Black Desert Online is a complex and beautiful game that can be daunting for new players. With so many things to learn, where do you even start? In this beginner guide, we will give you tips and tricks to help you get started in BDO.
In this guide, we won’t go too much into detail about the various systems, but rather go through the most important things to know as a new player.
For more detailed guides, see our other Black Desert Online guides.
Choosing a Class
Choosing a class is an important decision in Black Desert Online. There are many classes to choose from and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to pick a class that you will enjoy playing.
If you’re unsure of what class to choose, we recommend trying out the different classes through the Trial tab in the character selection screen. Here you can try out all the different classes at level 60 in the Trial Arena.
Some classes in BDO are easier to play as a beginner. Our top choices for beginner-friendly classes in BDO are:
- Guardian (Awakened) – Good damage and self-heals
- Witch / Wizard (Awakened) – Easy rotation, good AOE damage, and good healing.
- Lahn (Succession) – Good damage and mobility with an easy rotation
- Nova (Succession) – Good survivability and damage
- Striker (Awakened) – Good survivability and damage with an easy rotation
Awakening or Succession
Once you reach level 56 with your chosen class, you will be able to choose between two different paths: Awakening or Succession.
What works best will be individual to each class, and often one spec will be good in PvE while the other works for PvP.
You can either play around and see what you like the most for your playstyle or do research on what is the best for your class in either PvE or PvP.
Use the Black Spirit and Follow the Main Story Quest
The Black Spirit is your own little guide NPC. The Black Spirit will guide you from the early stages of the game all the way to the end game, and it is important to follow its quests. Not only will you learn a lot about the game and its systems, but you will also get some good rewards like gear, pets, mounts, and more.
You can also use the quest menu (O by default) to see the next quest in the main story or suggested quests for your level.
At level 56 or so you can choose whether you want to continue the questing or switch over to grinding.
Seasons are a good way to quickly gear and level a new character and for new players to catch up to veteran players.
A season character will go through a simplified version of the main quest line to level up quickly and get special Tuvala gear that is only attainable in seasons, along with a bunch of other rewards.
All your Characters share things like energy, contribution, workers, and pets.
Play Your Family / Account
Black Desert Online doesn’t punish the players for having alts, but actually rewards you for having more than one character.
You will also increase your Combat, Life, and Family fame which means more claimable silver per day.
The Adventure Log will even let you complete quests that will increase stats for your entire family.
Get Acquainted With the Map
The map in BDO can be very confusing at first but once you get used to it, it is actually a brilliant feature of the game.
If you a struggling to get an overview, try zooming out, then hold the right mouse button while moving your mouse to see directly down at the map. This will make the map look more like a traditional 2D map and it can be easier to get an overview.
If you are having trouble finding something, use the looking glass icon in the lower right corner of your map to locate NPCs.
Improving Your Character – Increasing AP and DP
Gear is the most important thing to focus on to improve your character in BDO. To begin with, you will get Naru gear from the main storyline which is all you will ever need while leveling.
Naru gear can be upgraded to Tuvala gear for seasonal characters or to Narchillan gear for normal characters.
If you are having trouble staying alive, remember to visit a General Goods Vendor to buy HP potions or MP potions.
Mounts and acquiring them in BDO is almost a game in itself, but as a beginner you will get progressively better mounts by just following the story.
You will also get pets by doing the main story. Pets are very important as they work as the game’s auto loot feature. Without pets, grinding for silver at end-game will be very slow. More pets can be gotten through rewards or through the Pearl Shop.
Maids & Butlers
If you want to make life a bit easier for yourself, get a maid or butler. You will get one for free at level 52 from a quest from the Black Spirit. More can be gotten in the Peal Shop.
Maids & Butlers will let you access your warehouse or the Central Market remotely.
Being a member of a guild will provide you with several powerful buffs and advantages. To join one, simply open the guild menu (G) and send in applications to a few guilds and wait for an invite. Sending to larger guilds will usually increase your chances of getting an invite.
You will get a lot of items in BDO, and your inventory will quickly fill up. During the main story you will do quests that increase your inventory space, and additional quests that provide inventory space can be found in the “Suggested” tab of your quest journal.
Additional space can be bought in the Pearl Shop.
Use the Storage in any city to store excess items or store them on the Central Market. Remember to use Maids/Butlers to quickly access Storage while outside a city.
You can also store items on your mount or in your house.
In addition to inventory space, you will also need to increase your max Inventory Weight limit. This can be done with certain gear, through the Pearl Shop, or by leveling your Strength (see the next part).
Strength, Health, and Breath
All these three stats have special uses in Black Desert.
Breath will allow you to sprint longer and use certain movements in combat like dodging or jumping. The easiest way to level breath is by running around using sprint (shift). You can level this AFK as well (see AFK chapter further down in this guide)
Health determines your maximum HP and can be leveled by eating food. Buy food on the central market and always remember to eat food on cooldown. Having a food item slotted in your hotbar will make it easier to remember.
Strength will determine how much weight you can carry. To level Strength, visit a Trade Manager and purchase anything from them. Now your character will be lugging around a heavy bag which will increase your Strength as you carry it. Level this AFK by using the method described in the AFK chapter below.
You can also use Spirit Essence of Earth that you can buy from the Central Market to level Strength.
Having titles will give you a small bonus to certain stats in BDO. This isn’t super important but having at least 150 titles will grant you 3 Luck, 3 Energy, and 3% XP.
You can earn titles by grinding mobs, doing quests, and exploring the world. By following the main story and doing some extra grinding you should easily be able to rack up 150 titles. Beyond that it will take some time to reach the higher bonuses.
Contribution and Energy
Contribution and Energy are two other important stats in Black Desert.
Contribution lets you invest points in the world around you through the map, and can be used to make a Worker Empire that will make money for you.
Energy is also important and is used for hiring workers, in certain puzzles and much more.
Housing in BDO is a complex system, so we won’t go into detail in this guide. There are hundreds of buildings you can purchase in BDO. Houses are not just for you hang out in, but also for your workers to live in, to use as storage, or as a workshop to create items.
Click on a house in any city on the world map to see what that particular house can be used for.
One of the best ways to utilize houses and your contribution points is to use a house for Lodging for your Worker. You can then start hiring workers in that town that can be sent to nodes to farm items for you.
Nodes are all the little connected circles on the map. It can look a bit intimidating at first, but we recommend you learn the system sooner rather than later. Click on a node to see what items can be acquired from the node. You can then invest your contribution into the node and send your worker to work there. This is a good passive way to make silver.
You will get your campsite from a quest series that begins with [ADV Support] Start of Camping that you will get from the Black Spirit.
The campsite will let you store items, buy potions and repair your gear anywhere in the world.
In BDO there is a lot you can do even when you are not actively playing the game. There are several ways to make Silver or improve your character when AFK.
- Use a worker to gather resources at nodes like lumber, stone, iron etc. while you are offline. These can be used to craft items or sold on the marketplace.
- Fish while you are offline. You can get a variety of fish this way, some of which can be sold or used to cook food.
- Ride or Run – Right-click somewhere on the map and click “Set Looped Auto-Path” to move back and forth between the spots automatically. Being on foot will train breath, while riding will both level your mount and your Training skill.
- Train Strength – Visit the Trade Manager (see Strength Training above) to put on a pack and train Strength while walking.
- Level up or train Skills – Visit Jamey Drucker in any major Town to buy Book of Training Combat or Book of Traning Skill. This will allow you to AFK fight against the Scarecrows to level up.
Minimize to Tray
If BDO is straining your computer while being AFK, remember that you can either lower your graphic settings or run the game in Windowed Mode and minimize the game to use almost no resources.
Rewards and Season / Progression Pass and Events
BDO doesn’t hold back on the rewards. Even players who don’t spend a dime in the game get a whole bunch of free rewards.
Remember to check your reward tab in the main menu for free rewards.
- Challenge – This window contains all your claimable items.
- Black Spirit’s Adventure – Play daily for more rewards and check the Black Spirit’s Safe for claimable items from the mini game.
- Login Rewards – Will reward you for logging in daily.
- Mail – Check this from time to time for rewards related to leveling and gifts
- Progression Pass – This pass is for all non-seasonal characters and will provide you with a bunch of free stuff for completing tasks. All of the tasks in the Game Tips tab and a few of the other ones is completed by simply clicking the task in the Progression Pass Window.
- Season Pass – Extra rewards for leveling up a seasonal character. The Black Spirit Pass can be bought in the Pearl Shop for additional rewards.
The Pearl Shop
The Pearl Shop is BDO’s store where players can spend real money for items in the game. In general, the store is very fair and provides some good value with certain items, but not in a way that the game feels pay-to-win.
For a new player, there are certain items that you can consider buying but none are needed to enjoy or progress in the game.
- Value Pack – The Value Pack is BDO’s version of a membership. Value Pack owners will get bonus XP, more inventory space, and more money from the central market. It does indeed provide Value and is one of the best buys on the Pearl Shop.
- Weight Limit and Inventory Expansion – BDO is a grinding game and you will quickly run out of space. There are of course ways to increase this for free, but the Pearl Shop is quicker.
- Campsite – The Naphart Campsite will upgrade your campsite, and will let you buy Villa buffs at the campsite.
- Pets – You will get pets from doing the main storyline in BDO, but if you want more pets, pets with other skills, or to upgrade your pets, you can get a wide variety on the Pearl Shop.
Loyalties are earned from logging into BDO and can be spent in the Loyalties tab in the Pearl Shop. The best item to buy is the “Combat & Skill EXP 530% Scroll (60 min)”. It is limited to 53 per account/family so use them wisely (grinding at 61+).
Other than that you can always spend Loyalties on Inventory or Storage expansion.
What does BDO stand for?
BDO stands for Black Desert Online. BDO is an MMORPG developed by Pearl Abyss.
Is BDO pay to win?
No, BDO is not a pay-to-win game. You can enjoy the game without spending money, however, some quality of life items may make your life easier.
Is BDO crossplay?
BDO is available on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. It is cross-platform between consoles, so Xbox and Playstation players can play together. BDO is not crossplay between PC and Console.
What is the population like in BDO?
The population in BDO is healthy. BDO is constantly adding new content to keep players engaged.
It peaks at just below 20.000 concurrent players on Steam, and since most player play through the BDO launcher and not Steam, it is safe to say that the BDO population is quite large. It is always in the top 100 most played games on Steam according to Steam Charts.
Congratulations on reaching the end of our BDO Beginner Guide! Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start your BDO journey and see what this amazing game has to offer. Don’t forget to check out our other BDO guides for more helpful tips and information. Good luck and have