Sekiro Shadows Die Twice contains Combat Styles (Skill Sets). You can also get individual Combat Arts (combat skills) from merchants. Acquiring all Skills unlocks the Height of Technique trophy or achievement. For it you only need the purchasable skills (the skills that cost points), not the ones that are dropped from bosses.
Combat Styles: Are awarded to you from general game progression and side quest rewards. These unlock skill trees. You earn XP by killing enemies (XP gauge in top right corner). Fill up the gauge to get a skill point. Then you can spend the skill points at any idol statue. There are 3 types of skills. Red skills are “Combat Arts” (unique attack moves, only one can be equipped at a time), Orange skills are “Latent Skills” (passive boosts and buffs that are always active), Blue skills are “Martial Arts” (new moves that don’t need to be equipped). Each Combat Style introduces new skills.
Individual Skills: Are bought from some merchants in the game or dropped by certain bosses. They often add a new Combat Art that can be equipped in the inventory.
We’ll start with the Combat Styles and then go through the purchasable Skills.
These are the main skill sets in the game that have lots of sub-skills.
Location: Dilapidated Temple
Requirement: Fill up your XP gauge once (blue bar top right corner) to earn 1 skill point. Then return to the Sculptor at the Dilapidated Temple to get the Shinobi Esoteric Text, which unlocks this combat style.
- Whirlwind Slash (1 point)
- Mid-air Deflection (1 point)
- A Shinobi’s Karma: Body (2 points)
- Mid-air Combat Arts (3 points)
- A Shinobi’s Karma: Mind (3 points)
- Breath of Life: Light (5 points)
- Mikiri Counter (2 points)
- Run and Slide (1 point)
- Suppress Presence (2 points)
- Shinobi Eyes (3 points)
- Suppress Sound (3 points)
- Vault Over (2 points)
- Shadowrush (6 points)
Location: Dilapidated Temple
Requirement: Find 3 Prosthetic Tools and bring them to the Sculptor at the Dilapidated Temple. Let him fit them to your arm and he’ll give you the Prosthetic Esoteric Text after the 3rd tool. See Sekiro Shadows Die Twice All Prosthetic Tool Locations.
- Chasing Slice (1 point)
- Fang and Blade (2 points)
- Mid-air Prosthetic Tool (3 points)
- Sculptor’s Karma: Blood (2 points)
- Sculptor’s Karma: Scars (3 points)
- Projected Force (1 point)
- Grappling Hook Attack (1 point)
- Nightjar Slash (2 points)
- Emma’s Medicine: Potency (4 points)
- Nightjar Slash Reversal (3 points)
- Emma’s Medicine: Aroma (5 points)
- Living Force (4 points)
Warning: This is missable, the NPC that gives this combat art disappears later in the game.
Location: Ashina Outskirts – Ashina Castle Gate
Requirement: After defeating the first main boss “Gyoubu Oniwa” (guy on horse), you will reach the Ashina Castle Gate idol. From where the boss fight happened, run across the battleground and up some stairs (not the stairs by the idol, the ones on the other side of the battleground). There you’ll find a friendly samurai inside a building. He’s called Tengu and gives you the “Rats” side quest (Screenshot 1 below). You must kill 3 small enemies that have big bamboo hats. Backtrack to the Ashina Castle Gate idol. This time, go through the gate by the idol. Pass by the single rifleman here and jump up to the area on the right side. There you find 3 of those “rat” enemies (Screenshot 2 below, they are midgets, not actual rat animals). Stealth kill 1 or 2 of them and return to the quest giver to get the Ashina Esoteric Text.
- Ichimonji (2 points)
- Ascending Carp (2 points)
- Descending Carp (1 point)
- Breath of Nature: Light (2 points)
- Flowing Water (3 points)
- Ichimonji: Double (3 points)
- Ashina Cross (5 points)
Location: Senpou Temple, Mt. Kongo – Main Hall
Requirement: From the 4th idol in Senpou Temple region, called “Main Hall”, leave the hall the way you came and then go through the dark tunnel section. In the tunnel you must drop down and then crouch under some rocks. After the tunnel you get back outside and reach a dead-end. There’s only one temple there and two poison geckos. Open the temple door, inside you find the Senpou Esoteric Text.
- Praying Strikes (2 points)
- Virtuous Deed (3 points)
- Praying Strikes – Exorcism (3 points)
- Most Virtuous Deed (4 points)
- Senpou Leaping Kicks (3 points)
- Devotion (3 points)
- High Monk (4 points)
Location: Ashina Castle – Kuro’s Room (After returning from having defeated Divine Dragon in Fountainhead Palace)
Requirement: This is missable if you go for the Shura Ending (betraying Kuro)! Instead, you must stay loyal to Kuro. After having defeated Corrupted Monk (Ashina Depths) & Guardian Ape (Sunken Valley) all idols in Ashina Castle will become unavailable. You then need to get back there through the Abandoned Dungeon and head back to Kuro’s Room. Here on the tower roof you are given two dialogue choices: Betray Kuro or Stay Loyal to Kuro. You must pick the 2nd option to stay loyal to him. Only then you can reach the next area “Fountainhead Palace”, where you must defeat the Divine Dragon main boss. After defeating Divine Dragon you automatically get teleported back to Kuro’s Room. There Isshin Ashina will be dead on the floor with Emma sitting next to him. Talk to Emma and she’ll pass on Isshin’s Mushin Esoteric Text, which unlocks all Ultimate Combat Arts.
- High Monk
- Ashina Cross
- Living Force
- Shadowfall (6 points)
- Spiral Cloud Passage (9 points)
- Empowered Mortal Draw (5 points)
These are individual skills bought from merchants and dropped by certain bosses. These are NOT needed for the “Height of Technique” trophy and achievement (acquired all Skills).
Anti-Air Deathblow: Found in Region “Ashina Castle”, Idol “Old Grave”. From this idol jump down the left side to a building with a broken roof below you. Inside sits a merchant that sells this skill for 1200 coins, the item is called Anti-air Deathblow Text.
Floating Passage Combat Art: Found in Region “Hirata Estate”, Idol “Dragonspring”. From this idol, jump down the hill. You’ll see a bridge on the left and a lake on the right. Go to the lake. There’s a guy in a barrel calling for treasure carp scales. He sells this skill for 5 scales. You can kill the fish in this lake and more are found later in the Hirata Estate region and other regions. See Sekiro Shadows Die Twice – All Treasure Carp Scale Locations.
Shinobi Medicine Rank 1: Dropped by Chained Ogre miniboss in Ashina Outskirts.
Shinobi Medicine Rank 2: Dropped by Blazing Bull miniboss in Ashina Castle.
Breath of Nature Shadow: Dropped by Armored Warrior miniboss in Senpou Temple, Mt. Kongo.
Breath of Life Shadow: Dropped by O’rin of the Water miniboss in Ashina Depths.
Mibu Breathing Technique: Dropped by Corrupted Monk main boss in Ashina Depths.
One Mind: Dropped by the endboss in the Shura Ending (not needed for Height of Technique trophy and achievement).
A Beast’s Karma: Dropped by Sakura Bull of the Palace miniboss in Fountainhead Palace.
Shinobi Medicine Rank 3: Dropped by Chained Ogre miniboss in Ashina Castle. Only spawns after the idols there get locked near end of story.
Dragon Flash: Dropped by the endboss in the Purification / Return / Mortal Severance Endings (Isshin the Sword Saint).
That’s all of the Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Skills!