Nioh - Best Starting Skills to Get

This page contains a guide on the best starting Skills in Nioh for PS5 and PS4, including usefulness and how to best utilize them in every combat situation.

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

Giant Toad 01

The heart of combat in Nioh is Skills. As you progress through the game, you will learn to develop your playstyle according to the Skills that you choose to obtain. While it can be daunting to figure out what Skills best suits a particular character build you wish to do, there are some very important ones that anyone should try to get early on. This article will discuss the best starting Skills to get in Nioh.

You can also check out our article on the one skill that makes boss fights very easy.

Best Starting Skills

Below are some of the best Skills to choose early on to allow you to get a good feel of  Nioh’s combat in general.


This skill has been a god-send in the demos, and it’s no surprise that it stands as one of the most useful skills in the game. Grappling allows you to deal massive damage to an open enemy, and is especially useful for those out of Ki.


A very good Skill to use to deplete the enemy’s Ki. Kicks are best thrown after a combo to take away a big chunk of the enemy’s Ki. Once they are staggered, you can follow it up with a Grapple to deal even more damage.

Sneak Attack

Even if you’re not opting for the Ninja build, the Sneak Attack Skill is absolutely essential because of its high damage when striking from behind. This works well with strategies such as baiting your opponent to use an attack that widely exposes their rear.

Ki Pulse: Man, Earth and Heaven

Ki Pulse: Man, Earth and Heaven Skills increase your damage right after performing a Ki Pulse, which is always handing for improving your offensive output on any enemy in the game. Ki Pulse: Man works to improve damage for the Low Stance, Ki Pulse: Earth for the Mid and Ki Pulse: Heaven for the High.

Living Water: Earth, Man and Heaven

As with the Ki Pulse Skills above, these affect the three Stances as well. Living Water: Earth, Man and Heaven allow William to do a Ki Pulse while dodging in Low, Mid or High Stance. These are at their most useful during boss fights, where the Ki consumed by dodging and attacking should be mitigated.

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