Despite what you may have heard, there are a number of cunningly hidden ways in which Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is actually easier than it needs to be. One of these is that you can hold the ‘deflect’ button to block most attacks, and though this exacts a heavy toll on your posture, it’s easily managed. That won’t be true in Sekiro’s New Game Plus mode.
As is the tradition of its developer FromSoftware, Sekiro has a New Game Plus mode. You can choose to begin a second playthrough from any Sculptor’s Idol after beating its final boss, and if you do so, you’ll find a number of things are different.
Predictably enemies will do more damage, both to your health and posture, and your posture will take much longer to recover on its own. That means you can’t rely on blocking if you’ve been using that as a crutch – you won’t even be able to deflect as often. Instead you’ll need to dodge and jump a lot more, and if you find posture damage building up, you’ll have to actively speed its recovery by holding block (without getting hit, of course).
It’s a pretty wide-ranging shake-up of the way you play, and after you’ve spent your whole first playthrough learning one set of rules. Though on the upside, it should make the second playthrough feel rather different, adding to the replay value.
If that sounds appealing, you can make things even harder by using Kuro’s Charm. At the start of a New Game Plus, you’ll receive this alongside the ornamental letter, and can hand it over to Kuro when he hands you your sword in the Moon-View Tower. If you elect to do so, you’ll receive chip damage when blocking attacks, making this tactic even more perilous. You can reverse the decision and get the charm back by speaking with the Sculptor. Note there is one ending that will prevent you from receiving Kuro’s Charm in your next playthrough – if you want to know which, check our Sekiro endings guide (spoilers).
Here’s what changes in Sekiro’s New Game Plus (via Fextralife, though be wary of spoilers if you follow that link):
- New drops – often Bundled Jizos – will replace items that are finite in quantity but which carry over to your second playthrough. These include gourd seeds, prayer beads, Shinobi prosthetics, and certain key items.
- This means you won’t find any new gourd seeds, prayer beads, or prosthetics apart from those you missed first time round.
- All NPCs and world states reset. Obviously, this means you get a chance to attempt another ending – see our Sekiro endings guide for more details (spoilers).
- Your passive posture regeneration is slowed.
- Difficulty increases with each NG+, with enemies dealing extra damage to both health and posture in each new playthrough.
Here’s what carries over to New Game Plus:
- All your inventory, apart from certain Key Items.
- All your prosthetic tools and their upgrades.
- All your learned skills, including those learned through bosses or minibosses, except Mibu Breathing Technique and Mortal Draw.
- Your healing gourd charges.
- All your attack power, vitality, and posture. Note that vitality and posture are ultimately capped as prayer beads are finite, but you can raise your attack power indefinitely through the Dancing Dragon Mask.