Nioh 2 - Best Build and Skills for Swords

The best build and skills for Sword (Katana) in Nioh 2 on PS5 and PS4. You can find infromation on the best Sword build and skills as well as how to use the Sword.

Nioh and Nioh 2 (including all DLCs) are also bundled in the Nioh Collection on PS5.

Best Sword Build


Focus on Heart

Because Heart scales with sword the most, focus on leveling up Heart. Since the sword is compatible with Medium Armors, leveling up Constitution and Strength is also important.

Weapons that require somewhat similar stats but scale differently are the Dual SwordsSpear and Kusarigama.

Balanced Stats for Early Game

The status increase between level 5 to level 10 is large compared to other levels for all stats. Therefore, it’s better to balance out your stats rather than focusing on just one stat in the early game.

Best Build for Sword

Constitution Heart Courage Stamina Strength Skill Dexterity Magic
Lv.30 10 21 10 5 10 5 5 5
Lv.60 15 36 10 10 15 5 5 5
Lv.100 20 66 10 10 20 5 5 5
Lv.150 25 99 10 10 32 5 5 5

About Build

Since Sword scales with Heart, leveling up Heart is your first priority. Light Armor users should level up Skill, and Medium Armor should level up Strength to increase both damage output and Ki capacity. Level up Stamina to keep your Agility above B rank.

Recommended Sword Skills

Recommended Active Skills

Stance Name Effects
Sword Ki Dispenses Ki from your sword to stagger surrounding enemies.
Mid/Low Kick Follows up a combo with a kick that causes a large amount of Ki damage.m
Iai Quickdraw Gathers power while keeping your sword in its scabbard for a quick-draw and rapid strike. It can only be used when your sword is sheathed.
Iai Quickdraw II Allows you to accumulate much more power.
Iai Quickdraw III Immediately puts you in Iai stance when Ki Pulse succeeds.
Mid Backwave Guard just before an incoming hit to deflect the attack and knock the attacker off balance.
Mid Backwave II When Backwave succeeds, follow up with Tempest

Recommended Passive Skills

Name Effects
Shadow Strike Damage dealt to enemies from behind increases when you have a sword equipped as your main weapon.
Relentless Maximum Ki increases by +30 when you have a sword equipped as your main weapon.
First Rule of Thrusting Damage of thrust attacks increases by 3% when you have a sword equipped as your main weapon.

Sword Overview and Strategy

A very well Balanced Weapon

The Sword is balanced in damage output, range, and attack speed when compared to all the other weapon types in game. It’s an ideal weapon for learning the basics of Nioh 2, therefore is a weapon recommended weapon for beginners.

Recommended Stance is Mid

The recommended stance for Sword is mid, since it’s attack speed and range is balanced compared to other stances. Use base skills such as Kick and Sword Ki to deplete enemy’s Ki and down them, then follow up with Iai Quickdraw for damage. There are lots of counter skills for the Sword, and the Sword becomes an effective defense weapon once you learn when to activate these skills.

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  1. I completed the whole game in high stance just fine. You need about 30+ stamina to use late game medium armor. I checked this guide to see what active katana skills is worth farming from bosses, shame there`s nothing about that

  2. You say put 10 points into body. There is no body. There is Constitution, Heart, Courage, Stamina, Strength, Skill, Dexterity, and Magic.

    • There’s nothing about Body on the page now, so I guess it’s been fixed. The author meant Constitution though. In the first Nioh the Constitution stat was named Body, so that’s probably how that slight mistake came to be.

  3. Medium stance is a safe route for most katana beginners. However with patience and training, the katana’s TRUE perfection lies in the synergy between Medium Stance AND Low Stance.

    Low Stance katana is undeniably the pinnacle of Ki Dash speed and control. It far exceeds that of any other weapon/stance in the entire game. Once the stick and move tactics of Low Stance are perfected, the player is virtually untouchable by most enemies.

    I’ve found that over-reliance on builds tends to stiffen the player’s natural reflexes and breeds an obsession with only tanking or ganking styles of combat. This results in a planted cinderblock-foot style (i.e. strong player who can’t dodge to save his life)

    I made a fun video about this on YouTube. Look up “Ginyu Squad Nioh” for a visual example.

    Trust me…do not sleep on Low Stance.