How to parry in Ghost of Tsushima

Master the perfect parry in Ghost of Tsushima and you'll cut a hole in your enemies' defences.

There are plenty of sneaky tools to get you out of trouble in Ghost of Tsushima, but at the end of the day you’ll need to know how to handle a sword well if you want to survive. Much of Ghost of Tsushima’s combat is built around a parry mechanic. This opens up your enemies’ defences, so you should learn how to parry in Ghost of Tsushima as quickly as possible so you can take down your foes.

How to parry in Ghost of Tsushima

How to parry in Ghost of Tsushima
Learning how to parry is crucial in Ghost of Tsushima. 
© Sucker Punch

To parry in Ghost of Tsushima, you must press the block button (L1) just as your enemy is about to strike you. Hold the button too early and you’ll simply deflect the strike, without making an opening. Press too late and you’ll take a sword/spear/club to the face. Time a parry correctly and jin will knock his opponent off-balance, usually opening up their front or back for a followup attack with Square or Triangle.

The timing for a general parry in Ghost of Tsushima is pretty generous (though it may still take some practice), but that’s only because there’s also a perfect parry available too. This is unlocked as the first skill in Jin’s Deflection tree (in the Samurai section). It’s an essential unlock you should grab as soon as possible. Successfully tap block as close as possible to the enemy’s strike and you’ll see time slow momentarily. You can then follow up with an attack using Square or Triangle which deals massively increased damage. Against many weaker enemies, it’ll be an instant kill.

Ghost of Tsushima perfect parry - how to parry red attacks
By spending Technique Points you can parry some unblockable attacks. 
© Sucker Punch

There are a few tricks to the parry that the game doesn’t teach you. Attacks preceded by a red flash cannot be parried. You’ll need to dodge out of the way instead. However, by purchasing skills from Jin’s Deflection tree, you can transform some of these trikes from swords and spears into blue, parryable hits. We recommend unlocking these as quickly as you can, because they’ll make fighting large groups much, much easier. 

Related guides: 

So to recap, if you want to parry in Ghost of Tsushima, all you need to do is tap L1 a short moment before an enemy attack connects. A successful parry will deflect an enemy attack and leave them open for a followup attack, while a perfect parry will allow you to dish out a deadly counterattack. Parrying is essential in most of Ghost of Tsushima’s boss fights, so it pays to practice the timing against weaker enemies. For more Ghost of Tsushima content, click here to visit our game hub.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

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