After an hour of flashbacks and melodrama, Ghost of Tsushima, out tomorrow for PlayStation 4, cuts you loose in an open world. The game features a whale-sized map, full of a dizzying amount of question marks and fogged-up regions. With all those options, it can be hard to know where to start. So here’s some advice: As soon as you’re free from the narrative obligations, beeline to Arrow Peak Shrine and find the Charm of Inari.
In Ghost of Tsushima, there are several ways to juice up your character. One effective way is to equip charms—accessories that provide small bonuses. Some might increase your health or boost your attack. Others might make your arrows poisonous, or even make it so they return to your quiver after headshots. The Charm of Inari offers no such combat utility, but it’s still the single best thing you can equip in the early game.
Equip it, and you’ll earn more supplies, predator hides, bamboo, and yew wood whenever you collect those resources. Predator hides are used to increase the size of your ammo pouches. Bamboo and yew wood will help you upgrade your bow. Most important of all, supplies are essential for upgrading pretty much everything in your arsenal—your bow, your armor, and your blades.
In Ghost of Tsushima, supplies are seemingly always in short supply; you’ll quickly find yourself faced with a staggering amount of potentially upgradeable gear. Choosing to level-up the Traveler’s Attire might mean waiting a while for a sharper katana. Go all in on a souped-up bow and that might mean you won’t get either of those for some time. The easiest way to get it all, quickly, is to keep the Charm of Inari equipped in the early goings.
Even after extensive testing, it’s tough to pinpoint exactly how many resources you’ll reap from this thing. But its efficacy is undeniable. Exhibit A: Kotaku’s Alexandra Hall was able to reap 1,100 supplies (that’s not a typo) by equipping it before scavenging a single village. For perspective, you need just 250 supplies to unlock an armor set’s second tier.
You’ll earn the Charm of Inari after completing the Arrow Peak Shrine, located due south of the Golden Temple (one of the first key locations you unlock in the story). To get there, cross the river that separates the Ariake and Azamo prefectures. Keep going past Kii’s Pond. You’ll see a mountain in the distance. Climb it. If you’ve found yourself on the Sakimori Overlook or in the Azamo Foothills, you’ve gone too far. Here, for visual reference, is the trailhead you’re looking for:
As you’ll quickly learn, most shrines in Ghost of Tsushima involve scaling your way through a platforming section that wouldn’t be out of place in any of Nathan Drake’s or Lara Croft’s (recent) adventures. The Arrow Peak Shrine is no exception. Seriously, look at this:
If that doesn’t scream “I’m the main character of a ridiculously polished and popular yet somewhat formulaic action-adventure series,” I don’t know what does.
Once you make it to the top, interact with (“press R2 to honor”) the shrine. That’s it. The Charm of Inari is yours. You’ll be able to equip it in either of the first two slots; the other four slots are reserved for minor charms, which are identifiable by their silver tone. When you’re ready to carry on your adventure, return a few steps down the path you took up. You should see a prompt—one that’s present on all shrines, by the way—asking if you’d like to return to the Torii gate.
Or you could just chill and take in the sunset.
The Mongols aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Trust me: Your adventure is only just getting started. But it’ll be a little bit easier with the Charm of Inari up your sleeve.