There are a lot of skills you can unlock in Sifu, so it’s hard to figure out which are the best early on. Many are useful, but you’ll no doubt feel overwhelmed when starting to choose. I got the chance to play the game ahead of release, and found a handful of skills that I felt are must-haves for starting out.
For the most part, there aren’t really any ineffective skills in the game. But I feel these are the most useful early in your quest for revenge.
Strong Sweep Focus
Strong Sweep Focus is one of the best skills in Sifu. It’s incredibly useful at removing an enemy from your path, allowing you to either attack them on the ground (if weakened), or move your attention elsewhere. It’s a Focus attack, and one of the most conservative. You only need one Focus bar to use it.
Among all the skills I had in Sifu, the Charged Backfist was among my favorites. To use it, you hold down the strong attack and release after a couple seconds. Timing is key, though. An enemy on the cusp of pulling off an attack is a prime candidate for this move. Just wait for their attack animation, and release. It delivers a quick punch to the jaw that momentarily stuns, giving you time to close the gap and do some damage. It’s also good against elite enemies, so be sure you have this one in your repertoire.
Right, you’re going to get hit in Sifu. Probably a lot. At times, an enemy will hit you hard enough to make your character lose their balance, sending them tumbling backwards. Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing. If you’re close enough to a wall, you can also smack right into it, damaging your health or Structure. Pushback Cancel is a skill that let’s you quickly regain your composure by tapping the Avoid button. You’ll be able to re-stand quickly and get back into the fight.
If you’ve read my tips and tricks guide, then you should know I like to prioritize crowd control. Crooked Foot is one of the best skills for staying on top of the action in Sifu. To use it, hold down strong attack after a parry. You character will then fling the enemy to the ground, letting you either dish out some more damage or move to the next target. Crooked Foot is pricy at 1,250 XP, but worth it.
I have nothing but good things to say about Environmental Mastery. Some may even call it the best skill to learn early in Sifu. With this unlocked, you can throw or kick weapons and objects at enemies. Weapons like swords and bricks on the ground become projectiles, damaging and stunning enemies. You can also kick chairs and futons, sweeping foes off their feet. You’re never at a disadvantage in stage three, which will have more than a few weapons on the floor. Seriously, this skill is amazing.
Personally, the Raining Strikes skill is one you should not sleep on. It unleashes a flurry of punches, and it’s incredibly easy to pull off. All you need to do is press strong attack, wait a moment, and then hit strong attack again. That’s it. The damage it deals out is surprisingly high, making it useful against elite enemies as well as bosses.