As many have noted, Nioh's combat mechanics draw pretty heavy inspiration from the Souls series. I feel pretty much at home while playing, but I have not been able to figure out how to perform a backstab (assuming this is a mechanic in the game).

So far, I've tried:

  • Performing a light attack on an unaware enemy from behind
  • Pressing and holding the light attack button on an unaware enemy from behind (this just performed a single light attack)
  • Performing a heavy attack on an unaware enemy from behind

I am certain that the enemy I attempted to stab in the back was unaware when I attacked.

Is there a way to perform a backstab? I didn't even notice a damage bonus for attacking an unaware enemy from behind. Am I doing something wrong or should I be using a specific weapon/type of weapon? Is there a backstab/back attack mechanic in this game at all?

1 Answer 1


All you need to do is purchase a skill from NINJA TREE, sneak up to an enemy and press TRIANGLE, you either do an animation like in the video above, or, when it's a different opponent e.g. a YOKAI, you jump on his back and do a downward slash, pretty slick

How To Unlock Ninja Tree :

Once you clear the Isle of Demons quest (1st Japan Mission) you will unlock the Dojo Mission at your starting point called 'The Way of the Ninja: Novice'

Complete this mission. Once you have finished this mission all you need to do is go into your Learn Skill menu, move across to Ninja then scroll nearly all the way down the bottom. The skill sticking out on the left is called Sneak attack. Purchase it for one point and you now have the backstab/ sneak attack!

How To Get Ninja Skill Points :

Unlike the Samurai skill points in Nioh, you won’t simply acquire more Ninja skill points just by using your Ninjutsu skills.

Skill points can be obtained by using Locks of Hair. These can be found all throughout the world of Nioh, and sometimes they might even be offered as rewards for completing a main mission or sub-mission. All you have to do is access your inventory and use the item to get the points. After that, you can spend the points in your skill tree menu.


  • Do you happen to know what skill it is? I don't see it in my skill tree :/
    – Vemonus
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 3:48
  • Nioh: How to Get Ninja Skill Points Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 4:12
  • No, I meant I can't find it in the skill tree. I have a handful of Ninja skill points, but I'm not seeing a backstabbing ability anywhere in the skill tree.
    – Vemonus
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 23:57
  • 1
    Oh man, I didn't realize these skill pages scrolled... I found the skill and unlocked it, thanks for your help!
    – Vemonus
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 6:36
  • 1
    Worth noting: if you've locked onto an enemy and snuck up behind them, the targeting reticule will turn red when they're back-stabbable. Of course, you need to have purchased the requisite skill as per @NamikazeSheena's answer.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:15

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