Team Ninja's Nioh 2 is a grueling game that tests players' grit time and time again. Its brutal difficulty is matched by few other franchises. While the base game is challenging in itself, the second expansion, Darkness in the Capital, ups the ante considerably.

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The DLC introduced a new story, soul cores, skills, and effects alongside terrifying new yokai that rival even the creepiest of monsters in Bloodborne. Darkness in the Capital also introduced a new weapon class, plus a new difficulty called 'Dream of the Wise.' This is effectively NG+3, bringing challenges far more difficult than anything that has come before in Nioh 2.

10 Use The Dojo For Practice With The Fists

New Fist Weapon Type Added to Nioh 2 with Darkness in the Capital DLC

Fists are the latest weapon type added to Nioh 2. They offer much variety for players who want to test how proficient they are with the game's mechanics.

Despite how fun punching things looks like, fists require a significant amount of time to properly learn, much less master. Luckily, players can equip them and then jump into the Dojo to practice stringing different skills together into combos.

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9 Rarity Inheritance

Tsuchigumo boss battle in Nioh 2

Darkness in the Capital introduced a new rarity for gear and accessories called 'Ethereal.' These items cannot be forged at the blacksmith. Thus, it is largely down to getting a lucky drop to obtain them. Fortunately, some Ethereal items can drop with a special effect known as 'Rarity Inheritance.' Using this, players can soul match their weapons to turn a Divine item into an Ethereal one.

8 Grace Inheritance

Magatsu Warrior vs Player in Nioh 2

The first expansion for Nioh 2 implemented certain set bonuses known as 'Graces.' The second DLC added even more of them into the game. This allowed for greater build diversity and creativity. However, players needed to be lucky enough to get Ethereal equipment to drop with the right Grace. Thankfully, Team Ninja included a new effect called 'Grace Inheritance.' Items with this special effect can be soul matched to gear to change that equipment's Grace.

7 Sudama Skull Hat

Yasha vs Player in Nioh 2

Given that Ethereal items cannot be forged, having to farm until you get the right drop can be painful. Luckily, the Sudama Skull Hat exists.

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This nifty hat can be acquired in the Way of the Wise difficulty. It comes with the special effect: "Divine+ Item Drop Rate." This makes it a perfect choice for farming high-level loot as it boosts the chances of getting an Ethereal drop. As a bonus tip, high-level scrolls can be found with the effect 'Ethereal Drop Rate.' This is also very useful when farming.

6 Lucky Drop

Example of Ethereal loot dropping in Nioh 2

The second DLC added several new effects that can be tempered onto armor pieces, but there is one particular type that fans have welcomed. 'Lucky Drop' can be rolled onto gear in multiple categories, including armor and weapons. This gives players a higher chance for an enemy or boss to drop their equipped items when defeated.

Lucky Drop is useful for farming Ethereal items, as this effect can be tempered onto Divine gear. Once done, players need to load a level suited for farming and kill mobs until they get their Ethereal drops. However, the accessory version of Lucky Drop only increases the odds of an accessory type dropping, not a specific version. For example, Lucky Drop will make Magatamas drop more frequently, but not Yasakani Magatamas.

5 Use The Stone Of Penance To Get Ethereal Accessories

Yorimitsu and Seimei in Nioh 2's Darkness in the Capital

Stone of Penance is a new mechanic introduced in Darkness in the Capital that can be accessed through shrines, which are similar to Bonfires in Dark Souls. It allows players to give up an accessory and receive a 'Stone of Penance' on the difficulty of their choosing. The game will become more challenging on that difficulty. However, by defeating more and more enemies, the stone's level will increase up to nine. Enemies will drop rarer loot the higher the stone's level.

Once it has been maxed out, the Stone of Penance can be exchanged for the original accessory, via Resting Rites, and it will be returned, leveled up. On Way of the Wise, this method can be used to upgrade an accessory to Ethereal status. The item will also be given a random Ethereal Grace.

4 Obtain Mystic Dyad For Your Main Weapon

Example of Hatchet skills in Nioh 2

Among the new effects added in Darkness in the Capital is 'Mystic Dyad.' There is a variant of this effect for every weapon type. It is incredibly overpowered as it allows both mystic arts to be active for a given weapon.

RELATED: Nioh Vs. Dark Souls: Which Game Is Harder?

For example, acquiring Mystic Dyad for the Tonfa will allow players to have maximum mobility (Kannagi) while increasing their attack power (Apocalypse). Mystic Dyad can be found randomly on weapons and scrolls, or acquired through the new Ethereal 'Susano' Grace.

3 Prepare With Elemental Resistance Effects Or Items

Ashiya Doman in Nioh 2's Darkness in the Capital

Darkness in the Capital added many new tough boss fights that use powerful elemental attacks, such as the Lightning God of Yomi. Fortunately, there are several ways to counter this.

Effects, such as Elemental Resistance While Guarding, can be tempered onto gear to provide extra survivability. For players who are unable to roll these effects onto their armor, they can ready omnyo magic jutsu to help out. For example, a Lightningstop Talisman can be used against the Lightning God of Yomi to reduce the damage taken from the boss' elemental attacks. As is often the case with difficult action role-playing games, preparation is key.

2 Ultimate Stats

Splitstaff being used against yokai in Nioh 2

Nioh 2's second DLC added new 'Ultimate' effects that can be rolled onto scrolls and this mechanic is really, really broken. In particular, 'Ultimate Constitution' allows players' health to rapidly replenish if they are at 70% or more of their total life points. Combine this with either an Extraction Talisman, or a health regen build, and the result is a tank with incredible life recovery.

It would be well worth most players' time to pick up one of these Ultimate effects in their core stat (i.e. Constitution, Courage, Skill). Ultimate Dexterity or Ultimate Magic allows players to use both mystic arts from the ninjustu and omnyo magic skill trees.

1 Clay Bell Of Beckoning

Scampuss yokai summoned from Clay Bell of Beckoning in Nioh 2

The Clay Bell of Beckoning consumable is very divisive among Nioh 2 players, as it can trivialize the most difficult of fights. While this item has existed since the game first debuted, it is likely many players do not understand how useful it is. This is especially true for tough fights on higher difficulties.

This item summons a Scampuss yokai, which looks like a harmless, fluffy kitty. However, this yokai regenerates players' anima quickly while also destroying bosses' ki bars. For anyone truly struggling with Darkness in the Capital, the Clay Bell of Beckoning awaits you.

NEXT: Nioh 2: 5 Best Things About The Sequel (& The 5 Worst)

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