Being one of the most accessible games in the series to date, Devil May Cry 5 doesn’t do much to stop almost any kind of player from reaching the end credits. Whether you’re rushing through on Human difficulty or taking your sweet time exploring each level in Devil Hunter, your first playthrough won’t be enough to deter you from victory. Maxing out your character and taking them beyond the two initial difficulties will take a little something extra.
Nero is by far the toughest character of the three to consistently get SSS Ranks with. Lacking the animal buddies of V or the endless arsenal of Dante, Nero has to use his varied Red Queen combos and his dozen or so Devil Breakers to their full extent. The best Red Queen combo consists of (on a Xbox controller; the PS4 equivalent is triangle) Y, Y, wait, Y, Y, Y, Y. Waiting combos are frequent in the series and Nero’s are the most powerful by far. With a timer constantly ticking down, it can be hard mastering the patience for this move, but the rewards are worth it, especially if your fighting is getting a little stale.
Once you master the Red Queen and get a feel for his variety of combos it’s time to master Nero’s most powerful new addition: the Devil Breakers. These hands all have a variety of abilities and their values will vary between each player, but the method for SSS-Ranking remains the same. Simple breakers such as the Mega Buster and Sweet Surrender don’t do much to add to your score, as neither of them add to the combo counter in a meaningful way, but supposedly weak options such as the Gerbera and Rawhide do a lot for a struggling style meter. Because you’re rewarded for playing offensive and defensively, a well-timed dodge using Gerbera’s shockwave will knock you up to an S-Rank easy.
Once you’ve mastered both of Nero’s most valuable assets, you still may find trouble moving beyond an S Rank. That’s when you ask yourself, are you using a variety of combos? Relying too heavily on a specific move? Is your Devil Breaker not varied enough for combat? Moment to moment decisions will be the final factor in achieving your first SSS. From there it only gets easier, and you’ll be ready to take on hordes of enemies without giving them a chance to rest.