Wild Hearts Karakuri Staff weapon guide for beginners

Wild hearts weapons tier list best
(Image credit: EA)

The Wild Hearts staff, or Karakuri Staff, to use its full name, has mutations that allows it to change between five different forms for different attacks.  It's a surprisingly intuitive weapon to use, considering, even as it rapidly switches forms and builds up to a powerful attack called the Juggernaut Blade. Used right, the Karakuri Staff can be one of Wild Hearts best weapons, so we'll explain it properly below, including movesets, tips and an explanation of its mutations.

How to use the Wild Hearts Karakuri Staff

Wild hearts weapons tier list best

(Image credit: EA)

The Wild Hearts Karakuri Staff's main power is mutations, where pressing the associated button will allow it to switch between four different forms. However, each of these is fairly similar in how they're used, so it's not as though you'll have to master four different weapons - they're just different kinds of melee attacks that swap through various combos. Do it right and players can chain those forms' combos together without a pause, leading to a lethal Juggernaut strike when you fill your Mutation gauge. Its solid stats, easy to use nature and high damage output means that it's one of the best Wild Hearts weapons out there, at least from our experience.

Karakuri Staff moveset and attacks

The Karakuri Staff has the following basic moveset (with obvious variations to the actual attack patterns depending on what form it's in).

  • Square/X: Light attack
  • Triangle/Y: Heavy attack
  • R2/RT: Mutate weapon into new form
  • R2/RT during combo attack: Mutate weapon into new form (and keep combo going in that form)
  • R2/RT + Triangle/Y: Juggernaut Slash

Surprisingly straightforward for a weapon that's constantly warping into something else. Well, I tell a lie - it's a little more complex than that.

Staff mutations, weapon gauge and Juggernaut Slash explained

The Karakuri Staff mutation power is a little strange, but here's how it works: the Staff itself can switch between four forms, or "mutations", each one of which has a slight niche.

  • Long Staff: Mid-speed, close-range attacks
  • Twin Fang: Rapid, jumping strikes
  • Giant Shuriken: Heavy, slow attacks
  • War Pike: Basic lunges and swings

You can cycle between them (in this order) by pressing R2/RT at any point. However, if you're doing a combo and your weapons flash, pressing R2/RT at that moment will cause them to mutate, but keep the combo going in the new form. A single combo can go between multiple mutations before stopping!

However, it doesn't end there. If you hit an enemy with that specific combo-linking Flash strike, you fill up a divot on the weapon gauge in the bottom left. This gauge powers up your powerful Juggernaut Slash, the Staff's deadliest move, and the Slash scales to how the gauge is filled. So keep chaining those mutations, and you'll be rewarded with a giant attack with few equals. You can do a Juggernaut Slash at any point, admittedly, but it won't be very deadly if you've not filled the gauge much.

Karakuri Staff tips and tricks

Again, the staff sounds more complex than it is - once you're on the field you'll find it surprisingly accommodating - but that doesn't mean there's not a few extra little tidbits to keep in mind.

  • The weapon gauge won't diminish immediately if you don't keep charging it, but it won't last forever. If it's flashing red, it's about to empty - either try to land a combo-mutation hit or just use it up with a Juggernaut Slash!
  • Not every attack prompts the flash that allows players to combo-switch. It's a little inconsistent which attacks do allow for it, but roughly half the staff's attacks will do it, and you'll learn them as you go.
  • If you have at least four bars of the mutation gauge filled and jump off a Karakuri structure, like a crate, you can instantly trigger the Juggernaut Slash without the usual wind-up!
  • If you're not sure which Staff form is generally best, we recommend either the Twin Fang or the Long Staff itself, which both have a nice blend of damage and speed.
Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.