Nioh 2 is a Dark Souls-esque game by Team Ninja. If any of you have played a Dark Souls game you’ll know what’s in store – tough battles that make sure you die a lot. But the one thing that will help you on your journey will be your weapon choices. Each weapon has a different set of advantages and disadvantages to your skills than the other. So it really depends on your play style. But here we’ll run through all the benefits so that you can make an informed decision.
Do note that if you decide you don’t like your chosen weapon, you can change it during the game. Each weapon you choose will level up the related skill that is tied to the chosen weapon. While you can use all the weapons it’s worth focusing on just a few weapons, as Nioh 2 has skill trees and affinity systems for each type. Let’s break it down for you.
Skill Benefit: +1 to Heart – Affects your Ki and your resistance against Fire, also benefits Bow
Pros: An extremely versatile weapon that suits every situation in the game
Cons: Range is fairly middling and it has mediocre blocking
Whether you’re new to the series or not the Katana Sword is the weapon of choice for versatility. It is a smaller blade that works well when combined with a good amount of Ki. Across all stances, it’s great for lunging at enemies and overhead slices that deal massive damage. You’ll get decent combos in all three stances as well as some range on your thrust attacks. Although it’s worth noting it’s not the fastest weapon in the game.
The damage on the Katana scales best with Heart, followed by skill, which means they synergise well with Dual Swords, Hatchets, and Bows and Rifles on ranged – with Light Armour equipped to your body. However, because of its Strength scaling the Katana can easily be used with heavier armour sets too.
Best Katana Swords In-Game:
- Tokagemaru: This one won’t be hard to find in Nioh 2 but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It is. As with all Yokai weapons, it will imbue the Corruption element, which deals additional ki damage to enemies
- Raikiri: Good late-game weapon with the potential to imbue the Lightning element. An essential element to slow down enemies which you’ll realise is super important
- Sohaya Tsurugi: For heavy armour users, the Sohaya Tsurugi is part of the Tranquil Foundations set with the Greater Good Armour. As well as buffing your life and ki, the big buffs to melee damage, damage reduction make it a strong armour set. Not to mention the 30% chance to get a free elixir every time you use one
- Haccho Nenbutsu: It’s quite easy to stack 3-4 pieces of this set in the background so that you get life drain on your bullseye hits, along with hefty savings on ki spent dodging and melee damage
Skill Benefit: +1 to Constitution – Affects your Life and your resistance to Poison and Paralysis
Pros: Distancing yourself from enemies and high health without the compromisation of speed
Cons: If you struggle with timing or if you aren’t superfluid with combat, tight spaces will be challenging
The number one weapon for keeping Yokai at a distance and keeping your rushing game strong. If you like to hit from afar and keep your distance, then the Spear is the weapon of choice for you. It has a good block and deals high ki damage to guarding opponents. But at the beginning of Nioh 2, it’s worth noting that some of your early encounters will be in tight spaces. Meaning that you might struggle using a Spear.
But back to the good stuff, a Spear’s damage increases based on your constitution, so you’ll have a lot of health with a Spear build. They also scale with Strength and Skill, which makes them go well with Odachi or Dual Swords to switch up your offensive style.
Best Spears In-Game:
- Kokora Spear: An upgrade to the Bonepile Spear that’s a common Yokau spear
- Realmtaker Spear: The Realmtaker Spear forms part of the Heroic Raging Bull set, which is a decent choice for heavy armour users. Just a few pieces of the set give bonuses to life, damage taken, and melee damage, with an automatic health regen, affect the more parts you equip
- Mataza Long Spear: In the late game this forms part of the Master of Spears set. This buffs your Spear damage massively, stacking multiple improvements onto your thrust attacks, while also giving you more manoeuvrability
Skill Benefit: +1 to Stamina – Affects your Life and Maximum Equipment Weight. Also benefits Hand Cannon
Pros: High base damage
Cons: Slow attacks and can’t be used with light armour
If you want those high damage numbers and those big weapons then the Axe could be your weapon of choice. Great for crowd control in the mid-stance, it takes out a lot at once with its wide swinging motions. Paired as well with its overhead leaping charged attacks. The Axe is a good weapon of choice if you’re building a Nioh 2 tank character.
The Giant Axes and Hammers scale damage with stamina rather than strength. This means that you should team it with another large weapon such as the Odachi. You’ll want to focus on a Stamina build here that will increase your health as well. Since the Axe trades off high ki damage to a guarding opponent with bad blocking.
Best Axes In-Game:
- Demon’s Axe: A heavy weapon that’s imbued with Corruption
- Evil-Crusher Hammer: The Demon’s Axe Purity counterpart is the Evil-Crusher Hammer
- Ryomen Sukuna’s Axe: Decent background abilities, so could be worth equipping for any character. It usually imbues Corruption, with a high familiarity threshold that boosts its damage ceiling
Skill Benefit: +1 to Strength – Activates special effects of Heavy Armour and Water resistance
Pros: Strong damage and tanky build
Cons: Not great against Nioh 2‘s fast enemies
The odachi is a gigantic katana that deals a devastating amount of damage at any range, compensated by slow attack animations. It has a charged low stance that sweeps the legs of your enemies in a wide circle. Pair it with a Heavy Armour build to get a solid tank character.
Best Odachi In-Game:
- Ippon-Datara Odachi: A solid choice at any stage of the game. Although it’s element imbuing potential will be outstripped later without Tempering
- Taro Tachi: A lot of enemies you face in Nioh 2 are based in the fire element, which makes a reliable source of water damage very appealing. Team the Taro Tachi with the Ferryman’s Robes for powerful life drain along with bonus water damage
- Kamui: A good fire weapon with some kickass special effects