Shenmue 3 is finally here! However, if you’re under 30 years old, there’s a good chance you’ve never played a Shenmue game and have no idea how things work in this martial arts epic. Yakuza fans might think they know their way around the world, but this series has always had its own particular way of doing things. Well, have no fear young ones! This old man is here to tell you everything you need to know to survive with our Shenmue 3 tips and tricks guide. It’s actually just the sort of thing that would happen in Shenmue itself…
Talk to Everyone – Shenmue 3 Tips
Shenmue 3 is all about talking to people. If you’re stuck and not sure how to progress the story, just find the nearest NPC and talk to them. Even if they don’t have the answer, they’ll usually point you in the right direction. In Bailu village, for instance, there is an old dude called Jiang Ming who sits on a bench in the Village Square. Nine times out of 10, this dude had all the answers I needed. If no other NPCs are being helpful, try this guy!
Check Your Notes – Shenmue 3 Tips
Another tip if you’re stuck for story progression is to check your notebook. Open the notebook by pressing Square. The files contain notes on your story progress and will likely have instructions on what you need to do next. This is something of a mystery game, after all, and you’re usually just trying to decipher how to progress. You can also find a map in here, should you get lost, as well as some other useful information — like the locations of side missions, gambling activities, and fishing spots that you’ve previously visited.
Keep Some Food on You – Shenmue 3 Tips
In Shenmue 3, the health and stamina systems are intrinsically linked. When your health drops down to the last three circles, it will drain incredibly quickly while running. It refills back up to three circles, so you’re not in danger of dying of starvation or anything like that. However, you will only be able to run in short bursts while your health is this low. The environments of Shenmue 3 are vast, too. Getting stuck at walking pace several miles from home is the last thing you want! Keep a few food items on your person for emergencies to avoid this tedious fate.
You also need food to heal yourself after battles, so if you’re looking to take on the other fighters in the dojo, you should keep a generous supply of food on you as well. That way you can heal between fights. Also look at the price of the various foods on offer and compare that to the health boost they offer. It’s more economical to buy a ton of carrots that cost one Yuan and heal 30 hit points each, versus a dumpling that costs five Yuan but only heals you for 120 health.
One final tip of the food front: there is some free food in both Shenhua’s home at Bailu Village and the Niaowu Hotel in… Niaowu. In Shenhua’s home, you can find an apple and a banana on the cabinet in the kitchen. In the Niaowu Hotel, you can find four apples on a table near the door. These food items respawn every day, so be sure to grab them before you head out in the morning.
Hit the Dojo – Shenmue 3 Tips
The combat in Shenmue 3 can be surprisingly difficult. Just battling two enemies at the same time can be a life-or-death situation, and there are a couple of jarring challenge spikes. If you find yourself struggling in combat encounters, hit up the dojo and increase your Attack, Endurance, and Kung Fu Skills.
One-Inch Punch and Horse Stance will increase your Endurance. And these training exercises always take the form of simple mini-games. They can be monotonous, but they’re easy and you’ll quickly level up your Endurance, which increases your maximum health in turn, so you can take more of a beating in a fight.
If you want to improve your offensive output, talk to the head of the dojo and ask to spar with someone. Here you can practice moves and level them up. Once a move is fully leveled, it will become more powerful and deal more damage. Once you’ve leveled up all your moves, you won’t be able to advance your Attack stat any higher until you acquire a new skill book. Those teach you new moves. Skill books are usually bought from shops. Although you can acquire some through side quests and story progression.
Avoid the Pachinko Machines – Shenmue 3 Tips
Don’t worry! Konami isn’t here to ruin Shenmue 3 like they did with Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill. But Japan bloody loves a pachinko machine and, as such, they turn up throughout Shenmue 3 — alongside other methods of gambling like Frog Racing and Pail Toss. In Shenmue 3, the pachinko machines are called Lucky Hit (which longtime fans and meme lovers alike should remember well). Unlike the other forms of gambling, though, pachinko machines are complete bullshit…. You should stay away from them.
You can positively affect the outcome of most gambling mini-games, either directly during the game or by using the fortune teller to give you a lucky color/number. Pachinko is entirely based on luck, by comparison, and your odds of winning are terrible. Not to mention your return on investment even if you do win is meager. Avoid these demon machines!
Collect Herbs for Easy Cash – Shenmue 3 Tips
Special herbs are found scattered throughout Shenmue 3, both in Bailu village and Niaowu. These herbs can be collected into sets and sold for money. Smaller collections earn you a little cash, but some of the larger ones pull in serious bank.
There are a limited number of herbs to collect, though. That’s why it’s best not to waste your herbs by selling them as part of low-quality sets. Hang on to your collection and try to build up some of the most valuable sets before selling them; you’ll be glad for the cash in the later portions of the game, when you’re looking to buy some of the expensive skill books. You can also trade herb sets directly for skill books at certain vendors. You can find one of these at the Panda Market in Bailu.
And that’s that! Thanks for taking the time to read our Shenmue 3 tips and tricks. We hope they help you progress through the game at your own pace, and enjoy this little slice of life for all its worth.