Nioh 2 Guides Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Nioh 2 Guides RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Nioh 2 Soul Core Guide: Everything You Need to Know Wed, 17 Feb 2021 17:20:33 -0500 John Schutt

Whenever you kill any yokai in Nioh 2, there’s a chance it will drop a red, heart-looking item called a Soul Core. These give you the ability to channel that demon’s powers as attacks and provide additional bonuses based on your stats and a random roll.

Bosses always drop these items, though the boss yokai don't need to be end-of-level enemies. As you progress in the campaign and side missions, you’ll face these enemies as mid-level fights.

It's also worth pointing out that you will never receive one of these items from a human enemy or an enemy that is at least partly human. Several bosses are part human, part supernatural monster, and they’ll drop a Mortal variant, which can be used at a shrine to improve yokai versions to a higher level.

Soul Core Basics

Once you have at least one Soul Core and have progressed past the first several missions, you are able to control what abilities you can equip. 

Though you'll only have one Guardian Spirit initially, you’ll quickly unlock the ability to equip two, letting you use up to four yokai abilities at a time. Additionally, you’ll gain access to a third Soul Core slot for each companion farther along in the main story, increasing your options to six powers.

Each Soul Core has an Attunement cost to equip. Each Guardian Spirit, in turn, has an Attunement meter with a set number of slots that limit the kinds of combinations you can pull off. 

Because Soul Cores are tied to a Guardian Spirit, you can only use up to three of them at a time. You'll need to swap Spirits mid-combat if you want to use the other set. Your yokai shift and yokai abilities are relatively unconnected, meaning being Feral or Brute has no bearing on how costly a Soul Core is to equip or how effective it is to use.

You can carry as many Soul Cores with you as you please during a mission but die and fail to recover your Spirit and Amrita and the Cores go with them. Resting at a Shrine instantly unlocks all carried Cores, and you can equip them directly from the unlock screen or through a menu at shrines.

Soul Cores all come with an Attack and Defense stat, granting you a minor benefit to both. The real bonus is in the abilities they can roll.

The Yatsu-no-Kami version, for instance, grants increased damage against poisoned enemies, plus at least three other bonuses. I was so powerful that it received several significant nerfs after launch and remains one of the most powerful in the game late into a first playthrough.

Lastly, using the yokai ability associated with one of these items costs Anima, the purple bar below your Ki meter. Picking one up, by contrast, restores the bar and, once you have a specific Shiftling ability, grants a large chunk of healing as well.

It can be wise to leave one sitting in the middle of a heated battle, then pick it up at an opportune moment to restore your health and ready your yokai abilities again.

Additional Soul Core Use

Nioh 2 is all about progression through leveling and loot, and you will come across Cores early in the game you won’t want to give up. There’s only one way to bring one up to your current level, but there are a few ways to ensure it stays on pace with your growing power.

Soul Match and Soul Fusion

The Soul Match mechanic gives you the ability to improve yokai weapons (those that deal Corruption damage) by infusing the weapon with a Soul Core. Choose the weapon as the base and the Core as the Material. Doing so allows you to upgrade your favorite Corruption damage weapon without sacrificing another piece of equipment.

Soul Fusion requires a Mortal Soul Core or two of the same Core, and you can do it any time you’re resting at a shrine. Again, Mortal variants drop primarily from human bosses, but they are also a rare drop from One-Eyed Imp yokai and the Magara Naotaka boss.

Inside the Manage Soul Core menu, you’ll see the option for Soul Fusion. The process is similar to Soul Match, increasing the core's level and power using one as a base and the other as the material.

Any abilities the Core possesses will improve, but its attack and defense scores will not. In this way, you’ll be able to keep using a well-rolled Core you got early in your playthrough. Don’t expect to use it forever, though. Eventually, it will be outclassed.

Resting Rites

In the Manage Soul Core menu, you’ll see an option called Resting Rites. This menu allows you to dismantle Soul Cores for Spirit Fragments and a chance at a rare yokai crafting material. You use Soul Fragments to increase your Shiftling level, augmenting your yokai shift and resistances to yokai abilities.

You might notice specific item requirements when crafting new weapons and armor that don’t seem to have an easy source. In most cases, that’s because these materials can only be obtained by dismantling Soul Cores during Resting Rites. Even then, you only have a chance of receiving the keyed material.

Be careful when in the Resting Rites menu, too, as it only takes two clicks to dismantle a Core, and you don’t want to be spamming through the menus and accidentally destroying your best DPS option.

Those are the basics when it comes to Soul Cores. The systems actually get significantly more granular once you start making a build, and you’ll be farming bosses over and over for the right combination of abilities and bonuses. You’ll also come to know which yokai abilities best fit your playstyle and how to optimize their use in combos and boss fights.

Nioh 2 Purple Kodama: It Seems as Though it Wants Something Guide Wed, 10 Feb 2021 10:53:41 -0500 John Schutt

In your travels through Nioh 2, you’ll encounter little green Kodama spirits, but you’ll also run across more demonic purple Kodama spirits called Sudama. If you speak to them, a prompt will say, “It seems as though it wants something.” As with many things in the Nioh series, what that something is isn't immediately clear. 

This Nioh 2 guide will cover what the Sudama wants and some of the nuances associated with them.

Giving the Purple Kodama What It Wants, Including Smelly Round Things

The Sudama want your items, weapons, armor, and Soul Cores. In addition, if it asks for a "smelly round thing," it's looking for either a Dung Ball or Noble Dung ball item. 

When you encounter a purple Kodama:

  • Open your inventory
  • Select any piece of equipment, item, Soul Core, or Dung Ball if it wants a smelly round thing
  • Open the item options menu
  • Select the Drop command

The Sudama will do a little dance, pick up your gift, and give you another item in return.

The easiest way to farm smelly round Dung Balls is by killing Tesso yokai, the farting rat demons. You'll find these enemies starting in mission 9, Bird in a Cage, in the "Shadow" section of the campaign. Once you get to these later missions, find the closest Tesso to a shrine, kill it, run back to the shrine, and reset the world. The Tesso will reappear and you can farm it endlessly.

What You'll Get From the Sudama

That’s the short version. There’s some nuance to account for, however. Your reward from the purple Kodama depends on a few factors.

First, the Sudama will give you a new item at your gift’s level and will take into account its abilities and rarity. 

If give a Level 35 Rare Sword to the Sudama, you have a chance of getting the same qualities in return, with abilities or upgraded stats. You’ll always get the same type of item you dropped: weapons for weapons, items and upgrade materials for the same, and so on. 

Giving a Sudama a Soul Core has similar results, though you aren’t guaranteed the same level core. Either way, you could receive a random Soul Core, or you might get a re-rolled version of whichever Soul Core type you drop. This applies to any Soul Core you have, including the powerful boss cores. If you’re in the market for new abilities on your favorite yokai ability, Sudama are your ticket.

If you give Dung Balls of either type to Sudama, they'll give you a random assortment of consumable or upgrade items. These can be Summoner's Candles, Books of Reincarnation, Epic-quality crafting materials, and so on.

One final note: once you make it deeper into the game, giant Sudama will begin to spawn. These large purple Kodamas will accept two items and will give as many items in return. 

That’s the gist of it for Nioh 2 purple Kodama when it seems as though it wants something or it's looking for a smelly round thing: find one, give it weapons, items, Soul Cores, etc., get something back for your trouble. Simple, and in a loot game with seemingly limitless options, a godsend.

Nioh 2 Burst Counter Guide: How to Use Feral, Phantom, and Brute Counters Wed, 10 Feb 2021 10:39:48 -0500 John Schutt

The Nioh 2 Burst Counter is a powerful counterattack that relies on your character’s yokai nature to interrupt enemy attacks and drain their Ki, Nioh’s version of Stamina from Souls games. Performing a Burst Counter takes practice and quick reflexes. You’ll also need to know the benefits and limitations of the three different yokai shift types: Feral, Phantom, and Brute.

This Nioh 2 guide will tell you all there is to know about how to best use Burst Counter. It can’t teach you the timing of each attack, sadly. You’ll need to learn that by doing.

How to Perform a Burst Counter in Nioh 2

There are two factors that determine whether you can Burst Counter an enemy.

First, you’ll see a red glow around them during a counterable attack. Just as the attack is about to connect, you need to hit the enemy with the yokai shift-powered Burst Counter.

To use the ability, activate your yokai state. Your character will grow the glowing horns you selected at the beginning of the game. Then, while holding the shift button, press the Use button.

Every use of Burst Counter uses a small amount of Anima, the purple bar beneath your Health and Ki bars. Performing one provides Anima as well. If you fail, you'll lose Anima and likely a large chunk of your health.

The Different Types of Burst Counters

Depending on which yokai shift you have, both the timing and the distance of the move will be different. You can check which yokai shift you’re using in the Guardian Spirit menu.

  • Feral will be a blue symbol
  • Phantom will be a purple symbol
  • Brute will be a deep red symbol

After a specific mission early in the campaign, you’ll unlock the ability to equip two Spirits at once. This will give you the option to have two of either the same or different yokai shifts.

Here’s a summary of shifts and their counter attacks.

Feral Counter

Feral is the most forgiving burst counter, closing the distance and acting as a dodge.

The dodge goes farther than you might expect and doesn’t rely on Ki, so if you’re in a bind and out of Ki, it’s a good get out of jail free card. You will be immobile for a few moments, so don’t rely on Feral too much.

Phantom Counter

Phantom is good as well, with plenty of active frames, but you have to be right up next to the enemy. A Phantom counter hardly moves at all.

The counter comes out almost instantly and is the fastest of the three options.

Brute Counter

Brute counter takes the most effort, as it has a significant wind-up. You’ll take a short step forward and give your foe a swipe with your demon-arm. The swipe has armor, meaning you’ll tank any damage you incur.

Because the Brute counter registers as an actual attack, it can stagger some enemies out of their attacks. If you don’t mind the finicky timing, Brute can do a lot of work.

All Nioh 2 Enemies Have Different Timings

Remember, every enemy in the game has a different counter timing. Certain enemies have multiple Burst attacks as well, meaning you’ll need to know multiple attack timings.

Some yokai will delay their attacks, but the counter window will never change. Once you know when to Burst counter, you’ll always know.

That's all there is to learning the Nioh 2 Burst Counter. Whether you rely on one counter type or use Feral, Phantom, and Brute interchangeably, you'll have an edge against the game's tough enemies once you've mastered the move. 

Nioh 2 Best Guardian Spirits Mon, 23 Mar 2020 14:24:55 -0400 Sergey_3847

Guardian Spirits are essential entities in Nioh 2. They can significantly boost the performance of your build if chosen correctly. There are over 20 Guardian Spirits in the game, which you can unlock by completing various missions. This guide will highlight five of the best Guardian Spirits for the early, mid, and late stages of the game, as well as their locations.

In the very beginning, you are able to choose one of the three starter Guardian Spirits, and then you can add or change to other spirits as you unlock them. Obviously, spirits need to correspond to your build. 


Guardian Spirit Ame-no-Mitori

  • Attack: x1.00
  • Defense: x1.05
  • Type: Feral

Ame-no-Mitori is the best of the three starting Guardian Spirits. The other two give you Fire Resistance and Boost Life, but Ame-no-Mitori increases your Ki recovery rate, and that's very important regardless of the build you're using in the early stages of the game.

This Spirit Guide also increases your running speed and divine rice drop rate. But the best effect is the Lightning Damage boost by 20%, which is significant in case you're using the Lightning Build.

The best armor set for this type of build would be Master Archer, which is a part of a Golden Boy set that uses Sozasamonji Matsukurago dual swords and Master Archer's Bow.

If you choose another Guardian Spirit at the start of the game, but still want to find and use Ame-no-Mitori, then you can get it by completing The Point of No Return quest at the end of Act 3 of the main story mission.

Tengen Kujaku

Guardian Spirit Tengen Kujaku

  • Attack: x1.05
  • Defense: x0.97
  • Type: Phantom

Tengen Kujaku is probably the best Guardian Spirit of all non-starting spirits in Nioh 2. It has an incredibly high Anima Bonus damage stat and elemental attack boost. This is by far the most powerful spirit, which will fit almost all attack-based builds.

You can get Tengen Kujaku after killing Oda Nobunaga boss during The Demon King's Blade mission.

The best possible set for this type of build is The Crime of Patricide, which is based on the Genryu armor. This set uses the Udoto sword as its main weapon, which scales with Heart. The set can be obtained by beating Saito Yoshitatsu boss during The Hollow Fortress mission.


Guardian Spirit Usura-Hicho

  • Attack: x0.90
  • Defense: x1.15
  • Type: Phantom

Not interested in offensive builds? Well, your best choice would be Usura-Hicho, a life recovery Guardian Spirit.

Its main power is the Purification effect, which restores your health. It fits the Shrine Maiden's armor the best, which is a part of the Servant of the Gods set. This set can be obtained by completing The Viper's Sanctum mission.

But don't think that this spirit has no offensive power. On the contrary; it has the same Anima Bonus damage, as Tengen Kujaku, and Active Skill Ki Damage, which adds to your total attack power.

You can get the Usura-Hicho spirit by completing The Viper and the Butterfly mission.

Atlas Bear

Guardian Spirit Atlas Bear

  • Attack: x1.15
  • Defense: x0.82
  • Type: Brute

How about combining both the massive attack of Tengen Kujaku and the life recovery effect of Usura-Hicho? The Atlas Bear spirit does exactly that. It has an increased melee damage stat and life drain effect when using grapple. You can get this spirit by completing The Warrior mission.

This Guardian Spirit pairs really well with the massive Sohaya armor, which is part of the Yokai Annihilator set. The only way to get this armor is to farm Sohaya Ninja enemies that spawn near the cave at the shrine. You will need a lot of Luck to be able to get the smithing text.


Guardian Spirit Itokuri

  • Attack: x1.02
  • Defense: x1.00
  • Type: Feral

The endgame is probably the easiest part of Nioh 2, as you have everything you need except a few rare items. This means that the best endgame Guardian Spirit is Itokuri.

It will help you farm for those unique items that you couldn't get before due to its Luck +40 effect and increased item drop rate. This combo will definitely allow you to get everything that you need for new game plus of Nioh 2.

As for other bonuses and effects, Itokuri offers Anima Charge bonus and Paralysis Accumulation effect. Both are very useful even in the latter stages of the game.

Itokuri can be obtained by beating Matsunaga Hisahide boss during the Master of the Three Evils mission.


These are the best Guardian Spirits in Nioh 2. For more Nioh 2 guides, check out the list below:

Nioh 2 Best Weapons Tier List Mon, 23 Mar 2020 13:40:03 -0400 Sergey_3847

There are a lot of great weapons in Nioh 2. But of course, the best weapon is the one that fits your personal build the best. However, it's entirely possible to highlight a number of weapons objectively better than the rest. 

Each weapon in the list below offers a unique feature that you may not find in any other weapon in the game, and that's why they're so valuable. We also provide you with the locations of the smithing texts and recipes for each weapon, so you can easily track them down and add them to your build

Tier-S Weapons

Seething Dragon

Seething Dragon

Seething Dragon is a great mid-range weapon that is far more special than you might think. It's the only weapon in the game that has a fixed faster Ki recovery bonus, and one of the few that has Imbue Corruption.

The smithing text for crafting this switchglaive can be found as a drop from two bosses:

  • Saito Yoshitatsu (The Point of No Return mission)
  • Imagawa Yoshimoto (Imagawa Diehard mission)

Seething Dragon also scales with Onmyo Magic skills. Here are the recommended ones for this weapon:

  • Barrier Talisman
  • Thunderstorm Shot Talisman
  • Incantation Mastery
  • Whirling Blade
Firefly Blade

Firefly Blade

Firefly Blade, a Japanese Odachi greatsword, can be an excellent alternative to scythes and switchglaives. It has the same reach, but the damage output is higher. The only downside is that you can't use magic skills like in the case of  Seething Dragon.

The distinct feature of the Firefly Blade is its Amrita Absorption ability, which recovers your health. Combine it with Yoshiie's Birthright gear, and you will be practically ubeatable.

You can craft this weapon using the following recipe:

  • 1x Tamahagane
  • 1x Lacquer
  • 1x Spirit Stone Arm
  • 1x Kappa Shell

Tier-A Weapons

Earthfall Kusarigama

Earthfall Kusarigama

The speed and range of the Earthfall Kusarigama is perfect for Dexterity builds. Its main effect is Imbue Purity, which inflicts extra Ki damage to your enemies depending on the level of their Purity resistance.

Since Earthfall Kusarigama is compatible with Ninjutsu, and Dexterity scaling performs exceptionally well for Ninjutsu in Nioh 2, it makes this weapon the best Dexterity weapon in the game as of now.

This Kusarigama can be crafted using the following recipe:

  • 2x Ingot
  • 2x Leather Cord
  • 2x Kappa Shell
  • 1x Petrified Eye
Barbarian's Hatchets

Barbarian's Hatchets

Although this incredibly fast pair of hatchets can deal a lot of damage when thrown, its main selling point is the unique and undeniably useful increased item drop rate effect.

If you're looking to not only kill your enemies but also make sure that they drop good loot, then Barbarian's Hatchets would be the best choice in that case.

These hatchets can be crafted with the help of this recipe:

  • 3x Leather Cord
  • 3x Wood
  • 1x Poison Pearl
  • 1x Bladed Horn
White Bone Spirit Tonfa

White Bone Spirit Tonfa

If you're looking to enter the dark realm of Yokai spirits, then this would be the best weapon choice. White Bone Spirit Tonfa has increased damage against Yokai enemies.

Obviously, this is a highly specialized weapon, which you can only use against one type of enemy. But there is no better weapon if you want to unlock Yokai skills and weapons.

A smithing text for White Bone Spirit Tonfa is dropped by Imagawa Yoshimoto boss during The Hidden Monsters of Okehazama mission.

Tier-B Weapons

Onimaru Kunitsuna

Onimaru Kunitsuna

All new players should start with simple swords. Onimaru Kunitsuna is one of the five great swords in Nioh 2, which has an increased attack effect when consuming Amrita.

This is an excellent weapon with a great balance of stats. You can obtain it by completing one of The Way of the Ninja missions beginning from the Adept stage or higher, which becomes available after you reach Level 27.

Little Crow / Quickdraw

Little Crow Quickdraw

Skill and maneuverability are the two main effects of this dual sword weapon. If you've started with a normal sword, and want to switch to something more sophisticated, then Little Crow & Quickdraw is a great choice.

This amazing pair of swords can be crafted using the following recipe:

  • 5x Tamahagane
  • 1x Wood
  • 1x Lacquer
  • 1x Karasu Tengu Feather
Mataza's Long Spear

Mataza's Long Spear

Usually, spear is a safe choice due to its range, which can keep you at a distance while you're poking your enemies to death. Mataza's Long Spear is unique in this regard, as it has increased thrust damage, which can be found in only three other weapons.

The extra thrust damage can really hurt your opponents, and at the same time, it keep you at a safe distance from their own attacks.

The smithing text for Mataza's Long Spear can be found as a drop from the Maeda Toshiie boss during the Mataza of the Spear mission.


These were the best weapons in Nioh 2. For more related guides, check out our growing hub page.

How to Reset Skills and Respec in Nioh 2 Thu, 19 Mar 2020 13:24:57 -0400 Sergey_3847

Building your character in Nioh 2 may not always go the way you envision it. Maybe the build you've targeted hasn't performed as well as you'd expect. In that case, you might want to change things. This guide will show you how to reset skills and respec your character in Nioh 2.

Resetting skills and respeccing is available quite early in the game, and all you need to do is find a single item. 

Step 1: Unlock Book of Reincarnation

The Book of Reincarnation is your holy grail if you're looking to reset your skills. You can get this item in several ways. 

The simplest way of unlocking the Book of Reincarnation is to buy it from a blacksmith, which becomes available after you complete your first couple of missions in Nioh 2.

The cost of your first Book of Reincarnation is 10,000 gold. If you want to buy a second one for your next respec, then it will cost you 30,000 gold. So make sure that you're using it wisely.

The book can also be unlocked after completing The Point of No Return mission or by purchasing it at the Hidden Teahouse for Glory (clan rank points).

But these two methods come in handy only in the later parts of the game, so opt for the blacksmith instead.

Step 2: Reset Your Skills and Respec

When you obtain the Book of Reincarnation, this is how you use it:

  1. Go to the starting point on the map.
  2. Choose Hut.
  3. Select Store House.
  4. Open your inventory.
  5. Select the Book of Reincarnation.

Once used, your skills will fully reset, and you can redistribute all your Amrita once again at the Shrine.


That's how you can reset your skills and respec your character in Nioh 2. Be sure to come back soon for more related guides at GameSkinny.