Nioh bosses guide

Nioh bosses guide DEFAULT

Nioh: How to Beat Onryoki (Boss Guide)

Throughout the course of Nioh players will have to go toe to toe with a huge number of deadly enemies. Much like the legendary Dark Souls series, Nioh pits players against seemingly insurmountable odds at every turn and forces them to determine the best way to come out on top. Each enemy will require that players know exactly what the best way to bring their enemies down is.

Related: How to Change Your Appearance in Nioh 2: Complete Edition

Where things become even more interesting though is when Nioh gets players to face off against one of its many different bosses. These enemies are massively powerful and have unique abilities that make them particularly difficult to bring down. One such boss is Onryoki, which is an early game boss that serves as something of a test for new players to throw themselves at. Bringing this boss down is no easy feat, so this guide is here to show players how exactly to defeat Onryoki.

Nioh: How to Defeat Onryoki

Players will go up against Onryoki, who is a very powerful Yokai, for the very first time at the end of the second mission of the game. The boss also appears in a couple of side missions, but during those fights, his attacks remain the same and the player is much stronger, so dealing with him should be simpler. This first fight though is incredibly difficult and tends to weed out players who are new to the game or genre as a whole. The first thing that players will want to do when fighting this boss is pick the weapon that they think they are best at using. It may be helpful to use a weapon that has a faster attack speed or slightly longer reach, but really as long as the player is comfortable with their weapon it will be fine. The player will want to keep whatever weapon they choose though in Low Stance and only attack Onryoki from behind. Attacking the boss from the front is always a bad idea because it gives him more opportunity to deal damage and avoiding attacks from here is extremely difficult. Another thing for players to keep in mind is that they should try to save their Living Weapon until the second stage of the fight, as the boss becomes much more aggressive during this segment, so they will want to end the fight sooner here.

The only way to win this fight is to take things slow and do not get greedy with attacks. Onryoki has a ridiculous range in both phases of the fight and is capable of dealing a huge amount of damage, so players should focus on staying away from his weapons whenever possible. During the first phase, he has two attacks that the player can exploit to deal damage. His first is he will pick up his two stone spheres and slam them down on the ground. The player should step backward away from these and then rush behind him to attack. The other attack is Onryoki's spin attack where he grabs the chains attached to the weapons and spins the spheres in a giant circle. This attack will absolutely ruin a player, so they will want to stay outside of the range of it and rush behind the boss as soon as they see an opening. In both instances, the player will want to dish out two heavy attacks on Onryoki's back and then run away as quickly as possible before the boss decides to initiate another spin attack. If they can't get away in time they can throw up their block, which will be broken by the attack and they must then hope that Onryoki doesn't decide to immediately attack again.

The main game plan for this part of the fight is not to deplete Onryoki's health, but rather to deplete his Ki bar instead. Once the player fully depletes the Ki bar they will be able to stun Onryoki until the bar regenerates, which means that they are able to rush in and attack at full force to bring his health bar down considerably. Depending on the player's speed and the weapon that they are using they can possibly bring Onryoki down to half health, which ends the first phase of the fight. If not then they will just need to repeat the process until the first phase has ended. Once down they should prepare themselves for the harder half of the fight.

Once Onryoki's health bar has hit the halfway point, the chains holding the stone spheres will break. Turns out that these powerful weapons were also a hindrance for the boss, so he now becomes much faster and more aggressive than before. Fighting against the boss now will require that the player remain very vigilant. Rather than swinging his weapons around, Onryoki will now resort to rushing straight at the player to deal damage. His melee attacks consist of swinging his arms back and forth or slamming onto the ground right on top of the player. Both of these attacks are quick and deal huge damage, so the player will want to avoid at all costs. The trick is to stay just outside of his attack range before dodging backward when he goes to attack. As soon as he finishes attacking the player will want to rush in, swing their weapon a couple of times, and then quickly sprint away. They then just have to keep this up for a bit.

The biggest thing to worry about during the second phase though is that occasionally Onryoki will walk over to pick up on his detached weapons. This means that he is about to throw it at the player, and if it makes contact it is capable of killing some low-level characters in one hit, and blocking it will break the player's guard and set them up to be finished off by a follow-up attack. The only way to avoid taking damage from this attack is to stand and wait for Onryoki to throw the sphere. At the last possible second the player will want to dodge left or right to avoid it hitting them. The throw has a certain level of tracking on it so if they dodge too early it will follow them and still make contact. As soon as the player dodges they will want to ready themselves though for a follow-up melee attack.

Players should wait until their Living Weapon is fully charged and Onryoki is running low on Ki. As soon as the Ki bar is nearly depleted the player can activate their Living Weapon and deplete Onryoki's Ki bar. This will stun the boss and allow the player to maximize the amount of damage that they can deal with the boss. They should try to hit him with everything they have and hope that they can bring him down entirely right here. If not they will need to follow the same strategy to whittle his health all the way down. Either way, the player will just need to keep it up and they will defeat Onryoki down in no time at all.

Next: Nioh 2: Where to Find The Cat-Like Scampuss Yokai (& What They Do)

Niohcan be played on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.


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About The Author
Cody Peterson (951 Articles Published)

Cody Peterson is an avid reader and writer. Graduated from Midwestern State University with a BA in English where he worked as an editor for the University literary journal. Currently a freelancer for Screenrant, where he spends most of his time writing guides or reviews. Be warned that any conversation started with him will probably wind up gravitating towards his two dogs, The Adventure Zone, or Kingdom Hearts 2.

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Nioh boss guide - strategies, weaknesses and tips for some of your toughest foes

Nioh is tough all the way, but the bosses are where things really get interesting.


Table of contents

Derrick the Executioner




Tachibana Muneshige

Great Centipede




White Tiger

Giant Toad


Nioh is quite a bit more than just Dark Souls with samurai - it's a convincing blend of the action-packed combat Team Ninja made its name for with Ninja Gaiden with some of the RPG structure and challenging difficulty that made the Souls series great.

If that sounds like it's going to be difficult, yes well - it sure is. You may find that you struggle more than with a Dark Souls game, thanks to the demanding action and a lack of chese strategies, and Ninja Gaiden fans may in turn be at a loss as to how to leverage the game's obscure systems to best effect.

If you're hit a wall, you should check our Nioh guide for general combat tips and strategies - but on this page we'll be talking about the stumbling block that's going to drive most Nioh players to screaming frustration - the bosses.

Nioh's bosses are massive, epic encounters, and you're sure to die to a few times before learning their patterns and fighting style - eventually turning that back against them.

Some of the bosses in Nioh are deliberate difficulty gates. You need to learn how to really play Nioh, understanding how it differs both from Dark Souls and more classic action games, in order to proceed. For example, many players get through the first two bosses with a bit of effort, but run smack into Hino-enma, AKA Learn To Block 101. These lessons will really help you in the broader game; you'll have a much better time in normal encounters once you master Nioh's many foibles.

To help you work out what those lessons are, we've put together a guide to the bosses in the game. Under each entry we go into a little detail on each boss, talking about their move sets, their strengths and weaknesses, ways you might be able to catch them out or cheese them, and even a few tips on recommended weapons and stances for each battle.

We don't cover every boss in the game here, but if you can make it that far, you'll be well-prepared to tackle everything Nioh throws at you. We believe in you.

Needless to say, there'll be spoilers of boss names and strategies on this page.


Derrick the Executioner - Tower of London (Mission Level 1)

This first boss battle is really about as simple as they come, since it's the battle that tops off the starting area. It's really designed to test your knowledge from throughout the prologue level, which is basically a lengthy disguised tutorial for what the rest of the game will be.

The good news is that Derrick is big and lumbering, meaning all of his moves have pretty obvious tells and wind-ups as you approach him. The basic strategy here is to make Derrick whiff: dodge his heavy attacks, and when he swings and spectacularly misses that's your cue to get in there and lay on some hits to do some damage. At this point in the game you'll have a lot less weapon choice, so allow us to make a base suggestion: use the battle axe. It'll smash him.

Eventually he'll transfer into a second phase (because of course he does), you'll want to hang back a bit. He'll charge at you like a big ol' idiot, and once again you can sidestep him and get in on him while he's open from his ill-considered dash towards you to attack. Keep this up and he'll go down quickly enough.


Onryoki - Isle of Demons (Mission Level 5)

After old Derrick, second boss Onryoki might well be viewed as the first 'true' boss of the game. He's an enormous demon that swings chain balls around - and even if you're blocking, you really want to ideally avoid being hit by them. If you're not blocking it's going to really, really hurt. As such, this is a test of dodging as much as it is of offence, and it can be a humbling test indeed.

Your basic strategy for this battle should be to walk in a little closer and wait for him to swing the balls about wildly. Eventually he'll slam his balls into the ground, baited (hur hur) - just don't get hit (great advice, I know) and watch out for the second ball, which he sometimes uses to sweep the area. Once he's stopped swinging, dash in and lay on some pain and as he recovers dodge back. This is the rhythm for the fight: let him swing his weapon about wildly, and when he tires and comes to a point where he's forced to stop, dash in and hit him as much as you can while remaining safe.

Elements of this boss might frustrate, but one gets the impression that the developers intend this as a deliberate skill-check on your ability to dodge. Die a few times if you must - what's important is to learn the tells in Onryoki's animation to have an idea of when he's going to attack. Dodge carefully. We found the low stance was best for this battle thanks to its dodge speed and stamina/ki savings.

If things go really badly wrong you might find some healing items in the boxes in the room, so smash them or goad him into doing so. Eventually you'll get the chance to break the chains to detach his balls - do that. This is basically phase two now: instead of swinging them, he'll pick up the balls and throw them at you. Dodge if this happens, but also try to keep him from them, but beware of his stubby but very powerful attacks at close-range. Pretty soon he'll drop.


Hino-enma - Deep in the Shadows (Mission Level 12)

Hino-enma is found in the third chapter of Nioh's main story in a mission titled Deep in the Shadows and is the third boss you're likely to face. This boss is found inside a cave, and in a cutscene this yokai will swing down from the rafters. She has wings, and, yes - she can fly. That makes things a little more complicated, though I actually found her quite a bit easier than Onryoki.

She basically has two types of attacks - projectile attacks that aim to hit you with either spikes or a blast of wind, or a dash to you that body-slams you. For most of the battle she'll be at a distance and so these will be your primary worries, but if she gets in close she has a few different close-quarters attacks too. Generally speaking, you want to keep her at range at first and then try to lock her down once you close the distance. Spears are great for this battle thanks to their enhanced reach over other options.

The ultimate key is to avoid her projectile attacks. These things are deadly and can lead you from full strength to death in a matter of seconds - but they're also well choreographed, with Hino-enma's animation making well clear what she's up to before she does it. Dodge and block.

The best bet is to wait for one of her dashing body slam attacks. Avoid it, using low stance to have the fastest available dodge. Switch stances once she's close by and strafe around her, aiming to launch an attack each time your strafing and dodging causes her to whiff. Only get as close as you need to for your weapon to make contact - get too close and she'll be far more likely to catch you. Eventually, she'll be downed.


Nue - The Spirit Stone Slumbers (Mission Level 19)

Nue is Nioh's fourth boss and is an enormous yokai that is a mangled mix of several types of animal. It can fly and spit lightning and poison at you - it's a deadly one. As with Hino-enma for this encounter we recommend a spear so that you can snipe damage off Nue here and there without getting caught up in its attacks by being too close. Use low stance so that you have the maximum ability to move and dodge at speed.

The key here is to wait for Nue to use its lightning or poison attacks; when it does, dodge about to the side and get in to attack. The lightning and poison attacks lock Nue down for some time, giving you plenty of time to get in, let rip some combos, then retreat before the beast is able to raise its defences once more

Once Nue takes enough damage that its Ki is depleted, then is a good time to deploy your Guardian Spirit and really go to town. Go nuts, and if you're aggressive enough this beast won't even have the time to recover from its depleted Ki state.

A second non-boss/non-compulsory Nue appears in the mission 'The Demon of Mount Hiei', if you want to try your luck a second time.


Tachibana Muneshige - The Spirit Stone Slumbers (Mission Level 19)

Tachibana Muneshige is the second boss in The Spirit Stone Slumbers main mission and is the sixth boss in Nioh's main story progression. He's also just a dude, something we haven't seen since lumbering old Derrick. Tachibana is also encountered as part of the side mission 'An Invitation from the Warrior of the West', and much of what we write here applies to that (admittedly harder) encounter with him.

Given that this is a one-on-one duel, it's unsurprisingly about defence as much as offense. Try to dodge rather than block, and when you manage to dodge and force him to whiff one of his attacks, get in and counter hard. While in previous boss fights we've recommended low stance for speed, here we'd recommend medium - it allows you to dodge but medium stance's heavy attacks are an ideal damage-dealer for this encounter. The spear or sword both seemed to work great in equal measure for this encounter, though given that he's not the fastest to recover the spear allows for a little more distance for safety's sake.

Once he's out of ki, you'll want to knock him over and perform a ground attack on him (Triangle) to really deal massive damage. Ultimately this isn't too challenging a fight, and the dodge-and-weave dance that you end up doing is reminiscent of Derrick.


Great Centipede - The Silver Mine Writhes (Mission Level 27)

Seventh on Nioh's list of deadly main story bosses is the Great Centipede, and this boss is... pretty much exactly what you'd expect based on its name. That goes for how gross it is too, for better or worse...

The first phase of this boss is pretty simple - get in close and attack its legs. That's the weak point. For this I used low stance with a sword, essentially getting in close and slicing and dicing like a mad-man. If it dashes at you with its pincers, don't worry too much about dodging - just block instead and then kite around to attack the legs. The Great Centipede also rears up; if it does, be ready to dodge to the side as it slams back down to the ground.

The key trick for this fight is to try to always remain behind this boss; block an incoming pincer or slam attack, then dodge around to the rear of the centipede and go to town on its legs. It'll turn to face you and rear up for one of its attacks - when it does, block, then again dodge back around behind it. Follow this basic rhythm for the entire fight and though while challenging the Great Centipede won't really get a chance to deploy its nastiest, dirtiest tricks and will soon enough fall.


Umi-bozu - The Ocean Roars Again (Mission Level 38)

An Umi-bozu is a yokai that lives in the water, sinking ships out in calm seas. They're gigantic, and gross, and kind of difficult to see - which helps it to stalk the oceans. William has to slay one to continue with his quest, so let's get to that...

First thing's first: throughout The Ocean Roars Again mission you're going to find bonfires. There are three in total, and you want to make sure that you set each of the bonfires burning. If you haven't done that in the mission, backtrack and do so. Lightning the bonfires will mean that you won't have to fight a bunch of grunt enemies at the same time as Umi-bozu, which will be something of a life saver considering this boss really requires you to focus on him.

If you have access to talismans or Fire Magic, these should be your go-to attacks. A fire talisman paired with a weapon in low stance for speedy attacks can lead to a fast whittling of his health bar. The rules of previous fights still apply in general: hit Umi-bozu when it's vulnerable and then back off and prepare to dodge and weave if necessary. This boss is powerful but also isn't all that threatening so long as you watch carefully in order to predict its movements.

At around a third health remaining Umi-bozu will transfer to its second 'form'. This second phase of the boss fight puts it into the middle of the arena, where it'll spam out powerful attacks. These attacks are harder to dodge, so you may want to consider switching stances and blocking more often instead. Dodge when you can. Keep picking away, and eventually it'll be stunned by the damage dealt. When that happens, pop your living weapon and go in for the kill.

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Joro-Gumo - Spider Nest Castle (Mission Level 47)

Well... I hope you don't suffer from arachnophobia. Joro-Gumo is a gigantic spider-like boss that has a bit of a feminine look that really does nothing to distract from the fact that, yeah, she's a giant spider. As a result you can expect spider-legs, speediness, and a number of legs that can be used to lash out at you. This one is a bit of a pain.

Joro-Gumo has a few attacks you need to watch out for. First off, there's a body slam where she'll swing her bulbous rear around and try to slam you with it. The primary way to avoid this one is to always keep your distance when you're not attacking and be ready to dodge backwards, away from her. Previous distance-based boss advice stands here - the spear is pretty great for this thanks to its long reach, plus firearms and bows.

When Joro-Gumo arches her back, you can be sure she's ready to start trying to ensnare you in webs. This attack has some wind-up, so use this as an opportunity to dodge away and try to get behind her. This attack is a must-avoid generally anyway, since it's pretty nasty, but the fact it winds up for a while means you can use it to get behind her, where there's a glowing weak point. If you're a distance away, and more often than not at the start of the fight, she'll also perform a lunge attack - so beware of that.

Joro-Gumo actually doesn't have much health, but when her health drops she becomes extremely aggressive. Try not to let this throw you off - instead, double down on the same strategy of dodging and waiting for your chance to get behind her with occasional sniping rifle or bow shots from the front. When you manage to get behind, let rip with your guardian spirit and try to take her out swiftly.


Yuki-onna - Falling Snow (Mission Level 55)

Yuki-onna looks like trouble. Something about those ice bosses... I don't like 'em, and this literal ice queen is quite deadly. Honestly, this boss battle plays out not dissimilar to Joro-Gumo above, except Yuki-onna is quite a bit more deadly and aggressive. She's on the more fragile side health-wise, but that didn't actually help me too much - I died quite a bit on this one.

Once again trying to keep some of your distance is key, though it's a bit harder with Yuki-onna. She's a smaller target and she also wields a lance of her own, so even if you use the spear to pick on her from a mid-range distance you're still in dancer of being hit. With that said, keep your distance and use your ranged options: start first with your rifle, then your bow, and only switch to your spear or sword if things get desperate ammunition-wise.

A chance will come to get in close - which is when Yuki-onna performs her ice-based projectile moves or stomps the floor, creating a ring of ice around her. You must be careful not to be too close when she does this, but immediately afterwards get in close! She remains frozen in place after these moves in a sort of cool-down (none of these puns are intentional, promise) and that's your chance to get in close and do some damage.

As with the previous boss in her powered-up second phase once she hits half-health you really should be scared. The first half of the battle should be a mix of projectiles and that dash-in, slice, escape flow, but for the second half I'd recommend you stay away and finish her off with your ranged weapons - she's just too deadly up close and personal.


White Tiger - The Demon of Mount Hiei (Mission Level 62)

Something about the White Tiger gives me flashes of a few different Dark Souls bosses, or indeed the Chimera in Dragon's Dogma. As with a lot of these four-legged creature bosses the main way to stay out of harms way is to stay relatively close to them, but keeping to the side or immediately behind them so that they can barely see them and so their forward-facing attacks whiff entirely.

If you get into this sort of position around the White Tiger the only attack you really need to be hugely wary of is a big full turn the White Tiger can do to turn and face the opposite direction. His wings can also lash out on the sides, though these tend to be quite telegraphed and so you have time to block or dodge them. Other attacks all come from the front, including a few projectile-based attacks. If you're behind these won't be a big worry.

Earlier in this level there was a chance to fight a non-story Nue, a boss enemy from earlier in the game. There's a similarity between the two. Use low stance to remain nimble and try to always remain on the sides or behind the White Tiger. Once the White Tiger reaches around half health you should think about popping your living weapon - like most bosses it powers up and gets a little more intense, but if you catch it with the living weapon nice and early you won't have to concern yourself with its powered-up form. Compared to the last two bosses I found this one to be a bit of a doddle.


Giant Toad - The Iga Escape (Mission Level 70)

Listen. The Giant Toad doesn't mess about. Just look at that name: he's a giant toad. His name is giant toad. What of it? He also smokes a pipe, so, y'know... Giant Toad smoking a pipe is probably the coolest boss in this guide. He's massive. He hits hard.

Because he hits hard, he's a slow, lumbering type but his attacks are absolutely awful to eat, even if you're blocking. So... the tip here is don't get hit. Obvious, I know, but the Giant Toad's attacks are actually easier to dodge than many of the bosses in the game thanks to his sluggish speed and how telegraphed his moves are. We'd advise you stick to low stance for maximum movement, but use whatever weapon you fancy - here it doesn't make much of a difference.

the Giant Toad has a lunging forwards attack and a jump in the air that slams back down, so watch out for both of these. Dodge these attacks, get behind him and keep hitting. Once you are behind him, he's very likely to do the jump-then-slam move, which is ideal - dodge back, let him slam down, then dart back in for more hits.

I was able to keep this up for pretty much the whole fight, though given his slow speed I imagine ranged weapons are also a very viable option. Don't forget to pop your living weapon when his health gets low to burst down the final section of his life.


Ogress - Memories of Death-Lilies (Mission Level 78)

The Ogress is a woman who died while full of hate, resulting in her transformation into a yokai. While it's easy to feel sympathetic for her, this is not a battle where you'll want to go in soft.

Don't be fooled by the Ogress's relatively slow movement speed; she has a few sudden moves that will catch you unawares if you've become comfortable dodging or blocking later rather than sooner. Of particular note is her jump attack, as unexpected as it is deadly. It's complicated by a little bit of hang time; you'll want to wait till she starts to fall before evading.

When you're on the attack, you need to be conservative - a few hits and then a hasty retreat and re-positioning. This is because the Ogress will pull out that jump move on you if you hammer away at her for too long.

When the Ogress lashes out, dodging left will usually get you out of trouble; follow up by running in for a few hits before backing out to rinse and repeat. This fight is very much reliant on dodge, so stick to Low stance - unless you're feeling really brave and want to go for Mid, but don't risk High. Regardless, settle in for a war of attrition, and stick to Light attacks.

Things get tougher at the one-third health mark as the Ogress begins to use more frequent and further-reaching jump attacks. The timing of these attacks is difficult to master, and it's way too easy to dodge too early. You'll want a stack of potions, because even after a few tries these jumps will still take you by surprise.

Luckily, you don't need to survive this state for long. Once you find an opening, use the living weapon to finish the Ogress off.

We're done holding your hand. If you've made it through to the Ogress in Nioh and aren't ready to stand on your own feet, well - it's time to get out there and git gud.

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Nioh - Bosses Strategy Guide Summary

Nioh and Nioh 2 (including all DLCs) are also bundled in the Nioh Collection on PS5.

In Nioh, Bosses often emerge near the end of a certain Mission. These serve as each Mission’s final test of skill as Bosses employ very interesting combat styles which require strict timing, pattern recognition, tactics and endurance to defeat.

Boss Strategy Guide Summary

Below is a list of all bosses encountered in Nioh, including their stats, and basic strategies on how to beat them.

Derrick the Executioner

Encountered: Prologue Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Get to the side to carefully dodge his attacks then pierce through with the Axe.

Once he activates his second form, time correctly and dodge any incoming attacks by strafing to the side. Attack him whenever there’s an opportunity and quickly step back, rinse and repeat.


Encountered: Isle of Demons Mission

Boss Strategy: Immediately move to his back as he is about to strike, then connect as much damage as you can. Perform the block whenever he swings his chain.


Encountered: Deep in the Shadows Mission

Boss Strategy: Repeat the same strategy of dodging using the side as she closes in since if she catches you paralyzed, her follow up will kill you instantly. Maintain a good distance and dodge to the side. It is recommended to arm with the Spear due to its long reach. Dodge and wait until she fails to connect a combo, then strike her since she becomes vulnerable to multiple hits.


Encountered: Spirit Stone Slumbers Mission

Boss Strategy: When she is about to unleash its poison or lightning moves, immediately execute a barrage to the left side of her head. The best stance to adapt is Low Stance in conjunction with the Spear. She will eventually weaken, depleting her of any remaining Ki, therefore call upon the Guardian Spirit and finish her off.

Tachibana Muneshige

Encountered: Spirit Stone Slumbers Mission, An Invitation from the Warrior of the West Sub Mission

Boss Strategy: Step back whenever he attempts to strike you, this makes him whiff, enabling you to punish him with a combination of High Stance/ Mid Stance strikes. He will eventually run out of Ki, making him prone to getting downed, when this happens press Triangle. Rinse and repeat.

Great Centipede

Encountered: Chugoku, The Silver Mine Wreathes Main Mission

Boss Strategy: The strategy against its First Phase is to dodge its attacks and striking its legs immediately.

The second phase is similar to the Onryoki boss in which you need to reach for its back and deliver several quick blows on its legs. Perform a block when its about to strike with its mouth so that you only suffer less damage. Repeat the same process of avoiding its mouth and it will eventually go down.


Encountered: The Ocean Roars Again Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Prepare the 3 evil warding bonfires prior to engaging it in battle.

Equip the fast weapon, the dual katanas then keep a low stance. For the First Phase, since Umi-bozu appears for only a brief duration, immediately go after it and strike it with light attacks. Dodge by approaching it since it dispatches more harmful long-ranged moves than short ones.

The Second Phase activates once it hits 1/3 of its health. It will beckon you to fight on the platform. The dodge timing becomes more strict this time, so be wary whenever it will unleash its attacks. Continue to deliver light low stance attacks, then finally finish it off with a combo once it becomes stunned.


Encountered: Falling Snow Main Mission

Boss Strategy: The best weapon to use are Ranged such as Bows and Rifles. She differs from most bosses given her mediocre health. If you prefer to use Close Quarters Combat, take advantage of side dodging as she launches projectiles, then stay back from the ice Area of Effect, to which you should immediately follow up with several strikes while she’s vulnerable.

When you have dealt severe damage, she suddenly becomes more aggressive, making her prone to Ranged attacks. However, when the opportunity presents itself, execute the Guardian Spirit.


Encountered: Spider Nest Castle Main Mission

Boss Strategy: When she performs her attack, dodge and get behind her then strike her weak point which is indicated by the glowing portion. Land several hits until she turns around, then avoid her attacks and strike her front and strafe to dodge as you go.

White Tiger

Encountered: The Demon of Mount Hiei Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Evade and quickly strike its rear. Be wary of his speed and execute low stance. He is similar to Yuki-Onna due to his low health, therefore time right and perform the Guardian Spirit.

Giant Toad

Encountered: The Iga Escape Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Do not underestimate the sluggish Giant Toad as it can one-shot you. It is recommended to time correctly and dodge its slow attacks, then quickly land blows on its back. Retreat whenever it springs upwards. If it prepares its spear, immediately approach it then land some hits. The key to baiting it to perform the spring attack is to get behind it. When it has weakened, it will start throwing bombs. Get close to it, and it will fail to hit you. When it’s health is at 1/3rd, perform the Guardian Spirit.


Encountered: Memories of Death-Lilies Main Mission

Boss Strategy: If you remember the strategy to defeating Onryoki, this will be similar. This fight will require executing the low stance coupled with some fancy footwork. Get back, then reach for the left when she attempts to strike you. Deal several slashes on her side. Stick to the left to maximize your chances of avoiding any of her attacks. If she manages to jump, retreat to avoid suffering from the AoE. When she has weakened, she will begin to perform even longer reaching jumps which are more accurate than her previous attacks. Finally, call upon the Guardian Spirit to end the battle.

Honda Tadakatsu

Encountered: The Defiled Castle Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Focus on breaking the 3 purple crystals in the arena. Another way is by performing the Guardian Spirit immediately.


Encountered: The Defiled Castle Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Use side dodges whenever she tries to launch projectiles or starts a combo. Arm the spear and use mid stance to deal damage. One of the best skills to use is the spearfall skill which you could land while she’s in a tight corner. Execute a ground finisher for major damage.

Saika Magoichi

Encountered: Immortal Flame Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Equip dual katanas and use low stance. Execute a chain with your weapon, then stop the combo just before the gauge becomes empty. When he starts abusing his aerial dash, perform side dodges and attack him while he’s vulnerable, you may opt to use the Guardian Spirit to knock him down easier.

Otani Yoshitsugu

Encountered: Sekigahara Main Mission

Boss Strategy: The initial round is easy since he doesn’t do much damage. However, be cautious once his swords are imbued with a light blue color since there’s a possibility you will get knocked out by one shot. Shift to low stance each time his swords are glowing so that you dodge better.

Shima Sakon

Encountered: Sekigahara Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Shima is a spear wielder who specializes in high stance spear combat. Watch closely whenever he tries to slam his spear since this gives you the chance to attack him. There are some environmental hazards that can disrupt his pattern too, so it’s best to add those to your strategy.

Similar in function to the Living Weapon, his own weapon may also glow, thus you should continue to strafe left and right, keep whittling him down while being mindful of your Ki gauge.


Encountered: The Source of Evil Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Obtain the item needed to alter the red crystals’ color, these will provide you an easier time to deal with the Gasha-dokuro later on. As soon as the battle commences, strike the glowing portion of its hands or feet, this gives you a chance to incapacitate it. After destroying one, immediately reach for the peak of the hill, then deliver as much blows to its head as you can before it regains consciousness. Repeat this process about 4 times.

The activated Living Weapon also functions very well given that it will replenish due to the orange crystals.

Ishida Mitsunari

Encountered: A Defiled Holy Mountain Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Wield the Spear at mid stance, this provides you a chance to attack him and maximizes your chances of avoiding his katana. If you are far from him, be wary and dodge his projectiles. Attack him with strong spear attacks in order to remove his Ki, once it reaches 0, perform a finisher or launch a strong combo to end the battle.

Obsidian Samurai

Encountered: The Samurai from Sawayama Main Mission

Boss Strategy: The strategy against its First Phase is to dodge its attacks and striking its legs immediately.

The second phase is similar to the Onryoki boss in which you need to reach for its back and deliver several quick blows on its legs. Perform a block when its about to strike with its mouth so that you only suffer less damage. Repeat the same process of avoiding its mouth and it will eventually go down.

Oda Nobunaga

Encountered: The Demon King Revealed Main Mission

Boss Strategy: A Mid stance spear works very well due to its respectable reach. It also maximizes your chances of dodging as opposed to other close-range weapons. Dealing at most 3 heavy strikes should whittle him down to a manageable health (~1/4), finish him off with the Living Weapon.

Edward Kelley

Encountered: The Demon King Revealed Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Be wary of the short and long range attacks dealt by his Guardian Spirit. One of his more deadly attacks is when he uses the shield, thus maintain some distance before closing in. Deal some chip damage using the Mid stance Spear. When his Ki is fully depleted, perform some heavy attacks to until he finally goes down.

Ii Naomasa

Encountered: The Red Oni of the Ii Sub Mission

Boss Strategy: The best way to handle Naomasa is to execute the Spearfall Skill at max Ki gauge using the High Stance. This enables you to have some excess Ki to dodge his retaliations. Prepare a ground finisher to strike him while he’s temporarily incapacitated to deal even more damage. Rinse and repeat to finally close the battle.

Marume Nagayoshi

Encountered: Way of the Warrior: Adept Master Mission

Boss Strategy: Prepare with the Mid stance. Play defensively, when he staggers, deliver a heavy strike, this shortens his Ki. Repeat this process until his Ki gauge worsens, then assume a more offensive tactic. By the time he drops to the ground, unleash an attack for some chip damage, take advantage of the instance when he becomes vulnerable and he will soon meet his end.

Hattori Hanzo

Encountered:The Way of the Ninja: Veteran Master Mission

Boss Strategy: The best weapon to equip for this battle are fast Weapons. Perform the low stance for this battle. Dodge the incoming hit, then quickly reach for his back and deliver a heavy blow. His guard will eventually be worn out, making him even more vulnerable to heavy strikes. Continue with the same tactic and he will soon fall.


Encountered:The Demon King Revealed Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Focus on one of the 5 heads at a time and deliver some combos as soon as the battle begins. Whenever it attempts to rotate its head, back away and do a quick roll if necessary to maximize your chances of evading any potential damage. Repeat this process to each head and it will eventually perish. Note that the order of each element per head in a clockwise fashion is: Wind, Water, Lightning, Fire then finally Earth.

Hundred Eyes

Encountered: Epilogue Main Mission

Boss Strategy: Deemed as the ‘true final boss’ of Nioh, battling him requires aiming for his weakness, the rear. Before anything else, a fire enchanted weapon with magic buffs work excellently against this boss. Thus, employ a similar strategy as when you fought the Great Centipede, with the exception of moving faster for this match. You might want to defeat each of the summoned eyes that deal projectile laser damage, but if you eliminate all but 1, it will be easier to just strike Hundred Eyes himself since he’s vulnerable.

Crystal projectiles is one move you should be wary of since if you make a mistake, it’s game over. Unleash the Living Weapon when he summons the eye lasers for the second time. Keep hitting his back and he will soon be defeated.

Ranking the Nioh Bosses from Easiest to Hardest [#15-1]

Nioh: How to Beat Every Boss | Tips, Tricks & Strategies Guide

Tired of getting killed by the seemingly endless array of Yokai, Oni, Tengu, and other crazy Japanese mythological monsters in Nioh? We know your pain. Here, we’re going to break down all the best strategies to defeat these hulking behemoths.

Team Ninja purposefully avoided making Nioh easy — and they succeeded with flying colors. This is a hardcore action game through-and-through, and if you’re not prepared to die (and die a whole lot) then this game is going to be one long series of frustrations. Ritual seppuku isn’t the answer. Just keep scrolling down for a few tips, tricks, and secrets that just might help.

More Nioh guides, walkthroughs and secrets on Gameranx:

How to Defeat Every Boss | Locations, Strategies & Secrets Guide

[Complete!: All major bosses are now accounted for.]

Derrik, the Executioner

  • Location: Tower of London – Fight to the outside of the the tower and take the stairs up into the secondary building with the shrine. From the Shrine, reach the spiral staircase to encounter Derek.
  • Tips:

Derrik is the first battle, and isn’t to hard if you’re quick on your feet. Shed all that heavy armor and use light / medium gear to keep your improved quickstep. Derrik’s most common attacks are a three-hit quick combo, and a charge attack. Dodge away from the quick combo, and at a distance when Derrik charges forward, wait for his swing then attack him from the side / behind. Get in a few hits after each attack to defeat Derrick’s first form.

Second Form:

This is when the real battle begins. Derrick turns into a giant creature, moves faster, and has far more HP. His attacks are slightly altered, but he still uses two basic, common attacks.

  • Two-Hit Combo Axe: Derrick swings his axe twice. This is faster and wider than his previous combo,
  • Axe Charge: Exactly the same as before. He charges forward — simply quick-step out of his way.

The second form works like a longer version of the previous form. If you want to be especially safe, hang back and wait around the tower walls. When Derrick charges, you can easily get in 2-3 attacks before retreating. Only attack after his charge to be completely safe.

Once you take Derrick down to about 60% health, you’ll unlock the Living Weapon attack. Press [Circle+Triangle] to activate Living Weapon and instantly defeat Derrick.



  • Location: Isle of Demons – Get the Residence Key in the house with the Oni demon that appears, then fight through the burning village down to the beach. The boss activates as you approach the bandit ship. Don’t forget to circle up the hill path to the right of the ship to unlock a shortcut from the burning village shrine.
  • Tips:

Onryoki is the first true challenge and roadblock in Nioh. This isn’t an easy battle, and you’ll need to learn the art of Ki Burst.

  • Ki Burst [Tap R1] has two functions: you can instantly recover scratch-stamina use, and it will dispel demonic shadows. Learning how to use Ki Burst will make this battle manageable.

It helps to learn about the demonic shadow spots — these areas slow your stamina regeneration to a crawl. But, there’s a benefit to these spots; your stamina use is much, much lower while you attack while immersed in a shadow spot. That means you can attack more often before your stamina gauge is empty.

If you’re really good, you can swoop into a shadow spot, unleash a flurry of attacks, then hit Ki Burst to recover your stamina instantly AND dispel the shadow at the same time. This is a risky maneuver, but it’s also really, really cool to pull off.

First Form:

In its form form, Onryoki wields two massive balls on chains, launching spinning attacks that are especially annoying to dodge. Don’t try to dodge away, instead dodge toward the chains to slip through safely. If you dodge away, you’re bound to get caught inside the chain’s hitbox.

  • Chain Swing [Left]: His standard attack, unleashed when he faces you. Watch the arms to predict which direction the chains will come from.
  • Chain Swing [Right]: Usually unleashed when you’re attacking from behind or the side. This attack swings around, and is a little slowed than the [Left], which inadvertently makes it kind of tricky to dodge through.
  • Chain Slam [Forward]: The safest attack, this forward-slam is easy to weave around and attack Onryoki from behind. Simply dodge left or right and attack while Onryoki tries to recover.

The trick to this fight is taking it slow. Wait for his forward-facing slam attack, hit him from behind with 1-2-3 combo attacks, then retreat before Onryoki retaliates with another chain swing attack.

Second Form:

Once Onryoki is down to about 60%, he changes form. His chains break off, and he’ll begin to attack with his claws only. Both iron balls will still be on the battlefield, and Onryoki likes to grab the heavy weights and pitch them at you. He’ll also begin summoning shadow spots in the arena, and he can summon more than one at a time.

  • Ground Claw: A simple claw attack. Swings his arm forward and down. Short-range but quick. Usually follows up with a Ground Pound, so don’t try to attack!
  • Shadow Ground Pound: This is a primary attack, usually coming after his basic claw swing. He’ll jump and pound both fists into the ground, summoning a shadow spot. He can do this attack more than once in a row (with a short pause between attacks) and summon multiple shadow spots. Make sure you dispel those!
  • Iron Ball Throw: The two iron balls will remain in the area. When Onryoki gets close to one, he’ll retrieve and bowl it directly at the player. Dodge left or right, he telegraphs the attack far in advance.

The trick of this battle is just realizing those shadow spots aren’t as dangerous as they look. If you can use Ki Burst properly, they’ll help you attack Onryoki even more. Wait until after a single Ground Claw or Ground Pound, then attack. Just be prepared for another Ground Pound. If you’re fighting near an iron ball, Onryoki will almost always retreat to get the iron ball, so you can usually count on that.

It’s all about patience and attacking when you have an opening. Onryoki looks much more intimidating than he really is. Just watch his attacks to get a feel for his openings, and know that Ki Burst will give you enough stamina to quick-step away after you’ve spent all your stamina on an attack chain.


  • Location: Deep in the Shadows – Very straightforward, just follow the main path in the caverns down to the second Shrine. Continue down into the bat cave until you reach a large chamber with dead bodies hanging from the ceiling. Drop into the arena to initiate the boss.
  • Tips:

This boss is fast, though most of her attacks can be dodged if you’re fast with the quick-step button. Fighting Hino-Enma is all about knowing when she’ll attack, while on the ground, and responding accordingly. Despite some annoyances (like her flight), Hino-enma doesn’t dish out damage like Onryoki, making this kind-of a breather boss.

  • Basic Swipes (4x Combo): Hino-enma’s basic strikes come in different forms. She’ll either attack once, or continue the chain into a combo.
  • Blood-Sucking Grapple: This is one attack you want to avoid. When she throws out both hands to “hug” you, roll away. It’s very short-range, so if you use a long-sword or spear, it’s an easy attack to escape.
  • Flight Charge: She’ll fly directly toward you. This can be unleashed both while she’s on the ground or while flying. She’ll pause after whiffing the attack, making this a good chance to hit her from behind.
  • Kunai Throw (Flying): While in the air, Hino-enma will throw three kunai in an arc. Not too dangerous, and can be blocked or dodged.
  • Sonic Blast (Flying): Best to dodge this powerful energy blast.

Hino-enma is quick, and she doesn’t expend her stamina fast like other fast-paced human bosses. During her basic combo, she’ll also summon Yokai Realms, so be prepared to dispel these areas, or only attack when you know you’re safe from taking damage.

A spear can be pretty useful in this fight. She’s too quick to easily circle around, so most of your attacks will need to follow a pause in her pattern. Strike after her swings, especially right after a charge or a spinning combo.

Annoyingly, there’s really nothing you can do while she’s flying. Continue to circle-strafe around her and dodge as she unleashes attacks. Eventually, she’ll charge and leave herself open.


  • Location: The Spirit Stone Slumbers – You’ll find this boss through the locked East Gate. Get the key by following the wall to the left of the gate. There’s a corpse with the key beyond the shrine-like structure in the dead-end.
  • Tips:

Nue is an electricity-spewed four-legged monster. He has some serious stamina weaknesses you can exploit, but the instant lighting strikes that land around the front of the monster’s face can easily overwhelm the unprepared. Be ready to attack Nue’s exposed sides.

  • Two-Claw Swipe: A basic attack. It lunges forward and swings both claws. Nue recovers fast from this one.
  • Tail Spin: The simple spin attack is too slow to dodge directly through. Retreat instead.
  • Electricity Arc: With its mouth open, Nue will shoot out a lance of electricity from it’s jaws. It slowly arcs, giving you time to attack the side of the torso, or even swipe the side of the head.
  • Lightning Summon: When Nue roars, a series of lightning strikes will track you. They land almost instantly, so be prepared to keep moving. They don’t track you very well, so you’ll dodge as long as you’re moving.

The best time to attack Nue is during the electricity arc attack. It always starts on your right. Quickly rush forward and hit the left shoulder / left side of Nue. This is a good time to drain Nue’s stamina with kicks or by removing the Yokai Realm circles. Demons can only recover health in a Yokai Realm, just try to avoid taking damage while you’re in one of those circles.

While at range, Nue will sometimes call down lightning strikes. This is a good time to charge forward and strike Nue’s sides. If you’re lucky, you can wedge yourself between Nue’s legs on the left and continuously attack, while Nue tries to move, he’ll sometimes take your player character with him. While stuck, Nue can (basically) only use the Lightning Summon roar to get you off.

Always attack and circle strafe to the left, and rush in for a long attack combo when Nue uses the electricity arc, which can also be interrupted. If you’re standing in a Yokai Realm, you’ll be able to keep attacking while Nue is interrupted, then Ki Burst to escape before Nue summons more lightning.

Tachibana Muneshige

  • Location: The Spirit Stone Slumbers – Deep in the catacombs, you’ll find a helper NPC at the third underground shrine. She’ll lead you to the final boss of this mission.
  • Tips:

Tachibana Muneshige is a 1-vs-1 duel, and like you, he’s very susceptible to stamina loss. More than any of the previous bosses, you can exploit the Samurai’s low stamina, stun him, and land a killing blow. The kick attack is especially useful here, able to completely stun him when he’s on the brink of losing his last bit of stamina.

Exploiting Muneshige’s low stamina is our favorite way to beat the boss. It puts him on the defensive, and even with all those cool attacks, it leaves him very vulnerable to follow-up attacks. With all that said, he’s the fastest and most challenging boss yet. This is a “fair” fight — he’s human with some enhancements, just like you. Just don’t let him grab you with his glowing red hand!

  • Katana Strikes: His basic attack is just like your’s — unpredictable and very fast. Be prepared to dodge or block at any moment, and be ready for multiple attacks in a row. Thankfully, the more he attacks, the more stamina he drains from his gauge.
  • Sword Buff: Between attacks, Muneshige will charge his sword with spiritual power. You can interrupt this buff while it is summoned. If you’re in a good position, swoop in and stop him. It’s only temporary though, so you can always outlast the effects.
  • Arrow Shot: At range, Muneshige will shoot an arrow at you. Like his other attacks, it’s very fast. Watch for his crouch and dodge when the bow appears in his hands.
  • Red Hand Grapple: If you’re standing close, blocking, the boss is blocking, he’ll often attempt to grab you. This is slow but extremely powerful. Dodge away to escape.

Use the central pillars to keep the boss away while his sword is buffed. He’ll often use up his stamina attempting to attack, and he’ll get caught on the pillar. When he’s low, that’s when you want to get aggressive. Even if he blocks, strong attacks will drain his stamina, and kicks will do wonders. Use a Killing Blow when he’s stunned or stab him on the ground, then follow-up with an attack or two while he’s getting up.

Great Centipede

  • Location: The Silver Mine Writhes – The silver mine is mostly linear. Starting from the top, you’ll move down, clearing gas with filtration devices. Past the Central Mine door (find the key on the ledge to the right) you’ll reach the second shrine. Unlock the shortcut door and drop into the area below.
  • Tips:

This massive boss looks more intimidating than it really is. With only a few attacks and no form change, it’s all about patience as you whittle down the monster’s health and avoid falling into the poisonous gas pit. The safest place to do most of the fighting is right next to the filtration machine — it only works temporarily.

  • Poison Gas Spit: The creature rears back and spits a poison gas cloud. Small radius, easy to dodge. Watch for the centipede’s direction, it will track you perfectly until it spits.
  • Paralyzing Spit: Exactly like the poison gas attack, except that the spit will temporarily paralyze the player. If you’re far enough away, it’s possible to recover before the centipede can attack you while you’re vulnerable.
  • Head Slam: A basic attack. The centipede rears back and slams its head down on the ground. Slow and easy to read. It will pause after launching the attack, giving you time to get in some quick slashes.

You can attack the lengthy tail of the creature. It only takes a few attacks to completely sever the tail, making it easier to attack the centipede’s back. Keep circling and roll to avoid the poison spit attacks. The centipede is surprisingly quick, and most of the damage you take will come from the centipede simply stampeding into you.

The best time to attack is when the centipede completes a head slam. Like all other enemies, the centipede can also exhaust itself by using all of its stamina. When it retreats to collect the missing segments of the tail, that’s a good time to use a powerful drop attack.

It’s much easier to circle-strafe behind the centipede in the lower level, but you’ll only have a short amount of time to fight until the poison gas returns. You can also cycle around the area, running up the ramp and using the filtration device, then dropping down to fight the boss.


  • Location: The Ocean Roars Again – Found very early in the area. After crossing the rickety makeshift bridges, you’ll reach a raised platform that leads out to a dock with a Yokai Realm and an impressive door. The door leads into the boss battle.
  • Tips:

Umi-bozu is a tough opponent — it might be the toughest boss yet. There are two ways you can prepare before going inside the arena. 1) Light all three bonfires to stop Umi-bozu’s minions from spawning in the area. 2) Prepare fire buff Jutsu or collect fire amulets. Umi-bozu is very weak to fire — use weapons with the low stance to deal as much damage as possible to really lower its health fast. Each strike is infused fire if you buff.

NOTE: See the three bonfires around the arena? Interact to “Touch Your Weapon To The Fire” and give the an instant fire buff. That makes the boss MUCH easier.

First Form:

The massive water-based Umi-bozu only has a handful of attacks. Stay close and use the bonfires to buff your weapons, and this monster will fall quickly.

  • Tentacle Slam: The creature will use either two tentacles or one. It doesn’t matter how many it uses if you’re standing right next to the boss. It can’t hit you at close range.
  • Debris Blast: A simple blast of debris. It can launch fast, so be sure to dodge even if you’re in close range.
  • Water Geiser: This sustained beam is the most dangerous attack. Watch for Umi-bozu to take a deep breath, then dash and run to the side. After the attack, you’ll have time to strike back at the exposed core.

Use the bonfires to bring Umi-Bozu’s health down fast, stay close, and you’ll take down this form.

Second Form:

After doing enough damage, Umi-Bozu will jump out of the water and attack from the center of the arena. This time you’ll want to keep your distance. Circle around, and wait for the creature to attack with its core.

It will slam the exposed core forward, giving you time to attack. Use your Spirit Guardian and light your sword on fire to easily take care of this form. Just ignore the extra enemies that spawn, they’re too slow to give you much trouble anyway.

Save your Guardian Spirit and Fire Talismans for this part of the fight — and don’t forget about lighting you sword with the bonfires to finish this boss off for good.


  • Location: The Spider Nest Castle – Get the Castle Gates Key from the back-right room of the large residence, then climb to the top of the castle keep to face off against this spider-woman.
  • Tips:

Joro-Gumo is all about using her spider-webs to catch you in a trap. Watch out for her spit attacks, leaving behind large spots of webbing that will slow your character down to a crawl when trying to cross it. Try to avoid the webs, and you should be fine for this battle.

  • Spiderweb Spray: A close range attack. Keep moving to avoid the deadly webs. It can be blocked.
  • Claw 2-Hit Combo: Basic attack, it swipes with two claws at very close-range. Easy to dodge around and attack the back once or twice mid-combo.
  • Claw Grab: A slow grab with two front claws — easy to dodge, and gives you time to attack the weak back of the spider.
  • Lunge: A simple forward lunge. Dash around to the weak backside of the boss and attack right after it attemps to lunge. You’ll have a few seconds to get in some hits.

Hit her back enough, and Joro-Gumo will attempt to shield its back and turtle. This is actually a good time to attack — swipe at the sides of the monster, staying closer to the front, and it really can’t do anything to you at all. Just keep attacking! It may attempt to spin, but you can roll away from the slow attack safely. It’s so slow in its defensive form, it can barely fight back.

Eventually it will switch back and begin dropping more webs on the ground. If you can avoid those webs, you shouldn’t have too many problems with this battle.


  • Location: Falling Snow – Kill the butterfly swarms to destroy the crystal to access the right side, near the first Shrine, then go through the back-right hole in the temple wall to find a path that eventually leads to the main temple of this snowy labyrinth.
  • Tips:

Tougher than Joro-Gumo, this ice-based woman is faster and stronger in almost every way. She uses a variety of different ice projectiles, and her deadly knife lunge can’t be blocked. Let’s start with that attack.

  • Knife Lunge: This unblockable knife attack always begins as Yuki twirls her staff, producing a smaller knife. Just as she swoops toward you, dodge away. The timing needs to be just right to avoid it. If you can avoid it consistently, this is a very good time to attack her. She’ll pause after a missed knife lunge, giving you time to strike back.
  • Ice Projectiles: She uses multiple different ice projectiles — one type shoots straight forward, one in an arc, and one in a chain-like machine-gun burst. You can block many of these, but that will drain your stamina and leave you vulnerable for follow-up knife lunges. Best to dodge! Dashing left or right often works, as well.
  • Ice Burst: This area-of-effect attack almost always follows after you finish attacking you. Quickly retreat out of the ice area range when she stomps her foot down. Easy to dodge, just make sure you have enough stamina left to escape.

Her attacks also include a simple two-hit combo that leaves her over-extended and easy to retaliate with a hit of your own. Her ice-breath is easy to dodge but she recovers fast, same with her staff throw.

She’s weak to fire, so fire-based Guardian Spirits and Fire Talismans will help to make this furious battle end a little faster. Learning how to dodge that knife lunge is a priority, but otherwise she doesn’t present an extreme threat. Another boss to kill and move on.

White Tiger

  • Location: The Demon of Mount Hiei – Found through the final temple doors.
  • Tips:

White Tiger might be a giant four-legged demon, but it moves fast. Strafe left and always attempt to attack the bright yellow weak point on White Tiger’s eye.

  • Basic Claw: A simple single swipe with one claw (left or right) — dodge to the left and attack the side after these attacks, you’ll have time to get in a few hits. There aren’t many opportunities to attack White Tiger. This is one of the better times to strike.
  • Tail Spin: If you’re attacking the back / side too much, White Tiger will use an area-of-effect spin attack. Dodge away from White Tiger to escape.
  • Eye Beam: One of the deadlier attacks, watch for the glow in White Tiger’s eye. It will flash, then a beam will launch forward and track you. Dash to avoid it. If you’re close and can avoid it, use this as another strong opportunity to attack.

You’ll have to be aggressive to win this duel. Attack after basic claw swipes (rush to the monster’s sides) or wait until it uses an Eye Beam to punish it while the beam is still moving in an arc. White Tiger also uses dash charges and thrown projectiles like other encounters.

Giant Toad

  • Location: The Iga Escape – Enter the upside-down ninja house and reach the frog room, then backtrack through the rightside-up structure to reach the Giant Toad ninja.
  • Tips:

Even with its massive size, the Giant Toad fights almost like a human opponent — it’s fast, agile, and comes equipped with some killer Ninja tricks. Stay behind him, strike, and retreat before it uses a ground pound. When it lunges forward, you can also attack him from behind. Low Stance will help here, but Normal Stance is quick enough to do plenty of damage.

  • Forward Lunge: This is the attack you’ll want to bait. Stay at about medium-range and the Giant Toad will slide forward, thrusting his spear and leaving his back completely exposed while he recovers. If you can dodge, you’ll have plenty of chances to attack.
  • Ground Pound: Leaps in the air and smashes down. Used when you’re around the Toad’s back. Dodge away to avoid it, it has a small area-of-effect.
  • Spear Combo: The spear combo is surprisingly wide, but if you dodge through the first two attacks, you’ll find the Toad’s back is open once again. Just watch out for the final attack — it automatically changes directions to face you and slams down with the spear.

At the last third of the battle, the Giant Toad will begin using explosive bombs. If you want to avoid this hassle, save your Spirit Guardian power and unleash the Living Weapon to finish the boss for good.


  • Location: Memories of Death-Lilies
  • Tips:

The Ogress is a massive opponent with a few dangerous attacks you’ll need to look out for — especially her hard-to-predict jump attacks. She’ll use giant elongated claws to strike, and shoot fire-breath in a wide arc.

  • Claw Swipe: Dodge left to avoid this close-range claw attack, then follow-up with some attacks of your own. Like most bosses, she’ll respond in one of two ways — a short-range AOE stomp, or jumping away.
  • Yokai Grapple: Watch for the Ogress’ hands to shimmer with Yokai Realm energy. She’ll fly forward and attempt to grapple you, dealing huge damage in the process. It’s a slow attack, so dodge and dash to escape.
  • Jump Stomp: At close-range or far away, the Ogress will leap and stomp onto the ground. It only damages if you’re touching her. She’ll unleash these more often as the battle progresses.
  • Fire Breath: Dangerous at medium-range, but a good time to punish the Ogress if you’re close. Unleash a flurry of attacks on her side while she’s stuck in the fire-spewing animation.

The Ogress’ most annoying attack is the jump stomp, and she’ll keep using it late in the fight. If you can drop her stamina to 0, use your Living Weapon to take down her health fast in the final stages. Otherwise, try to bait her claw swipes or fire breath. Dodge left and attack her side while she recovers from those attacks, and you’ll be able to take her down.

Honda Tadakatsu

  • Location: The Defiled Castle – Found through the first double doors in the castle exterior, after exiting the sewers.
  • Tips:

One of the easiest bosses in Nioh. You don’t even need to fight him — as the battle begins, look for the three large purple crystals in the arena. Destroy all three to instantly complete this fight. Go in with a full Spirit Guardian and use Living Weapon to wipe out all three crystals.


  • Location: The Defiled Castle – At the top of the castle keep.
  • Tips:

Another 1 vs 1 battle, this time you’ll be fighting a possessed Okatsu. She’s quick, but won’t do much damage per attack. The trick is to drain her Ki meter and unleash heavy attacks while she’s stunned or on the ground after breaking her guard. She’s relentless, and careless with her stamina. Dodge (rather than block) to retain most of your stamina and strike back when she’s vulnerable.

  • Charged Strike: She’ll brandish her knife before launching forward to stab you. Easy to read as she telegraphs, but the actual attack is very fast. Dodge left or right to avoid. After powering up, she’ll bounce into the air and launch a second charged strike — don’t let it catch you.
  • Flip: Stay locked-on, as she’ll often flip directly behind you. If she retreats with flips, don’t bother chasing her. Wait for Okatsu to come to you. Attack her when she’s near — she always guards, but you can quickly sap her stamina with a kick or heavy strikes.
  • Wall-Jump: After powering up, she’ll often use the wall-jump attack. She’ll retreat and cling to the side of a wall before flying directly forward. As the battle goes on, she’ll use this attack more frequently — sometimes multiple times in a row. Very similar to the charged strike, and she’ll transition from the wall-jump into the charged strike, or vice versa, pretty often.
  • Kunai Throw: At medium-range, Okatsu throws an arc of kunai. These are low damage projectiles, but they’re a little tricky to dodge. Either dodge forward through the wave of knives, or block.

This battle is all about managing Okatsu’s speed, and striking when you can to drain her Ki faster. Most of your damage in this battle comes from performing Killing Blow finishers — either when she’s knocked down or stunned when her guard is broken.

Saika Magoichi

  • Location: Immortal Flame
  • Tips:

At the top of the burning castle, you’ll encounter this flying, rifle-wielding ninja. He’s fast, powerful, and extremely deadly. Before attempting this battle, prepare Shuriken / Kunai at the Shrine. Saika likes to fly, and when he does, he’ll drop bombs, throw darts or fire his rifle.

You can completely stop him with a single projectile throw — when he’s flying, toss a Shuriken or Kunai to knock him down. Often, you can knock him down into the fire, adding some extra damage.

  • Blade Strike: Simple light strikes. This is a good time to attack — dodge and strike him in the back while his chain continues.
  • Heavy Strike: He’ll end his combos with this jump-attack. Dodge and hit him in the back.
  • Spirit Guardian Wave / Charge: When he summons his Spirit Guardian, it will attempt to chase you with a few homing charges, or shoot a wide energy beam.
  • Rifle Shots: Saika will fire his rifle three times in a row, or once while flying.
  • Explosive Bombs: If you’re standing under Saika, he’ll throw a wave of bombs. Surprisingly, these don’t cost much stamina to block.

While flying, Saika will also attempt to grab you from above. This battle is all about patience. Block and don’t over extend yourself, Saika will punish you if you run low on Ki, but there’s not a whole lot he can do — most of his long-range attacks can be blocked easily, but do heavy damage if they land.

Saika also doesn’t have a ton of HP, so there’s no need to rush him. Spend some time collecting extra Elixirs, and you should be able to outlast him.

Otani Yoshitsugu

  • Location: Sekigahara – In the first camp.
  • Tips:

Yet another flying boss, this tricky half-man, half-Yokai creature uses double blades, moves fast, and causes problems with his self-buff. Wait until Otani stabs himself with both blades — while he’s buffing his attacks, he’s vulnerable to attacks.

The trick to this fight is: when he buffs, dodge around his attacks and avoid until he drains all of his Ki. He’ll rapidly waste his bar of Ki and stun himself if you can land a kick or strong attack. He’s fast, but vulnerable to Killing Blows. Don’t try to engage him when buffed either — his attacks are all enhanced, so his sword swings become projectiles. He does more damage, and blocking drains more of your Ki.

Let Otani wear himself out and attack when he’s drained. When he isn’t buffed, exchange attacks after he over-extends with combos or sword lunges.

Shima Sakon

  • Location: Sekigahara – Second camp.
  • Tips:

Unlike the previous battle, this boss is 100% natural. He won’t transform or unleash any special powers — not counting his Spirit Guardian ability. That means the Kick ability will do wonders in this battle. Kick after each attack string to drain his stamina and set this guy up for a killing blow — just stay back when he charges his spear with his Spirit Guardian.

  • Grapple: Very close range, avoid when you’re close to him or he’ll hit you with an unblockable grab.
  • Whirlwind Strike: Watch as Shima twirls his spear in the air before slamming back down. Very powerful, but clearly telegraphed.
  • Living Weapon: Like you, Shima can infuse his spear with magic power. This effect only lasts a short amount of time, but he’ll use it often during the fight — usually about 3 times. Don’t let him catch you without Ki here, or he’ll tear you to shreds.

At this point, battles like this should be almost routine. It isn’t until the very next mission that you’ll encounter something completely new.


  • Location: The Source of Evil – Available right at the start of the mission. Don’t fight him yet!
  • Tips:

Gasha-dokuro looks intimidating, and he is, so don’t rush into a fight with the giant unprepared! Instead of entering his arena, talk to the NPC near the first Shrine and find all three red Amrita Crystals to weaken the massive boss. After converting a lage crystal, Gasha-dokura will focus on you. Take cover until your NPC helper distracts the skeleton with a cannon.

Activating the Amrita Crystals will reveal glowing spots in the arena that recharges your Living Weapon rapidly. That will help a lot during the fight — attack the glowing Amrita weak spots on the giant’s feet (and hands) until it is stunned. When stunned, the skeleton’ lays its head on the hill above. Rush up to the top of the crate and start attacking the head to do more damage. Unleash your Living Weapon during these periods.

  • Giant Stomp: Simple — the foot stomps down while you’re attacking.
  • Tail Spin: Harder to dodge. The entire skeleton spins, so it can land hits with its walking feet or the spinning tail. Both are pretty slow, so retreat and dodge through the tail. Roll toward the spin instead of away from it.

Keep up this rhythm for maximum safety: use your Living Weapon to attack the feet until it is stunned, rush up and attack the head, then recharge your Living Weapon at one of the glowing spots. Rinse and repeat until the giant create is finally defeated.

Ishida Mitsunari

  • Location: A Defiled Holy Mountain
  • Tips:

Right at the start, Ishida’s sword is charged with energy! This is a temporary effect, and makes all of Ishida’s attacks more powerful. It also makes his weapon launch blades of long-range energy whenever he swings his sword. Basically, it’s better to hang back and dodge until this effect dissipates.

  • Living Weapon: When Ishida charges his Living Weapon, stay back! Let him waste the energy, don’t try to engage — he’ll launch ranged attacks from his normal sword swings. Back off and dodge to escape the blades.

Ishida speeds up as the fight continues — using his Living Weapon more frequently. He’s a Yokai, and will summon Yokai Realms to recharge Ki. Like any one-vs-one, human vs. human boss, he’s very susceptible to stunning from lack of stamina. Use kicks and heavy guard breaks while avoiding his Living Weapon. He’ll drain plenty of Ki while unleashing barrages of attacks.

Like other bosses, save your Living Weapon for the final stretch of the fight. When he’s down to about 20% health, unleash your own Living Weapon and finish this boss off for good.

Obsidian Samurai

  • Location: The Samurai from Sawayama
  • Tips:

The Obsidian Samurai is a powerful opponent that does something new — he switches weapons mid-battle. He carries two types; the Giant Axe and Dual-Katanas, though he prefers (and starts with) the Giant Axe. It’s powerful, but at this point you should have no problem dodging most of the Giant Axe’s attacks. The Samurai isn’t a magical opponent, so this is a pretty straight duel, although there are some attacks you’ll need to watch out for.

  • Giant Axe [Weapon Switch]: Slow but powerful. Starts with wide swings and ends combos with a small vertical jump-strike. He’ll also spin straight toward you — block or dodge left or right. Don’t stay close too long or he’ll grab you for a devastating throw.
  • Dual-Katanas [Weapon Switch]: Much more difficult to avoid. Be less aggressive while he uses these katanas and wait until he switches back to the Axe. He will when some time has passed.

Wait to attack when the Giant Axe slams down on the ground after a combo. You’ll have a few seconds to get in 2-3 attacks. Do it whenever he’s vulnerable, and keep up the attacks between his combos to rapidly drain his Ki. He’ll use it fast! Like other human bosses, you can get in lots of damage by stunning his with a guard break then using a Killing Blow while he’s on his knee or on the ground.

Oda Nobunaga

  • Location: The Demon King Revealed
  • Tips:

The Overlord isn’t happy about being resurrected, and uses every type of elemental ability. Mid-battle, he swaps elements and takes on new powers, making him hard to predict at times. There’s no element you can take advantage of in this fight, so don’t bother creating a special loadout — thankfully, Oda doesn’t need to be 100% killed. He admits defeat when he’s low on health.

  • Element Switch: Oda swaps between different Elements and gains new attacks with each.
    • Lightning Strikes: Launches a series of lightning strikes from the sky. Keep moving to avoid this Nue-like tracking attack.
    • Ice Spikes: Like Oda’s wife, his ice element form launches five ice projectiles. Time your dodges or block the attacks, they’ll drain your Ki so watch out.
  • Spin Strike: A tough attack to dodge. He’ll spin rapidly and fly directly toward you, tracking you slightly. Dodge away or block to absorb.

No matter what element, Oda usually pauses after every attack, leaving himself open. Sometimes he’ll only use one attack, or he’ll launch into a combo that isn’t particularly fast. Wait for him to finish, then dive in for 2-3 heavy attacks, working in a few kicks. It’s easy to drain Oda’s Ki and stun him, unleashing your Killing Blow to really damage Oda. You should be able to get multiple Killing Blows in this fight.


  • Location: The Demon King Revealed
  • Tips:

This guy is more dangerous than he first appears. His most annoying attack is a grapple — he’ll walk toward you, then teleport directly forward and grab. This attack can drain 75% of your health, and it is completely unblockable. Thankfully, Kelley doesn’t have that much health, so this can be a short boss battle.

Like Oda Nobunage, this battle all hinges on draining Kelley’s Ki with heavy attacks and kicks. Unfortunately, his has a perfect guard. His red energy shield can’t be broken, so immediately retreat when he brings it up. Don’t bother trying to attack it.

  • Grapple: This annoying attack always comes after a teleport or after his red shield appears. Dodge away from it!
  • Amrita Stab: Instead of grabbing, sometimes Kelley will stab forward with a blade of Amrita after a teleport. This is far easier to dodge, and doesn’t do as much damage as the grapple.
  • Snake Guardian Spirit: Not difficult to escape, but when Kelley releases his snake spirit, run away until it dissipates. It will track you, so keep moving.

Kelley will slowly approach, either using basic sword-like combo attacks or teleporting forward and unleashing a stab / grapple. After a teleport (or a combo) he leaves himself open. Strike with heavy attacks and kicks after he whiffs, then strike while he’s stunned or on the ground to dish out most of your damage. Just remember to retreat when the red shield appears, and heal quickly if he gets you with a grapple.


  • Location: The Demon King Revealed
  • Tips:

The final boss requires plenty of patience, but it’s not too bad — just keep moving, wait for the snake heads to swipe at you before attacking. They like to hang back and use projectiles. When they do, they’re out of your melee attack range. Also, watch out for the evil Amrita circles in the area — you’ll take damage for attempting to remove the Yokai Realm. These are distinguished by their color. They aren’t just black and white!

Defeat the first head, and two more will appear. Defeat one of those heads, and all the heads will appear, surrounding the castle rooftop and attacking from all sides. Kill three and the center of the pagoda will be destroyed, making you pretty vulnerable to every single snake.

Start from the center and move counter-clockwise or clockwise so you’re never taking on more than two snake heads at once, and you’ll have room to retreat. The other heads will launch an endless stream of slow-moving projectiles. As long as you keep moving and don’t get bogged down in one area, you’ll be able to dodge most of these.

Wait to strike after the snake head has attempted to hit you with a swing or slam. Any snake melee attack will force the head to get closer to the rooftop, putting you in attack range. If it swings, you can also block — it will drain all your Ki, but it will recover before attacking more.

The snakes all have very low HP, so it only takes 2-3 openings to kill a single head. If you stun one, it’s easy to finish them off in a single combo.

When only one snake is left, it will be charged with the elemental energy from all the rest. It doesn’t have much more HP though, so follow the same strategy — stay back, bait a melee attack, then rush forward. Save your Living Weapon for this point in the fight to end things for good.


Hundred Eyes

  • Location: The Queen’s Eyes – This optional epilogue mission is only available after defeating Yamato-no-Orochi. You’ll return to the Tower of London and face the true villain of Nioh. Explore the basement of the tower to discover this villain’s secret chamber.
  • Tips:

Before we reach Hundred Eyes, there’s one challenge you’ll have to face — three Kelley “Hollow Men” before you can enter the boss arena. To make this battle slightly easier, break the two demon tubes to the left. One attack will activate the demon inside the tube — kill them both before moving forward to activate Kelley. After one appears, immediately retreat to fight it down the hallway. It will take longer for the other two to find you down here.

Kill one, then use Living Weapon to kill another. Then you should be able to finish off the last Kelley without dealing with multiples. This is literally one of the hardest challenges in the game, not counting other optional boss battle sub-missions. It’s the only way to earn the true ending.

Now for the true final battle — Hundred Eyes is vulnerable from behind. Try to attack its back, and dodge when it summons homing energy bolts. Watch out for his spin, and keep hammering him from behind to get plenty of relatively safe hits.

After taking a certain amount of damage, Hundred Eyes will shield himself and heal, summoning a swarm of small eyes that shoot weak projectiles. Quickly kill all the eyes (they only take one hit) before Hundred Eyes exits its shielded state.

Use your Living Weapon when you can, and trust your instincts. When you complete this boss, you’ll unlock the true ending of Nioh!

There are still plenty of bosses (and sub-missions) to experience in Nioh, but these are all the unique monsters. Everything else is a repeat, or a human. They’e still worth fighting, and some sub-missions feature crazy combinations of bosses. Only Nioh experts need apply.


Guide nioh bosses


Nioh - How To Beat Any Boss SUPER Easy


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