Dragon's Dogma 2: Fighter guide, tips, tricks, and skill list

Dragon's Dogma 2 Fighter shield bash
(Image credit: Windows Central)

Pick up your sword and shield, there are monsters to best. 

The dark world of Dragon's Dogma 2 is filled with fearsome creatures to face, with packs of lowly goblins, towering ogres, and of course, a massive red dragon. As the Arisen, you'll have access to a variety of weapons and skills that can be used to challenge these threats, but you'll need to make some choices and select a Vocation (or class) that determines exactly what your focus is. One of the easiest Vocations to choose is that of the Fighter, who carries a sword and shield into battle, protecting themselves and striking at the opportune moment. 

Anyone choosing the Fighter Vocations can expect increased survivability early on, even if that means forgoing ranged attacks like bows or fancy magical abilities like levitation or jets of fire. Here's everything you need to know about the Fighter in Dragon's Dogma 2. 

Dragon's Dogma 2: What is the Fighter Vocation?

Clamber up foes for devastating strikes. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Fighter is one of the many Vocations in Dragon's Dogma 2. Available right from the start when you're customizing your Arisen, the Fighter is a classic hero, a staple of fantasy wielding a sword and shield in tandem. The Fighter focuses on dealing damage to individual targets and remaining protected by blocking enemy attacks with a shield. 

Lacking any ranged abilities, the Fighter instead has some leaping attacks and movement-based abilities that help to position any Pawns when taking on massive monsters like an Ogre or Cyclops. A Fighter will excel in combat against a single opponent, no matter the size, but weaknesses in the Vocation become apparent when taking on large groups of enemies like a pack of wolves by themselves, especially early on.

Dragon's Dogma 2: How to unlock the Fighter Vocation

As one of the starting Vocations, the Fighter is available from the very beginning of the game. You don't have to do anything special, you can select Fighter — as well as Archer, Mage, and Thief — for your Arisen and your Pawn from the moment you first start customizing them!

If you didn't choose Fighter at the start of the game, it's no problem. You can unlock the Fighter, Archer, Mage, and Thief Vocations for 100 Discipline Points each. Unlock these and manage your Vocations for yourself and your main Pawn at a Vocation Guild. There's several in the game, but the earliest and easiest one to find is in Vermund.

Dragon's Dogma 2: Fighter Vocation skill list

There are three kinds of skills in each Vocation: Weapon Skills, Core Skills, and Augments. There are all of the skills I've found for the Fighter Vocation so far.

Weapon Skills

Weapon Skills are the different activated abilities that you can use when you have a particular Vocation equipped. If you don't have enough free input slots for a particular skill, you'll need to replace a prior skill. Some skills are upgrades and enhance an already-unlocked skill, but the majority are disparate abilities.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Skill nameDescription
Blink StrikeRushes forcefully toward the target and visits a powerful blow upon them.
Burst StrikeAn advanced form of Blink Strike that allows the user to travel further and more swiftly before visiting a powerful blow upon foes.
Airward SlashPerforms a jump while slashing diagonally upward. An effective means of assailing flying targets.
Compass SlashSpins with blade extended, drawing a deadly circle that slices through nearby targets.
Gouging SkewerThrusts the blade into the target's body before raining further blows upon them. If strikes connect, the user clings to larger targets and pins down smaller targets that are flinching.
Shield BashDelivers a powerful blow with the shield that can knock targets off balance.
Shield PummelAn advanced form of Shield Bash that strikes the target twice.
Shield SummonsRaps the shield loudly to attract the attention of nearby targets.
SpringboardLaunches allies into the air using the shield.
Impeccable GuardSpins nimbly on the spot, blocking attacks from every direction with the shield. Employable even while flinching. Useful for escaping dire circumstances.

Core Skills

Core Skills modify how the Vocation plays without having to be activated. There's no specific button or keyboard inputs here, all these skills automatically affect the Vocation's abilities after being unlocked.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Skill nameDescription
True DeflectDeflects attacks back toward the target with impressive might. While active, counterattacking consumes no stamina.
Tusk TossTraces a grand skyward arc with the blade, sending lightweight targets flying into the air.
Steeled FoundationUses the shield to ease the impact from falling. Reduces fall damage and hastens recovery after a fall.
Enchanted CounterWhen using Defend while enchanted, automatically counters with an elemental attack corresponding to the enchantment.

Augments

Augments are a fairly unique kind of skill. When unlocked, an Augment can then be equipped to your Arisen. If equipped, it has an automatic boost, such as giving you additional health. 

Unlike other types of skills, Augments are not restricted based on Vocation. Once you've unlocked an Augment by playing a particular Vocation — such as playing through the Fighter Vocation until you have Mettle — then that Augment can be equipped on any other Vocation. It's a mix-and-match system that encourages experimentation, meaning it's a very good idea to play other Vocations for a bit even if you're enjoying sticking with Fighter.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Skill nameDescription
MettleAugments your physical Defense.
ProvocationIncreases the likelihood of being targeted by foes.

Dragon's Dogma 2: Best Fighter build

Fighter Builds follow a very simple pattern, and there are a couple of must-grab abilities if you're going with a Fighter as the main Vocation for your Arisen. Here's what I recommend:

  • Shield Bash - This skill is essentially required if you're playing a Fighter. You can knock back a smaller opponent to create some breathing room or provide an opening at any given moment. Upgrading this into Shield Pummel, which provides a second strong strike, is also essentially required.
  • Airward Slash - While you'll get other options later on, this is another skill that feels essentially required when playing a Fighter. If you're facing flying enemies like Harpies, you'll need to have any hope of landing a hit. Time your attacks carefully, and you can also use to deal devastating blows to the weak points of foes like Golems.
  • Compass Slash - This is a great attack because it makes up for the one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Fighter Vocation, which is that it's hard to do crowd control. Having an attack that hits multiple opponents is a good way to keep from being overwhelmed.
  • Mettle - Taking this Augment is obvious. It raises your defense, making you take less damage from physical attacks. It's not flashy, but it's a must-have.
  • Vitality - This is a Warrior Augment, so it'll require playing the Warrior Vocation for some to unlock. If you're willing to do that, it raises your maximum health, making it the perfect addition to practically any Vocation, including Fighter.

Naturally, you should feel free to shake things up. If a particular ability just isn't working for you, then change it out for something else. 

Dragon's Dogma 2: Fighter Vocation tips and tricks

Always survey your surroundings. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Because the Fighter is unlocked right from the beginning of the game, it's very easy to quickly put several ranks into this Vocation and unlock the most useful abilities. That in turn means you have time to experiment. Take advantage of that and use some other Vocations (particularly Warrior) for a time in order to unlock additional Augments that can be used with the Fighter. 

I found success with the Fighter by using this Vocation to guard while my three pawns focused on dealing out damage or healing everyone up. Keeping an enemy's attention is an important job, and the Fighter can tank some blows that a squishy-but-deadly Mage or Archer simply can't. Positioning is key, and you cannot under any circumstances allow a heavy-set foe to target your Mage or Archer Pawns. 

Reviving takes time, and it's always better for you to just tank a hit and allow your Mage to heal you up instead of watching your Mage get downed and then worrying about trying to revive them while still dealing with an angry monster.

Remember, Dragon's Dogma 2 is a difficult game, but it encourages careful thought. If you find you're getting obliterated, you might be too low-levelled to take on a particular monster. Make a note and come back at a later point. 

Dragon's Dogma 2: Best Pawn types for a Fighter Arisen

From my experience across dozens of hours of Dragon's Dogma 2, you'll want to eschew any other Fighters in your party when you yourself are taking on that mantle. If you really need another melee combatant in the mix, I'd recommend taking a Warrior, who can compliment your abilities and help tank damage while also being better-equipped to deal with large groups of goblins, wolves, and other enemies.

The remaining two Pawns should be some mix of Thief, Archer, Mage, and Sorcerer. Of the four options, I particularly recommend taking a Mage, as their healing and defensive abilities can help keep you alive, completely absorbing attacks that would otherwise send you flying across the battlefield. 

An Archer or Thief can help focus on pure damage, and this choice is going to come down to your preference. An archer will be far better at hitting ranged or flying opponents, for obvious reasons, but a Thief will be perfect for scaling larger enemies to strike weak points. 


Gather your Pawns and venture forth

Dragon's Dogma 2 can be a tough experience to get through at times, but the game rewards those who persevere, with a dedicated vision and unique physics-focused combat system that always has something new up its sleeve. There's something new around every corner, and there's always a trick to bringing down seemingly-unstoppably mammoth-inclined monstrosities. 

In our review of Dragon's Dogma 2, managing editor Jez Corden wrote that "Dragon's Dogma 2 has flaws that go beyond its intentional frictions, but they're very easily overlooked given how incredible the vast majority of the game is in every aspect. Dragon's Dogma 2 goes further than most games in its quest to make you feel like a total badass, and by the game's conclusion, you absolutely will be."

Dragon's Dogma 2 is now available on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, and PlayStation 5.

Dragon's Dogma 2

Dragon's Dogma 2

An ancient dragon has once again taken flight to bathe the world in terror and flame. With your chosen Vocation, take up the mantle of Arisen and beat back the terror that threatens to overcome this world.

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You'll gain additional add-ons along with the base game when purchasing the Deluxe Edition. Use your powers to take own large dragons with the help of your Pawn party members. 

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Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.