If you like to contextually mash the Circle button, then Cross|Up may be your weapon of choice at the end of a long hard day of slaying pantheons in God of War. Something about playing this beautiful AAA polished hack n' slash on a joystick really brings out the visceral experience of banging on an arcade cabinet as a kid. L3 + R3 rage mode turns you into an arcade rat again as you rip monsters limb from limb.
This tutorial is going over a profile that is specially dedicated to playing God of War on your Cross|Up. Loading this profile onto your controller will transform it a weapon made just for hacking and slashing ogres and trolls in Midgard -- your Leviathan.
Note: I was just trolling when I recorded these shots and was not planning on writing a guide for you -- please excuse the fact that all of your visual references are me mashing wave parries! Nevertheless, I had enough fun with this game to follow through with publishing this guide. So let's celebrate violence together with God of War and God of War Ragnarök on the Hit Box Cross|Up!
This profile installs a layout for the default game mappings. God of War is a 'triggers' game in that your attacks come from the R1 and R2 buttons. This is what this layout looks like contextually:
The Middle Row:
Our main attacks are all lined up directly here. Light Attack and Medium Attack are our most used buttons, and they are commands to throw your axe when L2 is held to Aim. Your pinky finger calls for Atreus to shoot his bow where directed.
The Bottom Row:
Block and Dodge are your main defensive tools, and they are put right next to each other. Interact is out of the way from the main actions, and Axe Recall is directly below Atreus.
Timing a block just before an attack activates a parry, knocking your opponent away. Dodge is equally important for survival, but it is placed next because it can cancel parry attempts into a dodge! Using dodge just after parry is an excellent survival tool to give you more chances in combat of escaping damage. Block is also directly below Light Attack, which is fantastic for 'Wave Parrying' (More on that below).
One last reason Block (L1) is placed as an index finger button is for Runes and Talismans. Holding L1 and then pressing other buttons is how we use our cooldown abilities. Holding L1 and adding R1 or R2 (melee attacks) are our Rune attacks, and L1 + O (Dodge) activates our Talisman.
The Top Row:
I know we're going out of order, but utility buttons are typically placed here which is less important than hitting people. And it is the perfect spot for sprinting and locking on to our enemies. These buttons double up as our L3 + R3 rage mode for when things aren't violent enough.
LS->DPAD transforms the lever into a DPad while this button is held. In GoW the DPad is used for changing weapons, arrows, and even quick turning (on default controls). While we are holding this button Kratos no longer runs, and if we are already running while it is pressed it will immediately hit the DPad buttons in whichever direction we are holding. It is best to let go of the stick, tap and hold LS->DP, and then select which DPad command to use.
Camera Mode is reserved for your thumb and is one of the most important buttons to become familiar with. While holding Camera, the joystick becomes the Right Analog Stick, allowing you to control the in-game camera and aim our axe. It is similar to LS->DP but unique in that Camera Mode holds whatever direction Kratos is running once it is pressed and held. This opens up all the doors for strafing and freely running around 3D environments.
Once the Camera Button is held, we have a few frames to let go of the joystick before we are able to move the Right Stick. This brief window is when to release the lever back to neutral now that our Left Stick movement is captured. Running and shooting is the most advanced example, but it becomes intuitive in time, even strafing back and forth while hucking your Leviathon at enemies.
Camera mode is used for simply running around, as well as looking around and solving puzzles, so you get lots of practice along the way as it becomes second nature.
Playing on stick is not only about the nostalgia vibes, but also about creating the most fun ways to play. My favorite technique I came across I refer to as 'Wave Parrying.'
I am sliding my Index Finger from L.Attack to Block. The parry window is still active as I slide through the Block button and reset the motion. If it's done at the right speed, we will auto parry most attacks! The only point of vulnerability is the few frames while pressing light attack to recycle the parry window. This point of vulnerability is mitigated by the speed of our fingers sliding through the attack button. Done perfectly it's near impossible for us to get hit!
Lastly, by creating a God of War Profile we have effectively made a God of War Controller. The entire layout has been crafted to have the most efficient style of play and reduce as much pinching and squeezing as you typically would on a normal gamepad. Despite messing around sliding my finger across the buttons over all over the place, wave parry as minimal effort as possible for such a highly repetitive sequence. I would never want to spam pulling trigger buttons that many times at that speed.
Despite any merits, I would be remiss not to include that Cross|Up is not a certified ergonomic device. We are simply targeting gameplay elements and creatively crafting a way to make it as efficient as we can. No matter what, please remember to stretch your hands, take breaks, and listen to your body while you do any repetitive tasks. If you like to game, don't ignore any hand, wrist or elbow pain and take proper care!
Camera Mode may feel intimidating and like juggling at first, but it entirely eliminates moving your thumb up and down from the buttons to the Right Stick, as well as the need for any intense claw grip trying to cover all of the buttons, sticks, and triggers at once. By constructing our layout in an effective way and mastering Camera Mode, it becomes quite manageable to have a 360 coverage of your game actions.
And, jeez, it's God of War. It's about having fun! Go kill some trolls and let us know what you think!
If you enjoyed this content, let us know in our social media icons below. I would like more excuses to feature fun games like this! There is also a growing group of Cross|Up users on our Discord who are playing non-FGC games as well. Say hi!
And with all of this information combined, you now have all the tools necessary to kill gods, as well as become a great dad.
Default Control Scheme:
LS = Move
RS = Camera
DP = Commands
SQ = Son Action
TRI = Axe Recall
X = Evade
O = Interact
L1 = Block / Parry
R1 = Light Attack
L2 = Aim
R2 = Heavy Attack
L3 = Sprint
R3 = Lock-On
D.U = Change Arrows
D.D (+ LS.D) = Quick Turn (Default)
D.L = Blades of Chaos
D.R = Sheathe / Leviathon
OPT = Pause
TP = Map
L3 + R3 = Rage
L1 -> R1 = Rune Attack
L1 -> R2 = Rune Attack
L1 -> O = Talisman
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- HBDustin co-created the Hit Box controller with his brother Shawn and is currently acting as company president. He also creates educational content for you with love and has been the acting hands guy in Hit Box videos for the past decade.