10+ Best Sekiro Tips For Beginners

The highly anticipated Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice hit the shelves last week, and was greeted with a series of stellar critic reviews and consensus that the game is a challenge and a half, though that was expected given that it is a FromSoftware game. The new IP does, however, have far less in common with the studio’s critically-acclaimed and notoriously difficult “Soulsborne” series than one would think.

When it comes to core gameplay mechanics, the most significant being those relating to combat, Sekiro is completely new territory, and with that comes a new set of challenges to overcome, even for Dark Souls and Bloodborne veterans. Below, we share with you the best tips and tricks for those getting started with the game. These should help you through your first playthrough regardless of whether this is your maiden experience with a FromSoftware game. We’ve tried to keep the tips as free of spoilers as possible.

Acquire the Mikiri Counter Early

The first ability to acquire as soon as possible is the Mikiri Counter. A vast majority of tougher enemies in the game rely on thrust attacks that while unblockable can be nullified with this ability, dealing high posture damage. The counters are easier to execute than they seem. It helps to dodge towards the enemy instead of simply hitting the dodge button just as an enemy is about to break out a Perilous thrust attack.

Mad counters

Complete your Training with Hanbei the Undying

You might not feel like you need to, but every time you return to the Dilapidated Temple, do pay Hanbei the Undying a visit to check if he has any additional training exercizes.

Buy Coin Purses

Buy Coin Purses with the coin you aren’t immediately spending

Buy Coin Purses from the many vendors spread out across the game’s world to stash away your coins, preventing them from being lost when you die. The coin purses cost 10% more than the coins they hold (or their resale value), but losing 10% of what your spending is a small price to pay for ensuring you don’t lose all that sweet gold.

Deal Stealth Deathblows to Mini-Bosses

Several of Sekiro’s mini-bosses leave themselves open to stealth Deathblows. Even if an opportunity for the same isn’t immediately evident, try to look for a stealthy route around the mini-boss, maybe after using the Gachiin’s Sugar candy to make yourself harder to spot. It is usually a good idea to take out any weaker enemies around the mini-boss first.

Hold Block / Guard to Regenerate Posture Faster

While you may already know this, it is easy to forget, especially if your Dark Souls muscle memory tends to kick in during heated battles. In Sekiro, holding block while you aren’t being hit by enemies regenerates Posture faster. If your Posture is about to give way, dodge away, then hold block to regain some or all of it.

Remember, though, that the lower your health, the slower your Posture recovers, even while holding block.

Gotta Run Fast

Remember that simple holding down the doge button to run away or around is a viable option against certain attacks, especially those by bigger, slower enemies.

Opening the Inventory Screen Pauses the Game

Unlike FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, Sekiro lets you pause the action. You can do so by opening up the Equipment screen. This means you can switch up your Prosthetic Tools, Combat Arts, and Quick Items at any time, even in the middle of a fight. You could also switch to the Inventory screen to use an item, but be sure that you are far enough away from danger to complete the animation that follows.

Cancel Attacks with Blocks

You can cancel an attack if you block right as the swing starts. If you are mindful of your timing and tend not to spam the attack button, you should be able to pull this off consistently, making your bouts against stronger enemies much less dangerous.

Keep Your Quick Items Bar Uncluttered

Because hopping into your inventory pauses the game, you needn’t fill all slots in your Quick Items bar, which should only house your most frequently used items, such as the Healing Gourd and Healing Pellets, and later in the game, maybe Oil and Ako’s Spiritfall.

Resurrect and Retreat to Prevent Dragonrot

Only true deaths cause the spread of Dragonrot among NPCs. If you’ve been downed with a resurrection at your disposal and feel like resetting, it is better to resurrect and risk running or teleporting to the nearest Sculptor Idol than to die there and then, as that will keep the Dragonrot at bay and your chance to receive Unseen Aid untouched.

Look Under and Atop Buildings

Whenever you see a building, keep an eye out for openings to crawlspaces along its bottom and grapple points on its roof, and you are likely to be treated to precious loot.

There’s a Prosthetic Tool for That

You can stun beasts with the Shinobi Firecracker Prosthetic Tool

Using the right Prosthetic Tool can make certain tough fights much easier. For example, faster enemies that like to leap into the air can be countered with the Loaded Shuriken, shields broken with the Loaded Axe, and beasts stunned by the Shinobi Firecracker.

Use Those Consumable Items

If using a Prosthetic Tool doesn’t cut it, a consumable item may give you that shot in the arm you desperately need. Sekiro has a vast variety of consumable items, each quite potent. These can be found in the world, bought from vendors, and looted from dead enemies. Don’t let these waste away in your inventory. Whether you’re having trouble sneaking through an area, sustaining your guard against a frenzied enemy, dealing sufficient damage, or avoiding incoming hits, open up your inventory, pop the appropriate consumable and go again. You’ll find more later.

Use Fistful of Ash

Talking of consumable items, Fistful of Ash is one that you definitely shouldn’t let waste away in your inventory. If timed right, it can interrupt enemy attacks right as they begin. The item works on most bosses and is one of the most common drops, especially early in the game. Hit an enemy once or twice, then chuck a Fistful of Ash at them to extend your combo.

Use Bell Demon to Farm Loot

While you won’t come across the Demon Bell until a little later in the game, what it yields may prove to be invaluable when it comes to farming items. Ringing the Demon Bell applies a debuff that will cause you take additional damage to vitality and posture and make enemies stronger while also increasing drop rate for items. The debuff persists till you use the Bell Demon consumable that is added to your inventory and can be reapplied by ringing the bell again.

Regular enemies don’t seem to receive much of a shot in the arm, so you should be fine returning to areas you’ve already cleared with the intention to farm loot. I would, however, strongly recommend against approaching a new boss with the buff applied.

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Sameed Khan

I write, game, design at times, and revel in sarcasm. You can find me on Twitter.