Combat in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
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8 tips to upgrading your prosthetic arm in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro’s prosthetic arm is upgradeable, giving you all-new combat options, so we outline just what that entails and which are the best upgrades.
By Ryan Esler
6 min readPublished on
There’s nothing cooler than gadgets. Everyone loves them, because they (well, most of them) make our days that bit easier. Now imagine that you could store copious amounts of gadgets in your arm and they were all based around destroying anything that dares stand in your way. This is one of the many joys of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
The thing is, these gadgets don’t come easy and they certainly take some maintenance, but it’s all worth it in the end when you get to flex on the competition. The only drawback is that nobody ever really tells you how to get these gadgets or how to use them. That’s why we've created this guide.

1. Forge forward in the campaign

It might seem logical to some that they need to advance in the story, but you can’t start to upgrade and truly experience the prosthetic arm until you first beat Gyoubu and receive the mechanical barrel. You also won’t see the final upgrades to Sekiro’s prosthetic arm until you are unfathomably deep into the campaign and come face to face with the Guardian Ape to receive the final prosthetic tool. So, push on and when you finally take down the Guardian Ape you can rest easy knowing that you can now upgrade all those tools to your heart's content.

2. Scour high and low, especially within the Hirata Estate

While a good number of prosthetic tools are rewarded for fighting bosses and mini-bosses, some are hidden throughout the world. Items like the Flame Vent, Loaded Axe and Mist Raven are all hidden within the Hirata Estate and the many paths throughout. Then you have other prosthetic tools, like the Iron Umbrella and Sabimaru, that are hidden in the other locales within Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Plus, you can also buy the firecrackers from the Ashina Outskirts Memorial Mob, which is a key purchase for all aspiring shinobi.

3. Return to Sculptor frequently

It’s all fine and good finding the prosthetic tools, but you can’t use them until you visit the Sculptor and have them properly fitted. As the prosthetic arm was previously the Sculptor’s, he knows all the tricks of the trade - including how to upgrade the tools you find. With every tool you find, more paths to upgrade each weapon is revealed and you can progress through the upgrade tree, should you have the right components.

4. Grind out additional materials to upgrade prosthetics

Now that you know how to upgrade the prosthetics, you’re going to need to know where to find the bits and bobs to piece it all together. It’s possible to grind out nearly everything from scrap iron all the way up to lumps of fat wax, but other items such as Pine Resin Ember require you to hunt high and low throughout Sekiro to find the special pouches that contain this ingredient. If you're pushed for some of the more common materials, you can always buy them from the Memorial mob vendors, but there’s one particular vendor in the Ashina Outskirts that sells the very rare Phantom Kunai that you’ll very much want to track down as it’s a one-of-a-kind purchase for the low, low price of 3,000 coins.
Screenshot of a building on fire in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Watch the world burn in Sekiro

© FromSoftware

5. Find the right use for your prosthetic arm attachments

When you finally have all the tools, you’ll need to find the right use for them. Things like Firecrackers will startle any beast, including horses, monkeys, wolves and the occasional man with a shield. Then you have the Flame Vent. The Flame Vent is mostly used for any enemy with red eyes or that appears to be demonic, like the large ogres you confront from time to time. Additionally you can also use the spring-loaded axe on the rat-type enemies to instantly break their guard and deal extensive posture damage to any enemy willing to walk headfirst in. Every tool has its use, you just have to find the right time to implement it.

6. Build the ultimate version of each prosthetic arm

As we alluded to above, there are very special items that allow you to upgrade your prosthetic tools to unique upgrades like the Phantom Kunai and Okinaga’s Flame Vent. Finding these items will help you progress to the highest level of upgrade known as the lazulite tools. These lazulite tools are only accessible in the later stages of game, but they are entirely worth the blood, sweat and tears it takes to earn them.

7. Make sure you unlock the additional skills for your prosthetics

Outside of the tool-specific upgrades, you’ll also want to level up and acquire all the accompanying skills to compliment your arsenal of sick shinobi tricks. Things like following up all your prosthetic attacks with additional strikes and using your prosthetic arm while jumping will build towards a skill known as Living Force tham imbues the powers of both the Flame Vent and Divine Abduction after you successfully attack after the use of the arm. This means that your sword can become empowered by fire or wind, depending on the tool you're using. It’s a worthwhile addition to any skillset and when it comes to fighting demons, you’ll be forever thankful for your flamesword.
Concept art featuring Sekiro and a temple from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Take in the scenery in Sekiro

© FromSoftware

8. Invest heavily in Spirit Emblems

Even after all the upgrades and digging around, the shinobi tools wouldn’t be anything without Spirit Emblems. Each use of the prosthetic arm costs Spirit Emblems and you can only carry a finite amount. The extra upgrades to carrying these only go so far and you’ll always want a stack awaiting you for when you die and they're very finite if you’re solely relying on killing enemies to farm them. So, don’t forget to spend that unused stack of change you have lying around to treat yourself to some Spirit Emblems at your nearest idol.
And there you have it, you asked us about the arm and we gave you a hand. Thanks to Sekiro’s ability to store three different tools within his arm at any one given time, you’ll need to experiment to find a loadout that suits you, but hopefully these tips gave you the information you need to make sure you’re fighting those battles as efficiently as possible.