Ghost of Tsushima DIRECTOR’S CUT – Complete Guide

Important information guide for beginners.

If you have just started the game, I have classified and explained the basic and important information you need to know in order to progress and be successful in this guide.

Beginner Tips

These are the 30 important things you need to know for Ghost of Tsushima!

Ultra-Mega-Blaster-Important

Pick the ugliest horse at the beginning

  • Don’t pick your favorite. Just get whatever horse without thinking too much about it. Thank me later.

Learn from enemy gear

  • Enemies’ gear is not just for cosmetics. It indicates their attack patterns. Before jumping into a battle, block and pay attention to your enemy’s looks. Ragged dudes usually have stupider movesets, while pompous warriors can have a wider array of tactics at their disposal.

Focus on the campaign until Act 2

  • I won’t spoil you with the details, but leave side quests like haikus and shrines for later. Most specifically, after Act 2. Stuff will change. Stick to main missions until then.

Get the Charm of Inari ASAP

  • This being the only exception to the tip above, make sure to get the Charm of Inari as early as possible. It f***ng DOUBLES LOOT (supplies), helping you upgrade gear sooner. Later on, you can swap it out for something more aggressive. The Shrine is located in the southern part of the Izuhara region. It is between the Archer’s Rise, Sakimori Overlook, and Azamo Foothills.

Observe Mongol leaders before fighting them

  • When approaching Mongol leaders, observe them first to earn double xp (stance points) compared to just defeating them.

Use fast travel for health recovering.

  • Jesus christ, this is a game-changer and I learned that way, way too late. Abuse this system.

Don’t be afraid to pick the hardest difficulty for your 1st playthrough

  • This game has one of the best hard modes out there. It doesn’t make enemies more spongy (they actually get more frail, as do you), nor it gives them more aggro. Nothing like that. They get more careful, they get smarter, and everyone is more realistically vulnerable. It’s not meant exclusively for a 2nd playthrough or a hardcore player, just for someone willing to take the game seriously.

Camera and Basic Controls

Auto-lock

  • At release, this game had no auto-lock, but it was later introduced in a later patch due to everyone losing their minds on twitter. It’s off by default on PC. If you do choose to turn it on (options -> game -> target lock), know that the whole-ass game was not meant for it, and it may jank up your whole experience.

Increase camera speed

  • If you choose to keep auto-lock off, bump the camera speed in the settings. The default setting looks great on trailers and cinematic ♥♥♥♥ from Sony, but gameplay-wise is trash. You’ll be adjusting the camera A LOT during combat. So, yeah, bump that sensitivity up… That’s the proper way to play it.

Use focused hearing for tracking

  • If you lose track of guide animals or need to spot hidden eagles, use the “focused hearing” mode

Missions and Game Progression

Clear outposts to reveal maps

  • Listen up. The game is not clear about this. There’s no tower-climbing like Far Cry here, there’s no regional maps to be bought like old Zeldas, nor it’ll automatically do so as you walk around. Instead, clearing all enemy outposts in a section is what reveals the map for that area. Tons of people reach endgame without even knowing how to clear fog of war.

Interact with NPCs to reveal quest locations

  • You can talk to NPCs with dialogue bubbles to uncover quest locations without needing to explore.

Don’t skip blue storyteller missions

  • Don’t skip ’em, as they reward you with new moves and weapons.

Enable loadouts for flexibility

  • Make sure to enable loadouts in the options to switch tactics between stealth and aggression effectively.

Untold Combat Tips

Take your time in combat

  • This is not Sekiro. The game was not designed for you to leroy-jenkins at your foe (at least, not early-game-wise). Especially if you’re new—staying defensive is perfectly fine.

Use archery for stealth and relocation

  • Archery and stealth goes hand in hand in this game, as long as you remember to relocate after shooting to remain undetected.

Cancel attack animations with block

  • Experiment with different combos in combat and use the block button to cancel attack animations.

Exploration Cheeses

Explore freely and follow guide animals

  • Explore as much as you can before diving into main missions, and don’t hesitate to follow foxes or birds — they lead to collectibles.

Get “Safe Landing” to reduce fall damage

  • Fall damage is tough in this game, so unlock the “Safe Landing” Ghost Technique early if you like exploring like a reckless dummy.

Use your horse to mitigate fall damage

  • You can literally use your horse as a cushion to absorb fall damage from high cliffs. It looks a bit rough on the horse, the poor guy, but it’s effective.

Horse jump attack

  • You can launch a jump attack from your horse with a light attack.

Armor, Charms and Gear Tips

Equip Charm of Okuninushi

  • Equip the Charm of Okuninushi early on for health recovery outside combat. It’s really helpful and it’s located southeast of Castle Kanada

Regenerate health with charm

  • There’s also the Charm of Amaterasu – southeast of the Golden Temple that regenerates health when you defeat enemies.

Hoard resources for upgrades

  • Stock up on resources constantly—they’re crucial for upgrading your sword and armor, especially the Sakai clan armor, which is tied to trophies.

Maintain armor appearance

  • Remember, you can maintain the original look of upgraded armor via a button in the cosmetic screen.

Change gear as needed for different advantages

  • Swap outfits as you go; each has specific advantages. Consider upgrading the Traveler’s outfit for exploration benefits.

Combat and Stances

Match stances to enemy types

  • Always use the right stance for each enemy type. This just might be the most important thing in this game. Bolting through the game spamming attack mode is the equivalent of playing minesweeper clicking willy nilly hoping you won’t hit any mines.

Prioritize Stone Stance upgrade

  • As one might presume, the Stone Stance (X) (probably) will be your main stance during the game, as it’s vital for duels with swordsmen. Thus, upgrade it as early as possible.

Understand light attacks across stances

  • Light attacks look different across stances but function similarly and can’t break guards.

Master Water Stance combos

  • With the Water Stance, hold and mash triangle for effective combos.

Effective enemy defeat strategies

  • For quicker enemy defeats, focus on parrying. Yes, this is another git gud game. It triggers slow-motion and allows for a one-hit kill.

Mental tricks

If this is your first time, you probably will have some trouble memorizing the stances.

Here’s a couple of tricks. If you’re using the playstation controller layout:

  • Stone Stance looks like crossed swords for swordsmen (X),
  • Water Stance is shaped like a buckler for shieldmen (O),
  • Wind Stance points like a spear tip for spearmen (△),
  • and Moon Stance resembles a wall for the big chungus (▢).

If you’re playing on an Xbox Controller, create your own mental trick, like:

  • A for Attack (swordsmen)
  • B for Break (shields)
  • Y for Yank (the spear outta those spearmen)
  • X for eXterminate (those big chunguses)

This is useful mostly for early game. After a few dozen hours, you’ll have ’em on your muscle memory and won’t even think about it.

Special Tactics and Techniques

Start standoffs near strong foes

  • Get a load of this. During a standoff, you have the opportunity to defeat enemies in one hit if you time your attacks correctly. It’s an in-game-event-mini-game of sorts. So, If you start a standoff near a boss, those dumbasses will often join in, and can be killed in one hit. It’s beautiful.

Get spearman deflection perk early

  • For those traumatized familiar with the Skeleton Wheels from Dark Souls, in Ghost of Tsushima we have SPEARMEN. Jesus Christ ♥, I hate, absolutely ♥ hate these ♥ from ♥’s ♥ good for nothing ♥. So, yeah, get this perk early, as it’s useful against them.

Hide the bow with a decoy

  • Dislike the bow visual? Equip a wind chime decoy to hide it.

Helmeted enemies

  • You can’t headshot helmeted enemies, but a face shot will still work. Longbows can penetrate helmets.

Restore missing mission objectives

  • If mission objectives disappear in Mongol areas, swipe up to bring them back.

Search for supplies in hidden places

  • Look for supplies under houses and on upper floors.

Jumping during standoffs

  • Jumping during a standoff can look silly but effective.

Focus on enemy legs in standoffs

  • In standoffs, watch the enemy’s legs for genuine movement to counter fake outs effectively.

Wrong horse?

  • Switching horses may cause you to summon the new one instead of your original; to get your usual horse back, you might need to reload or distance yourself before whistling.

Rolling extinguishes fire

  • Rolling helps put out fires.

Unlock stances early by observing leaders

  • You can unlock all stances early by observing leaders before defeating them. Climb steep roofs by moving forward, and find singing crickets mostly in cemeteries; they unlock new flute songs.

NPC behavior in buildings

  • When following NPCs into buildings, doors might close on you, adding a humorous touch. From horseback, you can launch surprise chain assassinations or use the shoulder bash to burst through doors.

Don’t panic when detected

  • Pay attention to the detection meter’s two levels to manage stealth effectively. Being spotted doesn’t always alert the entire camp unless guards use a horn.

Locate tool ammunition in Act 2

  • As soon as you get to Act 2, ammo for a specific tool will start to appear on the ground. It works similar to collecting flowers. Pay attention to it.

Use smoke bombs in crowded fights

  • In crowded fights, use smoke bombs to chain assassinate.

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