Death is likely to come often in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. There are countless bosses out there to test your prowess, and even the regular enemies are capable of taking you down in no more than a few hits. You might think that the death penalty in Sekiro would be rather mild, but that’s just not the way FromSoftware does things. The price of dying in Sekiro is steep, but it can be mitigated with some smart play. In this guide we’ll explain how deaths affect Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

The immediate cost of dying in Sekiro is half your current sen and half the experience you’d earned towards the next skill point. These losses are irrevocable, and can only be stopped by the small chance of Unseen Aid when you die. This means if you plan to take on a tough boss battle, you should probably spend the sen you’ve been saving up first, or kill a few more easy enemies if you’re close to earning a skill point.

You can ressurect to stop yourself from dying, but with that comes its own set of risks. After resurrection you won’t be able to revive again until you reach a Sculptor’s Idol or have performed finishing blows on several enemies. Should you die before reaching an idol or earning another resurrection orb, you’ll suffer a true death.

As well as costing you sen and experience, dying a true death has implications for Sekiro’s story. Through your connection to the blood of the Divine Heir, respawning after a true death causes the spread of a disease known as dragonrot. Any NPCs the Wolf has encountered are vulnerable to dragonrot, which will cause them to fall ill and suffer a harsh cough. 

Each time dragonrot spreads you’ll receive a Rot Essence relating to the NPC affected. This will not only reduce your chance of receiving Unseen Aid, it’ll also stop that NPC’s storyline from continuing. This is a severe penalty for death, and means that you should avoid dying as much as possible. 

The best strategy we can recommend is to run back to the nearest idol whenever you fall in combat, assuming you don’t have another resurrection charge saved up and a weak enemy nearby to finish. This won’t be possible at all times, especially when it comes to boss fights, but it’s important to limit the number of deaths you have as much as possible. Don’t beat yourself up too much for dying though, some of Sekiro’s bosses are extremely tough, and it’s normal to take over ten attempts to complete them.

Now that you understand how deaths affect Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, read up on the other guides we have on offer. Here are tips and tricks on how to get the Loaded Axe prosthetic tool and how to save the game.