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Like a Dragon: Ishin! – Ultimate Combat Guide

Master the art of combat before you even start fighting anyone!

Romeli Daclizon



Like a Dragon Ishin Ultimate Combat Guide

The remake of Like a Dragon: Ishin! is finally here. This is excellent news for you if you are a fan of the series (formerly known as Yakuza).

The game is set in the 1860s in Japan where you play as Sakamoto Ryoma disguised as Saito Hajime of the Shinsengumi.

As a Shinsengumi, you will have to fight against bad guys, which means combat is pretty common. If you want to learn all about the combat in the game before you even start, this guide is for you.

Ultimate Combat Guide for Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Ultimate Combat Guide for Like a Dragon Ishin

Source: devilleon7

To start, you can lock on an enemy using RB or R1. If you want to dodge an incoming attack, press A or X; meanwhile, holding LB or L1 will allow you to block incoming attacks.

Locking on a target will make blocking or avoiding an enemy easier as you don’t need to manually face their direction.

However, there is one style where you can’t do a block: the Wild Dancer style. Additionally, similar to other games in the franchise, there are also counterattacks.

However, you must do certain side quests to unlock them, so if you want to get the powerful Tiger Drop, make side quests a priority.

With the basics out of the way, let’s now talk about the four fighting styles that Sakamoto Ryoma can use in the game:

Brawler Style

Brawler Style

Source: devilleon7

First on our list is the Brawler Style or unarmed combat which works best against one on one. It also features four Rush combos which are as follows:

  • Light attack, Heavy attack
  • Light attack, Light attack, Heavy attack
  • Light attack, Light attack, Light attack, Heavy attack
  • Light attack, Light attack, Light attack, Light attack, Heavy attack (must be unlocked to do the combo)
Brawler Style 1

Source: devilleon7

In the Brawler style, you can grab an opponent if you press B or O. After grabbing, you will then have three choices:

  • Press the Grab button again to throw the enemy
  • Press the Heavy attack button to send the enemy flying with a kick
  • Press the Light attack button to punch the enemies three times

However, enemies can easily escape your grab if you spam the Light attack combo. In this case, the best option is to throw them or press the Heavy attack instead.

Additionally, you can direct where you want to throw an enemy, and if you throw them onto a wall, they will get stunned.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can’t block weapons with the Brawler Style; however, you can parry them instead.

To do so, simply hold the block button while an enemy attacks. It only has a small window to parry an attack, so make sure to practice it as often as possible to perfect the timing.

Sword Style

Sword Style

The Sword style is the slowest but most powerful style there is. It has a similar rush combo to the Brawler Style, but you can charge the Heavy attack to deal more damage.

These are the Rush combos of the Sword Style with charged heavy attacks:

  • Light attack, charged Heavy attack
  • Light attack, Light attack, charged Heavy attack
  • Light attack, Light attack, Light attack, charged Heavy attack
  • Light attack, Light attack, Light attack, Light attack, charged Heavy attack (must be unlocked to do the combo)
Sword Style 1

Keep in mind that there’s no grab for the Sword style, but pressing the grab button will make a move that can break the enemy’s guard instead.

If you successfully break the enemy’s guard, the following Rush combo will deal 100% damage. You can also block any attacks, even gunshots, and stopping at the right time will knock back the attacking enemy.

Wild Dancer Style

Wild Dancer Style

Next is the Wild Dancer style which doesn’t have a block button as it focuses wildly on speed and dealing with crowds.

Wild Dancer Style 1

It also has no heavy attacks, and pressing the heavy attack will shoot your gun instead. The combos you need to do are five light attacks and three grab buttons.

Using the grab button will make Ryoma make a different attack. When pressed the third time, Ryoma will shoot the gun while circling around.

Gunman Style

Gunman Style

The last one is the Gunman style which is pretty straightforward: you use your gun to shoot enemies.

Light attacks shoot your enemies with infinite bullets while heavy attacks use finite yet special slow-moving bullets. These special bullets have random effects in them as well.

The Gunman Style has only one Rush combo. To activate, simply press the Heavy attack after a Light attack. This will cause Ryoma to spin and do a fan-shaped attack with the gun while spreading bullets on your enemies.

It also has grab attacks. Pressing the grab button again will make Ryoma slam the enemy to the ground while pressing either Light or Heavy attack will make him shoot the enemy instead.

Heat Actions

Heat Actions

Heat Actions are what you call finishing moves, and to perform them, you must have your Heat meter filled up! You will know if you can do a Heat Action if the Heat Bar is filled up and glows blue.

Each Heat Action has different conditions to trigger. For example, grabbing an enemy and throwing them onto a wall lets you do a Heat Action.

You also have to keep your Heat bar filled up if you are about to have a boss battle. To do that, hold L2 or LT if your Heat bar is filled to disable it prior to the boss fight.



You can also craft or upgrade your weapons at the blacksmith who you’ll encounter as you progress through the story.

We highly recommend crafting powerful weapons whenever they become available. After all, you will need a better weapon the further you are into the game.

Card System

Card System

The last mechanic is the Card system which you can activate by holding L2 or LT to pick the card you want to use.

These Cards can either deal direct damage, buff Ryoma, or debuff enemies. The system adds more complexity to the game which makes for really exciting gameplay.

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