[Top 10] DMC 5 Best Skills

Devil May Cry, Devil Arms, Hack and slash
Dante making his way to buy pizza


Which skills get the best rankings?

In Devil May Cry, to kick ass and take names means putting that style meter up. But before you can do that, you have to make sure your character is in tip-top shape.

If you want to unlock your character’s full potential (and get that massive Smokin’ Sexy Style), you only need to look for the best skills. But, a lot of players become indecisive when it comes to buying specific skills. They spend orbs on things early on that might not be useful for certain types of enemies.

This indecisiveness is why I’ve compiled this list - to help you get through some of the most difficult in-game shop decisions. Here are the Top 10 Best Skills in DMC 5 and what makes them the best of the best.

10. Speed | General

Nero taking off using speed just to face off with Urizen

We start this list off with one of the basics: speed. Okay, for this first one, hear me out. It might not be the most stylish and hard-hitting skill (or action) out of everything, but it is the most essential. 

I know what you’re going to say: but this is not a good skill, how will this make me stylish? Well, it’s the precursor to getting that style rank up. How are you going to up your style points if there are no enemies in the first place?

Speed is a great way to get to your destination without any stop-overs. It gets you to the core of the fight, quick and easy. Everyone needs to get this skill first - at the very least. It won’t even cost you a lot for such an important action.

What Makes Speed Awesome 

  • Time-conscious - speed is good if you’re speedrunning, or you just want to pummel the next enemy instantly
  • Extremely basic - there are no hardcore button sequences or intricate joystick positions to be able to use this skill
  • Good for every situation - it is literally good for any situation since it has to be used in every situation in the game

Speed details

  • Orb cost: 4,500 Red Orbs
  • Speed has been a staple in every Devil May Cry game in the franchise. As much as they look good running at Baywatch speed levels, we gotta speed up demon slaughtering.
  • As said previously, this is good in any situation
  • Should be bought first

9. Air Hike | General

Nero's unique Air hike sigil

Air Hike, much like Speed, is an essential skill to have at the beginning of the game. This skill has the characters jump on a platform-like sigil that gets them to greater heights. Air Hike is a great way to get to hard-to-reach places and secret orb locations.

Another great way to reach those S rankings is through aerial combos, granted, these combos are the hardest ones to pull off. But once you do a crazy sick aerial combo, beginners and veterans alike will praise you. It is the pinnacle of Devil May Cry style.

Some of these aerial combos wouldn’t be possible without the Air Hike. The characters might have launcher attacks, but to sustain those, the Air Hike is needed. It provides a safe and almost sure-fire way to keep the enemy in the air.

What Makes Air Hike Awesome 

  • Gorgeous sigil design - each playable character has a signature sigil design that is unique to them, and it’s a nice touch for more characterization
  • Easy execution - much like Speed, this is a basic skill that only needs the push of one button
  • Combo opener - like I just mentioned, Air Hike is great at opening up opportunities or continuing aerial combos

Air Hike details 

  • Orb cost: 20,000 Red Orbs
  • This is the second staple skill in the entire franchise. Although it’s very essential for those hard-to-reach spots, it was even harder to acquire back in the day.
  • Air Hike is best used to continue aerial combos or scope out the area for secret bonus Red orbs

8. Blockade (2 & 3) | V

Griffon just about to finish an enemy off with Blockade

Out of most items on this list, this is one of the newer ones in the franchise. Blockade is a new addition to the heavy firepower arsenal. All versions of Blockade can be purchased in Nico’s Van (the store), each being a better version of the last.

Blockade is a skill from Griffon, V’s bird familiar. Griffon can summon pillars of lightning to deal damage to multiple enemies. On the first level, it only fires 1 on multiple rows. Then as it levels up, it goes from 3 pillars to 5. 

Using Blockade is great to weed out groups of enemies from afar. The power potential it has for damaging multiple enemies at once makes it one of the best AOE attacks in the game. Although it takes some time to charge, that doesn’t take away from it being such a badass-looking skill.

What Makes Blockade Awesome

  • Lightning-themed - it is pure and raw demonic energy taking the form of lightning - who wouldn’t love to see this absolute wrecker of an attack?
  • Heavy-hitting - the damage dealt with this skill is massive, especially when it’s maxed
  • Useful AOE damage - very few hard-hitting skills are AOE, so Blockade serves as a nice change of pace for players who love to watch things explode

Blockade details

  • Orb cost: 2,500 Red Orbs (Blockade 2)

    • 15,000 Red Orbs (Blockade 3)
  • Griffon’s purple lightning attacks are reminiscent of Nevan’s ones (when she turned into an electric guitar) from Devil May Cry 3
  • Blockade is best suited in mid-range, grouped up enemy situations 

7. Exceed (2, 3 & MAX-Act) | Nero

Nero revving up Red Queen to execute Exceed

Exceed is no ordinary skill. It’s not something you can execute with just a press of a button. With that being said, Exceed is something like a boost to Nero’s attacks. It serves as a gauge for extra power that should be used wisely.

When the Ex-Gauge is used, Nero’s attacks become more powerful. They hit harder. They are executed faster. They look even flashier. All of these are combined once the player decides to activate the Ex-Gauge.

Its upgrades give more slots for consumption. That means if the Ex-Gauge is upgraded to Exceed 2, two stocks can be consumed for Level 2 Exceed moves. This means even more power, speed, and style. 

This skill can be executed by repeatedly pressing a button and looking at the gauge that looks like motorcycle engines. Once those gauges are maxed out Nero can perform crazy attacks and get that style meter going. 

MAX-Act, however, makes all of these all the more worthwhile. If you time it just right, with MAX-Act, Nero can max out the gauge with the push of one button. This saves you time, energy, and effort.

What Makes Exceed Awesome 

  • Sick design (both gameplay and aesthetic) - the sword has a component that looks like motorcycle engines being revved up - it looks and sounds epic
  • Good for all players - having a little power boost coupled with perfect timing makes this skill great for both beginners and veterans
  • Basic skill - Exceed is a good basic skill to level up if you’re the type of person who wants to stick to the classic sword-gun combo

Exceed details 

  • Orb cost: 3,800 Red Orbs (Exceed 2)

    • 12,000 Red Orbs (Exceed 3)
    • 45,000 Red Orbs (MAX-Act)
  • Exceed was first introduced in Devil May Cry 4 with Nero. The main difference is that MAX-Act’s activation window is more lenient in DMC 5 than in 4.
  • Exceed is most suitable if you want to go on a rampage but can’t be bothered to use your Devil Breakers
  • It’s also good if you’re a motorcycle lover

6. Streak (Basic & 2) | Nero

Nero flashily performing Streak on an enemy

Nero’s most basic move. Streak is as vanilla as you can get when it comes to Nero. It is the easy forward dash with an accompanying horizontal slash that blows enemies away. This simplicity doesn’t mean though, that it’s any less epic.

There are two versions of streak - much like the other skills on this list. It has the original base version, as well as an upgraded version. The base version is a basic rush attack that picks up any enemies in its path. The upgraded version has both elevated damage and extended range.

Streak is the best gap-closer for Nero. If you want to get close to enemies while damaging them, this is the skill for you. 

Most players use streak as a combo starter. It’s like the warm-up phase before going completely ham on all of the enemies. It also serves as a good wide-range damaging attack. It’s the basic of all basics. BUT, it’s a great skill nonetheless.

What Makes Streak Awesome 

  • Sheer force and power - it has good damage coupled with some sick dash moves from the character (Nero)
  • Gap-closer - Streak is a good way to make sure you’re close enough to the enemy to either continue the fight or finish it off
  • Combo starter - this skill is the best way to start a combo, especially when you’re put far away at the beginning of the fight

Streak details 

  • Orb cost: 800 Red Orbs

    • 8,000 (Streak 2)
  • Coming back from Devil May Cry 4, this is a good spin for Dante’s signature Stinger
  • It has the little Nero flare to it - which is wide all-reaching rather than precise and focused on one enemy
  • The most suitable situation to use this is any - its versatility is what makes it brilliant

5. Stinger (Base & 2) | Dante

A well-made remake of Dante's stinger move from DMC 1

This next skill is one that a lot of Devil May Cry players have heard since time immemorial. It is the king of Dante’s move set. There is no other skill in Dante’s arsenal that quite matches this one - and he has quite the collection.

Stinger is a staple in the Devil May Cry franchise. Much like the general skills Speed and Air Hike, it’s difficult to say you’ve had the whole experience if you haven’t bought Stinger. Players from all walks of life recommend getting Stinger immediately after unlocking Dante.

Heck, we could even make a religion out of it. Stinger is a heavy-hitting, high-speed lunge attack that launches Dante towards an enemy and makes them into barbecue. There isn’t much to say aside from the fact that it would be heresy not to get this skill early on.

What Makes Stinger Awesome

  • Gap-closer - much like Streak, Stinger is a wonderful gap-closer. Once it’s been upgraded, then the range extends as well.
  • Heavy-hitting - this is one of Dante’s most damaging attacks, and even more so when he has Devil Trigger on
  • High-speed  - aside from being one of the most damaging, it is also one of the fastest to be executed - both in and outside of the game

Stinger details

  • Orb cost: 1,500 Red Orbs (Stinger base)

    • 8,000 Red Orbs (Stinger 2)
  • Stinger has been in the game since Devil May Cry 1. It is one attack that Dante will forever be known for. It is also the one attack that serves as a safe-zone for beginners and veterans alike.
  • Good in situations with far enemies, and having to close the distance

4. Nightmare Combo B | V

Nightmare about to throw down with Combo B

Akin to Griffon’s skill, Nightmare Combo B is a new one on the list. Most people don’t take Nightmare out unless they’re desperate or they just want to see how cute he is. Don’t lie, you know you want to pinch him.

Nightmare doesn’t have a lot of skills. But with the very few he has, you know they’re going to annihilate the enemies. Nightmare Combo B is exactly the kind of crazy strong, timing-induced skill we all need in our lives.

It’s a very slow yet heavy damage barrage of attacks from Nightmare. He starts with three ground sweeps, follows up with a longer Zangief twister, and ends with another powerful ground sweep. This is sure to knock back enemies and make sure V isn’t in harm's way. 

What Makes Nightmare Combo B Awesome

  • Heavy, heavy, heavy damage - Nightmare has some of the highest damage output attacks in the game, this combo is no different
  • Good knockback - there are very few wide range knockbacks in DMC 5, so this is a good change of pace
  • Wide range of attacks - its range is pretty far, and deal quite a good amount of damage for any enemy within its radius

Nightmare Combo B details

  • Orb cost: 9,000 Red Orbs
  • Nightmare is a little slower when he attacks, so make sure to take extra care when summoning him and using this combo
  • Most useful when you either want to initiate from afar or knockback the enemy

3. Style Level Upgrades (2, 3, & 4) | Dante

Dante shows off his style yet again with the Swordmaster style using Gilgamesh

Again, I reiterate, is there anything Dante can’t do? Maybe pay the bills for his business, but I digress. Dante is the pinnacle of style. Most people even consider him the Godfather of Style. He’s mastered different playstyles that are sure to get both beginner and veteran raring to go.

Dante’s Styles (Trickster, Swordmaster, Gunslinger, and Royal Guard) are no stranger to the DMC player. It’s no surprise that with the different styles come different, awe-inspiring upgrades.

Getting Style Level 2 as soon as possible with Dante is your best bet at SSS ranking survival. He offers more. He does more. He delivers more. With the Style Level upgrade, Dante becomes a whirlwind of attacks and style. He becomes unstoppable.

There is no telling what the player can do with this limitless power.

What Makes Style Level Upgrades Awesome 

  • Style, style, oh and more style - since Dante does so much with so much effort, he (and the player) are rewarded with more style points
  • An unstoppable force - with the right combinations, Dante can become untouchable while keeping those style points up
  • A wide selection of attacks - when his different styles are levelled up, there is a wider selection of moves to choose from

Style Level Upgrade details 

  • Orb cost:
  • Trickster: 3,500 Red Orbs (Level 2)
  • 10,000 Red Orbs (Level 3)
  • 40,000 Red Orbs (Level 4)
  • Swordmaster: 4,000 (Level 2)
  • 18,000 Red Orbs (Level 3)
  • 50,000 Red Orbs (Level 4)
  • Gunslinger: 4,000 Red Orbs (Level 2)
  • 18,000 Red Orbs (Level 3)
  • 50,000 Red Orbs (Level 4)
  • Royal Guard: 3,500 Red Orbs (Level 2)
  • 10,000 Red Orbs (Level 3)
  • 40,000 Red Orbs (Level 4)
  • Make sure you know the ins and outs of these styles before getting upgrades.
  • It gets confusing, but it should all be worth it for that Smokin’ Sexy Style.

2. Judgment Cut | Vergil

Vergil unleashing his signature move, Judgment Cut

A lot of gamers have dubbed this skill as one of the most OP of all time. Vergil cuts through space and time to create a void of damage. It is so precise and swift that you wouldn’t even know what hit you. 

Unfortunately, it is also the apex of memes. For far too long, people have called this the Judgment Nut. When someone pulls off a crazy aerial combo, expect to see Vergil smiling while saying Judgment Nut.

Belonging to one of the most beloved characters of the whole franchise, this move is nothing short of iconic. It has become synonymous with Vergil himself. He appears to be attacking. But before you know it, he unsheathes and sheaths his weapon, slicing the opponent into minced meat.

This skill is good at any range. It has such utility and versatility that it's great the developers decided to keep it in for every iteration of the character. Aside from being flashy, the Judgment Cut is extremely powerful.

What Makes Judgment Cut Awesome 

  • Literally cutting through dimensions - isn’t it cool to be so powerful you can cut through intangible things?
  • Epic Anime Style - Vergil does have the power of God and Anime on his side
  • Hard to master, good payoff - Judgment Cut might need a bit of practice with timing, but once that’s down, you’ll have the sickest skill in your arsenal

Judgment Cut details

  • Orb cost: 0 RED ORBS

    • 35,000 Red Orbs (Judgment Cut End)
  • This is Vergil’s signature move, since Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition
  • It’s always a good thing to know and utilize in any situation
  • Takes a bit of time to master
  • Judgment Cut End is the best finisher move in the game

1. EX PROVOCATION | General (Special)

Nero ending his EX Provocation with an SS rank

The moment we’ve all been waiting: the #1 skill on this list is the alluring, ever-elusive, 3,000,000 Red Orb EX PROVOCATION. Who knew a taunt could be so expensive?

Some people consider this skill to be a pay-to-win kind of deal. Let’s face it: it’s not. This special taunt eggs people on to pay the price. The first time I saw it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was so incredibly charming that I couldn’t look away.

The in-game information has nothing on it too. You have to work your butt through the game to collect all those orbs. Heck, I’ve played the game 5 times in a row to obtain it. There is a secret taunt that each character possesses. 

If Dante embodies the word style, this skill eats him up and spits him out. That’s just how great this whole skill is. It makes him look like chump change.

What Makes EX PROVOCATION Awesome 

  • It’s badass. Period.

EX Provocation details

  • Orb cost: A whopping, eye-watering, 3,000,000 Red Orbs
  • There is no other taunt, quite like this one.
  • It is suitable in any situation - as long as you’re not in danger.
  • Style. Style. Style. Style. Everybody gets a style point!

Now that you know which skills hit the hardest, I’d love to get a commission from Capcom due to the influx of red orb spendings.

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With a few years of being the town's librarian, Dana's maxed out her Intelligence stat, unfortunately leaving out strength and charisma. Now, she sits at her desk, waiting for cries from the devil.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: League of Legends: Wild Rift
Top 3 Favorite Games:Devil May Cry DMC, League of Legends, Resident Evil HD Remaster


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