What are the best Techniques in Ghost of Tsushima and Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut? Over the course of his adventure, Jin steadily unlocks new techniques and abilities as he wins battles and completes quests. By increasing your Legend Rank, you gain Technique Points that can be spent on different skills, and in this Ghost of Tsushima guide, we're going to detail every Technique, and highlight the Techniques that we think are worth prioritising.
For more help with how to transform Jin into Tsushima's most powerful warrior, refer to our other character progression guides: Ghost of Tsushima: Best Armor and All Armor Sets You Can Unlock and Ghost of Tsushima: Best Charms and Where to Find Them.
Ghost of Tsushima: Everything You Need to Know About Techniques
Before we begin, let's go over what you need to know about Techniques in Ghost of Tsushima.
How do you get Technique Points?
Getting Technique Points is straightforward enough. Every time you win a fight or complete a quest, your Legend Rank will increase. When your Legend Rank hits a new threshold, you gain a Technique Point. You can spend them by heading to the Techniques screen and unlocking the perk of your choosing.
Can you unlock every Technique in the game, or are Technique Points limited?
It's possible to unlock every Technique in Ghost of Tsushima, but you'll need to reach the maximum Legend Rank and conquer every Mongol war camp. This is the only way that you can amass enough Technique Points to purchase every perk.
As such, you'll want to prioritise certain skills based on your style of play. This guide will hopefully help you do that.
Ghost of Tsushima: All Techniques and Best Techniques to Learn
Below you'll find a full list of every Technique that you can unlock in Ghost of Tsushima. We'll also give our own thoughts on each Technique, and rate them based on how essential we think they are.
These are all the Techniques you can learn from the Deflection skill tree. There are 7 Techniques to unlock.
- Unlocks Perfect Parry (L1 at the last second as an enemy attacks)
Essential - The Perfect Parry is one of Jin's key Techniques and an absolute must.
Perfect Parry Healing
- Heals Jin by a small amount when you perform a Perfect Parry
High Priority - Adding a healing effect Perfect Parries makes Jin harder to kill, and it's a great way to restore some health if you have the timing down.
Unyielding Sword Parry
- Allows you to parry unblockable sword attacks
High Priority - Unblockable attacks can be a real pain — especially during duels or boss fights. This perk lets you parry them with the right timing, which can give you a huge advantage.
- Blocking (L1) automatically parries projectiles
High Priority - This perk will make your life a lot easier during bigger battles — especially when there are multiple archers to contend with. It also makes closing in on archers very easy.
- Gain a moderate amount of resolve when you parry an attack
High Priority - Resolve is Jin's key resource, and having more of it is never a bad thing. This perk activates with both normal parries and perfect parries, making it low risk, decent reward.
Unyielding Spear Parry
- Allows you to parry unblockable spear attacks
High Priority - Spear wielding enemies are some of the trickiest foes that you'll come up against in Ghost of Tsushima — especially later on in the game. Being able to parry their unblockable attacks makes them much less of a pain.
- Perfect Parries have a 20% chance to terrify nearby enemies
Low Priority - Watching foes flee in terror as you destroy their friend with a perfect parry is undoubtedly cool, but this is far from an essential perk since the activation chance is low, and you'll be more than powerful enough to take down whole packs of enemies with relative ease later on.
These are the Techniques that you can learn from the Evasion skill tree. There are 7 Techniques.
- Unlocks Roll Technique (double tap circle)
Essential - Later in the game and during specific boss fights, the Roll is the only way to consistently avoid some attacks. As such, it's an essential purchase as it makes Jin a much, much more evasive and agile fighter.
- Unlocks a quick attack that can be used while dodging (circle to dodge, then square to attack)
High Priority - Dodging Slash gives Jin an extra option against any type of enemy, and allows you to get a quick hit in even when you're playing defensively. Well worth it.
- Unlocks a quick attack that can be used while sprinting (L3 to sprint, then square to attack)
Low Priority - Sprint Strike looks cool and it's useful for finishing off evasive enemies like archers, but compared to a lot of Jin's other Techniques, it's far from essential as it's very situational. Most of the time Jin won't be afforded the chance to run away and sprint towards his opponent anyway.
- Unlocks a shoulder bash that knocks enemies down while sprinting (L3 to sprint, then circle to attack)
High Priority - The Shoulder Charge is almost always a better option than Sprint Strike. It knocks enemies down on hit, opening them up to either a flurry of attacks or an instant kill. Great for when you want to take a single enemy out quickly.
- Unlocks a powerful charged attack that inflicts more damage and stagger (hold square, then release)
High Priority - Although you have to time it right, Delayed Strike is a nice Technique to have up your sleeve. It can help you break through an enemy's guard very quickly, and it can be used in combos.
- Unlocks a leaping attack that can be performed while riding your horse (triangle while riding)
Low Priority - Another Technique that looks cool but just isn't that useful. There are better ways to approach enemy patrols — either with stealth or with a Standoff.
- Unlocks Perfect Dodge (press circle right as an enemy is about to hit you)
High Priority - Although not essential, the Perfect Dodge is an excellent tool to have at your disposal. Time slows whenever you pull it off, opening up your opponent to a high damage counterattack. A great choice for skilled players.
Mythic Techniques can be learned by completing various Mythic Tales. You can read more about Mythic Tales in the following guide: Ghost of Tsushima: All Mythic Tales and Rewards.
There are four Mythic Techniques.
Location: Complete the Mythic Tale The Heavenly Strike.
- Unlocks Heavenly Strike, an unblockable attack that deals big damage to staggered foes (press triangle and circle together)
High Priority - Heavenly Strike only costs 1 Resolve to use, and it's deadly. It's Jin's go-to special attack, and it's capable of killing off lesser foes as soon as their guard is broken. It can even be used to help break through an opponent's guard if they're particularly stubborn.
Dance of Wrath
Location: Complete the Mythic Tale The Spirit of Yarikawa's Vengeance.
- Unlocks Dance of Wrath, a combo of three unblockable, high damage attacks (press L1 and R1 together)
High Priority - Dance of Wrath is costly at 3 Resolve, but it's great for thinning out groups of enemies, or dealing big damage to a boss. It's essentially Jin's super attack, and it's always a reliable go-to Technique when you want to end things quickly.
Way of the Flame
Location: Complete the Mythic Tale The Undying Flame.
- Unlocks Way of the Flame, a Technique that uses Incendiary Oil to light Jin's sword on fire, dealing unblockable damage for a short period of time (press R1 with Incendiary Oil equipped)
Low Priority - Way of the Flame is a powerful Technique and can make short work of most enemies, but its reliance on Incendiary Oil (a resource that can be quite hard to find) makes it limited in its worth. What's more, Way of the Flame is unlocked late in the game — probably at a point where Jin is already very strong — so it lacks the impact of Heavenly Strike and Dance of Wrath. It's still worth unlocking if you have points to spare, but it's not essential.
Location: Complete the Mythic Tale The Curse of Uchitsune.
- Unlocks Explosive Arrows, which can be used with the Longbow (L2 and R2 to fire)
High Priority - Explosive Arrows can be incredibly powerful when used wisely. The area of effect is deceptively large, meaning that you can catch multiple foes in the blast, dealing huge damage and setting stragglers on fire. The only drawback is that ammo is limited.
Exploration Techniques allow Jin to use the Guiding Wind in order to track down specific locations like Hot Springs, Bamboo Strikes, and more. However, unless you're really keen to visit all of these locations as quickly as possible, we'd recommend saving your Technique Points for skills and perks that are going to aid in your survival.
Besides, if you really want to know the location of all these landmarks, you can check out the following guides: Ghost of Tsushima: All Hot Spring Locations, Ghost of Tsushima: All Bambaoo Strike Locations, Ghost of Tsushima: All Haiku Locations, Ghost of Tsushima: All Fox Den and Inari Shrine Locations, Ghost of Tsushima: All Shinto Shrine Locations, Ghost of Tsushima: All Pillar of Honor Locations.
We aren't going to break down every Stance Technique, because simply put, you should be unlocking all of these when you can. Stances are the key to Jin's offence, and bolstering them as much as possible should always be a priority so that you can deal with whatever the Mongols throw at you. Consider almost every Technique in the different Stance skill trees essential.
- Stone Stance - Effective against enemies with swords. Heavy attacks (triangle) will break a swordsman's guard very quickly, and its puncture attacks (hold triangle) are deadly once an enemy's guard has been broken.
- Water Stance - Effective against enemies with shields. Heavy attacks tear through shields, and its flowing combo attack (hold triangle and then tap triangle multiple times) is excellent at locking your opponent down.
- Wind Stance - Effective against enemies with spears. Heavy attacks break through a spearman's defence with ease, and its charged kick (hold down triangle) sends enemies flying upon impact. If they're knocked down by the kick, they can be killed instantly with a finishing blow.
- Moon Stance - Effective against brutes, or large enemies. Heavy attacks smash through the sheer weight of larger foes, putting them off balance so that you can strike unopposed. The stance's spinning slashes (hold triangle and then press triangle multiple times) can also be used to break a brute's guard and deal big damage.
Ghost Weapon Techniques
These are all of the Ghost Weapon Techniques that you can unlock. There are 7 perks to learn once you've unlocked each Ghost Weapon by progressing through the game.
- Throw three kunai instead of two
High Priority - Kunai are already great for picking off low health targets or breaking through an enemy's guard. This perk ensures that even if you're surrounded, you can instantly damage three foes with the press of a button. Excellent for bigger battles.
- Doubles the damage of kunai
High Priority - This perk makes kunai extremely deadly, especially against lesser, lightly armoured enemies. In some fights, having high damage kunai basically gives you a one-hit kill move that can take out multiple foes at once.
- Black Powder Bombs knock down surrounding enemies
High Priority - Black Powder Bombs are essentially grenades in Ghost of Tsushima. They're dangerous tools to begin with, but this perk makes them a force to be reckoned with. Knocked down foes are susceptible to instant kill attacks.
- Increases damage and blast radius of Black Powder Bombs
High Priority - This perk almost makes Black Powder Bombs too effective. You can annihilate whole groups of enemies with a single toss if you have this perk.
- Smoke Bombs temporarily blind enemies, and the smoke lasts longer
Low Priority - This perk doesn't make a huge difference to how Smoke Bombs function to begin with. Having the smokescreen last longer isn't a bad bonus to have if you want to escape combat, but a regular smoke bomb will usually get the job done anyway.
- Smoke Bombs restore health when used
Low Priority - This perk turns Smoke Bombs into a healing item, and while it can be a decent additional effect to have, it's not worth prioritising. Healing through Resolve should always be your go-to method of regaining health, and it can quite easily see you through the entire game. Only actively go for this perk if you're really having trouble keeping Jin alive.
- Sticky Bomb explosions no longer hit Jin
Low Priority - Get too close to a Sticky Bomb and Jin will be caught in the blast. This perk makes it so the blast has no effect on Jin at all. It's a gimmicky perk that isn't really a priority — just make sure that you throw your Sticky Bombs from a reasonable distance instead.
- Sticky Bomb damage and blast radius is increased
Low Priority - While increased damage is nice to have, especially later in the game, you're better off prioritising the Black Powder Bomb perks if you're looking for an explosive tool capable of killing multiple enemies.
- Unlocks Firecrackers, which are basically an improved version of Wind Chimes, meant for distracting multiple enemies at once.
Low Priority - Firecrackers certainly have their uses if you're eager to lure more than one enemy away from their post, but generally speaking, stealth isn't too difficult in Ghost of Tsushima. You're better off prioritising other perks ahead of this one as Wind Chimes get the job done well enough to begin with.
Evolving Tactics Techniques
Below are all of the Evolving Tactics Techniques available in the game. There are 13 perks to consider once you've unlocked each main Technique by playing through Jin's adventure.
- Lets you spend 2 Resolve to revive Jin when he's downed in battle
High Priority - Iron Will can be a literal lifesaver during harder fights. 2 Resolve is easily earned if you're skilled enough, so holding some of it back for a potential revive is always a good idea, and gives you a reliable safety net at all times.
- Lets you kill an additional enemy in a Standoff.
Low Priority - While there's no denying that it looks cool, killing an additional enemy during a Standoff isn't a huge deal. Standoffs aren't always an option, especially during a number of missions throughout the game, so prioritising Standoff perks doesn't seem like the smartest way to invest in Jin's abilities.
Improved Standoff Streak
- Lets you kill two additional enemies in a Standoff.
Low Priority - As we said above, Standoffs just aren't worth prioritising when there are more practical perks on the table. Then again, being able to take three enemies out before a fight even begins does have its obvious uses. Still, it's best left for later on when you're comfortable with Jin's fundamental abilities.
- Lets you temporarily slow down time while aiming your bow.
High Priority - Concentration can turn Jin into an absolutely lethal archer. The slow down doesn't last very long, but you use it to get off at least one headshot and take an enemy out of the fight before they've even reached you.
- Reduces the cooldown of Concentration by 15%.
High Priority - Given how good Concentration is, it's well worth boosting its effectiveness even further, especially if you like using Jin's bow.
Improved Mental Fortitude
- Reduce the cooldown of Concentration by 30%
High Priority - Again, empowering Concentration is a worthy investment. This perk allows Jin to use Concentration two, maybe three times in a single skirmish, which is pretty crazy.
- Lets you roll (press circle) right before landing from a long fall, negating all fall damage.
High Priority - While it has limited use in combat — unless you want to get to the ground as quickly as possible from the top of a building or cliff — Safe Landing make traversing the island of Tsushima so much easier. Not having to worry about breaking Jin's legs is a dream come true when navigating some of the game's more difficult terrain.
- Lets you assassinate two enemies instead of one as long as they're close together.
Essential - If you're a stealthy kind of player, this perk is nothing short of essential. Being able to take out two enemies instead of one makes clearing camps and other Mongol territories far, far easier.
Chain Assassination Master
- Lets you assassinate three enemies instead of one as long as they're close together.
High Priority - This perk's not quite as essential as Chain Assassination because it's uncommon to see three enemies grouped together in one place — particularly in Mongol camps — but it's still a fantastic tool to have in your stealthy arsenal.
- Lets you detect more distant enemies when using Focused Hearing.
High Priority - For stealth missions, Far Hearing can help a whole lot. Being able to pick out enemies who are a decent distance away is great when you're planning your attack.
- Lets Jin move at normal speed while using Focused Hearing.
High Priority - Stealth Hearing can make general stealth gameplay a breeze. It allows Jin to move quickly through enemy territory while also highlighting all of the surrounding enemies. Fantastic for stealthy missions, and a must for stealthy players.
- Lets you see a flashing aura around assassination targets when their death will alert other enemies.
Low Priority - Killer's Instinct can come in handy when you're not sure if an assassination will get you spotted or not, but generally speaking, you can usually tell if assassinating a target is a bad idea. Certainly not an essential perk.
Ghost Kill Streak
- Lowers the kill count needed to enter Ghost Stance to 7 enemies instead of 8.
Low Priority - The Ghost Stance is essentially Jin's most powerful Technique, and lowering the requirements to activate it is certainly useful, but it's only one less enemy. If you're already having little trouble activating Ghost Stance by killing 8 enemies, then this perk won't make a whole lot of difference.
What Techniques are you looking to unlock in Ghost of Tsushima? Unleash your most powerful moves in the comments section below, and check out our massive Ghost of Tsushima guide for much more help with the game.