On this page of our guide to Ghost of Tsushima we have prepared the most important information about stealth - also known as the Ghost style. You'll find out, among others, when you can sneak around, how to avoid being detected, how to effectively eliminate enemies in stealth mode, and how to distract guards.
- When can I sneak around?
- Sneaking - optional or obligatory?
- How to avoid detection
- Stealth kills and assassinations
- What happens after my hero gets discovered?
When can I sneak around?
As long as this is not forbidden in a particular mission, in Ghost of Tsushima you can freely sneak in to all locations discovered on the world map. This is mostly a voluntary decision and a way to avoid battles against enemies.
Sneaking - optional or obligatory?
Jin can sneak freely for most of the game. The exceptions are activities and quests, in which direct combat becomes one of the objectives of the mission and is therefore mandatory.
For some tasks, staying hidden is one of the requirements, and this type of information can be read in the list of mission objectives in the top left corner of the screen. Triggering an alarm in this situation would result in failing the quest and you would return to the last checkpoint.
This is also the case for locations with hostages held by the Mongols. Raising the alarm may result in the enemy deciding to murder the prisoners. A hostage's death can also lead to losing the game, although you usually get some time to deal with opponents seeking to execute prisoners - skull icons will appear above their heads and you can try to get them.
The important information is that you don't have to sneak around for the entire duration of the mission or capturing a location from the Mongols. Even if you are spotted, you can defeat your closest enemies or escape and try to return to acting from the shadows.
How to avoid detection
In Ghost of Tsushima, there are special markers which inform you whether you have been detected by an enemy. They change their colors sequentially as the risk of detection increases.
- The white color (example in the image above) does not necessarily mean trouble yet. The filling of this bar, however, brings you closer to a situation where Jin will be detected. Try to quickly kill an opponent who is looking towards the hero, or disappear from view.
- A yellow color indicates that the opponent has gone into an alert state. He sets off to the place where Jin is staying. This does not necessarily mean you have to fight, because you can quickly change your position and wait in hiding until your opponent returns to a "normal" state.
- The red color indicates that Jin has been detected and that he will be attacked by a given opponent or group of opponents.
Before you enter any larger location occupied by your opponents, it is worth doing a reconnaissance. It is obligatory in some of the missions, although even if a quest does not include it, you should not skip this step. Pay particular attention to observation towers and the roofs of buildings - archers can reside there and have a greater field of view than standard opponents.
Do not infiltrate a hostile location by choosing one of the main entrances to it, as these locations are usually very well guarded. Instead, look for places where you can, for example, squeeze through a hole in a palisade, jump over a wall, or climb on large boulders.
A grapple hook can help you find alternative entrances to hostile locations. It allows, for example, to climb over a cliff wall, or to grapple onto the edge of a building's roof. Once you unlock this gadget as part of the main story, you can infiltrate multiple locations by selecting paths and methods that were not previously available.
Ronin Attire, which you can acquire by completing one of the campaign's initial main quests - Blood on the Grass - can help a lot in avoiding detection. This outfit contains passive bonuses to help with sneaking, namely delaying the moment of detection of the hero. So it gives you a greater margin for error. It is worth pointing out that even if you are spotted sneaking around, you can swap your armor for one that will help in direct clashes.
Similar stealth bonuses may be offered by certain Charms, which you receive for your progress or find in the game world. Pay attention to Stealth Charms.
When sneaking, it's worth relying on Focused Hearing, which is an area scan activated by pressing the touchpad. This is a great way to find adversaries, both to reduce the risk of accidental detection and to plan a stealth kill. Focused hearing is unfortunately short-range by default, but you can increase it with the additional skills you have purchased.
The elements of the environment can be very helpful in staying hidden. This is primarily includes:
- Tall grass - remember to crouch.
- Roofs of buildings - you can climb on the roofs of smaller buildings or help yourself with a grapple hook.
- Holes under buildings - you can crawl under buildings. This also works, for example, for some small holes in the walls of buildings.
Ghost of Tsushima also has mechanics to distract opponents by using gadgets. There are two main types of gadgets in the game - Wind Chimes and Firecrackers. Chimes can be unlocked by increasing the legend level (unlocking several levels of experience), and fireworks by purchasing skills.
Each of these gadgets can be used in different ways, e.g. to more easily bypass opponents, draw away individual enemies, or lead groups of enemies into ambushes.
Defensive dogs and Falcons interfere with staying hidden. They can accompany Mongols in some locations and are able to detect Jin more efficiently.
The best solution is to eliminate dogs and falcons from hiding using a bow. This significantly reduces the chances of Jin being suddenly detected. When attacking falcons with a bow, we advise you to use the Concentration ability, which will allow you to slow down time for a while and to aim more accurately.
Stealth kills and assassinations
Jin can silently execute an enemy after sneaking in from behind. Tanto dagger is used for stealth kills. The protagonist has such a dagger since the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, the game does not include the option of dragging the bodies of killed enemies. Try to avoid killing opponents standing in highly visible places, as their bodies may be spotted by other guards.
By default, Jin is able to kill a single opponent. However, take a look at the Chain Assassination and Chain Assassination Master skills. They allow you to kill 2 or 3 enemies in the series, respectively. The requirement of these skills is that opponents stand close to each other. Their great advantage is that once you start a series of killings, successive enemies can't stop it.
Note - remember that a series of silent kills is activated by pressing a triangle instead of a square.
Also, the game allows you to perform ranged stealth kills, that is, silently execute enemies from a distance. By far the best pieces of equipment for this type of attack are the short bow and the longbow. A short bow is perfect if you want to attack opponents and hide in the grass at the same time. The long bow is helpful in eliminating those enemies who use armor and headgear.
It is worth noting that the short bow and the longbow can be equipped with fire and explosive arrows, respectively. However, using these types of arrows will not allow you to stay hidden, as an explosion or the sight of burning opponents will alert the nearby opponents.
An interesting idea for eliminating enemies while staying hidden is to rely on environmental threats. It's worth looking out for hornet nests, hanging lamps, and explosive Red Barrels. Hitting such objects with an arrow can help to defeat nearby opponents. Even if such actions alert the area, there is a good chance Jin will not be detected.
What happens after my hero gets discovered?
The easiest way of being detected occurs in a situation in which you have been spotted by an enemy while sneaking around or performing a stealth kill. The best solution in case of detection is to run away, especially if you are not well prepared for direct combat.
Some enemies may attempt to use the horn to alert the area after spotting Jin. If you have this possibility, it is worth interfering with them and, for example, catching them quickly in hand-to-hand combat or shooting them with an arrow.
If you could not prepare for battle and, for example, Jin was suddenly surrounded by a group of opponents, Smoke Bombs, which are able to blind opponents and prevent them from carrying out attacks for a short time, can help facilitate escape.
It is also a good idea to use kunai knives when Jin is suddenly detected. They are able to stun several of their closest enemies. You can use that to run away or mount some attacks while they're vulnerable.
An alternative solution is to engage in direct combat. If you don't mind open confrontations, don't forget to pause the game quickly and choose good armor for direct combat. Also, choose the right stance depending on how challenging are your opponents.