Swing Manipulation

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Overview[edit | edit source]

This will cover the fundamentals to apply basic learning theory, purpose, and a means to identify manipulations.
(add a overview to each main section that can be read kind of like a novel)

(make sure to add segments explaining all the terminology)

Manipulation precursors[edit | edit source]


Purpose[edit | edit source]

There are many things to account for when modifying a strike or stab. First you have to define the purpose of the manipulation. A singular action can be multipurpose though it's effectiveness can vary in achieving a proportional result from a similar purpose action.

For example, you can attack with a strike from the left and right side. If the purpose is to damage another player they can both achieve the same result. Depending on the situation, one of those options may not be possible thus making the other one more effective.

Different game mechanics no matter how abstract they are when compared have possibility to serve a similar purpose. When comparing different types of manipulation note that this comes in to play.


Self-observation[edit | edit source]

What are the things that influence your playstyle? How do you process different influences? Without the ability to self-reflect and implement constant change you will always limit yourself when taking on a new obstacle. Sheer determination in hours played mean a lot less when compared to another player that has mastered a way to adapt and implement. Understand what you can and cannot change then adapt to mitigate disadvantages.

Swing corrections[edit | edit source]

There is a huge amount of variability in attacks.


To list a few

  • Positioning
  • Timings
  • Patterns
  • Environmental factors
  • Player encounter count
  • Different weapons

Actions have a chance to not line up with their intended purpose. You can utilize manipulation to make the outcome more consistent by adding corrections in response to constantly changing variables. In some cases adding corrections can increase the amount of possibilities that were previously not considered. (add part about how swings can be corrected to give a 2nd chance to hit)

Intentional misses[edit | edit source]

There will be many scenarios where you will have to maneuver attacks around an obstacle. It should be noted that with the implementation of the miss detector mechanic there is a chance for the opponent to recovery their parry nearly instant.


Common uses of intentional misses

  • Feinting into a combo
  • Feinting to open another players defense in a xv1
  • Skipping over another players parry in a 1vx
  • Attacking around or over teammates to limit opponents player isolation
  • Baiting

Practice[edit | edit source]

(missing overview)


Seeking identity of knowledge[edit | edit source]

The always seen but never known until learned then seen. How do you know something is missing? How do you identify what isn't known? The journey you have is the wisdom you seek when it comes to mordhau. Names, numbers, opinions, there are many ways that people seek to verify. Test everything but don't use yourself alone to verify. What but not how you say? How am I supposed to just know? What the F*** even is common knowledge anyways? Even when I ask you don't even know. hypocrite. Start small. Keep searching. Testing. yes! FINALLY! i can see it

Tracers[edit | edit source]

Being able to see what is happening with your weapon is vital to identifying and understanding what manipulations are taking place.

Here is what tracers can show you[edit | edit source]
  • The starting points
  • Deviations indicate where manipulation has taken place.
  • Red tracers show where you can be damaged by overlapping them.
  • Green tracers show where an extension from the normal angle is on a weapon. One of the examples given in the game settings is the protruding blade of axes.
  • Blue tracers show where your weapon handle is.
You can enable tracers by[edit | edit source]
  1. Using the game settings menu. Return to the home screen or press escape > Press the settings icon indicated as a gear > Select GAME under the fight button and next to video. The option is near the bottom of the game settings section > click the checkmark to the right of draw tracers > click apply in the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Using the console. Press the button defined for show console near the bottom of key bindings in settings. If you don't know how to get there follow this path. Return to the home screen or press escape > Press the settings icon indicated as a gear > select KEY BINDINGS under fight and to the left of manage mods > scroll all the way to the bottom of key bindings. There will be 2 options to use show console under primary and secondary. If there isn't you need to bind one. Next press the key you bound twice for console > enter the command m.DrawTracers 1 then press enter. Conversely you can replace the value of one with a 0 to turn it off.


If the tracers persist in space by an undesired amount you can change the duration.

You can change tracers stay time by[edit | edit source]

Higher number = Longer duration until it disappears

Lower number = Shorter duration until it disappears

  1. Using the game settings menu. Return to the home screen or press escape > Press the settings icon indicated as a gear > Select GAME under the fight button and next to video. The option is near the bottom of the game settings section > left click on top of the number under draw tracers and to the right of TRACER STAY TIME. Then input the desired numerical value. You can move your mouse away from hovering on top or press enter to confirm the change. You can also grap and move the slider to the right of the number. > After you have picked a number you can left click apply in the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Using the console. Press the key you bound twice for console > enter the command m.DrawTracersStayTime 1 then press enter. Replace the 1 with your desired duration.
Tracer visual alignment[edit | edit source]

(missing info) Where is the damaging part aligned with the weapon?

Starting points[edit | edit source]

Whenever you press to start an attack there is an initial position relative to your opponents. The starting position of your camera, body and crosshair can determine if a certain manipulation will be effective. If you're facing an opponent with their back turned towards you they're limiting known possibilities to counter your approach.

  • Good camera positioning heightens your awareness.
  • Good body positioning increases response timings.
  • Good crosshair positioning increases response timings and consistency.


Separation between weapon and crosshair[edit | edit source]

Weapons and crosshair are only loosely connected with manipulation. Not all weapon tracers will pass over the crosshair since they have slightly different tracer patterns. Applying different types of manipulation will desync your weapon relative to the placement of your crosshair. When you're not performing an action they remain consistent and connected in most cases.

Crosshair patterns[edit | edit source]

There are many names to moves that will refer to the shape of the crosshair movement. Many times these will get mixed in to manipulation names when they are only loosely related. Crosshair patterns make use of starting points. They're an extension of drawing invisible shapes with multiple types of manipulation to an end point.

Resetting your view[edit | edit source]

This is all about consistency in your starting points. In order to modify something it is a best practice to have a baseline. Without a baseline you wont have a means to conclude that the end result of the manipulation wont be a false positive. A practice suggested to new players is to re-center their crosshair on the opponents heads after every attack. On top of the benefit of retaining your opponent in line of sight it provides a way to respond defensively to normalized spacing and movements.


Practice testing map and skill isolation[edit | edit source]

One of the main ways to theory craft and refine your muscle memory is to join a clan or group of players. Many movements are based on things that are entirely conditional. There are many types of scenario building that can not be practiced effectively due to the large amount of variability in social connections, skill, setup time, hardware, connection latency, reaction time, map specific elements, skill mixing, scale, distance and more. Bots are great for quick reset times, more consistent loops, ease of scale, and they don't get bored after doing the same thing endlessly. Players are great at providing a way to iterate testing at a fast pace, adapt, provide criticism from a different perspective, and to show you difference in reactions. There is no way to simulate a full past fight since the moment you do something different the whole dynamic strays from the source. Many players don't understand how to isolate inputs to test an individual mechanic. There is a large amount of overlap in ability to do certain actions with different inputs. One example is that you don't need to press s to walk backwards it can be done by alternating footwork moving left and right while moving your mouse. A player not knowing how to isolate inputs when testing can cause false positives thus making it unreliable. (missing info adding more later)


You can access a testing map to isolate basic movement and swing manipulation with a player controlled bot here.


Conditional Moves[edit | edit source]

These are actions that have a set of dependencies in order for it to be performed. When you're first learning manipulations it's easy to fall in to the trap of never taking initiative unless the conditions are met. The more you rely on conditional moves, the easier it is for your opponent to identify patterns.


Examples of conditional moves

  • Baiting
  • Combos
  • Ripostes
  • Dodges
  • Matrixing
  • Ducking
  • Jumping
  • Chambers


Riposte feeding[edit | edit source]

(missing info)

Memorizing timings[edit | edit source]

(missing overview)


The spreadsheet meme[edit | edit source]

(missing info)


Windup, release and recovery are measured in time[edit | edit source]

Mordhau has time based strategy elements. Good decision making is a higher consistency strategy than relying on pure manipulation. Many improvements were made to lower the amount of hit trading which gives the impression that it is a turn based strategy game but that is only one part overall. The combat is continuous and real time. Being able to manage response decisively and formulate future decisions is a key factor in adapting to different play styles. There are in-between states before you have to fully commit. This time allows you to apply manipulation that lets you alter your attacks if they no longer serve the intended purpose. Many players use recovery turtling to avoid absolutes to stay in this in-between state of staying able to respond.

(add a more in depth description of all the phases of an attack and what they entail)


Bad habits and muscle memory[edit | edit source]

Many players when they first start learning are taught by recursion. To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion. A similar approach is to feel it out. To understand recursion you must first feel it out is what an idiot would say. If you don't understand the joke you're most likely one of these people and you should take a step back to educate yourself on many things. Learning without understanding changes how you apply things. Muscle memory is built by repetition although by understanding the fundamentals more you will instinctively lessen the amount of bad repetition.

Don't trust grunt timings[edit | edit source]

There is a audible grunt to signify when a attack has passed the time frame to cancel it or to perform another action.


Grunts are good for identifying these few things

  1. When a attack has entered release phase
  2. Spatial awareness
  3. When a player could start to lunge forward

Grunts may be coded to have a fixed timing but there are many mechanical and software components that make audio unreliable for exact measurement. Even if audio could be 100% precise too much variance is created by the factors listed in swing corrections.

Behind the screen[edit | edit source]

There are many things you can do to raise your consistency interfacing with the game. Regardless of what device or control scheme you use.

To list a few

  • Posture
  • Neutral positioning in physical space with devices that move frequently.
  • Using the same devices every time.
  • Improving ergonomics in your setup so your resting position doesn't need to change because of discomfort.


Weapons have a base speed and turn caps[edit | edit source]

After you press to start an attack there is a continuous rate of movement to the weapon. It is theoretically possible to match the continuous rate in the opposite direction to make a weapon seemingly stand still with mouse manipulation. In practice there are far too many variables to make this perfectly consistent. The concept of manipulating this base speed is called dragging and accelerating which is covered here. (go more in depth and really define what a drag and accel are. then point out their differences and how they're applied) The rate at which you can manipulate the base speed is determined by the turn cap. (add a more in depth definition of what a turn cap is also how the values are applied)

Whenever you move your mouse out of a neutral position you lessen the potential travel distance in the projected path of the surface it's gliding on to an environmental obstruction or to the end point of physical reach. Conversely, by extending projected movement to an extreme value along the end point of reach it creates more potential in the opposite direction while lessening it in the current path. While this observation may be appealing to exploit it causes a defensive weakness in your starting points and it encourages your opponent to safely strafe around you. By returning your mouse to a neutral position after every swing you limit these potential downsides.


There are ways to return the mouse to a neutral position.

  1. Sliding it back - The downside here is a small but noticeable pattern making your inputs more predictable.
  2. Picking it up - The downside here is a small but noticeable delay in reaction time with this method.


(add a description for glancing blow here)


(add a description for Minimizing turn distance here)

(add a description for position sticking here)

Different weapon stats[edit | edit source]

Choosing different weapons will have tradeoffs. You can see weapon statistics here.


Brief important factors in weapon statistics that change player behavior in applying swing manipulation.

  • Length - how close or far your encounters need to be.
  • Damage - the risk factor to an approach.
  • Miss cost - frequency and accuracy of the follow-through of attacks.
  • Stamina drain and parry drain negation - if they will strategize disarms over manipulation or baiting for recovery.
  • Stop on hit - increases the need for mix ups, intentional misses, combos, and remembering recovery timings in a 1vx.
  • Knockback - changes the amount of spatial awareness needed to engage in a fight and the amount of footwork required to maintain manipulation effectiveness.
  • Windup - the longer your windup is the more you have to predict things instead of just reacting to them.
  • Combo - changes the approach to an engagement and how likely you may choose stamina drain over recovery.
  • Release - the amount of time after windup that your damage value is active. (slightly change this to better convey how it changes player behavior)
  • Recovery - the amount of time you can't perform other actions like parrying or attacking again after you fully commit. (slightly change this to better convey how it changes player behavior)
  • Alt mode - can be used to fulfill a specific use case by removing restrictions that were applied to the primary mode or by environmental factors.

Note that there are many other features that can impact gameplay with manipulation.

  • Weapon stance can change the weapons max extension and starting point regardless of length not of the weapon but of the reach.
  • Arm space distance is the empty space behind the blue tracers showing where the handle is. This has a huge impact on timing, reach and accuracy of attacks.
  • Lunges a description of lunges can be found here.
  • Head positioning with different weapons slightly changes fov
  • Alt grip changing your dominant foot on some weapons (aka the shuffle)


Body reading Manipulations[edit | edit source]

(missing info)

Telegraphing[edit | edit source]

Telegraphing is intentionally or unintentionally sending a message most commonly through nonverbal communication; making it easier for the opponent to judge their situation and read intent if it was unintentional. The intentional use of telegraphing is referred to as body feinting. (add example of body feinting on another page and link it)


Common telegraphing types

  • Overextending mouse manipulation
  • Prematurely adjusting body orientation
  • Sprint tapping
  • Lunging
  • Repetitive and impulsive inputs while fidgeting


(Add a couple examples of when using telegraphing is good or bad)



Neutral attacks

(missing info)

Face hugging

(missing info)


Countering manipulations with footwork[edit | edit source]

(missing info)

Matching footwork

(missing info)

Moving away from the attack direction

(missing info)

Common swing manipulations[edit | edit source]

(missing overview)

Body orientation[edit | edit source]


What it is - This is the initial relative positioning to another player when looking in a particular direction. This manipulation relies on using starting points to change the timing of arrival towards a direction with an attack. Identifying this type of manipulation requires body reading and understanding limitations in starting point positioning. This type of manipulation is most commonly used in combination with mouse manipulation. The key difference is that body orientation manipulation is setup before your movements are influenced by the turn cap.

How to perform it - (missing info)

How to apply it in combat - (missing info)


Time it can be applied

Before the swing - yes

Into windup - no

During windup - no

Into release - no

During release - no

Default Input - move mouse before an attack


Additional notes - (missing info)


Mouse movement[edit | edit source]

What it is - (missing info)

How to perform it - (missing info)

How to apply it in combat - (missing info)


Time it can be applied

Before the swing - no

Into windup - no

During windup - yes

Into release - yes

During release - yes

(missing description)
Default Input - move mouse during an attack

Additional notes - (missing info)


Footwork[edit | edit source]

What it is - (missing info)

How to perform it - (missing info)

How to apply it in combat - (missing info)


Time it can be applied

Before the swing - yes

Into windup - yes

During windup - yes

Into release - yes

During release - yes

(missing description)

Default Input - use w, a, s and d to move in all directions


Additional notes - There are 2 focuses with footwork the body and weapon. The body can move to another position increasing or decreasing distance between an opponent effectively changing the time of arrival by travel distance. The weapon has a form of persistence and a rate of travel in a certain direction. This persistence used to be static and fixed to the movement of the body. Weapons now have a form of membership to the body that is influenced but not fixed to the body as a whole. You will notice that attacking then adjusting position with footwork can show how the weapon persists or moves in different places and arm space changes based on the sequential direction interrupting normal tracer patterns. One way to observe this happening is to first swing standing still while watching the distance between the weapon and your crosshair. Then repeat the process while moving. In some cases you can direct a swing by aiming with your footwork input to make them more likely to reach since it is independent from the turn cap. (adding more later)


Jumping[edit | edit source]

What it is - (missing info)

How to perform it - (missing info)

How to apply it in combat - (missing info)


Time it can be applied

Before the swing - yes

Into windup - yes

During windup - yes

Into release - yes

During release - no

(missing description)
Default Input - press spacebar


Additional notes - (missing info)


Crouching[edit | edit source]

What it is - (missing info)

How to perform it - (missing info)

How to apply it in combat - (missing info)


Time it can be applied

Before the swing - yes

Into windup - yes

During windup - yes

Into release - yes

During release - yes

(missing description)
Default Input - press or hold control


Additional notes - Crouching can lessen the impact of manipulation created by movement.


Lunges[edit | edit source]

What it is - (missing info)

How to perform it - (missing info)

How to apply it in combat - (missing info)


Time it can be applied

Before the swing - no

Into windup - no

During windup - no

Into release - yes

During release - no

(missing description)


Default Input - strike with left mouse button or stab with middle scroll, w and shift


Additional notes - Lunges are a fixed speed and length. The variance in range is created by the increased amount of wind up in larger weapons. You can see when the velocity changes are initiated by using the command m.showpawndebug 1. Lunges do not require you to hold w through the whole process. Using shift to sprint with a lunge is not required to start one but recommend. Having an increased amount of time in windup can make target switching easier without having to cancel your attack to retain closeness.

Ripostes[edit | edit source]

What it is - (missing info)

How to perform it - (missing info)

How to apply it in combat - (missing info)


Time it can be applied

Before the swing - no

Into windup - yes

During windup - no

Into release - no

During release - no

(missing description)

Default Input - parry with right mouse button then start a strike with the left mouse button or stab with middle scroll


Additional notes - (missing info)