Menu Close Menu

BDO Beginners Guide (Black Desert Online 2019)

Last updated:
BDO Beginner Guide BDO Hunting a Giant Wolf while doing Daily Hunting Quests

Just like this cute little BDO baby, we all have to start somewhere. Playing Black Desert Online for the first time can sometimes be overwhelming for newbies. There is so much to learn, but also so many new sights and adventures to discover! My sissy and I have created this Beginners Guide to help those just starting BDO, and for MMORPG fans considering a purchase of Black Desert Online.

Here you will find beginner tips we wish we knew before starting Black Desert Online together. I hope they help you along the way.

HAPPY journeying!!

Best Beginner Class

Choosing the right class for you is a very personal decision. Do you like complexity or simple? Speed or slow and heavy hitting? What's important to someone else, may not be important to you. Ultimately, you will end up playing the class you enjoy the most, no matter what some guide tells you.

Is Witch/Wizard Class right for me?
For beginners to BDO, looking for the easiest class to play, most recommend Witch or Wizard. There are several reasons for this:

Another bonus for beginners who choose this class, is that it has a good reputation for being strong in both PVE and large scale PVP. Some people hate this class because they say it's boring, and others love it. I suggest you play a class that looks fun to you at least until level 56. At level 56, all classes change by getting a new set of combat skills after their Awakening. If you don't want to go through the leveling process to 56, you can test out a level 60 of that class on the BDO Global Lab Test Server. (But only if you already have another level 56+ character on your account.)

For more info on available classes, with an overview of their rankings, strengths, and weaknesses, visit BDO Class and Character Creation Guide.

BDO Family Name

<Guild Name>
Family Name
Character Name

All the characters that you create on your account will have the same Family name. This Family name will be visible text above your head to players who run into you. It will also be visible in chat. No matter how many different characters you make, you will always have this name. In BDO, you can't role play and experiment with having different characters in different guilds. Each character is tied to the Family name, which you can't hide. (Unless you purchase and put on a Pearl Shop outfit called Desert Camouflage.) When you join a guild, all your alts join as well.

Players can switch between viewing Family or Character names in chat, by clicking the gear icon on the chat tab.

BDO Family Name

To hide other players family names and the text and icons above their heads, press Escape key > Settings > General > Show/Hide

BDO Remove Family Name and Icons

This only shows/hides names in your User Interface. Other players will still be able to see your names, title, and guild if they have this setting turned on.

BDO Alerts and Notifications

When you are a beginner, the default window will alert you to many different things that occur in the game. These include Marketplace notifications and other things like when other players fail or succeed at enhancements.

BDO Family Name

If this feels like spam to you, you can customize the messages that are shown. Press Escape key > Settings > Display > General Settings > Alerts

Pearl Shop Basics

To purchase Pearl Shop (F3) items, you must first buy Kakao Cash via the official Black Desert Online website. Use the Kakao Cash to buy a box of Pearls at the Pearl Shop in game. The Pearl box will go into your Pearl Inventory. Access the Pearl Inventory by clicking on the Pearl button at the top of your main Inventory window (I). Right click the box to collect your Pearls. Now you can buy items from Pearl Shop with Pearls.

$100 American dollars buys 10,000 Kakao Cash. 10,000 Kakao Cash can buy a Pearl box with 11,500 Pearls (10,000 base pearls + 1,500 extra)

A limited number of Pearl outfits, pets, and horse gear can be sold at the Marketplace. Always double check that the Pearl item has a Marketplace Value if you plan on purchasing Pearl items to sell on the Marketplace.

Pearl Shop Gifting

You can gift Pearl Boxes and Pearl items to friends for a limited time, until Jan 9, 2019. It's uncertain if this will become available again, if ever.

Patch Notes - 12th December 2018:

How to Give Money (Silver) & Game Items Away

The main game currency is silver, and it can't be given to another player. Player to player trade of non-Pearl items is very limited in Black Desert Online. Most things like gear and accessories cannot be traded to another player and must be sold at the Marketplace. Some exceptions are Health and Mana Potions and some foods and drinks. Also, once these items are traded away, they are bound to that person and can't be re-traded or sold.


Energy is another type of currency in the game and has many uses, such as allowing you to use Life Skills like Gathering and Farming. Energy is increased when any character you play completes Knowledge topics. Your Energy and Knowledge gained is shared across all your characters (Family).

The easiest Knowledge topic to complete is the Character type, in which you have to talk to the NPC to gain their Knowledge. Talk to every NPC with a question mark on your mini map to discover them and gain Knowledge. Press the H key to see a breakdown of all the Knowledge to be gained. For a more detailed guide on Energy, please read our Energy Guide. There is also a Knowledge Guide and a Knowledge Locator to help you find the nearest Knowledge to your location.

Passive Energy Restoration Energy Restoration Rate
While logged in 1 energy every 3 minutes (20 energy per hour)
While logged in and sleeping on a crafted bed 2 energy every 3 minutes (40 energy per hour)
While logged in and sleeping on a Pearl Shop bed 3 energy every 3 minutes (60 energy per hour)
While logged out 1 energy every 1 hour (24 energy/day)
Alts logged out 1 energy every 1 hour (24 energy/day)

Energy can be actively restored through quest rewards. Energy can also be increased with potions and buffs; most notable is Blessing of Kamasylve, which increases energy regeneration by 2. It costs 1000 Loyalties (wait 10 days) or 1,250 Pearls. ($12.50). Small energy tonics cost 100 Loyalties.

BDO Blessing of the Kamasylve for Energy Regeneration BDO Blessing of the Kamasylve for Energy Regeneration BDO Blessing of the Kamasylve for Energy Regeneration


Your Contribution pool is shared across all of your characters (Family). Each character adds Contribution exp to the pool by completing quests. To gain more Contribution Points, finish as many quests as you can that award Contribution. (most do) As you gain knowledge and amity with NPCs, more quests will open up to you. You can also obtain Contribution through Alchemy and Cooking, which provide a byproduct that you turn in to an NPC. (You get about 1 byproduct every 5 crafts.)

Contribution has 2 main uses in BDO. Most people spend their Contribution on purchasing Nodes and building their "Worker Empire". It takes Contribution Points to buy lodging for workers. Any kind of workshop housing will cost you CP as well. Renting weapons, armor, and storage space is another option for spending Contribution, for players that don't like crafting or world building.

Beginner Mounts & Navigation

NPC finder window
Beginner Travel Tips
Right clicking anywhere on the World Map (M) or the mini-map will draw a path to that point. Right clicking a node icon will take you to the Node Manager. Press your T key to have the game auto-run a path for you. Auto-path will follow the safety of roads as much as possible. Be careful when doing this outside of roadways, as your character can get stuck on trees and other objects. Not all roads are safe and sometimes auto-path takes overly long routes, so be watchful auto-pathing in areas you're unfamiliar with.

To find merchants and other NPCs, click on the NPC icon in the upper right of your screen.

NPC Finder Button

In the Search field of the "Nearby NPC" window, you can search using an NPC's name or their title. Sometimes certain helpful words are included in the title. For example, the search term "fence" used to give you all the NPCs that would exchange fences for Contribution Points, so you can start the Farming profession. (Fence, in the NPC's title, was recently removed in a patch.)

NOTE: This NPC finder tool will only show NPCs you have spoken to already. That's another reason to speak to each and every person when you arrive in a new place. The category buttons in the NPC Finder are the exception. (For example, Stable will take you to the nearest <Stable Keeper>, even if it's your first time in the city.)

Beginner Mounts
At level 10, Black Spirit will give you the quest, Big Fish in a Small Pond, in which you will obtain a donkey. He is adorable and soo lovable, but slow and hard to turn. Horses are faster and easier to handle, and most important, just as cute! Beginner Attendance Rewards will often give you a horse for free, but that might take too long for your liking. You can buy and sell mounts at the <Stable Keeper> (Lorenzo Murray in Veila).

You will notice that prices for low level horses of even a Tier 5 horse are fairly cheap. Perfect for beginners. The cheap ones go fast, so keep checking if you don't see anything at first.
BDO Horse Market of Beginners: T1 Horse
NPC Horse Market of Beginners: T5 Horse

BDO Beginner Horse Mount If you bought the Traveler's Package or Explorer's Package, a horse is included. Claim your horse by logging into your account at the Black Desert Online website

While you are at the <Stable Keeper>, you may want to purchase food for your horse (carrots) and pets (Cheap Feed). Horse Stamina and Health can be recovered for less expense by any Stable Keeper.

If you lose your mount or forget where you left him (poor guy), you can locate him by right clicking on your horse icon in the upper left of your screen. A path will be drawn to your horse. Left clicking on the horse icon will call your mount to you, but if he is too far away, it won't work. You can also retrieve your mount by remote collection at the <Stable Keeper> if he is not stabled in another city. If you left him at Toscani Farm, but you are near Heidel, go to the Heidel Stable Keeper and choose "Remote Collection". If you do this, your horse will lose its health and you will have to pay silver or give him carrots to recover him.

ALERT! Don't learn the hard way and drown your horse like I did! :) Your mount does take damage! He will loose health from monsters hitting him and from drowning and falling off high places. If your mount dies, recover him at the <Stable Keeper>.

You can only have one mount/wagon out of the Stable for each character.

For a more detailed guide about getting around BDO, pease visit the guide, Fast Travel.

Pets for Beginning Players

BDO Pet Window You can have up to 5 pets out at the same time. Pets are bought at the Pearl Shop or given as Attendance/Challenge Rewards. Pets pick up your loot for you. Pets have a max of 4 tiers and each tier has up to 10 levels. The higher your pet's level and/or tier, the faster it will loot. Pets gain higher Tiers after they are Exchanged. They are given 1 Special Ability, 1 Talent, and up to 3 Skills. Pets level up after being fed. To level your pets faster, switch them to Agile mode so your pet's hunger gauge decreases faster. If your pet's hunger level reaches 0%, it will no longer loot or use its special ability. It's skills, however, will still work.

BDO Pet Skill Window: Life XP for Cats

Pet Exchange or "Pet Breeding" is used to produce a higher Tier pet, which is faster and is able to acquire more skills. Unfortunately, exchanging pets actually kills the parent pets. On the bright side, it has been reported by several players that T4 pets have 3 to 4 times faster loot speed than a Tier 1 pet. Bddatabase shows loot speeds that are about 2 times as fast.

Cheap Feed can be bought at the <Stable Keeper> for 3,000 silver and restores 12 hunger. Better pet food can be cooked or bought at the Marketplace.

PetPet Special AbilityPet Talent
detect gatherable resourcesLife XP
Crabdetect gatherable resourcesitem durability
Little Lambdetect PVP playersLife XP
Young Griffon
detect PVP playersitem durability
Dogsdetect PVP playersCombat Skill XP
Birdsdetect rare mobsKnowledge
Polar Bear
afk fish time decrease
(Polar Bear: +20LT & +10 LT/tier)
Life XP
Pandastaunts monsters (draws a mob to you)Combat Skill XP
Desert Fox
resistance to desert heatstroke/hypothermia (up to 35%)item durability
Hedgehogextra gathered resources
(averages about 3x the gathered items of someone that doesn't have this pet)
Life XP

Pet Talents & Special Abilities
This Pet Talent and Special Ability table is just a small list of available pets. To view all of them please visit our BDO Pet Guide. Pet Talents and Special Abilities for T1 pets like dogs and birds are good for grinding. Other pets, like cats and Hedgehog, are good for Life Skills. Pandas currently have a strange mechanic, so you may want to avoid them, unless you think they are too adorable to pass up! (Which they are.) Their aggravate ability only works on one mob every 10 to 4 seconds and it has been reported that this animation takes priority over the pet's animation to pick up loot. (You can turn Special Abilities off.) If this has been fixed, please let me know!

Best Pets for Beginners?
Many players say the Hedgehog is the best pet in BDO. With my own testing, I discovered I gathered 3x less than my sister who had a Hedgehog. This makes a big difference in the amount of time it will take to gather logs for ship building, for example. But Hedgehogs aren't good for players who don't gather and craft. Both the Hedgehog and the Polar Bear have limited availability. You can obtain these pets after purchasing a Gift Package for yourself or a friend and having that account level to 30. Gifting yourself another account might sound strange, but it has been OK'd by a GM on the official forum. According to their game gifting buy page: "The only restriction will be that you will need to own the game yourself and have purchased it before the first of this month." This means, as a new player, you would have to probably wait until next month to gift someone in order to obtain the Hedgehog or Polar Bear. Currently, you can buy the BDO Gift Package here for $9.99. There are a few other ways to obtain these limited pets. To learn more about how, please visit our Hedgehog Guide.

For more detailed information about pets, their buffs, and how to breed, manage, and obtain them, please visit our BDO Pet Guide.

Is BDO Free to Play?

BDO Pet Kuku from Attendance Reward

There is no subscription fee for playing Black Desert Online. Many people consider this model free to play. It also has a 7 day free trial. However, you do have to initially make a purchase of at least $10 to continue playing BDO. This will give you the basic game without any extras. Some also consider the Value Pack a type of subscription fee. It lasts 30 days and removes a 30% penalty to Marketplace sales prices and gives buffs to weight, inventory, and experience.

Is Black Desert Online P2W? (Pay to Win)
This is a hotly debated topic, because everyone has their own definition of what Pay to Win means. But most people agree that you do have to spend more than $10 to make the game enjoyable.

Pets are a good example of what many consider P2W. They aren't required to pick up loot, but if you don't buy them, you will have to repeatedly mash the same pick-up button over and over again after every mob group that you defeat. Mob groups are usually 5+ so that's 5x pressing the R button to do something that quickly gets boring and routine.... (So it's basically, R + Wait for pickup animation... R + Wait for pickup animation... R + Wait for Pickup animation... Not very exciting.)

Even with the maximum of 5 pets, you may have to wait for pets to pick up loot, depending upon how fast you can kill monsters and what tier and level of pets you have. In order to raise a pet's tier, you have to buy another pet and combine two pets into one, so that doubles the price.

BDO Pet Pearl Cost

Tier 1 pet costs: BDO Pet Kuku from Attendance Reward

Note: BDO has been giving players a free pet Kuku bird and Penguin through Attendance Rewards. Attendance Rewards are game items you obtain every day just for logging into the game. Beginners to BDO will get the "Rookie" Attendance Reward. At the moment of this writing, that included one free Kuku pet that is Level 1 and Tier 1. But we don't know when or if they will give away pets for free again. Penguins are more rare.

You will notice that two of the same Event pet can't be used at the same time if they are the same kind. (For example, you can't have two Kuku pets out at the same time, or two Penguins out at the same time.) You can, however, breed Kuku pets to create a higher Tier Kuku.

Beginner Quest Tips

quest logIf you enjoy questing, be sure to turn on All quests at level 20, so you won't miss out on any extra quests and rewards. Certain types of quests, like Life Skill quests, will not even show up at the NPC if it is not turned on in your Quest window. Press the O key to open the Quest window.

Quests are important for beginners to BDO, especially the main story quest that is provided by the Black Spirit. It will give you a nice chest piece, Inventory expansions, and other goodies helpful to Beginners.

Main Story Final Chest Piece (Level 56+)
Beginner Chest Piece: Roaring Magical Armor
The main story will lead to this upgraded version of Dim Magical Armor. Dim Magical Armor is upgraded 4 times via quests from the Black Spirit. The first of which is called, Magic Armor Exchange I and is given at level 53. There are also Roaring sub-weapons and accessories.

Another reason to complete the main storyline is it's required in order to obtain a Fairy, which provides a large variety of special buffs you can't obtain any other way, like instant resurrection without death penalty and auto-consumption of health potions.

Crossroad Quests in Serendia

After you arrive in Heidel, you will be able to choose one of 3 story lines from Bobby Lauren, at the Golden Toad Inn. The Inn is located in Southern Heidel, behind the potion vendor.

Black Desert Online Storage

It will not take you long playing BDO, when you discover Black Desert Online storage is a real issue. When you are first starting out, you may need to choose one Life Skill to focus on. For example, you might want to store Cooking ingredients only and sell Alchemy ingredients to make more room. Cooking is much easier for the Beginner to get started with.

Most small towns and cities have a default storage of 16 slots each. This is where workers from that town or city will place goods they have gathered from Nodes. Storage is shared with all of your characters, enabling you to give gear and other items to alts.

How to obtain more storage in Black Desert Online:

Storage Bugs Anyone?
Make sure you always leave one empty space in your storage, or your workers will get severely confused and not work anymore until you free up a space. This occurs even if they are harvesting something that is already stacked inside that city's storage. Poor workers! :( To me, this seems like more of a game bug. Similar weird things can happen when your character has a full inventory. So, if you are getting weird errors, when trying to hire a worker, for example, always check to see if your inventory is full! LOL! Funny, but true.

Inventory Quests & Expansion Coupons

BDO Inventory Expansion Coupon via Loyalties

You begin with 20 Inventory slots, but you can raise that by 32 with quests for a total of 51 slots. To increase your inventory beyond 52, you will have to purchase inventory with Loyalties or Pearls. You receive 100 Loyalties each day you log in, allowing you to buy 1 inventory slot every 10 days. Or you can buy 8 slots for 800 Pearls ($8 or 16 slots for $14.50). 8 slots via Loyalties will cost you 2.6 months of waiting. Maximum inventory is 192 per character, so you can purchase up to 141 inventory slots.

BDO Inventory Expansion Coupon via Loyalties
BDO Inventory Expansion Coupon via Pearls

Note: The inventory quests below will not work if you already have the maximum amount of Inventory. You can't exceed 192 slots.

Obtained via Black Spirit main story.
Press O key then Main tab.

- Black Spirit's Gift #1 Inventory +2 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #2 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #3 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #4 Inventory +2 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #5 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #6 Inventory +2 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #7 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #8 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #9 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #10 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #11 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #12 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #13 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #14 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #15 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #16 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #17 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #18 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #19 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #20 Inventory +1 Expansion
- Black Spirit's Gift #21 Inventory +1 Expansion

Total Black Spirit's Gift Inventory: 24

+ 8 quests from "Suggested" Inventory quest tab

= 32 Extra Inventory Slots

The inventory quests below are part of the old Main quest line and might still be available via choosing the 1st Crossroad I quest line. ([Crossroad] The Lamenting Head of the League of Merchants ) All Crossroad quest lines give the same Inventory slot numbers.

Black Desert Online Inventory Quests (Old Main Quest Line)
Inventory Quest Level NPC Node Inventory Description
Choose 1 Jarette's headache 1 Jarrett Western Guard Camp Bag space +1 Requires Gathering: Beginner 5
Claus Can't Contain! 15 Claus Western Guard Camp Bag space +1
  Experience of the Ancients 1 Edan Ancient Stone Chamber Bag space +2
Choose 1 A Very Minute Flaw 1 Sealus SE Velia Bag space +1
Eileen’s Request 6 Eileen SW Velia Bag space +1
  Crio and Sandfish 20 Crio Velia (docks) Bag space +2 Have Fishing Quests turned on! Pre-requisite quest: Basic Fishing - A Fishing Rod. Make sure you don't have "Throw away useless items" checked.
  Military Power in Heidel 1 Jordine Ducas Heidel Bag space +2
Choose 1 Puia and the Wooden Box Design 17 Puia Heidel Bag space +1 Requires: Gathering: Beginner 6
Techthon and Quality Iron 15 Techthon Heidel Bag space +1
  Donatt's Will   Cheremio Glish Bag space +2 Freharau storyline
Choose 1 Glazed Naga Oil 18 Seilane Glish Bag space +1
Injured Adventurers... 20 Deborah Glish Bag space +1 Requires: Gathering: Beginner 3
  Trent Worker Experience 40 Spotty Troll Trent Bag space +1 Requires: Gathering: Beginner 2
Have knowledge on Chopping: Beginner
  Calpheon Military Representative 39 Norman Rate Northern Wheat Plantation Bag space +1 "Calpheon and Giant Trolls" quest line. Finish waragon questline or get 100 amity with Martha Kiyen (Northern Wheat Plantation), which unlocks Ruins Excavation Disruption
  Gift for Happiness 40 Soon-to-be Bride NE Calpheon City (behind Skill Instructor) Bag space +1 Uncheck auto-arrange:
(Veil > Wine > Glass).
Item order for inventory quest
Noble doesn't appear at night!
  Keplan, Free of Threats 47 Clam Cessory Keplan Bag space +1 Keplan main story questline

The quests below are from the old main quest line, but the Black Spirit quests were reworked. The new quest lines give similar inventory rewards for defeating bosses. [Co-op] boss quests were renamed to [Boss] at this time.

Black Spirit Inventory Quests
Inventory Quest Level Node Inventory
[Co-op] Black Spirit and the Giant Imp 15 Velia (NW beach) Bag space +1
[Co-op] Here Comes the Goblin Chief! 17 Ehwaz Hill (E of Velia) Bag space +1
[Co-op] Frenzied Altar Imp Captain 20 Northern Plain of Serendia Bag space +1
[Co-op] Frog on Frog 25 Glish (Freharau storyline) Bag space +1
[Co-op] Muskan of Madness 30 Bloody Monestary Bag space +1
[Co-op] Org the Greedy 33 Orc Camp Bag space +1
[Co-op] Biraghi Den Keeper 35 Bradie Fortress Bag space +1
[Co-op] Kelcas, the Giant Khuruto 36 Old Dandelion Bag space +1
[Co-op] Tower Offense 38 Bree Tree Ruins Bag space +1
[Co-op] A Big, Smart Guy 39 Quint Hill Bag space +1
[Co-op] A large living tree 42 Marni Farm Ruins area Bag space +1
[Co-op] The Mad Scientist's Vestiges 44 Marni's Lab Bag space +1
[Co-op] A possessed Giant 45 Gehaku Plain Bag space +1
[Co-op] The Giant Queen 45 Keplan Vicinity Bag space +1
[Co-op] Saunil Siege Captain 47 Trina Fort Bag space +1

Item Rarity & Colors in BDO

Many item names and icon borders in BDO are color coded to help you determine how rare something is. Workers, Life Skill levels, and items are all colored by grade/rarity. Lowest is gray. Gray items are considered trash for the most part and most can be sold at the vendor. Many mob "trash drops" can be exchanged for more than vendor sell price if you have a large quantity of them and exchange them to a certain NPC that wants them. These vendor trash items are usually white grade. (Having a white colored name/title.) Right click the item to draw a path to the closest exchange NPC.


Some things also have a title, denoting level/grade such as workers.

  1. Artisan
  2. Professional
  3. Skilled
  4. Normal
  5. Naive

We also see color grades reflected in Life Skill levels:

  1. Guru
  2. Master
  3. Artisan
  4. Professional
  5. Skilled
  6. Apprentice
  7. Beginner

Beginner Gear Basics

BDO Gear Window BDO is a gear powered game and with the right gear, you can defeat enemies much higher level than you. Armor, weapons, and accessories can be enhanced to increase Defense Points (DP), Attack Points (AP), and many other stats. There are no level restrictions to enhanced gear. Even a level 1 character can wear the best PEN (V) gear.

Gear enhancements, in order of the best and most rare is:

  1. PEN (V) +20
  2. TET (IV) +19
  3. TRI (III) +18
  4. DUO (II) +17
  5. PRI (I) +16
  6. +15 to +1

Armor Basics:
The main benefit to armor is that it offers DP (Defense Points). But many armor pieces include extra stats like Evasion, Weight Limit increases, Damage Reduction, and Health Points. Armor can be shared between all your characters by putting them into storage at the Storage Keeper located in most major cities. You could also transfer gear to an Alt via a Farm Wagon (Just remember not to transport the wagon from one stable to the next at the Stable Keeper or your gear will be destroyed.)

Weapon Basics:
Weapons and Sub-weapons (aka Secondary Weapons) are class specific. Some weapons can be shared with more than one class. The main-hand weapon of Staff, for example, is used by Witches and Wizards. The sub-weapon Steel Dagger is shared between Witch, Wizard, and Ranger. Awakening weapons can only be equipped by characters level 56+ who have completed their class specific Awakened quest line. (Archer is the exception to this rule and he is limited to the beginner Archer Awakening Weapon until level 56.) Awakening weapons cannot be shared with a different class.

Enhanced Gear
As a beginner, you can probably get by for quite a while on quested gear. But maybe you hate questing and like the RNG thrill of enhancment. If you decide on enhanced gear instead of quested gear, most players recommend purchasing already enhanced gear on the Marketplace, since it will most likely save you time and money. This is especially true as you get into the higher levels of enhancement. This is reflected in the scarcity of good, highly-enhanced gear on the Marketplace. (If it were a good money maker to enhance, everyone would be selling enhanced gear.)

For a more detailed guide on BDO Gear, please visit our Gear Progression Guide.

BDO Leveling Guide

BDO Leveling XP Chart

For details on the best leveling spots, Combat EXP buffs, and more, please visit our BDO Leveling Guide.

There is no level cap in BDO. However, there is what people call a "soft cap", where it gets to be nearly impossible to obtain a certain level. You see this reflected in the image I obtained of one of graphs available on Smite Datamining, which shows the amount of xp needed per level. As you can see, the xp needed for level 63 is much more than the amount needed for level 56. Getting to level 56 is fairly quick, but after level 62, leveling gets extremely difficult.

Making Money In BDO

Making money when you first start BDO can be challenging. Attendance and Event rewards can help offset the costs of upgrading or purchasing armor and weapons. There was a recent change to the beginner zones so that less junk and even green grade loot does not drop. Instead, Beginners should expect higher Black Stone drop rates than previously and higher value junk loot that they can exchange. This should save you from having to buy pets immediately, but you will still need them for loot pickup after entering Mediah at around level 52.

What Should You Keep?
Don't sell any items that are used in weapon/armor enhancement: Ex. Black Stones, Shards. If you see something on the Marketplace that sells frequently and there are zero to few available for sale at the Marketplace, it's a good indication to hang on to it. Keep in mind Max Price DOES NOT reflect value or popularity in BDO!!!

Typical Enhancement Items to Keep:

AFK Fishing
The easiest and cheapest way beginners can make money right away is with afk fishing. Equip a fishing rod, walk towards the water, press your space bar. That is all you have to do to afk fish. Set this up over-night and you will get Ancient Relic Crystal Shards, which sell for 1+ million Silver. Be sure to check the throw away junk box.

The <Fish Vendor> Crio, sells fishing rods with 30 durability for 500 silver each. Better fishing rods can be crafted and sold at the Marketplace, but it will be hard for new players to get them. Many fishing rods have a skill level requirement. Read the fine print!

Fishing Vendor in Veila Crio

Like many things in BDO, fish have different quality levels. White is the lowest quality and worth the least amount, followed by green, then blue, and lastly gold. Besides fish, you can rarely catch silver keys and ancient relic crystal shards. Current selling price for ancient relic crystal shards are 1.4 million silver. (Price varies with supply and demand.)

Fresh fish steadily decreases in value the older it gets. After 24 hours, your fish will be useless. If your fish is almost expired and worthless, dry it. Open the processing window (L key) and select the fish icon that represents the drying process. Insert fish, dry, and you'll have your fish forever. Dried fish can be sold at the Marketplace and used in cooking. One fresh fish = 2 dried fish in recipes.

BDO Velia Fishing Hotspot Beginner Fishing Hot Spot
West of Veila, along the beach, you will find a small group of players fishing all together. This fishing spot is well known for catching higher quality fish (gold and blue grade fish).

Karon, the <Imperial Fishing Delivery> NPC on the dock in front of the <Storage Keeper> in Veila, will buy blue and gold quality fish at 250% of their base value, but he only buys a certain number of each type of fish during a set period. After his fish quota is filled, he will no longer buy your fish. Always try to sell your fish to him first, then sell what is left over to the <Trade Manager> Bahar. Use the NPC finder to locate him.

Gathering Logs

Nodes & Hand Gathering
Selling raw produce from nodes and hand gathering can net you a good amount, but processed materials are inherently worth more. (Most of the time.) Study the Marketplace under the Materials tab and discover what products sell the most and the price they sell for. Items in BDO have a set value range determined by the game developers. Each item has a minimum and maximum it can be sold for.

Some crafted items like Beer, a worker stamina regeneration food, and Good Pet Feed will be in high demand. They have always been profitable, but that could change if the developers decide to update the price. You can also find items in which too many crafters have flooded the Marketplace and the price has dropped to the Minimum. Keep in mind that many items are not profitable to make! You can actually loose money crafting vs selling the processed goods on the Marketplace. It's important to do research before diving into a Life Skill or crafting.

Rulupee Travels & Her Goody Bag
After you reach level 30, you will be able to talk to Rulupee (Southern Heidel inn), who will give you a series of quests. Each of her quest series has a goodie bag at the end, which is very nice. For more details, view our Rulupee Travel Guide. Here is the end reward bag for the first two quest series.

*** Rulupee's Lightweight Adventure Bag ***

This daypack contains items handy for first time adventurers.
Right-click to obtain:

  • Black Stone (Weapon) x5
  • Black Stone (Armor) x5
  • Memory Fragment x5
  • Sharp Black Crystal Shard x3
  • Hard Black Crystal Shard x3

Beginner Grinding for Silver
You will often hear players say that grinding is the best money per hour. This is true for most. But for beginners, grinding is a bit more complicated. Grinding for loot is heavily dependent upon how fast you or your pets can pick up loot. Inventory and weight can also limit loot pickup, although less so now because of recent changes to beginner hunting zone drops. (When you reach Mediah, at around level 52, you can expect much more junk loot and other drops taking up space, weight, and pet pickup ability.) Many beginners won't have 5 pets and are trying to do their best with Level 1 and Tier 1 pets. You will probably start making good money by fighting Saunils around level 36. You may have noticed that the silver per hour is reported as being 4 to 10 million per hour. When compared to some of the higher level areas, this is good money for a level 36 hunting zone.

Hunting for Money Tip: I found that the Giants hunting ground is even better for loot than Saunils. So migrate there as soon as you can. (In my own experience.) recommends level 44 for Giants, but do try it at earlier levels if you're feeling adventurous! :)

Buying Silver with Real $$$
For super fast money, you can always sell a limited number of Pearl Shop items (like Outfits, Value Packs, and Pets) at the Marketplace. Double check in the lower left window of the Pearl item you are considering. Hover over the icons to make sure they have a Marketplace value. If they don't have a Marketplace value, they can't be sold on the Marketplace and will be bound to you once purchased.

You can register up to 5 Pearl Shop items at the Marketplace each week per account. This is reset every week, on Saturday.

PVP & PVE Death Penalties

BDO PVP Activation Swords

Characters of level 49 and under are safe from PVP, but player versus player combat is enforced at level 50 and beyond (it can not be turned off). After you complete the quest that lets you move past level 49, another player can "flag up" and attack you at any time, except in safe areas like cities and towns. Unwanted PVP occurs most often because of hunting territory squabbles. If you don't like PVP, stay away from other player's "rotations" for popular grind spots. You will still get occasionally PVP'd while grinding, when someone wants to take your leveling spot, but it's not an every day occurance. Switch channels when grind spots are full.

Some players just enjoy playing the bad guy and killing others for sport. These players may even enjoy having negative Karma (aka red Karma). Negative Karma occurs when you "flag up" and keep killing players that aren't flagged for PVP (that don't have a red name) and your Karma points sink below 0.

PVP & PVE Death Penalties Depend Upon Karma: PVP penalties do not apply during node war, RBF (Red Battlefield), guild war declarations, duels, or arena.
PVE Penalties don't apply for boss deaths.
Arsha is a special PVP server that removes any Karma penalties, and also increases loot drops for level 50+ players.

Guild Benefits

BDO Guild Combat Skills Joining a guild has tangible benefits besides socializing and group activities. Guilds can earn points though guild quests and player advancement that they can spend on passive buffs to stats like Gathering, Fishing, and AP. There is also a daily contract payout amount that starts low and increases with time.

Also, joining a medium or larger guild gives an extra daily attendance reward.

NOTE: Guild pay outs coupled with active sea monster hunting is very popular right now because of the high silver rewards that are achievable to guilds that work together in vanquishing the terrors of the sea!

Summary of Life Skills

Pressing your P key will bring up a window with your character's information, including a list of Professions (Life Skills) within a tab window. There are 7 ranks for each Life Skill and 10 levels in each rank. Master has 30 levels and the highest rank of Guru has 20 levels.

We see color grades reflected in Life Skill levels:

  1. Guru
  2. Master
  3. Artisan
  4. Professional
  5. Skilled
  6. Apprentice
  7. Beginner

Vist our Life Skill Levels guide for a more detailed guide on Life Skill Levels and the Life Fame benefit.

You can read Life Skill summaries below. For more detailed Life Skill guides, follow the links:


Gathering is a profitable activity that lets you gather all kinds of crafting materials used in other Life Skills and worker workshops. In many quest lines, it's a requirement that opens up other Life Skill quests. Each gatherable resource requires it's own tool to gather. Buy gathering tools at a <Material Vendor> or on the Marketplace. Or purchase a Tool Workshop and have your worker craft them for you.

BDO Gathering by a Fruit Tree
Gathering Tools
AxeUse on trees to chop wood
HoeUse on vegetation to gather herbs, weeds, seeds, and flowers (Barehanded gathering without a tool will mostly reward weeds which are used in alchemy)
Tanning KnifeUse on animal corpes to gather hides and feathers
Butcher KnifeUse on animal corpses to gather meat (Also used in the Hunting Profession to gather multiple materials and Hunting XP)
Fluid CollectorUse on corpses to gather blood or trees to gather sap (which are used in Alchemy)
PickaxeUse on rocks, ore, and gem nodes to gather rough stone, ores, and gems
Empty BottleUse to gather river and sea water
Shabby ShovelUse in the desert of Valencia to gather muddy water, vanadium and titanium ore and shards, blue and violet crystals

All gathering methods have a chance to proc the very valuable Hard and Sharp Black Crystal Shards which are used in enhancing gear.  Lucky and Magic Tools increase luck while gathering. There is debate on how much, if any, Luck plays in gathering Shards.

Empty Bottle for leveling Gathering SkillIf you would like to increase your Life Skills, I recommend leveling up your Gathering Skill to at least Beginner 7 ASAP. This is easily done via Empty Bottle gathering at the fountain in Heidel. Purchase 34 Empty Bottles at the Material Vendor near the fountain. Or you can use any river/lake for gathering water. I like Heidel because the Material Vendor is only a couple steps away from the water source.

BDO Gathering Fountain Water for Processing Quests BDO Gathering Water for Processing Quests

Speedy Tip: Get to Apprentice 4 Gathering Skill to bypass 9 prerequisite Processing advancement quests. You may want to do them anyway, though, since they give you a free fence and other goodies.
BDO Apprentice 4 Gathering for Processing quest line

Gathering level Apprentice 4 is a little more challenging to obtain. You will need about 274 Empty Bottles filled. If you do skip the prerequisite quest chain for processing, then you will miss out on the Shabby Fence and some housing furniture, as well as additional Gathering/Processing XP.


Press L to open the processing window. No tools are needed to process materials. Processed materials are inherently worth more than raw materials at the Marketplace (but this does not always mean they will sell well, if at all, on the Marketplace. Look at supply and demand before processing anything!). Processing, like fishing, is usually a good AFK way to generate extra income, after it is leveled up to Artisan level. (Always check Marketplace demand.) There is a questline to complete before you can process at higher levels. See our guide for the Beginner Processing Knowledge Questline.

Processing Examples
raw material T1 T2 T3
BDO timber unprocessed
BDO Processed Timber by Chopping: Plank
BDO Processed Timber by Chopping: Plywood
sturdy plywood
BDO Processed Timber: Sturdy Timber
BDO ore unprocessed
melted shard
BDO Processed Ore by Melting: Melted Shard
BDO Processed Ore by Melting: Ingot
pure crystal
BDO Processed Ore: Pure Crystal
In BDO, the Processing Skill allows you to chop, heat, dry, filter, shake, and grind resources into processed materials. These refined items are often used in higher level crafting recipes. Everyone is able to do basic T1 processing. However, if you would like to do the second level of processing, (to create plywoods, ingots, cloth, etc.), BDO requires you to obtain "Beginner" Processing Knowledge. There are up to three tiers of processing: T2 Beginner, T3 Skilled.


Cooking is one of the first Lifeskills you will most likely level early on as you need to make Beer to feed your workers. Check out this Beer making guide, which also goes into greater detail on how to begin cooking. Cooking requires a Cooking Utensil installed in your residence. Purchase a Cooking Utensil from chefs or innkeepers. Utensils can sometimes be sniped on the Marketplace, or have your worker craft one in a Tool Workshop.

The image below shows the location of all the Velia grain/cereal nodes you can purchase to make beer. ( I obtained the map's background from Thanks Fam! )

BDO Grain Nodes Near Velia for Making Beer


Riding and leveling your mount increases training skill. You need Beginner 5 Training Skill to capture a horse in the wild. Read a more detailed guide about training in our Training Guide.


When I first started BDO, AFK fishing over night was the easiest way to earn money and it probably still is. To AFK fish, press Space Bar, and let it go. You will automatically loot the fish after 3 minutes. Catching rare fish levels your fishing skill faster. With better fishing skill, you can use better fishing rods. Active fishing takes more keyboard warrior skill. To actively fish, approach water, equip a fishing rod, and press Space Bar to begin fishing. After you get a bite, press Space Bar to reel it in. You must successfully complete 2 mini-games to loot the fish. If you fail either one, the fish gets away. Read more about fishing in our Fishing guide.


You need a matchlock to hunt. To level your hunting skill, you need to butcher <Wild> animals with a butcher knife or do hunting quests. To get started with Hunting, you should know about the Hunting quest line detailed in this Hunting guide.


You need a fence and seeds to begin Farming. Pruning, killing pests, breeding, and harvesting crops increases Farming Skill.

Farming for Grain
Farming is another profession you can do as a beginner that will help you get grain for making worker food. There is a low level quest line which will give you a free fence, or you can spend 3 CP on a Small Fence. Seeds can be acquired through gathering vegetation, the Marketplace, and seed vendors. A Withered Seed, sold by vendors, is the lowest quality seed, which will not yield very good results. But the good news is that you can breed them and there is a chance to obtain better seeds, which produce better crops. The next tier after Withered Wheat is the normal white grade Wheat Seed, which after about 5 hours from planting, will yield an average of 70 wheat.

The image below shows the location of Camelia Loggia, who you can purchase Withered Wheat Seed from for 220 silver. It also shows the location of a Small Fence vendor, Martina Finto. ( I obtained the map's background from Thanks Fam! )

BDO Withered Wheat Seed Near Velia for Making Beer

Fences are rented from NPCs with Contribution Points. When you return the fence, your Contribution Points are refunded. Each fence type has a limited number of spaces for seeds. A small fence has 4 grid spaces. Grain seeds only take up 1 space each, so you can plant 4 grain seeds in 1 small fence.

Fence Rental NPC Locations & CP Costs:
Fence Number of Spaces Contribution Cost Vendors That Rent Fences Vendor Location Nearest City
Small Fence 4 3 Martina Finto <Node Manager> Finto Farm Veila
Enzo <Node Manager> Dias Farmr Calpheon
Plain Fence 7 6 Finlin <Material Vendor> Tarif Tarif
Paola Toscani <Farm Vendor> Toscani Farm Veila
Norma Leight <Node Manager> Northern Wheat Plantation Calpheon
Mercianne Moretti <Node Manager> Moretti Plantation Heidel
Mayeri <Furniture Dealer> Trent Trent
Goolie Gianin <Node Manager> Gianin Farm Keplan
Strong Fence 10 10 Flaviano <Material Vendor> Heidel City Heidel
Geranoa <Material Vendor> Calpheon City Calpheon
Lashir <Material Vendor> Altinova City Altinova
Shabby Fence 1 0 Quest reward from Jemkas Wyrmsbane: Because I Like You (Requires Gathering: Beginner 7 or quest chain) Northern Guard Camp, north of Heidel Heidel


Trading is the act of obtaining one Trade Good and selling it to a <Trade Manager>, (for, hopefully, a profit). Trading is often touted as a profitable profession in the game, but you can actually loose money doing it, if you're not careful. Before getting into trade, be sure to read up on it. It is not usually recommended for beginners.

BDO Alchemy Chest


Alchemy creates potions (most have a shorter buff than foods), magic crystals, and reagents for Skilled Processing (Plywood Hardener, Metal Solvent, Gem Polisher). Alchemy requires an Alchemy tool installed in your residence. Purchase an Alchemy tool from a General Vendor, or on the Markeplace, or have your worker craft one in a Tool Workshop. Alchemy isn't as easy to get started with as Cooking. All Alchemy recipes require rare materials that you have to gather yourself or rarely obtain through nodes. This profession will take lots of time to level up, but help boost your character's power in many ways.
BDO Sailing Ship


A beginner sailing boat can be purchased at the Wharf Master for 10k silver. You can sail at low levels to find fishing hotspots and other adventures, but it's not recommended to go too far out by yourself (Ross & Margoria Seas), until you have an Epheria Boat. Sailing is very slow and the waters that are far out have sea monsters that quickly destroy a slow and weak boat. Building a good boat takes time and effort. Read more about Sailing and boats in the Boat & Sailing Guide

BDO Hotkeys (Default)

The image below shows the default Hotkeys or Keyboard Shortcuts for different commands in BDO. The one you will use the most will be the Escape key. Through this, you can pretty much do anything you want, including accessing a helpful crafting knowledge database (F2) with recipes and item drop locations.

One very handy tool in the Escape Menu is the Marketplace button. You can't actully purchase anything, but it's nice to be able to view markeplace demand on the go.

BDO Hotkeys: Default Keyboard Key Commands

Links to Helpful BDO Sites

BDO has a great community of people. Many of whom have created websites and tools to help us in our adventures:

Contact Me
Thanks for reading Cat's beginner guide! If you would like to contact GrumpyG, you can do so via PMs on BDO's forum or Message me on If you have any questions, please ask!

BDO Guides Got Guide Fever?
If you have a BDO guide you've been working on, that you would like to collaborate on, or have published here without me meddling with it, I will gladly take a look. It's fun reading advice and tips from other BDO players. I'm inspired seeing so many great BDO guides written by the community! Happy guide writing!

You can encourage me to write more BDO guides, by shopping at
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, within 24 hours of clicking above link. No additional cost to you.
Thanks for visiting GrumpyG, and have fun in BDO! :)