Rise of the Ronin – pro vs anti-shogun, which faction should you choose?

Rise of the Ronin – pro vs anti-shogun, which faction should you choose?
Jack Webb Updated on by

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At its core, Rise of the Ronin is about you and your Blade Twin, but, due to various circumstances, you are also thrown into deciding whether to support the Pro-Shogun or Anti-Shogun faction in the game. This choice has consequences for the story, but there will be plenty of narrative crossovers and story beats regardless of the path you choose.

Rise of the Ronin - pro or anti shogunate faction: image shows the two factions dialogue options
Image by VideoGamer

Should you choose pro or anti-shogunate?

As you play through various missions, you will come to learn about factions and allegiances. Some bond characters you meet will support the Shogunate while others will not, and herein lies your main dilemma. Due to the game’s setting being inspired by real events, the story told can be a bit convoluted.

The good news is you can do pretty much every single quest regardless of your affiliation, that is until you approach the run-up to the end of the game. Eventually, you will be asked to side with one group and you will have to see that through to the end. The Testament of the Soul system also lets you travel back and replay different quests, meaning you don’t have to start a new game to see each outcome.

It’s important to note that some key quests will have you choose to side with a faction. This will change the quest you’re about to do depending on your choice. Outside of these explicit quest branches, completing Bond missions for either faction has no bearing on the faction you decide to support.

rise of the ronin pro vs anti-shogunate: this tooltip explains what your choices mean in dialogue.
The choice for each faction is shown by a colour. Image taken by VideoGamer

Put simply, if you side with Pro-Shogunate forces, some of the missions you go on will branch off. The Pro-Shogunate faction is intent on keeping the shogun intact while the anti-shogun is effectively working as a terrorist group to remove the shogunate. Likewise, if you choose to side with the Shogunate at one point, you can also choose to side with the Anti-Shogun forces next time.

If you pick to side with the anti-shogunate forces, you will end up doing a lot of horrible things: assassination attempts, all-out battles, and much more. Shogunate missions, on the other hand, will have to thwart the rebel groups and enforce Shogun rule. In dialogues, green represents anti-shogunate choices while purple is for pro-shogunate.

Pro-shogunate vs anti-shogunate faction – what changes?

By siding with the Pro-Shogunate faction, you will see the narrative play out differently. Outside of this key change, you will get access to more Western-style clothing and weapons. Truth be told, this seems like the only thing that changes outside the story depending on your choices.

✓ Our advice

What’s the difference?

On the flip side, picking the anti-shogunate forces will result in getting access to more Japanese-style clothing and weapons. At the end of the day, it comes down to your own preference. We chose to support the Shogun in our playthrough because we didn’t like how Genzui went about doing things.

As mentioned earlier, the game features a system whereby you can revisit old story beats and repeat missions to choose a different path. This lets you see everything you could want and doesn’t lock you into anything. You can do this from Chapter 2 onwards, so there is plenty of freedom. Whether you side with the Shogun or Anti-Shogun forces, you’re sure to have a blast.

Rise of the Ronin – Pro or Anti-Shogun faction FAQs

Can you change sides after picking?

You can. Whether through the Testament of the Soul mechanic or alternating your choices. It’s hard to get yourself locked out of something in Rise of the Ronin.

Which faction is the good faction?

Really, this depends on your own tastes. If you want your character to hate the Shogunate, then go for that!