Weapon upgrades, armor sets (each with their own respective upgrades), Ghost Weapons – Jin has quite the arsenal in Ghost of Tsushima. On top of all this, however, there are also Techniques spread across a variety of different areas. As you kill bandits and Mongols, liberate enemy Outposts and Strongholds and complete Tales, you’ll earn more and more Technique Points. These can be used to unlock Techniques while also upgrading them.
Let’s take a look at the different Techniques you should be aware of. First up are Techniques that fall under the “Samurai” school. These consist of Deflection, Evasion, Exploration and Mythic Techniques. Let’s look at all seven Deflection Techniques that Jin can learn:
- Perfect Parry – Parry at the last possible second to unleash a counterattack that deals good damage (and can often finish off foes).
- Perfect Healing Parry – Recover a bit of health when executing a Perfect Parry.
- Deflect Arrows – Blocking will automatically parry any projectiles.
- Unyielding Sword Parry – Unblockable attacks from Mongol swords can be parried with this Techniques.
- Resolved Parry – Executing a Parry or Perfect Parry will recover a “moderate” amount of Resolve.
- Unyielding Spear Parry – Unblockable spear attacks can now be parried.
- Terrifying – Counterattacking after a Perfect Parry has a 20 percent chance of terrifying surrounding foes. Enemies that are terrified will flee the fight.
Next up are the Evasion Techniques. Here are all seven of them:
- Roll – Quickly press the dodge button a second time to roll, creating more distance from enemies.
- Dodging Slash – Can be used to slash at foes right after dodging.
- Sprint Strike – Execute a quick slash after sprinting towards a foe.
- Shoulder Charge – Knock enemies back with a charge. Executed by pressing the dodge button after sprinting at an enemy.
- Delayed Strike – Enters a stance by holding down the Light Attack button. Release it to strike, dealing more melee and stagger damage.
- Mounted Strike – Allows for jumping from one’s horse to attack and deal stagger damage. Press Triangle while on horseback to execute.
- Perfect Dodge – If you dodge an enemy’s attack at the last possible moment, time slow down for a moment. Pressing Light or Heavy attack right after will perform a counterattack on the foe.
There’s not much to the different Exploration Techniques. They’ll be unlocked as the story progresses and can be used to locate specific collectibles with the Guiding Wind. Here are all the Exploration Techniques:
- Wind of Resolve – Guiding Wind will guide you to Bamboo Strikes, which increase maximum Resolve upon completion.
- Wind of Inari – Guiding Wind will lead you to various Fox Dens. Follow the fox to locate an Inari Shrine which unlocks more Charm Slots and upgraded Charms.
- Wind of Charms – Guiding Wind will take you to Shinto Shrines, which bestow new Charms.
- Wind of Health – Guiding Wind will lead you to Hot Springs, which can increase maximum health.
- Wind of Vanity – Guiding Wind can be used to find cosmetic items.
Now let’s get into some of the most powerful Techniques in the game – Mythic Techniques. These are earned from completing Mythic Tales.
- Heavenly Strike – Complete the “Heavenly Strike” Mythic Tale. Consume one Resolve to unleash an unblockable attack that will deal extra damage to staggered foes. Any kills with this have a chance to terrify nearby enemies.
- Dance of Wrath – Complete “The Spirit of Yarikawa’s Vengeance” Mythic Tale. Consume three Resolve to unleash an unblockable three-hit combo. Once again, kills with this have a chance to terrify nearby foes.
- Way of the Flame – Complete “The Undying Flame” Mythic Tale. Ignite katana with incendiary oil (which must be equipped beforehand) and burn enemies with each strike. Kills have a chance to terrify surrounding enemies.
- Explosive Arrow – Complete “The Curse of Uchitsune” Mythic Tale. Must be used with the Longbow and equipped beforehand. Essentially creates an explosion with a good radius. Killing enemies with this has a chance to terrify their allies.
Now let’s take a look at all the different Ghost Techniques that Jin can use:
- Recover Health – Unlocked from the start. Uses Resolve to recover health.
- Iron Will – Avoid being defeated when hurt. Requires two Technique Points to unlock.
- Standoff – Unlocked from the start. Allows for challenging foes to one-on-one battles – holding Triangle and releasing it at the right time during a showdown will insta-kill the foe.
- Standoff Streak – After killing the first enemy from a Standoff, another enemy will run and can also be insta-killed by pressing Triangle at the right time. Requires one Technique Point to unlock.
- Improved Standoff Streak – Requires Standoff Streak to be learned. Essentially functions the same but one more enemy will rush and can be insta-killed for a total of three foes that go down. Requires two Technique Points to unlock.
- Archery – Allows the use of a bow and arrow
- Concentration – Press L3 while aiming a bow and arrow to slow down time
- Mental Fortitude – Reduce cooldown on Concentration
- Improved Mental Fortitude – Further reduce cooldown on Concentration
- Assassination – Assassinate unaware enemies with Light Attack.
- Safe Landing – Press Dodge when landing from a great height to roll and negate fall damage.
- Chain Assassination – Assassinate two targets when initiating an assassination.
- Chain Assassination Master – Assassinate three targets when initiating an assassination.
- Focused Hearing – Press the Touchpad to listen for enemy movements and being able to see them through walls.
- Far Hearing – Allows you to see enemies with Focused Hearing from a greater distance.
- Stealth Hearing – Move faster when using Focused Hearing.
- Killer’s Instinct – Provides a flashing aura around assassination targets which reveals if their friends will notice their deaths.
All Stances and Their Techniques
Progressing through the game will eventually grant you different Stances. Stances allow for attacks that are effective against different weapons. To learn different Stances, you can either kill Mongol commanders. Each kill counts for one point but simply observing them from afar will provide two points (and you can then kill them afterwards for another point). Try to remain in stealth when infiltrating enemy camps and observe commands from afar. Also, each new Technique follows a set upgrade path so you can’t necessarily pick and choose which ones you’d like.
The first Stance is Stone Stance. It’s good against other swordsmen with heavy attacks dealing more stagger damage. There’s the Swordbreaker attack which is good against swordsmen who are blocking (press Heavy Attack three times in a row). For a Piercing Strike, simply hold Heavy Attack.
Here are the different Techniques that Stone Stance can be unlocked, with each requiring one Technique Point.
- Puncture – Hold Heavy Attack and then press it again. Unleashes two Piercing Strikes.
- Strength of Mountains – Stagger damage from Stone Stance attacks against other swordsmen is increased.
- Full Puncture – Hold Heavy Attack and then press it twice to unleash three Piercing Strikes.
- Momentum – Increases speed of Heavy Attacks with Stone Stance.
Moving on, there’s the Water Stance which is good against Shieldbearers. The Shieldbreaker attack is executed by pressing Heavy Attack three times in a row. You can also hold Heavy Attack and press it twice for a Flurry Strike. Again, Heavy Attacks will deal more stagger damage against these types of foes.
Here are the different Techniques for Water Stance that can be learned. Each requires one Technique Point to unlock.
- Flowing Strikes – Hold Heavy Attack and then tap it three times to hit an enemy with four quick strikes.
- Strength of Tides – Water Stance attacks deal extra stagger damage against Shieldbearers.
- Surging Strikes – Hold Heavy Attack and then tap it four times to hit a foe with five quick strikes.
- Downpour – Each attack on Flurry Strike will deal increasing damage.
Next up is the Wind Stance which is good against Spearmen. Along with the Spearbreaker Technique (press Heavy Attack thrice), you can perform a Typhoon Kick by holding Heavy Attack. Here are the various Techniques that can be unlocked for Wind Stance.
- Strengthened Typhoon Kick – Deals more stagger damage and launches foes back farther.
- Strength of Gales – All Wind Stance attacks deal more stagger damage versus Spearmen.
- Spear Defense – During Wind Stance attacks, spear attacks are automatically parried.
- Typhoon Kick Finisher – Knock down enemies that are launched back by Typhoon Kick.
Having a tough time versus the heavier enemies aka Brutes? The Moon Stance is where it’s at. Its Heavy Strike deals more stagger damage and can be activated by pressing Heavy Attack three times. There’s also the Spinning Strike which is used by holding down Heavy Attack.
- Whirlwind – Use two Spinning Strikes instead of one. Hold down Heavy Attack then press it again.
- Strength of the Heavens – Moon Stance attacks deal more stagger damage versus Brutes.
- Finishing Strike – While in Moon Stance, the third Heavy Strike will dish out more stagger and melee damage.
- Tornado – Unleash three Spinning Strikes. Hold Heavy Strike then press it twice.
Ghost Stance is unlocked by playing through the story. It’s activated upon either killing seven foes without receiving damage or assassinating Mongol leaders. Once the Ghost Meter is charged, Ghost Stance can be activated and foes killed in one hit each. Even during Duels, a Ghost Stance attack will brutalize an opponent, making the rest of the fight easier. For more information on all of the Ghost Weapons and their upgrades, head here.