Sekiro-Shadows Die Twice is the latest in From Software’s patented soul-crushingly challenging games. While it includes a lot of the trappings of what is known as the Soulsborne formula, it’s an entirely different beast in its own right. Even old dogs who’ve braved titles like Dark Souls and Bloodborne have had to learn new tricks. Sekiro-Shadows Die Twice has a much heavier emphasis on counter mechanics. On top of that, there is little you can do to change the brooding titular character’s playstyle. If you’ve been finding yourself stuck in a perpetual loop of death, read on as we’ve assembled the best tips to help you go from zero to shinobi master.
Parry like a Shinobi Master
Two distinct differences Sekiro-Shadows Die Twice has from other From Software titles are the absence of a stamina bar and the way defense works. The former is quite significant. It effectively means you can perform as many actions as you want freely. You can confidently dodge out of danger even after performing a long combo. It’s also possible to run around the battlefield endlessly until you find an opening.
The defense is also quite different in Sekiro-Shadows Die Twice. The main way to guard your health is by holding down the dedicated block button. But that’s not the important part. The block button doubles as a parry. Tap it in time to your enemy’s attack and you’ll deflect it, knocking them off balance. For those struggling with the timing, you can simply rapidly tap the button as the attack is coming. This is called “parry dancing”. Worst case scenario you end up blocking instead. There’s no penalty for a missed parry, unlink in Dark Souls.
Counter Their Thrusts
Sekiro-Shadows Die Twice offers a variety of ninja abilities to unlock by using the XP you’ve accumulated. While you may be tempted to grab whatever looks cool, there’s one vitally important skill you must take as soon as you can. It’s called the Mikiri Counter and mastering it will make your life much easier and longer-lasting. At first blush, you may not notice, but most enemies in Sekiro-Shadows Die Twice have a thrust attack. While you can parry these just fine, the Mikiri Counter deals much more Posture damage. On top of that, it can be used against Perilous thrust attacks as well. To execute the Mikiri Counter, you need to hold the direction towards the thrusting enemy and hit the Dodge button. Takes a bit of time to get used to but it’s worth mastering.
Fast like a Sekiro Ninja
Another core difference between Sekiro-Shadows Die Twice and other From Soulsbornes is mobility. Aside from his ninja speed, Sekiro can jump, crouch walk, hide out of sight and use a grappling hook. This means that you don’t have to take on groups of enemies head-on. Instead, use your environment. Get the drop on an enemy with a falling deathblow then grapple out of harm’s way only to return to take out on another enemy from stealth. The biggest mistake players make in Sekiro-Shadows Die Twice is treating it like Dark Souls. In this game, it’s better to take out as many foes as possible from stealth rather than leap head-first into battle.