Making use of the Living Weapon mechanic was one of the key elements to being successful at Nioh’s combat, and that feature gets expanded upon in Nioh 2. The basic Living Weapon feature is still present here, allowing you to become invincible for a short period of time while dealing more damage, but there’s a lot more to consider as well. Here’s how the Soul Core system works in Nioh 2.
Soul Cores Explained in Nioh 2
First off, Soul Cores are a new kind of key item that you can pick up from enemies in Nioh 2. The first one you’ll get is the Enki Core towards the end of the first mission, and you can attune it to your Guardian Spirit to enhance it even further.
From what we’ve played so far, it seems that every yokai-type enemy in the game has a chance of dropping their Soul Core, and you can imbue your Guardian Spirit with up to two of them as long as you have enough Attunement points for it. Every Soul Core in the game comes with various effects to help enhance your abilities in combat. Some can increase the equipment drop rate, while others may increase your Ki recovery speed.
However, the most prominent feature of these Cores is the active abilities that they come with. Every Core gives you a special attack that you can make use of in the game, and you can use them as long as you have enough Anima stored up.
If you take a look at the top left corner of your screen, you’ll see a purple gauge below your health and Ki. That’s your Anima gauge, and determines whether you can make use of your Core abilities.
How to Get Soul Cores in Nioh 2
As mentioned previously, Soul Cores have the potential to be dropped from all yokai-type enemies in the game. However, it’s worth noting that the drop rate seems to be pretty low, so you might have to spend some time farming for them if you want to collect them all.
It is possible to boost enemy drop rates by choosing the appropriate Kodama Blessing at the shrine, but for the most part, you’ll likely end up farming enemies for them.
How to Use Core Abilities
Before you can use your cool new abilities, you’ll first need to attune them to your Guardian Spirit. Whenever you pick up a Core, you can purify them by either interacting with a shrine or complete the mission you’re currently in.
Once you do so, the Cores will be purified, and you can start equipping them. While at a shrine, choose the Guardian Spirit option and select your currently equipped Spirit. From there, you can then choose which Cores you want to imbue. Once you’ve made your selection, you’re good to go.
While in combat, you can press the R2 button along with the triangle or square buttons to use the corresponding Core ability, depending on which Cores you have mapped to which button. As always, be sure to watch your Anima gauge to make sure you don’t spam everything all at once.
Managing Soul Cores in Nioh 2
As you play through Nioh 2, you’ll inevitably pick up multiple of the same Cores. There are a couple of things you can do with them. While at the shrine, choose the Manage Soul Cores option to see what you can do.
First off, you can strengthen an existing Soul Core with duplicates. This is a smart move if you have a Core with perks and effects that you really like, and you want to enhance it. The Fusion option will let you consume your duplicates and increase the rating of your preferred Core.
Secondly, you can make use of the Resting Rites option, which basically gets rid of any of your unwanted Cores. Doing this will reward you with Shiftling skill points to spend in your skill tree.