How to break the max Skill Connect on certain characters.
This is something that I figured out in my first week with the game. When I was making the SAO Sword Skill showcase videos I just thought “Oh. I wonder what’s the maximum possible Skill Connect combo” and I tried Switching Weapons in the middle of the combo. I didn’t even know what I was doing at the time, but I became aware that it was possible to SSC across weapons.
At the time though, I also thought “This is 100% gonna be patched out of the game so I’m not even gonna bother with this.” and I dropped the idea completely.
Then some time went by.
Then about two months ago when I had some free time (I think this was in version 2.20), I decided to give this a shot again. But it seemed like it wasn’t possible anymore because it wasn’t as simple as it was in the vanilla version of the game. You couldn’t Skill Connect across weapons ‘directly’ anymore. (I’ll explain what I mean by ‘directly’ in the “How To Skill Connect Across Weapons” section of this post)
But even so, I had to see if it had been removed for real. So I ended up spending about 4 hours messing around with this, trying different ways to Skill Connect to across weapons. It wasn’t going well and I was just about to give up.
But while doing my last try on the way to the teleporter, I finally did it by accident. I was able to Skill Connect across weapons on Kirito. I had to re-watch my gameplay recording over and over in slow motion to see what I did but eventually, I figured it out.
I figured it out!! Then because I have 0 naming sense, I called it “Super Kirito”.
Now, I spent the last two months experimenting with it and perfecting this ‘Super’ mode. I even tried it on different characters and with more than just 2 weapons. All so that I could come here and write an excruciatingly in-depth post in true BK fashion w
Disclaimer: I play on the PS4 version. I have absolutely no idea how this works on the vita & PC versions of the game. The method should be the same but you never know.
- BK’s Policy on Using Super Characters
- About Super Characters
- Super Character Restrictions
- Super Character Requirements
- How To Skill Connect Across Weapons
-BK’S POLICY ON USING SUPER CHARACTERS –
When I found this, a huge part of me wanted to keep this to myself. I was the only player in the world who knew about this and it gives just the right boost to characters to not make them game-breaking or OP.
But then I had flashbacks of the Passive Bug destroying the JP playerbase in a similar way. No good comes from keeping high level tech secret so I decided to reveal this when the game wasn’t getting any more patches.
So here we are.
Anyway, I still feel like this is my baby and wana keep it to myself so I’m reluctantly sharing it under one condition:
If you find out anything I don’t know about this, you have to tell me.
If you need to get a hold of me, write something in the comments section of this post (don’t worry about inserting an email). Or you can send me a message on PSN (BK_Brent), YouTube (BK Brent) or Twitter (@bkbrent).
-ABOUT SUPER CHARACTERS-
Essentially, ‘Super Characters’ is changing weapons during a Skill Connect combo in order to break the SSC limits on that particular character.
Here’s how it looks:
If you have absolutely no idea what’s so cool about this, Yuuki & Asuna are the only two characters in the game that can reach 190% normally. The other character’s used in the video have normal max SSC as follows:
- Kirito – 180% on All 3 Weapons
- Rain – 170% on Dual Wield & Rapier; 180% on 1H Sword
- Sumeragi – 180% on Katana & 1H; 170% on Rapier
With using this ‘Super’ mode, these characters are now able to reach 190%.
But hey, what’s a little 10%-20% increase on a Sword Skill?
It seems negligible, right?
Not really. Sword Skills used at the ends of long combos do ridiculous damage so the difference becomes fairly considerable. Here’s an example:
Imagine Sumeragi’s One Hand Tyr hitting for 2mil at 180%. If it was 190% it would hit for at least 2.2mil which is a solid increase in my books. I say “at least” here, because this equation doesn’t factor in your character’s Skill Connect Increase Passive Skills or if you happen to have Skill Connect UP on your weapon. These two things further increase Skill Connect damage considerably making the damage boost noticeable.
In my time testing Super Characters, the boost you get from doing this is just right to make it worth using, but at the same time doesn’t make any character overly powerful.
But because there are high usage requirements for Super Characters (More information on this in the next section of this post), a lot of people won’t necessarily get excited for a mere 10%-20% increase. The main question here, is whether its viable for the amount of preparation and execution it needs.
That’s not a question I can answer for you. But from my perspective, I think that this is something that is something that allows players dedicated to the game to reach for a level of strength that can only be earned through hard work and practice. That’s the kind of thing that really makes me happy as someone who dedicates a lot of time to this game.
Its also worth pointing out that because the increases are not massive, you won’t necessarily be that much weaker if you don’t use Super versions of characters. Just understand that there’s a level above that allows you to optimize damage even further.
-SUPER CHARACTERS RESTRICTIONS-
Question: When & Where can I use this Super Character thing?
Answer: In offline play, this can be used at any point in time since you can switch weapons at any time. Online, this can’t be used in Extra Quests or PvP since you aren’t allowed to change weapons. But it can be used during Sudden Quests or in the Mugen Dungeon.
Question: Which character’s in the game can Skill Connect across weapons?
Answer: All SAO characters that have multiple weapon types. But only characters with OSSs can reach 190% and become Super Characters (Except Leafa). This is because the game restricts you from using the same skill twice in a combo.
Now, when you are trying to Skill Connect across weapons, its important to understand how the game thinks of your current list of Sword Skills. The game categorizes the Sword Skills in your pallet according to their respective Grades and Types. It doesn’t matter what kind of weapon you are using, Mace’s Grade 1 Rushing attack will fall under the global Grade 1 Rushing Attack category.
Now applying the “You can’t use the same skill twice in a combo” logic to the list of two weapon’s Sword Skills, the statement becomes:
“You can’t use skills of the same category twice in a combo”. This is because the game identifies Sword Skills not by their weapon type, but by their respective category.
Looking at it another way, this means that each Sword Skill on a weapon would have an identical counterpart on another weapon.
I call this ‘Skill Equivalency‘ and its the key to understanding how to Skill Connect across weapons.
Here are some examples of Skill Equivalencies:
- Dual Blade‘s grade 1 dashing attack = 2Hand Sword‘s grade 1 dashing attack
- Dual Blade‘s counter = 2Hand Sword‘s counter
- Axe‘s grade 4 power attack = 2Hand Sword‘s grade 4 power attack
Because of this Skill Equivalency, 190% is the ultimate max SSC value. This is simply because there aren’t enough grades and types of skills in the game to exceed 190%. (I haven’t tested every single combination, so who knows, maybe 200% is possible?)
Take note that the Skill Equivalency between two weapons is not always as cut-and-dry as you might think. There are instances where two skills that are nothing alike will be thought of as the same skill. That’s where I think there’s a lot of potential in Skill Connecting across weapons.
One of the most important facts about Skill Equivalency is that it stops you from doing crazy things like using Gravitational Impact and Ray Brandish in the same combo. Since they are Equivalent Skills and the same skill can’t be used twice in one combo, this isn’t allowed.
This is where Skill Connecting across weapon types stops becoming viable for most characters.
But characters who have OSSs are special. OSSs break this Skill Equivalency allowing majority of characters with OSS’s to reach the maximum SSC of 190%. These are what I call Super Characters.
However, Super Characters aren’t limited to characters with OSSs. 190% Skill Connect can be achieved when weapons don’t have many skill equivalencies like with Katana x Spear. There are ton of weapon combinations and I haven’t had time to test every character, so there are definitely more Super Characters lurking in the roster.
The Skill Equivalencies for some character’s with OSS’s looks like this:
- Crow Combination = Breaktime [2H Sword]
- Skill Explode = Around [2H Sword]
- Mother’s Rosario = Eruption [2H Sword]
- Thousand Sword Rain has no equivalencies on 1H Sword.
- One Hand Tyr has no equivalencies on 1H Sword.
As you can see, a lot of the OSSs are equal to weaker skills on other weapons or some don’t even have equivalencies at all. This means that Skill Connecting across weapons on these characters will yield good results since they don’t have to trade away any of their high damage tools in order for them to reach 190%.
-SUPER CHARACTER REQUIREMENTS-
So what do characters need to become Super Characters?
- As mentioned above, characters need to have an OSS to reach 190%. However, there are some cases where characters can’t reach 190% even with an OSS. There are also cases where damage can still be optimized in a smaller way due to weird Equivalencies such as a grade 3 skill equaling a grade 2 skill (This means you can potentially use two grade 3 skills in a combo).
- You need to have Cooltime reduction in your weapons as well as wear the Trinity Luna. Using a lot of grade 3+ skills means you can be potentially out of commission with cooldown. But in most cases, Skill Connecting across weapons had some fairly long duration so this might not be as much of a factor as it seems.
- You obviously need to level up the 2 weapons you are trying to use. No point Skill Connecting to a weaker weapon that you haven’t leveled up yet.
- Skills that will be used need to be equipped somewhere in your skill pallet. If a skill isn’t equipped, it can’t be used. Its as simple as that. In order to not get confused between weapons, it makes sense to equip one weapons skills to pallets 1 & 2 and then equip another weapon’s skills to pallets 3 & 4.
- The final and most important requirement is that the weapons themselves need to have skills with considerably long duration to give yourself enough time to switch. Offline, the game actually pauses so you don’t need to worry about this, but in online lobbies, this is the most important factor.
It also makes sense to keep your inventory clean so you can change weapons as fast as possible.
Also also, understand that reaching 190% takes quite long in terms of combo duration. Super Characters become less viable when playing solo but in a team with competent players stunning bosses, there’s enough time to pull off a full combo. (As for solo play, you need to be able to DOWN a boss halfway through the combo which requires insane precognition abilities along with deep knowledge of the Down Potential across both weapons that you’re using. This is something only Gods are able to do, most likely)
Alsox3, another important aspect of Skill Connecting across weapons is that you need to be comfortable with combos that start with either weapon. You can’t only have Dual Blades > 2Hand Sword combos. You need to have 2Hand Sword > Dual Blades combos as well to make Skill Connecting across weapons practical.
**Important Note: Be careful that sometimes with a lot of players on the screen, the frame rate can drop making it harder to pull off a weapon switch mid combo.
As far as viable Super Characters go these ones are the best:
- Kirito (Dual Blades x 2H Sword)
- Rain (Dual Blades x 1H Sword)
- Sumeragi (Katana x 1H Sword)
Other interesting but not as optimal potential candidates for Super Characters are:
- Sinon (Bow x Spear) – this one is super interesting.
- Asuna (Rapier x Mace) – weak.
- Yuuki (2H x 1H) – very strong. But Yuuki is good enough without this.
- Agil (Axe x Knuckle) – ultimate gag character.
Leafa isn’t able to reach Super (her max is 180%), but 1H x Katana might be better than straightforward versions of those respective weapons.
But ultimately, its up to you, the player to decide which of these you want to invest in. Super Characters aren’t the only thing worthwhile to come out of Skill Connecting across weapons. I think its worth it to try and think of some ways that involve Skill Connecting across weapons to find a new way to play your favorite SAO character.
-HOW TO SKILL CONNECT ACROSS WEAPONS-
Unfortunately, its not as simple as just switching weapons and using the new weapon’s skills directly.
There’s a small little trick that you have to do in order to successfully Skill Connect across weapons.
When you switch weapons during a combo, you have to use the Equivalent Skill on the previous weapon in order to connect to the new weapon. If you try to use the skills on the new weapon right after the weapon change, the game won’t understand because the game still thinks you have the previous weapon equipped at that point in time.
But when you understand this, you just have to use the skills on the previous weapon when connecting and you’ll be successful.
Here’s a practical Example.
Using Super Kirito, I want to combo from Starburst Stream [Dual Blades] into Ray Brandish [2Hand Sword]. Take note that the respective equivalences look like this:
- Starburst Stream [Dual Blades] = Furious Destroyer [2H Sword]
- The Eclipse [Dual Blades] = Ray Brandish [2H Sword]
So now the actual way this works is as follows:
- I use Starburst Stream.
- During Starburst Stream, I quickly switch to a 2Hand Sword.
- When Starburst Stream is over, I use The Eclipse on my Dual Blades pallet.
- I have now connected to 2H Sword & Ray Brandish will come out.
This happens because Ray Brandish is Eclipses’ Equivalent Skill.
If I had to use Ray Brandish directly after changing weapons, the combo would drop right away because the game will think I’m trying to use a Skill that I don’t have access to.
Because of this trick, understanding the Skill Equivalencies of the weapons you are trying to Skill Connect between is the most important aspect of this whole process.
When you fully understand the Skill Equivalencies on both weapons, you can pinpoint skills on each weapon that you want to use in a particular combo. Admittedly, this is a hell of a mental task at first. But the more you do it, the more you get a feel for it. This is desirable because there are always stronger skills between two skills that are equivalent. This means you can optimize damage by using the best skills on each respective weapon in a single combo.
These Skill Equivalencies are something you have to learn for yourself though (>_<). If I have to write down every single equivalency for every single skill in the game it would be a ridiculous amount of work. I’ll die of old age if I don’t kill myself before that happens (@_@)
Skill Equivalencies are not hard to figure out if you know how to Skill Connect across weapons. Just try to connect between weapons with different skills each time. The skill that comes out on the new weapon is equivalent to the skill you used to on the previous weapon when you connected.
Hmm. If this is still too hard to understand I could make a few videos showing optimized combo strings with Super Characters along with the actual inputs you need to do to pull them off. But that’s something I’ll only do if there is a good enough demand for it, so if you want to see something like that, tell me.
Funny enough, when you use Super Characters in online play, it just looks like you are constantly disappearing to other players in the room. I made a video showcasing how this looks and the result is kind of funny:
I’m not sure I did a good job of explaining this, but that’s because its a practical application. All I can do is tell you how it works and show you how its done. Outside of that, this is something you’ll ultimately have to practice on your own.
Which I think is fair since its one of the most High Level things that I’ve found in this game.
But don’t let that deter you. Try this out and if you don’t understand something, ask me.
Thanks for reading.