Skip to main content

Like a Dragon: Ishin! skills guide: skill tree explained and best skills

Depending on which title you started with, Like a Dragon: Ishin! will either feel like a return to the original Like a Dragon (formerly known as Yakuza) gameplay style, or completely new. This remake was never released in the West, but has finally been given a worldwide release. While very different in setting from every other game in the series, Like a Dragon: Ishin! keeps the brawler-style of combat, along with different fighting styles to swap between and upgrade. This skill tree and upgrade system is a bit more complex than some other action RPGs out there. Before you get swept up in protagonist Ryoma’s tale of class, politics, and blood, make sure you understand the basics of combat in Like a Dragon: Ishin!

How skill trees work

Kiru walks down a line of samurai.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ryoma, just like Kiryu in every Like a Dragon game (except for 7), will have four distinct combat styles. Set in the 1800s as opposed to more modern times like the other games, Like a Dragon: Ishin! features very different options from normal. These include stances like Brawler (hand-to-hand focused) Swordsman utilizes a katana), Gunman (gives you a pistol), and Wild Dancer (where Ryoma will wield his sword in one hand and handgun in the other). Each style has strengths and weaknesses, as well as its own individual skill tree that you can invest in.

When you go into your skills menu, each stance will have its own skill tree that is represented by a circle with a series of nodes on a path. Each node represents some sort of buff, either in the form of a new skill or combo for that stance or a stat buff for Ryoma. Skills require you to unlock all others leading up to it in order to get to the better, later ones located around the edges of the circle, and there are many branches and locked skills along the way as well.

How do Training and Soul orbs work

A samurai swipes a sword in Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The concept of the skill trees is simple enough, however, Like a Dragon Ishin adds a layer of complexity by using two forms of skill orbs to unlock new skills. These are Training orbs and class-specific Soul orbs.

Training orbs are the ones you will unlock first and most often. These are gray in color and can be used to unlock any available skill for any of the four stances. You earn these by leveling up Ryoma’s overall level.

Soul orbs are color-coded based on which skill they can be applied to. Wild Dancer orbs, for example, are green and can only be used to unlock skills for that specific style. You earn Soul orbs by fighting using that combat style; you will earn Swordsman orbs the more you fight in that stance.

Aside from Training orbs being more versatile, the main thing you want to remember is that Training orbs can be reused, but Soul orbs cannot. If you invest a Training orb in the first two slots of any style, then earn two Soul orbs for that style, you can replace the Training orbs with Soul orbs so that you can reinvest those Training orbs either further up in that tree, or use them in on a completely different skill tree. You should constantly be swapping out your Training orbs to make the most of your available orbs.

How to unlock locked skills

Finally, you will notice a few slots on each skill tree that are marked with a lock symbol. These can’t be acquired simply by filling in the slots leading up to them like any other skill. Instead, these special skills have to be learned by completing different training events at specific locations in Like a Dragon: Ishin! Once you reach chapter 3 in the game, these dojos will become available to visit and you can complete a small challenge to unlock the ability.

Keep in mind that just completing the training won’t actually award you with that skill. You still need to reach and slot either a Training or Soul orb into it to actually acquire and use it.

Best skills to unlock

A samurai shoots a bandit Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Now that you’re trained in all the nuances of how skills work, let’s look at some of the best skills you should focus on getting first in Like a Drago: Ishin! for each style. All stat boosts are great and apply to Ryoma no matter what style you use, so we’ll focus mainly on skills that give you new moves in combat.

Best Brawler skills

Komaki Dharma Tumbler: This tactical roll is far better at getting you out of danger than the standard dodge.

Knowledge of Fortitude: It’s just a fact that you’re going to get hit and knocked down eventually. By default, you’re stuck on the ground and immobile for a frustrating amount of time. This skill drastically shortens that time so you can get back on the offensive.

Best Swordsman skills

Knowledge of the Odachi: This skill lets Ryoma equip the insanely powerful Odachi weapon you otherwise wouldn’t be able to wield. It is slower, but has a brand new set of moves.

Mugenbo Knowledge: Normally when your guard is broken, you’re left wide open to damage. If you have this skill, you can immediately put your guard back up and block any incoming attacks.

Best Gunman skills

Enhance Rapid Fire Rate: It sounds backwards, but your gun normally deals less damage at range than close-up. This skill compensates for that by raising your rate of fire.

Essence of Finishing Shots: This is a heat move that lets you deal massive damage to downed enemies, even from a distance.

Best Wild Dancer skills

Typhoon of Steel and Fire: This move would be worth it just based on the name alone, but the skill actually lives up to its promise. Spinning your thumbstick will let Ryoma unleash a flurry of slashes and bullets as long as you have some heat.

Splendid Skill: Moonlit Sake: It’s a bit more technical, but if you can pull off consistent dodges, then you’ll want this skill. It gives you the ability to follow any successful dodge with a quick strike.

Editors' Recommendations

Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
The best OS Tuning upgrades in Armored Core 6
A mech carrying things overlooks a destroyed world in Armored Core 6's reveal trailer.

As much as you're a pilot in Armored Core 6, you're just as much a mechanic. Almost every mission will have you back in the garage swapping out parts, buying new ones, replacing weapons, and customizing your mech for the task at hand. This is quite different from typical FromSoftware games due to the fact that you can't actually improve any weapon or mech part, but that doesn't mean the only way to get better is to buy new parts. OS Tuning upgrades play a major part in your build by giving you a wide range of advantages at the cost of OS Tuning chips you earn from the Arena. These come in passive and active types, and you can unlock and keep all the passives active at once, but will need to pick and choose between active ones. Here are the most powerful OS upgrades you should spend your chips on in Armored Core 6.
Best OS upgrades

Quick Turn
Do yourself a massive favor and significantly improve your quality of life in Armored Core 6 by unlocking Quick Turn. This maneuver lets you snap your mech to either side, or completely flip around, without having to manually rotate around slowly. The only slight trouble is that it is awkward to pull off since the input is using your left analog stick to point in whichever direction you want to turn and you need to press the boost button, which can occasionally send you blasting off when you didn't intend to.
Repair Kits
If you're a FromSoft fan, Repair Kits are your Estus Flasks in Armored Core 6. Unlike the Estus, however, you can never get more than three of them at a time. The only upgrade you can apply to them is with this OS one that buffs how many Armored Points (AP) each one restores by 500 for each level you upgrade it. Once you get tankier mechs, upgrading your kits to max will be almost mandatory to make them at all useful, unless you're so good you just never need to heal.
Assault Armor
Do you find yourself getting swarmed and annoyed at how hard it is to get those little pests off of you? Assault Armor is your "get off me" move that creates a small blast surrounding your mech that deals damage and stagger on anything that's too close for comfort. You don't hurt yourself using it, and each upgrade you invest in lets you use it more times per mission.
Explosive Weapons
Missiles, grenades, and anything that goes boom is probably a key part of your arsenal already. These are already the weapons with the highest damage potential in the game, so why not make them even more powerful? The Explosive Weapons upgrade isn't going to make your weapons too overpowered, with each upgrade only giving you a 3% damage increase, but that can add up fast once you get to the max rank.
Direct Hit Modifier
Similar to Sekiro, staggering enemies in Armored Core 6 is a major mechanic for the flow of combat that lets you get in a lot of damage quickly and without danger. You need to make the most of these opportunities whenever you create them, especially on bosses, so Direct Hit Modifier is an easy upgrade to recommend as it will increase the damage you do to a staggered enemy by 5% per upgrade.

Read more
The best weapons in Armored Core 6
A boss fight in Armored Core 6.

Time to load up for your next mission, merc. Your mech is your real character in Armored Core 6, and the different components you attach to it can completely change how it functions. There are different legs, cores, and all types of ways to change up your mech, but the most immediate and important has to be your weapon loadout. These can range from melee weapons and shotguns to massive missile launchers and Gatling guns. Since your mech can hold weapons in both hands and on each shoulder, there's a lot of room to experiment and give yourself options. Still, weapons aren't cheap and credits aren't always easy to come by as a gun for hire, so here are the best weapons in Armored Core 6 to invest in first.
Best Armored Core 6 weapons

Vvvc-774LS Laser Slicer
Let's begin with a melee weapon, which is far more useful in a game with rifles and lasers than you might expect. This is great for cleaving through mobs of smaller enemies thanks to its wide attack range and the fact that each swing counts as two hits. With an attack power of 1,615, that's a lot of damage coming out very fast -- and that's not even considering the ability to charge it up while advancing. It is on the heavier side for its class, and takes a while to "reload," but is a perfect way to get some breathing room if you get swarmed.
VP-60LCS Laser Cannon
If you need an early shoulder-mounted laser weapon, the VP-60LCS is a great one you can pick up in Chapter 1. They do decent damage, but the real usefulness comes in their staggering ability. Their rate of fire is essentially as fast as you can pull the trigger, and without a need to reload, you can rely on them whenever you need to so long as you don't overheat.
DF-GA-08-HU-BEN Gatling Gun
Sometimes we just want to hold down the trigger and make our problems go away. That's what Gatling guns are for, and this one ranks among the best. Each round will obviously do little damage, but with 1,300 rounds to chew through, not much can hold out against its sustained fire. Having one or two of these in your hands to follow up after stunning enemies with a laser weapon results in the perfect combo.
Songbirds Grenade Cannon
You won't have access to heavy explosives like the Songbirds until around midway into the game, but it is a must-buy as soon as you can. As you would expect, these explosives deal a ton of impact damage that has a decent area of effect if you're firing near a group. As a cherry on top, the grenades also inflict a high amount of stagger, so they're quite useful against bosses as well.
BML-G1/P07VTC-12 Vertical Missile Launcher
We couldn't close out a list of best weapons without a missile launcher, could we? For your money, this model is king. This shoulder-mounted weapon of mass destruction houses 12 missiles in its case that are ready to track your targets down, even behind cover and around obstacles. Just lock on to up to a dozen targets and let the missiles do the work from there.

Read more
Best talents to unlock in Immortals of Aveum
A player blasts an enemy with magic spells in Immortals of Aveum.

Jak is special in the world of Immortals of Aveum. He's one of the few who can wield all three types of magic -- red, blue, and green -- and you will be swapping between them on the fly as you fight through the fantastical lands of Aveum in the Everwar. As talented as Jak is naturally, he has a lot to learn. The more you explore and fight, the more experience you gain, and the sooner you can begin unlocking more talents via a skill tree that will look familiar to anyone who has played RPGs in the past. Whether or not you're comfortable with the layout, the issue always remains the same: figuring out which talents are worth investing in and which are better skipped over. Here are the best talents you should put your points into in Immortals of Aveum.
Best talents to unlock
The skill tree in Immortals of Aveum is broken into three sections, each related to the three colors of magic you have access to. However, a skill in the green tree, for example, doesn't necessarily mean it will only benefit you when using that sigil. Here are the most versatile and best skills you should work toward unlocking in each branch.

Gathering Chaos: This skill has two benefits. First is that it makes all red sigil attacks deal 10% more damage, and it also makes every kill you get with it create a stack that increases your red magic power by 50 for 8 seconds. You can stack it up to five times, meaning you can get a huge 250 power bonus if you chain your kills.

Read more