There’s plenty of things to uncover in From Software’s latest game – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. With the last boss falling to our katana, we’ve now got a complete compendium of all the boss battles in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, how to beat them, and any other secrets that you should be aware of. If you just want tips to get you started, we have plenty of those as well.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice guide
Our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice guide hub has tips for fighting every one of the main bosses in the game. It also feature a primer on skills, what exactly Dragonrot is and how to cure it, along with some general tips and tricks for those new to From Software games, and indeed tips for veterans who may find this game a little different from what they were expecting. Since the first edition, there have been a few secrets, endings, and other details that each have their own guide for you to peruse.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice guides
|Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice boss guide||A large set of guides dedicated to the bosses of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.|
|Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice PC graphics performance||Get the smoothest performance with the best visuals in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.|
|Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice endings||The steps you need to take to unlock the best ending for Sekiro - and the other endings too.|
|Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice mask locations||Find out where to buy the masks and where to find all the Treasure Carp in the game.|
|Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice skill point farming||Tips for amassing a ludicrous amount of skill points and money.|
|Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Gourd Seeds||The locations for every single Gourd Seed, and the Gourds themselves.|
Upgrading your stats
Unlike Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Sekiro doesn’t feature a traditional experience system. Any experience you do get goes into skill levels, meaning that your actual stats are upgraded via other means. Defeating the sub-bosses will reward you with a prayer bead, which you need four of to upgrade your health at the Sculptor’s Idol. Defeating main story bosses gives you their memory instead, which upon redeeming it at the idol will bolster your physical attack. You can also upgrade your attack with five skill points if you have the mask completely assembled – for how to do just that, our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice mask locations guide should sort you out. There are other upgrades that you get by defeating certain bosses which improve how much you heal for when using restorative items.
Gaining skills in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
As you progress through the game, you’ll be handed scrolls by various NPCs. These scrolls require skill points, which are accumulated through normal play by defeating enemies. Dying does reduce your experience that you’ve accumulated that level by half, but it should not wipe any full skill points earned. It’s a little more forgiving in this regard. That said, there are ways to farm experience and I highly recommend looking at our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice skill point farming guide for more information on accumulating experience quickly.
Once you’ve gained the scrolls and some skill points, head to any Sculptor’s Idol and select Acquire Skills. You’ll then be given a list of skills depending on how many of the trees you have unlocked. While we will go into the individual skills as we delve further into the game, I highly recommend taking the Mikiri Counter passive skill from the Shinobi Arts tree, and the Combat Arts skill “Whirlwind Slash” that you’ll need to equip in the pause menu. These will get you started with some techniques, along with the equipable Prosthetics that you can turn into the old man at the shrine.
Eventually you’ll also unlock Ninjitsus. These are similar to combat arts in that you need to equip them, but their use is situational – for example, one requires you to backstab an enemy first – and it costs Spirit Emblems to activate.
How to unlock harder enemies in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Are the enemies proving not to be much of a challenge? In Ashina Outskirts, close to where you fight the Chained Ogre, there is a bell that you can ring to trigger hard mode. To get there, leap into the building, go past the guards in the next area and instead of going towards the snake, head around the perimeter. There’ll be a sign that warns of a monster that people couldn’t kill with their normal weapons. Swing across to the branch, jump to the ledge and shimmy across it, ignore the Headless as you jump down (our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Headless guide will help you if you want to fight him), and go through the hole until you find a note and a wall with a painted man. Hug the wall and it will take you into a room with a claw man. Turn to the left and head outside to find the bell.
You can also get here from the Shugendo Idol in Senpou Temple. From the Idol, head up until you reach the bridge with the Armored Warrior. Turn around and head towards the small garden of figurines and pinwheels. There’s a small path to the left as you approach. Jump down to the platform, then leap to the wooden path just behind you. Follow it around and leap across, making sure you grab onto the ledge. You now can’t return. Take out the lizards as you make your way up. When you wall jump, make sure you pick up the White Pinwheel. Continue onward to find the door to the bell. This way also has some more items that aren’t otherwise accessible, so ensure you head this way at least once. The shortcut has the added bonus of giving you a route back to Ashina Outskirts once you trigger the endgame state in one of the endings.
Ringing it will give you a “Sinister Burden”, which makes enemies a tiny bit, but not overwhelmingly tougher. The same can’t be said for bosses, which do get significantly more aggressive. Of course, you are able to reverse this at any time by using the Bell Demon item you obtain from ringing the bell. This will cause the demon to leave, reducing the strength of enemies around you, though ringing the bell again will give you another one. They do stack as well, in case you really want a big challenge.
Even though Sekiro is more accessible than any other From Software game out there, it has many ways to throw you a curveball. One such thing is Dragonrot – a mysterious illness that afflicts NPCs as you perish in battle – meaning that yes, you are causing this with your constant dying. Doing so will reduce “Unseen Aid”, which can prevent you losing Sen – the game’s currency – and half your experience towards a new skill level upon dying.
Play through the game, revisiting the Shrine until you see the doctor – Emma – go to tend to the old man in the temple. She’ll ask for a sample of blood. This can be found from the second character who the game lists among the infected, which can be anyone from the old woman or her son close to the Outskirts Wall – Gate Path Sculptor’s Idol. The merchant just a little way back from the Chained Ogre boss fight can also become infected. Regardless of who it is, take the blood sample and return to Emma. When you next speak to her, she’ll give you a Dragon’s Blood Droplet to use at the Idol in order to cure everyone who is affected.
After this point, there are a few things to note about Dragonrot. It can reinfect people who have been cured, but merchants across the world of Sekiro will offer the cures on sale for a small amount. You can also stockpile one extra cure to use when you need it.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice tips and tricks
Finally, before we disappear back into the game, we’ve got a bunch of tips and tricks that you may want to keep in mind as you wade your way through countless enemies and over the deep chasms below. Since there are now so many, I’ve now separated them into categories.
- Take full advantage of the man to the right of the main gate and up the hill. He is great for practising new moves when you obtain them.
- When you first meet the man to the right of the main gate, practice deflections as much as you can until you take no damage. This will help you a lot for the rest of the game.
- There is no stamina bar in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, meaning you could wail on an opponent until their guard breaks. This isn’t recommended as they can attack in-between your attacks.
- If your posture is too high, back off and hold down the block button to recover your posture. (Thanks to Matthew Castle from our Video Team for this top tip.)
- Regular enemies can lose track of you if you hide long enough out of sight. They’ll track you down if they see where you went though.
- Depending on the environment, some bosses either will or won’t lose track of you. Some like the Chained Ogre can be lost, while others in big arenas will always know where you are.
- If an enemy is not allowing you to heal, throw some ash at them. This will give you a window of opportunity to patch yourself up. (Thanks to “Al Bobo” from the previous comments section for that tip)
- Shruikens are useful for taking down airborne enemies, but they are also useful for ranged combat against dogs and archers/riflemen. (Thanks to “Al Bobo” from the previous comments section for that tip)
- Some moves are unblockable, with the most dangerous being grabs. They’re indicated by a red glow. Dodge these as quickly as possible.
- Unlock the Mikiri Counter as soon as you can, as it will be invaluable against thrust attacks, making spear-wielding enemies far easier to defeat.
- You don’t need to have the exact timing down for the Miriki Counter. As long as you’re in a mid dodge animation with the dodge button pressed, you’ll perform the move.
- If an enemy is about to do a sweeping attack by winding up their swing, jump over it and press the jump button again. This will kick them and stagger, which can lead to a takedown attack if the posture is broken.
- If you’re encountering a new enemy type, learn their attack patterns by using your block. (Thanks to “Al Bobo” from the previous comments section for that tip)
Movement and controls
- It’s highly recommended that you use a controller to play this game. The controller just gives a tiny bit more precision for 3D action games such as this.
- You can swim, in a From Software game! Who knew? Use this as a means to escape or conceal yourself.
- You can sprint by pressing and holding the dodge button which can be used to close the distance, or make ranged attacks harder to hit you.
- The grappling hook can be chained together, by shooting another hook while in mid-air. This way you can change your direction to avoid enemies.
- If you see any carp in the water, make sure you kill them for precious Treasure Carp scales. Try to get the jump on them by dive attacking from above, then use the dodge button to swim quickly up to them for a quick slash in the water.
- Keep a full stock of Spirit Emblems before taking on a boss. You’ll need to use your Prosthetic techniques to get the edge in some battles. You can farm them by defeating enemies or purchase them for coin at any Sculptor’s Idol.
- At some point, you’ll come across a burnt out house with a woman inside. She’ll mistake you for her son. Humour her to receive a bell to unlock a new location at the Shrine. (Her son just a little bit down the hill will encourage you to humour her.)
- As soon as you physically can, stock up on Pacifying Agents as this will reduce the Terror status effect buildup. If that ever hits maximum, you’ll die instantly (you can resurrect yourself if this happens).
- You’ll also want to use Divine Confetti when dealing with any enemy that uses the Terror status effect in their attacks. It’ll dispel the spell’s effect and make those fights far easier.
- Divine Confetti can be obtained in a number of ways, but it can be farmed from the blue uniformed Ashina samurai in Ashina Castle’s interior.
And there you have it. While all the bosses have been conquered and some secrets found, it’s likely that there’s more stuff to uncover over time, so do check back soon.