Sekiro might be the latest game by FromSoftware, but you can rely on everything you've learned from Dark Souls and Bloodborne here.
This game is much faster-paced, you have fewer crutches – no levelling or summoning – and you can use stealth to gain an advantage at the start of combat. Here are some tips for being a badass ninja.
Dark Souls teach players to hold back and wait for their opportunity to strike. There's a bit of that here. But brute force and timing is the best way to break through an enemy. If you want to whittle down a boss's posture, you need to keep up the pace. Keep attacking, and make sure you time your blocks to land with their strikes. Attack, attack, block, block, attack – find the rhythm that suits the encounter and settle into it.
Figure out how to avoid different attacks If it appears above the enemy, it is about being an unblockable attack. These come in three forms: thrusts, sweeps, and grabs. For grabs, you need to dodge away. Thrusts must either be sidestepped or countered with an unlockable move called Mikiri Counter – this asks you to tap dodge while stationary as the thrust comes in, allowing you to stomp on the spear. For sweeps, you need to jump over them. If you jump over a sweep, make sure to jump off the enemy with another tap or jump while mid-air for big posture damage.
Use stealth to cheese hard encounters
A lot of time, you can thin the ranks before you enter combat. Use corner cover, perches, and vegetation to creep up on enemies. Even many of the game's minibuses can be stealth attacked and this will take one of their two lives burst down instantly, making the following fight half as difficult.
Don't be afraid to run away
Sometimes you get your ass kicked – it's a fact of life. Luckily, the grappling hook often gives you a chance to get away and recuperate. There is nothing wrong with running from a lost battle, coming back and showing them who's boss. You are a ninja after all and you need to kill ingeniously.
The ax attachment is damn good
Once you have the ax for your prosthetic arm, there's really no reason to ever take it off. Not only can it break through shields, but it's a big damage attack that is handy for hitting minibuses in the back and taking off a chunk of posture damage – abuse it as much as you can.
Listen to the enemy
Eavesdropping is a new mechanic in Sekiro. If you get near an enemy with something interesting to say while in stealth, you will get the option to list. They might just give away a tip or two to beat an upcoming foe.
Actually get skills
It's easy to overlook the skills menu, since Sekiro does not have a traditional leveling system, but there is plenty in there besides the Mikiri Counter that will help you in combat. The Whirlwind Slash and Palm Strikes are some of my personal favorites. Check out our Sekiro best skills guide to see which ones you should grab.
Want more? Here's our Sekiro boss guide, part 1 of our Sekiro walkthrough, and Gourd and Prayer Bead locations in Sekiro.