Visceral Attacks are interesting as they present the player with an oportunity to deal a lot of damage on a defenseless enemy. To trigger a Visceral Attack, a player must do one of 2 things: Either he parries 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 Bloodgems on the right hand weapon at the moment of its execution. This includes Elemental damage.
Upon executing a Visceral Attack, there are a couple of things that happen asides from the animation and damage dealt to the enemy; first of all, 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. Second of all, 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 in some form:
- Oedon Writhe- allows players to regain Quicksilver Bullets when using a Visceral Attack (this rune exquisitely useful for players that use builds that focus on firearms or Hunter Tools; do not be misguided, this rune will only allow players to regain bullets, if the player has already all bullets in his inventory, then none will be added, neither as Blood Bullets, nor towards your chest in the Hunter's Dream)
- Clawmark- players will deal a percentage more damage when using a Visceral Attack (this rune is excellent for fighting parriable bosses, and overall all enemies in the more dangerous Chalice Dungeons, it also can help as a crutch for players with low skill)
- Blood Rapture- players heal a certain amount of health when using a Visceral Attack (great for general PVE especially early on when Blood Vials are limited; this health regain will not activate if the player is still within health recovery by rallying, as such, be careful when using it)
- Heir-allows players to gain more Blood Echoes through a Visceral Attack (the enemy does not need to die by the Visceral Attack, it is only required that at some point during the fight, the player visceral attacks the enemy sucessfully at least once; tested on bosses, and regular enemies)
- Enemy hunters and some bosses can also perform visceral attack.
- Dealing enough damage to a specific body part of a large boss may result in the boss collapse, the player can now perform a visceral attack up on it.
- When Performing a Visceral Attack, notice that the 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 2 unique visceral attack animations where she hold the male hunters for a moment before removing her hand and she hugs the female counterparts before removing her hand from their chest.