Ghost of Tsushima: Beginner’s Guide to Stances

Ghost of Tsushima's impressive setting and highly addictive combat is based around stances. If you're struggling to keep up, check this beginner's guide on where to use which stance. This breathtaking game will surely push your boundaries on the "Lethal" difficulty, so pay attention!

Ghost of Tsushima - Tips for Stances

Ghost of Tsushima‘s awesome combat gameplay is highly addictive. It revolves around stealthy gameplay, known as the Ghost style, and the “honourable” hand to hand combat that the Samurai prefer. While there are many tips and tricks to combat in general, the hand to hand combat in Ghost of Tsushima revolves around the various fighting stances.

While you can technically use any fighting stance on any type of enemy, the game encourages players to use the correct stance for the enemy associated with said stance. Using the correct stance on an enemy reduces the time spent on each encounter by a significant amount, so if you want to survive, using the correct stance is key. For those who don’t know, Ghost of Tsushima features 4 main stances: Stone, Water, Wind and Moon.

Though it becomes muscle memory towards mid-game, some people may find the various stances a tad confusing at first. The stance to use on enemy types is often reminded in-game via tutorials. However, there is a quicker way to adjust to the stances that other players have also noticed. Here’s a quick guide for those still trying to adjust to the incredible combat gameplay.

Stone Stance

Stone stance, X & Swordsmen

Stone stance, X & Swordsmen

The Stone stance in Ghost of Tsushima is first stance you get to use as Lord Sakai. This stance is most effective against Swordsmen. I found that the easiest way to remember this is by associating the “X” button with enemies and how they wield their swords in the “X” buttons position. Have a look above. See the resemblance?

There are also some enemies wielded with single swords but you soon begin to associate sword enemies with “X”, aka the Stone stance. If you want to make mincemeat out of your enemies in this stance, be sure to use “Full Puncture.”

Water Stance

Water stance, O and Shieldmen

Water stance, O and Shieldmen

The Water stance in Ghost of Tsushima is switched to with R2 and O. This stance is most effective against Shieldmen. If you struggle to remember this, try to associate Shieldmen with the “O” button, which is also shaped like a shield. Once you’re able to form said connection, be sure to invest in “Flowing Strikes.” This technique is quick to break through blocks and will lead to a nice and swift kill.

Wind Stance

Wind stance, Triangle & Spearmen

Wind stance, Triangle & Spearmen

The Wind stance in Ghost of Tsushima switched to with R2 and Triangle. This stance is most effective against Spearman. For me, I found that the Triangle button looks quite similar to the tip of a spear. As I began to form this association quite quickly, I immediately invested in the “Typhoon Kick.” This move is not only great against Spearmen, but can knock almost every enemy down once fully connected. If you’re fumbling and forget which stance to switch to, the “Typhoon Kick” is an absolute gem of a technique. It can floor anyone and also send enemies flying off cliffs.

Moon Stance

Moon stance, Square & Brutes

Moon stance, Square & Brutes

The Moon stance in Ghost of Tsushima switched to with R2 and Square. This stance is most effective against Brutes. I hated Brutes in this game. Naturally, I was incredibly excited to see that the Moon stance as an efficient way to take these tanks down. I began to associate the “Square” button with the massive armour plates these huge men wore as protection. After nailing this connection, I started investing in “Tornado.” This technique is an enhanced version of the first upgrade, “Whirlwind.” After unlocking said technique and combining it with some practice, Brutes became no match for the Ghost of Tsushima.

PlayStation’s iconic button layout fits perfectly with the visual presentation of enemies in Ghost of Tsushima. If it was done intentionally, you have to take your hats off to Sucker Punch, as it is an absolute genius way to shape combat around such intuitive behaviour. 

Can you see a resemblance in the enemy types and buttons? Do you think it was intentional? Be an honourable Samurai and drop a comment below!

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