Ghost of Tsushima, developed by Sucker Punch, is one of the best PlayStation exclusives. It takes you back to Feudal Japan where a lone Samurai, Jin Sakai, must save his island from the Mongol invasion. Here are my top 5 tips which will help you level up fast and get that platinum trophy.
Tip 1 – Complete These Story Missions Before Exploring
When writing tips for a game, it might seem bizarre to have your first one as complete story quests. After all, isn’t that the aim of the game? But Ghost of Tsushima will not pressure you to follow its story and so you’ll be tempted to explore first. But make sure you do these important quests before adventuring.
- The Warriors Code – Completing this unlocks the silent assassination ability. If you skip this and go off exploring, you will struggle with Mongol camps. So, make sure you complete this asap.
- The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa – This quest gives you the use of the bow. In the beginning, this can seem underpowered. But as you upgrade it, it’s a killing machine!
- The Tale of Lady Masako – This quest leads you to the Golden Temple. This location has lots of traders but also contains the gift altar. Jin can periodically visit the altar and gain key resources for upgrading gear. Finding the altar will also help with the completion of the ‘Gifted’ trophy.
Tip 2 – Make Sure You Collect Resources
Like most open-world games, there are lots of resources laying around in Ghost of Tsushima. In the early game, I was too busy frolicking in the Pampas grass, so I didn’t always pick these up. But don’t do that. Every time you see a resource, grab it! Make sure you search locations top to bottom to get all the linen, leather, silk, etc. on offer. Resources are important as you need lots of these to upgrade gear. Upgrading gear will make you unstoppable and unlock trophies like ‘All in the Wrist’.
Other resources to consider:
- Flower Picking – Flowers are found in the wilderness and act as a type of currency. Make sure you pick them so you can buy dyes from merchants. Picking flowers will help ping the ‘Monochrome Masters’ trophy.
- Predator hides – It's rare you stumble across bears in this game, but when you do hunt them down! Predator hides sell for a lot and can help you gather supplies quickly. Hides also upgrade your equipment like the vicious Kunai. Speaking of Kunai, these little knives are a great way to hunt boars, bears, and dogs.
Tip 3 – Unveil the Fog of War
Ghost of Tsushima has a huge and gorgeous map. It's also packed with lots to do, and it can be easy to miss collectibles and activities in this vast world.
- Travellers Attire – One of the best armours in the game is Travellers Attire. If you fully upgrade this near the start of the game, it will help you find everything! More importantly, its second upgrade will allow Jin to clear 20% more of the fog that hides the map. This armour is sold by a merchant near Hiyoshi Springs. This location will be discovered whilst completing The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa. Just make sure you change this armour when going into battle as its defence stats are not the best.
- Hidden Altars – As you uncover the fog, be on the lookout for hidden altars. One trophy which really foxed me was ‘Honour the Unseen’. To unlock this trophy, you need to bow at the hidden altars scattered across the map. These are symbols of bowing etched on wooden posts and can be found everywhere. Whilst clearing the map, keep an eye out for them and bow at every single one. It will make unlocking this trophy a lot easier as you won’t have to backtrack or go on a goose chase.
- Man of the people – Make sure you speak to the locals as you pass through villages. NPCs with speech bubbles will let you know about hidden locations and clear your map quicker. They are especially helpful at pointing out where the musicians are. Musicians start Mythic Tale quests which reward you with the best gear.
Tip 4 – Collectibles are Important
This could be the biggest tip of all. Make sure you find all the collectibles. Not only do they contribute to the trophy list, but they also help you in every aspect of the game.
The best way to discover collectibles is by following animals or the wind.
- Golden Birds – Whenever you see a golden bird overhead, follow it! Golden birds will lead you to locations such as hot springs. These locations will grant you extra health and contribute to trophy progress. Following these birds means less backtracking later. You can’t miss them with their loud chirps. Also, hot springs reward you with a nice cutscene of Jin’s well-rendered derrière.
- Foxes – Cute foxes will lead you to Inari shrines where you can pick up charms. You need to collect all of these to help unlock the ‘Body, Mind, and Spirit’ trophy. It’s worth noting fox dens are always located by yellow trees surrounded by butterflies.
- Swirling Birds – If you see lots of birds it means there is a Haiku Spot nearby. Completing Haiku Spots help unlock the ‘Body, Mind, and Spirit’ trophy. Trophy aside, these spots are not to be missed as they are stunning. As a bonus, Jin will get a vanity item after performing his haiku.
- Guiding Winds – Finally, if you’ve missed some items, you can obtain the guiding winds perk when levelling up. These winds can be selected in the menu and will guide you to different collectible items. They’re incredibly handy to mop up anything missed. However, I would get these perks nearer the end of the game as it's best to put your skill points into deflection.
Tip 5 – Be Adaptable
To succeed in Ghost of Tsushima, you need to be adaptable. On lower difficulties, you might get away with wearing the same armour throughout. But as you try harder difficulties, you’ll have to change things up.
The game offers different armour types with their own buffs. Depending on the battle you’re facing, or your playstyle, you’ll need to change these as you play. For me, I would always wear the Sakai Clan Armour. If I was about to do a standoff, as its perk meant I could kill more Mongols in one sweep. When exploring, I would wear the Travellers Attire to make sure I found collectibles.
You’ll also need to change up your charms. There are so many charms in this game, and it can get overwhelming. But make sure that, when going into battle, you equip charms that will help. In the early game, I equipped the Amaterasu charm as it gave me health when I killed an enemy. I also loved Okuninushi as this charm let me recover health out of combat. If you’ve not guessed, I was always low on health.
Finally, make sure you change your stance when needed. Jin will unlock stances throughout the game and each one will help him deal with a different kind of enemy. Use these stances wisely as otherwise you’ll often be killed by a spearman.
Just before you go...
A few final tips to help with combat at the start of the game.
- Heavenly Strike - Heavenly strike could be the best special move in the game. It can make quick work of enemies when surrounded. This move can be unlocked by completing the Heavenly Strike Mythic Tale. You can find this Tale southwest of the Golden Temple near the Brown River Gorge.
- Standoffs - Do you find you're not good at these? Do enemies trick you into pressing the button too quickly? Well, this will help you. When initiating a standoff do not look at the enemy's hands, instead, look at their feet. You’ll know when an enemy is about to go as their feet will move. This trick should help when mastering the standoff.
- Stances – Jin can unlock stances throughout the game. He does this by killing Mongol leaders. However, before killing these leaders, you’ll be prompted to observe them by holding down R2. Make sure you do this before killing them as it will help you unlock the Moonstance twice as quick. Also, when killing leaders, don’t fight them head-on. Instead, get them into a standoff. That way you can kill them in one swipe rather than enduring a lengthy battle.
These are my top tips for mastering Ghost of Tsushima. Good luck out there, Samurai!