Much like upgrading one’s health, leveling up in Kena: Bridge of Spirits isn’t simply a matter of defeating enemies and netting experience points. Instead, Kena levels up by finding different Rot spirits. These are obtained by clearing Corruption, from chests, exploring the environment and defeating bosses. The DualSense will start vibrating if a Rot is nearby so pay close attention. Kena also has a mask that can see the Rot’s footprints, further narrowing down where they could be hiding. Look for any pink glowing objects in the environment as well since these could be Rot.
Rot Level 1 only requires five Rot but as you go along, the requirements become much higher. Rot Level 2 needs 15 Rot; Rot Level 3 requires 35; Rot Level 4 needs 65; and Rot Level 5, the max, requires 100. As you go up in level, new abilities and upgrades will become available to Kena, including four powerful Rot Actions (three of which can modify core abilities. These can be unlocked once she has enough Karma. Increasing one’s level also allows for using more Rot Actions in battle.
Let’s take a look at all of the different abilities and upgrades that Kena can obtain throughout her journey. First, there are melee upgrades. Kena can use Light and Heavy attacks, and charging her Heavy attack will unleash a powerful Charged attack. Upgrades for these include the following:
- Sprint Light Attack – Press Light attack while sprinting to perform a sweep.
- Sprint Attack Heavy – Press Heavy attack while sprinting to unleash a strong overhead strike (requires unlocking Sprint Light Attack).
- Air Slam – Pressing Heavy attack while jumping unleashes a powerful slam from mid-air (requires Sprint Attack Heavy).
- Perfect Charge – Hold Heavy attack and release it at the right time to unleash a Charged attack that deals tons of damage (requires Rot level 3).
- Rot Hammer (Rot Action) – While holding Heavy attack, use Rot Action. This will generate a Rot Hammer which can heavily damage foes. You don’t even have to be up close to an enemy to deal damage.
Next, there’s the shield. When holding the Pulse button, Kena will block any attacks. Tapping it right before an enemy’s attack lands will parry them and allow for counterattacking. Check out all of the upgrades below:
- Parry Counter – After parrying, press Light attack to execute a counterattack.
- Shield Health Plus – Increases the health of Shield.
- Parry Courage – If you parry an attack, then you gain a Rot Action for free (requires Rot level 3 and Shied Health Plus).
- Shield Health ++ – Further increases the health of Shield (requires Rot level 4 and Parry Courage).
- Enter The Fray – Upon entering a battle, one Rot Action becomes available immediately.
Kena’s staff is capable of transforming into a Spirit Bow to attack enemies from range along with solving puzzles. There is a limit to how many times you can fire before the bow must be recharged. Here are its different upgrades:
- Focus – Slow down time after locking on to an enemy and drawing the bow.
- Bind Multishot – Upon binding an enemy and shooting them, the arrow will damage nearby foes (requires Focus to be unlocked).
- Increased Quiver – Shoot a maximum of five arrows before recharging.
- Increased Quiver ++ – Shoot a maximum of six arrows before recharging the bow (requires Rot Level 3 and Increased Quiver).
- Rot Infused Arrow (Rot Action) – When drawing the bow, press Rot Action. This will create an arrow infused with a Rot’s power that can deal greater damage and pierce foes.
Upon completing Taro’s quest and going to the Storehouse, you’ll learn the Spirit Bomb technique. No, this isn’t quite like the Dragon Ball Z technique. This can be used to make special rocks float momentarily, which is useful for puzzle solving. Of course, it can also deal damage to surrounding foes. Let’s take a look at its upgrades here:
- Quickdraw Bomb – If Kena shoots the Spirit Bomb before it detonates, then the explosion’s damage is increased. This becomes easy enough to execute if you have Focus unlocked and slow down time when drawing the bow.
- Multi Bomb – Create two Spirit Bombs at the same time.
- Rot Infused Bomb (Rot Action) – Hold a Spirit Bomb and then press Rot Action to infuse it with the Rot’s power. Upon detonating, the explosion will not only slow nearby foes but also any projectiles.
Another technique to note is Spirit Dash which is unlocked last and doesn’t have any upgrades. It allows for dashing in combat and stunning enemies along with crossing barriers and venturing to the Spirit Realm. Certain spirit enemies can also only be defeated when hit with the Spirit Dash first.