Ghost of Tsushima is Sucker Punch’s attempt at making a cinematic stealth adventure Samurai game and they’ve hit the bullseye. From the art design to the implementation of game mechanics, the game excels in every direction it strives to conquer.
Whether you’re prancing through the beautiful scenery or slicing up the Mongols left right and center, Ghost of Tsushima manages to deliver an experience that reaches the highest of summits in terms of quality and game design.
As soon as you step into the world of Ghost of Tsushima, you’re welcomed by incredibly stunning and awe-inducing visuals. The game just possesses that jaw-dropping element whether it is the foliage moving in unison or god rays coming through the trees. To further enhance that experience, Ghost of Tsushima also comes with what is arguably the best Photo Mode we’ve ever had on any game.
However, the visuals are not the only thing that is top-notch in the Ghost of Tsushima. Sucker Punch has done an incredible job of making the world of the game feel alive. In addition to that, the combat system is unlike anything we’ve seen. The way you just wait for your moment and then literally slice your opponent in half is exactly what a samurai game needs.
The combat of Ghost of Tsushima just invokes that feeling of an old school Samurai movie that made you want to buy a samurai costume and slice up water bottles in your backyard. It really is something special.
Having said that, despite having such great mechanics, Ghost of Tsushima does not sacrifice on the expansiveness of its world. The open world of the game is full of things to do ranging from sidequests and some neat little discoveries to be found.
Of course, in a world this big and with a story this long, you’re obviously going to continuously climb up the ladder and become stronger as you go. So, Ghost of Tsushima, much like other similar games, has different armors, weapons, and charms that you can use to extract the maximum out of your character and feel really powerful against your enemies.
So, here are some of the top things that you need to do or have in order to master the art of combat and exploration in Ghost of Tsushima.
1. Use your Charms effectively in Ghost of Tsushima:
The Charms in Ghost of Tsushima play a major role in how you flesh out your stats. They can be used to strengthen your statistics or even add new abilities to your arsenal.
Now, Ghost of Tsushima is a very versatile game. The build you choose for Jin can be extremely malleable for the playing style you have. For instance, if you like tanking enemies and taking big damage, you can do that. Alternatively, if you’re more into the stealth aspect of the game and like to prowl in the shadows, you can boost those stats too.
Charms are arguably the most important tools in Ghost of Tsushima that will help you with achieving your goal. However, while we all love being a jack of all trades, that may not always be the best option.
The trick is to min-max your stats and really go for a build that suits your playstyle. With that mindset, you can really become unfathomably powerful and steamroll through anything that dares to stand in your path.
Having said that, this strategy doesn’t completely shut you off from other aspects of the game either. Since you can have all the charms on you, changing around and altering between different builds is actually pretty seamless and easy to do.
Here are some of the best Charms in Ghost of Tsushima that you must-have regardless of your individual playing style:
The Charm of Inari
The Charm of Inari is one of the most important Charms in the game. Early on in the game, your focus should be on collecting resources to get upgrades rather than trying to overpower higher-leveled opponents. So, the Charm of Inari increases the supplies, hides, bamboo, and wood that you get in the world.
The Charm of Inari isn’t hard to get either. In order to get the Charm of Inari, all you have to do is pray at the Arrow Peak Shrine located in Izuhara.
The Charm of Inari’s Might
The second Charm that you must have in Ghost of Tsushima is the Charm of Inari’s Might. Essentially, the Charm gives a massive boost to both your health and melee damage making you stronger and tankier at the same time. This is a substantial upgrade that every player must-have regardless of what playing style they have.
In order to unlock the Charm of Inari’s Might, all you have to do is unlock all of your Charm slots and then complete the Inari Shrines.
The Charm of Resistance III
Another charm that encompasses a major stat of Jinn and doesn’t sacrifice on anything else is the Charm of Resistance III. The charm, as the name suggests, increases your resistance to enemy attacks. This results in a reduction of all kinds of damage by a pretty huge amount. So, if you’ve been struggling to keep your health up lately, this is the perfect charm for you.
All you have to do in order to unlock the Charm of Resistance III is to finish the tales that give you the Minor Defence Charm rewards.
The Charm of Toxic Demise
As far as the charms go in Ghost of Tsushima, there are some very unique ones out in the world for you to get. One of them is the Charm of Toxic Demise. This charm, as is evident from its name, lets you get an extra upper hand over your enemy using poison vapors.
The Charm lets you place Wind Chimes that release poison and kill your enemies when they pick them up. This is especially useful if you’re trying to spec up into the stealth route.
The Charm of Toxic Demise is unlocked through a legend tier increase. In order to get that, you have to build up your legend by completing side quests.
The Charm of Silence
Another charm that will help you with your stealth build but will also be equally good for other ones is the Charm of Silence. While it is primarily used to reduce detection by enemies while you’re sneaking around, it has tons of other benefits as well. For instance, you can flank an enemy and rush them without being detected.
The Charm of Silence essentially reduces the speed at which the enemies detect you. Not only that, but the Charm also increases your Resolve gains by a considerable amount.
To get the Charm of Silence, all you have to do is complete Inari Shrines once you’ve managed to unlock all of your charm slots.
The Charm of Mizu-No-Kami
If you are more into the fighting aspect of the game rather than stealth, you will most likely go for a fighter build. Now, there are tons of different charms that you can choose from for that build. However, the Charm of Mizu-No-Kami arguably trumps them all.
The Charm of Mizu-No-Kami provides an upgrade to your defense rather than offense. It essentially makes parries, perfect parries, and perfect dodges easier than before. So, when you’re out there fighting, you have a bigger timeframe to react and weaken your enemies.
All you have to do to unlock the Charm of Mizu-No-Kami is to go to the Spring Falls Shrine located in Izuhara and pray there.
The Charm of Unyielding II
Much like the Charm of Resistance, the Charm of Unyielding also reduces the damage that you take from enemies that attack you. However, what is different is the way it works in conjunction with your health.
The Charm of Unyielding does not work all the time and is not as powerful since it is a minor charm. However, once your health falls below 50%, the charm kicks into action and greatly reduces the damage that you take. This can be especially helpful against tough bosses that are quick to take down your health.
In order to unlock the Charm of Unyielding II, you need to finish the Minor Defence Charm reward tales.
The Charm of Izanagi
If you don’t like either stealth or fighting head-on, you might want to take the archery route. Archery builds can be extremely powerful in Ghost of Tsushima and also massively reduce the chances of you taking any damage from enemies.
One of the most powerful charms for an Archery build is the Charm of Izanagi. The charm essentially makes it so that you don’t run out of arrows any time soon. Whenever you land a headshot on an enemy, the Charm of Izanagi gives you a 40% chance of getting an arrow back.
To get the Charm of Izanagi, all you have to do is to go to the Winding Mountain Shrine that is located in Izuhara and pray there.
The Charm of Azumi-No-Isora
Another great charm for an Archery build is the Charm of Azumi-No-Isora. While Archery is not entirely about stealth, staying hidden is still a massive part of it. Taking enemies out from a hidden location one by one can be extremely satisfying to achieve.
So, the Charm of Azumi-No-Isora makes sure that you never have to worry about enemies returning fire while you’re sniping them. The Charm completely silences your arrow meaning that they don’t make any sound on impact and don’t alert nearby enemies.
In order to unlock the Charm of Azumi-No-Isora, go to the Cloud Ridge Shrine that is located in Toyotama and pray there.
2. Manage your map in Ghost of Tsushima efficiently:
Now, while combat and stats are obviously a massive part of Ghost of Tsushima, there are many other things that you need to overcome as well. Every time you start out in an open-world game, you have this feeling of getting overwhelmed by the vast map or the number of things that you can do at a time.
In addition to that, the hidden fogged up areas of the map also evoke that instinct of needing to uncover that secret. However, sometimes, taking a more planned and calculated approach is much better than relying on your instincts. Most open-world games these days follow a set formula and have a relatively similar template.
You get to an area, you unlock some objectives, and you do them one by one before moving on to the next area. Having said that, in what order you do those objectives can really reduce the labor of just mindlessly uncovering the secrets.
For instance, in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, while you can just get to an area and start doing missions, the more calculated approach would be to tackle the synchronization points in that area and then doing the missions in that area.
This allows you to have an overall bigger view of the entire situation, not to mention additional fast travel points if your objective is on the other side of the island.
Similarly, in Ghost of Tsushima, you need to pay attention to what the objectives require you to do and what areas you will be visiting to achieve that. You can start off by collecting the missions in the area and then devising a route through which you complete those missions. Fast travel will also massively help with reducing the time it takes for you to complete missions.
Obviously, with the Divine Wind in Ghost of Tsushima, doing that becomes a little more complicated than other games. However, you can still achieve the same goal by estimating your objectives using the wind direction. Just return back once you’re done with all of them.
Additionally, if you’re out to explore the map and uncover the fog, you should be wearing the Traveler’s attire since it gives you an additional exploration boost.
This approach to playing any open-world game whether it is Ghost of Tsushima or Assassin’s Creed can really help with making sense of what you’re going to do without getting overwhelmed by all the objective points on your map. Furthermore, the Ghost of Tsushima map is filled with tons of side missions and tales that have some very enticing rewards to help you later on in the game.
3. Choose your battles wisely:
In Ghost of Tsushima, combat takes the center stage. The samurai combat in the game is nothing short of impressive. From the responsiveness of the strikes to the weight that every swing of the sword carries, these are arguably some of the best fighting mechanics we have seen this generation.
While Ghost of Tsushima is excellent at making you feel powerful against your enemies, there are obvious limitations to that. The best way to experience this game is to take your time with it and let it all sink in. If you try to rush through the story and main quests, you won’t get very far before you hit a wall.
Ghost of Tsushima rewards you for completing side quests and tales in your area. These help with upgrading your character so that you can get stronger for the bigger missions later. The Castles in the game also pose a massive challenge that you definitely need time to overcome. However, it would be better if you leave those for later in the game as well.
What you can tackle though, is the plethora of Mongol leaders present in the game. Each leader you take down will result in you being rewarded with a new fighting stance. All these versatile fighting stances can be extremely helpful in dealing with different kinds of enemies and exploiting their weaknesses.
Additionally, Ghost of Tsushima also has a very unique standoff mechanic in which you can challenge the best fighter from an enemy camp to a duel. These standoffs are not exactly easy but they will definitely get easier as you level them up.
Standoffs can really cut down on the time you spend fighting enemies since winning one results in your enemies getting weakened due to fear. So, if you keep leveling up your standoffs over time, you can really take advantage of the benefits that come with them and save a bunch of time.
4. Take time to learn and get better at the Combat:
The combat in Ghost of Tsushima is very nuanced and well-balanced. From parrying to straight-up slicing through enemies, there are tons of different ways to tackle any given situation in the game. However, mastering the combat in the game is not easy by any means.
There are some pretty good ways to set yourself up to become the best samurai on the planet though. Firstly, you should always practice and train yourself. You can do this by training on the bamboo stalks. These come with different difficulty settings and require precision and good timing.
Once you’re comfortable with swinging a sword at the right time, you should try practicing different samurai stances. Each stance caters to a different enemy type and learning these will help you massively in your battle.
You can also defeat different bosses within the game and get new attack combos. For instance, the Heavenly Strike, which can be unlocked by defeating the boss Yasuhira Koga, is unblockable and will stumble all kinds of opponents.
Having said that, the offense is only one half of the story. In Ghost of Tsushima, you also need to focus on improving your parry skills. All you have to do is keep practicing and leveling up. Taking out Mongol leaders is a big plus too since that helps you with improving your parry skills as well. Once you’ve mastered parrying, you can really make enemies weaker without even hitting them.
In addition to that, Ghost of Tsushima also has an extensive arsenal of ghost weapons. From using smoke bombs to heal and assassinate to throwing kunai at enemies and making them vulnerable, the Ghost weapons that you acquire in the game will always give you the upper hand over your opponent.
5. Relax and be one with the world:
Amidst all of the war and chaos that ensues in Ghost of Tsushima, there’s a sense of peace and spirituality. The game encourages you to soak in those big moments of tranquility and try to understand the world. However, this serenity is not only present in the game’s tonal messages but is also baked right into the gameplay itself.
For instance, you can find hot springs pools around the map in Ghost of Tsushima and go into them. Not only do they provide a moment of rest and repose but they also increase your overall health by a little amount.
In addition to that, the map of the game is also littered with Haiku Spots. These spots are designed to give you a safe haven from all the frantic action and let you see all the beauty that Ghost of Tsushima has to offer. Additionally, you can also pick a haiku from the landscape and read it out loud.
The Kurosawa mode, which turns everything into the gorgeous black and white world can also be incredibly pleasing to the eye and you should try turning it on from time to time as well.