A Counter Attack is one of the techniques used to increase damage dealt by thrust/piercing damage. It is sometimes confused with stagger damage, which is a different mechanic that also boosts damage.
Counter can be performed by striking an opponent at the same time their attack would have hit you, or immediately afterwards (but before they recover from their attack animation). It is essentially a boost given to thrust/piercing attacks that risk likewise taking damage from the enemy at the same moment, though the enemy does not have to actually hit you. For enemy attacks that have a long windup animation, attacking too soon will not trigger counter damage.
Almost all enemies in the game can be counter-attacked, including large enemies and bosses.
- Counter increases the damage dealt by 20%.
- The Leo Ring further increases counter damage by stacking another 40% boost, for a total of 68% additional damage.
It works with most weapons, including bows and crossbows, but counters only give a bonus to thrust/piercing attack types, so the effect is weaker with weapons that have split Magic, Fire, or Lightning damage.
- Some weapons do not claim to have a thrust attack in their "Attack type" description, but might still have one anyways (like the Bandit's Knife rolling R1).
- Various jumping R2 attacks, for weapons that only deal regular or slash attacks otherwise, can sometimes count as thrust damage.
- Pure magic weapons like the Moonlight Butterfly Horn can't deal counter damage at all.
- The Pickaxe and Warpick can deal counter damage. Though their attack isn't the thrusting motion, it is classified as a piercing attack.