This page of the Ghost of Tsushima guide contains a collection of tips useful when beginning the game. Reading them should make it easier for you to start your adventure with the game and reduce the risk of encountering some problematic situations. Some of the topics are discussed in more detail in separate chapters of our guide.
- We recommend you to choose normal or high difficulty level
- Learn to parry attacks as early as possible
- Dodge in case of unblockable attack
- Heal your wounds as often as possible
- Kunai knives can easily stun enemies
- Observe leaders and weaken them with surprise attacks
- Switch stances according to your needs
- Use a dodge if you hear a shout of enemy archer
- Wear the proper outfit for the current situation
- Upgrade your favorite weapons and uniforms
- Explore all question markers on the world map
- Avoid fall damage
- Quests with unique rewards should be your priority
- Don't trigger an alarm in locations with hostages
- Look for loot and pickups
We recommend you to choose normal or high difficulty level
Ghost of Tsushima is a much easier game than, for example, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Dying occurs less often, even when fighting numerous or elite opponents.
A normal level of difficulty seems the best choice if you don't want to get too stressed during fights. Setting a high difficulty level can force you to acquire a lot of skill in pairing or dodging enemy attacks, as well as encourage obtaining optional items to develop the character and unlock new skills. The good news is that you can change the difficulty level freely in the game options. Lowering the difficulty level will not deprive you of the chance to win a platinum trophy, as none of the game's trophies are about playing at a particular difficulty level.
Learn to parry attacks as early as possible
Parry works in a similar way as in the aforementioned Sekiro - you have to press the L1 button just before the enemy attack reaches Jin. This is an alternative to completely blocking an enemy blow by holding L1.
The main advantage of parry is that you can knock the enemy out of rhythm for a short time and allow you to return with a counterattack. We advise you to practice parrying during the prologue, as well as in the initial quests and when fighting enemies from the first region. Interestingly enough, you can buy the Perfect Parry upgrade once you amass enough XP. The parry requires you to press L1 literally at the last moment. If this action is successful, Jin's counterattack will be much stronger. It will kill weaker enemies or seriously hurt stronger opponents.
For more tips on fighting, visit the Direct Combat - Samurai Style section.
Dodge in case of unblockable attack
Red attacks are those that cannot be parried. Certain opponents have them, especially those enemies that use spears or other large weapons. Red attacks are also very often used by enemy defense dogs and bears. Later in the game you'll also encounter blue attacks, performed with Mongolian swords. If you have problems with such attacks, buy Unyielding Sword Parry skill that will allow you to parry them.
When you see a red attack, press Circle to dodge. After you amass some experience, consider buying Roll, a skill that enables you to perform a roll after pressing Circle twice. This is a good way to avoid more powerful red attacks. After each dodge, look for an opportunity to attack the enemy. However, throw two or three hits, as more could launch another red attack.
Heal your wounds as often as possible
In Ghost of Tsushima, Jin's health bar does not regenerate by itself (this can be fixed with e.g. finding and equipping a special talisman) You have to take care of it yourself and push the directional button down in order to regenerate some life.
Reclaiming lost health points is not free, of course. You must have Resolve, which is represented by the yellow circles above the health bar. To regain Resolve, you need to perform certain actions - this mainly involves defeating your opponents, while doing this in a spectacular way allows regaining more Resolve. Always have as much Resolve as possible, especially as some abilities also consume it.
More about regenerating health can be found on a separate page called Healing and Resolve.
Kunai knives can easily stun enemies
Kunai knives are one of the five main gadgets in the game. Further gadgets can be unlocked by increasing Your Legend i.e. once per several "experience levels". We strongly recommend choosing kunai as the first gadget from the list of available items.
The main use for kunai knives is to stun opponents very effectively. You can attack more than one enemy in this way. Opponents who are hit with kunais for a short time become virtually defenseless and you can attack them without them blocking or parrying your attacks. Kunais also "work" on larger enemies. You don't have to worry about running out of stock. As further kunais can be found in the game world and at the corpses of defeated opponents.
For more information about kunai knives and other interesting disposable items, see a separate page called Best Weapons and Gadgets.
Observe leaders and weaken them with surprise attacks
Leaders (larger, stronger opponents) appear during almost every large battle or in areas occupied by major enemy forces. They have longer health bars and are able to carry out stronger and harder-to-avoid attacks.
Eliminating leaders can bring you closer to unlocking new stances (more about them m.in. in the next section of this chapter). The game treats observing training leaders and killing them as a separate mechanic. Observation is only possible at selected locations, and only if you sneak into a place from which to look at the leader. If you perform it correctly, a meeting with a single leader can reward you with 2 points of progress (one for observing and one for killing the leader).
Switch stances according to your needs
New stances can be unlocked by observing and eliminating Mongolian leaders. This is an important feature of the game that can make it easier for you to win fights. In Ghost Of Tsushima, you can unlock up to 4 main stances and each one is helpful in eliminating different opponent types:
- Stone Stance is best for attacking enemies that use swords and katanas.
- Water Stance is best for attacking enemies that use shields.
- Wind Stance is best for attacking enemies that use spears.
- Moon Stance is best for attacking strong, larger enemies (Brutes).
A very important feature of the fighting system is that you can switch between different stances at will - just hold the R2 and press 1 of the 4 additional buttons. This is very helpful if enemies from different categories are involved in a given battle. You can change your stance depending on who you are currently attacking.
For more information on the mechanics of choosing different stances, see a separate page called Stance - how to unlock, when to use?. You will also learn about an additional fifth Ghost Stance, which differs significantly from the four main ones
Use a dodge if you hear a shout of enemy archer
In Ghost of Tsushima, archers can be very annoying. They like to position themselves at a great distance from the fighting characters and look for opportunities to attack Jin and his allies. A shout informs you of an incoming archer attack - then, you have about 1 second to press Circle and dodge the arrow. Note - some archers encountered later in the game can release 2-3 arrows in a row. Be ready so that after successfully dodging the first shot you don't get hit by the next ones.
We advise taking care of archers at the beginning of each battle so that later we can take care of other opponents safely. You can quickly approach archers or hit them with your bow. Later in the game you can purchase Deflect Arrows ability. Pressing the L1 button at the moment of the archer's attack will allow you to deflect the projectile, but the same as in the case of melee combat, you have to perfectly time the action.
For more information and tips on fighting archers, see a separate page called Direct Combat - Samurai Style
Wear the proper outfit for the current situation
Jin's outfit can be changed freely not only in between fights, but also during combat. Same as in the case of stances, you can change your clothes at will, according to your current needs. We advise you to take a closer look at the following outfits:
- Samurai Clan Armor is useful for melee combat. It lengthens your health bar and reduces the injuries you receive. Resolve also charges faster with this outfit.
- Ronin Attire is useful for sneaking. It makes it harder for opponents to see Jin and increases the damage inflicted by melee weapons (including the tanto used for sneak attacks).
Both of the aforementioned outfits can be gained after completing initial story quests. Later in the game, you will also unlock other outfits with different uses.
Upgrade your favorite weapons and uniforms
Improving weapons and armor is meant to increase their stats, and as a result, this is a very important process because you can deal with opponents more easily and increase your chances of keeping the main character alive.
Melee weapons can be improved by visiting Swordsmiths, bows can be improved by visiting Bowyers, and uniforms can be improved by visiting Armourers. Try to improve the most commonly used weapons first, and that's because each upgrade requires a large amount of crafting materials, so you can't afford to upgrade too often.
Explore all question markers on the world map
Question marks appear on Tsushima's map as you explore the island, and to find out what is behind them you need to reach the locations they point to. You should never ignore them, as many important locations are associated with them. These may be, for example, wolf's lairs, hot springs or shrines. Visiting and completing these types of places can increase the character's statistics or facilitate his development. You can also find equipment, such as new armor or new katanas.
In addition to question marks, use the opportunities to recapture locations occupied by the Mongols. Taking over any of these places can allow you to improve your hero's legend, as well as, for example, receive a valuable talisman or rare crafting materials.
For more tips and information about the game's world, see a separate chapter called World exploration.
Avoid fall damage
During the game, it is very easy to get injured or even die as a result of jumping from too large heights. Be especially careful in those places where you have to get off the roof of a higher building or reach some lower rock ledge.
If possible, look for ladders and interactive edges where the R2 button icon appears. This will allow you to reach the lower level safely. The risk of injury is reduced when traveling on a horse - even if you do a big drop and fall off the horse, you shouldn't be injured. You can also unlock Safe Landing ability from the Assassination tree. It allows you to press Circle just before contacting the ground - your hero will perform a roll and mitigate some of the damage. This technique will work only with smaller jumps.
Quests with unique rewards should be your priority
When you receive a new task, you can go to Jin's journal and find out the rewards for completing it. In the early hours of the game, complete quests with unique rewards first, as they offer items and skills that will help you during playing. These are as follows:
- The Warrior's Code - you'll unlock stealth techniques and focused hearing.
- The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa - complete to unlock the short bow.
- The Tale of Lady Masako - complete to unlock Samurai Clan Armor.
- Blood on the Grass - complete to unlock Ronin's Attire.
- The Iron Hook - complete to unlock Grappling Hook.
- Heavenly Strike - complete to unlock a powerful skill of the same name.
- The Curse of Uchitsune - complete to unlock the long bow and explosive arrows
The walkthroughs for each of the aforementioned quests can be found in our guide.
Don't trigger an alarm in locations with hostages
Most of the time, Ghost Of Tsushima does not force sneaking. The biggest exception to this rule are quests, in which being discovered means failure, but the game always warns of this in advance.
Also locations with hostages that may die during combat are also more difficult to secure. You should receive a warning that there are hostages in a given location when you enter it. Once the alarm is raised, enemies may choose to target hostages. If this happens, quickly switch to an aggressive style of play and head towards the skull icon to get rid of a particular opponent or group of opponents as quickly as possible. Hostage deaths, depending on the circumstances, can fail the quest or make it impossible for you to complete a location in 100%.
Look for loot and pickups
Most of the time, loot and resources are found thanks to careful exploration of the area, and only a part of it is gained for completing quests or freeing a location from Mongol control.
Try to search every location thoroughly to collect as many loot as possible from it. This includes disposable items, arrows, supplies and crafting materials, as well as pick-ups. It is worth noting here that you can carry a limited number of gadgets and arrows, although as the game progresses you can gradually increase inventory limits for both of these categories. Fortunately, when it comes to crafting materials, you can carry almost an indefinite amount of them. For example, in the case of bamboo, the limit is as much as 500 pieces