“Farming” in gaming is defined as repeating the same sequence or path over and over again in an effort to find or discover a unique item or accumulate large amounts of currency and/ or experience. Farming has always played a major role in From Software games because many players find it to be a necessary evil when getting through particularly difficult sections and Sekiro is certainly no different.
As a matter of a fact, because all the enemies in the game respawn after the player dies or chooses to rest at an idol, one can almost see the act of farming as a gameplay mechanic of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and not just some cheap way to make the game easier. For many of us, farming is not only a totally acceptable thing to do, but a necessity to progress in this increasingly difficult experience.
Some might find themselves asking the question though, “Where are the best and relatively safest places to farm for Skill Point experience?” It is hard enough having to choose between all of the skills available with what few Skill Points you can muster in normal play so taking a few minutes to help fill out your available skills is well worth your time and effort.
Bare in mind that after you die there is a significant chance, even with low Dragonrot levels, that you will lose half of your overall Skill Point accumulation. Unlike other From Software games, Sekiro does not allow you the opportunity to go and retrieve your lost sen (the game’s currency) and experience after you die, it is just simply gone. However, if you complete the experience progress bar and gain a Skill Point, you will not lose that Skill Point if you die.
With that in mind, it would be a very wise decision on your part to finish off your progress bar before taking on a new section of the game or entering what you believe may be a boss encounter. You will save yourself a lot of headaches (and Skill Points) by following this guideline.
Spoiler Warning: In order to give clear direction as to the locations that are best to farm and the best points in the story to farm them, some small spoilers are necessary. I will do my best not to spoil what does not need to be spoiled.
Now then, let’s take a look at a few places that I believe to be great opportunities to stop and rack up those Skill Points along your journey.
Outskirts Wall- Stairway Idol
Pretty early on in your experience you are going to run into a wake up call named the Chained Ogre and let’s just say that it is a rude awakening all the way around! On subsequent playthroughs he may not seem to be as much of a threat, but he catches a lot of players, even Soulsborne veterans, off guard on that first attempt.
Your reward for defeating this monstrosity is your first real chance to farm in a safer manner. Let me break down the path that I took to quickly get me over leveled step by step:
- Run back to the nearest idol on top of the large stone wall and rest.
- Jump down in the direction of the Chained Ogre fight and head towards the two warriors sitting by the fire.
- Stealth kill the enemy on the left because he is the harder to kill of the two and then immediately go to town on his buddy without letting up. He will stagger quickly and you can easily get the kill.
- Head up the stairs and around to the left to find a spear wielding foe (who more than likely gave you a lot of grief during your battle with the Ogre). This is an excellent opportunity to practice your Mikiri Counter skills as well because he always starts with an unblockable thrust. (This skill is invaluable to have mastered for late game enemies and bosses.)
- Jump across the gap and back onto the roof of the gate then head for the giant chicken near the idol and kill him/ her.
- Continue on the left hand side of the path and go over the large building on the rooftop.
- After you get to the other side you should see the enemy with the large cannon that probably hindered your progress up the hill on a few occasions. Sneak up behind him and back stab him for sweet revenge.
- If you are beginning to feel brave enough with your runs you can begin to venture down further on the path to rack up more kills and experience, but this is where I would suggest you return to the idol for safeties sake.
- Rinse and repeat the process.
Remember, farming isn’t about getting a lot of stuff. It’s about getting a lot of stuff quickly. This fact makes some of the best farming runs to be found in Sekiro the boring ones as well. You will understand what I mean after run number forty-seven of any farming route you choose.
Upper Tower- Antechamber Idol
After you get through the resident “Silver Knight Archers” section of Sekiro, also known as climbing the rooftops of Ashina Castle, you will come to an idol called Upper Tower- Antechamber and more than likely breath an audible sigh of relief. Don’t get to relaxed however, because the katana-wielding foes that you are about to face are very challenging on the first playthrough and require a knowledge of what to do with each type of unblockable attack.
Just like the Outskirts Wall- Stairway Idol, this farming run will not only net you a lot of Skill Point experience, but will also give you some good combat practice that you can use to make the rest of the game a little easier.
The route I am about to outline is only a suggestion. If you find something that you believe to be safer and/ or quicker, be sure to do it. That is part of what makes these games so special, because there are many ways to succeed and none of them can be considered the “wrong way” to do it.
Here is a run that took me a while to refine and get right but one that I think was very worth it in the end:
- From the idol go straight forward up the stairs but do not enter the doorway in front of you. Instead go around it to the right to find a second entrance.
- Sneak up to the guard facing away from you and back stab him. Be sure to avoid the various items on the floor as they can actually alert him to your presence.
- Slowly enter the large catwalk area in the center of the castle and scope out the two patrolling guards routes. (After you do this a handful of times this step may become unnecessary.)
- Kill the closer of the two once he turns his back to you at the far end of the room, then quickly make you way to the woman holding up a light and kill her as well. If she spots you and you do not get to her fast enough she will call out to all enemies in the vicinity.
- After she is dead, follow the second guard into a little side room and back stab him, being careful once again not to run into any objects along the way.
- The next room to the left will have two guards talking to each other while seated on the ground. Run in and back stab the one facing away from you, then quickly grapple to a hole located in the ceiling. You can either wait for the second enemy to forget about you, backstabbing him when he turns to go back to his post, or you can take this opportunity to face him head on for more practice.
- From here you can venture farther through the hole in the ceiling to another room where you can repeat these tactics, or you can go back to the idol and do it all over again.
The most important thing to remember with this run is to always retreat if you get spotted or things begin to go south. Battling two or more of these guys is a difficult task, even for someone who knows what they are doing. Do whatever it takes to face only one of them at a time so you can learn the attacks and counters you need to beat them.
Ashina Depths- Mibu Village
This farming spot has the highest risk and highest reward per minute spent than any other on this list. It is by far the best way to quickly level up in the middle of the game even though it literally only involves killing one enemy over and over again.
Here is the entire run in a nutshell:
- Jump down into the water in front of the rock the idol is sitting on.
- Crouch and make your way along the left hand wall, hugging it as close as possible and moving at about half of your normal crouching speed.
- Approach the lone enemy, still hugging the wall, and do not leave the wall until you are entirely behind him. During this time his alertness level indicator will climb and for a moment it will look like he will spot you, but as long as you keep moving you can get behind him before he goes into combat.
- If you walk too quickly the water will give you away, so bare that in mind as you get the movement down. If you do happen to end up in combat you can simply run back to the idol and reset.
Alternatively, you can always head the other way from this idol to wreak some serious havoc on the poor residents of Mibu Village. Tearing these little guys limb from limb does not net you a bunch of sen or experience, but man does it feel good after the misery and pain it took just to get this far!
Fountainhead Palace- Sanctuary Idol
This spot is once again an opportunity for massive Skill Point experience gains from just a few enemies. (Three of them to be precise.) Admittedly you are going to want to have certain elements of this game down pat before attempting this kind of a run, because although you may not necessarily die a lot, farming here will not be worth it unless you can do it quickly and efficiently.
The Prosthetic Tool called the Sabimaru is absolutely essential for optimizing this run and if you have upgraded it to the Lazulite Sabimaru this will make it a bit easier. Let me show you how to do it:
- Run back down the stairs and jump off toward the left onto an outcropping with a single warrior on it. (I have tried many times to get a plunging attack on him but he is always aware of you right away somehow.)
- Hit him (or her) with the Sabimaru two times to stun, then use your katana to push him into the corner and keep him from jumping all around like these enemies tend to do.
- Crouch and move along the wall until you can see the other two warriors in the pool area, then peek out a little bit and make the one on the left go into the “investigative” mode.
- Back up and press yourself against the wall facing toward the left and wait for him to come over. He will then drop down from above you, allowing you to quickly turn and face him for a back stab.
- Jump up onto the larger pool area and go into open combat with the last warrior. He will jump around all over the place, but if you can use your Sabimaru to stun him and push him into a wall or against an edge, the fight will be over quickly.
- Rinse and Repeat for a ton of sen and experience. I easily leveled up at this spot twenty times and it only took about an hour and a half once I got it down.
Outskirts Wall Stairway Idol 2
It turns out that the best area for farming Skill Point experience in Sekiro is also the first place that we explored on this list, just a few bosses and deaths later. As long as you do not choose the Shura Ending by fighting Emma and Isshin instead of your dad, the Great Shinobi Owl, you will come to a place in the story where Ashina Castle and the Ashina Outskirts are under siege.
To get to the starting point for this farming run, start from the Old Grave Idol and descend down the path to the bridge that used to be broken. It has now been fixed by the attackers so they can cross. It is not advised that you stop to attack these foes but rather that you run through them in a zigzagging pattern. Run through the area with the third and final Juzou reskin mini boss and down the staircase to find your first farming love, the Outskirts Wall Stairway Idol.
This run might take you a few tries and possibly even a few deaths to get down, but soon you will be flowing in enough sen and experience to give you a huge leg up for NG+. Let me break it down for you:
- Quickly run and grapple onto the newly constructed watchtower next to the wall and perform a plunging attack on the guard below.
- Drop down to the tall grass under the tower and sneak up on the guard standing in front of it and back stab him. (Be sure the two patrolling guards have entered the large gates before you do.)
- Sneak past the gates and stealth kill the guard on the right after the two patrolling guards are far enough away.
- Follow the two guards up the staircase and eventually one of them will pass the other and get far enough away for you to stealth kill both without being discovered. Getting the timing down on this might take a little while.
- Run back to the idol and repeat the process.
This run will not only have you leveling up at a cray rate, but it will also supply you with a good amount of Fulminated Mercury, one of the rarest and most powerful upgrade materials in the game!
Farming is almost always a long and tiring process, but I suppose there will always be those of us that need a little extra help to get through such a difficult and imposing experience. Think of it as a small punishment for not being as good as we probably ought to be.
Remember to always be on the lookout for good locations and methods to farm for what you need at any particular time in your playthrough. The locations in this article are merely my opinions on places that I found to be helpful, but they do not cover every upgrade material or special item that you might need to farm for and you may find others to be more comfortable for you.