The Switch has no shortage of good hack-and-slash games, but with Fire Emblem Warriors and Hyrule Warriors solidly behind us, it's about due for another. Enter Warriors Orochi 4, the next entry in the Warriors Orochi series that represents another Koei Tecmo-fest of characters we've seen in a million other Warriors games joining together to mow down massive fields of enemies in the most satisfying ways possible. If you've ever played a Dynasty or Samurai Warriors game and enjoyed playing as a certain character in it, trust me - they're probably here in Warriors Orochi 4 somewhere, and they're somehow completely unique from every other one of the 170 characters in this game. It's quite a feat!

Worry not about jumping into Warriors Orochi no matter how much experience with any of these game series you have. Here's a quick primer on how to get started playing the game.

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What is the Warriors Orochi series?

Warriors Orochi is a series of hack-and-slash games that mash-up characters from the Dynasty Warriors games and the Samurai Warriors games. The stages and story reflect the strange confluence of the two worlds, and many of the systems from previous entries have carried over into Warriors Orochi 4. For instance, series veterans will instantly feel at home commanding not just a single character, but a three-character team that works together to fight through massive waves of enemies. You can swap the front character at any time, allowing you to form powerful teams and change your strategy on the fly as the battle situation changes.

In addition, the series' relatively simple mechanics have been retained. You'll have light and heavy attacks and unique musou finisher moves that can devastate a battlefield. Though each character is unique, they are generally classified into one of three groups: Power, Technique, and Speed, that allows you to get an at-a-glance idea of what sort of character you'll be playing as.

There are a few changes from previous iterations, though...

What's new in Warriors Orochi 4?

Warriors Orochi 4 introduces a new focus on magic through the Sacred Treasures system, which is activated by pressing a trigger button and then using the regular attack buttons for special, magical attacks. Unlike your regular attacks, your magic is limited by a magic gauge that will need to be refilled to continue using attacks, so you can't simply spam these powerful moves. The system is still fairly simple and easy to use, as the types of attacks mapped to buttons when Sacred Treasures are activated mirror your normal light and heavy attacks in strength and type.

Who are all these characters?

Warriors Orochi 4 brings back every character from past Warriors Orochi games, along with five brand new characters. In total, there are 170 characters that are playable, and you can unlock every single one of them through normal gameplay. Characters from Dynasty Warriors 8 and Samurai Warriors 4-II will also join the roster.

The five new, original characters are:

  • Zeus (Power)
  • Athena (Technique)
  • Loki (Technique)
  • Ares (Speed)
  • Odin (Power)

How do I play?

In any given battle, you'll need to complete specific objectives such as capturing a certain area, defending it, defeating a large enemy, or similar. Take a look at your map to track down your next objective, and beware that sometimes it isn't obvious or that you'll have to backtrack some to get to it. If you're lost, try revisiting areas you already cleared.

To get where you're going you'll have to clear lots of enemies and allow me to reassure you that in Warriors Orochi 4, you'll rarely have trouble doing this. You can basically just spam attacks to demolish the small enemies in front of you, using basic and charge attacks. It's good to swap characters right after a charge attack to help chain moves together and fill your Musou gauge, and you should use Magic whenever your Magic gauge has enough juice in it, as these attacks are more powerful.

If you need to get somewhere faster, don't forget your mount button on RB + B!

If for some reason you do seem to be struggling, try revisiting previous areas to pull in some more experience and Growth Points, which you can then allocate to whatever character you wish. You can also check your equipment and see if you've acquired stronger weapons, or perhaps another character has a more powerful weapon that would better suit the challenge ahead. But for story purposes, this will rarely be a problem.

Additional tips

  • If you get a weapon with the Appraisal trait early on, I highly recommend you equip it and use it liberally. Appraisal allows you to get more, better weapons with more slots and traits, and early on especially it can help you get equipment that will let you mow through enemies far faster than you otherwise could.
  • At the end of each scenario, you can return to the menu and allocate Growth Points to characters, even ones who didn't participate in the battle that earned them. This is a great way to level up characters you want to play but who have fallen behind or to just pack all your points into a single character you want to be overpowered. Keeping a wide variety of characters leveled is key for a balanced team.
  • Want more characters? Just keep playing scenarios. There aren't any super secret unlocks in Warriors Orochi 4. If you play all the scenarios and complete objectives, you'll eventually collect all 170.
  • The same goes for unlocking Divine Forms. Keep playing, and you'll receive super-powered Divine Forms for certain characters that can be unleashed in battle and turn the tide instantly.
  • Because of the game allowing you to allocate levels, you should feel free to swap around your characters any time you're struggling. Every character plays a bit differently, uses different weapons, and has different strengths. If one doesn't work for you, just change it up for next time. With Growth Points, you can level a new character quickly when you find one that suits you.

How much does it cost?

Warriors Orochi 4 is out now for Nintendo Switch and costs $59.99.

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Any questions?

Still struggling to tear through the Warriors Orochi 4 battlefield? Let me know in the comments, and I'll help you out!

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