See our video on 7 Things to Do First in Ghost of Tsushima
As fun as it is to race off to the far corners of the island, explore, and fight off Mongol patrols – trust us when we say it’s worth doing at least a few of the main quests as soon as possible. Jin is a fairly capable fighter, but you’ll be sorely lacking in a lot of techniques.
Complete Yuna’s first quest – The Warrior’s Code – to unlock the ability to quietly assassinate enemies. Without it, you’ll have no way to take out enemies in a stealthy manner without alerting a lot more to your presence, which can quickly lead to you getting overwhelmed.
You should also head east to Hiyoshi Springs to find and complete The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa to get a Half Bow. It is extremely valuable in taking out threats from a distance, sniping watchtower guards, and triggering environmental hazards like hornets nests or red explosive barrels!
These two abilities will go a long way in taking on various threats you’ll be facing, and taking over settlements will be a lot harder without them. In fact, if you continue Ishikawa’s side quests, you’ll also get access to Fire Arrows, which can deal major damage and light grass (and enemies) on fire)..
After helping out Ishikawa at his dojo above Hiyoshi Springs, be sure to visit the town itself, as it has many features worth investigating.
Several camps, the springs included, have a merchant that sells vanity items and dyes – and upon your first interaction, you’ll receive the Traveler’s Attire, which can help you track down collectibles.
Also in the town, visit the inn at the center and speak to a woman to find one of many hot springs that will increase your health.
Finally, travel up the east side to find one of the bamboo strike minigames by a house that will increase your resolve.
Another settlement worth getting to know is Golden Temple, which is marked on your map from the start. Unlike Hiyoshi Springs, it features weapon and armor upgrade merchants, as well as a gift altar where you can get different kinds of masks as your renown increases.
Be sure to check back at towns with gift altars regularly, so you can keep finding new masks, as well as lots of supplies to upgrade your gear.
Be sure to help out on another nearby main quest – The Tale of Lady Masako – to the east of Golden Temple, as it will not only lead you to Golden Temple, but have you speak to the armor to get another unique piece of gear – the Samurai Clan Armor.
When you begin your adventure, Jin will have 2 slots for major charms to bolster yourself with passive upgrades. These charms can be found at Shinto Shrines all over Tsushima. You can always find them by following the tori gates, and then platforming around broken paths to reach the top of the shrine.
While there are a few to choose from early on, we recommend finding two in particular:
Golden Summit Shrine can be found south of Golden Temple near the Winding Trail. It’s major charm reward will let you recover a bit of health each time you defeat an enemy, which can be absolutely crucial when low on resolve and health – giving you a chance to isolate and kill weakened enemies to survive a larger battle.
Arrow Peak Shrine is located further south in the Azamo prefecture near Archer’s Rise. This shrine offers a major charm that will Increase supplies, predator hides, bamboo, and yew wood gained from collecting, letting you get a ton more upgrades in the early hours of the game to stand a chance against more enemies.
When you visit merchants at camps, they’ll have a small selection of armor dye to sell in exchange for flowers, but it’s worth noting that other merchants – mostly ones in major settlements in other regions of the game – will sell more kinds of armor dyes.
If you’re looking for more variety early on, head to the southern part of the Komoda prefecture and ride up the mountain to Wanderer’s Pass. On the west side of this area you can find a home hidden in the hills where a White Dye Merchant can give you special dye for the Traveler’s and Ronin Attire that you’ll get in this region – as well as more for armor you unlock later. This dye can’t be found anywhere else in the game, so take advantage of the new fashions!
You can find a lot of side quests just by visiting camps, talking to villagers, following birds, and exploring – and all side quests reward you with a different minor charm to help you in or out of battle. However, Mythic Tales are special side quests that usually provide a bit more challenge for some great rewards.
Be sure to travel to the east of Tsutsu prefecture’s survivor camp over to a small unmarked camp below the Rustling Bend – to find a mythic tale called The Legend of Tayadori that can unlock a brand new set of armor with upgradeable abilities for archers.
With it, you’ll be able to aim and reload your bow much faster, increase the time of your Concentration Technique (which you should totally invest in), and gain more time for scoring headshots.
You can also find a musician outside Komatsu prefecture’s forge town, south of the river falls bridge who will begin the quest The Heavenly Strike.
This quest will unlock one of the few special techniques that lets you unleash an unblockable attack that can be incredibly useful in evening the odds against a group of Mongol soldiers.
If you haven’t already, head back to Hiyoshi Springs to look for a musician playing near the Bamboo Strike hut, and he’ll clue you in on a quest to gain a mythical Longbow that deals incredible damage and can pierce enemy helmets.
Ghost’s suite of combat and exploration options makes for a lot of skill trees. And while preferred skills will vary from player to player, here are some worth getting sooner rather than later.
- Fall damage is present but unlocking Safe Landing lets you roll right before landing to avoid damage completely. Jin is fairly agile, but he really can’t afford to fall too far without taking massive damage, and a mistime jump can leave you seriously injured or just dead. Safe Landing lets you walk away from all but the most serious of leaps of faith – just remember to time your roll right when you land!
- Archers will likely become the bane of your existence, especially early in Ghost of Tsushima when you don’t have a lot of options for taking out lots of varied fighters. Even if you can sprint over to them, you’ll constantly have to dodge incoming fire – until you get the Deflect Arrows technique, which renders them trivial as long as you block when you hear their warning shouts. As a bonus, Jin will automatically run forward after a successful block, giving you a burst of speed to cut them down before the next hit comes.
- Improving your Standoff Streak will help you take down roaming enemies with ease to build your legend and earn technique points. Groups often appear in numbers from 3 or more, especially with bigger Mongol patrols, and being able to dispatch several of them quickly can go a long way to ending the fight without taking too much damage.