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NieR: Automata - The 10 Best Upgrades, Ranked

Every gamer loves a good upgrade. Action RPG NeiR: Automata has a ton of upgrades to help your offense, defense, and health. We rank the most useful.

Everyone loves upgrades. They’re an excellent way to give the player a sense of progression. Upgrades come in many shapes and sizes and vary from game to game. Some upgrades make you hit harder, while others give you a bigger health bar. Good upgrades always give you more options and make your goals easier to accomplish.

Upgrades in NieR: Automata are treated like modifications in the way of plug-in chips. Pop one of these into your android and reap the benefits of its effects. These effects can greatly enhance your gameplay in a many ways and a nice combination of these chips can give you the edge against your machine opponents.

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10 Deadly Heal

An upgrade that rewards you with health for bopping foes. While not as useful in boss fights as its counter-part "Offensive Heal," this upgrade has its uses against large groups of small- to medium-sized enemies that will attempt to overrun you. With this upgrade, your HP will always be topped off with the constant number of enemies falling before you, making it useful for heavy farming purposes without having to waste other resources or chip slot space. It’s a pretty convenient little upgrade even if it isn’t exactly the most powerful on this list.

9 Melee Defense

For a little extra protection against those pesky close-range attacks from enemies. Melee Defense makes you more durable against melee attacks. There isn’t much else that needs to be said about why this is useful. Enhancing a more defensive playstyle is where this upgrade shines the most of course, but having a little bit of extra defense in some cases, even when you aren’t playing completely defensively, is always nice to help manage a mistake or two in a fight if you’re going for a sort of "all-round" build in the game.

8 Ranged Attack Up

The best thing about NieR: Automata is that the upgrades support several different playstyles. Some players prefer a more personal approach, while others might prefer to be less hands-on. In the case of the latter, a Ranged Attack Up chip will be needed to make sure you aren’t missing out on any damage from afar. This increases your pod’s firepower if you’re more comfortable using your its abilities to initiate offense. It isn’t one of the more noticeable upgrades on this list but it’s certainly helpful, especially for the shoot-em-up sections of the game.

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7 Weapon Attack Up

One of the simpler upgrades in the game, but a very useful one nonetheless. Weapon Attack Up is exactly how it sounds ⁠— increasing your attack strength by a percentage that corresponds with its level. Being able to hit harder is essential to defeating your enemies as quickly as possible and it’s a foundational chip that helps to make a few others on this list a lot more effective. If you value offense and being a powerful juggernaut that lets nothing stand in your way, it’d do you good to use this upgrade at all times.

6 Shock Wave

This upgrade can feel like more of a crutch, but that only speaks to how good it is. Shock Wave gives your close-range weapons a long-range option by sending out a wave of energy with every swing. If you like playing the long-range game with your enemies, using this in tandem with your pod fire can definitely put the pressure on. Even if you aren’t the ranged type of person, this upgrade is still useful for a little extra damage at close range and some insurance your more elusive foes. Having this chip equipped makes you feel like you can take on anything in any situation.

5 Auto-Use Item

The best upgrade for those just starting the game. Auto-Use Item automatically uses a healing item in your inventory should your health drop below a certain percentage. It also heals a percentage more than what the item would usually heal for. If you aren’t for fumbling around through the menu for your consumables, this is certainly a great way to streamline things. Just be aware that you can still die should your HP go from a percentage above the healing threshold to zero in one hit. You’ll still want to keep an eye on your health bar to be absolutely safe.

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4 Offensive Heal

Despite being in the defense category, Offensive Heal is a wholly offensive upgrade. Or at least that’s how it rewards you. This chip returns a percentage of your damage dealt back to you as HP. You’ll virtually never have to use a healing item if you’re doing more damage than you’re receiving in a fight. Constantly keeping up a tight offense is the key to this upgrade and it accounts for all damage, both long-range and close-range. So if you’re a super-aggressive player, or you like to hang back and fire away from a distance, this chip will come in handy.

3 Anti Chain Damage

Anti Chain Damage is a rather useful upgrade for those who don’t trust their defensive abilities, or just want a reason not to stop mashing after taking a hit. With this chip, you get those precious I-frames you deserve as a player after taking some damage. How long those I-frames last is dependent on the chip’s level. It’s an upgrade that can get you out of a jam when it comes to the variation of enemy projectile patterns in the game. The majority of which will hit you in rapid succession with no chance of escape if you’re caught. A few seconds of reprieve after a hit can stop you from slamming the panic button in those situations.

2 Resilience

An upgrade that negates stagger if your HP is above a threshold percentage. This upgrade is handy for when you don’t feel like dealing with the stun that comes after getting hit, effectively making you into a "tank" of sorts. This coupled with some of the other chips on this list can give you the power to create a defense from constant offense. If you aren’t taking any stagger, then you can continue to whale on enemies regardless of what they hit you with. It’s a less stylish approach but it gets the job done.

1 Overclock

Normally evading at the last second rewards the player with a unique counter-attack when pressing an attack button immediately after. Overclock is an upgrade that adds the extra reward of slowing down time for a few seconds. Definitely one of the coolest upgrades in the game, Overclock can make you feel untouchable. If you trust your ability to execute perfect evades consistently, Overclock is an upgrade that you can capitalize on. It can make your enemies look like complete fools and it really makes you seem like the powerful android you’re portrayed to be in the game.

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