Nioh is a rock hard game. Though it's only been out for a week, it's already earned a reputation for being among the most challenging action games in years. Nioh's tough enough that even folks like me who found Dark Souls 3 too easy will struggle with some of its more devious bosses for hours on end. But Nioh isn't just hard. It's also deep. And with hundreds of thousands playing Team Ninja's samurai epic there are sure to be some secrets strategies that make Yokai-slaying significantly easier.

In particular, there are two ways fans have found to drastically reduce the difficulty of boss fights. Both involve magic.

As outlined by YouTuber FightinCowboy, one overpowered strategy is based around Sloth Talismans, an item that drastically slows down enemy attacks, thus making bosses significantly easier.

Here's how to acquire these OP items. After reaching the game's second region, you'll want to play a side-mission called The Ocean Roars Again. Complete this and you'll unlock the Adept Trial (i.e. tutorial) called The Way of the Onmyo: Adept. Upon finishing this trial you'll receive the ability to spawn with two Sloth Talismans upon praying at a shrine.

You'll need six Onmyo Magic skill points to unlock Sloth Talismans and they have a Jutsu cost of five, so you'll need to level that up a couple points as well. Still, this is a very minor investment in skill points/levels to unlock arguably the most over-powered exploit in the game.

Another arguably game-breaking strategy outlined by YouTuber PowerPyx relies on spamming Soulstones to stay in your invulnerable, extra damage-dealing Living Weapon mode.

Normally you can only activate your Living Weapon once in a blue moon. It's a few moments of brief respite as you whale on an enemy or boss after many minutes of deliberate combat. But Soulstones replenish your Living Weapon gauge immediately.

This strategy is a little riskier as Soulstones aren't exactly common and it's an easy tactic to mess up, as getting hit in Living Weapon mode may not reduce your HP, but it will cause the Living Weapon gauge to drain much fast.

PowerPyx recommended putting the bulk of your points into Spirit to help bolster your Living Weapons. Next to that, they found Body the most important stat (to raise spear damage and HP), while Magic too was useful for unlocking the Extraction and Pleiades Talismans, which make it so your foes bleed out Amrita with every hit that in turn recharges your Living Weapon.

They also recommended the aforementioned Sloth Talisman along with Talismans Carnage (to increases your attack damage), Weakness (to lower enemy defense), and Devigorate (to lower enemy attacks).

Combine all of these together and you can breeze through the game's hardest sub-missions, like the Level 141 A Meeting on the Other Shore, in no time. You can watch PowerPyx make it look easy with their Level 115 character (30 Body, 25 Magic, 75 Spirit) in the video above.

Of course these pro players make Nioh look easy. Try going in blind and you'll find yourself struggling something fierce. But it's a good kind of pain as Nioh is a stirring return to form for Team Ninja.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984. Based in Portland, OR he operates as Eurogamer's US news editor.

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