Sifu Beginner Guide: 7 Tips and Tricks to Master Kung Fu - Prima Games

Sifu Beginner Guide: 7 Tips and Tricks to Master Kung Fu

by Lucas White

As the world has shown us, Sifu is not an easy game. For some, it’s even more difficult than Dark Souls, the ultimate memetic difficulty game. This is the case for better and for worse, but if you’re looking to dive into the world of videogame Kung Fu, it helps to have some information. Every other website has a Sifu beginner’s guide, so here’s the Prima Games version. The answer to winning is ultimately patience and determination, but there are some key points to consider. Especially early on. So here’s what I think puts you in the best starting position in Sifu, based on my time ahead of the game’s launch.

Sifu Beginner Guide

Focus on Focus

The best tool in the whole game is Focus. It doesn’t seem that way at first, but after a few tussles with bosses you’ll know what I’m talking about. Using a Focus attack is basically a free hit as long as you aren’t being reckless. With upgrades you can make the meter fill super fast, resulting in a cycle of free hits after just a few choice dodges.

Don’t worry about weapons

Weapons seem awesome at first, perhaps too awesome. And to an extent that’s true! During levels, weapons can be the difference between a long, drawn-out slugfest and a quick cruise down a hallway. But they break, they get knocked out of your hands, so on and so forth. Unless you grab onto one ahead of time, most boss fights won’t even give you the option. And even then, they don’t help much.

There’s plenty of mileage to get from weapons during the levels, especially if you use XP for the “using until they fully break” skill. But I don’t recommend using up shrines to upgrade their durability or damage. There are much more useful options, especially for the real challenges (boss fights).

Blocking is better than it seems (and dodging is worse)

It can be hard to keep up with structure, especially since Sifu’s UI is kinda flakey and it’s hard to direct your attention away from all the feet and fists. And since you have things like avoiding and parrying, it’s easy to assume blocking is a bad idea. But for the most part, blocking can get you a lot further than you might think. As long as you can create an opening and don’t just sit there all day, blocking can be a safer way out of a scrap. You can also save some brain power for the stuff you know you need to avoid.

It’s kinda the opposite with dodging. The run button (R2/etc) also has a “dodge” move associated with it, which is really more of a dash step. It looks like it’s a better defensive tool than it actually is, due to a recovery period and ostensible lack of i-frames. “Dodging” is way more useful for closing short distances when you’re on the offensive. 

Related: Sifu Review: Who the hell interrupted my Kung Fu?

Keep moving

It’s easy to get caught in a crowd, but that’s the worst spot to be in here. Getting surrounded is a run-ender, as enemies don’t stand around and wait to take turns. That said, one of the best parts of Sifu is how much you can use the environment. If you see the goons closing in, step back and slide over a table, or run to a hallway to create a choke point. Maybe even cruise around looking for things to throw! You might have to fight the camera by staying on the move, but that’s better than trying to avoid several attacks all at once.

Start with these key skills

When it comes to exploring the different skills and picking which ones to focus on permanently unlocking, there are all kinds of different approaches depending on what clicks with you. That said, there are also some that are so game-changing it’s to your benefit to grab them first. Environmental Mastery is a big one, as it lets you use all kinds of random items as projectiles. Anything involving a sweep kick is also super choice, because a sweep is a prelude to some guaranteed, uninterruptible damage.

The fancier moves can be fun to play with, but are better saved for when you know what you’re doing. A lot of the extra Focus attacks aren’t anything special either. They feel kinda like clutter. Also, parrying from the ground and catching thrown items are huge boons, especially the latter for a certain boss fight.

The board is non-linear

The first level kind of tricks you into thinking you can find all the area’s detective board items in that level. But that’s far from the case. That door at the end before the boss? You won’t be able to open it for a while. Definitely explore each level, but know there will be backtracking involved as you’ll find keys for other levels tucked away. And if you’re playing on PS5, there are actual official hint cards on the trophies, in case you’re stumped.

Don’t give up!

Not not in general, I mean don’t press start to give up prematurely if you rack up a few deaths. Sifu can be deeply frustrating, and the way the systems are doled out makes aging seem worse than it is. But even if your run is doomed, get as far as you can! You’ll get XP as long as you can go, which could net you some extra unlocking steps before you’re done. You may also find a piece for the detective board, or a shortcut to help you on a return trip. Plus, you get to spend time learning the level and its enemies.

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