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The Combo System of the original Bayonetta is one of the key metrics by which player skill is measured. Combo points are earned every time the player damages an enemy, and earning more points will lead to a higher combo score. Combo score is tallied and ranked at the end of every Verse, and maximizing combo score is one of the keys to earning high ranks.

Maximizing Combo Score

While the combo system of Bayonetta has plenty of depth, it isn't necessary to understand all of the details and math to earn high ranks. Here are some quick tips for earning Platinum combo scores:

  • Constantly attack enemies to keep the combo going! Longer, higher-scoring combos will grant massively higher combo score at the end of a Verse. As long as you land an attack on an enemy once every few seconds, your combo will keep going. A quick tap of Shoot to shoot a nearby enemy is a great way to prevent your combo from ending. If there aren't any enemies in range, holding Bx lb or B l1 to Taunt will prevent your combo from ending.
  • Land punches and kicks on your enemies, but also use Wicked Weaves! Punch and kick attacks give significant combo points without killing your enemies too quickly, making them very efficient combo point generators. However, if you land more than five punch or kick attacks without landing a Wicked Weave, your punches and kicks will begin to grant less and less combo points with each hit. Thus, the best practice is to both hit enemies with punches and kicks and finish your combo attacks to unleash Wicked Weaves and keep their values high.
  • Use big attacks on low health enemies! If an enemy only has a sliver of health left, you can maximize your combo score by finishing them off with a big attack. Torture Attacks are the best option, but a quick Wicked Weave like Tetsuzanko can also be used if you're low on magic.

Calculating Combo Score

Whenever you end a combo (either by "dropping" the combo or by ending the Verse), its combo score will be added to the total combo score for that Verse. Combo score is calculated by the following formula:

Combo Score = Combo Points * Combo Multiplier
  • Combo Points increase every time you land an attack on an enemy. In general, stronger attacks will give more combo points than weaker ones. Visually, combo points max out at 9999, but the actual value can go higher. There is no cap on how many combo points you can gain in a single combo.
  • Combo Multiplier is a value determined by how many combo points you have. The combo multiplier begins at 1.0 and increases every time you earn 100 combo points. It increases first by .1, then .2, then .3, and so on. Visually, the combo multiplier maxes out at 9.9, but the actual value can go higher. There is no cap on how high your combo multiplier can go in a single combo.
Combo Points      Multiplier Increase      Combo Multiplier
0-99 1.0
100-199 +0.1 1.1
200-299 +0.2 1.3
300-399 +0.3 1.6
400-499 +0.4 2.0
500-599 +0.5 2.5
... ... ...
3000-3099 +3.0 47.5
3100-3199 +3.1 50.6
...and so on

Maintaining Combos

A combo will continue to accrue points as long as Bayonetta continues to land attacks on enemies. A combo will not end as long as there are still attacks in the "queue" located below the combo point counter. Different types of attacks stay in the queue for different amounts of time.

To give a concrete example: if you shoot an enemy using Shoot, the bullet's combo value will stay in the queue for 4 seconds, meaning that your combo will not drop for the next 4 seconds.

Taunting pauses the timers of all attacks in the queue and can be a great way to preserve a combo when you can't attack enemies. Whenever a combo ends, you'll earn Halos equal to 10% of your total combo score (rounded down).

Diminishing Returns

Punch and kick attacks are your most efficient combo point generators, thanks to their relatively low damage and relatively high combo point values. However, to discourage only using basic punches and kicks, the combo system of Bayonetta has a diminishing returns system.

  • Your first five punch or kick hits on enemies earn full combo point value. Note that if a single attack hits two enemies, both hits will count increase the diminishing return counter.
    • Many "barrage" attacks don't interact with the diminishing returns system. Instead, they will always give a fixed amount of combo points per hit. Examples include PunchLargePunchLargePunchLargePunchLargePunchLarge, PunchLargePunchLargePunchLargePunchLargeKickLarge, and Odette's charge modifier and bullet climax.
  • Every punch or kick after the fifth will be worth less combo points than the last, down to a minimum of 1. The decrease per hit is equal to 20% of the attack's base combo points.
    • For instance, if you are doing a simple PunchLarge attack with Shuraba repeatedly, the combo point values will be: 20-20-20-20-20-16-12-8-4-1-1-1...
    • Note that the combo point decrease is derived from the base value before any multipliers. Thus, if you are doing only PunchLarge with Shuraba repeatedly during Witch Time (x1.5 Combo Points), the point values will be: 30-30-30-30-30-26-22-18-14-10-6-2-1-1-1...
  • The main way to reset your diminishing returns is by hitting enemies with Wicked Weaves. Hitting an enemy with a Wicked Weave will completely reset your diminishing returns, so that your next 5 punches and kicks will give you full point value. Ideally, you should be looking to land a Wicked Weave after hitting enemies with 5 or 6 punches or kicks.
  • There are also several less common ways to reset your diminishing return counter. These include:
    • The claw attack when pressing an attack button during Panther Within.
    • A perfect parry counterattack via the Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa.
    • Attacks from the charged form of Pillow Talk.
    • When using the Handguns, any attack that would normally produce a Wicked Weave.
    • A non-Wicked Weave hit from Tetsuzanko or Heel Stomp.
    • The midair KickLarge Bullet Climax with Scarborough Fair (the actual kick has to hit).
    • Hitting an enemy into another enemy.
  • Dropping your combo (by not attack enemies for several seconds) will also reset diminishing returns, but doing that is obviously detrimental to your overall combo score.

Conditional Bonuses

Under certain conditions, attacks may give more combo points than usual.

  • During Witch Time, combo points earned are worth 1.5x their normal value. If playing as Jeanne, this bonus becomes 2.0x. This bonus is multiplicative.
    • Combo points from Angel weapons are worth 1.6x their normal value.
    • This bonus doesn't apply to Torture Attacks.
  • Any attacks against Enraged enemies are worth 1.5x their normal value. This bonus is multiplicative.
    • This bonus doesn't apply to Torture Attacks.
  • If a Wicked Weave hits more than one enemy, each hit after the first will gain a stacking bonus equal to 50% of the Wicked Weave's base value (capping at 100% bonus). For instance, if a Wicked Weave hits 4 enemies, the point values for the hits will be 30-45-60-60.

Trivia

  • I've got a fever, and the only cure is more closed-form expressions! Using the sum of natural numbers formula, it's possible to expand the formula for combo score into a fairly simple function. This shows that your combo score scales exponentially with how many combo points you earn, so make sure to keep that combo going!
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