Combat is one of the strongest pillars of Ghost of Tsushima. It’s more intricate than a simple hack-and-slash since you need to evaluate enemy types, read their moves carefully, and attack accordingly. It can be challenging, but once you get a feel for timing attacks and using your ever-growing skill set, you’ll start to build a rhythm. Here, we have some advanced combat tips that’ll push your capabilities even further.
Even though there is no traditional leveling system with stats, you’ll strengthen Jin throughout your journey by unlocking more tools and skills to make tougher fights easier to take on. Since you can choose different skills that’ll affect your playstyle as you level up, we’ll go over a few of the essentials and list which skills are necessary to pull off some of the more intricate techniques. You can watch the video below to see our combat tips in action, or continue further down to read the guide if you prefer.
Mizu-no-Kami Charm And Parry Timing
Parrying is one of the most important elements to combat, and with the right timing, you can turn an enemy attack to your advantage. If you’re having a hard time parrying and dodging, especially during mob fights, it may be best to track down the Mizu-no-Kami charm. It’s located at Spring Falls Shrine and can be found very early in the game.
This charm gives wider timing windows for all of your parries, perfect parries, and perfect dodges–these are essential combat mechanics, so this charm is valuable throughout the entire game. It can make you much more efficient in battle, especially if you need to parry or dodge multiple attacks in a row.
Creating Your Own Combos
Some techniques pair really well with one another, so we’ve come up with a few combos that you may want use as you level up and grow stronger.
You can pair Smoke Bombs with the Chain Assassination technique for easy multi-kills against enemies caught in the smoke’s blast. Smoke Bombs essentially put you in stealth state which opens enemies up to assassination.
If you use the Typhoon Kick, immediately throw a Sticky Bomb, then line up an arrow shot with concentration, you’ll have a badass looking high-damage combo.
You can combine the Way of the Flame with Moon Stance’s Tornado for a flaming-hot spin attack. Remember that Way of the Flame makes your attacks unblockable and Moon Stance’s Tornado cannot be interrupted, so you’re guaranteed to chop through enemies.
The Foot Is Mightier Than The Sword
Arguably, the most overpowered ability in the game is the Wind Stance’s Typhoon Kick finisher. This unblockable kick forces a knockdown state, giving the enemy no chance to retaliate and offering you an instant-kill opportunity on normal opponents, and critical strikes on leaders. While it can be dodged sometimes, and doesn’t work on Brute units, its consistent effectiveness on everyone else and high damage output makes this extremely useful.
Drawing your bow lets you the activate the Concentrate ability, which slows down time to help you line up a shot. You can exploit this ability to make executing perfect parries easier as well.
Simply pull out your bow by holding L2 then initiate concentrate by tapping R3 when you sense that an enemy may soon attack. You can now focus on timing your parry reaction. Release L2 then press L1 immediately to parry exactly as the enemy strikes. There is almost no delay between putting your bow away and initiating a guard, so you’ll land easy perfect parries like this.
Never Lose Your Resolve
Since there’s no consumable to replenish Resolve, you’ll have to find creative ways to refill it. Defeating enemies and finishing off terrified enemies are standard methods, but getting kills during standoffs is the best and fastest way to refill Resolve.
You can also upgrade your parry to a resolved parry, whittle down a squad of enemies to one man, and farm resolve by parrying him over and over until your resolve is filled. Killing hostile wildlife, such as boars and bears, also refills resolve.
You can do a pretty neat trick with your horse to get some easy kills. Since enemies don’t suspect horses as combatants on their own, you can use it as a disguise. At standoff range, dismount on the far side (away from the enemies) and whistle from behind your horse. When the group of enemies come, take advantage of the Chain Assassination skill to wipe out a squad, or at least gain the upper hand against larger groups, all thanks to your trusty steed.
Take The Right Stance
A good habit you should develop, as you get stronger and acquire more stances, is to make switching stances against the right enemy types second nature. Getting into the natural flow of changing stances quickly and smoothly gives you a huge advantage on stagger damage output and puts much more pressure on the right opponents, especially during hectic mob fights.
Remember which stances are meant to take on enemy types: Wind Stance for spearmen, Moon Stance for Brutes, Water Stance for shieldmen, and Stone Stance for regular swordsmen.
While dodging and parrying are two good defensive options that can lead to offensive opportunities, remember that jumping is also a viable tactic in battle. You can jump over most attacks in the game, and you’ll want to learn when and how to avoid these attacks to turn them to your advantage. This is especially useful against certain red-glinting unblockable attacks.
Doing jump attacks, including the jumping sword slash or jump kick, are also considered a jump themselves, so learn to use these against the right enemy attacks and you’ll have another technique for getting aggressive.
Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two that’ll make the next fight a little easier; if you’re unclear on any of the tactics listed, you can watch the video version above to see them in action. For more on this latest PS4 exclusive, be sure to check out all our Ghost of Tsushima guides and walkthroughs, or read our Ghost of Tsushima review.
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