It’s not long into^( before you realize that you can never truly have enough XP to go around. Even if you make smart skill-tree choices and prioritize unlocking high-impact abilities (bless you, Shadowrush), it can still be a struggle to make tangible upgrade progress unless you play cautiously while exploring new zones or you go out of your way to grind in safe, comfortable areas you’ve already mastered.
The game is new enough that there’s still some debate over the best farming spots for XP and Sen, but as someone who’s currently grinding to get in tip-top shape before facing the last boss (really, I’m just procrastinating at this point), I’ve got a perfect endgame location to share. It’s accessible in the Ashina Outskirts area at the “Outskirts Wall – Stairway” idol but, again, only if you’re in the endgame.
If you aren’t there yet or you’d rather grind elsewhere, I’ve got a few more spots listed below.
Here’s an example of how to do the farming run from YouTube user Gamer Guru. As you can see, it’s possible to quickly dispatch five enemies in a row. Depending on your abilities (and luck), you can sometimes take out all five with backstabs, though you’ll typically have to fight the fifth. In the video, the player continues their run, but I like to hop back up to the idol and reset after this five-man group.
With this strategy in mind, I was able to easily buy all of the prosthetic tool variants minus the last few that require^( as a crafting ingredient. In other words, Sen stopped being an issue. It’s wonderful for XP grinding too, but there are so many skills that it’s still going to be a slog, especially if you’re hoping to stockpile skill points for the attack-power-raising ^( .
This probably goes without saying, but if you haven’t done the^( , seek it out.
Where else can you farm for XP and Sen? Well, lots of places. Some are better, safer, and more boring than others. In general, if it’s not too late, I’d suggest setting aside time to grind for skills throughout your journey. Spread it out, possibly even across New Game+. It’s less of a pain that way.
Earlier on, you might want to try your Hirata Estate idol of choice (the “Estate Path” is riddled with prowling foes or you could potentially work your way back from “Hirata Estate – Main Hall” by dropping down into the cave). The payouts aren’t great at the beginning of Sekiro, so don’t be afraid to pop Mibu Balloons if you’re struggling and you just want to speed up the grind. You’ll get plenty of ’em later.
Another area to consider early on is directly after the big arena fight against Gyoubu and his steed. From the “Ashina Castle Gate” idol in Ashina Outskirts, you can hunt “rats” (aka the little creepy dudes). This video from YouTube user Fuzzy Bearbarian shows where the three easy marks are situated.
Thinking back on other grinding spots I used, for a good long while my go-to spot was the^( : the “Gun Fort” idol in Sunken Valley. You can work your way backward through the fort and get revenge on all the nasty sharpshooters. For the big lugs, I’d suggest using the Divine Abduction fan (or its upgraded counterparts). The tool will let you backstab enemies even if they see you. (Side note: if you need more Fulminated Mercury, try grinding at “Poison Pool” in Ashina Depths.)
For a decent farming locale that’s cathartic as hell, spend some time in Ashina Depths starting at either the “Mibu Village” or “Water Mill” idol. Beating up weaklings is a nice stress reliever.
Finally, for my favorite enjoyable grinding spot, consider trying the “Flower Viewing Stage” idol if you’ve made it to Fountainhead Palace. Once there, turn around, backstab the Noble, run and stab the next Noble, then prepare to do a lightning reversal against the spear-wielding guard. Whereas most other farming locations in Sekiro tend to be mindless, this one is engaging as a muscle-memory warmup.
If I’ve skipped over your ideal XP-generating area, give me a shout. These are just the ones that came to my mind, and the early portions of Sekiro, in particular, feel like a distant memory at this point.