Nioh 2 is full of aggressive enemies. Thankfully, you have plenty of ways to defend yourself including the parry, block, and brand new Burst Counter system. So how do you perform these moves? Just be warned that they all require some strict timing so don’t think you’ll be able to waltz right in perfectly block.
How to block in Nioh 2
This one is the easiest of the three. Just hold the L1 button to block. Blocking attacks will drain parts of your stamina and your stamina will also come back more slowly when you are holding the block button down (although there are skills you can buy to help speed it up). When all of your stamina drains when you are blocking, you will be stunned and wide open to get hit so be careful. You can’t block throws — the white glowing moves — so be sure to dodge.
How to parry in Nioh 2
Parrying is a bit more complicated because it takes strict timing. You also have to unlock parry moves for each weapon. Most weapons have multiple parries and they’re usually L1 and Square or L1 and Triangle. Some even have multiple types of parries so you can choose how to get which ones in the Skill Customization menu in the menu screen.
No matter the parry, they all have the same general strategy. You’ll want to hold down block but press the Square or Triangle button as soon as the attack is about to hit you. You can’t parry some moves and it’s usually best left to sword-based moves as those are the most obviously parryable (which are usually from humans). You can’t parry most Yokai or most non-human (or human-like) enemies. A successful parry will often change the camera angle and quickly zoom in on your accomplishment.
How to Burst Counter in Nioh 2
The Nioh 2 Burst Counter is a more vital to the game and it’s easier than parrying but harder than normally blocking. The only moves that can be countered are the ones with the red glow like in the above picture.
There are also three types of Burst Counters in the game demanding on what Guardian Spirit you have equipped. The Brute (red icon beneath the circle to the the left of your health bar) Burst Counter is the most straightforward of the three and the most friendly to new players. It’s a horizontal swipe with a decent hitbox. This is going to take some timing and patience but you have to wait until the enemy is just a bit in front of you.
The Phantom Burst Counter turns you into a Yokai a second and puts up your guard. If your guard makes contact with an enemy, you perform a Burst Counter. This is a more traditional defensive Burst Counter.
The Feral Burst Counter is the most irregular of the three. It’s a dash-like move that leaves a ghostly image on your trail. A successful burst counter happens when the burst attack makes contact with that afterimage. Essentially, it’s more like a dodge counter burst whereas the Brute is a more traditional offensive counter and the Phantom is a more defensive counter. This is likely going to be the hardest of the three to master.
You can read a more detailed breakdown of each type of spirit here.