Ghost of Tsushima Tips for Mastering Combat

Ghost of Tsushima’s got a lot of combat tricks to master, and if you’re to make it through the [...]

Ghost of Tsushima's got a lot of combat tricks to master, and if you're to make it through the game in one piece, especially on the harder difficulty, you'll want to start working on them right away. Combat stances, Standoffs, parries, unique abilities, and less honorable tactics like Jin's Ghost weapons unlocked as you progress through the game leave room for plenty of options when starting and finishing combat as players figure out their playstyle, but it also ends up being a lot to keep up with. To help streamline the combat mastery process, we've put together some helpful tips for fighting through Tsushima.

Weapons and different abilities are unlocked pretty naturally throughout Ghost of Tsushima, so don't fret if there's something you don't have in your inventory right away. Those things and experience will come naturally the more you fight, so use the tips below to get the upper hand on enemies early on.

Take Every Fight You Can

This won't be new to anyone who's experienced with open-world games like Ghost of Tsushima that reward players for skirmishing, but you should look to take every fight you can while exploring. This means fighting Mongols on the road, freeing occupied settlements where you find them, and taking every quest if not for the physical rewards than at least to grow your legend and level up faster. More levels means more abilities, and more fights means more experience dealing with different types of enemies.

Unlock Stances as Soon as Possible

To unlock new combat stances, you'll need to observe and kill Mongol Leaders. By observing them first and then beating them, you can complete two checkpoints in your stance progress instead of just one.

These stances essentially create a game of rock, paper, scissors against the Mongols. Enemies use different weapons and will completely negate attacks if you're not in the right stance, so not unlocking these stances as soon as possible will leave you at a significant disadvantage.

Plan How You'll Start Ever Fight

In the beginning of the game, you'll be fighting fights one way since you won't have many Ghost weapons at your disposal. Once you start building up your arsenal, however, you'll have more options for engaging with enemies.

At that point, you need to think about how you'll start every fight. Doing a Standoff gives players tremendous amounts of Resolve to continue a fight with, so if you're low at the start of an encounter, issue a Standoff to top yourself off for the fight. If you're good on Resolve or aren't as confident in a particular area, proceed stealthily at first to lower the enemies' numbers until the fight is more doable.

Practice Perfect Parries

One of the best things you can master is the perfect parry. As the name suggests, it's triggered when you parry at the exact moment you need to thus deflecting the enemy's attack and leaving them completely open to a counterattack. Future skills and charms build on this move, so mastering it soon is essential.

Ghost of Tsushima Combat
(Photo: Sony)

To help master this move, consider finding the Mizu-no-Kami charm at the Spring Falls Shrine. It's one you'll likely end up using for the rest of the game if you're more of a head-on player. If you know you've only got one enemy left in an encounter, consider leaving them alive to practice parries. Don't kill them, just parry them over and over until you've got the timing down.

Switch Out Charms Often

The charm mentioned above is invaluable for parries, but it's just one of many that'll help players in and out of combat. The great thing about these charms is that players aren't locked into their choices at all. You can swap things out as you see fit with no punishment and no restrictions save for the limits on main and secondary charms, so keep them fluid to adapt to different situations or see which ones work best for you.

Invest in Your Playstyle

The best way to play Ghost of Tsushima and make the most of Jin's abilities is to use a blend of styles utilizing his samurai past and his Ghost future, but when you've only got so many attribute points to invest in skills with, you can't exactly get a perfect blend going right away. Instead, you'll want to invest in whatever playstyle you feel is best for you before the points start flowing. You'll become a well-rounded, one-man army eventually, so just stick to what you like in the beginning.

Save Resolve Attacks for Tougher Enemies

You can see from a quick browse through Jin's potential upgrades that you can eventually unlock some neat combat tricks. These katana-focused abilities cost resolve to use and can penetrate defenses since they're unblockable, so they're an easy fix for getting players out of pressing situations. To make the most of them though, try and save them for the bigger threats you'll encounter. These include Mongol Leaders and Brutes that can soak up a lot of damage and buy time for more enemies to arrive, so take them out quickly so that you can move onto the others.

Ghost of Tsushima is now available for the PlayStation 4.