Food in Shenmue 3 is a new concept for the series, requiring you to regularly eat in order to keep up your endurance.
If you don't, you cannot sprint when exploring, and your health will be lower when fighting - putting you at a disadvantage.
It's a slightly annoying system, so learning where to get the best food and how to eat food will minimise the amount of time you spend having to worry about it.
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How does food and stamina regeneration in Shenmue 3 work?
It will deplete over time as you explore or fast travel, and means several times a day you must top it up by eating.
If you let your stamina run out, you can no longer sprint for long distances. Though at this point you can regenerate some stamina by standing still, the meter will turn yellow, limiting how far you can go.
When this happens during the day, the only way to remedy this easily is by eating food.
Stamina completely fills when you sleep, however, so if you're in the evening, consider fast travelling home and starting fresh the next day to save on (literally) eating into your food reserves.
Food sources in Shenmue 3
Food is primarily bought from shops and vegetable stalls.
For example, Tao's shop between Verdant Bridge and the Village Square will sell a range of items, and there's several unmanned tables in the early game - such as at the end of Village Square, and between Sunflower Grove and Rainbow Bason - meaning you're never too far away from topping up from a meal.
It's also worth noting you can also get some free food from Shenhua's house by exploring the kitchen. A handy way to save some yuan!
What is the best food to get in Shenmue 3?
The best food to get, at least in the early game, is Black Garlic.
Black Garlic is available from Tao's store and vegetable stalls between 9 to 12 yuan each (the price can vary day-to-day regardless of location).
Though it's more expensive than most other food on sale, it will restore 300 health in one go, making it better value and means you'll be dipping into your menu to replenish your stamina less.
Another recommended option is the Rock Tripe, also available from Tao's store. It's 20 yuan for 600 health, making it more or less teh same value as Black Garlic, and means you only have to eat it half as often.
Either way, 9 / 10 or even 20 yuan isn't a lot, but since you'll need to eat several at once to fully replenish your stamina, and do so several times a day, this all adds up - which is why we'd recommend taking the time to make easy money in Shenmue 3 - that way you can buy a load of food in one go, and not worry about having to buy it regularly.
How to eat in Shenmue 3
Eating in Shenmue 3 is simple - press R1 to open your menu, and select the top option to see all the available food in your inventory.
Select the item you'd like, and consume it. You can see your health increase with each one eaten, so you know exactly how much you need to eat before you continue exploring.