Image Credit: Black Desert Online Screenshot Winners – NA Vangard


BDO Ap Brackets: AP Bonus

Image Credit: Screenshot Winners – EU WildSpark

This BDO Combat, Skills, and Crowd Control (CC) guide will help you understand the rules of engagement in PVP and PVE. Black Desert Online is filled with a complex variety of combat mechanics, with a long list of Blocks, Special Attacks, and Combat States.

Action combat with key combos is BDO’s most loved feature, but the skill details can make your head spin. If you don’t agree, come CC the Block-bee-bop and Forward-woopdeedoo out of me in game.

Can’t wait to see your expert combat mechanics in action. πŸ™‚

Basic Combat Primer

BDO Combat Skill showing colors

Example Combat Skill Colors

Combat Skills in BDO have an amazing amount of info. It’s easy to glance at a skill’s Hit Damage and think it might be weak, but damage percent alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Skills with damage modifiers, like 100% Critical with 100% Accuracy, Floating, and Air Attack could potentially be your strongest skill, even if it has the lowest damage percent.

So let’s determine what secrets our combat skill descriptions hold…

Combat Skill Properties are Color Coded

BDO categorizes Combat Descriptions by color:

  • Special Attack: This Combat Skill property can trigger increased damage if the opponent is in the correct Combat State.
  • Block: This Combat Skill property will attempt to block crowd control and sometimes damage during all or part of the animation.
  • Crowd Control: This Combat skill will attempt to incapacitate your opponent, allowing them to only use potions, food, and elixirs. (During all or part of the animation.)

Combat Skill Stats

  • Hit Damage: The x hits represent how many hits the animation has when the skill is used once. It’s a percent of your AP with a count of how many times the dice will roll during the animation. If the animation is canceled or interrupted, then the hits and damage is reduced. 100% x 6 “rolls” = 600% (Assuming all hits land.)

  • Accuracy Rate: The chances all the x hits of one skill animation will land. All, some, or no hits could be evaded. 100% Accuracy Rate means every hit will land, as long as the target has no Evasion. Accuracy is influenced by +Accuracy gear. +Evasion gear can counter Accuracy.
  • BDO Combat AP and Accuracy

    Press I key for Accuracy and AP.

  • Critical Hit Rate: Each hit during a skill undergoes another roll to determine if this skill should Crit. 100% Critical Hit Rate means every x hits of a skill that lands will give 200% damage. Crits are influenced by +Crit items, each rank giving +5%.
  • BDO Combat: Battle Stats

         Press P key > Battle Stats

  • Cooldown: The amount of time to wait until you can use the skill again. Some skills can be used before a Cooldown expires, but their effectiveness is weakened. (Example: less damage, no CC, or no HP, etc. They will have the statement: “Effect nullified during Cooldown”)

Combat States

  • Skills can cause up to 5 Combat States.
  • CC incapacitates, preventing movement and skills.
  • CC’d players can only use elixirs, potions, and foods.
  • Each CC Combat State is usually very short.
  • Some CC’s will fail if attempted on characters in certain states.
  • Each class’s CC’s last for a slightly different amount of time.

1 Skill can cause multiple combat states. For example, a Knockdown causes an immediate Air State, followed by a Grounded State, and then a Recovering State.

  • Standing State: standing on two feet.
  • Air State: no feet touching the ground. Achieved at the beginning of Knockdown, Float, and Air Smash. Normal attack and defense skills can force this state.
  • Grappled State: grabbed and lifted into the air.
  • Frozen State: frozen in a block of ice, getting 20% of damage.
  • Grounded State: on the ground and unable to get up. It is the middle part of Knockdown, Float, Grapple, Freeze, Air Smash, and Down Smash. Grounded is immediate with Bound.
  • Recovering State: getting up from a grounded state. Last action of Knockdown, Float, Grapple, Freeze, Bound, Air Smash, and Down Smash.

Combat States & Attack Damage Modifiers

If there are two Combat States occurring at the same time, then the highest Damage Modifier will occur. For example, if a player has his back turned to you, while in the air, the Air State takes priority because 170% is more than 120%

Critical attacks will stack with any other Special Attack. (Example: Crit + Down or Crit + Air)

  • Air and Down Attack take priority over Back Attack.
  • Special Attacks that can be stacked are additive. Normal attacks are 100%. Critical Attacks add another 100%, etc.
  • A Critical Air Attack deals 270%. (100 + 100 + 70 = 270% of normal damage)
  • A Critical Down Attack deals 220%. (100 + 100 + 20 = 220% of normal damage)

Special Attack PVE PVP Air State Standing State Grounded State Casting State Speed State
Critical Attack 200% 200% All Skills
+5% per Critical Hit Rank
stacks with other Special Attacks
Air Attack 200% 170% Some Skills
Back Attack 150% 120% Most Skills
Down Attack 150% 120% Some Skills
Counter Attack 150% PVE Only
Speed Attack 150% PVE Only

Crowd Control

When one fails to move, blink, or whimper… drink a pot.
β€” GrumpyG

Crowd Control skills immobilize the enemy and give you freedom to attack. They can also put others in a Grounded or Air State for increased damage.

The names for CC Skills are a gold/yellow color in the Skill description.

HINT: There is a 45% recovery bonus if an HP Pot is used during a CC state.

Expect your opponent to use a consumable (HP pot) during a CC.

Crowd Control 5 Second Immunity

Each CC Skill has a hidden value of 1 except for Stiffness, which is given 0.7. Each time you succeed at CC, your opponent gains the value of the CC. When their CC counter reaches 2, your opponent is given a 5 second CC immunity.

If your opponent runs away and isn’t CC’d for 5 seconds, his CC counter resets to 0, even if it was at 1.7 when he ran away.

NOTE: Air Smash and Down Smash have counts of 0 and were not considered normal CC.

CC List with Requirements & Combat State Effects


Crowd Control CC Count Enemy’s Required State Standing State Air State Grounded State Recovering State
Causes the Following Combat State(s):
Stiffness 0.7 Standing/Recovering
Stun 1 Standing/Recovering
Knockback 1 Standing/Recovering
Floating 1 any but Grappled
Bound 1 any but Grappled
Knockdown 1 any but Grappled
Freezing 1 any but Grappled
Grab/Grapple 1 any but Grappled
Air Smash 0 Air State
Down Smash 0 Grounded State

Crowd Control Animations: Video Examples

When someone is under the influence of Crowd Control, you can visually see it. It helps to study and know their animations so that you can push your advantage if you happen upon some hapless CC’d individual.

Freezing CC

Example Freezing Skill

Wizard/Witch: Freeze I

  • Freezing encases your opponent in ice for 1 second.
  • Followed by a 1 second Grounded State.
  • 2 to 5 targets (5 at highest rank. 10 at Absolute rank.)
  • Frozen opponents receive 20% damage.
  • Stun/Stiffness/Freezing Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Agerian Helmet 15%)

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Grapple/Grab CC

Players use the terms grapple or grab, meaning the same thing. Official BDO term is “Grapple”. Think of a player grappling onto another player and not letting them go.

  • Grapple/Grab is possible with any state but Grappled State.
  • Grapple lifts and holds your opponent in the air. (Only taking critical and back attacks during this time.)
  • Followed by a guaranteed Floating, Bound, or Knockdown.
  • The Grounded State is an AOE CC.
  • Grab bypasses Blocks and Superarmor, but does not work against Invincibility.
  • Grapple Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Talis Helmet 15%)

Example Grapple Skill

Warrior: Take Down I

  • Grapple with Bound.

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Example Grapple Skill

Striker: Massive Suppression I

  • Grapple with Knockdown.

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Example Grapple Skill

Tamer: Soaring Kick I

  • Grapple with Floating.

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Stun CC

Example Stun Skill

Striker: Adamantine I

  • Stun requires a Standing or Recovering State.
  • Lasts about 2 seconds.
  • Causes a dramatic staggering animation.
  • Stun/Stiffness/Freezing Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Agerian Helmet 15%)

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Knockback CC

Example Knockback Skill

Archer: Volant Kick I

  • Knockback requires a Standing or Recovering State.
  • Lasts about 1 second
  • Causes a dramatic staggering backward animation.
  • Knockback/Floating Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Taritas Helmet 15%)

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Stiffness CC

Example Stiffness Skill

Mystic: Adamantine I

  • Stiffness requires a Standing or Recovering State.
  • Lasts about 1 second.
  • Causes a small stagger animation.
  • Stun/Stiffness/Freezing Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Agerian Helmet 15%)
  • CC Count: 0.7 (The only CC that is less than 1.)

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Floating CC

Example Floating Skill

Archer: Flow: Verdure Clout I

  • Floating is possible with any state but Grappled State.
  • Floating gives the longest Air State attack opportunity.
  • 1 second Air State, 1 second Grounded State, 1 second Recovery State
  • Lifts your opponent up and away from you and then Grounds them.
  • Knockback/Floating Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Taritas Helmet 15%)

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Bound CC

Example Bound Skill

Archer: Earth Kick I

  • Bound is possible with any state but Grappled State.
  • Bound produces an immediate Grounded State.
  • 1 second Grounded State with a 1 second Recovery State
  • Knockdown/Bound Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Zereth Helmet 15%)

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Knockdown CC

Example Knockdown Skill

Archer: Ascending Spirit I

  • Knockdown is possible with any state but Grappled State.
  • extremely short Air State, 1 second Grounded State, then 1 second Recovery State
  • Knockdown/Bound Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Zereth Helmet 15%)
  • Press WW, AA, SS, or DD to choose what direction to roll towards during Recovery State. (If you don’t do this, you will remain grounded longer.)

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Resistance Chance

One way to avoid a CC is to stack Resistance Gear. Resistance can be found in a variety of items: armor, crystals, food, accessories, alchemy stones, etc. To get the most Resistance, it seems like you have to pick 1 from a group of four.

5 Resistance Categories:
  • Stun/Stiffness/Freezing
  • Knockdown/Bound
  • Knockback/Floating
  • Grapple
  • All Resistance (lower percentages, but counters all 4 CC’s.)

Resistance Chance is calculated by taking your total Resistance and subtracting any Ignore Resistance your opponent might be wearing.

  • All players have an innate 20% Resistance to all forms of CC. (1 out of 5 CC’s will fail.)
  • Any stacked Resistance over 100% will not count toward the final Resistance Chance calculation.
  • After deducting Ignore Resistance, you can’t exceed 60% Resistance in PVP.
  • If you achieve 100% Resistance, it would counter an opponent who has 40% resist PEN.

Resistance Chance = Total Resist (Max 100) – Ignore Resist

BDO CC Resistance Necklace: Manos

Manos Diamond Necklace: +13% All Resistance

Example Resistance Gear

  • All Resistance
    • Griffon’s Helmet +5%
    • +3: Manos Blue Coral Belt: +5%
    • Manos Diamond Necklace: +10% – +15%
  • Knockdown/Bound Resistance
    • Zereth Helmet: +15%
    • Manos Topaz Necklace: +30% – +40%
    • raw/poisonous Amanita Mushroom – +5%
  • Knockback/Floating Resistance
    • Taritas Helmet: +15%
    • Manos Sapphire Necklace: +30% – +40%
  • Stun/Stiffness/Freezing Resistance
    • Agerian Helmet: +15%
    • Manos Emerald Necklace: +30% – +40%
  • Grapple Resistance
    • Talis Helmet: +15%
    • Manos Ruby Necklace: +30% – +40%

Resistance %  Ignore Resistance  %
Base Resistance 20 Base Ignore Resist 0
Manos Necklace 30 Hidden Class Ignore Resists
Ex. Warrior/Zerker ignore grapple res.
Green Grade Helmet 15 2x Magic Crystal of Infinity 20
Griffon Helmet 5 2x Black Magic Crystal – Precision 20
Nouver (sub-weapon) 10 4x HAN Magic Crystal – Macalod 7
2x Magic Crystal – Sturdiness 20 Cron Meal 4
4x HAN Magic Crystal – Hoom 7 Villa Buff 5
Villa Buff 10 Vell’s Heart
Sharp Alchemy Stone Destruction
Cron Meal 4 Kutum (sub-weapon) 10
Class Skills
Ex. Witch’s Q Skill
20 Rosar (main-weapon) 10
Sharp Alchemy Stone – Protection 5    
TOTAL (can’t exceed 100) 141 TOTAL 111

NOTE: Arsha gear and Valk’s gear have high resistances as well as Ignore Resistance. These have limited availability, though. (Trial Characters, Events, etc.)


Example Shield Guard

Block is a general term used for BDO skills that prevent CC and damage by using a block meter. These blocks absorb hits, but can break after a certain amount of damage is done. Superarmor is considered different because even though it counters CC, it has no such block meter, and allows damage to get through. Both Superarmor and Block are vulnerable to Grab/Grapple. Invincibility is the only blocking skill property that isn’t vulnerable to grab/grapple.

  • Forward Guard: 180 degree metered block prevents CC and damage. (But vulnerable to grab/grapple.)
  • S-block: some classes have block while walking backwards. 180 degree metered block prevents CC and damage. (But vulnerable to grab/grapple.)
  • Held Guard: 180 degree metered block prevents CC and damage. Can be held as long as needed. (But vulnerable to grab/grapple.)
  • Shield Guard: 360 degree metered block prevents CC and damage. Can be held as long as needed + can move slowly with it held. (But vulnerable to grab/grapple.)
  • Superarmor: 360 degree CC block that allows damage. (Vulnerable to grab/grapple.)
  • Invincibility: 360 degree CC block that makes you invulnerable to everything, including grab/grapple.

Grab/Grapple can reach through Blocks and Superarmor, but not Invincibility.

Damage Reduction increases a Block’s Meter.

The block meter appears left of the blocking character.

Sources & Additional Info

This guide is based upon the awesome research and generosity of a player named Crit, who wrote a 84 page book found here: The Book of Combat: a complete guide to BDO PvP mechanics. Thanks Crit! πŸ™‚

Thanks to InkQ for their video, “BDO – CC Mechanics Guide”

Crit’s PVP Resources from Red Desert Discord

Thank you to Crit for their helpful PVP Resource list. Below is a copy of their post from the Red Desert PvP Discord.

“FAQ.2 What class is the best, and which one should I play for PvP?”

Classes change in their PvP rank. Most classes have been considered the “best” class for PvP at one point or another since BDO’s release. Furthermore, there are different roles in PvP. For example, a Witch is extremely powerful in group PvP, but is considered very poor at individual fights. Play the class that matches (1) what ROLE you want to serve, and (2) what STYLE of gameplay you enjoy. You can best find out by watching other players PVP (see the other videos in this channel) or by playing a class to roughly level 59.

“FAQ.3 How do I get enough equipment to PvP? What’s softcap?”

You’ll have most fun at “softcap”, which is full TET armor/weapons and full TRI accessories. This can take a very long time to reach (typically 6 months), but you can start PvP much earlier. Just don’t expect to fight with more than a 20-30 gearscore difference and still be able to win. There are several blogs on reaching “softcap”: Softcap Build: – Get some costume with +2 movement speed – Resplendent Alchemy Stones are acceptable substitutes for Veil’s Heart – Mainhand: Kzarka at 269+ AP > Offin Tett > Kzarka below 261 AP

“FAQ.4 What consummable items do I need to PvP?”

– 4-food rotation (class-specific). Exquisite Cron Meal is less trouble but slightly worse. (It’s like Coke vs. Pepsi – if you have a choice, go with Coke, but the difference isn’t huge) – Elixirs – Many potions Layvan has a good guide on that here:

“FAQ.5 I can already PvP. How do I get better?”

1. Understand your own skills, combos, movement, and engages 2. Copy other good players 3. Record yourself and analyze what you are doing right/wrong 4. Ask others for advice 5. Master your class! 6. Repeat 1-5 for all classes OR: 1. Get full PEN

Warrior ==============================

● Warrior General Guide [Whole]
● (Channel) Siege and Guides [Whole]
● [Mandalore/McHands]
● [Milkbag]

Sorceress ==============================

● [Macilus]
● [KiNgOfAllSaND]

Ranger ==============================

● Ranger Basic PvP Guide [Anfield]
● Ranger Group PvP [Seol]
● (Channel) Advanced Ranger Mechanics [Crit]
● (Channel) 1v1s [SenpaiYamete]
● (Channel) Mixed PvP [TimeBomb]
● Mixed PvP [Rilok]
● Ranged RBF [Crit]
● [Seol]

Berserker ==============================

● Berserker Skill Movement and Control [YoFamSteve]
● Berserker Combo Guide [YoFamSteve]
● [YoFamSteve]

Tamer ==============================

● Tamer Combat Guide [Raine_Zahra]
● Tamer Advanced Movement Guide [Elliasto]
● Soaring Tamer Arts [ScarletSeraph]
● (Channel) Mixed [Elliatso]

Musa ==============================

● Musa Basic PvP Guide [InkQ]
● (Channel) 1v1s [Kyreme]
● Musa vs. Maehwa [InkQ vs. Nayashe]
● [AssBot]
● [ShakyBay]

Maehwa ==============================

● “Moving Fast” [Nayashe]
● (Channel) 1v1s [Nayashe]
● (Channel) Mixed [IMoca]
● [Nayashe]

Valkyrie ==============================

● Valkyrie Basic PvP Guide [Amouu]
● Valkyrie Movement [zIELKRAMPF]
● (Channel) Mixed PvP [Amouu]
● [Bloodpaw]
● [Himawarin]

Wizard ==============================

● Wizard 1v1 Guide [Boesewicht & Kogry]
● Wizard/Witch PvP Guide [MESSI]
● (Channel) 1v1 [Horseyy]
● [LightzOut]

Witch ==============================

● Wizard/Witch PvP Guide [MESSI]
● [Huntler]

Ninja ==============================

● Ninja Basic PvP Guide [Community]
● Ninja Combos, Tips, Tricks [Faso]
● Advanced Ninja Movement [Faso]
● Group PvP [Mayzap]
● Mixed PvP [BlockJump]
● Mixed PvP [AnotherTwoHrs]
● [Faso]
● [Layvan]
● [Mayzap]

Kunoichi ==============================

● Kunoichi Basic PvP Guide [Community]
● Mixed PvP [InkQ]
● [IppoTheRippo]
● [CID]

Dark Knight ==============================

● Dark Knight Basic PvP Combos [Flazer]

Striker ==============================

● Striker Skills
● Striker Protection
● Striker Preawaken
● Striker Combos
● Striker vs. Warrior

Mystic ==============================

Mystic Discord

Lahn ==============================

● Basic Lahn PvP Guide [Tomatsu]
● (Channel) 1v1s [Okikira]

Archer ==============================

● Archer Basic PvP Guide [Tomatsu]
● Ranged RBF [Tomatsu]
● 1v1s [Tomatsu]–Pn2DvhGSA
● Mixed PvP[Kokozuo]

Shai ==============================

Shai Discord

Guardian ==============================

Guardian Discord