Nioh 2’s combat system is fiendishly complex, and the slightest mistake can cost you dearly. Before you start taking the fight to your foes, it’s worth making sure you know how to properly defend yourself. Here is how to parry & counter in Nioh 2.
How to Parry & Counter in Nioh 2
As veterans of the first game well know, negating incoming damage is essential to progression in Nioh 2. Many of the more monstrous Yokai you are going to come up against can kill you in just a few blows, so it is in your best interest to survive long enough to launch a counter-attack.
Aside from simply blocking (by holding L1), the best method of negation is simple dodging (by tapping X). Both consume Ki and are wholly dependent on it because running out during a crucial moment is usually fatal.
Another problem with dodging, in particular, is that it takes you away from your opponent. One of the toughest things for newcomers to wrap their head around is that the key to success is often to keep the pressure on your opponent, and only falling back when necessary.
There are two main methods for accomplishing this, depending on what you are fighting. Let’s take a look at each in-depth below:
Parrying is a tactic by which you deflect or block an incoming attack, and seize the momentum to put yourself into a position to launch an offensive one. It varies depending on the weapon used but normally a parry will position you behind or even above your opponent, ready to attack their weakest point.
A counter is virtually identical to a parry, except that you deal damage to your opponent in the process. They are virtually interchangeable as such, but you might prefer one to the other.
In Nioh 2, every weapon class has access to a parry or counter that can be unlocked through the Skill Customization menu. This means that you can’t use these techniques right off the bat, but you are able to unlock at least a basic parry with one or two skill points, so if prioritized can be done quite quickly.
Depending on the parry equipped, it will be mapped to either L1 + Square or L1+ Triangle. Timing is crucial here as the effective window is quite narrow, but you want to parry a split second before a foes blow strikes home. Note that Yokai and other monstrous foes attacks can’t be parried, and is only effective against human enemies. For Yokai, we use…
Burst Counter’s are new to Nioh 2, and they make for a much more fluid and combat experience. They are flashy attacks that are performed by pulling R2 + Square, and should only be used during a very specific circumstance.
When a Yokai is about to unleash a un-blockable attack, they will flash red as they prepare to attack. The Burst Counter is used to not only interrupt these hugely dangerous assaults but also to inflict a large amount of Ki damage in the process.
A Burst Counter costs one Anima to activate, so make sure to dodge out of the way if you are running low. You gain more Anima by attacking foes, so build some up when its a little safer to do so.
Depending on what kind of Guardian Spirit you have equipped, there are three different kinds of Burst Counters available to you.
The first is that of the Brute which is a straightforward attack that, if it connects, will interrupt and stop your opponent in their tracks. The hitbox is quite large and the timing is fairly generous, so this is probably the easiest of the three to get your head around.
The Feral’s Burst Counter is quite tricky, and I would recommend leaving it until you are familiar with the others. Essentially, you use it to dodge out of the way, leaving a ghost of yourself behind. If the attack makes contact with the ghost, it is interrupted, and you are free to launch a counterattack. Advanced players often use this to dodge human attacks as well, and to traverse environmental effects like fire or toxic pools.
The Phantom works very similarly to a parry or counter and interrupts a Yokai’s attack by performing it just before a blow hits. It is fairly simple to perform, and should be looked at as a more defensive version of the Brute’s Burst Attack, but is functionally quite similar.
That’s everything you need to know on how to parry and counter in Nioh 2. For more tips, tricks, and guides, you can have over to our guide wiki, search for Twinfinite, or have a browse through more of our coverage below.