How to use Runic Attacks in God of War Ragnarok

Learn how to equip and use Runic Attacks in God of War Ragnarok to carve through Kratos's enemies.

Kratos’ weapons are at their most powerful when God of War Ragnarok’s Runic Attacks for massive bursts of damage. With the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos, you have four Runic Attacks at your disposal – one light and one heavy for each weapon. In this guide, we’ll explain how to use Runic Attacks in God of War Ragnarok so you can burst down regular enemies and bosses alike.

How to use Runic Attacks in God of War Ragnarok

How to use Runic Attacks in God of War
© Santa Monica Studio

Runic Attacks are activated by holding L1 (block/parry) and then either R1 or R2. Here are the controls for how to use Runic Attacks in light and heavy forms:

  • L1 + R1: Light Runic Attack
  • L1 + R2: Heavy Runic Attack

Before you can use a Runic Attack, you’ll need to make sure you have one equipped. You don’t start the game with access to one, and you’ll need to play for more than an hour before you receive the first Runic Attack, Winter’s Bite, to equip. 

Once you do have access to a Runic Attack, you can equip it from the weapons section of the menu (see the full God of War Ragnarok controls here), in the same section you’d customize weapon parts. As noted previously, each weapon can equip one light Runic Attack and one heavy Runic Attack at a time, though again, you’ll need to unlock/collect them. Each attack has its own effects and gives a ranking for Damage, Stun, and Frost/Fire for the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos, respectively. 

God of War Ragnarok how to use Runic Attacks
© Santa Monica Studio

Each attack also has its own base cooldown shown next to the effects stats with a partially filled circle icon. You can view your Runic Attack cooldowns in the bottom left corner of the screen after use. An icon for the attack will slowly fill over time. There are separate cooldowns for each weapon’s heavy and light Runic Attacks, so make sure you swap between weapons to make use of them all.

The most important stats for Runic Attacks are Cooldown (CLD) and Runic (RNC). The higher your CLD stat, the faster they’ll recharge. The higher your RNC stat, the more damage you’ll deal when you unleash them.

In addition, Runic Attacks upgrade tiers by spending Kratos XP, becoming more powerful. As such, it’s a good idea to equip any new Runic Attacks you unlock and give them a whirl against any enemies you face.

God of War Ragnarok’s Runic Attacks are some of the most powerful tools in Kratos’ arsenal, so you should be using them often. They’ll start with extremely long cooldowns, but as you upgrade the attacks and Kratos’s stats, you’ll bring the Cooldowns down enough to make them regular damage dealers.

Now that you know how ot use Runic Attacks, the next skill to master is how to parry in God of War Ragnarok. We can also point you towards how to get your preorder bonus items as soon as possible.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at, or catch him on Twitter.


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