You'll want to learn how to unlock skills in Sifu if you want to ensure your survival.
Sifu is a difficult game. Aside from using your basic attacks, dodges, blocks, and parry, utilizing some extra skills can serve you well on your journey. With an interesting mechanic when it comes to death, playeys won't just game over once defeated - at least not straightaway. With each death comes the chance to resurrect where you fell, the only catch is that you'll age a certain number of years while your Death Counter ticks up.
Skills are an important feature to get to grips with as it could mean the difference between success and another year or two added. Age too much, and you'll quickly find yourself down to your last life before the dreaded game over. So, how exactly do you unlock skills in Sifu?
How to Unlock Skills in Sifu
Sifu's skill tree works in a particular way. Like most roguelikes, skills are often temporary, asking you to purchase the skill each time you want to use it. However, there is a way to permanently unlock skills too, ensuring you can use them throughout your runs.
There are three ways to purchase skills in Sifu: players can utilize Dragon Shrines which you can find spread around each stage, skills can be purchased upon death, and also in the in the courtyard of the Wuguan after completing a level.
Skills are purchased with XP, and each skill must be initially purchased before you have the option of unlocking it permanently. Of course, it's significantly cheaper to purchase a skill temporarily, but in the long run it certainly helps to have them permanently unlocked. For example, the Weapon Catch skill costs 500 XP to purchase as a one-off, but as a permanent unlock you'll need to spend 5x that.
Be sure to play around and see what skills work best for you before committing to a permanent unlock.