There are so many items in Nioh. A lot of them are pretty self-explanatory — like grenades or talismans — but there are a few items that become invaluable to you as you take on harder and harder levels. We’ve broken this down into a few broad categories of things that are going to help you out early on — things to take a couple shortcuts to familiarity (see our Nioh beginner's guide for more on weapon familiarity) and things to get you out of sticky situations.
Items to increase familiarity
We wrote about the benefits of familiarity in our beginner’s guide — it improves your ability to fight with a weapon by unlocking special effects, it makes the item more valuable when offering it at a shrine and it makes soul matching at the blacksmith more beneficial. What if there were a way to get those benefits without all of the work? Uchiko powder and whetstones are your answer. Uchiko powder gives you a temporary boost to familiarity. Whetstones permanently increase your familiarity with all of your currently equipped weapons. You’ll pick up these items during missions — either from smashing crates or dropped by enemies.
Items to return to shrines
Maybe you’ve gotten in over your head. Maybe you’re just not ready to face what’s coming next. But you’re also not sure how to get back to the last shrine you saw. There are two items that will return you to the last shrine you prayed at — the harakari sword and the travel amulet. The harakari sword sacrifices your amrita to get you there, the travel amulet doesn’t. We’ve only picked up one harakari sword — as a standalone item in a cave near the end of the "Isle of Demons" mission — but have found several travel amulets as enemy item drops.
Items to return to the starting point
If you’ve started on a mission that is clearly above your skill level, you’re not stuck. The himorogi fragment and branch operate like the harakari sword and travel amulet (the fragment sacrifices your amrita, the branch doesn’t). They return you to the starting point instead of a shrine. You’ll receive both of these items as rewards for completing early missions and then start finding them in crate and enemy drops in later missions.
Items to reclaim grave goods
When you fall in battle and your spirit guardian and amrita are waiting out there for you, you have another choice beyond sacrificing your amrita to recall your spirit guardian or fighting your way back to your grave. If you burn a summoner’s candle, it’ll return both your spirit guardian and your amrita to you without any hassle. You will pick these up as enemy drops early on — usually a really tough yokai — and start finding them as drops later.
Book of reincarnation
The book of reincarnation is an item you can buy from Tome the blacksmith. Using it will reset all of your skill points and all of the stats you’ve upgraded during leveling up. It’ll reset your character level to 1 and give you back all of the skill points and amrita you’ve spent so far. This is a way to completely reset all of those points you’ve put into your character and let your redistribute them — giving you a total do-over.
You only get to use each book once, but you can purchase more than one copy — at an increasing cost each time. The first copy will cost you 10,000 gold, the second will cost 30,000.