Like any proper Souls-like, learning how to dodge an enemy’s attack can be the difference between victory and a swift return to the nearest checkpoint. It works much like it does in other games, but comes in two flavors in Nioh 2. Learning how to dodge should be your first priority if you wish to conquer this tricky game.
Tapping Cross in Nioh 2 will trigger a dodge.
There are two ways to dodge in Nioh 2: either a single tap of the Cross button, or a double tap. The difference may seem simple, but the end results are quite stark. A single tap will have you dodge-stepping away from an attack at a minor Ki cost. Double-tapping the Cross button will see you rolling away instead at a much larger Ki cost.
Essentially, you want to use the step to avoid shorter attacks and press the offensive. The roll is best suited to avoiding larger attacks that would either cost too much Ki to block, or would grapple you regardless. Unblockable grapples are telegraphs by a gray mist that will surround an enemy, and a step will likely leave you within range. These attacks also cannot be mitigated with a Burst Counter, so always keep some Ki around to get out of Dodge (heh).
Remember to not starve yourself of Ki in Nioh 2, or to use a well-timed Ki Pulse to keep yourself out of harms way in.