Guardians of the Galaxy: How to Stagger Enemies

Don't get Staggered by Guardians of the Galaxy's most important mechanic!

by Thomas Cunliffe
An enemy hit by Stagger in Guardians of the Galaxy

Stagger is a mechanic you will be using constantly throughout Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and learning how to properly stagger enemies will make combat smoother and your overall experience much more enjoyable.

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In this guide on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, we’ll be covering how Stagger works, how to Stagger enemies and what to do once an enemy is Staggered.

What is ‘Stagger’ in Guardians of the Galaxy?

Some enemies in Guardians of the Galaxy will have a ‘Stagger Bar’ below their Health Bar. Once the Stagger Bar has been filled, the enemy will become ‘Staggered’, which heavily increases the amount of damage they take and makes them vulnerable to abilities they are usually resistant to. You can tell if an enemy is Staggered because they will have a glowing aura and the Stagger Bar will continuously blink. Enemies with Stagger Bars are usually very hard to kill without first Staggering them, with some enemies even being impossible to kill without being Staggered.

How to Stagger Enemies in Guardians of the Galaxy

To Stagger enemies in Guardians of the Galaxy, you will need to use Abilities with Stagger or hit the enemy with the Element they are weak against. To find out if an Ability is able to Stagger enemies, go to the ‘Guardians’ menu and select ‘Abilities’. Each ability will have a ‘Stagger’ rating from 0-4 and the Ability description will detail how hard it Staggers and how many enemies it hits with Stagger damage.

Every Guardian has at least one Ability that is able to Stagger, but all of them need to be unlocked with Ability Points, other than Drax with his ‘Destroy’ ability. If an enemy can be Staggered with Star-Lord’s Element Guns, they will have an icon of the Element they are weak against next to their Health Bar. Blasting them with enough of that Element will quickly fill the stagger bar up without having to use Abilities.


Once a Stagger Bar is fully filled, you will need to do as much damage to the enemy as possible, as fast as possible. If your opponent isn’t defeated fast enough, the Stagger Bar will reset and you will have to fill it again. Use your damaging Guardian abilities on Staggered enemies, such as Star-Lords ‘Fan The Hammer’ or Gamora’s ‘Deadly Strike’ to ensure you kill them before the Stagger Bar resets.

What Abilities Stagger Enemies in Guardians of the Galaxy?

All three of Drax’s abilities can Stagger. A fourth is unlockable later on, but we won’t spoil what that does for Drax or any of the other Guardians. ‘Destroy’ deals Light Damage and Heavy Stagger to a single enemy. ‘Katathian Charge’ deals Moderate Stagger to enemies in a line. ‘Pound and Pummel’ deals Moderate Damage to a single enemy and Light Damage to nearby enemies, along with a small amount of Stagger.

Star-Lord can unlock ‘Eye of the Hurricane’ with 3 Ability Points, which deals Heavy Stagger to enemies below, as well as Moderate Damage. Gamora can also learn ‘Stagger Wave’ for 3 Ability Points, which deals Moderate Stagger to all enemies behind her target.

Rocket’s ‘Glowing Pains Grenade’, which can be unlocked with 3 Ability Points, deals Light Stagger to enemies hit and increases Stagger damage from other sources. Finally, ‘Mammoth Grab’, which is also unlockable with 3 Ability Points, deals Moderate Stagger to an enemy and grapples them in place.

Guardians of the Galaxy is now available for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and GeForce Now.

- This article was updated on November 1st, 2021

About The Author

Thomas has been a freelance writer since 2021 and considers himself a connoisseur of all things Nintendo, Blizzard, and Marvel. Since amassing 145,000+ followers on a Facebook page about Diddy Kong with a backward hat in 2015, Thomas has become a trusted voice in the gaming community across publications such as AOTF, PC Invasion, and Gfinity. His greatest achievements include catching every Pokémon, completing every quest in World of Warcraft (yes, all of them), and naming his dog 'Mass Effect 3.' Thomas is extraordinarily passionate about the video game industry and its community. He enjoys writing about various topics, including popular games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and WoW, and exploring the latest AAA and indie titles.