There are nine starting weapons to choose from in Nioh 2. They all have their own unique pros and cons, from reach and attack speed, to damage dealt and which stats they scale with. It’s a pretty overwhelming choice that you’re forced to make with little to no information – depending on whether you’ve already played the first game. If you’re stuck in the tutorial cave, wondering what to pick, this guide will show you the best starting weapons & guardian spirit combo for beginners in Nioh 2.
Which starting weapons to choose in Nioh 2?
You can pick two from the nine on display. We’d recommend picking solely based on the stat bonuses they offer. You’ll get plenty of weapons as you progress through the game, and you’ll be able to try them all out before settling on a favorite pair. However, the starting stat bonus will stick with you forever – it cannot be changed even with the help of the respec item. Here are the stat bonuses each of the weapons offer:
- Sword – Heart +1
- Spear – Constitution +1
- Axe – Stamina +1
- Tonfa – Courage +1
- Hatchets – Skill +1
- Kusarigama – Dexterity +1
- Switchglaive – Magic +1
- Dual swords – Skill +1
- Odachi – Strength +1
Nioh 2 best weapon choice for beginners would be spear and sword. They increase constitution, which affects your health, and heart, which affects your ki. This means you can take more damage and perform more attacks before tiring, which is pretty much what every new player needs.
Nioh 2 Best guardian spirit
After you’ve picked your arsenal, you get to choose a guardian spirit. There are three of them to choose from, and the choice here is even easier – you’ll get the other two over the course of the game, so it’s just a starting bonus you’re looking at here. Here’s what each of them gives:
- Swift Bird – Heart +1
- Fierce Wolf – Strength +1
- Dark Phantasm – Magic +1
You might be tempted to pick the wolf, but we’d go with the Swift Bird. The heart bonus means more ki, which means more attacks before getting tired.
Which stats are the best at start?
The game forces you to choose all this at a point where you have literally no knowledge of the stats and how they work. Here’s a breakdown of what each stat affects:
- Constitution: Affects life, resistance to poison and paralysis. Increases spear damage.
- Heart: Affects ki and resistance to fire. Increases bow and sword damage.
- Courage: Affects ki recovery speed, resistance to lightning. Increases tonfa damage.
- Stamina: Affects life and maximum equipment weight. Increases axe and hand cannon damage.
- Strength: Affects heavy armor special effects, water resistance. Increases odachi damage.
- Skill: Affects light armor special effects. Increases dual swords, hatchets and rifle damage.
- Dexterity: Affects your ninjutsu. Increases kusarigama damage.
- Magic: Affects your Onmyo magic. Increases switchglaive damage.
We’d focus on constitution and heart first. Even if you’re not going to use the weapons they strengthen, they’re going to give you better chances of survival – more life and ki. Life is pretty obvious – the more you have it, the more hits you need to take before you finally expire. Ki is kind of like stamina – it determines how much you can dodge, block and attack before you get tired.
Nioh 2 doesn't pull any punches, so you might get stuck before you've even begun playing. We've written a guide to help you choose your starting weapon and guardian spirit, and another that shows how to reset skills if you invest in the wrong ones. Once you've dug in, you'll probably want to know how to unlock onmyo magic & ninja proficiency skills, or how to change and use Yokai Shift forms. Getting more skill points is always a priority, which is why we've written about locks of hair locations. If you're hunting rare soul cores, you'll probably want to know about the Mujina locations - finding them is tricky.