Nioh - Tips for Beginners

This page contains tips and advice for beginners in Nioh on PS5 and PS4. If you haven't played any of the Souls-like games, these tips will help you get the hang of the game.

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

Nioh is a game that will test your skills, patience and ability to adapt and learn from different situations in combat and exploration. If you’ve every played any of the Souls games before, you’ll find that a lot of tips and advice there are very much applicable to Nioh. But for those taking on the notoriously difficult brand of action RPGs made popular by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games for the first time, here is a quick list of tips to help you get the hang of Nioh.

Nioh – Tips for Beginners

Deal with enemies one-by-one

A common advice in most Souls games, this one still holds true for Nioh. Keep in mind that enemies tend to be quite opportunistic when they are in groups, and will try to take advantage of any openings you might give them. Whenever possible, try and lure enemies with a ranged weapon or projectile (a bow, shuriken or even a stone) to pick it off from its group. When the enemy is fairly far from help, engage him.

When you have no choice but to deal with multiple enemies, make sure that you keep all of them bunched up in your line of sight. Any unmonitored enemy will spell your death rather quickly.

Take out the ranged enemies first

It is generally a good idea to go for enemies which can attack you from a distance first, rather than those relying solely on melee weapons. Quite obviously, ranged enemies can hit you from afar and will be quite annoying as you divide your attention between them and enemies in close-range. Keep in mind though that there are also enemies capable of both ranged and melee attacks.

Get behind and strike

If you manage to approach the enemy from behind, you can deal massive amounts of damage by catching them off-guard. The Ninja Skill Sneak Attack capitalizes on attacking enemies from the rear, so you might consider getting it early when you have the chance.

Learn when to guard and evade

A key aspect of winning encounters (either in PvE or PVP) is learning when to guard and evade. Rushing in to attack will almost always get you killed, especially in fighting bosses. Therefore, it is better to first acquaint yourself with an enemy’s moves and attack patterns, and guarding and evading when the situation calls for it.

When deciding to either guard or evade, consider the amount of Ki it will cost you to respond to an attack. Generally, blocking a heavy attack or barrage of an enemy will cost you very high Ki, whilst evading consumes a fixed amount. This is not always the case, so try to observe which option is more efficient and is less taxing on your Ki, as you will also need it to deal damage yourself.

Managing Ki is the ‘key’

Arguably the most important thing to consider during battles (aside from your HP) is Ki. Attacking, sprinting, using skills, guarding and evading all require varying amounts of Ki, so it is important to be mindful of its status at all times. If you do fail to watch your Ki gauge and let it run out completely, you will be rendered into a completely helpless state for a short duration. This is indicated by William trying to catch his breath as you recover Ki to start moving again.

To cope with the rapid depletion of Ki during a combo, you can execute a Ki Pulse to recover some Ki that you have expended. You will notice that as you attack, your Ki gauge will deplete in chunks indicated in red. As you stop attacking, a white bar will slowly cover the portion of lost Ki, but will immediately disappear. If you press the R1 button when the white bar appears and begins covering the depleted portion of Ki, you will recover that amount of Ki you used. This is known as a Ki Pulse. It is very important to take advantage of using this feature to constantly have enough stamina to respond to different situations during battle.

Watching the enemy’s Ki

Unlike the Souls games, Nioh allows you to see the enemy’s Ki. This allows you know when to completely unleash a barrage of attacks on the enemy without having to fear a counterattack. The Basic Skill Grapple allows you to take advantage of the moment that an enemy is out of Ki by striking them to the ground. When they do fall down, you can run up to them and press the triangle button to stab them as they lie there.

Beware of pitfalls

There is no surer way to die than to fall into a pit, so it is a good idea to lure an enemy to an area with a lot of space to move.

Be careful when collecting items

A lot of items in Nioh are placed in seemingly safe spots. Be warned that some items may actually ‘lure’ you into an ambush, a trap or straight down a pit if you’re not careful. Use the camera when assessing whether an item is safe to grab.

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