Ghost of Tsushima is all about those skill trees. If it’s something you can do in the game, there’s probably an option to spend a skill point on it. That philosophy extends from things like dodging, to swordplay, to avoiding fall damage. But while it’s plenty of fun to tool around those trees and learn different techniques and resources, there’s one skill tree that is crucial to upgrade above all else. We’re talking stances here. If you want to know about the stances, how they work, and what they do, look no further.

Ghost of Tsushima Stance Guide

It isn’t a direct parallel, but a good point of reference to describe the basic combat in ghost of Tsushima is Batman. When you take on groups of enemies there’s an element of guiding your attacks rather than snapping to targets, and when different enemy types come into the scrap you have to change your approach. It isn’t quite as pass/fail in Ghost of Tsushima, but changing your stance to match your opponent is what will help you master your Sakai sword style.

Upgrading your stances is the same as any other technique skill tree in Ghost of Tsushima, with one major exception. There’s an extra step when it comes to actually unlocking new stances before you can start pumping technique points into them as you level up your Legend rank. In order to get stance points, you’re going to have to seek out and defeat Mongolian leaders by clearing up encampments and retaking villages. If you get the option to “observe” a leader, make that a priority because you’ll get an extra stance point.

Related: How to Increase Legend in Ghost of Tsushima

There are four stances total in Ghost of Tsushima, and each one has an additional four upgrades that give Jin new skills. But at a base level, each stance has an advantage over certain enemy types. Stone Stance, which you start with, matches you up against Swordsmen. Stone is great to focus on in the early game, as most of the scarier enemies use swords. Water Stance is good against Shieldmen. Wind Stance is good against Spearman. Finally, Moon Stance is good against Brutes. You’ll still be able to work through different enemy types before you unlock the right stances, but getting those stances for the extra juice is crucial.

To switch stances, you simply hold R2 and press the relevant face button on the controller. Time will slow down a bit while you’re switching in order to preserve the flow of fighting. And hey, if you’re reading this you might be looking for more information on Sucker Punch’s new blockbuster. Check it out:

What’s your favorite Ghost of Tsushima stance? And while you’re at it, tell us your favorite technique in that stance! Did you struggle with swapping in combat, or did it click just fine? Let us know over on Twitter or Facebook.