Sword-based combat is at the heart of Way of the Samurai. As the adventure begins, the player has his own sword and basic knowledge of its use in battle. As he moves through the game, the player become more adept at using his sword and learns new attacks. The player also has the ability to pick up dozens of different sword, each representing a different fighting style. With attacks specific to each sword, it requires a true samurai to master all the swords and their individual attacks. Additionally, sword combat is not simply a matter of hacking and slashing. Timing, blocking and balance all play equally important roles.