Ghost of Tsushima is finally here, and whether you’re pursuing the honourable Way of the Samurai or the super sneaky Way of the Ghost, there’s a little trick with the weather and your flute that you might want to incorporate into your battle strategies.
While you’re busy exploring the island, you’ll come across collectibles called Singing Crickets. Collecting these will allow you to unlock new melodies for your flute, ultimately giving you the ability to change the weather depending on the tune you play. Pretty neat, right?
What makes it even neater is that the weather in Ghost of Tsushima can have a huge impact on the way you approach enemies. You can use it as cover to let you sneak past foes or launch a surprise attack unseen, but in order to change it manually there are a few steps you’ll need to go through first.
Step 1: Find a Singing Cricket
Look out for these tiny golden cages as you explore. You’ll be able to hear the crickets chirping away as you get close. They’re mostly (but not all) found in cemeteries, but if you’re having trouble, check out Step 2 for a way to find them more easily.
Step 2: Wear the Traveler’s Attire
Technically, this step isn’t essential, but it’ll make your job a whole lot easier. It’s also free and super handy outside of just using it to find crickets, so think of it as an added bonus.
You can get your hands on the Traveler’s Attire by talking to any Dye Merchant (there’s one early on in the game at Hiyoshi Springs in Hidden Springs Forest, but you’ll find them all over). Once you don this shabby but chic outfit, you’ll find the fog on the map clears faster when you explore, but even more useful is the ability to use it to track down collectibles using the Guiding Wind.
First, you’ll need to upgrade your Guiding Wind ability once. Then all you have to do is link it to a collectible from the map menu. The Guiding Wind will now lead you towards the nearest collectible of that type. The fully upgraded version of the Traveler’s Attire, meanwhile, will cause your controller to vibrate when you get close to important items.
Step 3: Find more Singing Crickets
In order to unlock all the weather-changing songs, you’ll need more crickets. You’ll have access to the first melody from the start, but you’ll need just five out of twenty crickets to unlock the rest (and also to get one of the trophies, but that’s another story).
Step 4: Become a musical maestro
Now you’re ready to perform, so swipe left on the touchpad to take out your flute. Once you’ve got more than one melody to choose from, you can select your preferred option from the Gear tab in your inventory. There are four weather-changing songs to choose from: The Sun’s Warm Embrace, which you’ll have unlocked from the start of the game, and three unlockable extras: A Chorus of Raindrops, Lament of the Storm, and Shadows in the Fog. No prizes for guessing which weather conditions will spring up when you play those. And yes, you can play the flute while riding around on your lovely horse.
Step 5: Use the power of music to take down your enemies
There’s a practical function to your weather-related flute performances as well. Different weather patterns will open up different opportunities when you launch an attack. Sunny weather gives you better visibility if you’re planning a long-range bow attack. Fog will let you sneak around unseen. Rain dampens your enemies’ sense of hearing, and it’ll give you a modicum of visual cover too. Storms, meanwhile, are just super awesome in every way. More storms, please.