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Devil May Cry 5 Beginner’s Guide: The Best Skills To Unlock First For Each Demon Hunter

We’re loving Devil May Cry 5 right now.

But we have to admit; it’s pretty tough. And there’s a plethora of options and unlocks that can overwhelm you on your first go. We’re here to help you out with that by breaking down each character and their skills & tricks.

Nero, The DMC4 Guy With The Arm


Nero fights like he does in part 4; he has guns, swords, and an arm to drag enemies to him or zipline to them. He’s got a bunch of new toys to play with this time around.

Wire Snatch

The Wire Snatch move gives Nero the ability to pull smaller enemies directly in front of him or pull himself directly in front of larger enemies.

Many of Nero’s attacks end with him knocking an enemy back. This means Wire Snatch is crucial to keeping combos strung together as you increase your style rank.

Make sure you upgrade the Wire Snatch completely in order to use it from longer distances ala Bionic Commando.

Red Queen

The Red Queen is a sword Nero will use for the entirety of Devil May Cry 5. The enormous blade delivers impressive damage in just a few strikes, and it’s fitted with a combustion “Exceed” engine to deliver even more destruction when revved up. The Red Queen is what you’ll use to chain most of your combo attacks together, and it’s versatile enough to use in almost any situation.

These are the abilities you should unlock first:

Streak: Dash forward and slice your enemy. This ability is similar to Dante’s famous Stinger, but ends in a large slash rather than a fast combination of stabs. Streak is ideal for closing the distance on bosses or enemies who are guarding against ranged attacks. Plus, you can dodge or jump immediately once the Streak animation finishes.

Roulette Spin: While in the air, Nero does a combination of slices on an enemy and then throws them even higher into the air. This move can keep specific enemies airborne and out of the fight long enough to cull the herd.

Shuffle: Nero will quickly take a step back, then slam forward with a single slash. This is ideal for faster bosses and against single enemies who don’t stay in the same place for very long before moving.

Its damage is impressive, and it can be the first attack you land in a longer chain.

Payline: Nero dashes from midair in a diagonal line, striking an enemy on the ground below. Payline is absolutely crucial as a finishing move after juggling an enemy in the air. When paired with Wire Snatch, you can repeat this technique multiple times in a row.

Blue Rose

The Blue Rose is a multi-barreled revolver that fire powerful rounds. It delivers high damage while also being quick enough to use in a pinch. Nero doesn’t need to rely on it as heavily as Dante does with his guns, but it can make certain fights a whole lot easier.

Unlock these abilities first to get the most out of your guns:

Colour Up: Load multiple rounds into the barrel at once before firing, dealing extended damage to enemies. Can be used to tie up one target while you focus on others.

Charge Shot: Launch an extremely powerful round at an enemy, sending them flying backward. Charge Shot takes quite a bit of time to prepare, but the damage it does makes it great for finishing off enemies at long range.

Devil Breakers (his mecha-arm)

Nero uses disposable Devil Breakers on his right arm, giving him access to special attacks that change depending on which one he has equipped. It’s worth experimenting with them all ;we’ve detailed a few of the most effective ones below:

Overture: Your initial Devil Breaker, the Overture offers great damage and is quick enough that you can do it with little chance of being interrupted. It’s effective against bosses with big weak points.

Punch Line: Fires rocket punches at enemies, dealing damage over time. It also allows you to simultaneously slash with the Red Queen or fire the Blue Rose.

Buster Arm: Uses special “Buster” technique to do enormous damage to enemies. Ideal for one-on-one fights, as it’s extremely expensive to replace.

Ragtime: Slows time in a small bubble. Best for when enemies are crowded together near Nero, as you can then tie them up in a combo before the ability runs its course. Ineffective against larger bosses.

Rawhide: Swings a whip-like Simon Belmont on amphetamines. Deals damage to all nearby targets, and great for crowd management if you’re getting backed into a corner.

Dante, The OG Devil Hunter


He’s still the same as before with his four styles from parts 3 and 4.

Rebellion (and other swords)

You don’t have to choose between the swords Dante uses in Devil May Cry 5. Later in the game, he will use more than one and your moves will carry over.

Dante’s sword attacks are fast and vicious. They are best used alongside at least one other melee weapon. We recommend unlocking these abilities first:

Stinger with Million Stab: These two abilities work together in perfect harmony. The Stinger is similar to Nero’s Streak move, with Dante dashing toward a target to deliver a stab. Add on Million Stab, however, and he ends the move with a series of insanely fast strikes.

Swords Formation: This ability conjures swords to fight alongside you. It can be upgraded further to increase its power, and the extra damage you’ll deal can make some of Dante’s more hectic fights easier to manage.


The Balrog functions as two weapons, as its “modes” transform it from lightning-fast punching gauntlets into powerful kicking greaves. You can swap between the two instantly, and it’s great for delivering a quick burst of damage after you attack with the Rebellion first.

Get the following abilities first:

Updraft: Launch enemies up with a kick. This is a good alternative to the “back-plus-melee” attack Dante can do with his sword and serves as a great starter for a combination of attacks.

Rolling Blaze: Damage enemies when you jump in the air. This shouldn’t be used as an attack in its own right, but will let you get something out of making an escape from danger.


It’s a full-size motorcycle that Dante can rip in half and use as melee weapons. Yes, the one in that post-E3 trailer.

The slowest melee weapon in the game, the Cavaliere is also an absolute monster when it comes to taking down armoured targets. At the end of certain attacks, you can also grind enemies into its wheels for even more damage.

These are the abilities you should unlock for this beast:

Cross Line: Dante crosses two halves of the bike over for an extremely powerful attack that can damage anyone & anything in front of him. This is ideal for larger and/or armoured targets.

Highside: In midair, Dante does serious damage with the Cavaliere and then soars skyward. Great for linking combo attacks together or for getting airtime while keeping yourself away from enemies.

Braking: Dante slams the Cavaliere down and drives enemies into wheels. Ideal for situations when there are low-level enemies that can be easily killed on the ground below, or for quickly dealing damage to armoured targets.

King Cerberus

A versatile, shape-shifting weapon, the King Cerberus can take the form of lengthened nunchucks or a powerful staff, depending on which button you press. You receive it late in the game, and it’s great for quickly damaging enemies on the ground.

Get these abilities first for your hybrid weapon:

Revolver: Spin violently into the air and bring chains down on the enemy. Effective against targets directly in front of you.

Long Revolver: Electrify your weapon and do several full-length spins. Preparing this attack takes a second, making it less effective in hectic fights but great for fights against one or two strong enemies.

Crystal: Sent huge glacial blade at enemies. Good for taking out targets at long-distance, particularly if you’re using a ranged weapon like the Coyote-A.

Ebony and Ivory

Dante’s classic pistols, Ebony and Ivory have impressive range and can keep combo attacks going, but they don’t do much damage in their own right. Their ability to keep targets off balance can be enhanced with one ability.

Charge Shot: Dante charges up both pistols and does several seconds of rapid-fire shots. Ideal for breaking guards or keeping a combo going.


A powerful shotgun with a short range, the Coyote-A does tremendous damage and is perfect for killing flying enemies who evade Dante’s melee attacks.

Make sure you get the following ability to get the most out of it.

Charge Shell: Dante launches a super-powerful slug at the enemy. This attack takes a long time to charge up, but if uses at the very beginning of a battle, it can help you quickly gain the momentum.

Kalina Ann and Double Kalina Ann

A rocket launcher acquired near the end of Devil May Cry 5, the Kalina Ann is perfect for dealing damage from afar to larger enemies and bosses. It’s less useful in hectic fights against multiple targets though.

A second launcher can be found and turn the weapon into the Double Kalina Ann. Get the following abilities if you want to focus on this weapon:

High Explosive: Add explosive to the missile you fire for extra damage.

Cascade: While using the Double Kalina Ann, charge up a powerful beam of energy that pierces through targets. Also knocks them back.

Dr. Faust

Dr. Faust is hand-given to Dante by Nico that allows him to spend Red Orbs in exchange for a powerful and rapid-fire projectile attack. It should not be used on your first run through the game, as you should be spending those Red Orbs on other abilities. That said, you should unlock this ability:

Man in Red: Surround self in red orbs that deal damage when they hit enemies. Used in conjunction with other attacks to do extra damage.

V, The Poet Who Knoweth


He plays like a wizard in an action game with summons; kinda like a Dragon’s Dogma character if that makes sense.

Trigger Heart: Reduces the rate of Devil Trigger expends while Nightmare is active. This is essential for larger fights because a sizable portion of your damage will come from Nightmare. Get it as early as you can.


Griffon is a wise-cracking raven who primarily uses ranged combat. His standard electricity bolts wear down enemies, but it’s his larger area-of-effect attacks that are the most useful.

Blockade: Summons lightning down that does damage to a wide area. Good for lots of weaker enemies, and when you have multiple targets nearing death.

Flank Attack: Charges forward and launches enemies into the air. Most useful when battling a single enemy so that Shadow can follow up with is own attack.

Double Check: Fires an electric shock forward that slams into enemies. Good for crowd control, especially when you can’t use Nightmare.

Griffon Vigor: Essentially a health boost. Stronger defence prevents stalemating from occurring too quickly.

Griffon Vim: Allows Griffon to come back more quickly from a stalemate. Get this ability as soon as possible.


A deadly panther with impressive range, Shadow is your primary melee weapon. He’s capable of dealing damage to multiple targets at a time but functions best when in one-on-one scenarios.

Breakthrough: Shadow dives forward and dashes ahead, attacking with tentacles in front. Good for getting to targets at a medium range.

Guillotine: While in midair, Shadow spins forward or drop attacks on enemies. This can do tremendous damage, especially to targets who are also airborne.

Shadow Vigor: Essentially a health boost. Functions identically to Griffon’s ability.

Shadow Vim: Allows Shadow to recover from a stalemate more quickly. Identical to Griffon’s ability. Get this ability as soon as possible.


A hulking, golem-like creature, Nightmare appears when you activate V’s Devil Trigger ability, and it will fight for you until the meter is empty. Nightmare can devastate targets of any size, so you don’t want to waste it on smaller battles.

Domination: Nightmare fires a large laser from its eye while V is riding him. This can only be done after performing Illegal Move, which is performed by moving the stick backward and then forward.

Next Page: Blue Orbs, Secret Missions.

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