One of the core mechanics in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is your ability to come back from the dead, providing you with a much needed second chance. Of course, you'll still die a lot regardless. The game is incredibly challenging, and you'll almost certainly resurrect and subsequently perish countless times throughout your adventure.
There are a few penalties for death in Sekiro, but Dragonrot is probably the biggest concern. In this guide, we'll be explaining what it is, what you can do about it, and how it relates to Unseen Aid.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - How to heal Dragonrot and Unseen Aid
Below, we'll be talking through Dragonrot and Unseen Aid, two systems in the game that are closely linked.
What is Dragonrot?
Dragonrot is a disease in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice caused by the Wolf being constantly brought back from the dead. When you actually die - that is, when you don't resurrect and respawn at a Sculptor's Idol - Dragonrot will begin to spread throughout the world.
Any friendly NPCs you've encountered are susceptible to the illness, and the game will tell you when someone has been infected. This is represented by Rot Essence, an item that will appear in your inventory for each person suffering from the disease. A character with Dragonrot will have different dialogue, will become weak, and you won't be able to continue their questline unless you can get rid of the ailment. It's pretty nasty business.
What is Unseen Aid?
When you truly die in Sekiro, you'll lose half of the money you're carrying and half of the progress on your XP bar. It's pretty harsh, but there's actually a decent chance you'll benefit from Unseen Aid. This mysterious force will occasionally prevent these losses, starting out at a 30 per cent chance of activating. Cool!
However, Dragonrot affects Unseen Aid too. The more Rot Essence items you're carrying, the less chance Unseen Aid will work. Carrying a couple of Rot Essences will reduce Unseen Aid's percentage to somewhere between 10 and 15 percent, significantly lowering the odds you'll keep your money and XP upon death.
How do you get rid of Dragonrot?
Fortunately, it's not as difficult as you think. Dragonrot will first infect the Sculptor, and when this happens, Emma will leave her usual spot outside and will be tending to him inside the temple. Speak to her and she says she may be able to come up with a cure. She will ask you to take a blood sample from an infected NPC.
As you're likely to still be early in the game, you won't have a huge number of options, but there are a couple of people you can speak to. We, for example, managed to attain a blood sample from the old woman who provides you with the bell used to get to the Hirata Estate area. When you speak to someone suffering from Dragonrot (aside from the Sculptor), you'll have the option to take a blood sample. Do this, and then return to Emma.
After you provide her with the blood sample, you'll need to wait a while before she has a cure for you. Continue playing the game as normal. Aside from the lowered percentage of Unseen Aid, you don't need to worry. Eventually, when you return to Emma, she will give you a couple of items: the Recovery Charm, and a Dragon's Blood Droplet.
Now, at any Sculptor's Idol, you'll find a new option called 'Dragonrot Restoration'. The Recovery Charm enables the process to take place, while the Dragon's Blood Droplet is a consumable item that you'll use up in order to cure Dragonrot in all affected characters. After eliminating the disease, these NPCs will be right as rain and you'll be able to continue any quests they might have. It'll also restore Unseen Aid back to its default percentage.
It's worth bearing in mind that this does not eradicate Dragonrot for good. After more deaths, it can and will return.
Should you cure Dragonrot straight away?
It's not necessary. You'll be able to find more Dragon's Blood Droplets throughout the game, but they're rare, so you shouldn't use them up as soon as there's a sign of Dragonrot in the world. Unless you're desperate to complete an NPC's quest, we would hold off curing the disease. Once you have a few Dragon's Blood Droplets to spare, you can occasionally eliminate Dragonrot, but again, you shouldn't need to do so on a regular basis.
A good time to restore people back to health would be after a boss or tricky enemy you've been struggling with has been defeated. This is because you're likely to die lots of times trying to kill one of these stronger enemies, and if you cure Dragonrot beforehand, you'll just rack up deaths and bring it back in no time.
In other words, use Dragon's Blood Droplets sparingly and only cure Dragonrot when you're in a relatively safe spot.