The system of combat mechanics used in Darkfall is vaguely similar to the one used in the single-player game Mount & Blade. Ranged combat (using either ranged weapons or magic) is done in first person perspective, while combat with melee weapons is done in third person perspective. There is no auto-attack feature-- all attacks and movements are manually controlled by the player in real time. Though directional attacks aside from an overhead attack are not currently in the game, developers plan to implement them.
- Main article: Magic
It is possible to be successful in combat without using magic, but it won't be easy. Even if players choose not to pick up any magic skills or spells, they may need to rely on magic items anyway..
- Main article: Mount
Mounted combat is an important part of Darkfall warfare and players can freely ride their mounts around without any restrictions. Several skills are associated with mounted combat in the game. Each race (except the Mahirim) has an associated racial mount, but mounts of other races can also be stolen and ridden.
While mounted, players can use one-handed weapons only, and many skills and abilities are disabled or unnavailable.
- Main article: Naval combat
- Main article: PvP
Unlike many other MMORPGs, in Darkfall Player vs. Player (PvP) combat is unrestricted. There are no safe zones, so combat in cities and any other locations is possible, although there are guard towers in every main NPC city and starter city, that defend every good aligned player from those of inferior alignment..
- Main article: PvE
Despite being heralded as a PvP-centric game, Darkfall has complex and revolutionary Player versus Environment (PvE) game play. This includes questing, and the creatures that players encounter in Darkfall have sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) making combat more similar to that with other players. In addition, creatures may move from place to place in the world, develop settlements, and even attack nearby player settlements, meaning that in Darkfall sometimes the PvE comes to the player rather than the player simply seeking out challenges in the environment.