Dishonored Wiki
Dishonored Wiki
Dead Counter sword cross

Corvo and his opponent fight with swords.

Swords are the only melee weapons available to the protagonists in the Dishonored franchise, and are part of the standard equipment for most combatants.


City Watch Sword

City Watch Sword[]

The City Watch Sword is a standardized sword made from industrial steel, reliable and utilitarian. It is the first weapon that Corvo Attano runs across, during his escape from Coldridge Prison, and it can be used until he acquires his personal sword from a stash in the Dunwall Sewers. Both City Watch Guards and regular Grand Guards use this type of sword.

Officer's Sword[]

Officer Sword

The Officer's Sword is the sword Corvo uses in the prologue and can be wielded again if he doesn't pick up a City Watch Sword in Coldridge Prison. He can get it from one of the Officers that spawn after the bomb goes off, or from Watch Officer Thorpe if Corvo manages to choke him unconscious before he leaves the cell block. It can also be found in the Flooded District if Corvo hasn't picked up another sword by the time he encounters City Watch Officers. It is the only sword without an image and a description in the inventory.

This weapon is used by officers of the City Watch, Grand Guard Elites and Veterans, Cult of the Outsider, and the nobility including upper class members of Eyeless Gang. In Dishonored 2, Emily Kaldwin also uses an Officer's Sword in the tutorial.

Folding Blade[]

Main article: Folding Blade
Corvo's Folding Blade

The Folding Blade is the primary right-hand weapon for most of Dishonored and Dishonored 2. Its mechanism is resilient and efficient for both stealthy assassinations and open melee combat. This utility combined with its dense metal makes it perfect for defensive maneuvers. It can be upgraded by Piero Joplin or black market shops to be more effective at "locking blades" and pushing away enemies. In Dishonored 2, the protagonist can give it one of two Masterwork upgrades, allowing it to kill Clockwork Soldiers or witches much faster.

Overseer's Sabre[]

Overseer Blade

The Overseer's Sabre is found at the start of The Flooded District. The blade, standard issue for all Overseers, is made from fine Tyvian ores, carved with religious symbols to protect its user against any influences of the Void, and designed to function similarly to the City Watch Sword. If Daud purchases the Overseer Daud favor, he can use this sword during A Stay of Execution for Lizzy.

Assassin's Blade[]

Assassin's Blade

The Assassin's Blade is found near the Overseer's Sabre in the Flooded District. It is simple with knurling near the hilt and is perfect for the fast, deadly moves performed by Assassins. This is the weapon Daud uses during his time as a Whaler.

Gang Cleaver[]

Gang Cleaver

If Corvo leaves Daud's stronghold without retrieving his gear or picking up a sword, he can find a Gang Cleaver, a rough cleaver used by street bandits. This weapon hacks more than it slashes. Near the Rudshore Gate, Corvo can obtain the cleaver by killing or knocking out the two looters on the balcony that overlooks the patrolling tallboys.

Howler Blade[]


Members of he Howlers Gang use tailor's scissors[1] that have had one of the blades removed, the two wings have been fused together so that they cannot make the "scissoring" motion, and the ring handles have been bent together to form a guard for the wielder's hand. This weapon cannot be used in game.

Twin-bladed Knife[]

Main article: Twin-bladed Knife
Twin-bladed Knife 2

The Twin-bladed Knife replaces Billie Lurk's assassin's blade in Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. Unlike regular swords, it can unleash Void Strike, a power that can stun and knock enemies back.

Whalebone Sword[]

Whalebone Sword

Whalebone swords are the melee weapon of the Brigmore Witches, and lower class female Eyeless. They appear to be made up of metal blades lodged into long pieces of whalebones and reinforced by tree roots. This weapon cannot be used by the protagonists but a broken one can be collected as a souvenir in The Royal Conservatory mission.



All swords share the same damage output. Under normal difficulty, common City Watch Guards will die after three to four hits, although they will most likely be killed by a counterattack before that.


Corvo normally slashes with his blade when he does not perform a counter or assassination maneuver. There are four slash animations when Corvo is standing, but only one reverse grip attack while he is crouching.


Block only works on sword strikes, and it may be bypassed if enemies crouch and then attack. However, if Corvo manages to perform a well-timed block, enemies will be thrown off-balance, allowing him to deliver a fatal counterattack. Despite this, not all enemies can be instantly killed in this way.


It is possible to dismember enemies during combat. Often, an enemy can be dismembered no matter how many times he is hit. However, if Corvo slashes them continuously, even while aiming at a particular limb, Corvo will only kill the enemy with the same animation as a counterattack. In order to dismember an enemy, follow these steps:

  1. Stun or parry the enemy.
  2. Once the enemy is off guard, target a limb. To successfully dismember the limb, Corvo must step away from the target and slash the body part. If Corvo stands too close, the enemy will be killed.
  3. The limbs of the various enemies are jointed, so they need to be hit in the correct spot, as follows: for arms, aim below the elbow; for legs, aim below the knee, or slash the foot; for heads, slashing any part of the head will cause it to fall off; for torsos, aim below the waist, slicing the enemy in half.

Dismembering an enemy does not work every time. Furthermore, it is unwise to attempt this when fighting large groups of enemies, unless Blood Thirsty has been fully upgraded.

The resulting limb can be used as a distraction similarly to bottles or other objects in the environment. Enemies react to the sound normally, but also react as if a dead body was found.

Only one of the instant-kill animations dismembers an enemy every single time.

Locking Blades[]

When Corvo and his opponents strike at the same time, they will lock blades. If Corvo can overpower his opponent by continuously attacking, he can throw them off-balance, similar to using a well-timed block. Corvo can also be thrown off-balance, though he is not as vulnerable as his enemies in this case.

Fatal Attack[]

If Corvo's target does not detect his approach, he will be able to assassinate them, causing instant death. Only humanoid enemies suffer a special death animation, with wolfhounds simply dying as Corvo swings his sword. It is impossible to deliver such an attack to a river krust, as they will not open their shells until they are aware of a threat.

Corvo can perform drop assassinations (if he is above an enemy) by leaping from above and landing on his target, which lets Corvo drive his sword through them. A successful drop assassination also prevents Corvo from suffering any fall damage. Agility facilitates the process, and with that power Corvo can perform drop assassinations even while on the same ground as the enemy, by jumping twice.

After Corvo successfully throws an enemy off-balance, he can rush forward and deliver a fatal attack. This can be done by blocking their attacks, winning a blade-locking, or through violent and continuous attacking.

The Royal Interrogator is immune to this type of fatal attack, though he is still susceptible to assassination and drop-assassination.

City Watch Officers have a brief period of vulnerability before firing their pistols. They will still often block or dodge Corvo's strikes if he attempts to attack them during their aiming. If they dodge Corvo's strikes twice, they will kick him away from them, so it is wise to stop attacking them if they dodge the first strike.

Death Animations[]

These animations will only occur if Corvo or Daud is standing up and facing the enemy. The player is invincible during these sequences, while the enemy can be killed beforehand by outside sources.

  • Corvo stabs the enemy in the throat, causing the enemy to try and grab and stop the bleeding before falling over
  • Corvo will pull the enemy forward and stab them in the chest before pushing them off
  • Corvo slashes outwards and lodges the length of his sword into the enemy's abdomen, then pulling it out, causing the enemy to fall forward.
  • Corvo grabs the enemy's right arm and pulls them forward until their upper back is exposed, then stabbing the enemy in the back of the neck.
  • Corvo brings his sword down on the enemy's left shoulder with enough force to push them downwards. He then lifts the sword off and the enemy falls backwards.
  • Corvo brings his sword down on the enemy's right shoulder, causing the enemy to fall backwards, however they are not pushed down.
  • Corvo brings down his sword with two hands, lodging it in the enemy, pulling it out half a second later.
  • Corvo lifts his sword up, causing the enemy to look upwards at his sword before he smashes the blade on top of the enemy's skull
  • Corvo cleanly swings his sword and decapitates the enemy, before spinning the blade around in his hand.
  • Corvo grabs the enemy's head and stabs them in the neck, turning the blade and ripping off the enemy's head.

Stealth Kill Animations[]

If the target is unaware of Corvo or Daud or is stunned, one of these animations will play out, depending on which direction the target is facing:


  • Corvo pulls the enemy forward and slits their throat (Forward grip).
  • Corvo grabs the enemy's head and stabs them in the base of the head (Reverse grip).
  • Corvo jumps on the enemy and stabs the length of the blade edge into the enemy's throat (Drop assassination).
  • Daud stabs the enemy in the chest with his sword in reverse grip. He then pulls the enemy over and points his sword down, sliding the enemy off to Daud's left (DLC only).


  • Corvo stands up and stabs the enemy in the side of the neck (Forward grip)
  • Corvo stabs the enemy in the side of the neck, but pushes the blade and the enemy downwards slightly. This is also used for a left side drop assassination, but the enemy is knocked over by Corvo jumping on him (Reverse grip).
  • Daud flips his sword and stabs the enemy in the chest with a reverse grip (DLC only).


  • Corvo pushes the enemy's head downwards onto his sword and then lifts them back up, showing the sword in their throat (Forward grip).
  • Corvo stabs the enemy in the back of the neck. This is also used for his right side drop assassination (Reverse grip).
  • The enemy will turn around and raise their hand to try and stop the blade. Daud stabs through their hand into the enemy's head (DLC only).


  • Corvo slits the enemy's throat (Forward grip).
  • Corvo will pull the enemy's head to the side and stab him in the side of the neck (Reverse grip).
  • Corvo drops on the enemy's back and stabs them in the shoulder (Drop assassination)
  • Daud pulls the enemy backwards and shoots his wristbow at point blank range into the left side of the enemy's throat. It does not consume bolts (DLC only).

Target Specific Animations[]

Each assassination target has a unique death animation when approached and killed from the front.

  • Thaddeus Campbell: Corvo will cut his arm off, grab his collar, haul him to his feet then stab him in the throat.
  • Morgan Pendleton/Arnold Timsh: The protagonist grabs him by the collar then slits his throat.
  • Custis Pendleton/William Trimble: The protagonist grabs him by the neck, then impales him through the side of his neck.
  • Lady Boyle: Corvo will grab her round the waist, pull her close and stab her through the stomach.
  • Hiram Burrows: Corvo will stab him in the shoulder, spin him round, break his neck, then spin him round once more and yank the blade out.
  • Daud: Corvo grabs Daud, slits his throat, then throws him to the right as he dies.
  • Teague Martin/Leonard Hume: The protagonist will stab him, then spin his blade. Martin/Hume, on his knees, will attempt to get up. The protagonist will then proceed to decapitate him.
  • Farley Havelock/Bundry Rothwild: The protagonist stabs his pistol hand, then bends it toward his head, shooting Havelock/Rothwild with his own pistol.
  • Billie Lurk (high chaos): Daud will grab her by her neck, lift her from the ground and impale her through her abdomen, releasing his grip and dropping her to the floor.
  • Billie Lurk (low chaos): Lurk puts down her mentor's blade, and Daud places his hand on her shoulder, feigning forgiveness. Daud then quickly stabs the lieutenant through the chest.
  • Edgar Wakefield: Daud stabs him in the eye and then proceeds to slowly pull the blade out.
  • Delilah Copperspoon: Daud stabs Delilah in the ribs and she grabs the blade, driving it in deeper and swiping at his face until he pulls the blade free. Delilah then lunges at Daud, screaming, before he stabs her through the mouth.
  • Corvo Attano (low chaos): Corvo spins and evades as Daud slashes from right to left, grabbing Daud's arm behind him in the process. He then attempts to stab Daud backhanded, only to be stopped by Daud and stabbed through his chest from behind.
  • Corvo Attano (high chaos): Daud blocks Corvo's blow and forces the sword out of Corvo's hand. He chops Corvo straight down, but his arm was grabbed and broken, sword stolen in the process. Corvo then attempts to stab Daud's throat backhanded as the dream fades.
  • All main targets have the same death animation if approached from behind: Corvo will turn the target around to face him, impale them in the chest, rip out the blade and stab it through the back of their neck.
  • Mortimer Ramsey (Emily): Emily will stab Ramsey on the left side of his torso with her father's sword and is thrown back by Ramsey who pulls the sword out, Emily then grabs his own sword and stabs him on the right side of his torso.
  • Mortimer Ramsey (Corvo): Corvo will lock blades with Ramsey, then puts his blade in front of Ramsey's neck and pulls backwards, decapitating Ramsey.
  • The Crown Killer: The protagonist will kick her on the floor with a leg sweep before stabbing her through the head.
  • Kirin Jindosh:The protagonist kicks Jindosh in the groin and when he falls down in pain, grab his hair and impale him through his neck.
  • Breanna Ashworth: The protagonist will hold her down with their leg before impaling her through the chest.
  • Paolo: The protagonist punches Paolo in the face then slashes his in the back, before finally grabbing his head and pulling it back to brutally slit his throat.
  • Liam Byrne: The protagonist grabs Byrne by his left arm and breaks it before slamming his forehead onto their knee. Afterwards, they stab him in the neck and push his body away.
  • Aramis Stilton: The protagonist grabs him by the collar and stabs him in the shoulder before throwing his body to the floor.
  • Luca Abele: The protagonist disarms him. As he falls to the ground, and slowly starts to move back, they proceed to grab him and slit his throat.
  • Delilah Copperspoon: The protagonist strikes her in the shoulder, brings her to her knees and impales her in the chest.
  • In Dishonored 2, all main targets have a similar set of death animations if the target is unaware or is stunned: Corvo or Emily Kaldwin will turn the target around to face them (if the target is already facing them, this part is omitted), impale them with the sword in the left shoulder, then they break the target's neck, yanking the blade out as the target spins around.



Upgrade Name Cost Requirement Effect
Sword Crossing 600 Coins N/A Makes the Sword more effective when locking blades and pushing against an enemy.

Dishonored 2[]

Upgrade Name Cost Requirement Effect
Sword Crossing 450 Coins N/A Gives you an advantage in locked-sword contests.
Monkey Wrench (Masterwork) 450 Coins Sword Crossing, Blade Conversion Blueprint (Masterwork) Deal more sword damage against Clockwork Soldiers.
Occult Kiss (Masterwork) 450 Coins Sword Crossing, Blade Conversion Blueprint (Masterwork) Deal more sword damage against magic-using enemies.

Related Bone Charms[]


  • Whirlwind I - Swing speed for swords is slightly faster.
  • Whirlwind II - Swing speed for swords is moderately faster.
  • Fleet Fighter - Drawn weapons do not slow movement speed.
  • Fencer - Advantage in sword vs. sword combat.

The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches[]

  • Swift Stalker - If Daud's weapons are sheathed, his speed is boosted.
  • Whirlwind - Swing speed for swords is moderately faster.
  • Fleet Fighter - Drawn weapons do not slow movement speed.
  • Power Slash - Daud deals more damage with his sword, but swings it slower. (The Brigmore Witches only)

Dishonored 2 and Death of the Outsider[]

  • Swift Stalker - Movement is slightly faster with weapons sheathed.
  • Fencer - Win locked-sword Contests more easily.
  • Whirlwind - Sword attack speed is slightly faster.
  • Power Slash - The protagonist's sword deals more damage, but they swing it slower.
  • Risky Parry - Sword parries always knock enemies down, but the protagonist loses health doing so.
  • Fleet Fighter - Your movement is not slowed when your weapons are unsheathed.
  • Leech Cuts - You gain Health when inflicting sword damage or assassinating enemies.
  • Undeniable - Your sword attacks are unblockable, but you take more damage.


  • Created by Piero, Corvo's folding blade has a unique design. The handle opens, allowing the blade to telescope in or out.
  • Both Corvo's and Daud's swords become bloodied if any animal (except rats) or human is attacked with it. Reloading a save made prior to the killing will not remove the blood traces, but restarting the game will.
  • The blade of Corvo's sword will take on an appearance indicative of mineral ore in the amalgamation of the blade's metal if the sword-crossing upgrade is purchased.
  • The swords wielded by the Whalers bears a strong resemblane to the Indo-Persian khyber knife.
  • Daud's assassination animation is different when viewed from his perspective. Instead of being thrown to the right, he is thrown backwards. It is also the only assassination animation that can be viewed from the victim's perspective.
  • Treavor Pendleton is the only assassination target without a death animation.
  • Killing a tallboy with only a sword will unlock the Big Boy achievement.
  • In the pre-release demonstrations of Dishonored 2, the swords were upgraded with the Masterwork upgrade Monkey Wrench to make it easier for players in the mission The Clockwork Mansion.
  • During development, the Masterwork upgrade Monkey Wrench was called The Grinding Blade.[2]
  • In The Art of Dishonored 2, Corvo's blade is called "Pathmaker".[3]
  • The City Watch sword, Officer's sword, and Overseer's sabre all reappear in Dishonored 2.
  • it should be noted that other melee weapons do exist in the Dishonored universe, such as the maces carried by the Oracular Order, pickaxes, wrenches and so forth.


NOTE: The diagrams of the mechanisms of Corvo's Sword in the following images are purely theorized. In the mission The Flooded District, when Daud triggers the blade of Corvo's Sword, he does not flip the hilt; the blade simply comes out.


Death Animations[]



  1. The Art of Dishonored 2, p. 102-103
  2. GameCrate interview with Harvey Smith
  3. The Art of Dishonored 2, p. 108-109