A guide to all five playable characters from Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun.

Each of the five playable characters from Shadow Tactics has their own set of skills unique to them. Throughout most levels, you’ll only have a subset of characters available, meaning that you can’t just progress through the game playing as one or two characters. If you’re not familiar with all five characters’ unique skills, it can leave you at a major disadvantage. This guide will focus on each character’s unique skills, and how to get the most out of them.


  • Ninjato — Basic melee attack. Fast and effective. Generates some noise, so if any other enemies are very close by, they’ll be alerted. Effective on all types of enemies, but you’ll need to stun Samurais first (usually achieved with a pistol) before this attack can be effective on them.
  • Shuriken —  Medium range attack. Does generate quite a lot of noise due to fact that enemies go down noisily, so be weary of the noise range. Enemies also take around 4 seconds to die, so be aware of any patrolling enemies nearby. Hayato only has one Shuriken but can recover it from dead bodies after use, so as long as you recover it, you’ll effectively have unlimited use. Not effective on Samurais.
  • Rock Throw — All types of enemies, that are within the noise range, will turn their heads in the direction of where the rock lands for around 5 seconds. A decent distraction method for when you need to sneak past enemies, or sneak up on them.


  • Katana — Basic melee attack. The Katana is similar to Hayato’s Ninjato attack but generates less noise. The only melee attack effective on Samurais without having to stun them first. However, it takes longer to kill Samurais compared to other types of enemies, so watch out for any other patrolling enemies nearby.
  • Sword Wind — AoE attack. Mugen performs a whirlwind-like attack with his two swords, killing every enemy within range. The attack lasts around 3 seconds. Enemies that move into range of the attack whilst it’s being performed will also be killed. Enemies that move out of range before the attack starts will not be killed, so timing is important if using on patrolling enemies. Surprisingly, the attack doesn’t generate a lot of noise. Useful for taking out a cluster of enemies quickly. Samurais are resistant to this attack.
  • Bottle of Sake — A decoy method. The bottle can be placed anywhere on the ground. If an enemy spots the bottle and is interested in it, their vision cones will turn purple. They’ll approach it, take it, and return to their post. Only works on basic enemies, other enemies will ignore it. Useful for luring basic enemies into isolated areas so they can be eliminated more easily. The bottle can be recovered from dead bodies.
shadow tactics

Mugen performing his Sword Wind attack.



  • Rifle — Kills enemies from a very long range. Samurais can only be stunned with it. Can reach more enemies when in a tower, or on a high building. Additional bullets can be found in chests throughout each level, even so, ammunition is limited. Useful for taking out enemies that are otherwise hard to reach, usually other snipers in towers.
  • Grenades — Ranged weapon. There are two variants: explosive, or sleeping gas. Explosive grenades instantly kills all enemies within range but generates a lot of noise. Sleeping gas grenades silently knocks out all enemies within range but takes a while for the effect to happen, enemies will then need to be dealt with before they wake up. Both variants of grenades work on all types of enemies. Best used for taking out large amounts of enemies. Supplies are limited, and unlike Rifle bullets, additional grenades cannot be found throughout any levels.
  • Kuma — Takuma’s pet tanuki. A great decoy. Kuma can be ordered to a location, then ordered make noise. Enemies within range will walk up to Kuma. The noise range is considerably larger than Hayato’s Rock Throw, which makes it great for distracting large numbers of enemies. Only works on basic enemies.


  • Dagger — Basic melee attack. The Dagger is similar to other basic melee attacks but takes longer (around 3 seconds) to perform. Best used on isolated enemies. Samurais need to be stunned before using this attack on them.
  • Trap — A handmade contraption that kills enemies that walk on it, kill time is around 3 seconds. Generates a bit of noise, so any other enemies very close by will be alerted. Can only be used to kill one enemy at a time, once used, the trap needs to be reset. Very effective when combined with a distraction ability that lures enemies to a specific location (Yuki’s Flute, or Takuma’s pet: Kuma). Also useful when setting up on an enemy’s patrol route. Doesn’t work on Samurais.
  • Flute — Used to draw the attention of enemies. The Flute has the sound of a bird call, and has a large noise range similar to Kuma. Enemies within range will walk to the origin of the sound, so Yuki will need to swiftly relocate when used. Great for luring enemies into hidden or isolated locations. Very effective when used in combination with the Trap. Only works on basic enemies.


  • Hairpins — Basic melee attack. Takes around 2 seconds to perform. Can be performed while Aiko is in disguise.
  • Sneezing Potion — Temporarily blinds enemies. Range is small, so can’t be used on a large number of enemies at a time. Similar to Hayato’s Rock Throw, in that it can be used to sneak past enemies, or sneak up to them. Unlike other distraction abilities, Sneezing Potion works on all types of enemies.
  • Disguise — Used to walk between enemies undetected, except for Samurais who can see through disguises. Obtained by taking it from a servant, or stealing it from someone’s laundry. Can be used to distract enemies to let their guards down, including Straw Hats. A worn disguise will be lost if any suspicious activities are performed: such as crouching, or climbing ladders.