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!

This Beginners Guide will help those just starting BDO and MMORPG fans considering a purchase of Black Desert Online.

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

HAPPY journeying!!

If you’re looking for a humble opinion on the good and bad of Black Desert, please read my Black Desert Online Gameplay & Review. But if you want tips that are mostly non-opinionated, read below. 🙂

BDO Beginner to Black Desert Online

 

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, you may not even think about. Ultimately, you will end up playing the class you enjoy the most, no matter what this guide tells you.

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

  • Easy key combos: you can Chain Lighting all the way to level 50. (Hold Shift + Right button)
  • High & Cheap Sustainability: Beginners have to worry less about using up precious inventory and weight limits on buying and carrying Mana and HP potions. (Pots are very heavy.) They are more free to focus on obtaining loot and using silver for gear. They have several spells that almost instantly regenerate health and mana.
  • Magic Lighthouse: a spell that turns a monster’s attention away from you and reduces their defense. This can help beginners, who probably have lower gear scores and need to save money on repair bills and pots.

Another bonus for beginners who choose Wizard or Witch, is that they have 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 get 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 with a Trial Character. Read more about this below.

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

Trial Characters

Testing Out a Class
Trial Characters allow you to try out a class to see if you will like it near end game.

  • Max 3 Trial Character slots. (This is separate from the Standard slots.)
  • All Trial Characters are level 60
  • 4,000 Skill Points.
  • Trial Characters can only enter a PVE cooperative tower defence mode called Savage Rift or specific PVP areas: Battle Arena, Red Battlefield, Arena of Arsha. No Savage Rift rewards.
  • NPC Haz in Battle Arena sells Trial Gear for 1 Silver. (You are given 100k to spend.)
    • Arsha’s Chest (powerful gear set gives 255 AP, 305 DP)
    • [Battlefield] Instant HP or MP Potion (XL)
    • Certain [Battlefield] buffs can’t be used in Arena of Arsha: Exquisite Cron Meal, Giant’s Draught, Perfume of Courage, Body Enhancement

BDO Trial Character

 

  • Trial Character Limitations: Can’t impact Family Fame. Can’t do normal activities like Attendance Rewards, In-game Mail, Challenges (Y), Node investment, and Guild Bonuses.

BDO Family Name

New Adventurers will have their Family Name displayed as ‘Rookie Adventurer’ upon entering the game for the first time. You can choose your Family Name in-game by entering the chat window (press Enter).

* You cannot join a guild if you do not choose your own Family Name.

When you have successfully chosen your Family Name, you will be reconnected to the game. After about 20 seconds on the reconnection screen, you will finally be able to play with the Family Name of your choosing.

<Guild Name>
Title
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 Pearl Shop outfits called Treant/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.

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.

Rookie Attendance Rewards

Attendance Rewards are game items you obtain every day just for logging into the game. View them through the Escape Menu.

You also get another reward for logging in, called “Loyalties”. Loyalties are used to purchase Cash Shop items (F3). For more info about playing F2P with the BDO Loyalty Shop, visit our Loyalties Guide.

Typical Beginner “Rookie” Attendance Rewards:

  • Value Packs to last one month.
  • Tier 5 Horse
  • +6 Inventory Slots
  • Kuku Bird pet
  • Enhancement Goodies (Keep these)

BDO Beginner Rookie Attendance Rewards

Collect your Attendance Reward goodies via the “Safe” icon located at the bottom right of your screen.

Sometimes Guild and other special event Attendance Reward tabs open up. Returning players (who have not logged into their account for 30 days) also get a special tab.

Notice that Attendance Rewards are only available for a limited time. “Loyal” Attendance Rewards normally only have a short monthly window. “Guild”, “Rookie”, and “Returning” player tabs usually have a broader time frame to collect.

 

Season Servers

Season Servers are available during a limited time to Season Characters only. When season servers end, all Season Characters are forced into graduation and can’t re-enter those temporary servers.

Season Servers are a great benefit to new players for several key reasons:

  • Tuvala Gear – a superior gear set for beginners (one piece can be converted into powerful boss gear.)
  • Special Seasonal Goodies – special items unique to each season are available to help adventureres (For example, enhancement goodies, inventory slots, and gear.)
  • 24/7  Exp buff
    • Combat EXP +100%
    • Skill EXP +20%
  • For more details, view our Season Sever page, that gives you all the details.

—- If you are allowed to create a Season Character, do so!!! —-

 

New Olvia Servers

Olvia Servers are only available to New and Returning players for a 30 day window. These servers give more Exp in combat and life skills.

 

NEW Olvia (Novice only) Adventurers who have logged in within 30 days (720 hours) of creating their Family Name. Also those returning, who have a character total level of less than 150.
NEW Olvia – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Adventurers who have not logged into the game or used the Web Central Market in the last 30 days (720 hours).

 

Olvia Server Buffs:

Benefits Buff Details
Combat EXP 150%
Skill EXP 50%
Max Growth Level Lv. 61 99.999%
Life EXP 100% (up to Artisan 1)
Contribution EXP CP 0-99 : Contribution EXP +150%
CP 100-199: Contribution EXP +100%
CP 200-249: Contribution EXP +50%

 

BDO Oliva Server for Beginner Players

 

  • Oliva server is optional. You still have access to all other servers.
  • Certain content is not available in Olvia, such as Node War, Conquest War, Red Battlefield, and Horse Racing.

There is an Olvia server icon which is displayed for new and returning players.

  • When you bring the mouse cursor over the icon, the time left for Olvia servers is displayed.
  • The icon is located where the Value Pack icon appears.

BDO Alerts and Notifications

The UI can alert you to many different things that occur in the game. These include Trade notifications and other things like when other players fail or succeed at enhancements.

You can customize the messages that are shown. Press Escape key > Settings > General > Alerts

BDO Settings for Alerts

Chat Filters & Censors

BDO has two separate settings for “Chat Filter”. Although they are called the same, they are completely different and have unique chat filtering behaviors.

Chat Filter with *** Replacement
BDO has a very strong offensive language censor, that often filters out terms it shouldn’t. For example, it will show “so****ing” for the word “something” and “good ***ht” for the words “good night”. You can turn off their offensive language censors by going to Esc > Community > Language. There isn’t a way to fine tune this. It’s either on or off, and the developers decide which terms are offensive.

Press Esc > Community > Language.

BDO Chat Filter & Censor: Turning on or off

Chat Filter with Complete Removal
BDO has a separate option, in which you can input your own term, and it will completely remove the entire chat. This can work together or separately from their native censoring. Chat Filters you add in here do not replace the word with ***. It completely removes the player’s entire message, as if they never sent a chat in the first place.

Press Esc > Community > Chat Filters.

BDO Chat Filter & Censor: Turning on or off

Like all MMORPG games, BDO has its share of people advertising this or that. With Chat Filters, you can completely remove those types of ads. But you have to remember, if you put “.com” in this Chat Filter, you will have to delete the term to ever get a website recommendation from a friend, for example.

  • Filtered words can be up to 50 characters long.
  • The chat filter is literal, not case sensitive and does not support wildcards.
  • Any chat containing the filtered word will be completely removed.

The following gets rid of many gold sellers as well as people spamming chat with memes, annoyances, etc.

Thanks to bdoparadise.blogspot.com for sharing this chat filter example!

    trump
    alienware
    .com
    .c0m
    ,com
    . c o m
    .uk
    .cn
    .ru
    www.
    w w w
    w.w.w
    www
    WvVw
    VG0LDS
    VVVVVV
    3vv
    4bdgold
    bikinipanda
    cash
    cheap fast
    cheap gold
    daum cash
    dotcom
    fast delivery
    f$st delivery
    goldceo
    g0ldceo
    goldah
    goldaa
    g0ld
    g o l d a h
    lgfans
    mmook
    okaygoods
    powerleveling
    powerlevel
    powerlevl
    powerlvl
    powerlvel
    panda
    p a n d a
    pvegolds
    pvpbank
    wellmmo   
    \ / \ /  \ / \ /  \ / \ /
    B1|<1N1P@N|)@ DOT (0M
    |)@UM C@$H 50 0/0 0FF
    |
    )
    @
    /
    $
    fa ggot
    fa git 
    wwwww
    ccoomm
    ocomo
    gwf

 

 

Pearl Shop Basics

To purchase Pearl Shop (F3) items, you must first buy Acoin (Abyss Coin) via the official Pearl Abyss website. Use the Acoin 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 Acoin. 10,000 Acoin 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.

Please visit our Pearl Shop & P2W Guide for more details on the P2W gear you can purchase to make the game easier.

Pearl Shop Gifting

You used to be able to give Pearls and Pearl items to friends, but this was removed. BDO takes serious effort into quelling the actions of gold/account/power leveling sellers, but their ads are still visible in chat. You can use chat filters to block them.

Giving Money (Silver) & Game Items Away

The main game currency is silver, and it can’t be given to another player. Player to player trade is very limited in Black Desert Online. Most things like gear and accessories cannot be given or traded directly to another player and must be sold at the Central Market. Some exceptions are Health and Mana Potions and some foods and drinks. Also, once those items are traded, they become bound and can’t be re-traded or sold.

Energy

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. Maximum 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 2000 Loyalties (10 days of logging in for one hour) or 1,250 Pearls. ($12.50). Small energy tonics cost 200 Loyalties.

 

BDO Blessing of the Kamasylve for Energy Regeneration 

Contribution

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.

Combat Skills

Beginners have until level 57 to freely test out their class and change skills. Skill Points can be put into any skill to level those skills up and increase their strength. Spending Skill Points is limited by level, available Skill Points, and sometimes skill pre-requisites. The majority of Skill Points will be obtained via fighting monsters. There are some quests that give them as well.

Experiment While You Can!
Once you reach level 57, you will need a Pearl Shop (Secret Book of Old Moon) to reset your Skill Points. These cost at minimum 500 Pearls or 2000 Loyalties. You do get one for free for completing your Awakening quest line.

For more details on Skills, please view our Skill Guide.

Beginner Travel & 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” will give you all the NPCs that will exchange fences for Contribution Points, so you can start the Farming profession.

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 near the city.)

Beginner Horse

Mounts are now easier to obtain. Complete the main quest line in Balenos. Before leaving Velia to travel to Heidel speak to the <Stable Keeper>. He will have a quest for a very nice beginner horse.

There are many more ways to obtain a horse. Read more in our horse guide.

Don’t be fooled by the Donkey, unless you choose the Shai class. 🙂 Donkeys are adorable and so lovable, but harder to turn. Horses are easier to handle and most important, just as cute! (Some players have been known to defend their donkey’s prowess to the death… beware of such players, as they are deluded.)

BDO Horse Taming: Press Space Bar

Get your rope ready for, Horse Taming!

 

BDO Beginner Horse Mount

While you are at the <Stable Keeper>, you may want to purchase food for your horse (carrots) and pets (Cheap Feed). Horse Health and Stamina (Power) can be recovered for 500 Silver per 1% 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.

Remote Collection:

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.

Mount Transport:

  • You can transport mounts held in another Wharf/Stable to the current Wharf/Stable. Guild mounts are excluded from this function.
  • Transporting a mount costs 1 million Silver and will take 10 minutes to complete.
  • Transporting mounts with trade or barter goods in their inventory have a certain chance to lose all those items.
  • Large ships cannot be transported to areas they cannot traverse to (rivers, lakes).

 

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. Your characters don’t automatically share mounts. If you want to give an Alt your mount, you must place him in the stable at the <Stable Keeper>.

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

We also have a beginner friendly guide on Training & Horses.

 

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, or quest 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 have 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 Bbility. It’s skills, however, will still work.

BDO Pet Skill Window: Life XP for Cats

Pet Exchange (aka 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, loot speeds are faster.

Cheap Feed can be bought for your pets at the <Stable Keeper> and restores 12 hunger. Better pet food can be cooked or bought at the Marketplace.

Pet Talents & Special Abilities
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.

Best Pets for Beginners?
Many players say the Hedgehog is the best pet in BDO. With my own testing, I discovered I gathered much 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. Hedgehog has limited availability. To learn more, please visit our Hedgehog Guide.

Pet Pet Special Ability Pet Talent
Cats
Choppy
detect gatherable resources Life XP
Crab detect gatherable resources item durability
Little Lamb detect PVP players Life XP
Young Griffon
Turtle
detect PVP players item durability
Dogs detect PVP players Combat Skill XP
Birds detect rare mobs Knowledge
Penguin
Polar Bear
afk fish time decrease
(Polar Bear: +20LT & +10 LT/tier)
Life XP
Pandas taunts monsters (draws a mob to you) Combat Skill XP
Desert Fox
Snowkid
Reindeer
resistance to desert heatstroke/hypothermia (up to 35%) item durability
Hedgehog extra gathered resources Life XP

 

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.

Is BDO Free to Play?

BDO Pet Panda

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 gives 30% back after a 35% tax on Marketplace sales. It also gives good 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 your pets are. 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:

  • 1 pet: 1100 Pearls ($11)
  • 2 pets: 2200 Pearls ($22)
  • 3 pets: 3300 Pearls ($33)
  • 4 pets: 4400 Pearls ($44)
  • 5 pets: 5500 Pearls ($55)

BDO Pet Kuku from Attendance Reward

BDO has been more generous giving players free pets lately. 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. Penguins have been given in the distant past and are more rare. A limited amount of free pets can be obtained via Quest/Attendance/Challenge Rewards.

You will notice that two Kuku pets can’t be used at the same time. You can, however, Exchange 2 Kuku pets to create a higher Tier Kuku that has faster loot speed and better buffs.

Please visit our BDO Loyalties Guide for more info on ways you can use Loyalties to play for free. We also have a Pearl Shop & P2W Guide covering all the ways you can Pay to Win.

Beginner Quest Tips

quest logIf you enjoy questing, be sure to select 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, 4 pets, and other goodies helpful to Beginners.

Main Story Chest Piece
Beginner Chest Piece: Roaring Magical Armor

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 Quest in Heidel, Serendia

After you complete the quest, ‘Paying Off Debts,’ to take money to Bobby Lauren in Heidel, you will have a window appear where you can select a Crossroad quest line of your choice. The window will not disappear until you make a selection of a Crossroad quest line. The Crossroad quest lines don’t impact the main Black Spirit quest line rewards. So you will still get the same inventory slots and Beginner gear, no matter which quest line you choose. They do have differing rewards for Skill Points and optional items like gold bars, Black Stones, etc.

  • You can choose and play through 1 among 3 dividing quest lines at Serendia. The quest you choose at Serendia will eventually join into one quest at Calpheon.

  • Each dividing quest line has its own story, and each has its own path of Monster Zones to go through.

  • Crossroad I quest line starts with [Crossroad] The Lamenting Head of the League of Merchants. This gives a balance of quest amount, goodies, and combat.

  • Crossroad II quest line starts with [Crossroad] Silence, We’re Done Here!. This choice is for players who don’t like questing, but still want the major main quest line rewards, like pets, bag slots, etc.

  • Crossroad III quest line starts with [Crossroad] Each of Their Reasons. This quest line is for the quest lover that doesn’t mind spending time doing lots of errands and gain more goodies.

 

  • After completing the Black Spirit’s Gift (Adventurer’s Tome) quest, you will get an item with the effect “Prognyl Silver Bar Gain +20%.” Prognyl Silver Bars are frequently obtained with beginner quests and can be exchanged at the Storage Keeper for 20,000 silver.

 

 

Black Desert Online Storage

For hoarders like myself, it will not take long for you to discover Black Desert Online storage can be a real issue. That is, unless your plan is to buy Pearls with real cash to increase Storage. When you are first starting out, it’s not as bad. But expect to get much more loot after you hit level 51 and arrive in Mediah.

Most Life Skills require lots of storage. You may want 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 a BDO 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:

    • Use Alts for Storage: Turn your alternate character’s inventories into storage.
    • Use Housing for Storage: Purchase a House > Storage with Contribution Points
      • Cheapest Storage for Velia: Toscani Farm after purchasing Lodging for more workers (House 6-2 gives 12 storage for 3 Contribution Points)
        Cheapest Storage in Velia
      • Cheapest Storage for Heidel: every house on block 4 except 4-5
        Cheapest Storage in Heidel
    • Use Transport for Storage: Some items can be held in Transport via the <Storage Keeper>
      BDO Storage Transport
    • Use Wagons for Storage: Leave items on a wagon and stack your wagons inside at the <Stable Keeper>. Farm Wagons are sold by the <Stable Keeper> for 180,000 silver and have 14 inventory slots. This is a great way to store items that are not used often. (Stable slots can be increased after purchasing a Horse Ranch with CP). Note: if you Remote Collect Wagons or Mounts via the <Stable Keeper>, Trade Goods will be destroyed and if it’s a non-Trade Good item, the mount will be transferred to the nearest <Stable Keeper>
      BDO Storage Stable Keeper
    • Central Market: Leave items in your Central Market Warehouse. Some items that can’t be stacked normally, like Ancient Relic Crystal Shards, can be stacked inside this special storage. Visit the Marketplace or Storage NPC to do this. Click on the “Warehouse” button. (This is seperate from the city “Storage”.)
      BDO Central Market Warehouse
  • Loyalty Storage: Storage can be purchased with 1000 Loyalty. (Would take 5 days of logging in.) Many Loyalty Storage Coupons give 1 Extra slot for 2 different city storages. For example, the Serendia Storage Coupon includes 1 storage space for Heidel and Glish. Calpheon has 3 cities instead of 2.
    BDO Storage Slots from Loyalties

Storage Bugs?
Make sure you always leave one empty space in the city 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! They like to sit in your pockets? LOL! Funny, but true.

Inventory Quests & Expansion Coupons

You begin with 24 Inventory slots, but you can raise that by 33 with quests for a total of 57 slots.

To increase your inventory beyond 57, you will have to obtain inventory with Rookie Attendance Rewards, Loyalties, or Pearls.

BDO Inventory Expansion Coupon via Loyalties

 

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. (They have a colored name/title.) Lowest is gray. Gray items are considered trash for the most part and most can be sold at the vendor.

Some items can be exchanged for more than vendor price, if you have a large quantity of them and exchange them to a certain NPC that wants them. This type of exchangable loot has been removed from the majority of beginner grinding areas, but keep a watchful eye in later levels. Right click the exchangable item to draw a path to the closest exchange NPC.

Some items like Memory Fragments are colored wrongly, so be sure to ask before discarding items you’re unfamiliar with.

Gray > White > Green > Blue > Gold > Orange

Workers have grades as well:

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

Color grades reflected in Life Skill levels:

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

Gear Enhancement Levels

Armor, weapons, and accessories can have an enhancement level that improves its stats. For example increasing Defense Points (DP), Attack Points (AP), and many other stats.

 

  1. PEN (V) +20 (best/max level)
  2. TET (IV) +19
  3. TRI (III) +18
  4. DUO (II) +17
  5. PRI (I) +16
  6. +15 to +1
Naru gear set with PRI level armor

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.

PVP & PVE Death Penalties

BDO PVP Activation Swords

Characters of level 49 and under are safe from PVP, but player versus player combat can’t be avoided at level 50 and beyond (You can run, but you can’t hide.) 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. The Black Spirit quest, [To Level 50!] Breaking New Ground, must be completed in order to level up from Lv. 49 to Lv. 50.

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 PVP’d while grinding, when someone wants to take your leveling spot, but it’s not an every day occurance, if you choose grinding spots that are less poplular. Switch channels when grind spots are full.

PVP flagged characters have glowing red names above their heads.

Some players just enjoy playing the bad guy and killing others for sport. These players 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:

  • PvE Death (you have 0+ Karma): Chance to lose crystals + guaranteed exp loss
  • PvE Death (you have negative Karma) Guaranteed exp/crystal loss + chance to lose 1 gear Enhancment level.
  • PvP Death (you have 0+ Karma): nothing happens
  • PvP Death (you have negative Karma): Guaranteed loss of crystals (usually 5 max) + guaranteed XP loss (more than Elion’s Tear can recover) + chance to lose 1 gear Enhancment level
  • PVP Death in Desert (you have negative Karma): Jail time only: sentenced according to Karma (30/50/60 minutes) Desert area is in Valencia whenever you can’t view yourself on the World Map. You will see a desert icon on your minimap.

Negative Karma players will be attacked by NPC guards, except in the criminal’s town inside Valencia. Having extremely negative Karma can even destory the gear you are wearing upon death.

PVP penalties do not apply during node war, RBF (Red Battlefield), guild war declarations, duels, or arena.
PVE Penalties don’t apply for some boss deaths. (Dark Rift bosses have no death penalty. World bosses do give death penalty.)
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.

At one time, joining a medium or larger guild gave an extra daily attendance reward. This may happen again in the future.

NOTE: Guild pay outs coupled with active sea monster hunting is one way to earn silver for 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) under “Life Skill”. 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 50 levels.

BDO Life Skill 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.

For a beginner guide, with recommendations specific to new players, please view our Beginner Life Skill Guide.

 

Life Skill Summary

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

 

  • Gathering – using an axe, hoe, tanning knife, butcher knife, fluid collector, pickaxe, empty bottle, shabby shovel, bare handed
  • Processing – AFK chop, heat, dry, filter, shake, and grind resources into processed materials
  • Cooking – AFK cook gathered material inside your residence on a Cooking Utensil
  • Alchemy – AFK brew gathered material inside your residence on an Alchemy Tool
  • Training – taming wild horses, AFK running horses on a loop, horse breeding
  • Fishing – AFK fishing or active fishing via mini game
  • Hunting – active hunting with a Matchlock and butchering the corpse with a Butcher Knife
  • Trading – active or semi-AFK trading by buying or making trade goods and delivering them far away.
  • Farming – planting seed in a rented fence and tending the crops
  • Sailing – sailing quests, hunting sea monsters
  • Barter – trade collected land goods to Barter NPC’s located on islands and ocean objects.

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 Central Market button. You can make purchases away from town, as long as you have Silver in your Warehouse.

BDO Hotkey

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:

  • bddatabase.net and bdocodex.com – almost identical websites, databases for everything Black Desert Online. Huge help to me!
  • blackdesertfoundry.com – beautiful Black Desert Online guides. Lots of great content.
  • dulfy.net – older guides, but can still be helpful.
  • Forums – I find allot of good info puttering around in the following forums:
  • somethinglovely.net – my goto BDO Map site when I get lost, used to look up not only nodes, but crate (trading) calculations and horse breeding calculations. Also has leveling/hunting zones with recommended AP/DP. Lots of goodies here!
  • Incendar Gaming Videos – I enjoy listening to Incendar, who has a gaming channel and lots of videos with BDO Tips. (and runs incendar.com)
  • invenglobal.com – helpful guides here. One benefit of this site is that they often have insight into what’s currently happening on Korean servers, which undergo patches before we do.
  • bdotools.com – Amity calculator that works good for most NPC’s
  • bdoplanner.com – BDOPlanner: awesome gear calculator. Plan and share gear builds.
  • bdodae.com – has a very detailed node caclulator and alchemy/cooking recipe calculators
  • blackdesertanalytics.netlify.com – helpful articles about Life Skills and Making Money
  • urzasarchives.com – guides on World Bosses and spawn info.
  • violetastray.com – wonderful guides on horse taming/training, clothing, and housing
  • Gear Enhancement/Upgrades:
  • Discord Channels listed on reddit: (live chat and talk web app that is a good source of info, help, and current events)