The vagabonds, ronin, and cutpurses of the Mongol horde in Ghost of Tsushima rarely fight fair. They will ambush, outnumber, and assassinate you.
Dodging attacks is one thing, but there are only so many samurai swords you can dodge before you are going to start needing to learn how to perfect parry. A standard parry will leave an enemy open for an attack, but a perfect parry in Ghost of Tsushima will leave your enemy wide open for a killing blow; turning the tide of battle.
In this step-by-step guide, we’re breaking down each type of parry, how to perfect parry in Ghost of Tsushima and some of our best parrying tips to help you carve your way to your final battle with Lord Shimura without a scratch.
First things first, before you can master perfect parrying in Ghost of Tsushima, you will need to get to grips with the basics of a simple parry. Parrying, although a defensive move, is the ultimate equaliser during tough battles and trust me, there will be many of them as you fight to save Tsushima from the Mongol invasion.
To parry in Ghost of Tsushima, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Look for when your opponent will attack
Step 2: Press [L1] just before the attack connects
Step 3: To counter, press [△] immediately after you have parried.
Although countering your parry is not always available as you will often be defending against multiple attacks at once, you should try your best to counter as many parries as possible to deplete as much health from your opponents quickly.
How To Perfect Parry In Ghost of Tsushima
Once you have mastered performing a basic parry, you can now begin to hone your skills on perfect parrying attacks. When your opponent’s posture meter is full, opportunities for a deathly blow are non-existent. However, with a single perfect parry, your enemy’s posture meter will be drained; leaving them open for the kill.
To perfect parry in Ghost of Tsushima, follow these 4 simple steps:
Step 1: Identify when your opponent will attack
Step 2: Wait until your opponent extends their elbow to swing.
Step 3: Press [L1] as soon as you see this motion.
Step 4: To counter, press [△] immediately after parrying.
As with most combat games like Ghost of Tsushima, the art of perfecting moves such as parrying will ultimately come down to muscle memory. Once you figure out the exact time window for a perfect parry, you can repeat this motion until it becomes second nature.
Just remember, when the arm extends, hit the parry button.
Tips For Parrying In Ghost of Tsushima
Practising your perfect parry timing in Ghost of Tsushima is one thing, however, there are certain situations where you just simply will not win. For example, some enemies are unparryable and other enemies will be just too strong for you without upgrades.
But fear not, as there are some neat tricks you can deploy to make parrying simpler.
Here are our top 4 parrying tips for Ghost of Tsushima:
When Jin progresses, and puts the fear of death in the Mongols, the enemies will be wise to your tricks, and favour unparryable attacks. Thankfully, there is a way to break through their supreme offence– unlocking more techniques.
By upgrading your skill tree and unlocking the “Unyielding Sword Parry”, and “Unyielding Spear Parry” techniques, you’ll be able to parry almost all attacks. Plus, if you would like to make catching that perfect parry easier, you can also seek out equipment that extends the perfect parry window, such as Ghost of Tsushima armour sets including the beautiful Sarugami Armour of Iki Island.
2. Use Charms
As well as upgrading your skill tree, pairing charms with your weapons is often the difference maker between life and death. For example, the Charm of Mizu-No-Kami will increase your perfect parry window and the Charm of Amaterasu will restore a moderate amount of health when you kill an enemy.
Together, they make a potent combination that aids in both killing more enemies and keeping your life bar as full as possible during battle.
3. Parry Blue Attacks, Dodge Red Attacks
Even the perfectly executed parry will fail against some foes in Ghost of Tsushima. However, there is one clue that will save your life and that is the glint of your opponent’s weapon. A blue glint means that you can parry and a red glint means that you should dodge. And, dodging with skill and agility is a lifesaver too, as these red attacks can kill.
If you have trouble with the colours (or are playing in Kurosawa Mode), you can also take note of the enemy and weapon types. Spearmen and swordsmen can be safely parried, while the elite enemies like shieldbearers or ronin should be dodged at all costs.
4. Watch The Elbows
The perfect parry window is the split second before your enemy’s weapon makes contact, and it’s all too easy to parry imperfectly. To make this harder, the exact timing will change depending on your enemy or opposing weapon type.
Rather than trying to learn each type of enemy and weapon, the easiest way to improve your perfect parrying skills is to watch your opponent’s elbow. The moment the elbow extends and the weapon swings forward, you parry. You can imagine that a real samurai would do the same, so beyond improving your parrying, it’s a neat trick too.
The Final Word
The art of war takes a little practice, which is the best (and worst) tip toward improving your samurai skills. But spending time learning to perfect parry is a worthy sacrifice if you’re going to fight back the Mongol invasion and save Tsushima– Or become a legendary badass.
By upgrading your skill tree and mastering your timing, you will be able to parry some of the stronger attacks in Ghost of Tsushima relatively quickly. Plus, with healing bonuses when charms are assigned, those hectic battles will quickly become less frantic as you are healing up every time you land the final blow.
Yes, parrying is a defensive move and we are always to eager to go on the offensive. But trust me, you’re going to need it.
What’s your favourite battle in Ghost of Tsushima? Hit the comments below!
Also, please enjoy some of our other tips, tricks, reviews and tutorials:
Content Disclaimer: This tutorial on how to parry in Ghost of Tsushima has been independently written using a test copy of the Ghost of Tsushima game. GamePro has not been commissioned by Ghost of Tsushima, nor have we received any royalties for this article. This includes financial reimbursement, free advertising or a free retail version of Ghost of Tsushima.
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