Critical attacks are a gameplay mechanic in Dark Souls III.
A critical attack can generally be performed on a target once it is put in a vulnerable state.
A riposte can be performed on a target that has had an attack parried, or has been guard broken due to stamina being completely depleted while guarding with a shield. In the case of certain large enemies and bosses, a critical can be taken once enough damage has been inflicted to a vital part of their body, or if enough damage has been inflicted in general.
A backstab can be performed on the target if they are attacked from behind. When the player is behind the target and performs a weak attack, they will begin an animation where they pull their weapon back in preparation to perform the critical. If the target is still within range of the player once the backstab animation completes, the critical attack will then take place.
Upon successfully initiating a critical, the player and target are both placed in an uninterruptible animation where both parties cannot take damage from outside sources, and the target takes the critical damage. Both parties will only be able to perform additional actions once the critical animation is complete.
The amount of damage dealt by a critical is dependent on its weapon class, as well as whether or not the initiator is wearing the Hornet Ring, which modifies the critical animation. For each weapon class, the critical damage can be further increased by its critical modifier.
Each portion of a critical attack multiplies the initiating weapon's Attack Rating as follows:
|Weapon Class||Riposte||Backstab||Hornet Ring Riposte||Hornet Ring Backstab|
|Daggers||3.6||3.0||0.64 + 3.96||3.4|
|Straight Swords||2.5||2.0||0.66 + 2.57||2.27|
|Greatswords||2.45||1.95||0.67 + 2.54||2.23|
|Ultra Greatswords||0.85 + 1.65||0.5 + 1.5||0.68 + 0.68 + 1.82||0.8 + 1.55|
|Light Curved Swords||2.7||2.15||0.88 + 2.68||2.44|
|Heavy Curved Swords||2.5||2.0||0.66 + 2.62||2.27|
|Curved Greatswords||0.85 + 1.75||0.5 + 1.6||0.67 + 0.67 + 1.93||0.8 + 1.65|
|Thrusting Swords||2.45||2.0||0.66 + 2.5||2.27|
|Katanas||2.5||2.0||0.66 + 2.61||2.27|
|Axes||0.6 + 2.2||0.6 + 1.81||0.66 + 0.66 + 2.22||0.66 + 2.05|
|Greataxes||0.85 + 1.65||0.5 + 1.5||0.68 + 0.68 + 1.65||0.8 + 1.5|
|Hammers||0.6 + 2.08||0.6 + 1.71||0.66 + 0.66 + 2.02||0.66 + 1.88|
|Great Hammers||0.85 + 1.65||0.5 + 1.5||0.67 + 0.67 + 1.82||0.8 + 1.53|
|Spears and Pikes||2.65||2.15||0.66 + 2.74||2.44|
|Halberds||2.5||2.0||0.66 + 2.57||2.27|
|Reapers||2.5||2.0||0.66 + 2.56||2.27|
|Fists||0.6 + 2.4||0.6 + 1.91||0.64 + 0.64 + 2.64||0.64 + 2.16|
|Claws||0.66 + 2.64||0.66 + 2.1||0.72 + 0.72 + 2.91||0.72 + 2.38|