Box art - Nioh 2

Nioh 2 Tip Guide

This Nioh 2 tip guide is for those who want some guidance on making the best loadout and decisions in the game. It’s a hard Soulslike with a ton of systems so it’s helpful to have a collection of hints that can make the mountain that is Nioh 2 a little easier to climb. You’re still going to die a lot, but you might die just a bit less with these Nioh 2 tips.

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Sell, offer, or break down your gear

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide

You get a lot of gear in Nioh 2. Like a lot. You won’t ever use 90% of it and you only have 500 slots in your inventory. So in order to declutter your metaphorical backpack, you should sell that gear, break it down, or offer it at a Prayer Shrine. Offering is the easier thing to do, as Prayer Shrines are abundant. Doing this is the most helpful since it nets you experience and items like elixirs.

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Breaking down gear will get your forging materials and selling them at the forge (which is in the Starting Point on the map screen) gives you money. Both are valuable and they might work better for you if you forge and buy more stuff, but experience and elixirs are pretty ubiquitous and the most directly helpful.

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Help out Sudamas

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide

Sudama’s are little purple Kodama-like creatures that ask for stuff. You can figure out more about them here, but you should always offer them gear because they (usually) give you something better in return that you can always sell if you don’t want. Just go into your equipment or items and press Triangle over something you don’t want. Just don’t give them poop (among some other items). Gear is always a safe bet (and, once again, not poop).

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Talk to all NPCs multiple times

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Sell, offer, or break down your gear

There are multiple friendly NPCs in many of the missions so go up to them and hold the Circle button to talk to them. Do this multiple times until they repeat what they had just said. A lot of them will give you an item and some will even join you on your quest. It’s an easy way to get a leg up.

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Pick a good Guardian Spirit that fits you

You’re not locked into the class you pick at the beginning, but given how hard the first few levels are, it would be better if you also didn’t have to work with a class that doesn’t fit you. You can learn more about the Brute, Feral, and Phantom classes right here, but the Brute class would likely be the best pick for most people. It’s the most straightforward but is still very effective, especially given its good Burst Counter.

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Learn to Burst Counter and Ki Pulse

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide

And you’ll need to learn how to Burst Counter if you want to survive. It’s one of the new mechanics that might not appear like a game-changer, but regularly using it is both incredibly fun and effective. Each of the three classes has a unique Burst Counter, which you can read more about here, and they all take some getting used to. The timing isn’t even as tight as normal parries (especially since your Burst Counters can sometimes power through attacks) and that relative generosity is something you should take advantage of.

You’ll see a lot of the same enemies over the game and that will give you plenty of time to learn when to Burst Counter for each of them. This is especially vital for bosses as some seem nearly unbeatable without some well-timed Burst Counters.

Using the Ki Pulse is also tantamount to success because of how it can enable you to get more damage in. Tap the R1 button just after an attack when the blue part of the stamina meter fills. Keep your eye on it in the first few levels to get a sense of the best time to do it, but eventually you’ll be able to do it quickly while barely even looking at the gauge. This is especially helpful for the Yokai zones that make your stamina recharge a lot more slowly.

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Use the Healer Blessing

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide

Guiding Kodamas back to the Prayer Shrine is a noble deed, but it’s not worth much if you don’t take advantage of it. Finding certain Kodamas will let you receive blessings you can activate from the “Receive Kodama Blessing” submenu under the “Make Offering” menu of the Prayer Shrine. There are arguments for the other blessing (the Amrita one is helpful for bosses), but you should mainly be using the Healer one so you can get more elixirs. It’s all too easy to run out during a grueling boss so getting more of them during the level will definitely help out.

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Use your Nioh 2 Ninjutsu, Yokai powers, and Onmyo magic liberally

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide

Yokai powers refill when you attack, which is pretty often. This is the game’s way of telling you that you should not be hoarding these helpful abilities. They do a ton of stamina damage and that will help you kill regular enemies and stagger bosses even faster. They do a ton of instant stamina damage against bosses so you can get a grapple attack in if their stamina damage is low but not low enough to get them to trigger a Yokai dark zone that weakens you and makes them more powerful. Your Yokai Shift move where you physically transform is also a good lifesaver and great for getting the finishing blows on a boss or using an elixir without getting knocked out of the animation.

This also all applies to the Ninjutsu and Onmyo magic abilities. Just use the ability tree to buy one or two of each on their respective skill trees and put them on your shortcut menu at a Prayer Menu under “Ready Jutsu.” These buffs and attacks graciously refill at every Prayer Shrine, once again encouraging you to use them frequently. As with everything else in the game, using them also gives you skill points, and you’ll need those for the better abilities. There’s no reason to not use them all the time and if you don’t, you’ll fall behind in your Onmyo and Ninjutsu skills simply because you weren’t using them enough early on to get experience.

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Do the Ninjutsu and Onmyo magic training missions early

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide

Some of those Ninjutsu and Onmyo abilities will be locked behind missions you haven’t done yet and it’s likely because you haven’t completed the proper training missions. On the main map, go to the Starting Point house and then into the dojo and then start the training missions labeled “The Way of the ______: Novice.” These will unlock good abilities for you early on like the backstab. The higher training missions, which also have great unlocks, require you to have a ton of experience from the related skill so that once again reinforces that you should be always using magic and Ninjutsu skills.

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide | Be careful

Nioh 2 Beginner’s Tip Guide

This applies to all Soulslikes, but just be careful. Don’t get too greedy. If you might not survive your all-out blitz on an enemy, chances are that you won’t. Just hang back and play defensively, which works for most of the bosses. Learn the patterns and strike when they are vulnerable after an attack.

Be sure to check for traps, too. There are sometimes Gaki waiting on a branch above you ready to snatch you up or a Nure-Onna lying on the ground disguising as a bush. Block and walk while going to check out a chest or item, as that is where those jerks are usually hiding.