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Sifu Beginner Tips You Need to Know Before Starting the Game

Sifu is a fantastic brawler. Every combat scenario is both challenging and deeply satisfying to play through. Although, when you start, it can seem like Sifu might be too hard. We are here to tell you that it is not and that you can master Sifu’s combat system. Every beating and defeat will teach you more about how the game works. After a few hours of playing Sifu, you will notice a sharp increase in your skill level.

That said, there are plenty of lessons that the game does not teach you. While Sifu is a great game, it does not do a fantastic job conveying all of the intricacies of its gameplay. This article will go through ten tips and tricks that can elevate your skill level and help you get through each stage. These tips primarily focus on combat. But there are a couple of quality of life tips in here too. So, without further ado, here are our beginner tips for Sifu.

Avoid Getting Surrounded By Enemies

The Club in Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

It is easy to get surrounded by enemies in Sifu. When this happens, it becomes difficult to avoid enemy attacks. Unless you have mastered your parry skills, getting surrounded is a death sentence. To avoid getting surrounded, you will need to hone your crowd control skills. What you will want to do is stay on the perimeter of the crowd. You can get there by using your dodge move to exit the circle.

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Then, one by one, pick off enemies around the edge. Prioritize enemies with weapons and take them out first. After they are knocked down, pick up their weapon to get the upper hand. As you begin to unlock more permanent skills, handing crowds will get a lot easier.

Use Items and Weapons Whenever You Can

The Botanist in Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

Throughout every stage are various items and weapons that you can pick up or throw. These items give you a substantial advantage in combat because they can deal more damage and increase your hit radius. Whenever you spot a weapon, make sure you pick it up. Also, pro-tip, in Sifu you can quickly throw a weapon off the ground at an enemy by hitting the throw button (default: right bumper).

If you want to up your item proficiency, work towards permanently unlocking the Environmental Mastery skill. This skill will let you use more items around the level and make it easier to deal damage from a distance. This skill is by far one of the best skills to unlock, but more on that later.

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Be An Aggressive Jerk

The Club in Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

There are a few enemies and bosses where being aggressive is not a great strategy, but for the most part, being offensive is better. Of course, that does not mean you should forget to parry or dodge. Instead, being aggressive means throwing yourself into combat and trying to break enemy stances as quickly as possible. Remember, you are a badass martial arts master and can hold your own even against the biggest opponents. 

Keep your opponent on their toes or off of them. There is a split moment right before an enemy starts throwing punches. Take this moment to perform a leg sweep or get a stunning punch in. Heck, you could even knock out an enemy before they get even try to hit you. So yeah, being aggressive is the way to go.

Grind XP To Unlock Skills Permanently

Skill tree in Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

Speaking of skills, let us talk about unlocking skills permanently in Sifu. This process can be a bit confusing, but we are going to break it down as simply as possible. Whenever you die or interact with a shrine, you will be able to spend XP on fighting skills. To unlock a skill once, you will need to pay the upfront cost of XP. For instance, you will need to pay 500 XP to unlock the 360 Swing Focus skill. 

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To unlock a skill permanently, which means you get to keep it forever, all you need to do is pay that upfront cost another five times. Once you do that, you never need to unlock that skill again. This process is essential to becoming a stronger fighter, so you will want to grind the first few levels for XP to spend on skills.

If you are worried about dying (aging over 75) before permanently unlocking a skill, do not worry. If you bought a skill and then paid XP for three more levels of that skill, you will retain that progress after death. The only caveat is that you need to pay again to unlock the skill again before you can continue putting down XP to unlock the skill permanently.

Getting To Boss Fights Gets Easier

The Artist in Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

Getting to the boss at the end of each level can be a bit of a chore. Also, if you are trying to beat the level without aging up, it can be very difficult to run through an entire stage and then fight the boss. Fortunately, you will stumble across some collectibles that will give you a keycard or key to a shortcut. These shortcut collectibles automatically appear in your inventory to you towards the end of the level before the boss fight. 

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Once you get these collectibles, typically keys or keycards, you will be able to go almost directly to the boss fight. Having quicker access to the boss fight makes it significantly easier to beat them. In most cases, this won’t clear the entire path to the boss, but you will have to fight a lot fewer enemies. So, if it is your first time playing through a stage, you do not need to worry about getting through the level perfectly. Take your time and play through the stage until you get the shortcut collectible.

Replay Levels To Lower Your Age

Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

Whatever age you beat a stage at in Sifu is the age you begin at in the next level. For instance, if you finish the first level at the age of 28, you will start the club stage at 28. If you keep that pace of adding ten years per stage, you will be old when you face Yang, which makes his boss fight much harder. Therefore, it is best to keep replaying the earlier levels trying to keep yourself as young as possible.

You don’t need to be 20 years old when you face Yang, but you do not want to be pushing 60 in Yang’s sanctuary. Once you have the shortcuts to each boss, start at the first boss and keep replaying that boss fight until you beat them without adding many years to your life. Keep doing this with every subsequent boss until you get to Yang’s sanctuary. This process gets easier as you unlock more skills that help you deal more damage and use different moves.

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Use Your Focus To Get The Upper Hand

Sanctuary in Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

Your focus is one of your best tools in Sifu. Depending on what skills you have unlocked, you can use your skills to change the landscape of a fight. Whenever you successfully dodge or parry, your focus meter will build up. When the meter is full, you can use your focus to slow down time and perform a special attack. There are a variety of attacks that you can unlock, and each has its unique advantages.

It’s all strategic, so if you want to push enemies off a railing or cliff, invest in the Double Palm Focus, which lets you push enemies back. If you want to trip an enemy carrying a staff, invest in a Strong Sweep Focus. Whatever it is, use your focus to weaken your opponent. Saving your focus for powerful enemies is a great idea too, but it is up to you and your fighting style to choose how you use your focus.

Takedowns Are Great Until They Aren’t

Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

Takedowns are a great way to finish off an enemy and regain a little bit of health. Unfortunately, sometimes these takedowns fail and end up making an enemy stronger. Typically, this happens to stronger enemies who are better fighters. So, when using takedowns, avoid using them on the stronger enemies and save them for the weaker pawns. Although, in our experience, takedowns work virtually every time you do them on heavy enemies.

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It only takes a couple of extra hits to finish off an enemy without a takedown, so you are not sacrificing much. Again, to reiterate, you should still use takedowns but avoid using them on more proficient enemies. Also, just so you are not confused, in sifu takedowns work every time during boss fights, and this tip only applies to the generic enemies you encounter.

Don’t Forget To Use Your Grab Move

Sanctuary in Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

It is easy to forget that you have a grab move, which lets you throw enemies around. Granted, this only works when an enemy is stunned. If you grab an enemy, you can throw them into furniture, walls, or off ledges. There are a surprising amount of combat situations where the environment can help you knock out enemies.

Even if you throw an enemy off a small drop, they can get knocked out, although that depends on how they land. If anything, it is a fighting move you will want to try out in a bunch of situations. Also, if you are worried about crowd control, grabbing enemies and tossing them behind you can help you avoid getting surrounded.

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Rebind Controls If You Need To

Sifu
PHOTO CREDIT: SLOCLAP

Rebinding your controls is super helpful. While the standard controls are not terrible, some button combos can be frustrating. Fortunately, Sifu lets you rebind all of your buttons and triggers. So, if you hate holding the left bumper to parry, you can swap it with the left trigger or any other button you prefer. There is no wrong way to play Sifu. So if something is not working for you, change it. 

What are some of your beginners’ tips? Have you managed to beat Sifu? Also, did you know there’s an alternate ending if you replay the game and spare all of the bosses?

If you want to learn even more about Sifu, check out our overview video down below.

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Written by Anton Charpentier

Anton is freelance games writer from Canada. His work also appears on TheGamer. He is a fan of action-adventure games, strategy games, and all things indie.

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