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Nioh 2: All Weapon Types, Ranked By How Difficult They Are To Master

Nioh 2: All Weapon Types, Ranked By How Difficult They Are To Master Image
  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 23:20 PM

Nioh 2 features quite a few weapon types for players to use and master. Here's a look at each based on how difficult they are to wield.

p>With many options at the beginning of the game, one of the most important is choosing a weapon. Nioh 2 tunnels a player down one route or another, offering a buffet where the player has to choose a single plate.

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As they become more comfortable with the weapons, it will become apparent that ease of use and mastering difficulty will vary. Some weapons will seem easy at first, tearing through enemies until it gets to the higher-level play. Luckily, veterans have gone through the game already and named the easiest and hardest weapons to master, even for the beginner.

Updated April 5, 2022 by Rhenn Taguiam: With Elden Ring making waves as perhaps 2022’s breakout title with its combination of open-world Souls-like gameplay and a thrilling story, it’s no surprise fans hoping for more experiences similar to Elden Ring to look for other Souls-like games. And those who want to try out another skills-heavy game outside the realm of FromSoftware might want to give Nioh 2 a shot.

However, in this game where the demon slayer Hide embarks on a journey to save Sengoku Era Japan from various monsters, players will find themselves relying on more than just their skills to succeed. In fact, they need to rely on some of the game’s weapons to determine what kind of approach fits their style of demon-slaying. Which Nioh 2 weapons are the best in 2022?

10 Switchglaive

The Switchglaive is one weapon trying to be three, which is something that, at the beginning of the game, can be a little tricky to manage. Luckily, it also scales with magic, giving the wizards among us a serious advantage.

Changing stances takes it from a sword, to a spear, to a scythe. Each one operates in different ways and makes it the most adaptable weapon in the arsenal. Mastering it should be a simple task since players don't have to be picky about the type of enemy.

At its core, the Switchglaive allows players to connect various attacks across different stances, courtesy of its Switch Stance Skills. Unlike other games such as Monster Hunter which forces players to focus on a single form at a time, the Switchglaive’s quick nature lets players get fast and loose in their combos. Here are essential things to consider when using a Switchglaive:


  • The Switch Stance Skills of the Switchglaive give players better control over their offensive options, giving them more control throughout their combos. This can help mastery over other weapons much easier.
  • Range is the Switchglaive’s strongest component, giving players more control over range with its Mid Stance and High Stance attacks, a long-ranged Sheathed Attack (Thin Air), and an extremely long-ranged attack (Whirling Blade).
  • Defense is no joke either, as the Tranquil Edge (Skill) and Just Reprisal (Skill) give decent defensive boosts against both Yokai and humans.
  • Magic-users will appreciate the Switchglaive as the Raksha (Passive) gives players a decent Anima generation, whereas Mystic Dyad (Effect) strengthens mystic arts.


  • Input precision is needed when using Switch Stance Skills, as there’s no way to change stances mid-attack. As such, it’s important to identify which moves mesh well with each other.
  • There’s a relative lack of fast-enough and strong-enough Ki-damage attacks, which can be dangerous for Skill-heavy players.
  • Certain active Skills (Path of Three, Fleeting Edge) can drain Ki when players simply attempt a strong attack, even if they’re not charging any of these attacks per se. This can increase the player’s Ki usage unnecessarily.

9 Spear

The Spear is a great weapon for a beginner in the game, allowing them to keep their distance while dealing reliable damage. It's not too hard to get used to and the mechanics are basic. Nobody should be struggling with the old point and stab.

It only gets better as the player gains more skill, zoning out enemies and delivering big damage without putting themselves in harm's way most of the time.

At its core, the Spear boasts the best averages in terms of range and damage, allowing players to deal decent damage against enemies with the safety of distance. Its range can help players confuse enemies that have no way of dealing with middle-long-range attacks. Players who want to use the Spear need to take note of the following:


  • The Spear is easily the king of Thrust Damage, especially when used with proper mobility. Its dodge attack alone has the same damage as a mid-stance strong attack but with an extremely large range.
  • A lot of its attacks boast high DPS, especially when used properly. For instance, Triple Threat (Skill) and Fatal Thrust (Skill) can become very lethal when used with mid-and-high-stance strong attacks, and Water Wheel (Skill) and Chidori (Skill) become devastating attacks against the right enemies.
  • Numerous effects become embedded with its attacks, such as the human-tumbling Twisting Spear, elemental-based Piercing Rain, and grounding Entangle and Spearfall. This allows the Spear to deal with numerous enemy types without much trouble.


  • It has relatively low Ki damage, especially since there’s a lack of a fast and high-damaging Ki-based attack. While Pole Kick is an option, it’s just not as viable an option in terms of damage.
  • Despite the usefulness of Mystic Dyad in (Effect) in some weapons, it might not be as useful for Spears. For instance, Fluidity may prevent wall repels for thrust attacks but adds only little damage. Moreover, Flourish can maintain pressure but at the cost of slowing down Ki pulse animation, leaving players open for counters.

8 Dual Swords

This weapon is perfect for those who like to dive in and deal heavy damage, with multiple combos that can put any enemy on the back foot. The dual swords flow nicely in battle, those that stick with them for short while should adjust easily.

The best thing about the Dual Swords is the variety of combos that it comes with, becoming especially devastating in high stance. The only thing to watch out for is becoming overexcited in the attack and leaving big gaps in defense, something that's easily avoided with a little patience.

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Perhaps one of the most versatile weapons in the game, Dual Swords emphasizes getting up close and personal with enemies. While it lacks the range necessary to deal with far-away enemies, it does have more than enough tools to close the gap. Speed is key to Dual Swords, and here are important considerations when using the weapon:


  • Dual Swords boasts high damage in both single and multi-damage attacks. For instance, Sign of the Cross II (Skill) is an extremely fast high-damage attack, while Double-Headed Slice (Skill) and Spinning Dragon (Skill) can apply elements to attacks.
  • Dual Swords easily have the best selection of parries in the game, adding to its great defense courtesy of above-average blocking. Some parry skills also end up being extremely easy to use. For instance, the Shrike (Skill) is easy to perform and deals great counter damage to opponents.
  • Some of its Mystic Arts deal incredible damage when used properly. For instance, the right combination of Momentum (Skill) and Water Sword II (Skill) emphasizes fluidity and can make combos near-endless. Meanwhile, Firm Resolve (Skill) boasts great damage reduction provided players continue their offense.


  • While the Dual Swords are maneuverable, their individual hit damage is low, making them quite reliant on consistent combos.
  • Despite its speed, it does lack a fast-enough high-damaging Ki attack, making its damage output not as high as desired compared to other weapons.
  • Guard-breaking isn’t as optimal, considering that while Moon Shadow (Skill) does the job, it’s not as efficient when compared to other weapons.

7 Katana

It's the standard pick for any beginner and for good reason, the sword offers good all-around stats that can be used for many styles of play. This is good for both beginners and those that want to master the weapon, leaving the combat open to different options.

Even defensively this can be beneficial, playing into the dodge-heavy style of the sword and managing distance. Once players figure out how to get in fast on the enemy, dealing fast and heavy strikes should come naturally.

Considered the most versatile melee weapon in the game, the Katana boasts not just the most active Skills available for melee weapons but also various tools. This gives players unprecedented access to single-target, multi-target, and area of effect attacks. Players can either deal damage in single or burst hits, but at the risk of being too close range to enemies. Here are some considerations when using the weapon:


  • Perhaps the most customizable weapon in the game, the Katana has the most amount of active Skills. This makes it an idea offhand weapon as well.
  • Attack variety reigns with the Katana, as the weapon not only has a lot of high burst damage and dash attacks, but it has quick recovery allowing players to combine attacks much faster and more efficiently compared to other weapons.


  • Being an early-game weapon, the Katana lacks useful tools that players could make use of in the early game, making some boss battles a bit difficult at the beginning.
  • Despite its Skill customizability, it doesn’t have immediate access to damaging skills in its skill tree. This forces players to get more creative when it comes to securing their overall damage.
  • Aside from the overall lack of DPS, it also doesn’t have a fast-enough and damaging Ki-damage option.

6 Odachi

The Odachi is definitely a weapon that can be made effective by almost any player. With no weird mechanics or lopsided stats, Odachi's are the weapon of choice for those that like options. It doesn't even need a change in playstyle; simple stance changes can affect the weapon's use greatly.

Keeping low for fast enemies that won't fall for the big damage attacks, while the high stance comes in nicely when facing a single enemy. Big damage is the name of the game and the Odachi always delivers nicely, a straightforward plan that needs only small adjustments in battle.

Despite its nature as a slow weapon, players who manage to manipulate this large blade can ensure the Odachi not only deals high-enough damage but can even break through the toughest of enemy guards. Its dual stance option allows players to use the Odachi to chain both strong and quick attacks, making it quite a deadly option against stronger foes. Here are things to consider when using this weapon:


  • The Odachi’s main strength is having the second-highest Break stat across weapons, allowing players to destroy the Ki of various opponents as they try to block attacks. This makes the Odachi great at pressuring enemies.
  • Its range and attack animations allow the Odachi to boast range not just on the vertical end but also in the horizontal space, allowing players to hit multiple opponents surrounding them depending on the attacks.
  • Its sheer size allows players to utilize certain defensive options, such as Swallow’s Wing (Skill), Undaunted (Skill), Cuckoo’s Call (Skill), and Bolting Boar (Skill), giving players numerous opportunities to dodge, parry, and block attacks.


  • Its sheer lack of speed can make fights much tougher for players, especially when dealing with tougher foes. Attacks and dodges need to be more precise than usual given this caveat.
  • Despite its ability to Break shields, the Odachi does have the second-lowest Block stat, meaning players don’t have as many defensive options with the Odachi compared to other weapons.
  • It lacks overall damage in general, with its Skill Tree having the lowest amount of Skills that deal melee damage. Not only that, but the Odachi also lacks high-damage burst Ki damage.

5 Kusarigama

The ultimate ranged weapons in the game, the Kusarigama create some of the most chaotic environments to play in. While they will keep enemies at a distance, caution is needed because they can also leave some pretty big windows for a counter-attack.

It's also pretty easy to fall into the trap of swinging wildly (the cool animations don't help). Those that get familiar with the weapon will find that its strengths reach well beyond the range game, performing big damage up close and still having a solid grapple game.

While it serves as one of the main weapons in the original Nioh 2 title, its usage in terms of combat isn’t as typical compared to other weapon types. As it directly scales with Dexterity, players can enjoy employing Ninjutsu Skills when playing with the Kusarigama in the game. Here are certain considerations when using the weapon:


  • It can be one of the most powerful early game options for players, given its powerful damage output and easy synergies with Ninjutsu skills.
  • The Kusarigama can become a great off-hand option with either the Katana and the Dual Swords given its speed-oriented focus
  • Unlike other weapons, the Kusarigama boasts powerful combos with its High Stance quick attack, which players can weave continuously considering they always land their hits.


  • Due to its tricky targeting, the Kusarigama can definitely take getting used to as a weapon.
  • The weapon makes its weight apparent, especially when using both its Metal Weight and Sickle proper. Players need to properly gauge how to maximize this weapon’s combat options before fully adding it to their arsenal.

4 Axes, Hammers

If hitting with a lot of damage without having to swing too many times is the plan, then the Axe and Hammer are the perfect weapons. It's getting that attack to land that brings the problems, taking a long time to execute, and using up a lot of ki at the same time.

Despite its sheer lack of speed, Axes and Hammers have a high focus on dealing higher single-target damage and Ki damage while at the same time giving players perks in the form of damage reduction and toughness. Players who want to use Axes and Hammers need to consider the following points:

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  • Depending on the weapon used, Axes deal 25-percent more melee damage whereas Hammers deal 25-percent more Ki damage. These options give players more versatility as to what kind of slow weapon they want to use.
  • Aside from its damage buff, Axes and Hammers have a lot of high-damage attacks in their Skill Tree, encouraging mayhem and destruction to players.
  • It has the highest Break stat among weapons, meaning it can easily tear through enemy shields while at the same time making it extremely hard to stagger the player.
  • Rage (Skill) boasts the second-highest attack buffs in the game, making this quite an ideal buff when imbued with the Axe and Hammers.


  • Its slow nature does force players into animation loops, forcing players to commit attacks and leaving them open to harsh punishments.
  • Higher-damage options with Axes and Hammers require a bit of build-up, which again opens players to counters when left unchecked. Its damage also depends on attack spacing, which doesn’t help the fact that the weapon itself has low mobility.

3 Splitstaff

The Splitstaff offers players the unique advantage of changing the properties of attacks with its Fluid Form, giving players the ability to optimize their combos on the fly and depending on the situation given. As such, the Splitstaff has a lot of practical options that depend more on the creativity of the player more than anything else.

Some effects the Fluid Form offers are increasing range or increasing damage at the cost of Ki and longer animations. Due to the fluid nature of its attacks, the Splitstaff doesn’t have a lot of active skills and instead relies on the application of attacks.

Given how fluid the Splitstaff can become when it comes to a weapon, players have a lot of options as to how they want to perform their combos and synergies that can benefit their playstyle the most. Here are considerations when using this weapon:


  • Some of its Skills deal very high damage in the game, such as the highest Ki-based damage per second (Shin Crusher), High Stane quick attack (Dragon Dance), and elemental-based attacks (Twin Phoenix).
  • The Fluid Form gives players a lot of opportunities to not just attack but also evade, which is evident with Skills such as Radiant Moon, Fill The Void, Changing Ways, and even Darting Cloud. Meanwhile, held High Stance strong attacks such as Roar Power, Heron Kik, and even Ebb And Flow allow players to attack from a safe distance.


  • Unfortunately, aside from the aforementioned attacks, the Splitstaff has generally low DPS as it relies on players weaving more attacks than usual, unlike other weapons.
  • Its reliance on multi-combo attacks means the Splitstaff doesn’t have high-enough single-hit damage.

2 Tonfas

The Tonfas look great but present pretty obvious challenges right off the bat. The range is hard to get used to, especially if the player is offensive-minded, needing to get up close and personal to be able to do any real damage.

It also takes a lot longer to put enemies down when compared to other weapons, causing most to switch to an alternate weapon to finish the job. Defensively they're great and will drain the enemies' ki at an alarming rate, players should be prepared to adjust their playstyle around them.

Compared to most other weapons, the Tonfa boasts not just high attack speed but also offers beginners a wide range of options that can deplete the enemy’s Ki. Not only that, the Tonfa can offer players Ki regeneration abilities when blocking attacks.

Despite having multiple stance options, the Tonfa’s Mid Stance is likely its safest stance to use, particularly for its priority regarding attack speed and an intuitive moveset.

At its core, the Tonfa’s eye for quick attacks makes it quite an ideal choice for a melee weapon, especially for players who want to make use of their Ninjutsu more often without requiring it to be their main focus. Here are some things to consider when using the Tonfa:


  • Stamina and Courage help build the Tonfa maximize their damage output, especially when it comes to using both quick and charged attacks.
  • Light-armored players with the Tonfa can benefit from the higher damage offered by the Tonfa’s Courage bonus that affects Ki recovery.


  • Players who want to focus on defense might not exactly appreciate the Tonfa, especially considering its focus on speed. As such, players planning to wear heavy armor may want to steer clear of the weapon.

1 Hatchets

Most weapons fall into some kind of niche, making adjustments easy to handle. Hatchets manage to dodge just about every category, relying on specific skills to make them useful. This will put any player just starting to really struggle until they get some significant experience under their belt.

They have low damage, short-range, and struggle in the ki area too, creating an awkward experience until a specific style is molded. They can deal big damage at long range if they're thrown, creating a unique situation where the player has to have great aim to be effective. Overall, hatchet players are hard to find but those that use them know them inside and out.

Despite their appearance, Hatchets have more similarities with both the Kusarigama and the Axe compared to the Dual Sword. While Hatchets do boast a similar speed as the Dual Swords, it lacks efficiency in close range and instead shine in mid-to-long range. This interesting component makes Hatchet an ideal long-ranged option, with the following being important considerations to its use:


  • The Hatchet has the most mobility options across all weapons, allowing players to creatively approach their combat tactics. Combined with its ranged superiority, players can approach their offensive strategies from any vantage point.
  • Its solid range options make the Hatchet an extremely versatile off-hand option, especially since players can use the Hatchet primarily for its projectile abilities while at the same time offering opportunities to chase opponents throughout the battlefield.


  • Its unconventional playstyle makes it a tough cookie to master, especially since its melee options become a secondary priority compared to its versatile ranged options.
  • Unlike other weapons, only the Hatchet has a slow sheath time after using Ki-pulse sheath attacks.
  • It’s not a great source of Ki-damage on hit, which some Skill-based players might be looking for when it comes to a safe weapon like the Hatchet.

Nioh 2 is currently available on the PS4, PS5, and PC.

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