Nioh 2: Best Weapons

Nioh 2: Best Weapons

We'll cover Nioh 2's best weapons, whether you're a beginner or in the late game.

As Nioh 2 begins, you'll be asked to pick two weapons to bring with you into the main game, later moving into better builds and looking for the most powerful equipment. We'll show you the best weapons in Nioh 2 here, whether you're new to the game or a practiced veteran.

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Best Weapons in Nioh 2

It's worth saying that there's no clear superior weapon in Nioh 2, as different builds and playstyles will work differently for different people, as well as with different armor sets, accessories and equipment. Keeping that in mind, we've instead outlined the best options for each weapon type, so that everybody has something to aim for.

How Many Weapon Types Are There?

There are nine main weapon types, each one of which you can pick up and try out safely in the game's introductory tutorial (this doesn't include ranged weapons like bows or rifles). We've outlined all the types below, as well as how their effects are increased by certain skills.

WeaponImproves Significantly With:Improves Moderately With: Improves Slightly With:
Sword/KatanaHeartSkillStrength
AxeStaminaCourageStrength
TonfaCourageConstitutionDexterity
SwitchglaiveMagicSkillConstitution
Dual HatchetsSkillCourageMagic
SpearConstitutionStrengthSkill
Dual SwordsSkillHeartStrength
KusarigamaDexteritySkillStrength
OdachiStrengthStaminaHeart

The versions you'll be given in the tutorial are basic versions of that weapon, with no buffs, enchantments or special powers. Still, history has proven time and time again that three feet of serrated steel, used properly, doesn't really need extra powers to be effective. It's also important to remember that you'll get a +1 to whatever stat your carried weapon is primarily tied to. For example, a Spear is not only tied to your constitution stat, you'll get a +1 to constitution while you have one equipped. Nice.

Pick out your two preferred weapons at this very giving tree. | Joel Franey, USgamer, Koei Tecmo Games/Team Ninja/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Best Weapons for Beginners: Which Should You Choose at the Start?

Fortunately Nioh 2 allows you to try out all the weapons in the tutorial and experiment with them a little before moving on, though you don't really get a sense from this open space of how they'll handle in the frenzy of combat. It's very different holding off monsters in the real game than in this safe arena area.

Fortunately, we tried them all out ourselves against some regular enemies and some bosses, and while no weapon is truly better than any other, there are two we'd recommend to beginners: the Axe and the Tonfas.

The Axe works for its simplicity, probably the best starting weapon in the game. It does huge damage and staggers foes, especially when used in high stance, and swings around with a big hit box. The downside is that it's slow and heavy, hitting less frequently and locking the player into longer attack animations. Still, it can be very effective if you learn how to control it, and it's a wonderfully simple weapon. Just don't use it much in low stance, as you're just compromising damage and agility at that point.

The Tonfas are the other extreme, for when you need to work fast or fight weak opponents in great numbers. The Tonfas can only really hit one person at a time, but you can do rapid strikes in quick succession that are difficult to block and add up to significant damage. And just to highlight how opposite they are to the Axe, the Tonfas work fantastically in low stance, allowing supreme mobility and agility, allowing you to dodge around enemies in an instant.

Nioh 2 Weapon Loadout

Tonfas and a great big axe are a good starting pair. | Joel Franey, USgamer, Koei Tecmo Games/Team Ninja/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Here we'll cover some of the best weapons around, and we'll be sure to add more as we discover them. Check below to see if we've mentioned your preferred weapon type, and don't worry - we've covered how you can get these weapons too!

Best Sword/Katana

Despite being available from an early point, we'd have to say one of the best swords in Nioh 2 is the Tokagemaru, which afflicts enemies with the Ki-draining Corruption effect. You can craft one of these powerful blades with the following ingredients, and the smithing text is dropped by Saito Yoshitatsu, final boss of the mission "The Hollow Fortress."

  • Tamahagane (4)
  • Wood (1)
  • Lacquer (2)
  • Bladed Horn (1)

Best Axe

Maybe we're a little too close to Doom Eternal, but we'd say that the best axe is the Slayer's Axe, a huge slab of metal that does extra power on all strong attacks (those used with Triangle). There's a small chance for the smithing text to be dropped by an Enki Yokai when killed, and you can craft it with these ingredients.

  • Ingot (2)
  • Tamahagane (3)
  • Leather Cord (2)
  • Petrified Eye (1)

Best Tonfas

We definitely have to give this to the epic Sarutobi's Gunsticks, a pair of tonfas with pistols built into them, allowing your combos to fire rounds at range and giving them a Bloodborne-y vibe. They also generally do good damage, and you can get the smithing text as a random drop from the Mitsume Yazura enemies (the multiple-faced monsters that crawl on all fours). Once you have that, use these items to craft your own Gunsticks.

  • Ingot (2)
  • Leather Cord (2)
  • Wood (1)
  • Enki Pelt (2)
Ki damage is a good way to set an enemy up for a devastating grapple attack. | Joel Franey, USgamer, Koei Tecmo Games/Team Ninja/Sony Interactive Entertainment

There's always more Nioh 2 content to check out here at USG. Hirun's got all of Nioh 2's DLC plans outlined here, or go to this link to see Mat's story on a surprising cameo you might've missed.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

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