Nioh 2 Yokai Shift Guide

This Nioh 2 guide will help you understand how you can activate the Yokai Shift and use it effectively, along with useful tips about extending its duration.

The Yokai Shift mechanic in Nioh 2 allows you to become possessed by your Guardian Spirit and launch powerful attacks and special moves on enemies. This Nioh 2 Yokai Shift guide will help you understand how you can activate the Yokai Shift and use it effectively, along with useful tips about extending its duration.

Nioh 2 Yokai Shift

With the Yokai Shift activation in Nioh 2, you can become possessed by your Guardian Spirit and increase your defensive capabilities with special moves.

You can also attune with the Soul Cores of the Guardian Spirits and utilize the fantastic Yokai Skills without transformation; this process will use your Anima.

Below we have broken down this powerful ability into different sections. Let’s start.

How to Activate

You will be able to activate the Yokai Shift by pressing the Triangle along with the circle or B and Y when your Amrita Guage is full. The Amrita Guage is your Guardian Spirit icon towards the top left of your screen.

As you activate the Yokai Shift, your Life Guage or Ki Gauge will be replaced with the new Yokai Shift gauge. So now, if any damage occurs, it will happen in your Yokai Shift Gauge. When the Yokai Shift Gauge is completely consumed, you will go back to being a human.

How to fill the Amrita Gauge

You gain a minimal amount of Amrita Guage by merely killing enemies. A better way to gain Amrita Guage is to use your Yokai Abilities. These abilities will fill up your tank in large amounts in a short time.

Using spirit stones manually is also an excellent way to full the gauge; this will depend on the amount of Amrita you earn with each tier of stone type.

The smaller stones tier is the Small Spirit Stones, which gives you 13% Amrita Guage, while the highest level is Large Spirit Stone that gives you 66% Amrita Guage. The middle tier spirit stone offers 33% of Amrita Guage.

How to launch a powerful melee attack with Yokai Shift

The Yokai Shift makes your attacks more impactful but touching the Yokai Realm will disseminate it. You can absorb Amrita into your body by pressing R1+R2; this will allow you to charge the Yokai Shift Gauge.

Pressing Triangle or Y is another way to charge up your attack physically. This option will enable you to absorb any Amrita nearby to fill the Amrita faster so you can strengthen your weapon simultaneously and launch an impactful attack.

The Yokai Shift enables you to transform into a powerful Yokai temporarily; if you master this ability, you will be able to enhance your battle performance.


There are three modes of Yokai Shift that you can use to transform into three different Yokai types. These modes are Feral, Phantom, and Brute.

The Feral mode allows you to dodge the enemy attacks while performing Quick Attacks. If you make a Quick Attack while avoiding simultaneously, you get to progress to this combo’s next step.

Moreover, Amrita is produced when you dodge an enemy’s attack right before it makes contact.

  • Shadowstep: The Shadowstep Shifting Skill in Nioh2 allows you to perform a dodge in the middle of a Quick Attack. Use the X button to dodge while pressing Square to perform Quick Attacks to utilize this skill.
  • Shadow stab: The Shadow stab Shifting Skill allows you to perform a Quick Attack right after you’ve used Shadowstep. Press Square to perform a Quick Attack while performing Shadowstep to utilize this skill.

The Phantom mode helps you to defend yourself against enemy attacks. You will not stumble because of enemy attacks during this mode.

  • Blood Moon – Yin: This active skill allows you to have teleportation skills. You can launch your weapon towards your enemy, and if it finds a mark, you will teleport to your enemy’s point. To utilize this skill, hold your L2 to aim and then press the R2.
  • Blood Moon – Yang: Use this skill by using Square to perform a Quick Attack and then Triangle to perform the opposing attack quickly. This active skill allows you to throw your weapon while tapping a command for the malicious attack while also serving a Quick Attack.

This mode will help you not to stagger due to enemy attacks.

  • Fang Break: The Fang Break provides you with excellent capability to repel attacks. This skill will inflict a severe effect on your human enemies, while incase of your Yokai enemies, they will stumble and release some amount of their Amrita Gauge. To utilize this capability while you’re in Brute mode, press L1 and Triangle or Y right when an enemy attacks you. If you manage to get the timing right, press triangle or Y after a successful parry to launch a significant damage Quick Attack. This Quick Attack will help you gain a large amount of Anima.

Yokai Shift Duration and How to Extend it

When you enter the Yokai Shift, it can drain pretty quickly, but you can increase Yokai Shift’s duration. However, bear in mind that there is a specific limit for how much Amrita you can use during a Yokai Shift. Below are the various ways you can use to extend your Yokai Shift duration.

  • Absorbing Amrita: You can absorb Amrita by using a charged attack or pressing R1+R2
  • Performing a Grapple: Suppose you transform when your enemy is vulnerable to a Grapple. In that case, you may instantly do the Yokai Grapple and gain full Anima; this will allow you to use your Yokai Abilities straightaway.
  • Charged Attack: Hitting your enemy with a fully charged attack will help you extend the Yokai Shift duration.
  • Activating at 30% health: If you activate the shift when you’re at a 30% health or lower, it increases your Yokai Shift duration.

How to use Yokai Shift Effectively

The melee damage is not the most significant feature of Yokai Shift. The melee attacks are not impactful unless and until your charge a strong attack. This process is very time consuming unless and until enough Amrita is available that you can absorb.

There are a limited amount of melee options in Yokai Shift as it ignores any special effect activated when you’re in critical health.

Moreover, if you take a hit, it significantly reduces your Yokai Shift’s duration, making the usage of a melee attack very risky. The primary benefit of melee attacks during the Yokai Shift is the increased Ki damage.

Working of Anima

Understanding Anima’s work is significant, as it is the best feature of the Yokai Shift. The Burst Counter does not cost anything, and all of your Yokai Abilities now pull from the same Anima pool.

This means that each Soul Core now has its collection of Anima so that you can use triple times the amount of Yokai Abilities.

You can use this feature to your advantage in various ways. You can use Soul Cores that will stagger the enemy, causing them to stun-lock and not retaliate.

For this purpose, use the One-legged Fury, Brutal Charge, or Fiendish Frenzy. You can also use powerful Yokai Abilities to cause a large amount of burst damage, for example, the Impaling Doom.

One fantastic way to stagger the nearby enemies is by using L2+R2 when you gain access to two Guardian Spirits.

Switch between their respective forms even though this is time-consuming, but the transformation makes you unbeatable. This type of transformation helps you stagger the enemies; this is more impactful when the enemy is in a Grapple state; you can grapple them with the new form.

Gaining Anima

Now that we have understood the importance of Anima and how it helps us use Yokai Shift effectively let’s discuss how to gain Anima effectively.

  • Grappling an enemy: Grappling an enemy will give Anima a head start, and it allows you to use cheaper Yokai Abilities.
  • Brute Mode: For the Brute Mode of Yokai Shift, you can use the Fang Break as mentioned above. This active skill has the most parryable attacks in Nioh 2. It will work against everything that doesn’t include projectile, shockwaves, grapples, or a terrain effect. If you manage to pull this off successfully, you get a large amount of Anima, which helps you attack with even more impact.
  • Phantom Mode: The melee attacks in this mode have an incredible range, so you can quickly and safely fill your Anima without any risks involved. The strong attack includes activating the Anima Bonus effect, which all Phantom Spirits harbor.
  • Feral Mode: Playing this mode in a hit and run style will enable you to cancel attacks and turn them into a dodge. You can even cancel the dodge with a feral burst counter in this mode. Dodging just as an attack hits you will release a massive amount of Amrita, allowing you to absorb it and use it to perform counter-attacks immediately. The charged attack will stagger the enemy and enable more attacks before backing away.
  • Paying attention to Guardian Spirit: Please pay attention to the Guardian Spirit as each spirit has different ways of gaining Anima based on their effects. An example would be Rokugezu that gives a large amount of Anima when you stop an attack just as it makes contact with you. It would be best to equip the Soul Cores with easy to activate effects to make you more Anima.

Lastly, as mentioned before, you can also use a Yokai Ability that lasts for a longer duration before entering the Yokai Shift. These abilities will allow you to start the Yokai Shift with a large amount of Amrita to use for a Charge Attack.

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