Guardian spirits are part of the build system in Nioh. There are more than twenty of them, but only one can be active at a time. They provide you with various passive bonuses. As you fight, you fill up the living weapon bar – when it’s full, your guardian can give you an additional buff for a limited time. When you unlock them all, you’ll get the Friend of Guardians trophy. In this guide, we’re going to show you where to find all Nioh guardian spirits.Note: This guide is a work in progress. We’ll update it as we progress through the game.
How to unlock guardian spirits in Nioh
The spirits are most probably unlocked through story missions. Some of them are not that easy to obtain, and can be missed. You can almost always go back and rectify your mistakes, but it’s better not to miss them in the first place.
Here’s a full list of friendly spirits you can find in the game:
- Kato – Available at the beginning (unlocks after Three Angry Gods side mission, if you don’t choose it)
- Isonade – Available at the beginning (unlocks after Three Angry Gods side mission, if you don’t choose it)
- Paired Raiken – Unlocked after beating Tachibana Muneshige in The Spirit Stone Slumbers main mission.
- Daiba-washi – Available at the beginning (unlocks after Three Angry Gods side mission, if you don’t choose it)
- Fuse-ushi – Unlocked after beating Hino-enma in Deep in the Shadows main mission.
- Mizuchi – Unlocked after completing the Kanbei and the Overlord side mission.
- Narikama Tanuki
- Atlas Bear
- Tengen Kujaku
The color signifies their element, and the type of boon you can expect from them. The passive bonuses they offer are often great enough by themselves, but the living weapons push the idea even further. As you fight through the game, you’ll fill up a gauge. When it’s full, the spirit token in the upper left corner will start flashing. That’s when you know you can use the living weapon, which will give you even better stat boosts, for a limited time though.
Once you’ve started New Game +, you’ll also be able to upgrade your guardian spirits. The enhancements are incremental, and you really need a lot to make them worth your while. Since upgrading is done simply through usage, it’s not too much of a problem.