Being an action RPG, having the best weapons are crucial in NieR: Automata especially when you get into the hard and very hard difficulties. Yet the game doesn’t make it easy to determine which is the best weapon simply because there are so many weapons to choose from. From small swords to large swords, bracers and spears there are lots of weapons and all can be upgraded and given plug-in chips that change how they perform. The best weapon will also depend on personal playstyle, if you like fast fighting, then lugging a large sword isn’t going to make much sense even if it is better than small swords.
Yet there are weapons that have consistently been used by players because they are considered the best or easiest to play with. So here are what could be argued to be the ten best weapons in the game based on how often they are used and how much easier the game becomes when wielding them.
Updated By Benjamin Baker On January 29th 2020: Given the large number of weapons you could obtain in this game throughout the story it seemed appropriate to add a few more to this list that could be obtained sooner and into the mid game. It doesn’t change the rankings at all, but these new entries provide a few more options for players that might not be interested in the best weapons or have already tried them and want something a little different.
15 Ancient Overlord
Said to be wielded by a tyrant who slew his own people in a pointless attempt to become immortal, it’s a strong weapon that serves the player well. It may also be familiar for those who played the first game.
It may not do a whole lot of damage, but it does have a greater critical hit chance, and when fully upgraded has the Bullet Rupture ability, which creates a shockwave whenever the player hits a projectile with this sword. Perhaps the most convenient part of this weapon is that you can buy it at the Resistance camp, assuming you have 15k gold.
14 Type-3 Sword (Small)
This weapon has been popular for a number of players when fully upgraded. It has decent damage for a small sword, and it’s the sword of choice for Devola and Popla.
What makes it popular are the helpful special effects that seem almost tailored for beginners or more laid back veterans. It provides endurance for improved sustainability, and the Finish Blast is a satisfying explosive finish to a completed combo. Popola and Devola have it for sale.
13 Phoenix Big Sword
As far as large swords go, this weapon sits about the middle in terms of damage when fully upgraded. What nudges it higher than many of the others is that when upgraded it grants the player increased attack speed.
It also has a nice perk called Phoenix Flash that will sometimes regenerate the player’s health whenever a hit connects with the enemy. It isn’t much, but having a few points of HP coming in during battle makes things easier if you’re terrible at evading. This sword is found right of the wall when you first arrive on Earth as 9S.
12 Angel’s Folly
Angel’s Folly is a set of combat bracers that have the best base damage of their weapon type. What makes them an attractive weapon to use is that they come with a boost to attack speed and a special perk called Angel’s Mercy. Angel’s Mercy restores a portion of you health whenever you defeat an enemy.
This is awesome in groups as it can keep your health topped off and has an attack speed comparable to Devil’s Hatred. Emil has it for sale, assuming you caught him outside the Resistance Camp.
This weapon easily has one of the darkest weapon descriptions as you upgrade it, but is genuinely a good sword to have. Its damage isn’t all that spectacular, but with a boost to attack speed you’ll hardly notice that each hit doesn’t do much.
It also comes with a Bullet Absorb ability that will restore a portion of your health when you hit a bullet using melee. It’s not much and very situational, but it's a good way to restore a bit of health now and then. This sword is found in the Soul Box in Flooded City, on the elevator.
10 Iron Pipe
It seems a little strange that a simple iron pipe would be on this list, but this weapon (classified as a small sword in the game) is frequently used by players looking to be dangerous in very hard mode. Its special abilities at level four raise your chance of dealing a critical and gives a high stun probability. These two abilities can randomly dish out high damage and keep enemies stunned while you clobber them with your other weapons like Cypress Stick.
Because of this stunning ability, Iron Pipe is considered one of the best weapons in the game, even if it’s considering nothing special aesthetically. The only reason it isn’t higher on the list is because it works better if most of your damage is coming from another weapon.
9 Cypress Stick
Another odd one on the list, and it’s no surprise that this boring looking stick is often combined with the Iron Pipe to great effect. This weapon (classified as a small sword) has the ability to increase its critical rate. The other ability is purely cosmetic and changes how chests look in the game.
Like the Iron Pipe, it’s nothing special on its own but when combined with the other weapon the two have the ability to stun an enemy, have a higher chance of dealing a critical and then raising how much damage that critical can do. So enemies will be rooted to the spot while you bash away looking to strike criticals for impressive damage.
8 Engine Blade
The Engine Blade is a quirky looking sword that’ll have Final Fantasy XV fans swooning. With a wealth of lore behind the blade about its royal origins, players will certainly feel like a prince wielding this special blade.
With decent base damage and special abilities that increase the odds of stunning an enemy, it does a fair amount of DPS while dishing out fast combos. It also has the Shift Avoid ability, which does absolutely nothing for damage, but it makes the player’s dodge ability look like Noctis’ phase dodge ability from Final Fantasy XV, which some fans argue makes it the best weapon of the game even if it is just for cosmetics.
7 Type-3 Blade
This large sword is obtainable fairly early in the game for players with enough gears in their pocket. When fully upgraded it deals fairly high base damage. It also had the special ability to increase a player’s endurance which raises their defense levels making them harder to kill in battle.
It also has a Finish Blast ability which creates an explosion after successfully completing a combo. It’s a nice ability that adds a cool finishing touch to an attack. There are a handful of better weapons in the game, but for players just starting out or who find themselves dying a lot, this sword can give some needed defense and an explosive incentive for getting the combos figured out while still being a great weapon later in the game.
6 Type-40 Blade
This large sword is unique in that it’s one of the few powerful enough to stand on its own in battle. It does a fair amount of base damage and increases the chances of stunning enemies in combat. It also has an energy charge that grants the player increased damage if they haven’t used the weapon for a few seconds.
While not important for dealing damage, the energy charge also has a pleasing blue electricity effect that makes this weapon a beauty to wield. The weapon is obtained as part of a side quest and as a result, is a very common game that sees a lot of use in harder difficulties.
5 Virtuous Contract
Your starter weapon obtained by simply playing the game, this weapon is surprisingly one of the better weapons for the rest of the game. Being a small sword it’s not terribly effective on its own, but players are hard pressed to find a better weapon to complement their other hand.
With special abilities that increase attack speed and Holy Blessing that increases attack power when HP is full, this sword compliments nicely with Virtuous Treaty - the long sword version of this weapon. If players can keep their HP topped off in battle this makes for a very powerful weapon that serves well for the rest of the game.
4 Ancient Overlord
Like many weapons on this list, this small sword works better when combined with other weapons. This sword has the ability to increase the chance of a critical and has Bullet Rupture, which creates a shockwave when it hits a projectile. This shockwave has the potential to melt groups of enemies and the higher critical chance can help in any situation.
While it isn’t terribly impressive on its own, it earns its spot on this list by making weapons in the other hand absolutely lethal with the higher critical chance. In fact, it’s often used in conjunction with the next weapon on this list the Spear of Usurper.
3 Spear Of Usurper
This spear, the only on this list, is favored because of its long range of attack as a spear and for its decent base damage. The special abilities are what really make this weapon shine, though. Like many weapons on this list, it delivers a higher chance of dealing critical damage and has a unique ability called Turncoat that can randomly convert enemies to fight at your side.
The ability to dish out high damage on its own, combined with creating allies out of enemies, makes this a powerful weapon both in groups and against bosses. It’s also the favored weapon amongst more casual players as it takes some of the heat off the player and requires less input when allies are on your side.
2 Virtuous Treaty
Like the Virtuous Contract, this weapon is obtained very early on and remains one of the better weapons through the rest of the game. For players looking to dive into the action and not worry about finding something better, that’s fantastic news, for players who want to change things up after a while, there aren’t a whole lot of better weapons depending on your playstyle.
In any case, this white samurai sword grants an increased attack speed and the Holy Blessing special ability that increases attack power when the player’s HP is at full. With a high base damage, faster attacks and in the right player’s hands this can be one of the best if not the best weapon in the game and works great when combined with the Virtuous Contract.
1 Demon’s Cry
These bracers are frequently used by players in very hard modes and are widely considered to be the best weapon in the game. Shaped to resemble a demon’s fangs, these combat bracers may not do very much base damage when compared to other weapons on the list, but their special abilities more than make up the difference.
The first special increases attack speed allowing players to get in more hits than they would with other weapons, and the second special ability is called Devil’s Hatred, which creates a shockwave upon killing an enemy. Players love this weapon when fighting groups, as often times killing a single enemy will melt the others like butter with the shockwave. Admittedly it poses a problem when facing bosses, but given mobs are more frequent throughout the game, it sees more use. When joined with a weapon like Spear of Usurper, a common combination among players on very hard, this combo makes a player practically unstoppable.
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