FromSoftware games are renowned for their difficulty, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice might just be the hardest of the lot! During this walkthrough we’ll be your guiding light in a sea of shinobi sadness, with help on how to defeat every crushing major enemy, as well as point you in the right direction when you’re - inevitably - lost.
We’ll also point out key items that need grabbing, since there’s plenty that’s easily missed.
Sekiro is more overtly story-based than the Souls games, and as such, Shadows Die Twice starts with exposition in the form of a cutscene.
Sekiro Walkthrough Part 1
We've got a video guide that follows along with the text, so if you get turned around, refer to the video:
When you gain control of the Nameless Shinobi, he’ll be washed up and broken in a sewer drain. Walk forward and pick up the item on the ground, then run forwards. Jump up the ledges in front of you, then press on forward towards the cliff.
Hug the wall of the left and shimmy across, then press in the left stick to crouch, and walk through the long grass around to your left.
In front of you, you’ll see a hole in the bottom of the house. Walk through it, and eavesdrop on the guards above.
When they’re done talking, continue out through the other side of the house and down the slope in front of you.
When you reach the cliff, hang off the edge and shimmy across. Then jump across the gap in front of you, and jump and hang onto the cliff edge to your right - shimmy across and climb up.
Do the same on the next platform in front of you, then look up and to your left. You’ll see another ledge you can grab and shimmy across, which gives you access to the house above.
Inside you’ll find the Young Lord, who’ll give you your trusty katana, Kusabimaru. Once you regain control, talk to the Lord again for a bit of story, and to receive the Healing Gourd - Sekiro’s version of the Estus Flask. Go into your menu and equip it as a quick item.
After you’re done talking, head upstairs in the building and take the item - it’s a heal-over-time item called a Pellet, very useful in a pinch.
Now go back downstairs and open the front door to the building.
As you leave, go over to the left so you’re not spotted by the two guards in front of you. Then approach and stealth kill the first while he’s looking the other way.
Stealth kill the second as he walks down the stairs, then face the third head on. Deflect his charging attack by pressing block just as he’s about to hit you, then retaliate with your own swings for a deathblow.
Now, jump up on the perimeter wall to your left. Walk along the wall around to the gate in front of you. There are four guards here.
Falling stealth kill one, then aggressively swing at the second before he gets a chance to respond.
A third will run through the gate, followed by a fourth - deflect and retaliate with them both for the kill. The audio cues are very important in Sekiro, so listen out for when you’re just about to be hit.
Leader Shigenori Yamauchi
And here he is, your first real test.
Yamauchi is really a tutorial for the Posture meter. As well as their health, enemies have an orange bar that shows how strong their stance is, fill it up, and they’ll be vulnerable.
The key to beating Yamauhci is to be fearlessly aggressive in counter-attacking him. Try to deflect his hits, then retaliate to fill his Posture bar - this opens him up for a death blow.
Once he’s defeated, walk up the stairs to where he started, and follow the path around to the right.
Shimmy across the wall, then double jump up the wall and grab onto the ledge at the end
Eavesdrop on the guards, then climb up onto the platform under the bridge.
There’s a little fella under here that looks harmless enough, but is best described as bit like Yoda in Attack of the Clones - fast, and very jumpy. Rush him with a deathblow before he can react.
Then drop down onto the other side of the bridge. Keep going down the platforms to your left and you’ll reach a door. Open it and you’ll trigger a cutscene.
Afterwards, talk to the Lord and walk forward.
This will trigger another cutscene.
Genchiro and the Dilapidated Temple
You’re supposed to lose this fight, so don’t worry about putting up too much resistance. After your death, another cutscene will play.
You’re now at the Dilapidated Temple with a new toy, the Shinobi Prosthetic. Speak to the Sculptor, and he’ll fill you in on your situation.
When you’re done, head outside. The glowing shrine in front of you is the Sculptor’s Idol, the equivalent of a Dark Souls bonfire.
Turn around and speak to Emma next to the temple. She’s the creator of your Healing Gourd, and is who you speak to when it needs upgrading.
Now turn back towards the Idol and go over to the right - here you’ll find another useful NPC, who lets you train your combat skills.
When you’re ready to press on, go back to the Idol and go out of the left path.
To your left is a grapple point, which you can use to get across the gap. Double jump up the ledge in front of you, then keep going forward.
Jump off the edge and grapple to the branch. On the other side is another Sculptor’s Idol.
Now jump down to your left. From the rooftop, jumping stealth kill the guard below you, then walk along the path.
Grapple to the branch in front of you and take out the guard around the corner.
There’s another guard at the top of the stairs, who you can sneak up on using the grapple points around to your right.
Grapple over the gate, then jumping stealth kill the guard in the long grass.
Now grapple up over to the right, and kill the guard next to the ledge behind the wall. Next get up onto the tree overlooking the two guards in front of the open gate. Stealth kill one, then face up to the other - he shouldn’t give you too much trouble if you deflect him.
A wolf will come through the gate. These are really easy to deal with, just block their jumping attack, then retaliate with one hit.
Grapple up onto this new gate, then head over to the right. Walk a little forward along this path, then drop down to your left - there’s another Sculptor’s Idol.
Rest here, then look to your left. There are three wolves on the path below. Stealth kill one, then deal with the other two. Now grapple up onto the gate where you can see the wall is broken. Inside this gap you’ll see the corpse of a ninja on your left.
Search the body and you’ll find your first ninja tool, the shuriken.
Go back to the Sculptor’s Idol and travel to the Dilapidated Temple.
Talk to the Sculptor and he’ll fit you with your shiny new ninja death stars.
These are really useful for interrupting enemies’ powerful attacks, and can later be upgraded to help you start combos and counter jumping foes.
Now you’ve got your shuriken attachment, travel back to the Outskirts Wall - Gate Path.
General Naomori Kawarada
Hold onto your butt, because this is where Sekiro really starts. From the Idol, grapple and jump over the gate in front of your and head over to the right, killing the rooster quickly before it notices you.
Now turn around, in the clearing below is the first really tough fight in the game - General Naomori Kawarada.
To get the edge in battle you can sneak around the left side of the arena to get behind him, Then jump on him for a stealth attack.
This wipes out one of his health bars. It also makes him really mad.
You can’t stealth him again, so you’ll need to stand up and fight. The trick is to try and deflect his regular attacks, then retaliate with one or two of your own strikes. This will whittle down his health to the point where you can fill up his posture bar with a combo of repeated deflects and counter-strikes.
When a red Japanese symbol appears above you, get out of there! This means there’s an unblockable attack incoming. Step Dodge backwards out of the way.
When he shrouds himself in a blue-green light towards the end of the fight, push forward, this is him healing, not prepping a big attack.
Now Kawarada is down, grapple up onto the gate that he guards and survey the area in front of you. There are plenty of enemies to deal with, including musketeer enemies that deal big damage from afar.
Start by using the grapple points on the right to get to the tree on the raised platform at the far end of the area. Stealth the enemy here, then grapple over to the ruined house across from it to take out the gunner.
Behind the raised platform with the tree is a large ogre-like enemy, who you’ll really want to get above and stealth kill.
You should now be able to mop up the basic enemies in the central clearing of the area.
Your goal in this area is to visit the ruined house in the bottom right corner, where you’ll meet an old lady asking if you’re her son.
Tell her you’re not her son, and she’ll give you a bell which will be important later.
Now head over towards your left through the gap between a raised platform and a cliff.
Walk through and you’ll see a much larger drop in front of you. Look down, and you’ll be able to see some long grass that you can drop to. Do so, then grapple onto the tree branch to your left.
Jump across to the stone steps in front of you and climb up, crouching in the long grass at the top.
Look up and grapple to the tree branch above you, then look to your right to grapple to the top of the gate. Crouch now, you don’t want to alert the canon-wielding guy that’s guarding here. Sneak up and stealth kill him, and he’ll drop Black Gunpowder, which is used for upgrades later.
With him dealt with, turn around and grapple over this last gate. On the other side, bear right, killing the rooster before it notices you.
Keep going forward and you’ll reach another Sculptor's Idol. Rest here, but steel yourself for the next challenge.
- Sekiro walkthroughs
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 1 - Yamauchi, General Naomori Kawarada
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 2 - Chained Ogre
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 3 - Find the Flame vent, Shinobi Axe and fight General Tenzen Yamauchi
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 4 - Find the Shinobi Firecracker and fight the horse-rider
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 5 - How to reach Ashina Castle
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 6 – finishing the Hirata Estate
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 7 – Ashina Reservoir
- Sekiro walkthrough part 8 - Senpou Temple, Long-Armed Centipede Sen'un
- Sekiro Walkthrough Part 9 - Ashina Castle Upper Tower
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 10 – Where to find Lord Isshin
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 11 – Ashina Depths and Hidden Forest
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 12 – Mibu Village, Corrupted Monk Spirit, Screen Monkeys
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 13 – Sunken Valley, Gun Fort and Bodhisattva Valley
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 14 – Owl and Fountainhead Monk Cheese
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 15 – Finding a Persimmon and collecting the Frozen Tears
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 16 – Mibu Manor, Fountainhead Pot Noble and Dragon
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 17 – Clean up and Isshin Sword Saint Cheese
- Sekiro - best ending guide
- Sekiro crafting and items
- Sekiro - how to remove Rot Essence and cure the Dragonrot
- Sekiro - crafting and upgrade materials guide
- Sekiro - Gourd Seeds and Prayer Beads locations
- Sekiro - Treasure Carp Scales Guide
- Sekiro - Mask Fragment Guide
- Sekiro - where to find more Divine Confetti and Snapseeds