Nioh Character Builds Guide – Best Builds, Best Weapons, Guardian Spirits, Skills

Nioh Character Builds Guide with equipment recommendation to help you find multiple ways using which you can build your character effectively.

Nioh Character Builds Guide with equipment recommendation to help you find multiple ways using which you can build your character effectively.

Similar to SoulsBorne games, Nioh isn’t an easy experience and you must learn to balance your stats in accordance to your weapon preference if you wish to be successful.

Despite the obvious inspiration that Nioh draws from SoulsBorne, there are some changes made to the game’s combat system. Keeping these changes in mind, there are a ton of different builds possible.

For more help on Nioh, read out our Skill Points Guide, Disguises Guide, and Bosses Guide.

Nioh Character Builds Guide

In our Nioh Character Builds Guide, we’ve detailed character and equipment recommendations to help you build your character in a number of different possible ways.

Nioh Character Stats

There are basically 8 stats to choose from. Each of the stats is tied to a weapon type which is something you should be aware of. Moreover, you unlock different Skill Points as you level up a stat. For instance, leveling up ‘Body’ rewards you with Samurai Skill Points.

There are three types of skills in total i.e. Samurai, Ninja, and Onmyo. Each of these skills allow you to get different abilities and bonuses. Ninja allows you to get things like smoke bombs, kunai, shuriken, poison, etc.

Onmyo allows you to get different magical abilities and other buffs. Samurai basically deals with skill trees of weapon types. Each weapon type in the game has 45 skills in total which unlock different abilities and moves.

For instance, there are skills which notify you whenever an enemy is out of Ki so that you can charge in and deal a massive amount of damage. There’s another one which allows you to kick an enemy at the end of a combo that depletes the enemy’s Ki.

It’s important that you keep these things in mind while building your character and choose things that complement each other. In this section of the guide, I’ve provided an overview of all stats.

This one increases your health and resistances. By leveling this up, you earn Samurai SPs. This stat affects spears.

This one increases your Ki, hit points, and life. Heart affects bows and swords.

This one increases your weight limit and life. Stamina affects cannons.

This one increases your damage and weight limit. By leveling this up, you earn Samurai SPs and it affects axes.

This one increases your skills with weapons and Ninjutsu skills. By leveling this up, you earn Samurai SPs and it affects guns as well as dual-katanas.

This one increases your damage and lets you earn Ninja SPs.

This one increases defense against yokai and Onmyo magic. By leveling this up, you earn Onmyo SPs.

This one also boosts your Onmyo magic and affects the Guardian Spirit.

Nioh Best Weapons

When it comes to best weapons in Nioh, you need to be familiar with Weapon Familiarity. The more you use a weapon, the more familiar you get with it. After you manage to hit ‘Max Familiarity’ with a weapon, you’ll gain several bonuses including increased base damage output and other buffs.

Keeping this in mind, you should try to stick to a single weapon in order to boost its Weapon Familiarity and overall damage output. As mentioned earlier, you should check which weapon types scale better with your desired stats before choosing one. Furthermore, a weapon’s moveset is something you should never neglect.

As a general rule of thumb, I don’t recommend chain-and-sickle weapons until you’re comfortable with them. If you’re just starting out, I recommend going with swords or spears. Swords in the early game can do pretty decent damage if you can get used to their lack of range.

If you, on the other hand, need a quick weapon with a fairly decent range, I definitely recommend spears. Once again, these are just my recommendations, but you should always use what you feel comfortable with.

Nioh Best Ninja Build

Character Level: 36

  • Body: 12
  • Heart: 7
  • Stamina: 5
  • Strength: 6
  • Skill: 7
  • Dexterity: 25
  • Magic: 5
  • Spirit: 11

The reason as to why Dexterity is leveled up is to get a whole lot of Ninja SPs and to unlock all the tools offered by it. For your choice of weapon, you need to go with Kusarigama which has a B+ scaling with Dexterity. It’s important to note that the returns begin to diminish after 15 points into Dexterity. Therefore, if you’ve something better, feel free to use it.

For the armor, the entire shinobi set is the way to go because it allows Ki management without any issues. With this armor, even if you decide to spam your light attacks, you won’t have to worry about running out of Ki in the middle of a fight. Another thing that adds to it is Ki Pulse during dodge from the weapon skill-tree.

I recommend using the weapon in low stance as it will allow you to spam the three-hit combo at minimalistic Ki cost. Finally, you should also give Quick-Change Scroll a chance. This basically works like Tears of Denial from Dark Souls III and will leave you at 1 HP instead of 0 for one time only.

Nioh Best Katana Build

Character Level: Any

  • Body: 10
  • Skill: 10
  • Magic: 15
  • Spirit: Rest

For this build, you need to go with Daiba-Washi as your Guardian Spirit. While running this build, the buff that you get against the yokai is pretty good. Moreover, the katana has a pretty decent moveset which makes it pretty cool to use.

As for armor, I recommend using light armor and try to minimize melee interactions. In order to do this, you need to use as much ranged attacks and bombs as possible. Alternatively, you can simply try and sneak behind enemies in order to quickly get rid of them. You can also run medium armor and skill with katana or bow.

Nioh Best Tank Build

Character Level: Any

  • Spirit: 12
  • Strength: 10
  • Stamina: Rest

For this build, you need to go with Fuse-Ushi as your Guardian Spirit. For the choice of weapons, I recommend going with axes or cannons. Spirit will affect your Guardian Spirit while Strength and Stamina will boost the effectiveness of your cannons and axes.

Since this is a tank build, you need to invest in health so as to sustain as much damage as possible. The reason for this is to enable you to brute force bosses and enemies. Coming to armor, you need to go with heavy armor which should allow you to get through most of the areas and reach bosses without any problems.

I also recommend running the high stance which should allow you to dish out an incredible amount of damage. Thanks to life regeneration from Amrita, you should easily be able to block and absorb chunks of damage without running into any health issues.

Nioh Character Builds – Mountain that Walks

Character Level: 100

  • Ikkoku Nagayoshi Spear, Any Axe, Any Handcannon
  • Raging Bull Armor Set
  • Fuse-ushi Guardian Spirit
  • Oasis Talisman, Rejuvenation Talisman

It’s a pretty straightforward build which can be completed in the Kyushi Region of the game. During the ‘Finders Keepers’ sub-mission, you should be able to acquire the entire Raging Bull set, its Smithing Text, and the spear.

However, in order to create your own Raging Bull set, you’ll need Yokai Hair which is not terrible to farm. For the Guardian Spirit, try to stick to Isonade until you manage to get Fuse-ushi.

Although you wouldn’t be zapping around in heavy armor, I still recommend keeping the Equipment Burden under 70% if possible. Try to hit 30 in both ‘Stamina’ as well as ‘Body’ and you should’ve enough health to mitigate most of the damge.

Not only your health, but your unique heavy armor will also do most of the work. Lastly, credits go to BloodSoul26 for creating this build.

Nioh Character Builds – Melee/Magic Hyrbid

Character Level: 100

  • Body: 25
  • Heart: 25
  • Stamina: 7
  • Strength:
  • Skill: 5
  • Dexterity: 5
  • Magic: 25
  • Spirit:25

For the weapon, you’re recommended to use spear along with medium/light armor. You can also equip Axe as a backup and a heavy-hitting, should the need arises.

As for the Guardian Spirit, you need to go with Hi-Nezumi which not only provides a buff to Omnyo Magic, but also provides a chance to unlimited Omnyo Magic use. For bosses and enemies, you should rely on Omnyo Sloth skill which slows down everything and lasts for a long time.

You should also consider using elemental talismans in accordance withe enemy weaknesses. Lastly, you can also go with another weapon if it scales better with Omnyo Magic.

Moreover, if you prefer something like Dual Swords or Kusarigamas instead of axes, you can level up Skill or Dexterity instead of Strength.

Nioh Character Builds – Sword/Axe Hybrid

Character Level: Any

  • Body: 10-20 Points
  • Spirit: 10-30 Points
  • Magic: 10-20 Points
  • Skill: 10
  • Stamina: 10
  • Dexterity: 10
  • Heart: Rest
  • Strength: Rest

For this build, all the credits go to Demaulicus from the comments section. For stats, you need to primarily focus on Heart and Strength as well as Spirit, but to a lesser extent.

For your better understanding, it should go something like Heart (41%), Strength (41%), and Spirit (18%). According to the creator, there is no need to invest largely into Stamina as Strength increases your weight limit.

If you’re having difficulty with elemental attacks from enemies, try to invest a little into elemental defense, but stick to these three stats most of the times. You need to balance Heart/Strength out, but you can go a little sideways if you wish to target a specific weapon or gear set.

Nioh Best Axe Build

Character Level: Any

This Nioh build primarily focuses on PVE and uses axes as the primary weapon and spears/kusarigama as the secondary weapons. For the Guardian Spirit, you need to go with either Genbu or Kato.

The first thing you need to get is The Adamantine which increases defense at the cost of speed. You need to go with mid stance which should allow you to have better guard. You need to combine it with the Battle Focus which decreases the amount of Ki used while attacking.

There are many mid stance skills that you need to take advantage of. To begin, you need to go with Cornered Boar which reduces the amount of damage received below 30% HP. In addition to this, there is Living Water which allows you to use Ki Pulse while dodging.

For the sake of this build, you need to avoid Samurai Skills completely and fully focus on Onmyo Magic Skills and a little in Ninjutsu Skills. Finally, when it comes to gear, you need to go with something heavy which should allow you to mitigate as much damage as possible.

This is all we’ve on our Nioh Character Builds Guide. Don’t forget to share your own character builds with the community by commenting below!

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...