Nioh Best Starting Weapons - Which Weapon Type to Choose

Nioh starts off by letting you choose two starting weapons. You can only have two equipped at a time, and the ones you choose here will provide stat bonuses. You can use whatever you want later, but this starting choice will increase stats relevant to the category you choose. In other words, you should pick the weapons you’re really going to use. In this guide, we’re going to explain how each category behaves, to help you choose the best starting weapons in Nioh.

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best starting weapons nioh
Best starting weapons in Nioh

Nioh weapon types

There are five weapon types in Nioh, each with its own traits:

  • Sword (starting bonus +1 Heart)
  • Dual swords (starting bonus +1 Skill)
  • Spear (starting bonus +1 Body)
  • Axe (starting bonus +1 Stamina)
  • Kusarigama (starting bonus +1 Dexterity)

The bonus signifies which stat the weapons scales best with, as well. You’ll start with 5 points in each attribute, so a +1 is a nifty bonus early on. If you don’t have much experience with games like this, you should choose weapons that complement each other.

Swords are versatile – they don’t do too much damage, they’re neither too slow nor fast, and they have a solid range. Heart increases Ki, so focusing on this weapon+stat combo will allow you to swing more times before you’re out of breath.

Dual swords are weak, but they’re really fast and have a wide, sweeping range. Skill improves your ability to handle complicated weapons. Choosing this will allow you to add more depth to your moveset, but it’s a lot to take in.

Spears are the ideal choice for begginers. They can keep enemies at bay, they do lots of damage, and they can handle groups pretty well. The downside is that they’re relatively slow, and terrible in tight spaces. Body increases your health – focusing on this will increase both your health and the damage you do.

Axes are the strongest category. They do the highest amounts of damage, but they’re very slow and have short range. Stamina also increases your health, and your carry capacity. This combination will allow you to wield heavy weaponry, do a lot of damage and live longer.

Kusarigama are the most advanced of the weapons. They’re fast, with a decent range and low damage. Dexterity boosts your Ninjutsu, allowing you to improve your chain-sickle moves. It’s a great combination for experienced players, but if you’re new, you should avoid it.

Nioh starting weapon combinations

Since you can choose two, here are some starting combinations we liked:

  • Spear + Axe – The ultimate beginner’s combo. Both governing stats will increase health, and you’ll do insane amounts of damage.
  • Spear + Dual swords – Use the dual swords as a backup for fights in tight spaces, but focus on the spear.
  • Spear + Sword – Somewhere between the first two combos – if you’re not comfortable with a secondary weapon that trades power for speed, or vice versa.
  • Sword + Dual swords – A lot of Ki will give you breathing room, allowing you to dash, block and swing more, which is great, because you’ll have to stay in close to medium range of your enemies.

Of course, as your understanding of the game increases, you’ll probably wish to give magic a try as well. Don’t worry – no decisions are final, since you can respec in Nioh pretty easily. If you decide you don’t like what you made William into, simply get a Book of Reincarnation and remake him.

Author Ketchua profile picture
Ketchua has been writing about games for far too long. As Señor Editor, he produces words (and stuff) for Gosunoob. There are a lot of words (and stuff) there, so he's terribly busy. Especially if you need something.



  1. C

    I don’t agree about the chain and sickle, I was new to the game and got a decent chain/sickle drop and was instantly murdering everything from giant difficult yokia to groups of 3 enemies at a time. It also scales well with skill so using a duel or single katana as your secondary works well. If this is your first action rpg style game be patient and spend a few hours in the dojo or running around the first area and get up to level 17 or so. Don’t be afraid to experiment with all the weapons and figure out what compliments your play style. Once you figure out which weapons you want start basing your stats off them, if you mess up you can re spec at the blacksmith with a reincarnation tome.

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