BDO Hunting Guide (Black Desert Online 2018)
Originally written by Eminent (u/CadeGuitar), who generously published a Hunting Guide in "Eminent’s Life Skill Guide". This well-received, 260 page guide has been added to and edited by me. It's now kept current on GrumpyG, with Eminent's permission. Thanks Eminent! ! I will update this Hunting Guide with any new BDO patches/changes. (Eminent is currently taking a break from Black Desert Online.)
Eminent’s BDO Hunting Guide
Hunting has always been the odd child out of the Life Skills. Many people trash the skill and avoid it in general, but few ever stop to question “maybe it’s just misunderstood?” Hunting is about finding creatures that can’t be killed with regular weapons AND SHOOTING THEM WITH A GUN. If nothing else hunting is a fun activity, but it also rewards the player with materials and rare ingredients.
There are plenty of hunting guides out there, but I don’t think I’ve seen a single one yet that details the mechanics of your musket.
The hunting musket is a unique and quirky tool that takes some getting used to. If you don’t learn how to use it properly then hunting is going to be a very bothersome skill.
Right click your gun when idle to equip it like any other weapon. This will put you in an “idle” position where you are completely harmless.
From an idle position, click one more time to get in a shooting stance. From this stage you are dangerous and your gun will start to throw sparks.
Hunting Cross Hair Colors
When you’re in your shooting stance, you need to watch your cross hair. If your cross hair is white it means there’s nothing there, blue means you’re out of range, red means you’re within range. Never shoot unless it’s red.
When you’re in a shooting stance, press space to crouch. When you’re crouched, your range is dramatically increased. It’s also my belief that your crit rate is higher while crouched, but I don’t have any data to prove that so it remains tin foil for now.
While crouched, you need to watch out for any rocks or stumps in front of you. Because you’re lower to the ground, it’s possible to shoot the ground instead of your target.
You can shoot 2 times before you have to reload your gun. The reload animation is really long so make sure your shots count. We used to only get 1 shot before reload, so don’t complain.
You can roll-dodge while holding a musket by double tapping the direction you want to roll in. This is particularly useful when hunting bears.
You can sprint with a musket by holding shift. You must keep it pressed to stay sprinting.
You can also shoot from horseback. To do that, you need to equip your gun before getting on your horse.
Hunting Skill XP
It’s important to note that you do not get hunting xp when you kill a hunting mob, you get the xp when you gather from its carcass. The xp will appear as a drop in the loot window. This has a few implications:
- You can’t really ride around wildly on your horse shooting things, because you have to get off the horse to gather and get the hunting skill xp
- You need a butcher knife equipped to get any hunting skill xp
- The hedgehog pet can proc a second hunting xp drop: This makes a hedgehog a huge benefit to hunting, almost a 100% necessary addition
- I have no idea if Life Skill buffs affect hunting xp, but I use them anyways, because why not. At the very least they DO affect the gathering xp you get from looting hunting mobs, so it’s not a complete waste either way.
Hunting efficiency will be largely improved by understanding your prey and its habitat. Learning the land down to the fine details and understanding how your target reacts in different situations will dramatically improve your xp rate. This is actually probably the most important advice here, so don’t ignore it.
BDO Hunting Matchlocks List
|Hunting Matchlock||Extra Damage||+10 Enhancement Damage||Hunting Skill||Crafted||Crafted Matchlock Ingredients|
||0||can't enhance||Beginner 1||uncraftable||costs 2 Contribution Points to rent from:
Daphne DelLucci (Balenos Forest)
Guild Manager Laiano Pietro (Velia)
General Goods vendor Hessenvale (Western Guard Camp)
||750||2250||Beginner 1||Level 1 Tool Workshop||Fir Timber X 1, Steel X 4 Bronze Ingot X 1, Blackstone Powder X1|
||900||2700||Beginner 10||Level 2 Tool Workshop||Fir Timber X 1, Steel X 4 Brass Ingot X 1, Blackstone Powder X3|
||1050||3150||Apprentice 10||Level 2 Tool Workshop||Fir Timber X 1, Steel X 5 Silver Ingot X1, Blackstone Powder X5|
||1200||3600||Skilled 10||Level 3 Tool Workshop||Fir Timber X 1, Steel X 5 Gold Ingot X1, Blackstone Powder X5|
||1350||4050||Professional 10||Level 3 Tool Workshop||Fir Timber X 1, Steel X 5 Platinum Ingot X1, Blackstone Powder X10|
This is an important topic, because you don’t want to over-enhance a gun that you’ll grow out of quickly, but you also don’t want to be too frugal with a gun that you’ll end up sticking with for a long period of time.
In my experience, the best gun enhancement and progression is as follows:
- Practice Matchlock: rent for 2 cp. The practice matchlock cannot be repaired. It must be returned to the npc and rented again. This will get you through half of the hunting quest line.
- Beginner Matchlock: This will be used at low levels for the hunting quests that you can’t use a practice matchlock for.
- Apprentice Matchlock (Beginner 10): In the middle of the hunting quest line you should reach Beginner 10, which will let you use this gun. I would recommend upgrading it to +3 or +4. This will give you a decent damage boost, and it will be cheap enough to not be a big hit to your budget.
- Skilled Matchlock (Apprentice 10): This is a very solid gun that can last you awhile. It’ll be around 10 hours of wolves, or a couple weeks of dailies before you get to the gun after this, so it’s worth upgrading a bit. I recommend getting it to +7 or +8. If you’re planning on grinding wolves straight to artisan, you could +10 this one and skip the pro musket
- Professional Matchlock (Skilled 10): Now you’re up with the big boys. +10
- Artisan Matchlock (Professional 10): If you made it this far I shouldn’t have to tell you. +10
The Hunting Questline
Huge thank you to PolarVortex (discord PulloutRoulette#9422) for doing a runthrough of the questline and providing pictures along the way.
- 40 amity with Hessenvale
Hessenvale is the general goods vendor in the western guard camp. Make sure you rent a practice matchlock for 2 CP from her before you move on to the quest location.
At the location marked on your map, look for owls in the trees and SHOOT THEM DOWN.
If you’re having trouble getting a hit, go back over the hunting mechanics section and make sure you’re doing it all right. If you are, it should be a piece of cake.
- 10 amity with Alfredo
- Beginner 5 gathering
If you don’t have beginner 5 gathering just buy some empty bottles from a material vendor and gather river water. It should take like 2 minutes.
Start the quest by talking to Alfredo and he’ll lead you to Daphne DelLucci.
- Finished Daphne's Matchlock
Start the quest by talking to Daphne. She wants you to shoot down 3 wooden beehives. Make sure you rent a practice matchlock from her for 2 CP.
After finishing the quest, return the practice matchlock and then rent it again (this will recover the durability of the gun so you can use it for the next quest)
- Must have a practice matchlock in your inventory
Start this quest by talking to Crio on the Velia docks. He has something against seagulls so he wants you to shoot them down from the sky.
There are plenty of seagulls in the area, the difficulty is finding ones that are in range. I recommend standing on the roof of the building by the banker (go around the back to climb up easy) for an easy shot.
Remember you can only hit the seagulls when your crosshair is red. Crouching to increase your range could be a help here.
It’s important to note that birds can ONLY be damaged by the practice matchlock. My first time doing this quest I spent 20 minutes trying to kill it with a regular gun like a dumbass.
- Level 15+
This quest doesn’t give hunting xp but it’s required to do the next quest.
The start NPC is “Villager” who lives on an unmarked farm near Heidel.
To complete the quest simply walk over to one of the scarecrows that are 2 feet away from him, press R, and you’re done.
- Finished The Cat that Swallowed the Canary
This quest is extremely similar to the seagull quest from before.
The start NPC is the same villager from the farm. If your practice matchlock is out of durability, you can return it to him and rent another one.
Climb up onto the roof of his farmhouse and take aim at a bird. Like the seagull quest, they can only be damaged by a practice matchlock. With your experience you should be an expert at bird hunting and this should be a piece of cake for you.
When you’re done return the matchlock to him.
- Level 30+
- Must not have a practice matchlock
You get this quest from Daphne, and, very similar to last time, you have to shoot beehives. After you accept the quest rent the practice matchlock from Daphne.
Follow the same steps from the previous beehive quest.
Return the practice matchlock to Daphne and rent it again to recover the durability. You will need the gun one more time for the jellyfish quest, but until then you will use the beginner matchlock that she gives you as a reward for finishing this quest.
If you are beginner10 hunting by this point, you should buy an Apprentice Matchlock and upgrade it (using weapon stones) to +3 or +4. This will make future quests must easier.
- Finished Shoot and Help
This quest is important because it unlocks one of the better hunting dailies.
After completing shoot and help, talk to Daphne again to get this quest. She’ll ask you to find Chuck Laurie, who might have gotten lost in the Balenos mountains.
Head to the inn in Velia and look for a black-robed man. Talk to him and he will lead you to Chuck (he’ll mark your map).
Once you find him the quest will be complete and the daily will be unlocked.
Chuck Laurie gives 4 daily quests, which give a huge chunk of hunting xp. They are absolutely recommended to level hunting quickly and easily.
He will always be in the same location, but he’ll never be marked on the map.
Before moving on to the next quest in the chain you should do the dailies he offers. See the “hunting dailies” section below for a guide on those.
After you finish the dailies from Chuck Laurie, he’ll give you a quest to find his brother, Leo.
Go to his brother in North Kaia lake (map below) to complete the quest. This will unlock the crocodile daily. You should probably do it while you’re there.
- Level 50+
Start this quest by talking to Merio, who is just east of North Kaia lake.
Like Crio, he has something against a random animal (maybe it’s an otter thing), so he wants you to kill some jellyfish in the lake.
Just like birds, jellyfish can only be killed with a practice matchlock. If you didn’t keep yours from earlier you can rent one from Merio.
Head over to the lake, kill some jellyfish, and you’re done.
Hunting Dailies (Repeatable Daily Quests for Hunting Skill XP)
- Finished Hunting-Loving Hunter
The first daily is located on the mountain just south of Olvia. There isn’t really anything to guide you there, so you just have to know where he is.
I like to park my horse next to him. I’m like 60% sure that if you park your horse too close to the Witch Deer it will scare the deer away and you’ll have to chase it down (I could be wrong about that, but there’s no harm in parking your horse away from it).
First, Chuck Laurie will ask you for 10 weeds. Just gather some of the random plants next to him, or do a farm run before you start this daily.
After you give him the weeds he lures out the Witch Deer for you to hunt. Hop on the rock next to him and crouch to shoot it.
If you try to shoot the deer (from any location) without crouching you’re gonna have a very hard time. It will run away by the time you ever get in range which makes this a very frustrating quest. You just have to learn the spots to stand and crouch in order to not scare it away.
This quest (as awful as it might be) is helpful in getting used to the range of your gun.
- Level 30+
Grab this quest at the same time as the witch deer quest. After you kill the deer you need to kill 5 giant elk. The giant elk roam those mountains, so you can probably just kill them as you’re chasing the witch deer around.
You technically don’t need to gather from them to complete the quest. However, the crocodile daily (that you do right after this) requires 5 deer meat to use as bait. Therefore it’s highly recommended to gather from the deer after killing them.
- Finished Easy Game
After turning in the “Easy Game” quest, you get the request to kill 2 Giant Boars. The location for the Giant Boars is marked on your map.
While it’s also not mandatory to gather from them after killing them (and you don’t need their meat for any quest), they do give a chunk of xp (more than the elk) so it’s worthwhile to do so.
- Level 50+
- Finished The Reckless One
The final quest you get from Chuck Laurie is to kill a Giant Brown Bear. The location for the bear is marked on your map (although it’s not the only bear on the mountain).
If you’re not careful about the fight things could go terribly wrong and it will just straight up kill you.
I like to start the fight from the top of this rock. Having the high ground means nothing can block the path of the bullet, and you should be able to get 2 clean shots off.
After your first 2 shots the bear will start charging at you, and you’ll be stuck doing a ridiculously long reload animation. Lucky for you the bear is slow.
Right as you finish reloading the bear should be in the middle of its attack animation, and you have just enough time to do a dodge roll out of the way and avoid the damage.
After rolling immediately shoot 2 more times and repeat the process. Just dodge roll and shoot as fast as possible to avoid all the damage you can.
If you don’t mess up it’s possible to hunt bears without taking any damage at all. However, if you’re still getting used to it you should wear your combat gear in order to tank the damage easier.
Once you get better (and get skilled 10 hunting) you can wear Hunter's Clothes instead of armor to get a little bit of extra xp.
After doing this quest, you can skip to the Balenos Islands hunting quest line if you like. This will open up many repeatable hunting quests as well as two daily boss scroll quests. View the Balenos Island Hunting Guide.
- Finished Brothers at Lake Kaia
Lastly you head to northern lake kaia (just southwest of calpheon). Leo Laurie will be on a small island in the middle of the lake.
If you have a shark outfit this is the time to use it. It’s not a “must have” but it will speed things up a bit.
Give Leo the 5 deer meat that you got from the daily you did earlier. This will bait out the Bull Gator (which is basically identical to the crocodiles just bigger).
Kill it, swim over to it, and butcher it for some meat. Give the meat to Leo and you’re done.
If you have a hedgehog it’s possible to get 2 bull gator meat. It’s pretty much useless and you can just throw it away.
After doing the quest you should kill the crocodiles in the lake. If they’re all there there should be 3 of them. Each one gives a hefty sum of xp, as well as a generous drop table.
After doing the daily, check the north part of the lake for an Everlasting Herb which you’ll be glad to have if you hunt whales in the future. Everlasting Herb, along with Blue Whale Oil, is used in alchemy to produce Perfume of Swiftness.
In addition, if you check the map you’ll notice that kaia lake is separated into 2 lakes. The quest takes place in the northern lake, but the southern lake also has an additional 4 crocodiles, so you should kill those too.
After killing out both lakes, hop servers and do the same thing.
Crocodiles have a 1 hour respawn time, and they’re also extremely contested. They are very desirable because of the quick and easy hunting xp (which is hard to come by).
You won’t always be able to get 2 full servers of crocodiles, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Crocodiles have a generous drop rate of Magic Crystals and Black Stones, which I always grind into Black Stone Powder.
They also have a chance of dropping Hard/Sharp Shards (which I don’t grind).
Finally, they drop crocodile meat, which is the rare ingredient in [Hunter's Salad] which is a necessary food when hunting Khalk or blue whales.
The following data is connected to my own spreadsheet where I keep track of my daily crocodile kills. The average Black Stone Powder and profit is per run (once a day).
- Kills: 167
- Average Black Stone Powder: 411.40
- Average Profit: 2,918,966.00
Your profits could be higher if you didn’t grind your gems and Black Stones, but the Black Stone Powder is more valuable to me.
Technically the 2 seagull quests are also dailies, but they aren’t worth doing past the beginner levels.
Power Leveling Hunting Skill
I believe that leveling Hunting Skill should be done in 3 steps:
- A run through of the hunting quest line
- Daily quests
- Giant Wolves
In the previous section, I talked about the hunting quests as well as the dailies, so I won’t spend too much time talking about them.
The quests should be easily completed in a few hours and get you to early Apprentice.
From there, you should do the hunting dailies every single day. Running through all the dailies doesn’t take me more than 20 minutes. It should only take you a few days of this to get to apprentice 10 hunting (for the skilled matchlock).
At this point, you have 2 options based on your goals. If you want to make hunting a priority, you will probably hunt wolves. Otherwise, you can continue leveling using only the dailies.
Wolves are kind of tough creatures, which is why you wait to get the Skilled Matchlock to kill them. Make sure it’s upgraded to at least +7 (mine was +8) when you fight them.
The location of the wolves is just north of Epheria. If you can’t see the text clearly I’ll rewrite the instructions here (as well as provide some additional notes)
- Run from Epheria to entry point A on your horse
- Kill wolf 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5
- Climb the rock wall to get to the higher ground
- Kill wolf 6
- If your gun has sufficient durability for another FULL rotation, descend the mountain and repeat steps 2 through 4
- If your gun doesn’t have enough durability for another full rotation, run west to exit point B, whistle your horse, and path to the repairman in Epheria.
- Repeat steps 1-6
There are a few important things to note about these instructions
- Points A and B on the map might be slightly off but it gets the general idea across
- The rock wall should be easily climbed. You have to figure out the right path to get up it -- but once you do it should only take a few seconds to get up
- Never start another rotation if your gun doesn’t have enough durability to do another full rotation. If you do half a rotation, repair your gun, and then come back, you will completely mess up the timing of the wolf spawns which will kind of mess up your Hunting Skill xp
- If you are constantly finishing a rotation with like 10-15 durability (not enough for another full run), try to add a few foxes into your rotation. I always finish with less than 5 durability on my gun
Like I said at the beginning of the hunting section, it is extremely important to understand the terrain as well as your prey. Let’s look at the characteristics of the wolves.
- When you’re within aggro range of the wolf it will do a howling animation
- It is still vulnerable during this animation, and you should take the opportunity to shoot it twice
- Once it’s missing a good chunk of health it will do another howling animation that calls 3 smaller wolves to come help it
- During this animation it is invincible, so don’t waste your shots on it
- The smaller wolves also give hunting xp, and have very little health, which makes them very very good
I’ve found that if you aren’t messing up anywhere, you’ll actually finish a rotation a bit faster than the respawn timer. This really messes up your xp rates because you’re forced to just stand around.
To combat this, I began adding foxes to my rotation. After analyzing it more, I actually found that adding a huge number of foxes had a significant increase in both xp/h as well as profit/h.
Here are some important notes about foxes
- Never go far out of your way to kill foxes. Adding needless travel time is an awful idea that will really mess up your xp rates, as well as add chaos to the rotation
- Unlike wolves (which remain mostly stationary), foxes like to roam a lot. You have to show an educated discernment when going after foxes, because “good” foxes could potentially roam out of range of what is efficient.
- Killing foxes that are directly between 2 wolves is the most efficient you can get. In particular, there is often a fox between wolves 2&3 as well as a fox between wolves 4&5.
- Characters with ranged auto attacks have an advantage here. Although regular attacks can’t damage foxes, they can draw their aggro. I’ve found that it is very efficient to aggro 3 foxes and then kill them together. This can be done at the 3 foxes south of wolf 1, as well as the 3 foxes east of wolf 2.
Incorporating a smart balance of foxes into your wolf rotation will take your xp and profit to the next level. It may seem like the best way to improve your xp rates is to just have a better gun, but in reality, the most important thing is making smart decisions and playing in an efficient way.
With a +10 professional musket, incorporating all of those fox kills, I can do 1 full rotation, and then do a second rotation through the 5th wolf (aka, not enough durability for the very last wolf).
Although I said not to do another rotation if you can’t do the whole thing, I have found in this specific case there is no consequence.
The following data is connected to my personal spreadsheet and will be updated automatically as I collect more:
|Apprentice 10 - Skilled 10|
|Time Tested (minutes)||XP Per Hour||Profit Per Hour|
|Skilled 10 - Professional 10|
|Time Tested (minutes)||XP Per Hour||Profit Per Hour|
I should point out that the profit per hour doesn’t count hards or sharps (which generally make up the bulk of profit when gathering). In this case, I believe shards would bring the profit/h closer to 20m.
I would never recommend hunting wolves without lucky/magic tools (or any gathering for that matter). The benefit they bring is just too large to ignore.
That said, there are a few other things you can do in order to be more efficient with your wolf hunting.
- I don’t think it’s too practical to wear hunting clothes instead of armor against wolves. However, if you can make it work then go for it.
- If you somehow had the foresight to snag a couple Dim Magic Crystal: Hunting, then you can stack 2 in your armor for an extra 6% Hunting Skill xp. You get these for two Challenge rewards: Apprentice Hunting Skill Challenge and Level 20 Challenge rewards (and rarely at the Marketplace).
- You should have +5 gathering speed while doing this so you don’t waste all your time harvesting. I accomplish this with +3 guild buff and [Balenos Meal]
- You should also try to get +5 movement speed if you can. The Balenos Meal also helps with that, which makes it a very good choice of food while hunting
- The wolves will do a decent amount of damage to you, so you should heal with large health potions. Even if your class has a heal, health potions are the better option simply because you won’t lose any time with them. They don’t interrupt any animations and they are the most efficient means of healing.
- The repair person in Epheria sells health potions
Final Thoughts on Hunting
I don’t currently have experience or data on Khalk or the Blue Whale, so until then I won’t be adding sections for them. After running a bunch of tests and experimenting with them I’ll be able to say whether or not I think they’re worth doing. If nothing else I can say they’re worth doing for the advancement quests.
I also plan on mapping out the other hunting areas (balenos mountains), I’m particularly interested in seeing if a bear rotation could work.
That said, this is technically an incomplete section. I have a feeling that after testing those other things my opinions won’t change much though.
In general I think hunting is a pretty worthwhile skill. I believe wolves to be one of the best ways to spend your energy (if you have the time/patience to do it), and the dailies are a good source of bsp.
Hunting is one of the easier skills to hit the leaderboard in, which makes it a good target for laurel hunters.
Hunting began as a nearly empty skill. You had dailies (less than we have now), and crocs, and that was about it. It was extremely hard to get xp, and even if you did level there wasn’t really a point because there was no content at all.
Over time we’ve seen several updates to the hunting skill -- first with the giant elk/boars, then giant wolves and foxes, bears and 3 new hunting dailies. They’ve also updated the hunting mechanics, giving us an extra shot before reloading, adding the ability to sprint and roll…
All of this shows that they haven’t given up on the skill, and they are working on making it better and better. As new regions get added to the game, the introduce opportunity for more and more new hunting mobs, which is something to get excited about!
Therefore, in my opinion, even if you don’t think the current hunting content is worthwhile, I think it’s still good to level the skill in anticipation of that future content.
Never ignore a skill just because other people say it’s bad. If you do your own tests and use your own judgement, you just might find out that wolves are 20m/h ;)
Thanks for reading Eminent’s BDO hunting guide! If you would like to contact GrumpyG, you can do so via PMs on BDO's forum or Message me on Reddit.com. If you have any questions, please ask!
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