There are a lot of different enemy types in Devil May Cry 5. The appearances aren't just cosmetic, but relate to how they behave. You'll want to get a sense of each enemy's abilities and learn what works best against them.
Because there are so many variations of enemies, you'll have to get good at multitasking early on. There are moments in which several different enemies will be thrown at you, and you might find yourself prioritizing certain foes over others.
For example, it might be a good idea to take out the enemies that can hit you with long range attacks first, so you don't have to worry about getting hit from afar.
Or, if there's an enemy you struggle with, it might be a good idea to take out the other ones first. Then, you can focus all of your attention on the tough one.
Some enemies can only be attacked from afar, while others have a shield that must be taken down.
Watch enemy attack patterns, eliminate the easier demons first, and above all else, make use of the dodge mechanic.
The lock-on feature in Devil May Cry 5 has more than one function. It allows you to zero-in on an enemy, like you'd expect. This comes in handy when planning out a strategy and prioritizing different foes.
Equally important is the fact that locking on will show your enemy's health. Unlike bosses, regular demons don't have a health bar, so the only way to see their health is to lock-on. This can be used when laying out a strategy, as you might want to finish off the enemies with less health first.
However, you might not always want to lock-on. Sometimes, the camera can get wonky if you're positioned in a specific area, and locking onto foes can make it worse. You also move faster when you aren't locked-on, so it's important to mix things up.
Also, if you click L3, you'll change the enemy you're locked-on to, but you have to be standing still to do so.
Just as the enemies are varied, so too are the characters you play as. Each of the three characters have unique abilities, and they can take some getting used to in order to master them.
For example, I struggled with V because of his unorthodox style, so I had to force myself to learn how he works. Admittedly, I'm not great with him still, but after getting the hang of the three demons and fully upgrading them, it was easier.
With V, you want to keep an eye on your Devil Trigger gauge and try to stick behind an object to avoid being hit.
With Dante, you'll probably get the hang of him quickly, since he isn't introduced until halfway through the game and you'll be used to the mechanics by then. But since he has so many weapons at his disposal, it's easy to mix things up to keep that combo high.
As for Nero, he's a tad more complicated because of his somewhat of a limited move-set. The biggest piece of advice is to use his R2 move after a standard attack and try to avoid locking-on when you want to use your Devil Breaker.
What good is slaying demons if you don't have fancy weapons to do it? Luckily, Devil May Cry 5 has enough weapons for you to never get bored.
What's fascinating is that each character uses their weapons differently. For example, Nero has a sword that you use with the triangle button, but it is nowhere near as intricate as Dante's.
Dante uses a number of different melee weapons that can get complex when combined with his Devil Trigger and four stances by pressing the D-pad.
As for V, he's tricky. You'll likely just be spamming triangle and square while sticking back, activating Devil Trigger when you can.
All of the weapons (and V's demons) are useful and aren't too hard to master. You just need to have a constant flow of attacks, switching what you're using when you can.
To be frank, the controls in DMC5 aren't the best. Using your melee weapons with triangle might take some getting used to. Plus, different buttons do different things depending on the character you're using.
If you want a control scheme that's a bit more tailored to you, it might be a good idea to customize the controls.
It's really cool that Capcom implemented a way to map the buttons to your liking. This way, you can have a bit more of a personalized experience.
Regardless, you still might not have an ideal control setup, but at least this will help.
While the main focus should be on learning attack patterns and murdering demons, you should be exploring levels in between battles.
The locations are fairly linear, but there are a number of secrets or paths that lead to some extra goodies. The biggest ones being Red Orbs, which you will want to get as much of as you can. But you'll also find health, secret levels, and Devil Breakers for Nero.
If you get lost, remember that you can always hold in L3 and the camera will aim in the direction you need to go, so don't be afraid of getting lost.
The backbone of Devil May Cry is its combo system. It has the complexity of a fighting game at times.
The key is to avoid taking damage, mix up your attacks, and make sure you're quick about it.
When playing as V, it can be easy to rack up a high combo, since he can attack multiple enemies from afar with his familiars. It's important to not only pay attention to your enemies, but to make sure you're going through all of the moves in a character's arsenal to ensure a high combo is achieved.
You can get by with simply spamming the triangle button, but your combo will suffer for it. I would often make a mental checklist and try to use every move.
For example, with Nero, I usually shoot an enemy, pull them close, attack with sword, use R2, shoot again, attack with the Devil Breaker, use his Devil Trigger, attack some more, and repeat.
That exact combination isn't needed, but you can see that there are a wide variety of moves to choose from that can help keep your combo afloat.