Combat in Nioh is agile and brutal. Similarly to the Dark Souls series, there is an HP bar for your health or hitpoints and Ki bar that acts as stamina and governs your actions. Experience is called Amrita and is earned through defeating enemies, who also drop random gear.
The radial icon on the bottom right of the screen are your Combat Stance options. Selecting a stance will change the orientation of your equipped weapon and change the attacks you can make. There are 3 different stances:
High Stance: attacks from this stance feature increased damage at the cost of heavy Ki consumption. High Stance emphasizes attack power and aggression. It provides more Attack and Break power than any other stance, but dodging and blocking, are relatively limited.
Mid Stance: attacks from this stance are balanced between defensive and offensive properties and feature support skills. It excels at blocking. Mid Stance is good for defense, and is easy to use, but attack power falls somewhere between High Stance and Low Stance. Getting behind your opponent from this stance is difficult, so facing off is your best bet since you’ll have the ability to react quickly to their every move.
Low Stance: attacks from this stance are fast and low damage as well as low Ki consuming. Focuses on evasive movement and is effective against groups or escaping a situation. Low Stance is best for dodging. Its primary focus is evasive movement, allowing you to escape quickly, get behind your opponent and attack.
- Combat is in third person.
- Blocking and attacking are performed with your Weapons. Both actions deplete Ki.
- Players can perform finishing moves when defeating an enemy.
- Players can summon Guardian Spirits, which grant special power attacks and a period of invulnerability. The health and ki bar do not drain during this time.
- Players can also cast special summon spells which send spirits into combat.
- Combat is combo focused, with players able to regenerate Ki in the middle of combo by pressing R1. This ki pulse will cancel the current combo but restore a portion of the player's ki bar.
Stamina and Evading
- Players can dash/roll to evade attacks from Enemies.
- Ki is depleted via sprinting, blocking, dodging and attacking
- When Ki is depleted, players will pause to catch their breath, leaving them vulnerable to devastating attacks. Managing ki and using ki pulse mid combo is crucial to surviving difficult encounters.
When a warrior falls in battle, his Guardian Spirit disperses and their Amrita coalesces into a sword-mound. Should you touch it, the Guardian Spirit and Amrita will be restored to you. If you die before making it back to your mound, the Amrita in the mound is lost. Your Guardian Spirit will return to you, but you will respawn with slightly less life than normal.
If you unequip your guardian spirit and die, then nothing will protect your Amrita, and all of it will be lost immediately, with no chance of restoring it.