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.