Available exclusively on PS4, Sucker Punch Productions’ Ghost of Tsushima is one of the most beautiful open-world games you can play right now.
Playing as Jin Sakai, you’ll fight for the freedom of Tsushima across picturesque fields, forests and settlements, utilising a wide range of tools and weapons. But it’s not all about killing; there are plenty of side activities that are more relaxed and passive in nature.
If you’ve picked up Ghost of Tsushima, you might be wondering if there’s anything you should know to get the best our of it. Hopefully we can help. Here are 11 tips that will might just possibly improve your time with the game. After all, with a campaign that spans tens of hours, plus much more to see and do, you’ll want to make the best of the experience, won’t you?
Wear the right armour for the job
There are many armour sets available in Ghost of Tsushima, with the bits equipped to your torso actually having a variety of beneficial effects. You can equip anything you like to your face or head without any repercussions.
When it comes to equipping body armour then, consider your mission ahead. If you’re just exploring or planning on getting into a fight, full samurai armour may be your best option, boosting your max health while also reducing damage taken. If you’re heading into an area where stealth is a good option, however, equip something that makes it harder for your enemies to detect you. Each piece of body armour has three perks that makes them effective for a certain situation or playstyle, and they can be further enhanced by upgrading. So take a look at what you’ve got available from time to time as assess which are the best for you.
Parry, parry, parry
It pays to be defensive in Ghost of Tsushima. You can take the fight to the enemy if you wish, making use of stances to effectively stagger your enemies, but more often than not the best approach is to let enemies attack you before turning the tables on them. All attacks apart from those that flash red can be parried, and the window for a standard parry is rather large. Once a parry has been achieved, you’ll have free access to an enemies side or back, allowing you to get some hits in. Perfect parries are best though, achieved by blocking just as an attack is about to hit. They slow down time and allow you to perform a powerful retaliatory attack, killing many enemies in one hot. Plus, it looks very cool.
Develop Jin to your strengths
You’re given a lot of freedom as to how to approach situations in Ghost of Tsushima. Wading in head-first is one option, relying on your sword skills to overcome enemies. Being stealthy and eliminating enemies without being seen is another. And then there’s the ranged option, taking out enemies relatively safely from a distance. Whichever you choose, use the technique points you earn by increasing your legend and completing missions to bolster your abilities. If you want to be a samurai, put points into the samurai and stances skill trees. For stealth, put points into the ghost tree. Seek out the skills that you’re going to find the most beneficial and prioritise them.
Follow the birds of Tsushima
While liberating settlements and the like will uncover their surrounding areas on the map, including points of interest, most can be easily found by following the golden birds of Tsushima. While out exploring, listen for the unique sound they make when close by, and once spotted, follow them. They’ll lead you to baths where you can increase your maximum health, bamboo cutting mini-games that increase your resolve, and more. They’ll never lead you to far astray, either, so you can get back on with what you doing beforehand without much trouble.
Learn mythical skills
While Ghost of Tsushima‘s combat isn’t the most challenging out there, chances are you’ll still want every advantage you can get. Also, who doesn’t like to be flashy when taking out their foes? For that reason, you’ll want to learn Mythic Skills. As you make your way through Ghost of Tsushima, talk to everyone you can to learn about the land. Over time, you’ll find a huge range of quests, called Tales, added to your map.
The best of these are Mythic Tales, which have blue icons. Completing Mythic Tales will reward you with powerful equipment, such as bows and armour, as well as powerful abilities known as Mythic Skills. They require some of your precious resolve to use, but they’re worth it. From quickly striking multiple opponents to setting your sword on fire, you’ll appreciate the edge they give to you in battle, as well as how cool they make you look when using them.
Change the difficulty to suit
Deciding what difficulty to play a game on can be hard, especially if you’re an achievement or trophy hunter. Like The Last of Us Part II, however, Ghost of Tsushima has no difficulty-related trophies, so you’re free to choose whichever difficulty works for you without missing out. If you just want to follow the story or are new to action games, don’t feel ashamed of selecting Easy difficulty. But if you do want a challenge, whack it up to Hard.
You can change the difficulty at pretty much any time too, so if you do find yourself getting stuck on, let’s say, a duel, or are finding things to be a cakewalk, pay a visit to the options menu and adjust the difficulty to suit.
Upgrade your armour and weapons
As you make your way through Ghost of Tsushima, chances are you’ll acquire a vast collection of materials. Put them to good use and upgrade your weapons and armour when you can. You’ll find swordsmiths, armoursmiths and bowyers spread throughout the lands of Tsushima; they mainly congregate in large settlements. If you want enemies to go down quicker from your sword attacks, upgrade your katana. If stealth is more your thing, prioritise upgrading your tanto. Meanwhile, woods can be used to improve your bows, and fabrics to improve the unique qualities of armour sets.
You should acquire enough materials to seriously upgrade your equipment without having to grind, so make sure you do it to give yourself an advantage.
Thin enemy numbers with stealth where possible
You might be skilled in combat in Ghost of Tsushima, but facing off against ten or more enemies at once is never a good idea. Thin out enemy numbers with stealth where possible, such as using overlooks near settlements to snipe enemies with your bows, or using poison darts to kill a few Mongols without rousing suspicion. Then, when you move in, crouch to reduce visibility, and make use of advanced abilities such as chain assassinations. Even if you only manage to take out a handful of enemies without being discovered, it’ll improve your odds.
Use Ghost Tools to open up enemies for attack
When in combat, enemies can often prove to be resilient to your attacks, blocking most of what you throw at them. There are numerous ways to open them up, however. Parrying is one way, as outlined earlier. Another is staggering them with the appropriate stance.
One of the easiest ways to open up enemies for attack, however, is using your ghost tools. Your smoke bombs, for example, might not do any damage, but they throw your enemy off-guard, allowing you to quick kill. Kunai, on the other hand, both do damage and open up a small window for you to capitalise upon, allowing you to take down enemies with ease. What’s more, your ghost tools are easy to replenish simply by looting. So, make sure you use them to your advantage.
Prioritise story until you’ve unlocked ghost mode and weapons
You might be tempted to approach Ghost of Tsushima is a leisurely manner, completing a fair amount of side-content in its first area before progressing the story: we recommend that you don’t. About halfway through Ghost of Tsushima‘s story you unlock a pretty nifty ability, while another mid-game story quest grants you a powerful weapon and a quality armour set. We recommend you reach that point before committing yourself to most of its side-content, simply because the game is more fun when you have most of your abilities available to you. And by that point you should have the brunt of your arsenal available to you, as well as the majority of the map to ruin riot across.
Take out archers first if you can
If you’ve been playing Ghost of Tsushima you’re probably already aware that archers can be a pain in the backside. They can spoil your fun when you’re on the offensive, and later in the game their arrows also poison you. So, prioritise taking them out first. Many of them occupy higher ground, so eradicating them via stealth before engaging in battle is an option. Otherwise, break off from group you’re combating with a roll or two, then take charge at them, blocking or dodging their attacks until you get in close. They’re weak so they don’t take much killing, then you can focus on eradicating the rest of your foes without worrying about arrows flying in your direction.