Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Articles RSS Feed | Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Best PS4 Action-Adventure Games to Play on PS5 Tue, 29 Dec 2020 13:21:36 -0500 Dylan Webb


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice


While we continue waiting on the elusive Elden Ring, it’s as good a time as any to take a look back at Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Developed by FromSoftware, it marked a departure from the studio’s previous work on Bloodborne and Dark Souls, featuring fewer RPG elements and no online multiplayer, though it, of course, retained the signature Soulslike difficulty of its predecessors.


Playing as the disgraced “one-armed wolf” during Japan’s 16th century Sengoku period, we find a tale of revenge as he goes after the samurai clan that attacked him and kidnapped his lord. Utilizing a retinue of refined ninja skills, stealth, and head-to-head combat, Sekiro is absolutely worth a look if you’re up to the challenge, but it’s not for the easy-going.


Do you agree with the games we've laid out here in this list? Sound off in the comments below.


Shadow of the Tomb Raider


Lara Croft will always be one of gaming’s most iconic protagonists and though Tomb Raider games haven’t always hit the mark, we found a damn fine effort within Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Launched in 2018 and developed by Eidos- Montréal, it marks the third entry in the rebooted franchise, following on from 2016’s Rise of the Tomb Raider.


This time around, Lara is traveling between Central and South America, exploring the lost Inca city of Paititi whilst fighting a paramilitary organization. We thought highly of it, though some critics believed that after three entries the formula was getting stale. Either way, if you aren’t tired of raiding tombs just yet, this adventure should prove quite satisfying.


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order


We’ve seen some mixed results from Star Wars since EA obtained the license but if there’s one game you shouldn’t ignore, it’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Taking place five years after Revenge of the Sith, we play as Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan who is being hunted by the Galactic Empire in the aftermath of their Jedi purge.


Marking the only action-adventure Star Wars title on last-gen consoles, this single-player experience wasn’t perfect but still offered a great time for fans. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to play, Fallen Order isn’t a PS Plus Collection game, but it is available via the EA Play subscription service at $4.99 a month, so that’s at least worth a browse.


Batman: Arkham Knight


It’s strange to think that for a long time, Batman had quite a poor reputation with video game adaptations. That was until Rocksteady Studios came along. Having won over players with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, we haven’t seen a new entry for five years now in this Arkham series but Batman: Arkham Knight made for the best one yet.


Set nine months after Arkham City, Gotham City is under attack from Scarecrow, who forces a citywide evacuation and is aided by the elusive Arkham Knight, all to try and finally defeat Batman. We thought it was one of the best Batman games yet and as a free PS Plus Collection game, there’s absolutely no excuse not to play.


Uncharted 4: A Thief's End


No one can deny how much Uncharted helped shaped the PS3-era for Sony and when Naughty Dog revealed a fourth game for the PS4, expectations were high. Released in 2016, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End takes place several years after the third game, seeing us play as a now-retired Nathan Drake, former treasure hunter.


Quickly finding himself pulled out of retirement, this adventure takes us on a search for Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure, taking Nathan all the way to Libertalla. It was yet another strong winner in our books and is another freebie via the PS Plus Collection. If you enjoyed A Thief’s End, you’d do well to also check out its standalone expansion, The Lost Legacy.


Horizon Zero Dawn


It's been almost four years since Horizon Zero Dawn first launched and honestly, it still holds up beautifully. Developed by Guerilla Games, it brought us a primal-futuristic adventure, where wild machines now roam a post-apocalyptic world. It follows the story of Aloy, an outcast shunned by her tribe, as she sets out to discover who she is.


With a group of cultists corrupting these machines, it’s up to Aloy to uncover what's destroying this wonderful world. Of course, she becomes entangled in a wider mystery that unravels the mysteries of this world in the process. It made for a fantastic adventure and with Horizon Forbidden West currently on track for a 2021 release, we’d highly recommend taking a look at the first game in preparation for it.


God of War


We’ve seen franchise reinventions before, but God of War gave us something that defied all expectations. Developed by SIE Santa Monica, 2018's pivot takes us away from ancient Greece to a quieter (and colder) Scandinavian setting, utilizing Norse mythology as its inspiration for a more nuanced tale.


Having destroyed the Greek gods, Kratos is a much older version of himself in God of War; he's started a new life in Midgard, and we find he now has a family. After his wife Faye’s tragic passing, Kratos and his son Atreus head on a journey to spread her ashes, incurring the wrath of Baldur in doing so.


Narratively rich and featuring some truly fantastic combat, God of War is one of the best games this decade. Since it's a complimentary game in the PlayStation Plus Collection for PS5, there's no excuse for not playing it. A sequel is expected next year, so there’s never been a better time to get started.


The Last of Us 2


Even now, months after release, The Last of Us 2 keeps making headlines. Recently mopping up at The Game Awards, winning seven of the 10 awards it was nominated for, including Game of the Year, it stands as one of 2020's best, and most divisive, games. 


Experiencing some major story leaks and anti-progressive backlash, Naughty Dog’s juggernaut held firm back in June. Set four years after the first game, TLoU2 starts by showing fans that Ellie and Joel have built a new life in Jackson, Wyoming, but it's one that's soon turned upside down.


Without going into any spoilers, The Last of Us 2 features a story we called an “emotional rollercoaster” when we reviewed it earlier this year. While it doesn’t always land, its narrative and mechanics make it a spectacular experience that’s worth playing.


Red Dead Redemption 2


Red Dead Redemption 2 has been an undeniable success for Rockstar Games. Released back in 2018 and selling 34 million copies, this story is a prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption, where we take on the role of Arthur Morgan, member of the infamous Van Der Linde Gang.


Set in 1899 during the waning years of the Wild West, RDR2 shows the gang at its peak as federal agents track you down, tying into the story of Red Dead Redemption's John Marston. 


Another open-world title, Red Dead Redemption 2 offers hundreds of hours of content. Whether it's the well-written narrative or one of the game's many free-roam activities, RDR2 is a game that players can come back to over and over again, finding, if not something new, something entertaining each and every time. 


Like many other PS4 games on this list, we thoroughly enjoyed RDR2 and while it doesn't see a huge performance boost on PS5, players can expect to find improved load times and fewer framerate drops.


Ghost of Tsushima


Sucker Punch Productions established themselves with series like Sly Cooper and Infamous, so it was quite surprising when they revealed their next title after those would be an action game set within feudal Japan. Launched earlier this year, Ghost of Tsushima puts us in the role of Jin Sakai, a samurai warrior that seeking to fend off the Mongol Empire’s invasion of Tsushima Island.


Learning to defeat these tough invaders through both traditional and non-traditional means, stealth and direct conflict, Jin calls into question everything he thinks he knows and must decide between a rigid code of honor and saving his home. 


Ghost of Tsushima's open world is one of the most beautiful on the PlayStation 4, and it's full of things to do, from liberating villages to writing haiku. Its story and mechanics ultimately make for another winning first-party game that’s well worth looking into. It helps that Ghost of Tsushima gets a performance boost on the PS5, running at 60fps for smoother gameplay, and recently saw the addition of co op multiplayer in Ghost of Tsushima Legends.




Remedy Entertainment have gained a dedicated following over the years because of the popularity of games such as Alan Wake, Quantum Break, and Max Payne. Now with Control, arguably their best title yet, they've connected them all via an intricate multiverse.


In Control, we play as Jesse Faden, who has been searching for her missing brother since they were separated as children. Being made the Director of the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), Jesse's adventure takes us through the FBC’s headquarters, a.k.a The Oldest House, a building that can morph and change shape, reaching into alternate realities.


Finding The Oldest House under threat from a mysterious entity called The Hiss, one that’s infected nearly every one in the FBC headquarters, Jesse must fight her way to the truth using both guns and her supernatural powers.


Control packs a surprising challenge and we strongly recommend trying it out, saying "[it's] undoubtedly Remedy's biggest and weirdest game yet. In many ways, it's also their best, all while it paves the way for a Marvel-like connected universe."


It’s due to arrive on PS5 next year and comes as a free upgrade if you own the Ultimate Edition. In the meantime, it still plays beautifully via backwards compatibility on the PlayStation 4.


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice


We’ve all seen the argument over whether games can be considered art, but if there’s any game to make that case persuasively, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is certainly in the conversation. Taking its inspiration from Norse mythology and Celtic culture, this story revolves around Senua, a warrior intent on making her way to Helheim to save a loved one. 


We strongly rated it at the time as "a unique game that intriguingly captures mental illness and offers a punishing-yet-fluid set of mechanics, all wrapped inside a compelling journey through a vibrant world." Hellblade was further praised by critics for its delicate handling of psychosis, helped by developer Ninja Theory’s work with those suffering from such conditions and mental health experts.


A sequel was announced last year, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, though due to Microsoft’s acquisition of Ninja Theory in 2018, that one sadly won’t be making its way to PS5.


Days Gone


Days Gone arrived at a time when Zombie fatigue had set in for a lot of players, but as another free PS Plus Collection game, it deserves a second look. Developed by SIE Bend Studio, Days Gone takes place in the Pacific Northwest after millions have turned into zombies following a global pandemic that destroyed civilization.


Traveling across this open world via motorbike, you play as Deacon St. John, who discovers that his wife Sarah could still be alive. Of course, there's plenty of action to be found along the way.


Quite noticeably, Days Gone on PS5 is improved over its PS4 counterpart, now playable at 60fps with dynamic 4K resolution. So, if you were ever curious to try it out but haven't yet gotten around to it, playing Days Gone on PS5 is undoubtedly your best option yet. 


Assassin's Creed Origins


Assassin’s Creed might be one of Ubisoft’s biggest franchises, but few could argue that when it reached Syndicate, it started getting rather stale. Having previously seen annual releases, Assassin's Creed Origins bucked the trend by skipping 2016 and releasing instead in 2017.


This time around, fans travel to ancient Egypt, with the narrative focusing on a centuries-old conflict between the forerunners to the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order. Incorporating an open-world style, it adopts more distinctly RPG-esque gameplay, which Odyssey and Valhalla later expanded upon.


Though it was criticized for poor pacing, critics considered it a necessary reboot to Ubisoft’s hit series and even now, it remains worth a look.


We said that, despite some technical issues, "Assassin's Creed: Origins is a fantastic game that takes all the best elements of the action-RPG genre, (such as hunting, crafting, archery, etc.) and gives you total freedom to use it all in the grand and absolutely gorgeous world of Ancient Egypt."


Shadow of the Colossus


There’s no denying that Shadow of the Colossus is an absolute classic. Focused on the story of Wander, we find our hero traveling across a strange land to slay Colossi, seeking to bring a girl named Mono back to life. Facing 16 of these giant creatures in total, each with their own specific weaknesses, and Wander has his work cut out for him.


Initially released on PS2 by Team Ico of (unsurprisingly) Ico and The Last Guardian fame, this remake was instead brought to us by Bluepoint Games, who recently undertook the PS5’s fantastic Demon’s Souls remaster. It’s incredibly faithful to the original, which isn’t always to its advantage, but there’s an unforgettable experience here you won’t want to miss.


In our review of the game, we said "Shadow of the Colossus is still a great game despite its game design becoming repetitive and the fact that some of its mechanics can be quite irksome. There still isn't a game out there that can match its dreary atmosphere, simple but effective storytelling, and outstanding boss fights. It's a one-of-a-kind game that still holds up and that PS4 owners should check out..."


We’ve seen quite a fine launch line-up for action-adventure games on PS5. Between Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, too, if you bought the Ultimate Edition), we've had a lot to choose from.


These games won’t suit everyone’s tastes, but thankfully due to backwards compatibility on the PS5, next-gen owners can also take advantage of Sony’s enormous PS4 catalog. From Red Dead Redemption 2 to The Last of Us Part II, there’s no end of options to choose from.


Better yet, depending on the title, playing via PS5 can also offer better performance, increased resolution, and shorter loading times. Many titles can now be found on the cheap but some are completely free via the PS Plus Collection, which is exclusively available for PS5 owners, provided you’ve subscribed. As such, here are our top recommendations for the PS4 action-adventure games you should play first on PlayStation 5.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Free Update Now Live, Adds New Modes and Skins Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:40:53 -0400 Dylan Webb

Though it came out back in March 2019, it's quite pleasing to see Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice getting continued support from From Software. The latest free update for the game is now live across PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia.

The update brings a significant content expansion to Sekiro, including two new modes: Gauntlet of Strength and Reflection of Strength.

Gauntlet of Strength is essentially a boss rush mode, only giving players one life to defeat the Sekiro's challenging bosses, while Reflection of Strength lets players fight previously defeated bosses repeatedly.

Considering other From Software games required you to replay them entirely to experience these boss fights again and again, these two modes are certainly a welcome addition.

That's not all From Software has included in this update though. On the cosmetic side, there are new equippable outfits, two of which are available by completing these new challenges. These outfits and can be changed at Sculptor's Idols. A third outfit is also available, earned by beating the game once. 

Finally, similar to the Illusions in Bloodborne and Dark Souls, a new replay feature has also been added, letting players share recordings of their ghosts to help others with challenging boss fights or uncovering secrets. Should you wish, written messages can also be attached to these to add additional clarity. For further updates on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, stay tuned to GameSkinny. 

U.S. PlayStation Store Store Kicks off "Big in Japan" Sale Tue, 10 Sep 2019 11:34:46 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The U.S. PlayStation Store is launching another nearly-month-long sale starting today, with savings up to 60% off on a variety of games either popular or developed in Japan. The sale runs until September 24 at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT.

The games range from recent releases like the brutally difficult Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the Contra Anniversary Collection, Castlevania, Devil May Cry 5, and, of course, Final Fantasy — lots of Final Fantasy.

Here are some of the notable inclusions for the PlayStation 4:

Game Sales Price
  Castlevania Anniversary Collection
  Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! Bundle
  Contra Anniversary Collection
Crypt of the Necrodancer  $8.99
  Dead by Daylight  $14.99
  Devil May Cry 5: Deluxe Edition  $41.99
  Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
  Dragon Quest Builders 2: Digital Deluxe Edition
  Final Fantasy IX Digital Edition
  Final Fantasy VII
  Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition
  Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
  Fate Extella: The Umbral Star
  Jump Force  $29.99
  Kingdom Hearts: All-In-One Package
  Kingdom Hearts III
  Mega Man 30th Anniversary Bundle  $40.19
  Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom — Deluxe Edition
  Persona 5: Ultimate Correct
  Resident Evil 2 Deluxe Edition  $41.99
  Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice  $44.99
  Shenmue I & II
  World of Final Fantasy $12.49


There are loads of additional games on sale as well, including PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita games. The full list can be found here.

Can't get enough Sony from this sale? Don't forget to check out Sony's hefty presence at the Tokyo Game Show starting this Thursday.

How to Beat the Guardian Ape Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Sat, 06 Apr 2019 10:10:40 -0400 John Schutt

He's the boss no one saw coming. He's big, fast, hits like the truck he appears to be, and for some reason, he refuses to die. He's the Guardian Ape (a.k.a. the monkey boss) in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and you have to kill him to finish the game.

But how do you beat a boss who is this mobile, who can throw poop bombs that obliterate half your health bar, and who can generally be a total pain?

Damage. Lots of it.

How to Beat Guardian Ape: Phase 1 in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

How to Beat Guardian Ape: Phase 1 in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Guardian Ape is one of the largest, most mobile bosses in Sekiro, and the perfect counter to his speed and agility is applying some of your own. While it is possible to defeat him without him doing too much moving about, your first fight likely isn't going to be fast or efficient.

So, what's the strat?

First: stay on your feet and bait out every attack you can. The Guardian Ape's attacks are big, fast, and really hurt, but you can learn what they look like — and more importantly what their wind ups look like — if you dash in, force the boss to attack you, and dash out.

I'm not talking the dodge button either. I mean sprinting directly at the boss, making him swing at you, then getting the heck out of there. I don't think damage should be your initial concern. Learning the fight is.

Once you have a handle on what the Guardian Ape's attacks look like, you can start hitting him. Ako Sugar or Spiritfall are great options, as is Divine Confetti.

It may not seem like you're getting much value out of either buff, but trust me: they're doing a lot of work, mainly because you probably won't kill the Ape's first phase through Posture damage.

You could make liberal usage of the Firecrackers Shinobi Tool, as that both stuns the boss and does a fair bit of Posture Damage. You can also infinitely stunlock him with the Mortal Draw Combat Art, but you need the Mortal Blade to pull that one off.

For this second step of learning the Guardian Ape, don't be afraid to take risks and damage. Half of the fun of a From Software game is learning through repeated failure, and unlike a lot of other bosses in the game, the Ape's attack strings are incredibly random. Prediction, even at the highest levels of play, is spotty at best.

For instance, he has a lunging attack that puts him facing away from you, and sometimes he sits there stupidly for a couple of seconds. Other times, often when you're closer to him, he'll pause briefly then start slamming the ground behind him, making your approach both meaningless and detrimental to the larger fight.

Another example: the Guardian Ape has a five-hit combo that appears rarely and seems to come out of nowhere. The trouble is, that's not the biggest surprise.

Instead, what will no doubt get you killed at least once is the sheer range of the final slam. The boss both moves forward and reaches the full extent of his arm, and the hitbox seems even longer. If you see this combo coming, and you'll learn it after enough deaths, my initial advice is to avoid it entirely, either by running away or grappling on any remaining trees.

His grabs also warrant special mention.

The first is a sweep, and while that's easy enough to jump over to land a quick Goomba stomp, the attack starts slow then goes shockingly fast, with slight variations in timing from grab to grab. Moreover, the damage is huge, and players with less than four or five prayer bead necklaces are liable to be straight up one-shot.

His second grab only comes out when he's at half health or lower and is really more of a jumping slam than grappling. You'll no doubt see it coming from a mile away, and my best advice is to try and run perpendicular to the boss, as he'll smash into the ground and be vulnerable for an extended period.

Note, however, the lingering hitbox that comes with either of these grabs. Even if the animation seems to be complete, the hitbox will still exist, and you can still be picked up by the attack on its last frame. Unless you're confident that you can dodge or otherwise counter-play the attack, just get out of the way as fast as you can.

Last thing: the poop throw. Yes, he's a monkey, and yes he's throwing his poo at you. It's for this reason that you never want to stray too far from the Guardian Ape, as you'll bait out his only long-range option that has an enormous hitbox and inflicts both big damage and half a bar of poison. Plus, it's disgusting. Learn the dodge timing on this. You won't regret it.

Once you take down the Guardian Ape's Health or Posture, don't forget to use the second deathblow to rip his head from his body, and be ready for phase two.

How to Beat the Guardian Ape: Phase 2 in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Between the two of them, I find phase two of the Guardian Ape fight far easier but no less dangerous. Your goal here is pretty much the opposite of phase one because now the boss has a sword, and you can deflect swords.

Unlike before, where attacks were erratic, fast, and difficult to handle in close range, the headless Guardian Ape has slow, flowing attacks with long wind ups. Many of them are easy to deflect, and as long as you keep your head about you, you shouldn't be caught off guard by his opener moves.

The trick for this phase is in the Ape's screaming. Not his only unblockable attack, but the one you'll see most often, the scream surrounds the Guardian Ape, deals chip damage, and builds your Terror meter incredibly fast. When the boss raises his severed head and starts to make a high-pitched shriek, your only real option is to run away.

You could use a Purifying Agent and face-tank the Terror damage, but if you aren't confident in your ability to counter his follow up attacks, all you get for yourself is a trip back to the Idol.

The only other unblockable you really need to worry about in phase two is the sweeping attack. Again, though, because this phase is all about Posture damage, you should be jumping and giving the Guardian Ape a good ole Goomba stomp every time he swings up to cut at your feet.

If you are still having trouble, there's one attack you can bait out that all but guarantees both Vitality and Posture damage. The Guardian Ape will rear up on his legs and come crashing down. All you have to do here is run to your right (his left) for a short distance. He'll be on the ground for a few seconds, and you can get in a fair few swings before he recovers.

And that's it. For phase two, stay close to the headless Ape, parry his sword swinging attacks like you have any other enemy in the game, and when the time comes for a deathblow, don't forget the second input.

Oh, and Firecrackers don't work in phase two, because, well, the monkey has no head to startle

You chopped it off a few minutes before.

How to Beat the Guardian Ape and Wife: Phases 3 and 4 in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

If you fought and defeated the Guardian Ape before heading toward the Ashina Depths, you will fight him one more time after the Snake Eyes Shirahagi in the poison room.

The first part of this second fight is a just repeat of phase two from the first, but you'll find the arena to be much smaller. The boss' screams are thus harder to avoid, and more of his attacks are bound to reach you only because you don't have as far to run. That said, the same strategy applies.

The wrinkle here is, once you deplete his first Deathblow counter, the Guardian Ape will summon his mate, a smaller, brown gorilla who is essentially his phase one form all over again. 

Now the fight's interesting, right? It might seem hard at first, but with the application of, yep, Firecrackers, you can take out the smaller annoyance quickly and easily. 

It takes approximately four usages of that Shinobi Tool to bring the mini-Ape into Deathblow range, but the tricky part is separating the two bosses. You could stand directly in front of the Ape-wife and spam Firecrackers until you win, but you'd be risking a swipe from the real boss.

My advice here is: bait out a big attack from Guardian Ape, then run in, use one or two Firecrackers, then bail. Once you've got wife-Ape on the ropes, give her a couple of good slashes and deal the deathblow.

After that, you're doing phase two of this fight again, and thankfully, for the final time.

And that's it. You've beaten the Guardian Ape (monkey boss) not once, not twice, not three times, but four whole times. He probably killed you plenty, but you've given as good as you got. Now you're a few steps closer to the Fountainhead Palace and the end of the game.

Check out these other guides for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice:

Note: I'm using the Ashina Ash mod for my Sekiro character. Check it out here.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice How to Beat Headless Boss Thu, 04 Apr 2019 09:56:00 -0400 John Schutt

Beware: there are area spoilers in this guide. Proceed at your own risk.

The Headless mini-bosses in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are some of the easiest enemies in the game to take on.

Or they would be if you weren't struggling against the environment or momentum during the fight.

But you are, so what's the best way to take them out, and where exactly do you find them? And what is your reward for beating them?

Read on to find out. 

Fight on the Ground

Three of the five Headless fights happen the way most boss fights do: on the ground, going toe-to-toe with the boss. The strategy here is straightforward but takes preparation. The first time you come across a Headless near the beginning of the game, you aren't likely to have the necessary items to win the fight. 

You'll need two things:

  1. Divine Confetti
  2. Purifying Agent

Divine Confetti allows you to damage the boss. Purifying Agent removes the Terror buildup that will kill you if the gauge fills. Finding these items is outside of the scope of this particular guide, but they are spread throughout the world. and you will come across them naturally.

Once you're properly equipped, the actual Headless fights aren't anything to write home about. Attacks are slow and easily parried, and the enemy itself doesn't have much total posture or good posture recovery.

The trick here is the slowing mist that the boss lets out, denying you a dodge or a sprint. That means your only means of attack is raw, if sluggish, aggression.

Start the fight by applying the Divine Confetti buff, then attempt to parry every attack you canDodge what's left.

The timing on the parry isn't terribly generous, but you can execute one easily enough if you tap left bumper about a quarter second before the swing would otherwise hit you.

The only thing you need to worry about here is the sweep, but you can still jump regardless of mist, and a quick headbutt will do a good bit of posture damage.

You should try to get two to three vitality attacks in between the boss's long attack and stun animations. You'll still have time to cancel into a parry in most cases, and enough hits to the body will cause the mist to dissipate, giving you back your mobility for a few moments. 

Be aware that if the mist is up, any non-perfect Deflections will cause Terror buildup, and once that gauge reaches a maximum, you die. No questions asked.

If you can, back away from the boss when Terror is high and use a Purifying Agent to cleanse the gauge and increase your resistance temporarily.

Also: be cautious of the teleport. When the Headless vanishes from sight, he will always appear behind you after a few seconds and attempt an unblockable grab. If there is no mist, run away as fast as you can. If there is mist, turn around and start swinging to knock the boss out of his invisibility. You'll stun it and deny the rear-grab that is likely to do most if not all of your health in damage. 

Shinobi Tool Usage

Most of the tools at your disposal aren't going to give you too much of an advantage, especially without the mobility to use them properly. Still, the Loaded Umbrella is a solid choice to keep some of the heat off, and the upgraded Finger Whistle Malcontent offers three free stuns.

Firecrackers won't do anything because the Headless have, well, no head to flash. Other offensive options are liable to get you hit, and I'd advise against Mistraven if only because the momentary mobility will be quickly negated by the slowing mist.

Fight Beneath the Waves

The final two Headless mini-bosses are fought underwater, and while this obviously removes the slowing mist issue, now you have the cumbersome water controls to deal with. 

The strategy in these fights is also different to account for your (technically) increased mobility but slower and more sluggish attack speed.

Underwater Headless have two ranged attacks to watch out for that come with close-range variants.

  1. A series of water-spikes that track you but can easily be avoided by swimming perpendicular to the boss.

  2. A wide swing that shoots out a water-blade that does not track but has a wide and somewhat deceptive hitbox. If you think it will hit you, it willDon't take the chance.

Your best bet here is Vitality damage to the boss. After one or two big attacks, the Headless will take a moment to recover. Use these opportunities to get in a few attacks. Don't be too greedy. However, by this point in the game, you should have all the healing you need to tank a few hits, so don't be too afraid of getting in a few extra swings.

Divine Confetti remains your friend here, and don't worry, you can retreat and try again as many times as you need. The boss isn't going anywhere.

One last thing: the final Headless you'll encounter in Fountainhead Palace has a phantom that you'll need to kill. As you approach it from the Palace grounds, the phantom will be farther away on your left. You can also pick it out by the eerie white glow that surrounds it. 

Kill the phantom first, as it has very little health, then go after the real deal.

Why You Want to Fight the Headless Bosses in Sekiro

The reward for killing the Headless bosses is a consumable item called a Spiritfall. In essence, these are reusable items that mimic the various sugar consumables found throughout the game, and they come with the same name, too.

Instead of losing the item on use, a Spiritfall has no usage counters, this item draws on three Spirit Emblems per use.

This is what each Headless boss drops on defeat: 

  • First Headless: drops the Ako Spiritfall, which increases your damage and posture the same way an Ako's Sugar would.

  • Second Headless: drops Gokan Spiritfall, which decreases Posture damage.

  • Third Headless: drops Gachiin Spiritfall, which makes you partially invisible.

  • Fourth Headless: drops Ungo Spiritfall, which increases your defense against physical attacks.

  • Final Headless and its partner: drop Yashariku Spiritfall, which halves your vitality and Posture for a vast increase in attack power.

Note that unless you have the Devotion skill unlocked, a Spiritfall will only provide a buff for about 12 seconds. With that skill, you'll extend the duration to more than 22 seconds.

Headless Locations in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

You'll find the three above-water Headless in the following locations.

Ashina Outskirts

Look for a shrine near the Underbridge Valley Sculptor's Idol. It's near a bridge before the path down into the Sunken Valley.

There's a note on it. Go behind the shrine and jump on the tree. From there, look right and jump toward the cliff; look for the brown hand-hold indicators and grab on to the cliff. 

Follow the path around to the left and look down to see the cave entrance pictured below. The Headless is in the cave. 

Sunken Valley

You'll need the Mibu Breathing technique for this boss. You get that skill from defeating the Corrupted Monk in Mibu Village.

For this one, you'll need to travel to the Under-Shrine Valley Idol, then turn around and run toward the opening.

Past a number of shrines is a small body of water. Dive into it and follow the path until you can surface again. The Headless will be there.

Ashina Depths

This one's tough to miss. Teleport to the Hidden Forest Idol and look toward the Buddha statue.

Jump into the pit in front of the statue and the Headless will be on the lowest level, tucked into a corner. Beware its jumping slam attack.

Ashina Castle

You'll need Mibu Breathing for the final two Headless.

Head to the Grave Sculptor's Idol and go back through the gate behind you. You'll see a larger body of water. The Headless is down at the lakebed near the far wall. 

Fountainhead Palace

This one takes some doing, as the image below is taken from atop the large tree in the main area.

You'll need the Great Sakura Idol to reach it efficiently, which is behind a group of enemies overlooking the water. One of them is doing a dance and three others are watching. Wander the palace for a bit, and you'll likely see them.

That's all you need to know about fighting the Headless bosses in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. For the most part, these fights are about patience, parrying, and attacking at the right moment. Just remember to have the right items with you, and these enemies should be easy to beat. 

For more tips on From Software's latest, be sure to head over to our guides page and check out our review

Best Settings for FPS, Performance in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice PC Fri, 29 Mar 2019 09:48:22 -0400 Sergey_3847

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice hasn't been performing too well on PC. The developer even locked the frame limit at 60 FPS, which for many players that own high-end PCs has become a huge issue. Fortunately, you can fix it using one of the custom made modifications for the game.

But this guide is made to help players who can't afford a high-end PC and constantly have lag and other FPS problems with the game. So follow the two steps below to significantly improve your performance of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Step 1: Adjust Graphics Settings

There are two levels of graphics options in Sekiro's game menu: General and Advanced. Let's first start with the general settings:

  1. Go to Graphics Options in the Options menu.
  2. Set Automatic Rendering Adjustment to Off

Now you can enter the Advanced Options menu for the following adjustments:

  • Texture Quality: Max
  • Antialiasing Application: On
  • SSAO: Off
  • Depth of Field: Off
  • Motion Blur: Off
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Lighting Quality: Medium
  • Effects Quality: Medium
  • Volumetric Quality: Low
  • Reflections Quality: Low
  • Water Surface Quality: Low
  • Shader Quality: Medium

Here you can experiment with antialiasing, and set it to "off" in case your FPS still drops. However, the game looks really bad without it, so it is recommended to keep this setting enabled.

To note, the biggest causes of FPS drop in Sekiro have to deal with shadow quality, AA, and SSAO — even on high-end PCs. Depending on the power you have in your rig, you can toy with other settings first, then tweak these last if you have FPS left over, bringing them up or down as needed.  

Step 2: Modify the Configuration File

In addition to the graphics settings in the game's menu, you can edit the configuration file. This adjustment is not necessary, but it will help you unlock a few more FPS and give a slight boost to the overall performance of the game. However, it's advisable to do this as a last-ditch effort. 

  1. Go to "\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Sekiro" folder on your PC.
  2. Open the GraphicsConfig.xml file in a text editor.
  3. Type Disable in the ShadeQuality line
  4. Type Disable in the LodQuality line
  5. Type Disable in the VolumetricQuality line


For more Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice guides, check out the links below:

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Review: A Masterpiece in Every Sense Fri, 29 Mar 2019 10:29:26 -0400 John Schutt

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is probably the best game Hidetaka Miyazaki has ever made.

Its design is hyper-focused, its combat visceral and surprisingly deep, its world vast and mysterious, and most of all its narrative straightforward if gutwrenching.

And while all of this is true, one thing stands above it all: this is not a Souls game. It's better.

A World as Wide as it is Deep

Sekiro will not win any awards for phenomenal writing, but it doesn't have to. As with any other game in Miyazaki's portfolio, the world tells a much better story than any tome or character can.

At its core, Sekiro is a tale of revenge and sacrifice, and it constantly asks the question, "What are you willing to lose to achieve something greater than yourself?"

As a Shinobi known as the Wolf, you have been tasked with protecting a young boy called The Divine Heir, whose mysterious bloodline makes him a target of the ruling Ashina clan. You will start your story by rescuing him, losing your arm to the leader of the Ashina — Genichiro — and shortly after that, you'll awaken far from your master, hellbent on vengeance. 

The narrative of Sekiro is divided into two parts, and the second is far stranger than the first. Rarely during the first segment are you asked to question your assumptions about the world, though there are plenty of head-scratching moments that won't make sense until much later.

As you reach the end of the (shorter) first act, things will start to muddle. Oddities and inconsistencies will begin to show themselves, and a larger world will become clear to you. Clearer too will be the purpose of your revenge, and that achieving it doesn't quite have the results you were hoping for or expecting.

Sekiro's second act is by far the longest, and in typical From Software fashion, you will go from the top of the world to its deepest depths to accomplish your mission. Along the way, you'll learn — primarily through the environments and bits of lore — the history of the world you're exploring. 

You'll probably have as many questions as you find answers, many of which could take multiple playthroughs (or a few YouTube videos) to solve. 

The characters you meet will try to answer what they can, and few of them are exactly as they first appear. You're likely to suspect something of almost all of them, though whether those suspicions are well-founded varies from case to case.

That said, all of the characters in the story feel like actual people. They all have desires and secrets, or at least some peculiarity that sets them apart from being flat or uninteresting. 

And as I hope I've established, the world itself is anything but uninteresting.

Unlike the Souls games, there's a distinct lack of interconnection between each area, and progression, story-wise, is particularly linear. Each locale has its own personality, of course, but you probably won't find much of a reason to return somewhere once you've gone through it and found most of the interesting bits.

Just don't expect to find everything your first time through. There are lots of little nooks and crannies hidden in plain sight, or truly hidden. However, because almost every area of the game is mandatory to complete most of the primary endings (see our Ending Guide for more on how to achieve them), you're forced to explore almost everywhere the game has to offer.

That exploration will yield many more tidbits about how the world of Sekiro came to be in its current state, and you'll achieve new perspectives on characters you've met and places you've been. 

All told, while I wasn't captivated by Sekiro's story the same way I might be by a game like The Witcher or Final Fantasy, I was nonetheless bewitched by the mysteries that surrounded me, even if I knew there was no real way to solve them.

Combat: A Masterclass of Design

There is nothing like combat in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Few other action games ask players to stay close to their enemies at all times, and even fewer encourage them to not dodge. 

At its core, combat in From Software's latest is a chaotic, in-your-face affair that demands players learn almost every move for most enemies in the game. Only by mastering Sekiro to such a degree are you guaranteed success.

The reason is simple: you will not defeat powerful opponents through damage alone. Instead, you will need to build up their Posture meter until it breaks, creating an opening for a Deathblow that will instantly drain any health they have left and make you the victor.

For the minor enemies that litter the map, this is often true. The caveat is that only the weakest opponents will Posture-break quickly. For many of the foes you'll face, you'll need to learn the timing of their attacks, execute a number of Deflections (or what might also be called Perfect Parries), and wear your enemies down over time.

Your sword skills are your primary means of accomplishing this, but because of the need for another button to use the Shinobi Prosthetic (described below), the only "attack" button is the right bumper or R1. There are a surprising number of combos you can execute with just a single input, but there are, of course, limits on your creativity in this department.

If you aren't attacking, you'll be Deflecting, which calls for hitting L1 or left bumper at the precise moment your enemy's attack would otherwise deal you damage. With different sound and visual cues for successfully pulling off a Deflection, you'll quickly learn when and when not to go after Posture damage. 

It's a deep system because you have to wager that you can pull off every Deflection or risk taking half your health in damage for your failure. You do, of course, have the option to dodge, but unlike the Souls games, your invincibility frames are incredibly limited, making split-second timing even more important.

I love this system, because it forces new and veteran From Software players to learn — or relearn — aggressive habits and demands a level of mastery and execution unlike almost any other game on the market. More importantly, reaching that level of skill happens organically whether you succeed or fail.

And when you fail, it is almost always a good idea to rethink how you approach the encounter. This focus on constant learning is intrinsic to any Souls-like, but because Sekiro makes its players face danger in the most direct ways possible, they have to constantly weigh their skills against the capabilities of their opponents and their willingness to actively seek death.

In the absence of any other mechanics, combat in Sekiro would be complicated enough, but with the addition of the Shinobi Prosthetic, whole new avenues of gameplay open wide for players to play with.

The prosthetic is not, however, a replacement for your sword. Rather, it acts as a supplement to the core gameplay, giving players a number of new choices that enhance the use of the sword, avoid or deflect damage, break Posture, apply status effects, or otherwise provide you an advantage in battle.

My main gripe with the Prosthetic is how certain tools are far more useful than others. Quick tip? Use Firecrackers. Almost every enemy in the game will stun at the bright flashes and loud cracks. As fun as many of the damage dealing options are, because you take so much damage from almost every source, you're better served only using them occasionally. 

Unless you want to challenge yourself, I think the utility options are almost always the best choice. Thankfully, there are a lot of them.

If, for some reason, you don't want to face your enemies head-on, you have the choice to use stealth, but in many cases, stealth is situational. You'll avoid trash mobs easily enough, but bosses aren't so easily fooled.

That's not to say you can't take them down with a well-placed stealth attack, but more often than not, any enemy that requires multiple Deathblows will see you coming if you're not extremely careful. Clear their arena if any minor foes are hanging around, but be prepared to face the big guy at his strongest.

Combat in Sekiro is incredibly satisfying, but only when you can execute it. I sometimes ran into occasions where the slight input delay would feel inconsistent enough to get me killed, but as long as I accounted for it, I was rarely caught off guard. 

They Don't Make Bosses Like These Anymore

Combat in Sekiro might always shine, but it truly comes into its own when fighting the myriad bosses the game has on offer.

Bosses come in two varieties: mini world bosses that reward players with Prayer Beads (the basic currency of leveling Health and Posture) and Boss Bosses that award Memories (the basic currency of increasing Attack Power). 

I have far more to say about the boss bosses, primarily because I found the mini-bosses to be more annoying than they are fun to fight. All bosses deal immense amounts of damage, but the mini-bosses felt disproportionately strong for where you fight them in the game.

Perhaps worse, they are mechanically uninteresting, acting as bigger, beefier versions of enemies you might fight anywhere else in the game. Even when I ran across a mini-boss with an interesting gimmick, I was often turned off because said gimmick got in the way of the fight rather than enhancing it.

Mini-bosses usually, though not always, had a number of trash mobs helping them, and because they are hard enough on their own, I was frequently frustrated having to deal with additional distractions when all I wanted to do was learn how to fight the darn boss.

The story bosses, on the other hand, are all masterclasses in boss design. Every one of them demanded vastly different strategies. They are all aesthetically unique (save for one repeated boss that still managed to be mechanically unique in each iteration), and I was always surprised by their variety of moves and phases.

Interestingly, even bosses with only one health bar often had multiple phases within that bar, and if the designers are particularly cruel, they are lying about how many Deathblows you'd need to use, as the boss would simply come back with a new bar, ready to go another round with a whole new set of moves to learn.

Later bosses especially turned up the difficulty by forcing players to grind through one moveset before turning the tables with a new one, breaking the rules previously established in the fight. Sometimes, these first phases are easy enough, really only acting to soften you up for the main event. 

Said main events are always worth the price of admission. Even if the opening portions of the fight are somewhat lackluster, designers would find a way to turn its later stages into an epic duel between demigods. Or, well, actual gods

I won't lie and say that some of these fights didn't have their frustrating parts, but I could rarely find a reason to be angry that wasn't somehow my own fault. Either I was misreading a tell, making the generally wrong decision, or not having any knowledge of the attack that killed me.

I also won't say that there are some mechanically annoying things that get in the way of enjoying the epic fights in Sekiro. For one thing, I've always felt that hitboxes in From Software games need work, and this is still the case here. Attack tracking and homing can be aggressive as well, and if you aren't careful, an attack that should deal damage will kill you.

Still, there wasn't a single mainline boss fight in Sekiro I look back on and hate. They are all so artistically and mechanically unique, so demanding that the player dedicate themselves to learning, and so very enjoyable to overcome that even the ones I dislike the most only serve to make the ones I like shine brighter.

  • One of the most difficult yet satisfying combat systems on the market
  • Boss fights you'll remember forever
  • A fully realized world filled with wonder, mystery, and strangeness
  • If you're looking for another Souls fix, this isn't it
  • Mini-bosses that feel out of place in a game with otherwise such great boss encounters
  • Sometimes inconsistent controls

I wasn't sure if I'd rank Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice above Bloodborne as my favorite Miyazaki-directed, ultra-hard action game. I think, in this case, the clear focus on a single-player experience and clarity the designers gained from working with a single character class — Ninja — made the gameplay the best its ever been. 

I think too that a real-world historical setting, with plenty of mythological bending, was the right move. There's something grounding about the character motivations and the general feel of the world that feel more believable, more understandable.

Lastly, the game's conceptual similarity to Souls and the many, many, changes made to ensure Sekiro was its own game are quite the handful to get used to, especially with thousands of hours in the former series. However, I think this could set the stage for a new franchise. There's so much good stuff here, and I can't wait to see what comes next.

[Note: A review copy of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was provided by From Software for this review.]

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Guide — How to Get All Prosthetics Thu, 28 Mar 2019 11:37:42 -0400 Sergey_3847

There are 10 upgradable prosthetic tools in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. However, since each of them is hidden in different areas around the map, it will take you a while before you will be able to find and use all of them.

It is important to keep in mind that you must have enough spirit emblems to utilize these prosthetics tools as well. You can purchase these with Sen by visiting any Sculptor's Idol; each emblem costs 10 Sen.

You can then visit the Sculptor himself at the Dilapidated Temple to upgrade them into better and more deadly versions as you progress.

This guide will show you exactly where to find each prosthetic in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Loaded Shuriken Prosthetic

  • Location: Ashina Outskirts

Find the Outskirts Wall - Gate Path idol near the entrance gate of the location. Then, hop on top of the building near the idol. You will see a broken wall on one of its sides.

Enter the room behind the broken wall and you will see a dead body on the floor. Pick up the Shuriken Wheel from the body.

Then, head to the Sculptor and give him the Shuriken Wheel. He will be able to upgrade it into the Loaded Shuriken prosthetic.

Shinobi Firecracker Prosthetic

  • Location: Ashina Outskirts

In order to obtain the Shinobi Firecracker prosthetic, you must first purchase Robato's Firecrackers from Crow's Bed Memorial Mob.

You can find him at Outskirts Wall - Gate Path idol near Inosuke Nogami. You will see a cliff nearby. Use your grapple hook to hop on top, where you will find the NPC merchant.

After you buy the Robato's Firecrackers, go back to the Sculptor and ask him to make you the Shinobi Firecracker tool.

Flame Vent Prosthetic

  • Location: Hirata Estate

Travel to Estate Path idol at Hirata Estate, and then go over the wall, where the camp of enemies is located.

Find a huge campfire burning with several enemies surrounding it. Defeat all the baddies and collect the Flame Barrel from the campfire itself.

As usual, bring it to the Scultpor in exchange for Flame Vent prosthetic.

Loaded Axe Prosthetic

  • Location: Hirata Estate

Return to the previous campfire and go up the stairs, which will lead you to a temple gate.

Grapple on top of the gate and eavesdrop on two enemies talking near a small garden house. Attack and kill them both.

Then, open the doors of the small garden house and pick up the Shinobi Axe of the Monkey, which is required for the Loaded Axe prosthetic.

Mist Raven Prosthetic

  • Location: Hirata Estate

Travel to the Bamboo Thicket Slope idol at Hirata Estate. Go upstairs and look out for the cave entrance to your right.

Run through the cave until you reach the opening at the top, and grapple your way upward. Go upstairs and reach a secret temple protected by a purple ninja.

Defeat the ninja and collect the Mist Raven's Feathers from the temple.

Loaded Spear Prosthetic

  • Location: Ashina Castle

Travel to Ashina Castle idol and eavesdrop on two enemies talking at the bridge. Defeat both of them and pick up the Gatehouse Key.

Then, turn right and go to Ashina Reservoir. Find the house where you learned underfloor sneaking and open it using the key.

Inside the house, you will find a chest with Gyoubu's Broken Horn, an upgrade material for the Loaded Spear.

Sabimaru Prosthetic

  • Location: Ashina Castle

Go to the Upper Tower - Antechamber idol and go upstairs into the hall with two openings. Drop down one of the openings and defeat four enemies guarding the ground floor.

Then, enter a small room with a chest, which contains Sabimaru. .

Loaded Umbrella Prosthetic

  • Location: Ashina Castle

Travel to the Old Grave idol in Ashina castle and drop down through the opening in the roof of a building right in front of you.

Inside the building, you will see the Blackhat Badger, an NPC who can sell you the Iron Fortress for 1,600 sen.

Purchase it and go back to the Sculptor.

Divine Abduction Prosthetic

  • Location: Sunken Valley

Go to your right from the Gun Fort idol at Sunken Valley through the cave, and defeat Long-arm Centipede Giraffe protecting the altar.

Pick up the Large Fan item from the altar and bring it to the Sculptor.

Finger Whistle Prosthetic

  • Location: Sunken Valley

Lastly, go to the Bodhisattva Valley Sculptor's idol and fight the boss of Sunken Valley - Guardian Ape.

As soon as you defeat this enemy, you will be awarded the Slender Finger, which you can take to the Sculptor for one final upgrade.


For more Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice guides, check out the links below:

Best Mods For Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on PC Wed, 27 Mar 2019 12:34:09 -0400 Sergey_3847


Katana Merchant Mod


There are a lot of custom-made modifications for Sekiro's katana weapon all over the internet. But this mod is all you need, if you're looking for that one perfect Japanese sword, as it includes all of them in one convenient package.


Just select the one katana you like the best and put it into the hands of the Wolf. Just remember that this is purely a cosmetic mod and it doesn't influence the stats of your newly acquired weapon.


Download mod




For other Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice guides, check out the links below:


Cyberpunk Set Mod


Clearly, this mod has been inspired by the upcoming game from CD Projekt red titled Cyberpunk 2077.


The creator of the Cyberpunk Set for Sekiro added a neon glow to the Wolf's katana, and redesigned his robe using the similar neon-colored threads, which actually resemble wires and look highly futuristic.


Other tools also have a neon glow to them, including the grappling hook. So this definitely makes it the coolest-looking skin mod for now.


Download mod


Costume Pack Mod


Who said you can't be what you want in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice? This mod may just refuel your desire to replay the entire campaign in a whole new disguise.


Currently, this costume pack includes ten different skins for the Wolf. Some of them are characters from the game, while others are downright bizarre lizard and monkey costumes.


In any case, you can probably find the best one amongst all the skins presented in this mod for your next playthrough.


Download mod


Black Sekiro Mod


It looks like Sekiro's current outfit isn't to everyone's liking, so if you fall into that camp, you now have a choice in garment. Although the mod is called Black Sekiro, it actually carries two color variants of The Wolf's costume: black and white.


When Sekiro wears black, he looks like a real ninja, which makes him pretty badass. But if you prefer a noble white robe, then you have that option, too. Additionally, the white robe has the added effect of making Sekiro totally invisible in the snowy landscapes of ancient Japan.


Download mod


Native PS4 Buttons Mod


It is a lot easier and more comfortable to play Sekiro using a gamepad than a keyboard and mouse. But for some reason, FromSoftware didn't include the PS4 gamepad button configuration in the PC version of the game.


Currently, the menu includes only Xbox One gamepad prompts.


That's why modders created this little fix. With this mod, you can now play Sekiro using your PS4 controller. You can also remap your button configuration to your liking using this mod.


Download mod


Dark Souls 3 Weapons Mod


If you don't care much about the Moonlight swords, but you still want to use a few oversized weapons from Dark Souls 3, then here is a mod that can satisfy those needs in full.


Currently, this mod provides a package of 32 weapons from Dark Souls 3. Here are just a few of them:

  • Zweihander
  • \n
  • Sunlight Straight Sword
  • \n
  • Shotel
  • \n
  • Murakumo
  • \n
  • Falchion
  • \n

Download mod


Swords of Moonlight Mod


Moonlight weapons have been present in all Dark Souls and Bloodborne games, many of which have become fan favorites. Unfortunately, Hidetaka Miyazaki decided not to include these types of weapons in Sekiro.


But with the help of this mod, you can now put two Souls series Moonlight swords into the hands of The Wolf:


Note: This mod does not affect damage, hitbox, special effects, animations, sounds, or the like; it's purely a model replacement.


Download mod


Minimal HUD Mod


Here is a mod for true fans of immersion. The Minimal HUD mod removes most of HUD elements from Sekiro, which not only makes your screen look cleaner but also makes your gameplay experience more realistic.


Here is the list of all removed HUD elements from the game:

  • Enemy awareness icons and meters
  • \n
  • Button prompts at the bottom of the screen
  • \n
  • Grapple point, deathblow, and lock-on icons
  • \n
  • Black vignettes for stealth, crouching, and wall hugging
  • \n
  • Red vignettes for low health and death
  • \n
  • Icons for interactable objects and NPCs
  • \n
  • Auto-saving icon
  • \n

Download mod


FPS Unlock and More Mod (Speed)


This speed optimization mod does a few things that the original game won't allow you to do. Here are all the features of the FPS Unlock mod:

  • Removes FPS limit
  • \n
  • Adds custom resolutions, including 21:9 widescreen support
  • \n
  • Increases field of view (FOV)
  • \n
  • Includes borderless window mode
  • \n
  • Does not modify any game files
  • \n

Note: If you're using a monitor with a high refresh rate, then it is possible that you will have to switch to borderless window mode in order to unlock the FPS limit.


Download mod


HDR Preset Mod


This HDR preset for Sekiro makes the game look more colorful and saturated. It can, however, put significant strain on your PC, so it is recommended that you only use this on high-end machines.


While not proper HDR, the mod is based on ReShade technologies like:

  • Curves
  • \n
  • HDR
  • \n
  • Clarity
  • \n
  • FXAA
  • \n
  • CinematicDOF
  • \n
  • SMAA
  • \n

In short, this preset includes a handful of anti-aliasing and depth of field techniques, which result in an HDR look.


Download mod


Simple Realistic ReShade for Laptops Mod


Most AAA games today require no less than high-end PCs in order to run properly. The same is the case with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. But what if you don't have a high-end machine, and your only choice is an old, janky laptop?


Well, here's a solution in the form of a ReShade mod that allows you to run Sekiro even on simple laptops.


It's worth noting that this mod hasn't been tested on desktop, and will properly work only on NVIDIA Optimus laptops.


Download mod


Cinematic ReShade Mod


This mod is only one of the many ReShade mods for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but it already looks to be one of the best. It gives the game a realistic cinematic tone, which fits the FromSoftware aesthetic so much.


The mod is based on three graphics effects:

  • Chromatic Abberation
  • \n
  • Vignette
  • \n
  • Gaussian Blur
  • \n

Each of them can be turned on or off for various levels of image saturation, so there's a fair amount of control.


Download mod


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice might have just been released, but the PC version of the game already has the full support of the modding community. Not surprising considering previous Dark Souls games did as well.


Most of the mods for Sekiro currently try to make the game run well and look good; there aren't a lot of heavy-duty content-centric mods out there right now.

Instead, you will find a fair share of ReShade mods that are intended to improve the graphics of the game, and a few configuration mods that focus on better performance, such as increasing FPS and tweaking the game's HUD.


However, there are a few weapons mods, such as Swords of Moonlight and Dark Souls 3 Weapons, that have surfaced, bringing some of the genre's classic weapons to Sekiro


If you're playing the game on PC and would like to enhance your gameplay experience, then check out these best mods for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice so far.


Note: We will be updating this list as more mods are released. 

Controller Not Working Fixes For Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Wed, 27 Mar 2019 16:15:33 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Since Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launched last week, it's received heaps of praise. But it's not all sunshine and roses. Many players are reporting controller problems with Sekiro on Steam, extending to PC, PS4, and XB1 controllers.

In an ideal world, there'd be one easy fix for the problem. However, there are multiple potential ways to fix the issues, and they don't all seem to work for everyone. We'll list the main fixes for you here, along with the methods for some of the more involved solutions.

Try These First

There are two potential solutions you should try before doing anything else, these are:

  1. Try playing the game in windowed mode rather than fullscreen, which may or may not work.
  2. Uninstall your controller's drivers and reinstall them, which also may or may not work

These should be your first steps towards trying to solve the issue. After that, there are some more intensive methods you can try.

Steam Settings and Overlays

Another method more successful with more people is to adjust Input Per-Game Setting for the game directly. You can do this by:

  1. Right click the game in your Steam Library
  2. Click Properties
  3. At the bottom of the General tab, you'll see 'Steam Input Per Game Setting (Requires restart of game)'
  4. Choose "Forced On" from the drop down menu

Changing Big Picture Mode's supported configurations is another option you can try:

  1. Open up Big Picture Mode
  2. Click the Settings icon
  3. Click Controller Settings
  4. Uncheck the boxes that don't pertain to your controller (If you're using an Xbox controller, uncheck PlayStation; and vice versa)

An alternative method involves going to the Big Picture Mode page for the game and altering the input setting there:

  1. Open up Big Picture Mode
  2. Click Sekiro in your Big Picture Library
  3. Click 'Manage Game' to the left
  4. Click 'Controller Options'
  5. Find the 'Steam Input Per-Game Setting (requires game re-launch) and choose 'Global Setting'

The next question is whether you have a non-Steam overlay running.

There is a known issue with alternative overlays interfering with Steam's overlay and preventing the controller emulation from working, specifically that the game is trying to read a virtual controller rather than the real thing. You can read more about that issue if you're running an Nividia overlay or other program hosting virtual controllers in this thread with responses from a Valve representative.

Controller Order

What's being recognized as the primary issue is the way Sekiro recognizes controller order. Regardless of how you download or plug in your controllers, the game automatically recognizes the first one.

For many, that ends up being the virtual controller connected to the Unified Virtual HID, the 10-in-1 virtual control software used for many PC games. The simplest way to handle that is just to uninstall it.

Some have encountered problems uninstalling Unified Virtual, but if the driver is still hanging around after you've tried uninstalling it the normal way, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu, search for 'Device Manager,' and select 'View', then 'Device by Connection' to see if the driver is still there (Unified Virtual HID)
  2. Restart the computer
  3. Go to uninstall Unified Remote Server again, making sure 'Enable driver input simulation (recommended)' is checked
  4. Restart again
  5. Go to your Control Panel, then to 'Programs and Features'
  6. Find 'Unified Remote' and uninstall it
  7. Check the Device Manager again to make sure the driver is gone this time

If you want to use the software without the driver in the future, Unified has a tutorial for how you can do that.

Going the Long(er) Route

There is a more detailed method that's worked for many, but involves some more work. Download the Devreorder executable from GitHub, and install it near your Sekiro folder or your system folder.

Check the related link to install this thing for direct instructions on how to get it to work. It sounds like a lot, but plenty have reported this solves the problem.

Do note your virus protection software may flag Devreorder as a malicious program. That appears to not actually be the case, however.


As of now, the controller not working problem in Sekiro is an ongoing issue. If there are more strategies that develop for permanently solving the problem, we'll let you know. Be sure to check out our other Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice guides for more tips to help you survive.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Guide — How to Get All Endings Tue, 26 Mar 2019 10:37:57 -0400 Sergey_3847

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has multiple endings, four to be exact. Two of those endings are easy to unlock just by following the main storyline, while the other two require some deeper knowledge of the game itself.

If you want to unlock all four endings in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice simply out of interest or because you want to get the Platinum trophy, then follow our step-by-step guide below for each of them.

Easy Endings: Immortal Severance and Shura

The two simplest endings you can get in Sekiro are Immortal Severance and Shura. These differ only in the choices you make at the end of the game.

Here's what you need to do in order to unlock one or the other:

  1. Head to Ashina Castle after defeating the Corrupted Monk.
  2. Talk to Great Shinobi  Owl, who will prompt you to make a choice of either serving Kuro or Iron Code.
    1. Choose Kuro for Immortal Severance ending.
    2. Or choose Iron Code for Shura ending.

Purification Ending

This alternative ending will unlock the Purification trophy, and requires additional actions to achieve.

Follow these steps to unlock the Purification ending:

  1. Repeat the steps above, and in the end, choose to serve Kuro.
  2. This will prompt the fight with Owl. Defeat him.
  3. Jump over to Isshin's room and eavesdrop on his conversation with Emma.
  4. Go to the top of the castle and rest at Sculptor's Idol.
  5. Head over to Kuro's room and eavesdrop on him.
  6. Return to Emma and talk to her.
  7. During the conversation, choose to agree with her that Kuro cannot be allowed to die.
  8. Rest at the idol again and talk to Emma once more.
  9. Travel to Ashina Castle's Old Grave.
  10. Rest at the grave idol and go left.
  11. Find Emma standing at the grave and talk to her.
  12. Travel to Dilapidated Temple idol.
  13. Eavesdrop on Sculptor and Emma.
  14. Head inside the room and talk to Emma.
  15. Travel to Hirata estate and rest at the idol.
  16. Fight Owl in the boss room and defeat him once more.

Dragon's Homecoming Ending

The final ending, which is considered the true ending in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, is the hardest ending to get, as it includes the greatest number of steps.

The entire campaign for Dragon's Homecoming can be divided into three parts.

Step 1: Talk to Divine Child
  1. Travel to the the Main Hall idol.
  2. Talk to the monk praying at the Buddha statue.
  3. He will give you Holy Tome: Infested.
  4. Trave to Inner Sanctum at Senpou Temple.
  5. Talk to Divine Child of Rejuvenation Water.
  6. Ask her for rice and eat it.
  7. Rest at the idol and ask for more rice.
  8. Keep repeating until she gets sick.
  9. Collect Persimmons around the temple and give them to her.
  10. As a result, she will give more rice to Kuro.
  11. Talk to her again and she will disappear into the Hall of Illusions.
  12. Follow her into the Hall of Illusions and talk to her once more.
  13. Travel to the Main Hall idol in Senpou Temple.
  14. Enter the cave behind the idol.
  15. Collect Holy Chapter: Dragon's Return at the end of the cave
  16. Return to Divine Child and give her the Holy Chapter.
  17. She will ask you to collect Serpentine Fruits.
Step 2: Collect Serpentine Fruits
  1. Repeat the Immortal Severance ending and choose to serve Kuro.
  2. Travel to the Bodishattva Valley idol.
  3. Get across the swamp to Toxic Memorial Mob.
  4. Enter the cave behind the mob and follow the path.
  5. When you see the Snake God, drop down to the left.
  6. Use Puppeteer Ninjutsu technique on a monkey at the end of the path in order to distract the serpent.
  7. When the snake moves its head, grapple to the house behind it.
  8. Collect Dried Serpentine Fruit inside the house.
  9. Travel to Senpou Temple.
  10. Jump to the right of the exit located near the first idol in the area.
  11. There you will see a mechanism for a kite and an enemy nearby.
  12. Use the puppeteer on this little guy, and he will fly a kite for you.
  13. Follow the road until you can grab the kite, and it will take you to a new area.
  14. As you arrive, you will meet another snake.
  15. Kill the Great Serpent.
  16. Collect Fresh Serpentine Fruit.
  17. Return to the girl and give her the fruits.
  18. She will give you Dragon's Tears.
Step 3: Give Kuro Dragon's Tears
  1. Return to Dilapidated Temple and talk to Emma the last time.
  2. Confront Isshin outside the castle.
  3. Give Kuro Dragon's Tears.


For more Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice guides at GameSkinny, please visit the links below:

GameSkinny Weekend Download: Borderlands 3, Mortal Kombat 11, Sekiro, and More Sat, 30 Mar 2019 06:26:52 -0400 GS_Staff

It's Saturday morning, and GameSkinny's Weekend Download is back again. 

Here's most of everything we published this week in one easy to digest roundup, including Borderlands 3 news, our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review and guides, and our impressions from the Mortal Kombat 11 beta

As usual, we've added links in case you find a headline that tickles your fancy and want to read more. We've also broken things down by category to make it easy to find what you're looking for. And finally, we've left out posts that are now meaningless because the event or sale has already ended. 

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy.  


  • Atlus Unveils Persona 5: The Royal, With More Info Teased for April 24
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  • Blizzard Restricts WoW Classic Loot Trading Of Soulbound Items To Raids
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  • Details Surface on Two Rumored Nintendo Switch Models
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  • No Man's Sky VR Announced, Part of Beyond Expansion
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  • Ready, Set, Heroes Announced During Sony's State of Play Livestream
    Sony Worldwide Studios and Robot Entertainment are teaming up to bring a new multiplayer, dungeon-crawling adventure sometime this fall. Read more

  • Apple Announces Apple Arcade Subscription Service For All Its Devices
    During today's Apple Event, the company announced a new video game subscription services available on all of its devices. Read more

  • PlayStation State of Play Rundown: Everything That Was Announced
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  • Control Gets Release Date and Gameplay Trailer, Pre-Orders Open Now
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  • Dystopian Cyberpunk Adventure Beyond A Steel Sky Announced At Apple Event
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  • Secret World Developer Announces Lovecraftian Horror Game On Mars
    Get ready for some Halloween fun with Funcom's upcoming space horror game Moons of Madness. Read more.
  • Sony Will No Longer Sell Digital Games at Retail Locations Starting April 1
    Consumers must purchase digital games directly through the PSN starting April 1, though Sony will increase the variety of PSN card values to compensate. Read more

  • Metro: Exodus Ranger Update Brings New Game+ and Other Updates
    Metro Exodus gets an expansive New Game+ mode with new achievements, customizable experiences, commentary, and a host of bug fixes. Read more

  • Gearbox Releases New Teaser Trailer for Next Borderlands Game
    Gearbox teases the return of beloved characters and some new, intriguing mysteries for fans in the next Borderlands game, with more details to come at PAX East. Read more

  • GWENT: The Witcher Card Game Coming to Mobile Later This Year
    CD Projekt Red said the mobile version will include high-quality visuals and multiplayer support, along with all existing content and expansions. Read more

  • Niantic Offers Rewards To Pokemon GO Players Participating In Earth Day Events
    Celebrate Earth Day and get special rewards in Pokemon GO during Niantic's Earth Day Cleanup Event. Read more

  • Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Jax Revealed in Growing Mortal Kombat 11 Roster
    Three more characters join the Mortal Kombat 11 lineup: Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and Jax. Read more

  • Mortal Kombat 11 Beta Currently Live, Features 5 Kombatants, Two Modes
    The Mortal Kombat 11 beta is currently live for those who pre-ordered the game. The beta features two modes and a handful of playable characters. Read more

  • Dead Cells: Rise of the Giant Out Today, 20% Off on Steam
    Alongside going on sale via Steam, Dead Cells' first big DLC expansion arrives today and includes a vast array of updates and balancing. Read more

  • Borderlands 3 Announced At PAX East, Gets Official Developer's Trailer
    Gearbox lifts the lid on Borderlands 3 at last with a new trailer showcasing plenty of action and characters, though with no anticipated release date. Read more

  • Borderlands Remasters, Board Game, and Borderlands 2 VR DLC Announced
    The Borderlands series saw multiple new announcements at PAX East, including remasters, updated visuals, DLC, and a new tabletop game. Read more

  • Gearbox Publishing Announces New Games, Partnerships at PAX East
    Gearbox Publishing is bringing a mix of new games, DLC, and physical editions to fans throughout 2019, including We Happy Few DLC and Bulletstorm for Nintendo Switch. Read more

  • Warcraft and Warcraft 2 Now Available on Good Old Games
    Warcraft I and II join the GoG store lineup, offering new players a chance to experience the story for the first time. Read more

  • On the Road to Finals: 2019 Pro Seasons Begin for SMITE, Paladins
    SMITE and Paladins players have arrived in Atlanta for the start of the 2019 SPL and PPL seasons. Read more

  • PUBG’s Survivor Pass 3: Wild Card Now Live on PC
    PUBG's latest event is live now and offers more than 60 new items, plus a host of missions updated every week until June 4. Read more

  • Blizzard Addresses World Of Warcraft Classic Spell Batching
    The World of Warcraft classic team outlined more plans to make the game feel as close to Vanilla as possible. Read more

  • PS4 6.51 Firmware Update Out Now — No Option to Change PSN IDs
    Sony's latest PlayStation 4 update makes some performance changes, but it fails to deliver the long-promised PSN online ID change. Read more


  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Review: Play The Hits
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel plays like a greatest hits compilation of JRPG tropes and mechanics, and that is (largely) a really good thing. Read more

  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Review: A Masterpiece in Every Sense
    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is probably the best game From Software has ever made, and it's worth every second of your time playing. Read more


  • Hands-On With Google Stadia: First Impressions From GDC 2019
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  • Rape Day Proves Steam Needs to Rethink Its Regulation Policies
    If Steam continues to allow games like Rape Day to appear on its store, even briefly, there's a good chance it will be forced to rethink how Valve regulates games on the platform. Read more

  • Terrorarium Early Access Preview: Rough Around the Edges
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  • Artist Spotlight: Travis "Sketch Junky" Elliot Catches the Essence of Pokemon
    Artist Travis "Sketch Junky" Elliot reimagines your favorite video game and anime characters in stunning traditional art. Read more

  • In Defense Of Smaller World Maps: Bigger Isn't Necessarily Better
    Most open-world games would benefit from having a map that's much, much smaller. Don't @ me. Read more

  • An Introduction to Trails: The Best JRPG Franchise You've (Probably) Never Heard Of
    If you're looking for your next epic, niche RPG with excellent characters and a deep story, look no further than Nihon Falcom's Trails games. Read more

  • Mortal Kombat 11 Beta Impressions: Shaping Up to be Another Win
    Mortal Kombat 11 has an updated fighting system and a few other tweaks you'll want to know about. Check out our impressions of the closed beta. Read more


  • LifeAfter Crafting Recipes Guide
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  • Apex Legends Gun and Weapon Stats Guide
    We compare all the DPS, head damage, and mag size stats for every single weapon currently available in Apex Legends. Read more

  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Esoteric Texts Guide
    Esoteric Texts grant access to new unlockable abilities either actively or passively. They are the key to beating tougher enemies in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Read more

  • How To Upgrade Your Stats in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
    Stats in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are a little different than they are in Dark Souls or Bloodborne. Here's what to know about upgrading them. Read more

  • How to Pick Up Loot & Money in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
    Loot and money are essential items in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. If you're wondering how to pick them up from dead enemies, this quick guide shows you how. Read more

  • How to Beat Shielded Enemies in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
    The loaded axe is the only way to defeat shielded enemies in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Here's where to find it and how to use it to deal death blows to these tiresome mobs. Read more

  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Guide — How to Get All Endings
    Unlock all four endings with the help of our step-by-step guide to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Read more

  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Guide — How to Get All Prosthetics
    This guide shows you the locations of all 10 prosthetic tools available in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Read more

  • Best Settings for FPS, Performance in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice PC
    Want to squeeze out every possible frame in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on your PC or laptop? Then, follow this guide for the most optimal graphics settings. Read more

  • Controller Not Working Fixes For Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
    The controller not working problem in Sekiro is stumping many players, since not every solution works for every player. We've rounded up the best fixes for the problem to get you back in the game. Read more

  • How to Fix The Division 2 Uniform-01 Error
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  • Fallout 76's "This Account Lacks the Required Entitlements" Error Explained
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  • Outward: How to Attach Your Lantern to Your Backpack
    How to get a new shiny backpack and attach your lantern to it. Read more

  • Outward: How to Pay Your Blood Debt Off Quickly
    You don't have to scrape up 150 Silver to pay off that Blood Debt in Outward. You can actually finish it in a matter of minutes. Read more

  • Outward Guide: Death and Finding Your Backpack
    What you need to know about dying, and how to find your backpack after death. Read more

  • LYN: The Lightbringer Beginner's Guide to Grinding & Team Building
    Having trouble with Nexon's new gacha mobile game? We're here to help with tier lists, team comp suggestions, and a breakdown of the best ways to level up your team! Read more

Check back next Saturday morning for more. 

How to Beat Shielded Enemies in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Mon, 25 Mar 2019 15:25:04 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Shielded enemies are some of the more vexing mobs in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. As expected, these enemies aren't initially easy to defeat as they can easily block any of your primary sword attacks. On top of that, the shields they carry keep them from building up large amounts of poise and allow them to initiate attacks that push you off balance. 

Fight against two or more at the same — or one alongside a group of archers and swordsmen — and you'll see your HP drain to zero in mere seconds. 

However, there's one surefire way to easily defeat shielded enemies: the Loaded Axe. Below where tell you where to find the axe prosthetic location in Sekiro, as well as how to use it to defeat shielded enemies. 

Where to Find the Loaded Axe in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

The Loaded Axe can be found in a shrine in Hirata Estate. You gain access to Hirata Estate after obtaining the bell charm from the old woman in the house just outside Ashina. She is in the area where you first encounter ranged enemies, just after defeating General Naomori Kawarada. 

After obtaining the Young Lord's Bell Charm from her, you can travel to Hirata Estate. 

Shinobi Axe of the Monkey

As you make your way through the estate, you will come across a dying man in a small alleyway connecting two areas. He will tell you about the Shinobi Axe of the Monkey, which you will need to create the Loaded Axe.

Follow these steps to make your way to the Shinobi Axe of the Monkey:

  • Continue along the path after talking to the dying man
  • Exit the alley and turn left
  • Turn left at the first gate
  • Take out the two enemies near the small shrine to the right
  • Grab the Shinobi Axe of the Monkey from inside the shrine
Take the Prosthetic Tool to the Sculptor

Return to the dilapidated temple and present the material to the Sculptor; he will fashion the Loaded Axe from it. 

How to Defeat Shield Enemies 

This part is easy: equip the Loaded Axe and use it as your first attack against shielded enemies. The axe will destroy a wooden shield in a single hit. 

Immediately follow up a Loaded Axe strike with a normal attack to deal a death blow to your enemy. 


So far, we've only come across a handful of shielded enemies in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This method has worked to dispatch them all. For more on From Software's latest action RPG, head over to our Sekiro guides page for more tips and strategies. 

How to Pick Up Loot & Money in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Mon, 25 Mar 2019 11:02:41 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Even though it seems fairly simple and straightforward, some players are having trouble picking up loot and money from dead enemies in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. If you're one of those players, read on. 

Sekiro's tutorial does a pretty good job of showing you the basics, and the many texts in the game tell you how to perform other necessary actions, like picking up loot and money. 

But it's easy to gloss over them in your quest to move forward. As with any Souls-like game, there's a lot of text to read through, making it easy to skip over the essentials or ignore tips completely. 

Collecting Loot and Money (Gold)

To pick up loot and money (gold) from downed enemies, simply press and hold the "interact" button

  • On PS4, hold "Square"
  • On Xbox One, hold "X"
  • On PC, hold "E"

When you hold the "interact" button, gold and items will automatically come to you, even from afar. You don't have to stand right next to a downed enemy to collect its loot and money.  

Picking Up Other Items

Not all of the loot you find in Sekiro is on a dead enemy. Like any other action game or Souls-like, there are also items lying on the ground throughout the world. To pick these up, all you have to do is press the "interact" button once when the command prompt appears near the item. 

Money can also be found throughout the world in the form of coin purses, so be on the lookout for those as well, since you'll need money to upgrade certain items, purchase items, and get important information from certain NPCs. 


That's all you need to know about picking up loot and money in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It might be simple, but it's just as simple to overlook, especially as you gain your bearings in the game. 

Be sure to head over to our Sekiro guides page for more tips and strategies, including where to find Esoteric Texts and how to upgrade your stats

How To Upgrade Your Stats in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Mon, 25 Mar 2019 10:19:45 -0400 Jason Coles

So it turns out that while the stat system in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice isn't as complex as the ones found in Bloodborne or Dark Souls, it does still have one.

The trouble is when you start the game, knowing how to upgrade your stats is tantamount to understanding a Great One. 

To help you, this is a guide on how to upgrade your stats and the kind of places you can find the materials you will need to do so. 

Vitality and Posture

These two stats are intrinsically linked and one of the most demanding to upgrade. They are also the most important when it comes to your survival outside of your skill level. 

In order to upgrade these at the Sculptor's Idols, you need Prayer Beads. Four Prayer Beans to be precise.

While there are a few Prayer Beads knocking about, waiting to be found in the world, the vast majority of the Prayer Beads you'll find come from the various bosses and mini-bosses you come across.

So, if you want to stay alive longer, you have to face your fears by fighting Sekiro's big bads. If you're just starting out, you can grab two Prayer Beads by defeating two early mini-bosses: General Naomori Kawarada in Ashina Outskirts and the Shinobi Hunter in Hirata Estate. 

Attack Power

In martial arts, you can grow almost as much by reflecting on past battles as you can actually fighting. Sekiro very much follows this logic.

In order to increase your attack power at the Sculptor's Idols, you need Memories. These are obtained after key boss battles, but some of them aren't integral to your progress through the game.

After beating a boss with a memory, you'll be prompted to confront the memory. Complete it and get the boost. 

Skill Points 

In order to buy skills from your Esoteric Texts, you need skill points.

Skill points are perhaps the most traditional upgrade in that you need to kill enemies to get them. Think of it as a traditional level bar. You get a certain amount of experience from each kill and the more skills you have, the longer it takes to get a single point.

The best part about skill points is that they can be farmed. As with other Souls-like games such as Dark Souls, clear out an area, rest, and repeat. 

However, it's worthy to note that like most From Software games, there is a penalty for death; in this case, it's experience points. Die, and you'll lose a few experience points toward your next skill point. 

Prosthetic Upgrades

While these aren't strictly stat based, they are upgrades. Your prosthetic tools can be upgraded as you play the game.

For the most part, you only need generic materials to do this. In some cases, though, you will need a special item.

You will always need gold. Gold can be obtained by looting the bodies of your fallen foes. Luckily, gold can be farmed and so can some materials, so go hog wild if you want the good stuff. 


That's all you need to know about upgrading your stats in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Be sure to head over to our Sekiro guides page for more tips and strategies. 

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Esoteric Texts Guide Mon, 25 Mar 2019 10:01:57 -0400 Jason Coles

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has a peculiar little skill system that doesn't reveal itself until you are a few hours into the game. Rather than having access to your skill trees immediately, you need to collect Esoteric Texts. These texts grant access to new unlockable abilities either actively use against foes, or to buff you in a passive way. 

There are five Esoteric Texts scattered throughout the world of Sekiro and while the first two are basically free, the others are very much not. So, in order to make your life a little bit less stressful, here is a guide as to where to find them, as well as what they do. 

Shinobi Esoteric Text 

This is likely to be the first text that you come across. It is given to you by the Sculptor once you have acquired one skill point from killing enough enemies. Just because it is easy to get doesn't mean it isn't important though. 

The skills in this text are primarily focused on your stealth and your acrobatics. Shinobi things. You can make yourself harder to detect, become able to guard in the air, and most importantly, learn the Mikiri Counter.

It is impossible to overstate how important the Mikiri Counter is in this game as it lets you dodge into otherwise unblockable thrust attacks and counter them.

Seriously, get the Mikiri Counter. 

Prosthetic Esoteric Text

If you like the idea of using your rather impressive new shinobi arm to its fullest, then this is the text for you. You acquire it by talking to the Sculptor after you have fitted three Shinobi Tools.

So, if you grab the Shuriken from Ashina Outskirts and then the Axe and Flame Vent from Hirata Estate, you are good to go. 

This text has some really interesting abilities; one of the main sets of skills it offers are follow-up attacks. After using a Shinobi Tool, you can sometimes be left a little open, which is deadly in Sekiro. If you acquire these skills then you won't have this issue. The Mist Raven prosthetic becomes a powerhouse with the follow-up skill. 

Ashina Esoteric Text

The Ashina Esoteric Text teaches Ashina sword skills. You can get this from talking to Tengu in the area near where you fought Gyoubu.

From the battlefield itself, look around for some stairs and head up them. Follow them around and you will come to a building you can go into.

Do so and have a chat with Tengu, and he will tell you about Rats. Chat to him again and he may give you the text if you have killed enough; if not, go and hunt some more then return. 

This skill book will help your swordplay to no end. It has a lot of passive buffs to your posture damage and helps to make the intense swordfights that define Sekiro a little easier.

It also has some powerful classic sword strikes. It is a good one for pure brute force. 

Senpou Esoteric Text

This text can be found near the main Senpou Temple.

From the Main Hall Idol, go outside and turn right into a cave. If you follow this through, you will emerge outside and a fair bit higher than you were. There is a small building in front of you which you can open. The Senpou Esoteric Text awaits you inside. 

This one is full of martial art skills and a few passive buffs to your wealth. Along with some cool Combat Arts, you can also increase the amount of gold you get from enemies as well as increase the drop rate of items.

Very useful if you want to cut down on any potential farming time.

Mushin Esoteric Text

This is the final one, the big boss of them all. You get this if you can master the final skill in any of the trees and then talk to Tengu at the Great Serpent Shrine Idol. He will give it to you as a gift for training so hard. 

This skill tree unlocks what are effectively your ultimate attacks. In order to unlock any of them, you need to have mastered two of the final skills from any of the other texts.

You can then unlock a fusion of the two skills to unleash on your enemies. Very stylish. 


That's all you need to know about Esoteric Texts in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Be sure to head over to our Sekiro guides page for more tips and strategies. 

7 Fun Facts About Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:09:57 -0400 Sergey_3847


There is More Music in Sekiro Than in Dark Souls


FromSoftware's music composer Yuka Kitamura revealed in her interview for Game Informer that there will be a lot more music in Sekiro than ever before.


In Dark Souls games music appeared in short snippets or only during boss battles, but in Sekiro the music will accompany players throughout the entirety of the run.


Each character has its own musical theme, and the goal of the composer was to create a score with a focus on traditional Japanese setting. This task turned out to be rather difficult, simply because the orchestral soundtrack usually used in fantasy games is not very suitable for Sekiro.


Since Sekiro's events take place during the Sengoku period, known for its bloody conflicts, the score is imbued with a pinch of brutality.




Will you be playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on the day of the release? Leave your feedback below in the comments section, and be sure to check back soon for more related articles here at GameSkinny.


Corrupted Monk Could Be the Hardest Boss


Reportedly players who already tested the game said that Corrupted Monk could be one of the game's hardest bosses. Here are a few tricks that this boss will try on you:

  • The fight has 3 phases
  • \n
  • He will block most of your attacks
  • \n
  • Some of his own attacks will be unblockable
  • \n
  • During one of the phases he literally becomes invisible
  • \n
  • Each phase increases intensity and number of attacks
  • \n

Can you imagine beating somebody as powerful as that? After these reports many players will most likely stop spreading rumours that Sekiro is an easier game than Dark Souls.


Activision Helped FromSoftware Develop the Tutorial


Tutorials are not what you'd expect to see in a game by FromSoftware, which is known for extremely hard games. But in an interview for EuroGamer, Hidetaka Miyazaki acknowledged that:


These things generally aren't our forte, but we do need some support, and Activision is providing that. One reason we're working with Activision is they hold our creative vision in the highest regard. From has editorial and directive control over the game and the game's contents; after you press the start button, it's all up to the From team.


Activision also serves as the game's publisher in the west, which is another change for the famed Japanese developer. Previously its games were distributed by Bandai Namco.


Sekiro Has Several Endings


In an interview for Japanese gaming outlet Game Watch, Hidetaka Miyazaki also said that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will have several endings. This means that during the walkthrough players will stumble upon certain story points, which will force them to make decisions, which will eventually lead to one of the endings.


So if you want to see all the endings, you will have to finish the game several times. It's not a bad thing at all. There is a chance that by making different decisions players will reveal new content, which is always a good thing.


Chained Ogre is Hidetaka Miyazaki's Favorite Boss


One of the teaser-trailers for the Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice shows one of the bosses - Chained Ogre. In an interview for Game Informer, Hidetaka Miyazaki revealed that this is his favorite boss in the game.


Although Sekiro developer decided to give up on the idea of battling extremely large bosses, Chained Ogre turns out to be a rather big opponent. In the trailer you can see that his fists are as large as that of the main protagonist's head.


This doesn't mean that all bosses in the game are as big as this one, but it's just a fun observation made by the fans of the game.


Here's Why Sekiro Won't Have Multiplayer


Robert Konki, the producer of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, revealed why the game won't have multiplayer in an interview for DualShockers. According to him, the decision was made in connection with a number of restrictions, which the multiplayer component imposed on the development team.


In case of multiplayer, when creating a new boss, FromSoftware would have to take into account that two or more players could attack the boss, but these players would have completely different characteristics, abilities and equipment, not to mention all sorts of classes. This would make the development really difficult.


As a result, the developer decided to go in a direction that would not limit its vision of the game, so the team focused entirely on the single player mode. In this case some boss fights resemble a complex puzzle rather than a classic battle with an overpowered opponent from the Souls games.


Sekiro Was Inspired by the Tenchu Series


In the latest exclusive interview for Variety Hidetaka Miyazaki, the FromSoftware president, revealed information about the source of inspiration for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Here is the full quote:


A lot of influence came from Tenchu. We even pondered upon making Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice a part of the Tenchu series at first. Of course, after that we researched and referenced many other games as well; however, I think the largest influence was from Tenchu.


This also confirms the words of certain employees of FromSoftware, who said that Sekiro eventually turned into a completely different game than it was supposed to be at the beginning of development.


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice comes out March 22 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. This is the first major project for FromSoftware after the release of Dark Souls 3 in 2016.


It also marks a significant departure from the developer's trademark Soulsborne genre, and this time it will try something that is more related to the traditional action-adventure and stealth genres.


A lot of information regarding the development of the game has been kept under wraps for the entirety of the development process. But now you have the chance to learn a few new and exciting things about Sekiro, which you might have missed.


Here are seven fun facts about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice that will hopefully give you a different perspective on what to expect from this new title. This also means that you should be aware of some spoilers ahead.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Will Redefine the Souls-Like Fri, 15 Mar 2019 09:00:02 -0400 John Schutt

In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software is heading back into territory it hasn't explored in some time, at least in the West.

With Hidetaka Miyazaki of Dark Souls and Bloodborne fame at the helm, Sekiro looks to be a character piece with a strong narrative focus, a more streamlined progression system, and a take on traversal that opens up more avenues for combat than ever before.

Although Sekiro might be, in some ways, similar to those games that came before, let's take a look at these three core elements and unpack how they trod new ground in the Souls-like genre.

This article contains some light spoilers based on previously-released footage. 

One Man's Tale of Revenge

Most FromSoftware games thrust purpose upon the player with little motivation for acting on it.

In Armored Core, you are just another Raven caught up in corporate power-jockeying. Why are you fighting, in the core of giant weapons, against ancient machines too powerful for man to properly control? 

Someone is paying you. 

In Dark Souls, why are you going out to kill every god on the map? 

Seems like the thing to do. 

Sekiro is a much more personal story than those above, with a main character trapped by the winds of fate and the dictates of his culture, one forced into an impossible situation that many players will no doubt identify with. 

The Wolf, as our main character is known, was once an orphan taken in by an old warrior and raised to be a shinobi of great renown. Eventually, he's charged with guarding the heir to a potent bloodline, but one who is only a child.

In the course of the Sekiro's opening hours, not only does the Wolf lose his mentor and father figure, he loses the child as well. As though destiny has it out for him, he also loses his arm, his honor, and his mortality.

Now bound to the world until he gets revenge and recovers his young ward from those who've taken him, the Wolf cannot rest until the story is complete. 

This is the kind of story I think Miyazaki has been wanting to tell for a long time. Tightly focused, narratively complex, but emotionally straightforward. And it's one anyone alive can relate to.

Revenge is a seductive drug. 

Certainly, the child in Sekiro is not the Wolf's flesh and blood, but he might mean just as much. Who wouldn't kill for a second chance to save a child in their care? Who wouldn't want to see the people who harmed their loved ones put in their place, and by their hand, with their skills? 

The stories of walking to hell and back for revenge or someone dear are as old as civilization itself, and finally, we'll see where the weird and sometimes wacky FromSoftware can go with this classic narrative style.

I say "wacky" because there are some genuinely humorous moments in what footage of Sekiro From and Activision have released. 

Giant, deadly chickens. Merchant pot hands. Bosses who burp to damage you. These are the kinds of things we can expect to play an important role in building the world of Sekiro, even if they aren't central to the story.

The myths and legends inherent to Japanese culture are always rife with possibilities for creators to play with. Though Sekiro takes place in Sengoku period Japan, it doesn't take long to realize that there are a lot of fantastical liberties taken with the history we know. 

Still, at its core, Sekiro is about one thing: tearing your way through the worst — and strangest — a world can put before you and taking back what's yours. There's no doubt a few wrinkles in that basic structure, but with what we've seen so far, revenge remains the core of this narrative.

Become the Ninja

Sekiro eschews the trappings of an RPG for a more streamlined design philosophy. This isn't your everyday Souls-like.

Instead, progression focuses on a pared-down skill tree that centers on making the Wolf a more effective, deadlier shinobi. 

Don't expect any classes or crazy builds here. You are one character, with one story, and a specific set of skills that you can build on and perfect. 

Once you've maxed out Sekiro's skill tree, then, where's progression? What do you have to improve? We don't know the full scope of Sekiro's customization systems yet, but as any good speedrunner will tell you, it comes down to mastery.

Based on what we've seen of Sekiro's gameplay, it takes the adage of "easy to pick up, hard to master" a little too literally. Then dials up the intensity to 11.

In classic Miyazaki fashion, of course, the game isn't "easy" in the traditional sense, but I'm sure a player can grind their way through Sekiro without learning any of the nuances that the best among them understand on a fundamental level.

For those willing to put in the time, then, Sekiro asks dedicated players to achieve a level of mastery beyond anything that's come before. If we thought watching high-level Dark Souls and Bloodborne was a sight, I don't think we've seen anything yet. 

In short, Sekiro's progression isn't the Wolf's; it's the player's.

In the same way you gain skills over time, Sekiro looks to teach its players to reach never-before-seen heights of reaction and execution. And it does it through constant, unending death.

Move With the Wind 

Traversal in FromSoftware games has never been a high point.

In many cases, it's primarily been flat area to flat area, with a lot of overall verticality added to keep the game from being a long series of large rooms.

Sekiro is done with all that. Now you've got a grappling hook and plenty of in-game objects to swing around with, and with enough dexterity, you won't be hitting the ground until there's an enemy lodged on your sword.

The grappling mechanics remind me of the latest Spider-Man game in the freedom they provide to the player. As long as a hook point exists somewhere on your screen, you can latch on and grapple, changing targets mid-flight to chain some crazy looking jumps. 

In many cases, dynamic movement is essential to your survival, as it becomes a mechanic in boss fights, can save you from a fatal fall, or get you to an otherwise inaccessible item.

Stealth is also essential and allows for entirely new approaches to each encounter. Do you grapple on the roof to survey an area, or stick to the shadows and underbrush?

There are a number of unlockable abilities that increase your stealth capabilities as well, so a mistake can quickly become an advantageous position if you play it correctly.

Even if you aren't using the grapple, Sekiro adds something not seen in almost any Souls-like: on-command jumping. I don't mean the sprinting or contextual type. I mean from a standstill, whenever you want, and to a respectable height. 

They added swimming too. Water will no longer instantly kill you and can save your life if you have to either get away from an enemy or get to the bottom of a level. And some of the fish have good loot, because video games.

On the whole, you move around the world of Sekiro with the kind of speed and agility only often seen in a superhero game. Through your skills and equipment, you can and will do things that seem impossible — and kind of are — but still make you feel like the badass ninja the legends portray.


What about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are you excited for? Are you hoping for a narrative-driven revenge quest or a deadly action game that puts you in the shoes of a total badass?

Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Sekiro coverage.


Getting Ready to Die, Or Preparing for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice With Dark Souls and Bloodborne Mon, 11 Mar 2019 11:18:25 -0400 John Schutt

From Software's "Soulsborne" series is known for many things, but above all, it's known for its brutal difficulty.

They. Will. Kill. You. 

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, set to release March 22 and the latest game in the Soulsborne line, will be no different. That means you need to prepare before getting started, and what better way to prepare than by playing the Dark Souls series and the masterpiece that is Bloodborne?

The question, however, is what parts of From's library should you be studying up on? And what should you unlearn if you're a veteran, or try to not learn as a newcomer?

This article answers those questions, looking at the two of the pillars of Sekiro's gameplay: combat, and by extension, boss fights.

Absolute Aggression

Veterans know that the best way to fight in Soulsborne titles is measured aggression with minimum dodging and maximum damage. You want mobility, a keen sense of timing, and an encyclopedic knowledge of your enemy's attacks.

Whether your weapon is a mighty greatsword or the quickest rapier, no opponent poses much of a threat if you know when to strike, how to avoid the counter-attack, and when to back away.

Sekiro turns this tradition on its head. Where once the dodge roll, or just dodging in general, was king, now you want to learn to parry, thanks to the new Posture mechanic.

In essence, both you and your foes have a Posture meter that increases the more damage you take, how many times you block, or on the execution of a perfect parry.

Once this meter is "broken," or filled beyond its boundaries, either you or your enemy can initiate a "deathblow," dealing massive damage. The player just dies, as will most trash mobs. Tougher foes take multiple deathblows, bosses most of all.

All that means you'll be in your enemy's face a lot. You want to parry as many attacks as you can, being sure to dodge the occasional unblockable counter. Gone are the days of holding up a shield and hoping for the best, literally: there are no shields in Sekiro

For these reasons, there are a couple of skills you'll want to practice across the Soulsborne series beforehand.

Parry Timing

Almost every non-boss enemy throughout Dark Souls and Bloodborne can be parried. A few bosses can be parried as well.

Your first order of business is to practice learning the timing of each attack you can parry until it becomes second nature.

The timing you'll learn won't transfer on a one-to-one ratio, as Sekiro is an exceedingly fast game, but the basic skills will. You'll be learning frame windows, attack animation lengths and styles, and most importantly, you'll be working on your reaction time. 

The best Soulsborne players can and will parry everything that comes their way if they're so inclined, and usually on the first or second frame of the parry window. If footage from Sekiro is to be believed, that window is tiny if you want to land a perfect counter.

Probably the best place in the whole series to practice is the Graveyard area near Firelink Shrine in the first Dark Souls. The skeletons there are aggressive, have massive health pools for an early enemy, and their attack variety is broad enough to give almost any non-expert a run for their money.

In Dark Souls 2, make good use of the Pursuer boss. Again, he's really tough for an enemy you fight early in the game, and like the skeletons, he attacks quickly and often enough to get a good sense of when and where to strike.

For Dark Souls 3, any of the humanoid enemies are worth making your practice dummies. Champion Gundyr and Pontiff Sulyvahn are your bosses of choice, for the same reasons outlined above.

Bloodborne doesn't get a mention here, because parries happen at a distance through the gun mechanics.

Optimal Movement

Dodging in a Soulsborne game is more than just rolling at the right time. You need to know attack hitboxes, both their size and their duration, as well as attack speeds and overall frequency. The best players can and have taken out even the toughest enemies without so much as breaking into a sprint.

I'm not talking about learning every boss like the back of your hand. There isn't time. Instead, focus on optimizing your movement as much as you can.

That means you want to do a little moving to avoid an attack as possible.

That big dragon attack? Walk around it.

The gigantic hammer that's going to flatten you? Sidestep it.  

The trash mob swinging at you wildly? Take a few steps back and watch him flail uselessly.

Remember: you will die learning this part. You will die a lot. The knowledge you gain from each death will go a long way toward teaching you how to analyze attacks in the moment.

If you don't have to think about how to avoid damage, it will naturally happen, leaving your mind free to focus on more important things, like landing a parry or getting in the perfect position for a backstab or death from above.

Boss Fights

Everything you learn from the non-boss enemies in a Soulsborne game teaches you something you can use in the level's one or more bosses. They will not, however, teach you how to read, learn, dodge, and ultimately attack a boss. Only actually fighting one will do that.

In Sekiro, the basic formula remains: bait attack, counter or avoid, wait for the gap closure attack, reengage, repeat.

The difference here is, again, posture. In Sekiro, even bosses have it, and like any other enemy in the game, you'll be parrying your head off trying to take down their gauge so you can deliver one of the multiple deathblows necessary to win the day.

As you play previous Soulsborne titles, there are a few things you'll want to practice in preparation for Sekiro. Again, because of the many new mechanics, these skills will not be one-to-one transfers, but you will be better prepared to learn on the fly.


The start of a boss fight can set the stage for the rest of the engagement, and Soulsborne bosses are no different. In many cases, they will open with a specific attack as well, or be in a specific position that can allow you to take an early advantage.

Your first order of business, then, is not only understanding how these opening attacks function, but how best to exploit them. You'll find the vast majority work as gap closers and end with a swipe of some kind that will take a sizeable chunk of your health with it. 

Using the skills you gained in the above sections, you'll want to both position yourself optimally and be ready to take the first attack into a perfect parry. You'll have taken no damage, and the boss's posture meter will already be far more filled than yours. 

Alternately, you can avoid the attack to give yourself some breathing room in the arena, especially if it's relatively small and the boss has sweeping and long-range attacks.

Because you'll be returning to a boss fight several times, you'll be seeing the openers over and over, so regardless of which Souls-style game you're playing, you'll want to take a different approach to each encounter. Go to the right once, to the left another time, and take the attack head-on another time. 

Different approaches to the opening of a fight will give you a good idea about how you want to approach each one going forward, which might ease the frustration of failure, if only by a little.

The Great Bait

It doesn't matter what game you're playing; if you want a Souls boss to give you a specific attack or a certain pattern, you're going to have to bait it out of them. 

What does that mean? It means you've got to do some action that forces the boss to attack you and then react according to the attack provided. 

There are multiple triggers for an attack, but the biggest three are: being close enough for said attack to land, healing, or being too far away

In any case, baiting is a purely conscious decision because its purpose is to put you in a position to exploit everything you know about the incoming strike. Whether you're parrying it, avoiding it to generate an opening, or just outright dodging it, a great bait enables damage, and usually the big kind.

Practicing your baiting skills is as simple as it is dangerous. Go into a boss fight and try to get it to attack you a certain way. Start up close, then run away, then dodge, then repeat the process until you can't find any other attacks.

If the boss has parry windows, bait those out too. You'll need them in Sekiro.


Enemies in Sekiro are aggressive, and if the boss arenas are big enough, expect the boss to use every square inch. You will take damage your first run through, and probably the second, third, and 30th as well. That means you'll need to heal at least once, and because healing almost always acts a trigger for an attack, you have to know when and where to do it.

Many Souls-style bosses have big, showy attacks that end in a mild stun state for the boss as they "recover" from the exertion. Those are the first ones you want to learn and bait out. 

The second attack type to be aware of is always the quick one, because what's the use in healing if the next second all that health is gone again. This is a major issue if you're right up in the boss's face, so make special note of whatever super-fast attacks a boss uses. They often don't have much lead-up, and though they don't do a ton of damage, they will interrupt your actions as surely as powerful attacks will.

To practice healing in a boss encounter, I would recommend doing it early and often for your first few attempts, because you'll get answers to pressing questions like: 

  • How does the boss respond to healing? Does he attack, set up for an attack, let it happen, none of the above?
  • Can you consistently bait a big swing that will give you the second you need to heal?
  • How much damage will you take if you're hit in the middle of healing?

You need these answers before you can start strategizing about the fight. Healing in most Souls-like games is incredibly limited, so making the most of them in the fight you mean to win is essential.


The above strategies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning how to play Sekiro. I haven't even started to cover verticality, traversal, stealth, equipment, and a whole host of other mechanics you'll need to master if you want to survive.

However, because From Software titles like Sekiro are primarily action games focused around combat, knowing how to approach every encounter can be the difference between loving the game and never picking it up again. 

I think you'll want to master Sekiro. I know it'll be worth it.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice releases on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 22.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Trailer Highlights Story Sat, 09 Feb 2019 10:41:39 -0500 William R. Parks

Since the announcement of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software has given fans multiple looks at the gameplay features of its upcoming action-adventure title. Now, the company is back with a new trailer that briefly homes in on the story that the game looks to tell.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is set in Japan's Sengoku era, a time when, as indicated by the trailer, the country was "consumed by perpetual conflict." This is made quite clear in the opening moments of the new video, as bloodied men brutally execute one another with arrows and swords.

However, out of this conflict comes a stillness wrought by total destruction, and a young boy sits in the midst of a former battlefield, clutching the sword of a fallen solider. "Nothing left to lose?" the Owl, a hulk of man, asks after approaching the child.

According to the description that accompanies the trailer, this is the beginning of an apprenticeship for the boy, something that will ultimately transform him into Sekiro. Ominous words from the Owl suggest that this transformation was anything but ordinary — "I had no idea what you'd become," he says as he addresses the shinobi.

While the details offered by this video are slim, fans that are eagerly awaiting the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are certain to welcome even this small bit of content. For these players, the trailer's emphasis on story may also prompt some curiosity about how the narrative will unfold throughout the game.

With From Software's acclaimed Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, subtle environmental details and context clues play major roles in communicating the games' stories. Using this approach, the company is able to build rich worlds that reward players for thorough investigation.

It remains to be seen if Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will employ this method or opt for a more straightforward narrative structure instead. Indeed the gameplay looks to distinguish itself from previous From Software titles in a number of ways, including the ability to move vertically, and this new approach may just extend to how the game chooses to present its story.