Your favourite Umbran Witch is back and with full force. Not only are both Bayonetta and the Wii U exclusive sequel out on Nintendo Switch this week, but a third entry is already in the works as a Switch exclusive no less.

Given that basically no one bought a Wii U (sorry, Wii U!) chances are you've never played this excellent hack and slasher. Don't worry though, as we've got a bunch of tips and tricks to help get you started.

We'll focus this guide on battling, as that's the real core of this experience. You'll probably want to try and get a high score in every battle too, so these tips and tricks will definitely help you.

Keep your combo meter running

While you can definitely button mash your way through the entire game (on the easier settings), your medals will likely be a little embarrassing. If you want to improve them, you'll need to get good – and fast.

But don't worry, the combat system isn't actually as complicated as it looks. You basically just need to learn how the scoring system works and then exploit it for maximum points in every single battle.

First though, you should just focus on keeping your combo meter running. This is essential to getting a high score, as your multiplier increases with every single attack. While Bayonetta 2 is a lot deeper than just the combo meter, this is the surest way to get a high score for beginners.

So how do you keep it running? Well, two ways really: hit enemies and don't get hit back. Here's the golden rule: once you hit an enemy, you have six seconds to hit them again or your combo meter is broken. It also breaks if you take a hit, so dodging is incredibly important.

In fact, you should prioritise dodging over all else really. Enemies have very obvious tells when they're about to attack, and they're both auditory and visual. When fighting a new enemy for the first time, sit back and watch what they do, learn their attacks, then rain damage down on them like a fierce rainstorm.

Lastly, you can keep your combo multiplier increasing while at range if you use pistols. Just hold down the attack button to keep firing as you move into a position to attack. Get in the habit of doing this.

Learn some techniques

Hitting and dodging to keep your combo meter running is only half of the battle though, as the scoring system also rates your killing speed. Damage is important too, as you need to bring down enemies quickly to nab the higher scores.

The best way to do this is to learn some combos that are easy to pull off. You don't need to memorise every single combo in the game, just your favourites.

One thing to bear in mind though, is that you do receive diminishing returns for using the same combo over and over again, but there is a way to cheat this system. Each time you use a Wicked Weave, you completely reset the reward system, so you just need to incorporate a few of these into your attack pattern to keep that score high.

Time your dodges correctly to enter Witch Mode

If you dodge at the very last moment of an enemy's attack, you'll enter Witch Mode. This slows down time to a crawl, keeping you safe from enemy attacks, and actually increases the score of any attacks you inflict while in this mode.

Activate it as often as possible to increase your score in absolutely safety.

Use attacks that offer a higher score

You can increase the score you gain by performing certain attacks in certain situations. Let's bullet point this to make it easier to follow:

  • Wicked Weaves provide the full score bonus when hitting multiple foes. This is important, as a regular attack doesn't provide the same score for hitting a foe you're not targeting. So while facing groups, prioritise Wicked Weaves to get a higher score.
  • Taunt foes to get a higher score – at your own risk. If you taunt a foe, that foe will get enraged. This does make them more dangerous, but also gives you 1.5x more score each hit.
  • Witch Mode also improves your attack score per hit by 1.5x. Try and activate this as much as possible.

If you mess up, cancel your attack

Let's get one thing straight: you're going to mess up, and often in Bayonetta 2. Just get over it. Oh, and get in the habit of cancelling your attack if you don't have time to finish it before dodging.

This is super easy to pull off as well. Just double tap the dodge button and you'll turn into an animal, which offers increased defence and speed. Just run away from the battle in this form to avoid attacks and keep that combo meter running.

Dodge offsets

Don't obsess over this in the beginning, but when you feel more comfortable with the combat system and tend to dodge most attacks, you can start incorporating dodge offsets into your retinue.

This basically allows you to dodge an attack without breaking your combo. If done correctly, you can dodge, and then instantly perform the next attack in your combo.

It's not actually that hard to pull off either. Simply hold the attack button while dodging, then press the next sequence in the combo as soon as the dodge is over to continue your combo.

In the beginning, you might want to use Bayonetta's guns while dodge offsetting to get a feel for timing. You'll know you've performed this ability correctly if Bayonetta continues to fire her guns while dodging, and you'll also know when to press the next button in the combo as she'll stop dodging.

Aerial combos

The safest way to deal damage to your enemies, is to get them in the air and combo them without any danger of retaliation from surrounding foes.

To get an enemy up in the air, use Witch Strike or Afterburner Kick. You can purchase both of these techniques from the Gates of Hell. Once your enemy is in the air, jump up and then use your combos as normal to fight them in a safe environment.

Taunt enemies to increase your score

Taunting is the ultimate in risk reward in Bayonetta 2. Not only will this increase your reward for killing a taunted enemy, but that enemy will become enraged and attack you with more vigour than before.

Perhaps you should save this technique for when you're feeling more confident. It's easy to pull off that – jut press and hold down the left joystick.

You can also use a taunt to extend your combo, much in the same way as dodge offset.

Use guns until your comfortable, then experiment with other weapons

Guns really are your best bet during your first run through of the game. They might not deal as much damage as the other weapons, but they're just so damn useful for beginners.

If you've read the tips above, you'll already have a good understanding of why. You can keep your combo meter growing while at range by firing them, and you can help time your dodge offsets too.

While performing this maneuver, Bayonetta will fire her guns so you both know that you've pulled it off correctly, and can get a feel for timing your next attack in the combo sequence.

There is a downside to guns though, and that's the relatively low damage they output. Once you're familiar with the game and all of its various systems, you might want to swap to a more damaging weapon.

If you can still pull off all of the moves with ease while wielding these, you'll end up killing enemies faster. That's a good thing, because faster killing leads to platinum medals.

Umbran Climax and Torture Attacks

These are two special moves you can perform in Bayonetta 2 to dish out some insane damage and get a higher score. You can only perform them when your magic gauge is full though, and you fill that by dealing out consecutive attacks and activating Witch Mode.

A good rule of thumb is, Umbran Climax is best used against crowds while Torture Attacks are best used against a single opponent.

While Umbran Climax is activated, you can perform a series of Wicked Weaves for free, with the number depending on how long your magic gauge is. Each Wicked Weave will also end in an Infernal Weave, which summons a demon to perform a finisher on your opponents.

Torture Attack, on the other hand requires you to press punch and kick simultaneously while you're near a targeted foe. This summons a torture device you can use on your enemy, and requires a QTE-style button combo to pull off maximum damage.

Nearby enemies can't attack you while you perform a Torture Attack, so use them at your leisure. Bear in mind though, that Torture Attacks don't work on larger enemies like Beloved and Kinship.