Ghost of Tsushima: How to Challenge Enemies and Start a Standoff

Ghost of Tsushima: How to Challenge Enemies and Start a Standoff

When confronting enemies, you'll have the chance to issue a challenge and begin a standoff for the duel. We'll show you how to make the most of it and get a real advantage in the coming fight.

Ghost of Tsushima offers players the opportunity to challenge enemies to honorable combat, beginning a Standoff and a brief duel of blades where you can defeat several enemies in a single strike. We'll show you how to challenge enemies and start a Standoff as a true samurai.

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How to Challenge Enemies and Start a Standoff in Ghost of Tsushima

When confronting enemies, there'll be the option to press up on the D-pad to initiate a Standoff, in which one of the enemies will step forward in front of Jin. At that point it becomes a matter of timing - hold down Triangle and release it when the enemy raises their weapon to hit you, but before they land the strike. Do it correctly, and Jin will instantly kill the opponent in a single attack, at least before the others rush in and normal combat begins.

If you mistime the strike, Jin will take damage either way. Do it too early, and the opponent will dodge Jin's strike and counterattack. Do it too late, and the opponent's hit will land as normal. Later on in the game, opponents will start trying little feints and false starts to try and trick you into attacking too early. These will start to become less obvious and their attacks faster as you progress.

Why Can't I Start a Standoff?

A Standoff can only trigger if enemies are unaware you're there and not actively hunting for you. Even from stealth, you can't activate the standoff if opponents are searching the area to find you. This means you can only usually get one Standoff per encounter with enemies, though in large fortresses where enemies are spread out, you might be able to do it more than once. You also can't activate it when crouched, because the game assumes you're trying to be stealthy, and won't want to bellow your intentions at every enemy for miles around.

Getting the Standoff right can allow you to kill multiple opponents in quick succession. | Joel Franey/USG, Sucker Punch Productions/Sony

If you want all the guides you'd ever need on Ghost of Tsushima, why not check out our full Guides Hub here? Whether it's bosses, collectibles or getting the best armor and weapons, we've got everything you'll need to liberate Tsushima here.

How to Upgrade Standoff

You can learn two new techniques as part of the Ghost tree of your techniques list. The second branch of the "Evolving Tactics" section allows you to learn "Standoff Streak" and "Improved Standoff Streak." The first of these allows you to kill a second enemy in the Standoff with a timed use of the attack button. Improved Standoff Streak adds a third enemy to that chain, allowing you to cut through three opponents before the fight's even begun. Once you get the Sakai Clan Armor, you can also add additional enemies to the chain, no matter how much you've upgraded it.

Hack your way through some more Ghost of Tsushima content, here at USG! Mike's review of the game can be found here, or find out how the creators of The Last Guardian were able to contribute to Ghost of Tsushima here.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

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