Mortal Shell is a tough action-RPG where it helps if you have a little advice before going in. If you haven’t already, be sure to take a look at our beginner tips and tricks here as well. Otherwise, this guide is for more advanced tips that give you the edge you need to survive.
Table of Contents
|Tip 1 – Learning How to Parry For Health|
|Tip 2 – Harden Can Block Multiple Hits|
|Tip 3 – Dodges Have an Iframe|
|Tip 4 – Harden to Prevent Fire Damage|
|Tip 5 – Tarspores Gives Poison Immunity When Familiar|
|Tip 6 – Always Keep Enemies in Front of You|
|Tip 7 – Using Effigies and Certain Items to Swap Gear|
|Tip 8 – The Tarnished Seal Tells You When to Harden|
|Tip 9 – Learn Enemies Before Fighting Them|
|Tip 10 – Weapon Abilities Make You Invulnerable|
My first Mortal Shell tip for those of you hopping in is to learn how to parry. If you played the open beta, this time you won’t have access to parrying immediately. Once you stumble across the Fallgrim Tower, you can remove the Tarnished Seal from The Old Prisoner NPC. This will unlock the Empowered Riposte parry. The reason this is an important tip is because you can use one Resolve (yellow bars above your health) to strike back and regain health.
Parrying can be a little risky until you learn the timing of different enemies. But you’ll notice that certain ones are much easier to parry and will repeat their attacks more often than others. It got to a point where I saw some enemies as essentially health potions. Until you feel comfortable parrying, try using your Harden ability instead to learn their moves.
A more advanced guide with further information regarding parry abilities is available here.
The tutorial teaches you that the Harden ability will block an attack regardless of when you use it. What it doesn’t tell you is that there’s a certain amount of time where it will still block attacks. I’d say it’s around one second after your Harden has been broken by an enemy attack. This makes it easy to Harden, take a hit, and then strike back a few times while still being attacked. Part of me wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t intentional, but it’s probably a way to make fights less punishing.
Running back to the previous tip about parrying, you can also parry in this invulnerable state after your Harden is broken. While most enemies are staggered and won’t attack back, many bosses will still fire off a combo of attacks. This is where you benefit from blocking and then parrying immediately after. Without saying much, I got through the Crucix boss fight easily doing this.
There are two different types of dodges in Mortal Shell and both have an iframe. If you don’t know what an iframe is, it’s a tiny moment where you’re considered invincible. This means it doesn’t matter if you get hit while dodging for a short moment; you won’t take any damage.
First, the short dodge is if you tap your dodge button like the spacebar on PC. You’ll do a short step backward or to the side, instead of a full roll. Second, if you double-tap your dodge button, you’ll do a roll and cover some distance away.
While the roll dodge gets you further away more safely, it does require more stamina to use. When fighting bosses and learning new enemies, I’m more likely to roll since I don’t know their patterns yet. I recommend the same until you develop a good understanding for each fight.
You might not run into enemies immediately that can put you on fire, but it’s one of the few elements that hurt. Aside from using healing items to battle the fire damage over time, you can harden to prevent taking any damage. This won’t always work if you’re in the middle of a fight.
However, if you can roll away from danger, you can harden to minimize the damage taken. It’s worth mentioning that unfortunately, rolling does not extinguish the fire as schools have taught us.
People who tried Mortal Shell during the Epic Games Store open beta may already know about the Tarspore trick. Items revolve around a familiarity system that relies on you using them to understand them. For example, Tarspores will deal 40 poison damage over 16 seconds to you until you use them to become familiar. But why would you use an item that hurts you? That’s the trick here.
Once you become familiar with Tarspores, they’ll give you poison damage immunity for 120 seconds as shown in the picture above. I recommend getting a few of them and consuming them all at once to get that immunity without taking any damage. You’ll definitely take advantage of this when fighting the annoying demon gremlins.
This is a simple tip that I felt important to mention because it makes a significant difference. The lock-on feature helps you swap between enemies, but when they’re surrounding you, you’re most likely going to die. There becomes a point where you simply can’t get away and also lose the advantage of your harden skill.
Always try to dodge around and strafe around enemies so they’re in front of you instead. So long as they’re in front of you, they’re much easier to deal with and often hit multiple times. You’ll quickly learn that the developer Cold Symmetry loves to hide enemies around doorways and hallway corners. This is a great time to use your listening skills to prepare for incoming enemies.
As you get a bit further into Mortal Shell, you’ll likely have gathered some new shells and weapons to play with. If you find that a certain setup is better for an area, you can use effigies and specific items to change your gear.
Once you’ve learned the name of a shell, you can use an Effigy to swap to that shell at any time. You’re more likely to take advantage of this when playing Mortal Shell a second time around and upgrading new shells. If you’re wondering which unlimited use items swap your weapons, here they are:
- Tattered Vestment – Hallowed Sword (starting sword)
- Martyr’s Shawl – Martyr’s Blade
- Disciple’s Rag – Smoldering Mace
- Sester’s Binding – Hammer & Chisel
When you first get the Tarnished Seal, the screenshot above tells you that it will glow when an incoming attack can’t be parried. My tip is to use this warning as a heads up to harden your skin. You can still use it as an indicator to dodge away as well. But, I like to harden since you don’t always know what attack is incoming. Once you head back to Fallgrim when the fog has come in, you’ll know what I mean.
I spoke about this tip briefly in tip 3 about dodging iframes because of its importance. By all means, you can run into new enemies without a care in the world. But, you’re going to have a much better time if you’re patient and learn how to fight them instead. Anytime I find a new enemy, I like to watch their attacks and patterns. The same applies to every time I find a new boss. There’s no point in wasting healing items with how rare they are.
You’re better off hardening to block a few attacks and dodge rolling around first. Unless it’s a ranged enemy, then it’s probably better to run in headfirst.
Weapon abilities are extremely useful to work into a combo when fighting bosses or difficult enemies. A fun combo I like to do is harden to block an attack, get a few hits with the hammer and chisel, and then spend two resolve to use a weapon ability.
The trick here is that you’re invulnerable and take no damage while using a weapon ability. This is why I love using this tip against enemies when they try to strike back. If you’re lucky, the boss might even open up for a vulnerable phase where you can smack them to regain resolve.
Solomon, the Scholar is a great shell to pair with weapon abilities since they have the highest max resolve in Mortal Shell. Also, the Accretion of Ascent passive ability provides a chance to restore all resolve on Empowered Ripostes.
On top of that, the Accretion of Inheritance passive provides resolve when hit while hardened. This makes for a strong strategy that revolves around powerful weapon abilities. It’s worth noting that you can’t use any weapon abilities until upgrading a Weapon Enhancement part on it first.
I hope the tips and tricks in this guide help you destroy some enemies in Mortal Shell. If you’re still struggling or have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. Also, if you haven’t seen our beginner tips and tricks yet, take a look here.
Mortal Shell was provided by a PR company via an Epic Games Store code.
Jeff is a journalist with over 10 years of experience writing, streaming, and making content about video games. With an associate degree in journalism, he’s a sucker for RPGs, survival games, roguelikes, and more.