Visceral Attacks are interesting as they present the player with an opportunity to deal a lot of damage on a defenseless enemy. To trigger a visceral attack, a player must do one of 2 things: either parry a foe at the right time, or, a charged strong attack is struck on the foe's back, this type of visceral attack is described as a backstab by the community. Large enemies frequently are not possible to parry, and as such can only be backstabbed.
For large, unparriable bosses, visceral attacks are only possible during a certain part of a fight, and are often, if not always limited to 1 or 2 moments during the entire encounter.
It is important to note that the damage dealt by a Visceral Attack is governed mostly by the player's innate Skill stat, and, as such, players with high skill will get much better damage upon a visceral attack when compared to a player with low skill. Additionally, a visceral attack will be boosted by the blood-gems on the right hand weapon at the moment of its execution. This includes elemental damage.
Upon executing a visceral attack, if the player has taken damage and is still within the possibility of rallying, and recovering lost health, then that player fully recovers that lost health, and enemies that are close to the player when doing a visceral attack will be staggered briefly. This ensures the player can quickly get out of danger after such an attack.
The following Runes affect visceral attacks:
- Oedon Writhe - Allows players to regain Quicksilver Bullets by performing a visceral attack.
- Clawmark - Players will deal a fixed percentage more of damage from a visceral attack.
- Blood Rapture - Players heal a fixed amount of health from a visceral attack.
- Heir - Allows players to gain more blood echoes through a visceral attack.
- Enemy hunters and some bosses can also perform visceral attacks.
- Dealing enough damage to a specific body part of a large boss may result in the boss collapsing, allowing the player to perform a visceral attack on it.
- When performing a visceral attack, notice that the player’s weapon is not used, but rather the hand. Also, if you look very closely at the Hunter's hand, you will see that the hand appears to take on a bestial quality.
- Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower has a unique visceral attack animation where she hugs the hunter before removing her hand from their chest.