How to Level Up Fast in Sifu – Gain XP and Score Quickly

An overview of the XP and score system in Sifu.


Sifu is a fast-paced martial arts action game that puts a twist on a player’s story progression by means of gaining and spending XP and score, and through the protagonist’s eventual, yet necessary death. Players will find themselves learning and mastering different skills through the hard way, but the protagonist grows stronger in each new iteration of his or her life.

In this guide, we will look into how to efficiently gain XP to use on your skills and rack up points to obtain bonuses that will help you progress through the story and help your protagonist exact his revenge.

The Premise

You follow the story of a young protagonist out to seek revenge for the death of your father. Several people, some were acquaintances, raided your house and murdered your father, as well as you. Little did they know that you held on to a magical talisman that grants the holder another life.

The catch is that you get older every time you die, and every subsequent death adds that many years to your age. Every run, you start off as a 20-year old, but every ten years that you age, the talisman weakens. You do get stronger with your attacks, but the amount of health that you have declines.

Sifu - get older every time you die

The talisman can keep reviving you in a run up until you reach the age of 70, after which your next death will end your current level and you’ll have to go through the level again or you can redo the entire run from the first level.

But your death is not all for naught. As you die, you get access to your skill tree where you can learn new skills to use once you resurrect, giving you more ways to overcome the enemies. Unlocking these skills will require you to spend your experience points or XP.

How to Gain and Use XP in Sifu

You get a certain amount of XP by beating up the bad guys. The more bad guys you defeat, the more XP you get. The amount of XP that you get differs depending on how strong the enemy is, from grunts rewarding the lowest XP, to bosses that award the most amount of XP.

You can then spend your earned XP on unlocking new skills, as well as getting temporary bonuses from Jade Dragons. There are three ways on how to spend your XP on skills:

  • When dying within a run, you get to access your skill tree in which you can unlock available skills.
  • When using a Jade Dragon, aside from choosing which bonus to get, you also gain access to your skills tree. A Jade Dragon can be used to get an XP-based bonus and to unlock a skill at the same time.
  • When you defeat the main boss of a level, you’ll return to your house. In the middle of your house is a tree that you can interact with to access your skill tree and unlock more skills.

To clarify the difference, a level only pertains to the part of the game that happens within a specific area like The Squats or The Club, while a run consists of several levels starting from The Squats onwards.

When you die from a level, you’ll lose all of the XP that you’ve earned from that level, including your score, bonuses, and soft unlocked skills. On the other hand, you get to keep the skills that you have unlocked permanently.

Unlocking Skills in Sifu

In Sifu, each skill requires a different amount of XP, ranging between 500XP to 1,500XP. There are two ways of unlocking skills: soft unlock and permanent unlock. We have our Sifu – All Skills and How to Unlock Each guide that explains how the skill unlocking system works in further detail.

To summarize it: skills that are only soft unlocked are temporary and have to be unlocked again upon restarting a level, while permanently unlocked skills can be used in every run moving forward.

When unlocking skills, it’s best to focus on unlocking around 2 to 3 skills per level so as not to spend too much on soft unlocking, which is considered as a sunk cost. It costs five times the soft unlocking cost to permanently unlock a skill. Soft unlocks do not count towards permanent unlocks and reset every level that you fail, but permanent unlocks carry over to the next levels and runs.

Using XP for Bonuses in Sifu

Jade Dragons offer bonuses that have different kinds of requirements: age, score, and XP. You can spend your XP to get these three bonuses for your current level:

  • Focus Reserve (250 XP)
    • Each level adds half a bar to your Focus Gauge.
  • Weapon Proficiency (500 XP)
    • Each level makes your weapon strikes more deadly.
  • Death Counter (1,000 XP)
    • Resets your current death counter to zero. Does not lower your age.

Jade Dragon bonuses are only temporary and will reset when you restart a level. However, you can decide to keep the run and just play the level again, or restart the entire run. Restarting a level will let you keep all the bonuses that you got from the previous levels, while restarting a run resets all your bonuses back to zero.

How to Achieve High Scores in Sifu

The Level Score or scoring system in Sifu is an indicator of how good you are when doing and keeping combos. Its multiplier is based on your hit streak rather than your kill streak and the accumulated score is mainly used for getting bonuses from Jade Dragons.

How to Achieve High Scores in Sifu  - raise the score multiplier

Players can raise the score multiplier by performing connecting hits on the enemies and it can go up until x5. The score is only added to the total when the enemy is killed and the amount added is based on the enemy’s base score reward multiplied by the multiplier at the time of their death.

For a rough example, when fighting against 2 enemies simultaneously:

  • Example one: you kill the 1st enemy, then the 2nd enemy
    • 1st enemy base score: 10 points
      • When killed with x3 multiplier: 30 points
    • 2nd enemy base score: 20 points
      • When killed with x5 multiplier: 100 points
    • Total: 130 points
  • Example two: you juggle between the 1st and 2nd enemy raising the multiplier to x5 before killing them
    • 1st enemy (10 pts. x 5): 50 points
    • 2nd enemy (20 pts. x 5): 100 points
    • Total: 150 points

This can be done to optimize your score whenever you have to start a streak, though you won’t have to worry about it if you can consistently maintain your streak. The multiplier goes down by 2 whenever you get hit by an enemy.

Using Score for Bonuses

Score can also be used to unlock bonuses in Jade Dragons. Unlike XP, your score won’t get used up upon picking a bonus; the score just serves as a requirement for you to be able to select the bonus. There are three bonuses that use the score requirement:

  • Structure Regain (1,000 score)
    • Increases your structure gain on a successful avoid.
  • Focus Regain (2,000 score)
    • Increases your focus gain on a successful avoid or parry.
  • Parry Impact (starting from 4,000 score)
    • Increases your parry’s impact on opponent’s structure.

The score requirement for Parry Impact increases per level that you are in, while the other bonuses’ requirements stay the same.

If you like this guide, check out out other Sifu articles:

Sifu is available on PS4 and PS5 through the Playstation Store, as well as on PC through the Epic Store.