preparing an unblockable attack. You have no choice but to dodge it, or get out of the attack's range.

When an enemy's yellow glow transitions to a blue flash, this is a signal to use Blink, a skill you can unlock for EVE. Blinking instantly teleports EVE behind the target to deliver a stunning melee attack.

An enemy attack that transitions from yellow to a pink flash signals a Repulse, a move that causes EVE to knock an enemy back and exposes a glowing weak spot for EVE to target with ranged weapons.

Mastering when to use these powerful moves will serve you well as you maneuver EVE into conflicts with more powerful boss enemies, as well as make fights go by more quickly.

Beta Bursts Best

Beta skills are probably the most powerful and versatile tool in EVE's combat arsenal. They're a series of attacks that can be triggered by holding down L1 and hitting a face button. They're charged up by Beta energy, which builds when EVE lands normal attacks or parries and blocks enemy strikes. Beta skills are strong, and can often deplete a non-boss enemy's shields almost instantly. Different Beta skills also have different properties, like the single-target Triplet and the wide-area Crescent Slash.

With the right gear, EVE will be able to use Beta skills whenever she needs to, rather than carefully rationing Beta energy.

Meanwhile, Burst skills are charged with perfect dodges. They're a little less convenient to use, but when upgraded, they're devastating. Use these against large crowds of enemies, bosses, and when you need a bit of breathing room. The "Tempest" Burst skill is particularly effective, as it has a rather long animation that keeps EVE safe, so you can pop it when an enemy begins a combo you'd rather not try to parry or dodge.

Consume Your Consumables, Save Your Renewables

In Stellar Blade you have a fairly large number of consumable items to use in combat, and all have a fairly useful utility role.

For healing, you've got:

  • Lingering Potions - Provides healing over time.
  • Highly Concentrated Potions - Instant healing comparable to a charge from the Rechargeable Tumbler.
  • Biotic Field Generators - A heal-over-time that works faster than a Lingering Potion but requires EVE to stand still in the area of effect.

For battle, you've got:

  • Shock Grenade - Stuns enemies, knocking smaller enemies down.
  • Pulse Grenade - Drains enemy shields.
  • Sonic Grenade - Damages enemy balance gauge.
  • Smart Mine - Placed consumable that does high shield damage to enemies walking over it.

These can be replenished at any camp, and cost a relatively small amount of Gold to buy from the vending machine. They can also be found throughout the world and stocked up, allowing EVE to replenish her supplies from her storage when she rests.

Use consumables freely and without hesitation. In fact, free yourself of hoarder tendencies and use them instead of the Rechargeable Tumbler, saving the Tumbler for boss fights, tough enemies and when you take damage from unexpected threats. Use Lingering Potions and Biotic Field Generators to heal up between fights, while treat Highly Concentrated Potions as "extra" charges of your Tumber.

Meanwhile, Use grenades and mines to hinder and stun bigger non-boss enemies. The consumables generally don't work against bosses, so whip them out to debilitate more annoying foes like Dozers or powerful Battle Droids, saving you the headache of dealing with them unaided.