By the virtue of its open worldliness, Ghost of Tsushima has a lot of different systems for the player to engage with to make progress. Jin Sakai is on a journey from mostly dead samurai footsoldier, to the legendary and titular Ghost of Tsushima. Along the way to that point, Jin has to collect a lot of genre-appropriate experience points. But when Jin isn’t growing his legend and spending technique points, he’s also coming across special landmarks on the map that give him other kinds of upgrades (or cosmetic items). Here’s how to make sure you’re effectively sniffing those out.

Ghost of Tsushima Upgrades Guide

The obvious, easy way to find upgrades is to pump your technique points into the Guiding Wind. These are the Exploration techniques that live under the Samurai menu. There are five techniques, and they’re pretty aptly named. There isn’t much subtlety when it comes to choosing between Wind of Health, Wind of Resolve, Wind of Charms, Wind of Inari, and Wind of Vanity.

Related: Ghost of Tsushima: How to Increase Resolve

Once you buy these techniques, you can choose one for the Guided Wind to focus on via the map screen. Then you just need to follow the wind as usual and you’ll eventually make it to the next permanent upgrade to your stats or a new piece of equipment. Vanity items are cosmetics that let you customize Jin’s look, but Charms are equippable boosts to specific aspects such as parry timing or stealth bumps.

There are a few mechanisms in place for finding upgrades out in the world without the Guiding Wind. If you see a fox, you’ve stumbled upon a fox den, and the feisty critter will lead you to an Inari Shrine for a new Charm or Charm slot. Foxes are specific to Inari Shrines, but a more general sign of cool stuff comes in the form of birds. If a large, brightly-colored bird comes into view, that’s a sign you’re close to a point of interest. This includes things like enemy encampments in addition to upgrades, but it’s always a good idea to follow the birds if you see one. You can also track them with Focused Hearing, so if you hear distinct tweeting you can pop that on to zero in on the source.

If you’re trying to get your samurai stats up, those tips should help sort you out for the majority of available Ghost of Tsushima upgrades. If you’re looking for something else, check out our previous and ongoing Ghost of Tsushima guide coverage:

Ghost of Tsushima Combat Basics - The Fundamentals of Attack and Defense

Ghost of Tsushima: Hidden Trophy Guide

How to Get and Use the Grappling Hook in Ghost of Tsushima

Did you focus on upgrades and landmarks before you bothered with the main story, or did you just run around blindly and deal with what you stumbled across? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!