Nioh: Pulsing Ki Like It's 1600


So far, kusarigama are really fun, but I think I feel most comfortable with single katana. Plus, I know there’s a great lightning katana available pretty early on that scales with Spirit, and I’m definitely leveling Spirit in this build, so I have that to look forward to. I might level Dexterity to be good with kusarigama, too, we’ll see.

Game owns.


Game is utterly fantastic. A few observations I’ve made so far;

Human enemies seem to play by the same rules as you do - they don’t seem to regenerate stamina in a Yokai pool the same way you don’t. Likewise, they seem to use stamina to sprint which is neat. Sadly, they can’t be hit by projectiles from their buddies

Also, I’ve noticed that there seem to be “Set” Revenant’s that drop decent gear in semi-hidden areas. Unsure if that’s accurate or simply me misunderstanding player names.


If a revenant has a red name, it’s a set revenant, I think, so you’re likely right.


Ah! That’d explain it. Yeah, they all had red names rather than white.


Okay everyone, it’s time for Thyme’s Tips (and yes, I am embarrassed to have typed that). If you’re getting started and didn’t play the demos, here are some good things to know!

First up:

  • Do the tutorial! I know, I know, you played Dark Souls, you get how these games work. You don’t. Nioh has some combat mechanics that are very different from Souls games, like the Ki pulse and stance-switching, that the tutorial will teach you about. I’m going to assume you know those mechanics for the rest of these tips!

A couple of control tips:

  • Be careful about hitting R2. If you hit R2 without first hitting L2 to aim your ranged weapon, you swap your little consumable item cross in the lower left-hand corner. That might mean that you’re not on your Elixir slot when you need to heal, so make sure you don’t tap R2 for no reason.
  • How to switch weapons: I’ve seen people confused on this one. To switch between your equipped melee weapons, hold R1 and hit left or right on the d-pad; to switch between your equipped ranged weapons, hold R1 and hit up or down on the d-pad.

Now, some skill tree tips:

  • Use your first samurai skill point to get Grapple. Grapple is essentially a critical attack that you can do when the enemy is out of Ki–your targeting indicator turns red and you can hold triangle to impale/otherwise wreck the enemy. It’s really good, and once you unlock it in one weapon’s skill tree, you get it for all of them, so you only need to buy it once.
  • After that, unlock the Living Water skills. There’s a “Living Water” for each stance (high = heaven, mid = man, low = earth). They’re passive skills that make it so you automatically do a Ki pulse when you dodge and they are really good. Just like Grapple, no matter what weapon you unlock Living Water for, you get it for all of your weapons.
  • Finally, get whatever your weapon’s kick skill is. Every weapon has one and I’m pretty sure they’re all activated by hitting triangle at the end of a combo. Kicking doesn’t do much damage to the enemy’s Life, but it wrecks their Ki, which can help set them up for a Grapple. Kick away!
  • Don’t neglect the Onmyo Magic and Ninjutsu trees. Even if you never level Magic or Dexterity, you’re going to get some skill points for those trees, and you should spend them! Both trees have passive skills that are useful even if you never use their active abilities as well as active abilities that are useful even without supporting stats. For example, Ninjutsu has Sneak Attack, which lets you backstab unaware enemies, skills that give you renewable consumables that heal status effects, and even a skill that increases how much Elixir you can carry. Meanwhile, Onmyo Magic has useful self-buffs, including a Life regeneration effect. Your skill points for these trees are separate from your weapon skill points, so you have no reason to hoard them.

One tip about stats for Souls veterans:

  • Body is not Vitality. Heart is not Endurance. Body increases Life and Heart increases Ki, so naturally every build needs to invest heavily in both, right? Nope! Heart and Strength both also increase Life (less so than Body, but still a good amount), and believe it or not, you can get by with base Ki so long as you learn how to Ki pulse. So, for example, unless you’re using spears, Body isn’t a primary stat for you, and if you’re using heavy armor on top of that, you can safely ignore Body entirely.

Finally, a slightly spoilery tip (game mechanics spoilers, not story):

  • Don’t attack mimics or fake walls! First, yes, there are mimics and fake walls. But they mean you no harm, I promise! What they actually want is for you to gesture at them. Fake walls respond to a specific color of gesture: red, blue, or yellow. You get two chances to get it right before the wall comes to life and attacks you. Chest mimics (actually tanuki) want you to mimic the gesture they do at you. They’ll be so happy if you gesture back that they give you treasure and disappear! So don’t fight them. They’re just mischievous, not evil.


I haven’t played since the Alpha and oh my god I had no idea they were adding a Kusarigama. That weapon is mad fun. Played for 2 hours of the game today and I love it. They fine-tuned it just as I hoped they would.


I decided to get it and I’m feeling kinda mixed on it. Combos don’t seem as smooth as I was hoping and sometimes things feel a bit slow. Oddly the demons I find very easy it’s the regular enemies that give me the most trouble and feel drawn out while the demons feel pretty great to fight. At first I was hating it but dang the Tower of London was just really bad to me when I got past it the difference was so much that I ended up liking it more and more. Still feeling very mixed on the game, I’m doing axes mainly and liking the heavy damage.


I finished the first two missions last night, and decided to try a shrineless run of the first mission for the title, one and done on that there.

This game fuckin’ owns.


Combos get more fluid as you unlock more skills on the skill tree, which can give you extra moves to switch things up with and special finisher attacks.


Maybe I’ll feel the game more when I get more skills. I kinda find some enemies have a bit much health but I’ve countered that kinda by going axe build.


I got to the Tachibana fight that I couldn’t beat in the beta, figured it out, and now I realized I can grind that fight to get his gear since it has an actual gear set bonus, so I guess I know what I’m doing now. I’ve been trying to figure out why Nioh is clicking so much when Dark Souls never did though, but I can’t really figure it out. It just kinda, does. Game’s some good shit though, I’m glad it’s apparently flying off the shelves because Team Ninja deserves it from the way they marketed during development up to actually making a kind of incredible game.


I’m not too far in but I know you like(I think I remember that) stuff with rhythm and maybe ki pulsing is really gelling with you? I just know I suck with rhythm so Ki pulsing is kinda my bane lol.


Stuck on the first real boss in the boat, he’s not crazy hard but I feel like I’m doing very little damage to him.

Game’s super fun so far though I loved the sheer amount of shortcuts in this first level to cycle back to one shrine.


Shoot him in the face, that will help. And yeah - the amount of shortcuts available are really cool. They keep that up, with multiple routes through levels (and around the more difficult enemies if needed, which is great)


Why do Axe Yokai deal more damage than bosses T_T they are so hard!


I think I was having problems face shooting him, like despite having a huge head my headshots were only doing 150 damage.

Closest I got to beating him was when he got into a loop of throwing balls around forever.


The way I managed it was to shoot him in the head until his Stamina went, then Living Weapon and take him down that way. He’s a pretty tough first boss, though.


It’s funny how much trouble i’m having with this boss when I got through the rest of the area with like 0 issues.


He was pretty damn brutal in the Alpha demo, too. I know I levelled up my magic stat a bit and used one of the weapon enchantments for an easier time with him. Haven’t gotten to him yet in the full game.


Oh gotta mention that I really loved the intro level, it felt gigantic and a decent way to kick off the game.

I want my silly soldier’s uniform from the intro level.