Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles explained

Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles
(Image credit: SEGA)

The Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles all serve different functions and have different strengths and weaknesses, but which is best? There's four to chose from - wild dancer, brawler, gunman and swordsman - and while any of them can be effective, the true warrior is a master of all four, and knows when to apply them. We'll explain all four fighting styles in Like a Dragon Ishin, how they work and what they can do for you in combat.

All Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles and stances

There are four Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles, each one offering a different stance and suited to a different situation. We've outlined them all below, and how they work.

  • Brawler (Unarmed)
    • Style: Rapid melee strikes, focus on evasion and speed
    • Pros: Good for fighting groups up-close, allows for versatiles grabs and improvised weapons
    • Cons: Can't block or parry enemy weapons, not always hugely damaging
  • Swordsman (Katana)
    • Style: Precision melee combat for higher damage
    • Pros: Good for fighting one-on-one enemies, allows for parries and guard breaks
    • Cons: Struggles against big groups, slower than other styles
  • Gunman (Revolver)
    • Style: Ranged attacks and occasional melee
    • Pros: Allows to damage opponents at range
    • Cons: Special attacks use up finite ammo, no real defensive ability, some enemies are bulletproof
  • Wild Dancer (Katana and Revolver)
    • Style: Sweeping combos and shots that clear the area around you
    • Pros: Fast, aggressive style that hits many opponents on each attack
    • Cons: Requires careful timing, no guard option

Best fighting style

Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles

(Image credit: SEGA)

With four fighting styles to pick from, which is the best one? Well, it's pretty situational - though for real devastating power in the average conflict, we'd say that the Gunman is understandably devastating, as you can do rapid, significant damage to enemies far away from you - even more if you burn up some of your limited special ammo. And Like a Dragon Ishin clearly knows that this is the case, because it keeps stopping the gun from working, introducing bulletproof enemies or fights where it's not an option, or seems suspiciously depowered.

So with that in mind, the best fighting styles being situational means that these are the situations you should use them in. Consider switching it up if you see the following:

  • Brawler: Unarmed enemies, fast opponents, lots of loose objects/dropped weapons, environmental potential
  • Swordsman: Slow enemies, bosses, weapon users, individual opponents
  • Gunman: Distant opponents, tough enemies, other gunmen
  • Wild Dancer: Lots of enemies, enemies of all types, feeling surrounded/overwhelmed

How to get all fighting styles and unlock the revolver and katana

Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles

(Image credit: SEGA)

Fighting styles are unlocked fairly early in the game and are on the critical path, but you won't have them all from the beginning. If you're desperate to know when they're coming, here's how to unlock them all, in order they'll be available.

  • Brawler: Starting style/default
  • Swordsman: Speak to Ryoma's father in the Kengoshi Schoolhouse
  • Gunman: Speak to Takechi Hanpeita in the Loyalist Party Dojo
  • Wild Dancer: Same as above, then complete the Gunman tutorial

You'll have all these unlocked within the first ninety minutes at most, but it'll take you a lot longer to adjust to them all. Make sure to mix it up so you don't forget the basics of any of them, and remember that you can earn Soul Orbs for specific styles simply by using them! It means that the more time you give a stance, the better it'll get.

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.