Battle Basics - Swap In Abilities and Counter-Attacks

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Welcome to Jurassic World Alive. If you're a brand new player and want to know more about the Arena, this is the place to start -- our Battle Basics Guides. We've got a bunch of them here at GamePress and you can check out the full suite of them below alongside our Beginners Guides.

Swap-In Abilities (SIAs) and Counter-Attacks (CAs) are both passive abilities (you do not select them like other moves), and add an extra dimension to battles. Understanding how to make the most of swapping between your dinosaurs mid-fight is essential to getting the most out of your team. As always, we’re here to make sure you have the best information to help you make the right call in your battles!

Huge shout out to Antithesis from our Discord server who wrote this article and created all the graphics! 

Swap In Abilities:

Swap In Abilities only activate when you manually or automatically (due to a hit-and-run move) switch between dinosaurs. They do not activate when bringing out your first dinosaur, or when selecting a new dinosaur after the previous one has fallen. There are a wide variety of Swap In Abilities within the game, with powerful effects, as shown below:

SIA Ability

Swap In Abilities allow you to take priority in a fight as well as save an otherwise doomed dinosaur, and are extremely effective at turning the tide of battle. Effects such as Dodge, Stun, Distraction and Invincibility allow you to potentially get a ‘free’ swap, whereas Defense, Ferocity and Wound are great at setting up your freshly swapped in dinosaur to take down your opponent. Finally, Definite Strike and Rampage are often used to simply kill the opposing dinosaur before they even get a chance to land their move that turn! Swap In Nullification is, at present, fairly underwhelming. It does, however, provide some niche use when you need to swap in on a dinosaur with an active positive effect.


Counter-Attacks occur when a dinosaur with a CA passive is struck by, but survives, a physically damaging move (unless they are stunned!). Unlike SIAs, these are completely passive abilities that do not require you to do anything for them to function. While all of them deal damage, some also have additional effects, as shown below:

counter attack image

Counter-Attacks are often present on tankier dinosaurs, allowing you to punish your opponent’s attacks as you soak up damage and stall them out. Armor Piercing, Defense Shattering, and Rending Counters will even do substantial damage against other tanks, whereas basic Counter-Attacks are better for chipping away at more fragile attackers. Decelerating Counter is currently unique in providing a status effect along with its damage, and is especially well suited for dissuading any speedier dinosaur from landing a non-lethal attack.


Both Swap In Abilities and Counter-Attacks often enable you to gain the advantage from a seemingly weak position. Swapping out a dinosaur before your opponent lands a killing blow would normally mean leaving the swapped in dinosaur vulnerable having taken the hit instead. However, if that swap activates an SIA, or was into a bulky dinosaur with a strong CA, you can instead gain the upper hand. Properly utilizing your whole team of 4 is key to ensuring you are the first to 3 takedowns, and these abilities are great tools to help you accomplish that!

We hope you found this article useful, and use these tips to gain victory in the Arena! If you did, be sure to check out our other Beginners Guides as well as the other content here on GamePress. For more advice and to discuss or ask questions about any of our content (or anything else JWA!), be sure to join our Discord channel by following the link below. We look forward to seeing you there!

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About the Author(s)

Wife, mother, native Texan, taco lover, book lover, dinosaur lover and self-proclaimed nerd. I hate cold weather and the book is always better than the movie.