Having some Nioh 2 tips to hand can be a real asset, as it's fair to say that the game presents a pretty tough challenge, especially to those who are uninitiated in the ways of this world. You'll need to brace yourself for a beating as you take on a whole host of unusual enemies in Nioh 2, from master archers who can use the power of electric elephants, to giant snake gods with very sharp noses. No, really. It's an inescapable fact that you are going to die, probably quite often at first, but that's an important part of learning the game and building your skills. We've assembled these Nioh 2 tips to give you a fighting chance against the overwhelming odds, so let's get started.
1. Kill Gaki quickly
The first enemy you’ll encounter in Nioh 2 is a Gaki. These little monsters (called yokai in the game world) are small, Gollum-like creature who are basically just scavengers. They should then be more or less harmless. Well, no, not really. While you can take them out fairly quickly, they have the unique ability to grow stronger depending on what they do. For example, if they eat the body of another yokai, they double in size and strength. This also happens if they grab you and take a couple of bites. While they are harmless most of the time, you’d be wise to take them out first whenever you see them.
2. You can skip the first big yokai
On the subject of yokai, after killing your first Gaki, you’ll come to an open area that is patrolled by a Gozuki. A Gozuki is a towering yokai that has the head of a bull, the body of a man, and a penchant for sadism. As such, it wields a club covered in spikes, which it will gladly introduce you to by either smashing you with it or using it as the world's kinkiest rolling pin. Killing it nets you a key which grants passage through the gate behind it. However, if you feel as though this yokai is a little too much, you can simply hug the right-hand wall and run through the area. This allows you to take a different route through the level, and you won’t have to become as frustrated with the Gozuki as a result.
3. Master the Nioh 2 Ki pulse
The Nioh 2 Ki pulse is a returning skill from the first game. To perform it, you simply hit R1 after a combo has finished. However, there is a proper timing to it that is dictated by your stamina bar. As it depletes it goes from green to red, but the window for the Ki Blast has the red section turning blue. If you hit R1 once the red section is entirely blue, then you’ll gain all of that stamina back. This is essential to high-level play of Nioh 2, so practice it a lot.
4. Summon help when you need to
There are a few different ways of doing multiplayer in Nioh 2. The main way to do it is to Summon Help at one of the shrines in a level, but it’s not the only way to get a helping hand. You can also summon NPC characters based on other players by interacting with the blue graves you see dotted about. These can be laid down to help out other players, and using them can often make bosses a far easier time. After all, two targets are better than one.
5. Keep an eye out for a cat, called scampuss
People aren’t the only helpful things in Nioh 2. You can also come across a little cat-like yokai called a Scampuss. These cuddly little creatures can be stroked if you find them, and doing so will have them following you around and even attacking enemies. They also do a surprisingly decent amount of damage too. Just don’t look up the lore behind them, or you’ll find out that they were once children who died and now crave human contact because it reminds them of their mums.
6. Invest in one main stat
As with any soulslike, the name of the game is min-maxing, at least if you want to deal as much damage as possible. The stat you choose is up to you, of course, but it’s always worth picking one and sticking to it. Each stat will tell you which weapons it most improves, so you won’t have to do too much digging on that front. That being said, it’s worth keeping an eye on your armour as well as your weapons, as some of them can only be used properly with the right stats.
7. Use Spirit Stones to help level up
Levelling up requires Nioh 2 Amrita, which is basically a fancy name for experience points. Once you’ve accumulated enough, you can choose a stat to improve, and voila, you’ve levelled up. Sometimes though, you’ll be a couple hundred short of the required amount, well, that’s where Spirit Stones come in. These handy items give you a chunk of Amrita when used, and keeping hold of them to boost your number just enough to level up will make your game far easier.
8. Spend time preparing in-between missions
A large part of Nioh 2 is upgrading your gear, levelling up your stats, skills, and cashing in the prestige you earn from gaining new titles. All of these things help boost your overall strength, but remembering all of them can be a pain. You really do need to keep an eye on all of them though, or you might find yourself struggling needlessly. Take a couple of minutes after every mission to sort out your new items, sell stuff, upgrade yokai cores, and learn new skills. You’ll thank yourself for it when you beat the next boss first time.
9. Complete the dojo missions
The Dojo is basically Nioh 2’s tutorial system. It’s worth diving into once you’ve booted up the game just to learn a few things about the new systems and make sure you’re familiar with all of your abilities. You also unlock new missions as you progress through the story and you’ll want to do these as soon as possible as they unlock new skills and will, in turn, make you much more powerful. Don’t neglect your training.
10. Aim for the head
Once you’ve unlocked a bow, you’ll be able to take part in ranged combat. While the ranged weapons are generally always useful, they can often one-shot many of the smaller enemies if you aim for the head. That can be tricky to tell depending on the distance, but there’s a handy UI hint you can use too. There is a small dot that lights up in the middle of the targeting reticule when you’re aimed at a creature’s weak spot; you can use this to take out partially obscured enemies as well as using it to guarantee a critical hit. This remains useful throughout the game, so never forget this tip.