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Early on in your Nioh adventure you're going to have to make an important decision. There are five melee weapon types, and you're going to want to stick to no more than two of them since they scale based off your stats and skill points.
The good news is that all five weapon types are powerful, and can be used to beat the game. Though, they aren't all created equal. Below we'll go over how they rank.
Note that this list is based on PvE solo play. The rankings move around a little when playing in co-op.
Also known as the Katana, the Sword is the most commonly used primary weapon type in Nioh. While it is arguably the flashiest of all five weapon types, it suffers from the most weaknesses.
Pros: Balanced offense
Cons: Poor strong attack moveset, moderate damage, bad combos
Primary Stat: Heart
Explanation: This weapon type offers a good balance of light attacks across all three stances. Oh, and it looks attractive. Outside of that, it falls behind every other weapon type by not only having bad combos, but by far the worst strong attack moveset. If you're having trouble beating the game and are maining the Sword, you might want to change things up sooner rather than later.
The Axe is the only heavy weapon in Nioh. Its slow swipes pack a huge punch, reminding enemies not to get near you.
Pros: High power, high rate of stagger
Cons: Slow speed, difficult to use
Primary Stat: Strength
Explanation: This weapon type is best for players who like large weapons in their RPGs such as great swords, great axes, and hammers. With the highest damage values of any weapon type, it strikes with ferocity, staggering enemies and taking chunks out of their health bar. During late game it becomes a highly potent weapon for high skill players, taking down enemies in a haste.
3. Dual Sword
Whoever said two swords is better than one is right. The Dual Sword is an effective weapon that uses speed and agility to overwhelm foes.
Pros: Aggressive movesets, incredible combos
Cons: Poor AoE, difficult to use
Primary Stat: Skill
Explanation: This is a great weapon type for players who prefer speed over strength. Each of its stances employ quick strikes that knock enemies off-balance and expose them to strong attacks. It isn't as dominating as the Kusarigami or Spear, but it's preferable for high skill players who can safely get into the face of enemies. In addition, in co-op play where poking and AoE are less important it's arguably the best weapon type.
This weapon combines the potential of a chain and sickle to deliver high momentum damage that keeps enemies on their toes.
Pros: Superb moveset in all stances, quick strikes.
Cons: Low damage
Primary Stat: N/A
Explanation: This weapon can be used to quickly swipe at enemies before following up with punishing finishers. You can use the mid-stance light attack to safely whittle down the health bar of enemies who approach. The High Stance strong attack can be used as an opener to punish enemies who don't detect you by severing off a chunk of their health bar.
As many players learned from the Nioh demo, the Spear is a master of range and control. It is capable of shutting down enemies unlike any other weapon type in the game.
Pros: Incredible range, high AoE
Cons: Struggles in tight spaces
Primary Stat: Body
Explanation: With the best poke in the game, the Spear is a safe weapon that offers a huge advantage over most enemies. Using it you can keep enemies at bay, controlling the positioning of the enemy as you strike from afar While it might not be the flashiest weapon type, it makes the job of those who wield it a lot easier.
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