The Harvestella dodge mechanic is pretty controversial. Despite its predominantly action-style combat, the game doesn’t give you the ability to dodge from the offset, and, even when you do unlock it, it’s not quite the life-saving, i-frame granting godsend many would hope. However, when you get the swing of the battle mechanics, it can still be a handy tool to get you out of sticky situations.
Before you dive into the art of dodging, head over to our Harvestella jobs guide to learn about the different fighting styles and classes you can equip. We’ve also got a handy Harvestella romance guide, so you can get the life partner you deserve after you save the world.
As mentioned above, dodging isn’t a default ability when starting out in Harvestella. Instead, it’s an unlockable skill tied to each of the different jobs you equip. Every job has its own skill tree, and one of the first skills you can unlock for each job, usually for around 150 JP, is ‘step’.
You can use step in or out of combat, as long as you have equipped a job that has the step ability unlocked. As opposed to a tactical dodge, step is more of a short dash that you use by hitting the sprint button. It offers a minimal i-frame (or ‘invincibility frame’), meaning it’s not as life-saving as the dodge in other action-combat heavy games like Monster Hunter, Elden Ring, or Dark Souls.
Step also eats up a chunk of your stamina bar, so if you plan on dashing around the place, make sure that you’ve got a full stomach so that your stamina can regenerate – you don’t want to be left facing a monster without enough energy to swing your sword at it.
After playing Harvestella for a while, it becomes abundantly clear that dodging is not a core mechanic of combat in this one. Instead, battles feel closer to games like Xenoblade. Naturally, you should dodge big, charged attacks that are telegraphed by red marks on the floor, but when it comes to direct combat, you have other things to focus on.
For those of you who want to avoid taking damage, you can equip ranged jobs like mage and team up with melee characters like Aria, Asyl, and Istana among others. This way, your teammates take aggro while you hang back and snipe from afar – just be sure to keep an eye on your party members’ health.
If you prefer to be in the heat of battle, you should focus on using jobs that target the enemies’ weaknesses to take them down quicker, equip rings that increase your own resistances, and make sure that you have plenty of food and drinks on hand.
Food is great for increasing your stats and filling your stomach, but in the middle of a fight, bringing plenty of juices is the way to go. They replenish your health and sometimes offer buffs, are quicker to consume, and don’t fill your stomach. The latter is very important as, when your stomach is full, you can’t eat any other meals – so, if you’ve only got a stack of mountain stir fry on you, you’re as good as doomed.
The lacklustre Harvestella dodge mechanic is undoubtedly a turn-off for many of you, and I would certainly prefer a more tactical dodge option. However, it places a higher emphasis on strategy, requiring you to carefully select and level your Harvestella jobs, and make the most of the Harvestella cooking system, rewarding you for delving into the farming and life-sim mechanics.
That’s all you need to know about Harvestella dodge mechanics. While you’re here, be sure to check out our Harvestella animals, Harvestella crops, and Harvestella fishing guides to get to grips with the other mechanics in the game.