The best way to explain Nioh is to explain away its complexity. That makes it more manageable. In this guide, we ’ ll startle with the basics, teaching you just what Nioh is and what you ’ ll do when play. then we ’ ll move into a more detail psychoanalysis of Nioh and its systems, from combat to stances, equalization, shrines and more .
Armed with this cognition, you ’ ll have a huge advantage in a crippled that wants nothing more than to kill you .
What is Nioh?
Nioh is an action role-playing game from Team Ninja, a developer with a repute for creating viciously difficult games. It takes its divine guidance from the Dark Souls serial, itself a punishing military action RPG franchise.
Reading: Understanding Nioh: A guide (update)
Although it shares many similarities with From Software ’ south franchise, Nioh adds many of its own twists. To stay active, even Dark Souls veterans will need to learn Nioh ‘ s lyric .
In this section, we ’ ll focus on Nioh ’ s three most authoritative parts : fight, level design and items. Everything else we discuss builds upon these foundations .
Combat is frenetic and punishing
If you think of Batman : Arkham Asylum ’ randomness ( bright ) fighting automobile mechanic as a rhythm bet on, you can think of Nioh ’ sulfur as a rhythm game for dubstep. It ’ randomness not-quite-frantic ( it ’ s a little frantic ) button grind, but you ’ ll be stringing together button sequences in some mean spots. Those are literally tight spots because your surroundings are as a lot your enemy in Nioh as the humans and demons are .
You ’ ll be fighting, a fortune. You ’ ll be running amrita — the game ’ sulfur leveling currency — farming loops to boost your stats and replaying sections to go retrieve your amrita when you ( inevitably ) get killed. Just like in Nioh ’ south inspiration, Dark Souls, enemies will reappear for you to fight all over again. And equitable like a Souls game, no enemy can be written off as easy. A wrong be active or a neglect auction block will let the third foe you face drain your health angstrom fast as the one-hundredth .
Levels are like a plate of spaghetti
Beyond the fight, Nioh ’ s floor design is both complex and wide of items. You ’ ll constantly smash crates to find amber, check every corner and crevice for items and find shortcuts where levels fold back in on themselves. There are normally two ways to get anywhere in a given grade, and discovering the alternate routes are sometimes the samara to survival and finding better items .
There are useful items everywhere
Did we mention the items ? Boy, are there items. You ’ ll be dealing with items a distribute .
Any given sword or piece of gear falls in a compass of stats and comes with a tilt of particular effects singular to that specific piece. Two swords you pick up might both be called a bogus sword, but they ’ ll have different stats and bonuses .
You ’ re besides going to be looking for consumables, ammunition and upgrade materials. You won ’ thyroxine be able to upgrade anything for a few hours, but you ’ ll find the parts for the action early on. And you ’ ll pick up gold from smashed crates, pots and fallen enemies. Each level includes a virtually ceaseless pour of items .
Understanding your first several hours and missions
many of Nioh ’ s core gameplay mechanics take clock to unlock. Things that you ’ ve read about or seen in early gameplay videos don ’ thymine appear for respective hours. Let ’ s walk through how you start, so you know what to expect .
Tower of London
The Tower of London serves as your training-wheeled introduction to the game — don ’ metric ton think it ’ south easy by any means, you ’ re merely going to get more popups and hints about what you ’ re not doing or doing incorrect .
You start unarmed and get to explore fighting relatively sparse enemies in a control localization. You ’ ll besides learn to swap out items and gear on the flee. You don ’ thyroxine have entree to stances and ranged weapons. This is all just a prelude .
A Long Journey Begins
After a few choices that serve as a proxy to character creation ( and give you a few early on boosts to your stats ), you get an actual tutorial that introduces you to respective newly mechanics .
Isle of Demons
The deputation that follows the tutorial is the “ bewilder in the deep end to learn to swim ” approach path to gameplay introduction. It ’ s by no means impossible, but you ’ re going to promptly learn what works and what doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate — and to never get comfortable. A set ( but not all ) of the game ’ s core mechanics will be introduced here, and it ’ s a challenging-yet-rewarding put to grind out your first several character levels .
It ’ s only after defeating the knob at the end of “ Isle of Demons ” that you unlock things like the blacksmith and the mission excerpt map .
What am I looking at? (Understanding the HUD)
At first blush, Nioh ’ s filmdom looks like a pretty standard HUD — and it is, but like most things in Nioh, it ’ randomness precisely turned up to 11 .
- In the top left are the things you’d expect. There’s a special attack meter — your living weapon gauge — your health and your stamina (or life and ki, in Nioh-speak). The light blue line on top is your life and the green line below is your ki.
- The top right is your compass that points you to an objective, and it glows red when a demon is nearby. (Don’t think of it as a minimap. It’s just a compass.)
- At the bottom left are your Dark Souls-style item shortcuts. In Nioh, though, you have two of them and you swap between them with R2. This gives you eight shortcuts across two customizable loadouts.
- Next to the item shortcuts, you’ll see a current count of your samurai, ninja and onmyo skill points.
- About halfway up the right side of the screen are your equipped ranged and melee weapons. You get two of each, and you swap between them by holding down the right shoulder button and hitting the D-pad (up and down for ranged and left and right for melee).
- Below that is your current stance. (Check out the section on Nioh‘s stances for more.) You swap between high, mid and low stances (and sheathing your weapon) with the right shoulder button as well, then pressing triangle, square, x or circle.
- Under that, in the very bottom right, is your current gold count and then your current amrita count. These are the game’s currencies — gold for things like items and services and amrita for leveling up.
All about Shrines
When you arrive on the Isle of Demons, you ’ ll find your first shrine. Shrines are Nioh ’ mho version of Dark Souls ’ bonfires. They let you prepare for fights to come and restore your health, but they besides reset all of the enemies .
You ’ ll beginning with six options at a enshrine. Later in the “ Isle of Demons ” mission, you can find a kodama and unlock a seventh. here ’ s what you can do with each of them .
Change guardian spirit
Before the “ Isle of Demons ” deputation, you answer two questions that serve as Nioh ’ s character and classify creation system. In it, you chose a defender spirit from three options. But there are far more than three defender spirits in Nioh — there are 22, in fact. You ’ ll start off with only the one you chose, but you ’ ll add more as you complete missions .
At a shrine, you have the option to change which defender intent you ’ re presently imbued with. Each defender spirit has different stats, buffs and requirements ( where your spirit stat needs to be ). You can compare the different defender spirits on this blind before you swap one extinct for another .
This is where you go to spend all that hard-won amrita and level up your character. You get to boost one stat per degree at ever-increasing cost. ( See our section on Nioh ‘s stats for more. )
As we mentioned, you ’ re going to find a draw of items. Some of them will be essential. Others, not indeed much. indeed what do you do with all that debris ? late in the bet on, you can take it to the blacksmith workshop and sell it for cash or break it down into its components. But you have another choice. Each item besides has a amrita value. If you make an offer of the token at a shrine, the detail will be lost, but you ’ ll beget amrita in exchange. ( For more on this, see weapon familiarity. )
William ’ s abilities extend beyond equitable swinging a sword ( or an axe or a spear ). He besides has some ninja cognition and the ability to make charming talismans. When you unlock these skills with ninja and onmyo points, this choice at the shrine lets you prepare them — you can pick which ninja or magic trick things you bring with you. Ninjutso includes things like shiruken and poisons. The stat and defense buff talismans are contribution of your onmyo magic trick .
Boons appears to be where DLC will be located. There ’ mho nothing here yet — check back after the game launches for more .
somewhere in the avalanche of items you find will be an item called an ochoko cup. Use these here to summon another actor into your game for cooperative play .
Receive kodama blessing
Kodama are those little green guys wearing pottery on their heads that hang out at the shrine. You ’ ll find kodama scattered throughout Nioh ’ s levels. When you give them directions rear to the shrine, they ’ ll allow you to purchase extra bonuses with amber — things like increased rates of armor, health philosopher’s stone or gold drops .
The final examination tile will be blank until you beat Nioh. After that, it lets you spend amrita to level up your guardians .
Stats and leveling up
so you know that you level up at a shrine, but what precisely are you leveling up ? Nioh gives you eight stats to choose from. They largely map to the stats that you know and love, with a couple modifications .
This screen is intimidating at first, but veterans will recognize both D & D and Dark Souls in its deoxyribonucleic acid .
Also impacts resistances and gives you samurai skill points
Also impacts your hit points and life
How much you can carry (equipment weight)
Some boost to life
Also affects equipment weight max and gives you samurai skill points
Ability with more technical weapons
Also gives you samurai skill points and makes your ninjutsu skills more powerful
Guns, dual katanas
Ninja skills, their power and getting more ninja skill points
Adds power to certain weapon’s attacks
Onmyo skills, their power and getting more onmyo skill points
Grants an greater defense against the yokai realm
Strengthens your bond with your spirit guide
Increases the power of your onmyo magic
Each of these skills map to a type of weapon. Increase the consort stat to unlock the wax likely of a weapon .
When you level up William at a enshrine, you may receive skill points in one of Nioh ’ s three categories — samurai, ninja and onmyo. Cash these in for fresh abilities on Nioh ‘ s assorted skill trees .
Samurai skill points
Samurai skill points are for weapon skill trees. Each weapon type has 45 skills. They teach William extra moves ( like kicking at the end of a jazz band ) or fresh abilities ( like sneak attacks ) .
Ninja skill points
Ninja skills are more furtive than the beastly force skills above. Ninja skill points get you things like throw weapons ( shiruken and kunai ) or poison ( to add an effect to your attacks ). besides, smoke bombs .
Onmyo skill points
Onmyo skills are your charming abilities. In virtual terms, these skills allow you to create talismans — consumable items that grant a impermanent buff to one or more of your stats or defenses .
Throughout Nioh, you ’ ll earn something called titles. These titles are awarded for completing tasks in the game — dealing accumulative qi damage in excess of 7,500 or defeating 150 humans with a sword. Titles earn you reputation points, and reputation points add up until you get a prestige point. Confused even ? You can track all of this on the titles check of your options menu .
There are two tax lists — Agyo and Ungyo — and you can switch between them with the R1 and L1 buttons when you ’ re on the titles tab. Their lists require different actions and grant unlike rewards .
You use Agyo and Ungyo prestige points to purchase upgrades and buffs to your abilities by clicking on the prestige compendious on this sieve. You can get things like increases in the come of gold you pick up or decreases to the amount of damage you take from a decrease .
With all of the paperwork and spreadsheets out of the way, let ’ s lecture about Nioh ’ s two flavors of fight : close quarters and ranged .
Close quarters combat
No matter what close ranged weapon you choose, fight unfolds in the same way. here are some cosmopolitan tips for surviving :
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- Lock onto enemies with R3. It focuses your fight and prevents you from swinging at the air instead of your enemy.
- Watch enemy movement. Like the Dark Souls series from which Nioh finds inspiration, learning how enemies move and attack will show you when to attack.
- Watch everyone’s ki. You and your enemies both have ki (stamina) meters. Watch yours to make sure that you don’t run out and become staggered. Watch your enemies to find opportunities to attack.
- Evade. Yes, it drains your ki, but a well-timed dodge can put you right behind an enemy that has just run out of steam. Those same dodges are going to keep you alive in a boss battle, so get comfortable with the process early.
- Watch for a red reticle. There is a samurai skill that lets you deal a devastating blow when your enemies are knocked down or out of ki. Get it early and watch for their target reticule to turn red.
- Get yourself a kick. Another samurai skills let you add a kick to the end of a combo that depletes ki. Get it early as well.
It ’ s arduous to keep your ammunition provision topped off, so it ’ south tempting to be careful about using it, but you can ’ t ignore your range weapons. even at the lowest levels, well-placed shots taken from a distance can quickly thin the ruck of approaching enemies and give you a fighting chance .
- Headshots count. Zoom in with R3 and shoot enemies in the head to do a lot more damage. Like, one-shot kill damage for a lot of low-level enemies.
- Watch the targeting reticule. It will turn red when your shot targets your enemies weak points. (It’s usually the head.)
- Claim the high ground. There’s a lot of high ground in Nioh’s level design. Use it. Clear out enemies not only in front of you, but in areas you hope to get to. Having them out of your way is only a good thing.
- Don’t forget about your ninjutsu. Shiruken and kunai are not ranged weapons, per se, but these thrown items deal more damage than stones (which you can also throw) and can turn the tide of a battle.
You ’ re going to find sol many weapons. Some are for getting your hands dirty, up close and personal-style, and others are for taking out a devil from a distance. You can use any of them, but you should find the one that matches your potent stats and your dash of play .
Stats and their weapon affiliations
Swords and bows
Dual katanas and guns
Melee weapons fall into five categories — swords, dual swords, spears, axes and kusarigama .
- Swords cover everything from the first bastard sword you pick up in the Tower of London to the most elegant katana. They’re the most balanced and least specialized weapon — and therefore easiest and most accessible to use.
- Dual swords are a pair of swords that are individually weaker, but can string together deadly combos.
- Spears give you a longer reach and enable some sweeping attacks, but they’re harder to control in tight spaces.
- Axes deal huge damage, but they’re heavy and slow.
- Kusarigama is a Japanese word that translates to “chain-sickle” and the weapon is a sickle with a chain on it. It’s a simple name for a complicated weapon that combines a lot of aspects from the other weapon categories.
You ’ ll meet a fortune of weapons throughout Nioh and it can get confusing in a haste. If you get lost, use the icon under the weapon ’ sulfur name to help you classify it .
Ranged weapons are both more rare and more easily classified. They fall into only three categories — longbows, rifles and ( hand ) cannons .
- Longbows deal the least damage, but are fastest to reload and fire.
- Hand cannons deal a lot of damage, but are slowest to fire.
- Rifles fall somewhere in between.
Your ranged weapons require you to find ammunition — your plunder is useless without any bullets. You ’ ll pick up most of your ammunition from defeated foe drops .
It ’ sulfur tempting to write off roll weapons as a minor distraction in a cab and slash action crippled, but they ’ ra indispensable. Enemies in Nioh have watery points ( it ’ s normally the head ) that you can target with a roll attack and take them out with a one shoot ( even with a longbow ). These headshots from a condom distance can take a battle from overwhelming to manageable with fair a few shots .
In inadequate, the longer you use a weapon, the stronger that weapon gets. For certain weapons, as you approach entire casualness — there ’ s a gauge at the top of the weapon ’ sulfur stat blockage — you ’ ll unlock extra special effects and stat and assail buffs .
Because of your attachment to the weapons you use the most — and your higher familiarity — they become more valuable. The higher your casualness, the more amrita you ’ ll get when offering the weapon to a shrine .
Which weapon is right for me?
You can pick up and use any weapon at any point in the game, but you should consider a few things before you settle on a darling. Think about your style and what stats you ’ re most likely to dump points into .
Nioh stances and ki usage
Ki used when attacking
Ki lost when hit
Guards block attacks
Ki used when evading
Ki used when attacking
Ki lost when hit
Guards block attacks
Ki used when evading
None (attacks blocked)
even Nioh ’ s battle system has an extra layer on crown of what you ’ five hundred expect from any early action RPG. After you escape the Tower of London and visit the dojo for the foremost time, you ’ ll learn three stances. You can change your position on the flee during battle and sometimes have to choose your position based on your enemy .
- High stance sacrifices defense for offense — you’re going to deal more damage, but you’re also more open to attack.
- Medium stance falls in the middle, balancing offense and defense.
- Low stance emphasizes defense at the expense of offense — you’re better defended against attack, but you’ll deal less damage.
different enemies require different approaches. You can break through the defenses of a constantly-blocking enemy with a high stance attack, or you can buy yourself some time to figure out an aggressive enemy with a depleted stance .
sometimes, the physical stature of your enemy can determine your choice of stance — high, medium and low besides describe the altitude of your swings. If you find yourself swinging over the head of a crawl demon, switch to low position, and your hits will land .
In the top exit corner of your HUD, you ’ ll see your defender spirit ’ sulfur round icon. Over time, the gauge in a resound around that icon will fill up. Hitting both triangulum and circle together will call on your living weapon .
This changes your life and ki gauges into the life weapon bore. This bore depletes over clock or when your enemies land an attack .
When your be weapon is active, you are immune to damage and your weapon deals excess damage. You can besides press triangle and circle again to trigger your spirit defender ’ south especial assail .
Do not forget about your living weapon
We can not stress this enough. Your support weapon is the key to defeating tough enemies — from some of the larger, tougher yokai, astir through bosses. Don ’ triiodothyronine think you ’ re going to be able to get by on your weapon skills alone. Call on your spirit defender for help. Your living weapon ’ second attacks can cut a 10 minute emboss battle in one-half .
In Nioh, ki is your stamen. You need ki to attack, auction block and elude. Every attack, block and evasion consumes a parcel of the green ki meter in the upper berth left of your screen door. Fighting and winning in Nioh is largely dependent on managing your ki .
When you ‘re out of stamen, you ca n’t swing your weapon or elude attacks. If you run out of ki, you ‘ll stand exhausted, huffing and puffing and unable to move or defend against attacks .
Ki regenerates over clock. Swing your weapon or sprint, and you ‘ll lose qi. Wait a few seconds, and you ‘ll regain what you lost .
You can regain ki quickly with a qi pulse. As you ‘re attacking, blue eyeball will gather around your soundbox and will coalesce around you as your attacks conclude. Press R1 at the moment those orb enter your body, and you ‘ll execute a qi pulse .
A qi pulse immediately restores a collocate of your lost qi and speeds up the recovery of the respite of your qi meter. A absolutely timed ki pulse will wholly restore your qi .
Ki and the yokai realm
Nioh ’ randomness demons ( yokai in Nioh-speak ) can create a circle of black smoke called a yokai kingdom. ( They kind of count like a transmutation circle from Fullmetal Alchemist. ) When you ‘re in the yokai kingdom, your ability to regenerate qi is greatly diminished .
Keep your distance to keep your qi. You can normally lure a monster out of the yokai region they created to avoid this impression .
A qi pulsation inside of a yokai kingdom will disperse it ( and inactive restore your qi at the same clock ). You can avoid yokai realms for a while, but demons will keep creating them. The longer a competitiveness goes on — and it can be a long time for a boss fight — it starts to get crowded, and they ’ ra unvoiced to avoid. At some compass point, you ’ ll need to learn to disperse them — tied while fighting for your life .
Ki and your equipment weight
If you ’ ve played a Dark Souls game ( or D & D with a nonindulgent DM ), you know about burden rules. William is not a gang mule. The heavier his armor is, the slow he moves. Higher equipment weight rates besides drain your qi faster .
You can check your equipment burden rate at any prison term by checking on William ’ sulfur condition, and a popup with the same information will appear at the top of the screen whenever you ’ rhenium swap or equipping new items. You ’ ll besides see the information during leveling up at a enshrine .
As your equipment system of weights rate climbs, the color of the percentage changes. Green is good, red is regretful. By the time you get to red, you may have the highest defensive multiplier you can cobble together, but your qi will drain excessively fast to allow you to fight .
On the other side of the battle equation is defense. You ’ ve got five slots for armor — all the way from your mind to your feet — plus two slots for accessorizing .
Armor, like weapons, is divided into categories — light, average and heavy as indicated by the ( L ), ( M ) and ( H ) after the diagnose — and each item has stats that fall on a stove. Armor may besides have special effects like your weapons .
Beyond the defensive multiplier — the basic protection stat offered by the slice — armor grants you protections against specific types of damage like fire or paralysis. These refutation buffs are listed below the extra effects .
What to do when you die
In Nioh, you are going to fall in conflict. Maybe it ’ ll be against a bus-sized hellbeast, or possibly it ’ ll be against a low-level lackey, but you ’ re not going to make it through Nioh without dying. A lot. You better get used to that, or this is going to be a hanker and frustrating game .
But all is not lost when you die in Nioh. When you fall in struggle ( or by doing something unintelligent ), you keep all of your gearing and everything you ’ ve picked up along the manner and you reappear at the last shrine you prayed at. All of the amrita you had stored up is safely stashed where you fell, fair waiting for you to come get it — after, you know, fighting through the same regretful guys that just killed you. If you ’ re familiar with the Dark Souls franchise, you know how this works .
The catch is, your spirit defender is at your gravesite equally well — not with you. This means you can ’ t call on your know weapon until you reclaim it ( and that throng of amrita ) .
You have two choices at that shrine where you ’ re resurrected. You can run off to go avenge your own death, reclaiming your defender emotional state and your hard-earned amrita. Or you can interact with the shrine and recall your defender spirit. This makes it immediately available to you, but you ’ ll lose all of the amrita you had.
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When William falls in conflict, there ’ mho a chance that the locate of his end will spawn a bally grave in person else ’ south game. The like goes for you, your William ’ south ( Williams ’ ? ) graves will appear in others ’ games .
When you see these graves, you can interact with them to summon the fallen warrior to duel with. If you ’ re victorious, they ’ ll flatten a patch of their gearing for you .