Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is similar to other From Software games in many respects. You still make your way to bonfire-like checkpoint areas, battle incredibly powerful bosses, and collect resources to upgrade your healing items, but the flow of combat is completely different.
Rather than wear down an enemy’s health and dodge their attacks before repeating the process, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice requires you to focus on “Posture.” Both player-character Wolf and nearly every opponent you’ll face have a certain amount of Posture that must be broken before doing serious damage. Mastering Posture is the only way you’ll be able to succeed.
Here is how to break an enemy’s posture in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and how you can avoid having your own Posture broken.
How to break an enemy’s posture in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
You can still kill enemies by wearing down their health bar, but the much more efficient way to do so in Sekiro is to break their Posture and deliver a Shinobi Deathblow. There are a few different ways to do this, and you need to know how to combine them to take down most enemies:
- Deal damage: As you deal standard damage to an enemy’s health bar or “Vitality”, their Posture meter will start to fill up. It will break when it’s completely full, leaving them open to a Shinobi Deathblow. Posture will start recharging after a few seconds of not being hit, but the rate at which it does so is directly tied to their overall health. In other words, an enemy with little health will be much easier to break than one with full health. If an enemy is close to having their Posture broken and they’re still guarding, you can also just hit their weapon to whittle the bar down some more.
- Block attacks: Characters’ Posture is also affected when they have their attacks blocked. By holding down the blocking button (L1 on PlayStation and LB on Xbox), you’ll stop non-elemental attacks from dealing direct damage, and your enemy’s Posture bar will fill up. Yours will, as well, so be careful with this strategy!
- Deflect attacks: Instead of holding down the block button, you can tap it just before an attack strikes you to deflect it back at enemies. In some instances, this is necessary for a fight, and if an enemy is already low on health, the Posture they lose by getting attacks deflected can actually be enough to leave them vulnerable to a Shinobi Deathblow.
- Stealth attacks: If you manage to sneak up on an enemy, you can deliver a Shinobi Deathblow without having to fight them at all. Either by dropping down on them from above or sneaking up behind them (make sure you’re crouched) and pressing the attack button, you’ll deal an attack that takes down one of their life bars. For certain mid-bosses, this is the perfect way to get an advantage going into a tough fight.
How to keep your own Posture in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Managing your own Posture is similar to managing stamina in the Dark Souls games or Bloodborne, but it’s slightly more complicated. Here are tips for how to keep your Posture unbroken during the toughest fights:
- Dodge: If an enemy’s attacks are slow or predictable, there’s no reason why you can’t just dodge them instead of blocking or deflecting. Dodging uses no Posture, and you can often get in a hit or two after dodging before an enemy starts blocking again. Against faster enemies, this technique is less useful.
- Block in between attacks: Your Posture’s recharging rate can be increased by holding down the block button. Doing this obviously means you won’t be swinging your sword or using another item, but holding the button for a few seconds can give you the Posture advantage that you need to win some encounters. Just make sure you go back to deflecting instead of blocking against the fastest enemies.
- Heal up: Remember how we said enemies’ Posture recharging rate is related to their overall health? So is yours! If your health is low, your Posture will recharge at a snail’s pace. Use your Healing Gourd whenever you have the opportunity to top yourself off and make the next clash a little easier to manage.