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Nioh guide: stats, leveling up, weapon bonuses, prestige and skill points

Leveling up is all about weapons

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Stats and leveling up

So you know that you level up at a shrine, but what exactly are you leveling up? Nioh gives you eight stats to choose from. They mostly map to the stats that you know and love, with a couple modifications.

This screen is intimidating at first, but veterans will recognize both D&D and Dark Souls in its DNA.

Nioh stats

Stat Main effect Bonuses Weapons
Stat Main effect Bonuses Weapons
Body Health Also impacts resistances and gives you samurai skill points Spears
Heart Ki Also impacts your hit points and life Bows, Swords
Stamina How much you can carry (equipment weight) Some boost to life Cannons
Strength Punchin’ mostly Also affects equipment weight max and gives you samurai skill points Axes
Skill Ability with more technical weapons Also gives you samurai skill points and makes your ninjutsu skills more powerful Guns, dual katanas
Dexterity Ninja skills, their power and getting more ninja skill points Adds power to certain weapon’s attacks Ninjutsu
Magic Onmyo skills, their power and getting more onmyo skill points Grants an greater defense against the yokai realm Onmyo magic
Spirit Strengthens your bond with your spirit guide Increases the power of your onmyo magic Guardian spirit

Each of these skills map to a type of weapon. Increase the associated stat to unlock the full potential of a weapon.

Skill points

When you level up William at a shrine, you may receive skill points in one of Nioh’s three categories — samurai, ninja and onmyo. Cash these in for new abilities on Nioh‘s various skill trees.

Samurai skill points

Samurai skill points are for weapon skill trees. Each weapon type has 45 skills. They teach William additional moves (like kicking at the end of a combo) or new abilities (like sneak attacks).

Ninja skill points

Ninja skills are more sneaky than the brute force skills above. Ninja skill points get you things like thrown weapons (shiruken and kunai) or poison (to add an effect to your attacks). Also, smoke bombs.

Onmyo skill points

Onmyo skills are your magical abilities. In practical terms, these skills allow you to create talismans — consumable items that grant a temporary buff to one or more of your stats or defenses.

Prestige points

The titles tab of Nioh's options menu

Throughout Nioh, you’ll earn something called titles. These titles are awarded for completing tasks in the game — dealing cumulative ki damage in excess of 7,500 or defeating 150 humans with a sword. Titles earn you reputation points, and reputation points add up until you get a prestige point. Confused yet? You can track all of this on the titles tab of your options menu.

There are two task lists — Agyo and Ungyo — and you can switch between them with the R1 and L1 buttons when you’re on the titles tab. Their lists require different actions and grant different rewards.

You use Agyo and Ungyo prestige points to purchase upgrades and buffs to your abilities by clicking on the prestige summary on this screen. You can get things like increases in the amount of gold you pick up or decreases to the amount of damage you take from a fall.

The next level of puzzles.

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