Nioh 2 features a stamina system much like other Souls-likes – the Ki gauge – but unlike its peers you can easily restore it with a Ki Pulse. A Ki Pulse is a well-timed button press that will restore some or all of your depleted stamina. Executing it is simple, but mastering the timing will prove the difference between novice samurai and the masters in Nioh 2.
Trigger a Ki Pulse with the R1 shoulder button.
Whenever you attack, dodge, or block you will consume stamina, known as Ki in Nioh 2. What sets Nioh 2 apart, however, is you can restore stamina (hereafter referred to as Ki) used during attacks. Look at your Ki gauge whenever you swing your weapon: you will notice some of it is spent, but a light blue portion remains. If you tap R1 when this bar starts to refill you can earn that Ki back. Hit the R1 button right as it fills to max to replenish all the Ki you just spent.
There are a couple tricks to Ki Pulses that reward mastery. First off, you should keep an eye on the blue sparks that will coalescence around and eventually within your character. This visual indicator for your Ki Pulse allows you to keep your eye on the action, and if you tap R1 right as the sparks enter your body you will earn all your spent Ki back.
Secondly, if you miss the window the Ki will be lost, and you have to let it regenerate by not attacking, dodging or blocking for a while. Extended combos can also shorten the amount of Ki available for recovery, so the longer you press your attack the less Ki you will receive even with a perfectly timed Ki Pulse.
Finally, a Ki Pulse can be triggered with a weapon or stance swap, considering both require the use of the R1 button. There are even skills within the various skill trees of Nioh 2 that will replenish additional Ki if you time a perfect Ki Pulse with a stance swap, meaning stance-dancing can be an excellent way to keep the momentum of battle in your favor.