Nioh can be a confusing game to players – even those familiar with Dark Souls – as there are a ton of mechanics to learn and master, and it’s easy to miss out on certain aspects that don’t always shine, or are behind optional or easily missed tutorials. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a list of Things Nioh Doesn’t Tell You to better prepare you for the trials ahead!
As you progress through the game you’ll start coming across new weapons, enemies, and items that deal new types of elemental damage. These new types of damage often inflict elemental status effects that aren’t really explained – however, it’s important to note that every elemental effect behaves differently.
The fire damage effect will deal more damage slowly over time (although you can shorten the duration considerably by rolling repeatedly!). The water damage effect makes the target more vulnerable to other types of damage. The lightning effect (not to be confused with paralysis) will slow a target’s movement and attack considerably. Meanwhile paralysis will completely stun the target until the effect has worn off (or the player uses a Paralytic Needle). The Wind effect will make the target more vulnerable to breaking – and lowering their ability to block and parry attacks. Finally, the Earth effect burdens the target by making them double the Ki they normally would for anything that lowers Ki.
Lastly – if you combine some of these effects and make them stack, you have the chance of applying an entirely new “chaos” effect that instantly depletes all Ki from a target for as long as the chaos effect lasts.
EditMission Complete and Feeling Invincible
Unlike main missions that end in an enclosed boss fight, many Sub Missions involve parameters that allow you to “beat” the mission without having to kill everything or defeat an isolated boss. One thing to note is that once you have completed a Sub Mission’s primary objective, all enemies cease to become a threat. Humans will bow prone before you, and any Yokai will disappear.
Even better, you become invulnerable to effects that would normally deal damage, like poison gas, fall damage, and fire. Not only does this look cool – but it allows you to safely explore the rest of the mission for items or treasure chests you may have missed without fear of getting hurt or dying.
EditKnow Your Enemy – and His Ki
In Nioh, your stamina is called Ki. it’s used to attack, run, dodge, and block attacks. If you run out of it, or are attacked and your Ki is depleted from blocking, you’ll be momentarily stunned before it regenerates.
However, this works both ways. If your human enemy is low on Ki, a swift attack can put them in the red and leave them open to a free hit. The Grapple Skill can capitalize on this, or you can knock them down an attack while they’ve fallen for a Finishing Blow. Just remember to keep an eye on your own Ki so you don’t get greedy.
Remember that Yokai have a different kind of Ki. They don’t regenerate Ki on thier own, and depleting their Ki leaves them open to critical hits, until they can summon a Yokai Realm with which to regenerate their Ki.
In Nioh, you’re going to find a lot of weapons and armor – but know that even the same types of weapons and armor can have different abilities and rarity. Rarer items have more possible special effects (white = 1, yellow = 2, blue = 3, purple = 4).
Each weapon has its own familiarity – even the same types of weapons, as familiarity isn’t just tied to the weapon – but it’s special effects. Raising it raises the special effects, and the ability to pass on effects to new items at the Blacksmith.
EditA Skill for One and All
However, unlocking a weapon skill like Grapple or Ki Pulse: Heaven/Man/Earth unlock for all weapon types – which means you can continue to grapple after swapping weapons. This is even more useful with the Living Water skills that allow you to dodge and still perform a Ki Pulse.
Many skills are context sensitive. Some can be triggered by holding a button, or during a block, or at the end of a combo. You can unlock multiple skills that use the same command – but need to chose which one activates in the Skill Customization menu. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck using one Skill despite having several that can all be activated by the same command.
Take time to see which skills jive together in which stances, and if they are better for the enemies you’re currently fighting.
To learn Skills, you need Skill Points. Most are unlocked via Samurai Skill Points, which are mostly unlocked by trading in your Amrita for stats – different stats yield different amounts of Skill Points – sometimes even for Ninja or Onmyo Magic Skills. However, you can also gain samurai skill points by fighting with weapons and raising your proficiency. This is different from your weapons familiarity, as the stat is tracked across all weapons of the same type.
You can see it in your Status under Additional Stats: As the small blue bar under your weapon proficiency grows, you’ll get a point every time the bar fills – and it will take longer to fill again with that weapon type. This is a great way to grind skill points even if you aren’t able to gather enough Amrita to level up, just swap weapons and keep hacking away!
After completing a Main or Sub Mission, you can replay old missions as much as you like. They are often found in the same tile as Sub Missions in that same region – if you see the cue to press R1 or L1 while hovering over a Sub Mission, that means you can select the Main Mission where that area is.
Not only can you run through the place again to grind Amrita, loot, and money (or find Kodama you missed), but you’ll also get the rewards listed on the Mission page for beating it again. Plus, you can choose to enter as a visitor for co-op (or later pvp) purposes.
Don’t be fooled – an item with the special effect “Unlimited Ammo/Onmyo/Ninjitsu/Ammuntion” doesn’t actually mean you’ll never run out. The percentage next to the effect implies you have a small chance of not using up a consumable that special effect is tied to – and the more items with that special effect, the better your chance will be.
Twilight Missions are hard for a reason. Not only are they increased in difficulty with new enemies, traps, and tougher bosses – but they do not allow Kodama Blessings or increased elixir counts gained from Kodama. You’re on your own.
When you die in Nioh, your Amrita will fall with you, leaving a grave behind guarded by your Guardian Spirit. Dying once means your Guardian Spirit will be found at your grave with the Amrita you lost. This means not only do you have to brave the trek back to get your Amrita, but you won’t be able to use that Guardian Spirit or its Living Weapon until you claim it.
However, if you die again before getting back to the grave your Guardian Spirit will return to you regardless – without the Amrita. Later on, you can choose to swap your Guardian Spirits if you’d rather not go it alone to get your Amrita back.
Your Guardian Spirit is more than than just a cool pet that lets you trigger a Living Weapon now and then: each Guardian Spirit also has its own host of passive bonuses they transfer to you so long as they are with you.
However, be sure to look at the status of your Guardian Spirit on the Status Menu. Often times, they won’t give you full benefits unless you have enough Spirit to unlock specific bonuses, so be sure to raise your Spirit Stat, as it also lets you trigger Living Weapon more often, and for longer.
Those used to the “Souls” style of dodging might be confused by Nioh. Simply dashing by tapping x won’t dodge attacks outright – it will just let you move quickly in one direction. In order to truly evade you need to double tap x to perform a dodge roll that will give you a small window to avoid attacks entirely. The speed and length of this will depend on your equipment load, so be sure and practice these dodge rolls before getting into a heavy fight.
Video: 16 Ways to Not Die in Nioh
Though you always have to play as William, you don’t always have to play one way. You can respec all of your skills and stats in Nioh – At the forge, Tome sells a Book of Reincarnation for 10,000 gold.