Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest action, RPG game by FromSoftware and is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. FromSoftware has gained tons of support and popularity in the gaming community by providing challenging worlds that players can overcome. Sekiro is no different — if anything it can be one of the most challenging yet. Despite the difficulties that set this world apart, there are tons of things you can do to improve your skills and tip the scales in your favor as you take on the shadows yourself.
Unlike previous FromSoftware games, Sekiro has a heavy focus on deflections and perfect blocking. With that in mind, you want to practice your deflection timing. The Undying Shinobi at The Dilapidated Temple is the best way to do this with no risk to you. Talk to him and learn the best times to deflect and dodge as well as work on mastering your counterstrikes as these will play a large part in dealing posture damage and landing that Shinobi Deathblow.
Once you feel comfortable with this, the next thing to take into account is the posture status. While it can be tempting to go on a full assault and overpower your foe, this can backfire quickly if your opponent deflects your attack and lands a counterblow. Notice the correlation between the enemy’s health bar and their posture build up; the lower their health is, the easier it will be to break their guard. The best way to go about this is to weaken them first. Once their health is in the yellow, the posture gauge will degrade slower. Use this time to build it up with deflections and when their health is in the red, land those final hits for that satisfying execution. This strategy has more prominence with bosses and elite enemies than with grunts but is still something important to keep in mind.
On top of enemy posture bars, always keep one eye on your own. Should yours fill, you will fall to the ground and be extremely vulnerable to any follow-up attacks. If you see your posture gauge filling up, don’t be afraid to back out and re-engage. Try to avoid staying in a dangerous situation too long. If you find yourself in a scenario that is highly in favor of your enemy, don’t get overzealous and try to cut them all down and then self-resurrect for the final couple people. Instead, look for a vantage point nearby and try to reposition yourself. If you can get the high ground and maneuver around to a point that now favors you, not only does this reduce the incoming damage to you but it also saves your resurrection for a time when you might really need it.
Speaking of resurrection capabilities, try to manage your self-resurrection tactically. If you get killed and the screen prompts you to respawn right there, take into account what is around you before you hit that button. If you respawn and your body is still surrounded, you just wasted that valuable resource! Wait for your foe(s) to take a few steps away before you get back up.
This also a good time for a healing pellet. Save your gord for in-the-moment encounters. If you know you can get away by staying back for a few moments or deflecting your enemy long enough for the pellet to take effect … do it. Save your gord for more dire situations. If you wait to use your pellets for any last resort healing, then you will usually find yourself in a tight pinch compared to if you would’ve saved a use of the healing gord.
Something else to keep in mind is Sekiro really shines when you take stealth into account. There are several instances where if you explore an area you will be able to thin out the heard before going in for the main battle. Doing this will also let you keep the most healing items and health as you are going in for a tough battle. Sometimes you can even get a free Deathblow on an elite or boss enemy by doing this!
When it comes to bosses, it can seriously pay off to study their movesets and weaknesses. When the battle starts, pay attention to their patterns, count the swings in their combos, and figure out when the best time to attack or deflect. Most boss fights will be a battle of attrition. This will also be a time to focus on damaging the boss to make their posture easier to break. You don’t have to defeat them quickly; you just have to defeat them. Once you figure out their weakness — exploit them. Use this in tandem with your prosthetic. More often than not, a boss can be temporarily stunned by the prosthetic. Even if it only distracts them long enough to disengage to heal, that’s something you’ll want to utilize to the fullest ability.
If the boss does defeat you, look back on where things went wrong and try to correct those decisions. Treat each death as a chance to learn and grow, and use this time to restock yourself for the battle. Go get some more pellets, grab more spirit emblems, top off your consumables, etc. Another good idea is to consider filling up your skill point gauge so you don’t lose any progress with it. If you find yourself getting stuck, maybe backtrack and look for another route in or another path to go down. Sometimes you will find something to help you in the arena. If you’re still having difficulties, maybe take a break to clear your head … go get a drink, stretch, have snack, use the restroom. Give your brain a second to breathe and then come back. Now that you’ve done all that, jump back in with a focused mind and put your skills and strategy to the test until you walk out of the arena victorious.
Sekiro is all about careful planning, strategy, and focus. Utilizing these three skills will only help you out in the long run. Careless play patterns will more often than not leave you open for a punishing counter.
- Take your time
- Practice, practice, practice
- Plan your attacks
- Don’t get greedy
- Watch your posture
- Utilize items and stealth
- Stay vigilant
- Learn attack patterns
- Exploit enemy weaknesses
- Assess each situation accordingly
- Save your heals and use self resurrection carefully
- Explore your surroundings
- You will often find yourself walking out of each scenario stronger and better than before
Sekiro has a beautiful world full of amazing sights and locations to explore. Each area has its own dangers to overcome and using these tricks, you will be able to see them all firsthand. The best offense and defense in this game is a clear head! Keep your guard up and your blade ready to counter, and you’ll soon find yourself becoming a master shinobi in no time.