Rise of the Ronin – how to upgrade gear and Bond Transfer skills

Rise of the Ronin – how to upgrade gear and Bond Transfer skills
Jack Webb Updated on by

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Learning about how to upgrade your weapons and armour in Rise of the Ronin will help you much later in the game. There is also a means to transfer the passive buffs between your gear, known as Bond Transfer.

We’ll explain how to upgrade your equipment and this skill swapping further down. It is something we only recommend you do later in the game.

For more Rise of the Ronin, read our complete romance guide and our handy tips and tricks. Now, this is how to upgrade weapons and armour in Rise of the Ronin.

Rise of the ronin upgrade gear - the blacksmith stands ready
How to upgrade weapons and armour in Rise of the Ronin – Image by VideoGamer

How to upgrade weapons and armour in Rise of the Ronin

To upgrade your gear in Rise of the Ronin, simply visit a blacksmith and choose the ‘Upgrade’ option. This will bring up a new menu showing all your gear. Here, you can spend materials and coin to improve weapons and armour. This can only be done at a blacksmith. No other vendor has this option until the end of the game.

Upgrading your gear increases the item’s Equipment Level, as well as the main stat on the piece. In the case of armour, the stat increase goes into Defence while weapons gain an increase in Attack. It seems that your armour and weapons can be upgraded indefinitely, with the price and increase of materials going up each time. The max we’ve upgraded a weapon is seven times.

✓ jack’s advice

The Longhouse gets this option eventually

Once you complete the main story of the game, the option to upgrade gear and transfer skills is added to your Longhouse. This means you won’t have to track one down every time.

Upgrading your gear costs materials that you can find in the open world. You can also disassemble old weapons and armour at most shops to convert them into upgrade materials. This is by far the best thing to do with old equipment, and by the time you need materials, you’ll have plenty.

Generally speaking, we would highly recommend you hold off on upgrading your gear until the very late game or even the end game. There are so many versions of each weapon and armour in the game, to the point of it being almost endless. So much new gear is thrown at you, investing in one piece that will be replaced almost immediately is a waste of resources. You should wait until you get to Masterwork rarity equipment, which is red-rarity.

How to use Bond Transfer in Rise of the Ronin

Another upgrade option you’ll come across in Rise of the Ronin is Bond Transfer. Bond Transfer lets you move passive abilities and effects from one piece of gear to another. If you have a weapon, for example, that is really bad but has a fantastic passive ability on it, you can move this to a weapon you like using.

Rise of the ronin bond transfer - image shows the blacksmith and various options.
Image by VideoGamer

First, visit a Blacksmith and choose Bond Transfer. In this menu, pick your favourite weapon – make sure that it has an empty slot on it – you want to be enhanced. Choose a weapon that has a skill you want to move across and confirm the move.

To do this, you will need several materials. One such material is the Bond Jewel. This item is necessary for all Bond Transfers and this cannot be done without one. When you go through with the Bond Transfer, your chosen item will be destroyed.

It is also important to remember that only one skill can be taken at any time during a Bond Transfer. This might lead to some tough decisions if one weapon you have has two extremely powerful skills. Also, if you can’t use Bond Transfer, make sure you unlock any pieces of armour in your inventory.

Where to get Bond Jewels

As mentioned, Bond Jewels are needed to perform any Bond Transfer at the Blacksmith. There are several ways to earn Bond Jewels, but the most reliable of which is to look for it as a quest reward. Sometimes they are found in chests, but they are mostly given out as rewards for completing objectives.

Rise of the ronin how to upgrade weapons - image shows the blacksmith and the upgrade options.
Image by VideoGamer

During our playthrough, we managed to find 16 Bond Jewels. This is a little on the low side considering how some Bond Transfers can take two or more during one use. Due to the limited nature of these items, we also recommend you save them until you complete the game. During the main story, you won’t be stuck using the same weapon for a long time, so there’s no need to focus on enhancing just one piece.

For what it’s worth, our Rise of the Ronin review criticised this aspect of the game. We said the loot systems are extremely bloated and getting countless copies of the same weapons and armour over and over again is excessive to the point of being overwhelming.

That’s it for how to upgrade gear and use Bond Transfer in Rise of the Ronin. For more, read our cheats page detailing expert tips to get ahead. We also have a guide covering how to play multiplayer.

Rise of the Ronin upgrade gear and Bond Transfer FAQs

What are Bond Jewels?

Bond Jewels are special items needed to perform Bond Transfer

What’s the max you can upgrade your gear?

The answer is unsure. We’ve seen that we can mostly improve gear as many times as we want. There doesn’t seem to be a limit or cap.