Nioh 2: how to play with friends in online co-op
Nioh 2 is all about suffering, really. It's rock hard, but not just in a way that feels like it's copying other similar difficult games like Souls: it has its own identity now. But it's so hard that you might want some help - and that's why knowing how to play with friends online in the game is pretty important.
As we said in our review, Nioh 2 is pretty damn good. It's great fun and a great challenge - but like we say, you might want to engage in the online co-op play with friends if you want a hand. Co-op has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, however - it doesn't just give you an extra sword to help you out without changing anything else. We detail all that below - so read on...
How to play with friends in online co-op in Nioh 2 - and what changes when you do
Playing with a friend in Nioh 2's online co-op will give you a second blade to help you out, but it does also change things up a little, too. Having a second player with you in co-op also means you'll be facing off against more enemies across the world - so you're better off sticking close to each other and not splitting up, as the enemy spawns are designed for two. It's also worth noting that while you're in the same world loot is not shared - you'll both get your own unique loot to pick up in each of your games. So don't feel like you need to race to pick things up.
You'll obviously need a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online, but that's nothing to do with Nioh 2 - it's just a generic requirement of online play on PS4, of course.
Playing Expeditions with Friends in Nioh 2
You can play with friends in an Expedition, which can be reached by going to the world map and selecting the Torii Gate as your starting point. Here you can create a custom lobby through the Expedition menu. To get to a friend you'll want to create a room for a custom match, which will create a lobby for you to invite a friend to.
Within all of this process there'll be a choice of if you want to have the slots in this lobby to be private or open - with the latter allowing any random person to join, and the former meaning that only somebody invited, with the correct password, can join. Set the lobby password and then send it to your friends; they'll be able to search for and then enter your lobby through the same menu options as you for creating a room, except they're aiming to join one. The option for Special Matching Conditions will allow them to find your room specifically.
Expedition mode is interesting because you aim to complete a more linear level as a team with a shared pool of health. If one person dies, they can be revived without a game over, but it'll cost you from your overall health and lives. Expeditions are designed to be particularly challenging and brutal, but they have great rewards.
Fight alongside friends outside Expeditions in Nioh 2 with Ochoko Cups
Your other option is to invite a friend to adctually join your game world. To invite friends to join you, you'll need to visit a Kodama Shrine from inside a level - you can't actually invite someone until you're into a level, so you can't do it from the world map. On the Kodama Shrine menu there's an option to Summon Visitor, and this is what you use to summon a friend.
Just like with Expeditions, there are two formats for summoning a visitor. The first is simply to summon a random person; the latter is to set another 'Secret Word' so that nobody can join except someone who knows the secret word. You'd then tell that word to your friend, and there you are - they can join you. In order to set a secret word, open the sub-menu with triangle and change the settings from the Summon Visitor menu.
There's a catch to all this - Summonning Visitors, which incldues friends, requires Ochoko Cups. These unique items are used to summon real-world allies or AI partners when you're a little stuck. The easiest way to get your hands on new Ochoko Cups is through defeating Red Revenants - the AI controled evil spirits that you can defeat. It isn't guaranteed they drop an Ochoko Cup, but it's a common drop from these fights. One Ochoko Cup will be used with each summoning of a friend.
To join a game, be that of a friend or a stranger, you'll need to take slightly different steps. First, you'll need to select the Torii Gate from the world map. Just like for joining an expedition, except this time we're after the Random Encounters menu option. You can press this and simply hop into a random game and help a random stranger, or you can once again use the Special Matching Conditions option to enter the secret word to specifically reach your friend.
Do keep in mind that you can only join a game if you've yourself beaten the level you're planning to join in and help with.