Just a few minutes into your Lies of P adventure, the game asks you to choose a Combat Style for your character. Unfortunately, the game isn’t quite kind enough to explain what any of those combat styles actually mean or do. Naturally, that leaves many players feeling anxious about making the “wrong” choice.
The good news is that Lies of P‘s Combat Style system isn’t quite that intense or even all that important for the rest of the game. However, you can certainly give yourself an advantage by picking the Combat Style that is the best fit for you.
Before we dive into that, though, please note that I will be referencing various Lies of P stats throughout this article. If you’d like a little more info on what those mean, be sure to check out this hopefully handy guide.
Lies of P Combat Styles Explained
Your choice of Combat Style in Lies of P will determine your starting stats, gear, and Fable Art abilities. It’s the closest thing the game has to a “class” system in the sense that your choice of Combat Style will partially determine your character’s starting strengths and weaknesses as well as their basic style of play.
As for Fable Arts, those are essentially the special abilities associated with your currently equipped blade and handle. Though they are quite useful, you will be swapping that equipment often during Lies of P, so don’t feel like your Combat Style choice locks you into a certain set of abilities for long.
Can You Change Your Combat Style In Lies of P?
You can’t directly change your Combat Style in Lies of P, but you can change the stats, gear, and Fable Art abilities that your Combat Style affects through various in-game mechanics.
So if you choose a quicker starting combat style and want more power, you can simply level up your character’s stats associated with attack power as you progress. Don’t like your starting weapon or Fable Art? You’ll have numerous opportunities to modify both as you progress through the game. You’ll even have the chance to acquire the starting weapons you “missed” (and those weapons’ associated abilities) fairly early into the game for a reasonable price, so you’re not really missing out on that either. Your Combat Style ultimately determines where you start rather than where you end up.
With that in mind, here’s a look at what the various Combat Styles in the game actually do:
Lies of P: Path of The Cricket Explained
Starting Weapon: Puppet’s Saber
Vitality – 9
Vigor – 7
Capacity – 8
Motivity – 9
Technique – 9
Advance – 7
Path of the Cricket is described as a “balanced” playstyle, and I certainly struggle to think of a better way to describe this style of combat.
Walking the Path of the Cricket means that you begin the game with a relatively even balance of offensive and defensive stats as well as a solid starting weapon that lets you perform a basic slashing attack and some surprisingly useful Fable Arts. It’s an across-the-board solid option.
That all probably seems rather unexciting, but there are numerous reasons to consider Cricket. Not only are those slashing attacks rather nice in the early parts of the game when you may find yourself battling multiple lesser foes in tighter spots, but even stat distribution can be a good thing when you’re just trying to figure out how you want to build your character.
Lies of P: Path of the Bastard Explained
Starting Weapon: Wintry Rapier
Vitality – 8
Vigor – 12
Capacity – 7
Motivity – 5
Technique – 11
Advance – 6
The simplest way to understand the Path of the Bastard is to consider all possible meanings of the word “speed” in relation to Lies of P.
The Path of the Bastard grants you the Vigor needed to maximize your attack speed and dodge/blog potential, as well as some extra Technique points for your quick strike starting weapon. This is a stick-and-move style of play that will be most familiar to those who have experience with slightly faster Soulslike games. As is the case with many of those games, Path of the Bastard players are looking to unleash a series of quick hits designed to stagger enemies rather than finish them off with a well-timed blow.
However, choosing the Path of the Bastard means sacrificing raw attack power as well as the ability to equip better (or heavier) gear earlier in the game. That means that you will need to rely on your reflexes and raw mechanics abilities early on (though Lies of P tends to emphasize both of those things anyway).
Lies of P: Path of the Sweeper Explained
Starting Weapon: Greatsword of Fate
Vitality – 11
Vigor – 5
Capacity – 11
Motivity – 11
Technique – 5
Advance – 6
Though it’s difficult to “tank” your way through Lies of P, Path of the Sweeper comes closest to allowing you to achieve that basic concept.
Thanks to its exceptionally high starting Vitality, Capacity, and Motivity, the Path of the Sweeper allows you to start the game with unrivaled raw attack power, carrying capacity, and health. The Sweeper’s slow, but powerful, starting weapon can also effectively one-shot most lesser enemies in the early parts of the game.
All of that is lovely, though I cannot overstate just how slow this style of play can be. Missing one of those big hits can be a big deal. While you may be able to take more hits with this style, this is not the kind of game where you’ll want to stand there and just eat incoming damage. That makes this a very risk/reward-focused playstyle.
What Is The Best Combat Style In Lies of P?
While all of Lies of P’s combat styles are viable, Path of the Bastard is the best starting combat style for the majority of players.
Why? Well, generally speaking, agility and escapability are more important than raw power in Lies of P. You’re going to want to be nimble in this game, despite the fact that blocks tend to be more valuable than dodges. Besides, a perfectly timed block in this game will only cost you Stamina, whereas standard and missed blocks will cost you HP.
And that is the biggest reason why you should start with the Path of the Bastard. That path starts you off with 134 total Stamina, which is 25 more Stamina points than the next closest option will have access to. That’s not only one of the more significant stating stat gaps in the game, but Stamina is one stat that most Lies of P players will want an abundance of regardless of how they choose to experience the rest of the game. Comparatively, it’s slightly easier to raise your attack power and defenses through the gear you’ll be crafting and equipping anyway.
Regarding the other options, it’s honestly hard to go wrong with Path of the Cricket, but I’d tend to recommend it more for Soulslike beginners than veterans. Most genre veterans will likely appreciate the speed of Bastard more, and the relatively even stat distribution you get with this playstyle isn’t quite as valuable as it would be in other Soulslike games that use stats to balance wildly different combat styles like melee and casting. Path of the Cricket also starts you off with arguably the best initial Fable Arts in the game, though it’s easy enough to replace that gear by spending currency that is generally less valuable than stat points.
That leaves us with Path of the Sweeper which is…certainly an option. Jokes aside, I find that Path of the Sweeper is the most “specialist” style in the game. In this case, it happens to cater to those who want to deal a ton of damage with every swing and aren’t necessarily worried about leaving themselves open in the process. While that style of play can yield tremendous results, I just never found raw attack power to be nearly as desirable as the other major Lies of P stats and attributes. At the very least, it will certainly make the early parts of the game more difficult (even if the Sweeper gains instant access to some nice pieces of starting gear).