It’s all change on the front lines of For Honor. Not only can a whole new group of players try the game for free thanks to PS Plus, but the start of the Vortiger season of the Year of the Harbinger bring with it new character to the roster of heroes.
For Honor can be a daunting game for beginners, since it’s so focused on mechanical skill, learning combos and timing, and finding your feet after choosing between any of the varied characters. We’ve put this character guide together to give new, returning, and veteran players an idea of what each hero brings to the battlefield.
For Honor Characters Guide - Knights Faction
Taking visual inspiration from the armor-clad knights of the medieval European age of chivalry, this faction has a good mix of basic fighters, versatile assassins, and complex and interesting Hybrids.
- Warden - Class: Vanguard, Difficulty: Easy
The Warden fights with a standard longsword and plays the closest to how you’d expect a sword and shield-wielding knight to. This makes it a good character choice for new players because it’s simple to grasp but with enough nuance to still be effective - especially in one-on-one fights.
With an unblockable shield bash attack and a skill-set that lends itself to interrupting opponent's attacks, The Warden is a balanced character that remains competitive across most types of PvP.
- Peacekeeper - Class: Assassin, Difficulty: Medium
She’s a wily character with some deliciously brutal moves, some of which inflict bleed to supplement her damage output with damage-over-time. On top of that, when in neutral stance, her attack direction isn’t visible to opponents, so they won’t get a big red helping hand to tip them off before you strike.
This makes the Peacekeeper a squishy, but unpredictable character who can use feints to befuddle enemies. When the game first launched Peacekeeper was one of strongest characters, but has seen her position slip with subsequent reworks.
- Gladiator - Class: Assassin, Difficulty: Easy
While the Gladiator might look big, their skimpy armor makes them surprisingly mobile - which is probably why they’re listed in the Assassin Class.
Strong feints and light attacks make the Gladiator a quality one-on-one fighter, but struggle in situations where they can be teamfought. Their easy-to-grasp skillset focuses on using a lot of stuns and stamina reducing attacks to pick holes in an enemies defence.
These stamina draining techniques work well with their unblockable low attack that sweeps the enemy if their meter is drained. This means you’ve got a clear game plan to execute when you’re playing the Gladiator - use your mobility and shield to block and avoid enemy attacks, stun and reduce their stamina using your light pokes and mixups, then sweep to finish them off when they’re tired.
- Conqueror - Class: Heavy, Difficulty: Medium
Unlike the other Knights, the Conqueror is a more purely defensive character who fights with a brutal, spiked flail, but uses a shield-first approach to create openings in an opponent’s stance.
The Conqueror’s defensive capabilities make them excellent one-on-one fighters, and strong allies to have on your team. You don’t need to have top-notch reactions to be decent at the Conqueror either, since they have a defence mode that automatically blocks incoming attacks.
A good Conqueror is very difficult to deal with on your own, and are a good choice if you want to play a more reactive character.
- Centurion - Class: Hybrid, Difficulty: Hard
The Centurion is a bit of a strange one. They’re undoubtedly cool, but their super high risk-reward playstyle is tough to master.
Their all-out offensive approach starts with stamina draining punches and kicks to wear down their opponent, dealing next to no damage until they can unleash flurries of attacks on broken enemies.
The learning-curve here might be enough to put new players off, but there is a high skill ceiling for dedicated players.
- Lawbringer - Class: Hybrid, Difficulty: Hard
The Lawbringer is a resilient counter-attacking character that performs best in the busier PvP modes thanks to rock-solid defense and far-reaching, stun-dealing offensive skills.
Lawbringer has a unique ability called Stunning Top-Heavy attacks. This unique little extra ability basically means that if you hit an enemy with any attack the game considers ‘top heavy’ the enemy will be stunned, leaving them open for free hits or the start of a nasty combo. A top heavy attack is any high stance heavy attack, and this ability can thus be paired with some of his combos to leave an enemy stunned at a combo’s end.
One particularly useful combo for this is Judge, Jury & Executioner (Light Attack, Heavy Attack, Heavy Attack), since the final hit of this chain is unblockable. Make it top heavy and make your enemies pay.
- Black Prior - Class: Heavy, Difficulty: Medium
The most recent addition to the Hero roster, the Black Prior is quite a unique character whose fighting style is based around their “Bulwalk Stance”.
This stance blocks all incoming attacks, which combined with their other special counter ability - that negates attacks that are normally unblockable - makes the Black Prior a strong defensive character.
Since it’s still new, the dust is still settling on the character’s power level. Their intriguing fighting style and dark design certainly makes them an appealing choice though.
For Honor Characters Guide - Samurai Faction
Mostly using sharp-bladed weaponry - with one notable exception - the Samurai faction’s roster is full of tough, technical fighters. Their heroes boast a range of unique special abilities and perform a variety of roles on the battlefield.
- Kensei - Class: Vanguard, Difficulty: Medium
You could almost describe a Kensei as middle-heavy, since they’re kind of slow, but have great reach on their attacks.
Since they’ve got quite good defence as well, you go start to chain top counter attacks to make best use of your unblockable top heavy - following up a parry with a top light before going into the unblockable top heavy.
The Kensei’s real strength though is in creating space. The range of their melee attacks means you can keep opponents at an impotent distance and counter any attempts they make to close that gap.
- Shinobi - Class: Assassin, Difficulty: Hard
Because of the name many new players think about giving the Shinobi a try and end up getting stomped. Shinobi is one of the squishiest characters on the roster, and rely much more on their incredible mobility rather than defence to stay healthy, so you can’t play them like a lot of other characters.
The Shinobi’s fighting style is fast and revolves around using their long-range attacks to dive into the enemy, spam light attacks, then retreat back to a safe distance using their backflip.
This makes them a powerful character in all forms of PvP, where they can cause a nuisance with their speed and sprinting tackle ability.
- Orochi - Class: Assassin, Difficulty: Hard
The Orochi is the type of character you’d expect to be playing as a Samurai: a fast, technical counter-attacker.
Apart from his frankly awesome design and ability to close space quickly to snowball enemies, the Orochi’s limited skillset can feel a bit one-paced, which in turn can lead to them feeling outclassed in a lot of PvP by other characters with more options.
Those limits do leave a lot of room for improvement though, so Orochi has a higher than average skill ceiling - especially their deflect abilities.
- Shugoki - Class: Heavy, Difficulty: Easy
The beneficiary of a recent buff, the Shugoki is now a decent tank with a few interesting special abilities.
First off is his Uninterruptible Stance, a passive ability which stops an attack interrupting the wind-up of yours. This is best used with the slow, but powerful, charged heavy attack, which deals pretty devastating damage.
Previously, Shugoki was just too slow to be useful, but his recent rework means that his basic combos are a lot more fluid. This comes at the expense of a nerf to his unique Demon’s Embrace move, which picks up an enemy, damaging them and restoring some of your health.
Trading some of his unique flavor for some actual use in PvP was well worth it though, and Shugoki is now an option for players who want a more offensive tanky character.
- Aramusha - Class: Hybrid, Difficulty: Hard
Unfortunately, Aramusha isn’t considered to be very good. Their lauded ability of an infinite chain is very easily parried, and despite having decent dodges and blocks, the Aramusha’s offensive capability isn’t great.
Simply, they don’t have ways to open up combos for reliable damage - so it’s all well and good for them to have fast attacks, but it’s tough for them to make use of them.
- Nobushi - Class: Hybrid, Difficulty: Hard
The Nobushi’s long-range makes them great for zone control, and therefore a good choice in multiple combatant PvP. They’re pretty average in one-versus-one, but it’s not fair to just judge the character on its weaknesses.
Their long attack range lets the Nobushi punish mistakes with strong follow-ups to parries, as well as keep their distance with threatening feints.
They’re classed as a “Hard” character because of their squishy body, which means you’re easily and devastatingly punished for your own mistakes too.
For Honor Characters Guide - Vikings Faction
The Vikings are dirty, brutal fighters with skillsets that tend to be on the extremes of their role - dealing huge damage, or providing a stone-wall defence.
- Raider - Class: Vanguard, Difficulty: Easy
The Raider is a little bit like the Aramusha, in that they have real difficulty opening up characters with even an average defence.
This means that they’re okay in team PvP, but struggle against stronger heroes one-on-one. Generally, he’s just not quick enough to start a chain without parrying first, which just isn’t viable a lot of the time.
The follow-ups to his throws can genuinely be very good, you just need to have developed some pretty godly read skills.
- Shaman - Class: Assassin, Difficulty: Medium
The Shaman is a quick and powerful character that combines mobility with devastating damage. This makes them tricky customers in the larger PvP modes, even if outnumbered.
A Shaman’s signature move is a crazed bite attack that tackles an enemy, both damaging them and restoring some of her health. The threat of this move often leads people to play over-defensively against the Shaman, playing into her relentless offensive capability and array of options.
If you’re interested in the 4v4 modes, then Shaman is a quality pick.
- Berserker - Class: Assassin, Difficulty: Hard
The Berserker might not be as fast as the Shaman, but is no less devastating. They’re often considered one of the best fighters on the whole hero roster, thanks to their ability to brutally punish enemies both one-on-one and in a team.
A good all-rounder, the Berserker is also great at providing relentless pressure to shoulder some of the burden for allies, letting them play to their strengths while opponents are busy.
This utility is based around the mastery of complex combos, feints, and zoning however - with his short range particularly having a significant learning curve. While they might not be the most basic character, the Berserker is deadly in the right hands.
- Warlord - Class: Heavy, Difficulty: Medium
Another character to receive a recent rework, the Warlord is a primarily defensive character who was changed to be more balanced.
Already a decent one-versus-one fighter, Warlord now has greater damage output, as well as new chains of attacks that give him more offensive capability and options.
These changes did also come with a nerf to his signature Crashing Charge though, which was one of the main reasons people used him in the first place. With that said, he still has his good headbutt move and is worth a look for players interested in a heavy sword-and-shield user.
- Highlander - Class: Hybrid, Difficulty: Hard
The Highlander is all about damage. In his offensive form you can throw out a frankly ridiculous amount of punishment that cuts through the health pool of literally any other hero on the roster like it’s nothing.
This makes the Highlander very powerful when on the front foot, but can start to falter against heroes with strong offensive pressure that force him into defensive stance. Despite good defensive tools, the crazy bursts of damage are what you’re playing Highlander for.
The Highlander is a uniquely dangerous character that’s a lot of fun to play, but with the potential to be overrun by enemies looking to squish you as a threat.
- Valkyrie - Class: Hybrid, Difficulty: Medium
An interestingly versatile character that has been changed since her introduction to have more varied combos, the Valkyrie could be described as a jack of all trades, but is definitely a master of none.
Thanks to Full Block stance her defense is good, but she doesn’t have the same offensive power as other characters to back it up.
With that said, there are a lot of things that you can do with Valkyrie, so if you’re not comfortable with committing to a very specialised character then she could be worth a look for you.
For Honor Characters Guide - Wu Lin Faction
The Wu Lin were added as part of the Marching Fire expansion, and line up as graceful, well-rounded fighters with strong, unique abilities.
- Tiandi - Class: Vanguard, Difficulty: Easy
The Tiandi is a good, solid all-rounder with decent offensive capability and a focus on dodging on defense.
In the highest levels of play there are other characters that can perform each role better than a Tiandi, but if you’re looking for a flashy, engaging, and fun character - who’s also annoying for others to fight - then you can do much worse.
- Nuxia - Class: Assassin, Difficulty: Hard
Nuxia is another of the truly unique characters on the roster, owing to her “trap” ability which allows you to more effectively hit defensive players.
Throw this in with her lightning-quick light attacks and you have an interesting offensive hero that isn’t quite like any of the others.
The emphasis of Nuxia’s playstyle is to draw opponents into one-on-one fights however, which means she isn’t particularly useful in the larger PvP modes where you might have to take on multiple foes at a time.
- Jiang Jun - Class: Heavy, Difficulty: Hard/Medium
Despite lacking solo offense, Jiang Jun is one of the best team heroes in the game thanks to his incredible range and support capability.
Jiang Jun’s stamina-regenerating Sifu’s Poise increases his survivability in group scenarios, while his variety of dodge and dash attacks make him tough to predict and hit when providing sustained pressure.
A quality choice in both Dominion and Brawl PvP.
- Shaolin - Class: Hybrid, Difficulty: Hard
The Shaolin is another speedy, solid all-rounder. His fast light attacks are complemented by his special Qi stance which unlocks yet more exceptionally fast moves from his arsenal.
His reliance on opponents not being able to react to his attacks does mean it can be hard for the Shaolin to break down enemies with solid guard, but the sustained relentlessness of his offense is still tough to deal with.