Game Info

Nioh Guardian Spirits Guide: how to unlock every Guardian Spirit in the game, and what each does

Guardian Spirits play a very important role in Nioh, Tecmo Koei's Souls-esque action RPG that landed on PlayStation earlier this year and just now arrived on PC with Nioh: Complete Edition. Guardian Spirits are especially important to the progress and survival of protagonist William in the game - not only do they provide passive stat bonuses, but they can be absolutely crucial during boss battles when you trigger their Living Weapon.

A Guardian Spirit's Living Weapon state is a special ability that makes you invulnerable against attacks while also imbuing your weapon with strong elemental damage. Your choice of Guardian Spirit will work in tandem with your wepaon choice, stat leveling, skill choice and character build in order to determine exactly how you play Nioh - so getting the right one for your play style or for a particular encounter is important. 

Not every Guardian Spirit is available to you from the get-go, so in this guide, we'll show you all of the Guardian Spirits along with how to unlock them. Collecting all of the Guardian Spirits will let you obtain the "Friend of Guardians" trophy. We will continue to update this list if there is any DLC that adds new ones, but for now this is the complete list. Of course, it goes without saying this will feature some spoilers, specifically mission names, so be mindful.

Need more Nioh help? Be sure to check out our other Nioh Guides:

Location and Stats of all Guardian Spirits

Here you'll find every Guardian Spirit listed, plus information on their effects in Living Blade and their passive Guardian Spirit Protection buffs. All of the stats listed here are based off their effect at level 1, but their effects do scale somewhat based on your level.

Atlas Bear - the bear guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "The Samurai from Sawayama"

Atlas Bear Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection - 20%
  • Increase Damage when Ki is Low
  • 150 Life Recovery With Grapple
  • +20 Vs. Lightning
  • +10% Close Combat Damage (Requires 21 Spirit)
  • Shorten Recovery Time (Out of Ki) (Requires 23 Spirit)

Atlas Bear Guardian Living Weapon Effects

  • +23% Attack Enhancement
  • 42 Lightning
  • 18.4s Usable Time
  • 1380 Might
  • Action - D+
  • Recovery - C
  • Tenacity - B+
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - C+

Aya-komori - the bat guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the sub mission "The Conspirators"

Aya-komori Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • +15% Unlimited Ninjitsu
  • +20 Vs. Paralysis Resistance
  • +12% Damage From Behind
  • 120 Life Recovery from Final Blow
  • Agility Damage Bonus (Req 15 Spirit) - A

Aya-komori Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +4% Attack Enhancement
  • +30 Wind
  • 23.4s Usable Time
  • 480 Might
  • Action - A
  • Recovery - A+
  • Tenacity - C-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A-

Daiba-washi - the hawk guardian spirit

Unlocked from the beginning, or by completing the sub mission "The Three Angry Gods"

Daiba-washi Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • 15% Evasion Ki Usage
  • +20% Equipment Drop Rate (Requires 6 Spirit)
  • +8% Quick Attack Damage (Requires 8 Spirit)
  • +40 Luck
  • +400 Luck Recovery after living weapon (Requires 11 Spirit)

Daiba-washi Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +5% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Wind
  • 17.2s Usable Time
  • 680 Might
  • Action - C+
  • Recovery - C+
  • Tenacity - D
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A+

Enko - the big cat guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the sub mission "The Red Oni of the Li"

Enko Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • 8% Strong Attack Ki Reduction
  • +15 Break
  • +12% Fire Damage
  • +25% Grapple Damage Luck
  • +13% Strong Attack Damage

Enko Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +22% Attack Enhancement
  • 42 Fire Wind
  • 19.1s Usable Time
  • 1400 Might
  • Action - C-
  • Recovery - B-
  • Tenacity - B+
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - C-

Fuse-ushi - the bull guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "Deep in the Shadows"

Fuse-ushi Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • +200 Life
  • +25% Recurrent Damage from Poison
  • +20% Guard Ki Reduction
  • +20 vs Poison Resistance
  • 30 Life Recovery from Amrita Absorption
  • +8% Quick Attack Damage (Requires 8 Spirit)
  • +40 Luck
  • +400 Luck Recovery after living weapon (Requires 11 Spirit)

Fuse-ushi Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +15% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Earth
  • 19s Usable Time
  • 1870 Might
  • Action - B+
  • Recovery - B+
  • Tenacity - C-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - D

Genbu - the turtle-serpent guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the sub mission "The Inheritance"

Genbu Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +30% Spirit Protection
  • +30% Dash Speed Redection
  • +B Change to Defense vs Magic 
  • +7.5% to Recieved Elemental Attack Damage
  • +75 Onmyo Magic Power

Genbu Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +5% Attack Enhancement
  • 42 Water
  • 17.6s Usable Time
  • 3000 Might
  • Action - B+
  • Recovery - B
  • Tenacity - C-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - D-

Gyokuto - the rabbit guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "Memories of Death-Lilies"

Gyokuto Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • +20% Elixir Effect on Recovery
  • +10% Dash Speed
  • +8% Low Attack Damage
  • +100 Luck (when using living weapon)
  • +75 Ninjitsu Power

Fuse-ushi Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +5% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Lightning
  • 18s Usable Time
  • 400 Might
  • Action - B
  • Recovery - B
  • Tenacity - C-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A-

Hi-nezumi - the rodent guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the sub mission "Heir to the Nioh"

Hi-nezumi Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • +50 Onmyo Magic Power
  • A+ Stealth
  • +20 Vs. Fire Resistance
  • +20% Close Combat Attack during Critical HP Status (requires 12 spirit)
  • +15% Unlimited Onmyo (Requires 15 Spirit)

Hi-nezumi Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +3% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Fire
  • 18.2s Usable Time
  • 400 Might
  • Action - B-
  • Recovery - A
  • Tenacity - C-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A+

Isonade - the shark guardian spirit

Unlocked from the beginning, or by completing the sub mission #8 - "The Three Angry Gods"

Isonade Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • Sense Enemies
  • +100 Life
  • 100 Close Combat Life Recovery (Requires 8 Spirit)
  • +9% Human Close Combat Damage (Requires 10 Spirit)
  • +10% Strong Attack Ki Reduction (Requires 11 Spirit)

Isonade Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +10% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Water
  • 22s Usable Time
  • 1400 Might
  • Action - B
  • Recovery - C
  • Tenacity - C
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - D

Itokuri - the spider guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "Spider Nest Castle"

Itokuri Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • +50 Luck
  • +30% Human Item Drop Rate
  • +16% Familiarity Bonus
  • +30% Yokai Item Drop Rate
  • +30 Paralysis

Itokuri Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +7% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Earth
  • 19.8s Usable Time
  • 600 Might
  • Action - B
  • Recovery - C
  • Tenacity - D
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A+

Izuna - the fox guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "A Defiled Holy Mountain"

Izuna Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • 25 Amrita earned from Strong Attacks
  • +8% Amrita
  • +10% Close Combat Attack Ki Reduction
  • +15% Wind Damage
  • Auto Life Recovery After Living Weapon (requires 22 spirit)

Izuna Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +5% Attack Enhancement
  • 42 Wind
  • 21s Usable Time
  • 1400 Might
  • Action - A-
  • Recovery - C+
  • Tenacity - C+
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - D

Kara-jishi - the canine guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "Sekigahara"

Kara-jishi Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • Increase Attack (Skill)
  • 20% Guard Ki Reduction 
  • +12% Lightning Damage
  • +20 Ki
  • +15 Skill Life Dream (requires 21 spirit)

Kara-jishi Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +22% Attack Enhancement
  • 42 Lightning
  • 18.8s Usable Time
  • 1550 Might
  • Action - C
  • Recovery - D-
  • Tenacity - B-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - D

Kato - the fire wolf guardian spirit

Unlocked from the beginning, or by completing the sub mission "The Three Angry Gods"

Kato Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • +5% Close Combat Attack
  • +10 Ki
  • +20% Ki Recovery Speed
  • 20% Close Combat Attack Ki Reduction when HP is Critical
  • +15% Skill Damage

Kato Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +20% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Fire
  • 15.8s Usable Time
  • 1280 Might
  • Action - C
  • Recovery - A-
  • Tenacity - A-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - C+

Mizuchi - the dragon guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the sub mission #4 - "Kanbei and the Overlord"

Mizuchi Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • A Enemies Defeated Damage Bonus
  • +15% Gold Earned
  • Amrita Sense
  • +20 Vs. Water Resistance (requires 11 spirit)
  • +12.5% Amrita Earned (requires 13 spirit)

Mizuchi Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +7% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Water
  • 18s Usable Time
  • 700 Might
  • Action - B-
  • Recovery - B
  • Tenacity - B
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - C+

Narikama Tanuki - the raccoon guardian spirit

Unlocked after reaching the fourth region Sekigahara

Narikama Tanuki Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • 50% Retrieve Lost Amrita
  • +20 Vs. Earth Resistance
  • +25% Unlimited Elixir
  • +10% Strong Attack Damage
  • Auto Life Recovery in Critical State

Narikama Tanuki Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +20% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Earth
  • 20.4s Usable Time
  • 2050 Might
  • Action - C+
  • Recovery - A+
  • Tenacity - A-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - D

Paired Raiken - the pair of dog guardian spirits

An upgraded version of Raiken unlocked after completing the sub mission #4 "Invitational from the Warrior of the West"

Paired Raiken Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • 15% Dash Endurance
  • +12.5% Skill Ki Damage
  • +25 Vs. Lightning Resistance
  • Treasure Sense
  • +15% Yokai Close Combat Damage (requires 12 spirit)

Paired Raiken Living Blade Effects

  • +15% Attack Enhancement
  • 42 Lightning
  • 21.8s Usable Time
  • 1500 Might
  • Action - C+
  • Recovery - B
  • Tenacity - A+
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A-

Raiken - the shiba dog guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "The Spirit Stone Slumbers"

Raiken Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • 10% Dash Endurance
  • +10% Skill Ki Damage
  • +20 Vs. Lightning Resistance
  • Treasure Sense

Raiken Living Blade Effects

  • +10% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Lightning
  • 19.8s Usable Time
  • 1350 Might
  • Action - C
  • Recovery - C
  • Tenacity - B
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A-

Saoirse - the merrow guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "The Queen's Eyes"

Saoirse Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • Amrita Sense
  • Sense Enemies
  • +12.5% Amrita Earned 
  • +20% Special Effects in critical state
  • +75% Chance to Retrieve Lost Amrita Upon Death

Saoirse Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +5% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Water
  • 10s Usable Time
  • 500 Might
  • Action - B-
  • Recovery - A+
  • Tenacity - B-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A-

Shinka - the holy deer guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the sub mission "Champion of the East"

Shinka Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • +10 Strong Attack Life Drain
  • +100 Life
  • Kodama Sense
  • +15% Earth Damage
  • Ki Recovery & Defense after living weapon

Shinka Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +14% Attack Enhancement
  • 42 Earth
  • 15.2s Usable Time
  • 1880 Might
  • Action - B+
  • Recovery - A+
  • Tenacity - C-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - C

Suzaku - the phoenix guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "Suzaku"

Suzaku Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • Activate Living Weapon upon HP reaching zero
  • +20 Vs. Fire
  • +25% Amrita Earned when using living weapon
  • +15% Fire Damage
  • Auto-Charge Amrita gauge when critical

Suzaku Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +15% Attack Enhancement
  • 50 Fire
  • 14.6s Usable Time
  • 1440 Might
  • Action - C
  • Recovery - A+
  • Tenacity - A+
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - D

Tengen Kujaku - the bird guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "The Demon King Revealed"

Tengen Kujaku Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • Bonus from Amrita Absorbed (based on stance)
  • 13% Yokai Damage Reduction
  • +50% Extend Elemental Effect
  • +10% Elemental Attack Damage (requires 22 spirit)
  • Enemy / Treasure / Amrita / Kodama Sense (requires 25 spirit)

Tengen Kujaku Living Blade Effects

  • +10% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Wind
  • 20s Usable Time
  • 1500 Might
  • Action - B
  • Recovery - A+
  • Tenacity - B-
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - D

Usura-hicho - the frost butterfly guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the main story mission "Falling Snow in the Kinki Region"

Usura-hicho Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • 150 Life Recovery from Purification
  • +20% Evasion Ki Usage
  • +300 Vs. Yokai Realm
  • +15% Water Damage
  • +15% Strong Attack Ki Damage

Usura-hicho Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +3% Attack Enhancement
  • 42 Fire
  • 16.8s Usable Time
  • 600 Might
  • Action - B
  • Recovery - A
  • Tenacity - C+
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A+

Yatagarasu - the three-legged crow guardian spirit

Unlocked after completing the sub mission "The Silent Crow"

Yatagarasu Guardian Spirit Protection Effects

  • +20% Spirit Protection
  • +10% Unlimitedf Ammo
  • +20 Vs. Wind
  • +10% Long Range Attack Damage
  • Sense Enemies
  • 30 Life Recovery from a ranged weapon hit

Yatagarasu Guardian Living Blade Effects

  • +12% Attack Enhancement
  • 30 Wind
  • 20.8s Usable Time
  • 1110 Might
  • Action - C-
  • Recovery - A-
  • Tenacity - C
  • Amrita Gauge Rate - A+
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