Shenmue 3 training makes up a big part of the game. This tips guide outlines why to do it, how it's tied to health, and more.

Shenmue 3 Training Guide

Shenmue 3 training makes up a big part of the game. This tips guide outlines why to do it, how it's tied to health, and more.

In Shenmue 3, training is very important. It lets you master new fighting moves and improve Ryo’s overall stats.

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Since the beginning of the game focuses on several difficult fights, it’s recommended that you spend a lot of your time training in and around Bailu village. 

In this guide, we’ll talk about why training is important, where you can train, why skill books matter, and what training options you have at your disposal. 

Shenmue 3 Training Guide

One-inch punch screen with attack, endurance, kung fu level.

Increasing Ryo’s overall health is one of the primary reasons to train. Ryo doesn’t start with a full health bar this time around. Instead, sharpening your skills increases it. 

While you’ll train throughout the entire game by finding new skill books, it’s wise to increase your attack and endurance early on. Fighting the “bookie with the scar” and then “the thugs” will be much easier if you master moves first and ask questions later. 

To inflict more damage on your opponents and take more hits from them, you must increase your overall Kung Fu level. To do this, you must increase your attack level and your endurance level, which both feed into your Kung Fu level. 

Leveling Up Moves From Skill Books — Aka Increasing Attack

You want to master your fighting moves. The better your moves, the more powerful they are. Master the Counter Elbow Assault, for example, and you can stun an enemy while removing several enemy health orbs at once. 

Each move has 10 levels of proficiency you must complete before you reach “Master” status with them. You increase moves by sparring at the Martial Hall just outside of Bailu (it’s between Shenhua’s house and the village). 

You can set five moves to your quick menu at a time and cycle through them while sparring/fighting by pressing your controller’s right shoulder button. Though you should set your best moves when fighting thugs and ruffians out in the world, you should only set those you need to level up when sparring and training.

That’s because once you reach Master status in one skill book (move), you will not receive any more XP toward that move or Ryo’s attack and Kung Fu levels. You only gain XP from moves you have not yet mastered. 

Master the Sparring QTE

Shenmue 3 training attack with sparring.

When sparring, a QTE will randomly appear in the middle of the screen. It is a circle with four orbs around it. These represent your controller’s four face buttons. Depending on the move you currently have equipped, a certain input will flash across the orbs and you must replicate it by pressing the right buttons. 

Let the input complete, and then press the corresponding buttons on your controller as quickly and as accurately as you can. It’s easy to get down after a few tries, and doing so gives you a huge chunk of XP. 

Where Can I Spar in Shenmue 3?

You can spar with monks at Martial Hall, or you can spar with Su Zixiong in Bailu village. He’s the one teaching martial arts to the children near the well.

How to Get More Skill Books

Skill books contain new fighting moves. You can buy skill books at many of the shops in Bailu, though not every shop has them. However, skill books aren’t cheap, and in the game’s early sections, buying them isn’t economically sound. 

Instead, you should trade for skill books. This is done by finding herb and item sets, then trading those herb and item sets to vendors willing to deal.

You can get an herb map from Tao-Get’s shop and start picking from the start of the game. You can also win items from the various bookies and find other items in the world to finish item sets. 

It’s worth noting that you will start the game with more than a dozen skill books. Many of these, however, are carried over from the previous games. That means you can’t level them. Initially, you only get three skill books you can level.

After you master these first three, you need to buy new ones to increase your Kung Fu level. 

How to Increase Endurance 

Shenmue 3 training endurance with horse stance.

Endurance is directly tied to health in Shenmue 3. Every time you run, practice, spar, fight, or fast travel, you use stamina and, therefore, health. Once your health orbs turn yellow, which happens when you only have three orbs left, your endurance decreases dramatically, quickly turning red.

You want to mitigate this as much as possible because once your orbs turn red, doing absolutely anything becomes a slog. Further, you don’t receive as much training XP when your orbs are yellow or red. 

There are three ways to increase endurance: One-Inch Punch, Horse Stance, and Rooster Step. One-Inch Punch and Horse stance can be done at Martial Hall and the Man Yuan temple to the left of the bell tower in the village square. They can also be done in Niaowu. However, Rooster Step can only be done in Niaowu. 

Both One-Inch Punch and Horse Stance are QTEs of sorts.

For One-Inch Punch, you must press the action button at the moment the two bars meet, which just so happens to be over your target. The faster and more accurate you are, the more XP you will receive. 

Horse Stance requires you keep Ryo evenly balanced while squatting. Press the action button repeatedly to keep him balanced along the line in the middle of the screen. As long as the line is green, you will earn the maximum XP for the exercise. 

Rooster Step requires precision movements with the right control stick. Make sure the arrow remains in the center of the blue cone as Ryo walks around the training dummy. The easiest way to ensure effective movement is to press your control stick against the edge of the controller housing, then twist the stick in the correct direction. 

Each of these endurance activities has seven tiers of 10-level increments. Once you complete all seven tiers for each exercise, you will have maximum endurance. 

That’s it for our Shenmue 3 training guide. Now you know where to train and why to train. While leveling up quickly isn’t completely necessary, it does make the game easier, especially once you start facing off against tougher enemies. 

For more tips, be sure to check out our Shenmue 3 guides. The game is currently available for PC through the Epic Games Store and PlayStation 4. 

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Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.