Rise of the Ronin – Combat Styles and how to unlock them

Rise of the Ronin – Combat Styles and how to unlock them
Jack Webb Updated on by

Video Gamer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more

Learning how to unlock and improve combat Styles in Rise of the Ronin will be a huge help in customising your preferred playstyle.

There is so much weapon variety in Rise of the Ronin and a big part of that is the several combat Styles (Stances) for each weapon type. All Styles have their uses, drawbacks, and different attack animations. Mostly, they are tied to your Bond Missions and completing specific side objectives on the world map.

Rise of the Ronin has plenty to do, so familiarise yourself with our picks for the best Companions and how to respec your skill points. Now, this is how to unlock and improve combat Styles in Rise of the Ronin.

Rise of the Ronin how to unlock combat styles - image shows the Dual Blades styles
Combat styles in Rise of the Ronin – Image by VideoGamer

How to unlock combat Styles

To unlock more combat Styles in Rise of the Ronin, you will need to find and complete as many Bond Missions throughout the story. Outside of this, you can also defeat Fugitives – who are marked on your map – to unlock more combat styles.

These missions are side quests involving the main cast of characters. Generally speaking, each character is a master of their Style. As you deepen your bond and complete Bond missions you will unlock and improve Styles. For the most part, the best way to unlock more weapon Styles is to raise your Bond rank with an Ally to level four, which is ‘Fated’.

✓ Jack’s advice

Check your Bond in the menu

You can keep an eye on your Bond rank with your Ally in the Bond tab from the main menu. You will also see the Bond Bonus tab here, which will show you that the rank of Fated, you will unlock Ryoma’s Hokushin Itto-ryu Master-rank Style.

For reference, the Katana has 12 available weapon Styles in Rise of the Ronin. While there are several Styles, you can only have three available per weapon at any time. Further to this point, each Style has another type attached to it, and this can be None, Jin, Chi, Ten, and Shinobi.

Styles are directly linked to your Counterspark Compatability. If you have good compatibility, you will deal more Ki damage to your foe when you deflect attacks. Put simply, the Ten, Jin, and Chi styles are effective against different enemy weapons.

StyleEffective AgainstIneffective Against
TenKatana and normal weaponsSabres and light weapons.
ChiOdachi and other heavy weaponsKatanas and normal weapons.
JinSabres and lightweight weaponsOdachi and other heavy weapons.
ShinobiNothingAll weapons. However, your Countersparks will cause significant stagger damage to your enemy.

Depending on your Style, your attack patterns will change. Not only that, but you will either attack faster or slower depending on the style you go for. As you can imagine, this adds a lot of depth to the combat. As far as we know, using your Fists is the only weapon type that has None as its style.

Rise of the Ronin how to unlock weapon styles - the Nioh-ryu style.
How to unlock combat styles in Rise of the Ronin – Image by VideoGamer

How to improve combat Styles in Rise of the Ronin

To improve the rank of your combat styles, you will need to max out your Bond with the corresponding Ally. This will unlock the Master rank of the style in question. For example, let’s look at Sana Chiba, an ally you unlock in Chapter 2.

Once you reach Inseparable Bond (rank three) with her, you unlock her Master Hokushin Itto-ryu style for the Polearm. You will unlock the Style the first time you meet her, so keep doing quests to level it. This is the same process for most styles in the game.

Every combat Style has four ranks; Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master. These ranks determine how much damage you deal with your attacks and grant access to more martial skills depending on the rank.

At Master Rank, you will unlock a special skill called Veiled Art. Once you master a style, the Veiled Art you learn can be placed on any other Master style you have unlocked. You can have a total of four martial skills on each style for every weapon.

That’s it for how to unlock more weapon Styles in Rise of the Ronin. For more, read our guides covering our tips and tricks to get started and the best skills to choose from.

Rise of the Ronin – improve combat styles FAQs

How many Styles are there?

We’ve found more than 30 styles. Each weapon comes with the Mumyo-ryu style by default and typically has four or five other styles to unlock.

Do you unlock more martial skills?

To get more martial skills on your weapons, you need to level up the style from Novice to Master. You can do this by completing Bond Missions.