In Like a Dragon: Ishin, weapon quality can mean the difference between life and death. Wielding upgraded blades will increase your chances against even the toughest foes, and mastering the seemingly-complicated upgrade system at the blacksmith will allow you to make even the dullest blades sharp. While in-game, you will be rewarded with certain weapons for completing battles; the options for how to upgrade weapons in Like A Dragon Ishin offer a new avenue, providing custom weaponry you can upgrade to match your style, making your adventuring even more bespoke.
This is a valuable part of the game to understand, and in this guide, we’ll cover where to find the blacksmith, as well as how to upgrade what you have and where to find the necessary crafting materials as you are making your way through the Like A Dragon Ishin chapters.
How to upgrade weapons in Like a Dragon Ishin
To upgrade your weapons in Like a Dragon Ishin, you need to enhance them, which involves a unique resource, Seals. Embedding a seal in a weapon will imbue it with additional combat benefits. Filling the empty weapon slots with seals can increase certain aspects of their ability, like providing a faster Heat cooldown or a reduced chance of being stunned.
Seals are split into bronze, silver, and gold classes. The better the Seal, the better the impact on your item, but the important trade-off, is that a better Seal is much harder to fit successfully into a weapon. They already require a lot of luck to find. With the element of chance involved in the process, saving prior to spending on hard-to-fit seals can save the heartbreak of high-quality upgrades going in the trash. It will also save you your hard-earned cash. The best way to ensure the greatest chance and price of enhancement is to level up the blacksmith itself. If you’re into enhancements and crafting, lifetime customers get the best deals in Kyo, so nurture the guy, would you?
Where is the blacksmith in Like a Dragon Ishin
To find the blacksmith in Like a Dragon Ishin, you’ll need to be in Chapter 3 or later and head to Kurogane Smithing in Rakugai.
You won’t have access to smithing until then. The good news, though, is that you’ll still be able to accrue materials through sidequests and ambient combat encounters, so don’t shy away from farming to give yourself a head start. Regardless, once the map opens up, you can travel out of the gates at the top of Fushimi and head north to pass a few food stands in Rakugai, you will be able to see Kurogane Smithing, the home of Ishin’s blacksmith, further up on a short street opposite a palanquin stand.
Inside the shop, there are two interactable shopkeepers, a materials vendor and a blacksmith. The blacksmith is where you will be able to upgrade your weapons, as well as craft new ones and recycle the unnecessary equipment taking up space in your inventory. Elsewhere, the materials vendor sells a limited stock of various upgrade materials. Much of what he sells you can be earned through battles and other means, like shops and Like A Dragon Ishin substories, so I’d view it more as a convenience than a necessity.
How to craft weapons in Like a Dragon Ishin
To craft weapons in Like a Dragon: Ishin, you have to interact with the blacksmith of Kurogane Smith. You will be offered a series of options:
- Craft – Use materials to create a new weapon
- Enhance – Add seals to an existing weapon to increase its stats
- Disassemble – Salvage equipment you own for materials
- Donate – Offer items for experience to level up the blacksmith
- Notebook – Provides information about Kurogane Smithing
Crafting is the first option and the way to create new weapons for Ryoma to use. Before you begin smithing, however, you will need a basic weapon that can only be bought, not made. The two locations to visit for the basic blades are the Rakugai Arms Dealer in West Umekojicho, who can provide you with a Bundle Blade for 1000mon, or the Mukurogai Arms Dealer on the bottom floor near the Majong Spot, who will sell you a Nameless Sword for 1000mon. Once you have your basic items, it’s time to build a blade.
The tree-like upgrade system in Like a Dragon: Ishin’s crafting suite requires a bit of getting used to. Each weapon further along the tree requires the previous sword plus more materials. Think of it like fortifying the initial blade over and over into something new. Each upgrade along the tree will cost more money and require different and often harder-to-find materials. From here, you can pick and choose what suits your needs best and continue to craft along that path. This same process applies to guns. The Imported Revolver is available from the Rakugai Arms Dealer for 1000mon, and the Mukurogai Arms Dealer will offer you the Domestic Revolver for 1000mon. Follow the same tree process for the armed weaponry, working your way along with your playstyle in mind.
The second element to consider when crafting weapons is which hammer you will use. Hammers break into five quality levels – Bronze, Iron, Silver, Gold, and Kiwami. The better the hammer, the better the stats will be on your crafted creation. You can purchase certain lower-tier hammers at the materials vendor in the blacksmith itself. Otherwise, you will be rewarded in places like pots or during encounters as you press on with the broader game.
How to Level Up the Blacksmith in Like a Dragon Ishin
Each time you craft or enhance an item in Like a Dragon: Ishin, you will gain experience that will level up the blacksmith. Doing so will result in various benefits, like a crafting fee reduction or a higher enhancement success chance.
If you’re looking for a quick way to level up, donating frequently will earn buckets of experience. For example, at the arms dealers, buying the cheapest blades in bulk will not only win you a great deal of virtue, but the blades will also provide a large chunk of experience when donated to the blacksmith, consequently making crafting a lot easier. While disassembling gives you a chance at getting materials, donating is often a quicker way to move up the ranks, which benefits the blacksmithing experience en masse. Our Like A Dragon Ishin Virtue guide is a good place to get started as well with tips for this.
Where to find upgrade materials for the blacksmith in Like a Dragon Ishin
Upgrade materials in Like A Dragon Ishin can be found in the following ways:
- Random combat encounters
- Completing Substories
- Fulfilling Bond meters
- The Battle Arena
- Shops in Kyo
- Battle Dungeons
- The Priest Shop
All combat encounters in Like a Dragon: Ishin result in a small material prize. Golden Sneak enemies, denoted by their signature golden mask, drop even greater loot, so be sure to start a fight if you see one wandering about. Not just good for Virtue farming and chuckles, substories often lead to greater material prizes, including seals and hard-to-come-by materials.
Becoming best friends with the locals of Kyo will result in many different crafting-related rewards. In addition, on the second floor of the Mukurogai district, you can find the arena. Offering a variety of prizes, including special weapons and armour, you can brawl your heart out to pick up some high-quality gear.
Ebisu Pawn Shops, Don Quijote in Ranukai, and Ichikura General Goods in Fushimi all offer a variety of standard crafting materials that can be used at Kurogane Smithing. Accessible through the pause menu after progressing to Chapter 5, Ryoma can engage in battle dungeons, which are bite-sized combat sequences where loot is hidden around every corner.
Any pot with a lid hidden around Kyo is worth an interaction. You have a chance of finding anything from hammers to misshapen screws inside their ceramic bellies. Plus, once you unlock the shrine shop by following the Virtue-related side quests, you can find an array of materials for purchase here. Finally, while not the most effective way to find crafting materials, wells offer a small healing item along with the chance to craft tools, so it’s worth stopping to interact with them, even if it’s just to get a drink.
Learning how to upgrade weapons in Like a Dragon Ishin is much easier than it seems at first glance. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into, but by creating selective save spots when testing out your hammering prowess, you can protect yourself from a lot of pain. Exploring Ishin fully by completing substories as well as fighting the crueller members of Kyo’s crime scene will net you some great rewards, too, often alongside some cold hard cash which you can use as you make your way through and meet all the Like A Dragon Ishin characters.