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Kena: Bridge of Spirits beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks

Four tips to help you save the spirit realm

Kena: Bridge of Spirits beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks Image: Ember Lab via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Playing Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a bit like playing an animated movie on your Playstation and PC. It’s not quite as simple as it first seems, though. Below, we’ve gathered four tips from our first few hours with the game.

Take your time

Kena is beautiful, and it’s also very directed — you’ll rarely be confused about where to go next. Since finding your way isn’t going to be much of a problem, take your time to soak it in. Take some photos with photo mode (press up on the D-pad) — just remember to make everyone say “cheese!”

The Rot: Your Swiss Army knife

Kena: Bridge of Spirits beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks Image: Ember Lab via Polygon

The furry little creatures called Rot are your adorable sidekicks. They’re also a weapon, a way to interact with objects, clear the corruption destroying your home, level up, a dress-up plaything, and your best friends. They’re effectively the second half of your character.

You’ll find more Rot scattered throughout the world — just watch for the one on your shoulder to zip off and highlight a nearby rock or lantern. Collecting more levels up Kena, and opens up new possibilities.

Poke around when you can, move on when you can’t

Collectibles like Rot(s?), hats for said Rots, gems (to buy more hats), and chests are scattered everywhere around the world of Kena: Bridge of Spirits. Whenever you see a branch off the main path, a pillar to climb, or a house to explore, go poke around to see what you find.

You won’t always be able to reach your reward, though. A lot of your exploration progress in Kena is gated behind various walls and doors. Don’t spend too much time trying to find a way around them — chances are you’ll find a way to open it later.

Move on and come back later when you’ve made some progress. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is pretty linear — the winding paths (both literal and story-based) don’t branch often. Don’t fight that. Let the game guide you where you need to go.

Focus on rhythm in combat, not button mashing

Kena’s combat is pretty simple as well; you’ve got a dodge button, a light and a heavy attack, a shield, and (eventually) a bow. You’re not going to be juggling magic powers or multiple weapons.

Don’t let that make you too comfortable, though. You’ll be doing a lot of fighting, and it’s easy to get sloppy — and when you get sloppy, you get dead. Button mashing — whacking the attack or block button over and over — isn’t the way to go, here. Pace out your attacks almost like a rhythm game. Land a couple attacks, dodge, reposition, and attack again.

You also can’t interrupt your own attacks or (most) enemy attacks. Don’t commit to attacking unless you’re sure you can land a hit.

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