Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the newest game from the creators of Bloodborne, Demon Souls, and the Dark Souls trilogy, FromSoftware. Like the other games the developer has made, it is tough, unforgiving and infuriating. Many players will ask for refunds, since a lot of them just don’t have the time or patience to die again and again. However, it can be incredibly rewarding for those who stick with it, as taking down a tough enemy feels fantastic.
If you’re looking for a boost to help your chances—the game is especially tough in the first few hours—then you’ve come to the right place!
10 Forget Everything You Know About Dark Souls
Yes, Sekiro is as tough as Dark Souls—perhaps even tougher, depending on who you ask—but it’s not made the same way. While in Dark Souls, you had to focus on dodging, parrying and generally being patient, aggression pays off in Sekiro.
The best thing you can do is to be offensive. Parry, counter and attack as often as you can. This will get you killed a bunch of times as you start out, but it will help you out later on with some of the game’s toughest bosses.
9 Train with Hanbei
In the early stages of the game, you will find yourself in the Dilapidated Temple. As you explore the temple, you will come across a seasoned warrior called Hanbei. He had been through numerous battles before getting infected with Dragonrot, a mysterious illness. Hanbei seems to be immortal, so he will get up every time you cut him down.
He offers to spar with you, and this is a great way for you to learn combat in the game. After all, you need to know how to parry attacks and counter instead of just blocking—which will get you killed when facing a tough enemy.
8 Don't Be Ashamed To Flee When You Need To
Before you get accustomed to the unique fighting style in Sekiro, you’ll find yourself getting swarmed by enemies. They usually attack at the same time from all around you, killing you in the space of a few seconds. To get over this, the best option to stay alive is to run or grapple away, or pick out an enemy, kill them, then run away.
You can also grapple until you’re out of sight, then stealth kill an enemy once they’ve lowered their guard. This will come in handy when you’re facing mini-bosses, as you can take out one of their health bars using stealth.
7 Eavesdrop On Everybody
Some of the coolest items you can find in the game, including some seriously awesome prosthetics, aren’t easy to obtain. You will have to do a lot of exploring beyond the main path, and sometimes it can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. However, you can get clues to their whereabouts in a relatively simple way.
You can just eavesdrop on your enemies. Simply sneak up behind—or above—them, and if they are having a relevant conversation, you will get some useful information about where to find some decent loot, or even learn something crucial about the next boss or mini-boss.
6 Get The Flame Vent Tool
Shinobi Prosthetics are tools and weapons scattered throughout the game world that you can attach to your character. They come with some pretty big perks and can help out a lot, giving you an edge over bosses that were previously impossible to deal with.
The Flame Vent Tool is available close to the Hirata Estate, at a bonfire raging next to a few houses. Get the Flame Barrel from inside the bonfire, and convert it into the Flame Vent Tool. This tool will help you to defeat red-eyed enemies like the Chained Ogre, who tends to be incredibly tough.
5 Find Treasure Carp Scales
Treasure Carps are hard to find creatures in the game. Located inside pools and rivers—like the river in the Hirata Estate—they are beautiful, gigantic and they have special scales. It’s these scales you want. You will have to kill these beautiful creatures, but they are elusive, swimming away if you don’t approach them stealthily. They might also be guarded by other fish, which will attack you when you get close.
When you get the scales, look for a strange merchant at the first bridge close to the main river. He will give you some rare items in exchange for those scales.
4 Find Your Lord’s Bell Charm
When you’re at the Ashina Outskirts, try not to go too far beyond the Samurai General. This way, you will find a broken-down house with an old woman inside. Talk to the woman and she will give you a bell charm belonging to your young lord.
You can take the bell charm to the Buddha statue at the temple, and this will let you relive a forgotten memory. This will unlock a new area you can explore, along with many secrets that most other players will not find in their entire playthrough. If you want an edge over the next Mini-Boss, this is it.
3 Fight The Mini-Bosses
You don’t have to fight every boss and mini-boss in Sekiro. In fact, you can avoid fighting some of them entirely. However, this will severely impact your ability to fight the game’s toughest bosses later on, like Genichiro Ashina and the Corrupted Monk.
Mini-bosses, like the Samurai Generals, are worth the effort. When you kill them, all of the mini-bosses drop Prayer Beads, which you can use to upgrade your health, and increase your durability in the boss fights you can’t avoid. Of course, if you want the ultimate challenge, you can skip these Mini-Bosses altogether and face the main bosses.
2 Find The Crow’s Bed Memorial Mob
Merchants in Sekiro, though numerous, are not easy to find. To find them, especially the ones with rare items, you need to do a bit of exploring. One of the early merchants you can trade with is located on the Ashina Outskirts. After you defeat the game’s first boss, you can find this merchant in a black tent on top of a hill.
Simply move around the mountain, climb up near another fortified gate, then use your grappling hook to get to the top. Even though the Crow’s Bed Memorial Mob doesn’t have a lot of items other than the Robot Firecrackers, you can sell your loot at a decent price.
1 Activate Hard Mode (If You Dare)
If you’re one of the few gamers who think that the default difficulty in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is easy, then you’re in luck! The game has a hard mode, though activating it is not as straightforward as flipping through the main menu and toggling the difficulty on.
In typical FromSoftware style, you have to earn it. After you beat the Chained Ogre, search for the Bell Demon in the Shugendo region on Mount Kongo, close to Senpou Temple. Despite the menacing name, this is really just an inventory item. But it makes all your future battles harder, although the rewards also improve.