In Sekiro, Generals serve as a mini-boss. While they’re not quite as complicated to defeat or as strong as an actual boss, they have multiple deathblow markers and are much more lethal and robust than an average soldier. You’ll find several Generals throughout Sekiro, and while most of them are optional, defeating them will give you some much-needed upgrade items.
Fortunately, each General in Sekiro fights much the same way. The ones later in the game are naturally stronger than the first one you’ll face, but the tactics required to beat a General are the same no matter which one you’re facing.
How to beat a General in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice
You’ll come upon your first Samurai General in Sekiro just past the Outskirts Wall – Gate Path Sculptor’s Idol in the Ashina Outskirts. When you enter the nearby gate, you’ll find yourself in a circular area. The only enemy nearby will be the Samurai General.
Your first fight with a General won’t be too tricky if you pull off one thing first. Generals are susceptible to stealth attacks, which means you can start each fight by removing one of their deathblow markers. You can either sneak behind them or attack from above to accomplish this.
Once the fight begins, all you have to do is worry about breaking the General’s posture. Unlike the main bosses in Sekiro, you don’t have to completely deplete a General’s health bar to go in for a deathblow. Like regular enemies, if you can manage to break their posture, they’ll be open for the kill. Since you’ve started the fight by knocking one deathblow marker off, you just have to break their posture once to take them out.
However, this is easier said than done. Generals have a very long sword which has a longer reach than Sekiro’s katana. Fortunately, their attacks are deflectable, though you’ll still have to be wary. Your best bet to defeat a General after your first deathblow is to keep on the offense. Deflect when they attack, watch for their combos, and attack when you see an opening. Don’t attack more than 2-3 times before you get ready to go on the defense again, or else they may hit you with an attack when you’re swinging for that third or fourth hit.
An item that can be really helpful if you’re pushed on the defensive when fighting a General is a Fistful of Ash. Since you fight Generals at such short range, it’s effortless to nail them with the ash, which temporarily stuns them. You can then regain your posture, heal, or go on the offense.
While the first General is relatively easy, these guys get faster and stronger as the game goes on. Fortunately, so do you, and though you can sneak past most of these mini-bosses, the rewards for beating them are good enough that you should take the time to do so, even if it takes a few tries.
What do I get for killing Generals in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice?
For killing a General in Sekiro, you usually get an excellent upgrade item. The first one, for example, gave me a Gourd Seed and a Prayer Bead.
These items are crucial for raising your power, and a little labor early on killing Generals will prepare you for the harder parts of the game you face later.