Yokai Shift is a mechanic in Nioh 2 that allows players to become possessed by their Guardian Spirits and enact powerful attacks and special moves. Additionally, players can attune their Guardian Spirits with Soul Cores, and these grant Yokai Skills that may be used without a transformation, and consume Yokai Force.


Burst Counter

A Burst Counter is a special move that allows players to perform a quick action that negates or dodges an enemy's dangerous attack. Press R2+O to consume 1 of Anima and unleash a Burst Counter that varies based of the Guardian Spirit currently in use. The Brute Burst Counter transforms you into a yokai temporarily and then unleashes a powerful attack. If you manage to interrupt the enemy's Bust Attack with this move, a large amount of Ki damage will be inflicted.


How to activate Yokai Shift

Activate Yokai Shift by pressing + (BY on Xbox/Steam controller) when the Amrita Gauge is full. Activating Yokai Shift will replace your Life Gauge and Ki Gauge with the Yokai Shift Gauge. While in Yokai Shift, any damage you receive will not affect your health or Ki, depleting your Yokai Shift Gauge instead. The Yokai Shift Gauge will also deplete with time, transforming you back into human form when it is fully depleted.

While Yokai Shift is active, your melee attack power will be increased and touching the Yokai Realm will automatically disperse it, producing Amrita in its place. Absorbing Amrita into your body will charge the Yokai Shift Gauge. Absorbing amrita into your weapon instead will strengthen it and increase its area of effect.

Yokai Shift is the obscure art of channeling your Guardian Spirit's power in order to unleash your own, temporarily transforming you into a full-blooded yokai. master this art to enhance your performance in battle, fleeting though its effects may be.


Yokai Shift 2

During Yokai Shift, you can consume your Yokai Shift Gauge to unleash a powerful skill unique to your Guardian Spirit.

You can also end Yokai Shift by sheathing your weapon before th Yokai Shift Gauge is fully depleted. Doing this transfers the remains of the Yokai Shift Gauge to your Amrita Gauge.

The bond with your Guardian Spirit is strengthened while your body bears the form of a yokai. Finding your focus shall make the true power of this sacred bond manifest. Yet do not forget: the tide of battle is wont to turn, and one's window to retreat is best discerned.


Yokai Shift 3

Guardian Spirit Skill: + (BY on Xbox/Steam controller) while in Yokai Shift. Consumes your Yokai Shift Gauge to unleash a powerful Guardian Spirit Skill. The type will vary depending on your Guardian Spirit.


Yokai Shift 4

Yokai Shift Grapple: While in Yokai Shift, press (Y on Xbox/Steam controller) next to a human who is out of Ki or a downed yokai. While in Yokai Shift, your grapples will be stronger than usual.


Yokai Shift Modes

Yokai Shift: Brute


In Brute form, you cannot be staggered by enemy attacks.

A Brute you may be, but savage you are not. Your inhuman strength is only made greater by the techniques you master with your human mind.

Fang Break allows you to repel enemy attacks. Repelling an attack will inflict a heavy staggering effect on a human enemy. Yokai enemies will both be staggered and forced to release some of their Amrita.

  • Fang Break: While in Brute Form, press L1 + (Y on Xbox/Steam controller) with the right timing when an enemy attacks.


Yokai Shift: Feral

ame-no-mitori-guardian-spirit-nioh-2-wiki-guideIn Feral form, you can dodge while performing Quick Attacks.

Executing a Quick Attack again during a dodge allows you to proceed to the next step of this attack combo.

Additionally, dodging an enemy's attack immediately before it makes contact will sometimes produce Amrita.

  • Shadowstep: Dodge (X) while performing a Quick Attack (Square).
  • Shadowstab: Execute a Quick Attack (Square) while performing Shadowstep.


Yokai Shift: Phantom

kagewani-guardian-spirit-nioh-2-wiki-guideIn Phantom Form, you cannot be staggered by enemy attacks

Blood Moon - Yin allows you to launch your weapon at an enemy. If your weapon finds its mark, you will instantly be teleported to your enemy's side.

Blood Moon - Yang also allows you to throw your weapon by tapping the command for the opposing attack while performing a Quick or Strong attack.

  • Blood Moon - Yin: Hold L2 to aim and press R2
  • Blood Moon - Yang: While performing a Quick Attack (Square) or Strong Attack (Triangle), quickly execute the opposing attack.



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    • Anonymous

      07 May 2020 09:15  

      I understand that LW was very powerful mechanic in Nioh 1 and some player found it to be little too good, but Nioh 2 replacement just sucks. For one, Burst counter just feels like a parry. Whats worse about Yokai Shift is there is very little variety in using it. In nioh 1, there were a ton of guardian spirits to choose from with all different elements whose status effect could customize your preferred play style. Perhaps the most damaging part of Yokai Shift is how little skill it takes to use. LW weapon rewarded user for dodging consecutive hits in order to keep living weapon up for as long as possible and the mechanic could easily be lost/misused by taking hits in higher difficulties. Yokai shift just spams Yokai abilities that outright suck or completely murder your opponent with very little skill input. Not a huge fan on mechanic change and I doubt anyone would make a build revolving this mechanic.

      • 29 Apr 2020 04:07  

        It's possible to perfom a yokai grapple without using a yokai shift if you drain the ki of an enemy with a burst counter and quickly press the grapple button. It's much easier to do this on non-boss yokais when they are low/out of ki.

        • Anonymous

          21 Apr 2020 11:25  

          Two large spirit stonea seem to be more than enough to fully charge an amirita gauge. It doesn't seem like you can carry over a full amirita gauge from mission to mission anymore though.

          • Anonymous

            05 Apr 2020 15:26  

            When in yokai shift you dont get amrita instantly. It gathers in the air and you collect it very slowly. To collect faster you need to hold R1 and R2. This collects the amrita faster so do this between comboes to extend your shift

            • Anonymous

              23 Mar 2020 23:22  

              Using yokai abilities as soon as I earn them is what fills the amrita gauge faster. Of course u have to hit what ur aiming at but it fills a significant amount

              • Anonymous

                21 Mar 2020 06:34  

                Whilst the actual power of Yokai Shift is weaker it seems you have infinite anima whilst within it *hitting an enemy in 1-2 strings will usually unlock all abilities* This form seems pretty strong for simply using yokai abilities. Using it well just means you have to play as if you don't have the form on and avoid blows (Still much weaker then LW. But that was busted)

                • Anonymous

                  18 Mar 2020 20:46  

                  Anyone else finding the amrita gauge fills REALLY slowly? Even with two combs equipped and pleiades+extraction it barely fills. Does it require a flat amount of amrita? Seems like that would really favor late-game

                  • Anonymous

                    16 Mar 2020 22:28  

                    Can't fill the YOUKAI gauge. Played the fist mission killing everyone (except the big youkais) without dying but that gaube is still not full. Is this a bug?

                    • Anonymous

                      14 Mar 2020 18:00  

                      Too bad there are only 3 forms , i was kinda hoping that there would be a Yokai form for every elemental type.

                      • Anonymous

                        11 Mar 2020 07:38  

                        Is the teleport for Phantom form actually a teleport now? I remember from the alpha it was just a crappy dash not a true instant teleport.

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