Elden Ring – how to two-hand your weapons

Elden Ring – how to two-hand your weapons
Jack Webb Updated on by

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✓ at a glance
  • To two-hand your weapon in Elden Ring, you need to hold down Y/Triangle and then press R1/Rb.
  • You can also hold Y/Triangle and press L1/Lb to two-hand your left armament.

As with other Souls games, Elden Ring lets you two-hand your weapon. It leads to a boost in your attack power, so it’s important to learn how to two-hand your weapon in Elden Ring. The result is you put your secondary armament away to use your main weapon with two hands, regardless of what it is. Two-handing a weapon changes the play style and its attack pattern, allowing for more damage at the cost of defence.

Elden Ring how to two-hand your weapon - a woman hold a sword ready
Two-handing your weapon can let you use your weapon art. Image taken by VideoGamer

How to two-hand your weapon in Elden Ring

To two-hand your weapon in Elden Ring, you need to hold down Y/Triangle and then press R1/Rb. You can also do this with the weapon in your left hand by holding down Y/Triangle and pressing L1/Lb. While previous FromSoftware titles only used one button (the Y/Triangle button) for toggling two-handing a weapon, this has changed in Elden Ring. If you’re playing the game on PC using a keyboard and mouse, you should use the E Key and right-click your mouse to hold a weapon in two hands. Similarly, left-clicking the mouse will lead to Two Handing the left-hand weapon. 

Why should you two-hand in Elden Ring?

Elden Ring how to two-hand your weapon - a woman stands next to a cabin with a sword sheathed
If you two-hand your left weapon, you can sheath the weapon in your right hand. Image by VideoGamer

Two handing a weapon has a number of benefits. Firstly, holding a weapon in two hands leads to greater damage with almost any melee weapon. From Katanas to Greatswords to Straight Swords, all have increased damage when held in two hands. If you want to burst down a boss’s HP, then two-handing your weapon will let you deal more damage in fewer hits.

This is generally the rule of thumb in Souls games, and it remains true in Elden Ring. Another benefit of two-handing is that you can actually use this as a means to sheath one of your weapons. Let’s say you have a single longsword equipped. You can two-hand your off-hand weapon – in this case, your bare fists – and you will put your main-hand weapon in its scabbard. This is a great way to take nice screenshots or for RP purposes.

The biggest downside with two-handing your weapon is that you will be more open to attacks. This is especially true if you are using a weapon and a shield, putting your shield away to two-hand your weapon means you will be reliant on dodging or blocking with the weapon to avoid damage. Weapons aren’t reliable blocking tools, but they will help you in a pinch.

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While not the same thing, if you equip the same weapon type in both hands, you will now be in Powerstance. Powerstancing is also an exceptional tactic against bosses, especially slower bosses with larger health pools. This technique is basically known as dual-wielding in Elden Ring, and you don’t have to press a button or anything to trigger it.

Two-handing weapons often unlock more styles of attacks. For example, a colossal sword that primarily does slam attacks when single-handed might do sweep attacks when Powerstanced which can be devastating against groups of enemies. Lastly, some weapons and classes benefit more from this style of gameplay. For example, Ultra Greatswords and Katanas are best used Two-Handed, for this allows for more versatility, damage, and quickness