Sifu’s aging and Death Counter explained

Sam Comrie
An image of Sifu's character aging

In Sifu, defeat is not the end when your Kung-Fu master is knocked down. The aging mechanic is here to let you get back up and live to fight another day. Here’s how it works.

Sifu is a dream for film fans of Yuen Woo-ping, Tsui Hark, and the ‘Heroic Bloodshed’ genre of the 80s. Combing devastating Kung-Fu with reflex-reliant gameplay is very satisfying, but also hard to master. You’ll eventually end up meeting your demise in Sifu, but this is a chance to get back up, at a cost.

It may seem unfair at first but once you understand Sifu’s aging mechanic, you can fine-tune your fighting accordingly.


Sifu bar fight
Sifu pits you against heaps of foes with no room for error.

How does aging work in Sifu?

Sloclap has added its own unique spin on death within Sifu. Rather than just dying and restarting the level, Sifu offers the chance to rise again and continue.

You’ll begin Sifu at the young age of 20 years old, but if you die, you’ll continue to age until you can’t fight anymore. Each death will add to your Death Counter too, which can significantly increase how fast your character ages. However, you can slow down the rate of aging by decreasing your Death Counter.

An image of Sifu's ageing mechanic.
You’ll only be able to age just past 70 in Sifu.

What is the Death Counter in Sifu?

With each death in Sifu’s challenging levels, you’ll increase your Death Counter. Starting at 0, this will increase by one every time you fail. You’ll only be able to age up just past 70 years old before you are forced to restart the level again.

How to decrease the Death Counter in Sifu

To decrease the Death Counter’s age rate, you need to defeat special enemies or use Shrines to purchase decreases. Special enemies are normally highlighted with a smoke-type aura around them, while specific one-on-one counters can also reduce the Death Counter. Defeat them with a takedown attack, which will be prompted after you’ve diminished their “Structure”.

It’s best to use Shrines when you’re around 3 on the Death Counter, as this will make upcoming boss fights slightly more forgiving if you find yourself getting pummeled.  You’ll gain strength as you get older but lose valuable health too. It’s vital to try and reach the next stage as young as possible, to give yourself a fighting chance going forward.

Now you know how aging works in Sifu, you’ll be able to re-evaluate your fighting methods going forward. Make Sifu easier by following our guides:

How to unlock Sifu’s Private Room Door | Sifu difficulty settings: Is there a difficulty slider at launch? | Sifu upgrades explained: What to unlock first and how to keep them