Soul Match Information
Soul Match in Nioh is the process of levelling up existing Weapons and Armor by sacrificing higher level Weapons or Armor. This service is performed by the Blacksmith. The process is simple enough. You take a low-level weapon or piece or armor and match it with a high-level weapon or armor piece. The high-level equipment is destroyed and the low-level equipment assumes the level of the equipment you had destroyed.
There are some other details to consider like: Close Combat Weapons can only be Soul Matched with other Close Combat Weapons, Armor can only be Soul Matched with other Armor pieces and Ranged Weapons can only be Soul matched with other Ranged Weapons.
Soul Matching costs scale with the difference in level between two pieces of equipment. The costs of leveling up your gear increases at a near exponential rate the more levels you go (i.e. the greater the level difference the larger the soul match costs) so eventually trying to bring a very low level item far along will be costly. In those instances it may be better to Forge a new piece of equipent. High Familiarity reduces the cost. The higher the rarity of the base item, the more expensive it is to Soul Match. The higher the rarity of the sacrificial equipment, the less expensive it is to Soul Match with.
It is much more expensive to Soul Match an item that has already been Soul Matched, than it is to Soul Match a piece that hasn't been Soul Matched before (not true when Soul Matching Divine Weapons). Soul Matching equipment with equipment of the same type, reduces Soul Matching costs by 50%. It is for example much cheaper to Soul Match chest armor with chest armor - bows with bows - spears with spears. Soul Matching equipment of the same name reduces the costs further.
You can pass on a bonus from a weapon if all the following conditions are met:
- The bonus has the Inheritable icon (a rectangle pointing to another rectangle)
- The weapon with that Special Effect is at maximum Familiarity
- You use that weapon as the material in Soul Match (it will be consumed)
- If the base weapon is melee, the material must be too, and likewise for ranged weapons
- The base weapon doesn't have any "competing" Special Effects (a list of the effects can be found on the Reforge page)
- If you want to remove a competing Special Effect, you can Reforge to remove the special effect that is competing. Then perform the soul match.
- (You cannot Soul Match Accessories)
Divine soul matching beyond level 150
Divine weapons and armor can be leveled beyond the normal equipment level cap of 150. They can become Lv. 150 (+1), Lv. 150 (+2), etc., up to a maximum of (+10). Weapons that are over Lv.150, which can be found in Way of The Demon (NG++) are able to reach higher levels. Divine levels increase the equipments base values more than regular levels. Gaining these levels also follows different rules than normal equipment. A Divine Weapon +1 cannot become a Divine Weapon +10 by sacrificing a Divine Weapon +10, it would become a Divine Weapon +2. This is because Divine Weapons can only go up one level at a time, and only by sacrificing a Divine Weapon whose grade is HIGHER OR EQUAL to that of the base Divine Weapon. The most economical strategy is to Soul Match Divine Equipment with Divine Equipment of the same grade (+1 with +1, +2 with +2, +5 with +5) and by preference with equipment of the same type: Swords with Swords, Spears with Spears, Chest Armor with Chest Armor etc (in order to lower the costs). For some reason you can't Soul Match a clean Divine Weapon with another clean Divine Weapon to produce a Divine Weapon +1.