Nioh Guide: Elements and Elemental Effects Explained

We're a website for RPG fans, and that means most of you are pretty damn familiar with the concepts of element-based strengths and weaknesses and elemental attacks in games. They're pretty much an RPG staple, and Tecmo Koei's Souls-like samurai title Nioh is absolutely no exception: there are a few elements in the game, and they can be used to your advantage or by enemies against you.


Elements can be applied to weapons with items like talismans, or can also be targeted at enemies by making use of magic. There is a little catch, however - that being that Nioh's Elements aren't explained all that clearly in-game. What is each element? What does it do? Some, like Fire, are pretty obvious and do exactly what you'd expect, but others are a little different to what you'd expect and thus are a little more obtuse. Here's an explanation:

  • Fire: Fire Deals damage to enemies over time.
  • Water: The Water element raises how much damage enemies take from other attacks for a period of time after they've been hit with it.
  • Wind: Wind reduces the enemy's resistance to break and their ability to parry. Enemies afflicted by wind can be charged down more easily.
  • Lightning: Lightning slows the movement of enemies, meaning both their general movement is slow as well as their attacks and dodges.
  • Earth: This element doubles the Ki use of an enemy, making it far easier to exhaust them and leave them vulnerable to grapples and kicks.

There is also poison and paralysis, which are less an element and more a status effect. Paralysis does exactly what you'd expect, while poison is a far more potent version of the fire element status effect, slowlyt whittling away health.

We recommend you think about these elements carefully; deploying the right one against a boss or tough enemy can turn the tide, and their effects can be stacked for extra damage, such as hitting an enemy with Water and then hitting them with Fire, which increases the damage the fire element buff will do to the enemy over time. Experiment!

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