Back when Devil May Cry 3 released in the west, it set the standard for difficulty by not only turning the previous entry on its head with actual character action gameplay, but by literally being the hardest version of the game sold. The standard difficulty mode was Japan’s Hard difficulty, and even when being downgraded to Easy you were at a disadvantage, because you were nowhere near the standard for Easy. Once this happened (and was corrected with a re-release), the series has been well known for its difficulty. Devil May Cry 5 may not hold a candle to Devil May Cry 3 when it comes to victory, but once you attempt the later difficulties, the struggle will be all too familiar. Learning to consistently SSS Rank battles with Dante will go a long way in easing your strain and helping you become the best Demon Hunter you can be.
Not knowing how to play Dante should be a crime at this point, but I’ll still give you a hand. Much like Devil May Cry 4, Dante hasn’t changed much from his perfect performance in Devil May Cry 3. He’s quick, versatile, and given the proper knowledge, he can SSS rank any combat encounter thrown his way. The game grades performance based on the influx of fresh new moves, as well as defensive plays like clashing with an enemy attack and dodging at the very last second. Thankfully for us, Dante is equipped with the Style system. This not only unlocks a bevy of new moves for all of Dante’s weapons, new and old, but it gives him mobility options and defensive options that can be swapped to on the fly for the would be SSS Rank attempter.
To start, beat the game. No, really. Dante’s weapon set is annoyingly tied to the plot, as is his new Devil Trigger mechanic. Unlike Nero, you are not at any disadvantage when it comes to weapon choice (once you beat the game, as I said). Dante has a total of 12 weapons once you’ve collected them all, and while luckily the style system in this game is laxer than before, don’t think you’ll be able to get away with just Rebellion, Ebony, and Ivory. Classic fans will be happy to see the return of the Balrog, sending fiery punches and kicks in every direction, as well as a new and improved Cerberus featuring electric capabilities and a staff of flames. Mastering melee weapons is the key to SSS Ranking with Dante, so pick 2 or 3 weapons to obliterate with and learn them inside and out. The new motorcycle weapon is slow and takes a lot of getting used to, while the Devil Sword Sparda (of Trish fame) is just a dope power upgrade to the Rebellion. Find your favorites, get fluent in them. Practice.
Once you’ve mastered your melee weapons, it’s time to get a grip on your styles. Trickster style presents a load of evasive options, from simple dodge rolls to teleporting over enemies’ heads to gain the high ground. Swordmaster completely opens up the options for your melee weapons. It’s how you unlock the aforementioned staff for Cerberus, aerial combos for Rebellion and Sparda, and a handful of powerful attacks for each weapon.
Gunslinger takes your combo stringing firearms and turns them into weapons of ultimate destruction. While firearms rarely do much to increase your style in Devil May Cry 5, with Gunslinger active they become just as beneficial as a good combo. Whether turning your sawed off shotgun into a nunchuck or your rocket launcher into a rapid-firing deliverer of death, Gunslinger bears its own rewards. Overuse will still wear down your style meter, but it’s still a run style to get that SSS rank with.
Lastly, Royalguard is the Devil May Cry expert’s master key to the higher difficulties. While the layman will see that it simply gives the player a way to block, the more adept of you will notice that it comes stacked with a meter. This meter is your key to the SSS Rank. Building it up entirely with perfectly timed blocks and counters gives you a massive discharge, knocking your enemy for a loop they never saw coming. Leveling up and investing time into each of these styles will nearly guarantee your style meter’s constant rise. Much like the weapons, you don’t need to be adept in every style to earn an SSS Rank, but having a grasp on 2-3 will really help your chances. Mixing them in the midst of battle really sends the Style Meter soaring too.
Don’t be stale, master what Capcom has given you, and you will SSS Rank with Dante. Though Nero may still be the more fast paced and versatile character, his limited moveset has nothing on what Dante is capable of. There are literally dozens of ways to perfect Dante, all it takes is some gumption, time, and maybe the slightest bit of skill. Just a little. Try more than not at all and you’ll probably get it.