BDO Horse Training Guide (Black Desert Online 2018)
Originally written by Eminent (u/CadeGuitar), who generously published a Horse Training 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 Horse Training Guide with any new BDO patches/changes. (Eminent is currently taking a break from Black Desert Online.)
Eminent's BDO Horse Training Guide
In my opinion, Training is the single most complicated Life Skill in the game. The entire skill revolves around catching, training, and breeding horses, and it ends up being a whole lot of fun. It can be active or AFK, and there’s money to be had in it, albeit not as much as other skills would offer. Training is a very time consuming skill to train, which makes it a fairly inefficient way to play. That said, it is a lot of fun, relaxed and casual, with a friendly community around it.
When I say Training is “time consuming” I’m mostly referring to your in-game character’s time. In reality, Training can be the single most AFK Life Skill in the game. If you’re leveling horses, you can literally have them auto-loop for a week straight.
At the same time, if you prefer a more active approach, you can tame horses or even race them against other players.
Training is an extremely dynamic skill that brings a lot to the game. It’s completely possible to do nothing but training for months (or even years) without exhausting all of the content the skill has to offer.
Taming is hands down the best xp rate for leveling Training, but there’s also other motives than xp when it comes to catching horses. Similarly, leveling horses is the best money you can make from training, but leveling horses isn’t necessarily a purely silver-driven activity.
Training can earn you silver, but, unless there are some significant changes to the Life Skill, it will never be competitive silver/hour.
Additionally, Training is extremely difficult to level. If you are doing training purely for xp, you’ll probably get to mid-professional before giving up. If you ever see someone with master Training, they’ve put in an incredible amount of effort.
As I’ve mentioned before, I believe Training to be the most complex Life Skill in the game (or at least the skill with the most mechanics). There are many people that have done nothing but Training for over a year. I’m not one of those people.
It’d be a lie if I said that I know everything there is to know about this particular Life Skill. That being the case, much of the information in this section will be supplemented with information and data from other people (mostly horse discord).
Without fully immersing yourself into a Life Skill and studying it as much as you can, you’ll never completely understand it. With that in mind, there will likely be points in this section that are either incomplete, or possibly just incorrect.
In the future, I do plan on spending a significant amount of time focused on the Training Life Skill, but until then I can only do my best to explain the information I know.
Qualities & Characteristics of Horses
In order to have a better grasp on what’s going on when you read the rest of the guide (or just when doing the Life Skill in general), it’s probably important to understand some of the basic information on how horses “work”.
This is going to start pretty basic and then get a bit more advanced as we go. I’ll break this section up into sub-sections (since there’s a lot of info here).
BDO Horse Tiers & Coats
Horses in BDO are separated into 9 tiers. As the tier of your horse gets higher it will unlock some new potential skills, have higher stats, and have new coats.
Tier 1-8 can be consider regular horses, while tier 9 are “Dream Horses”. We’ll get more into that later.
I mentioned before that higher tiers of horses have different “coats”. This basically just means they look different. Every tier has a pool of coats that you can be “randomly” assigned when breeding.
If you want to see all of the coats in the game (t1-8) you can see them here on my spreadsheet, or on somethinglovely (select a tier, and then click on the picture of the horse to see all of the possible coats for that tier).
What do the Numbers & Letters Mean?
The image above is shown on somethinglovely, when you click on the horse's icon for a Tier 3 horse. In addition to the different appearance of each horse, you'll see some bolded green letters and numbers plastered across them. This is how we categorize horses. It’s really just a generally agreed upon way of categorizing all the horses in the game easily. The number in front is the tier of the horse (in this case 3), while the letter following it classifies which horse it is within the tier.
Imagine them on a spreadsheet, where each row is a tier (so tier 3 is row 3) and each column has a different coat. The address of each cell would look something like 3A, 3B, 3C, etc. While this may seem needlessly complicated (I could just describe my horses as “a brown horse”), it is actually really beneficial if you plan on spending any time talking to other trainers, or reading Training information.
If you are talking to someone in discord and they say “I just bred a T8C”, you can immediately visualize the horse and know exactly what they’re talking about. If I said I just caught a T3F in the wild, you would know which horse I’m talking about.
This takes a bit of time to memorize, but generally you don’t have to memorize each and every coat in the game (I mean, you could if you really wanted to). There are only like 7 or 8 (idk) coats total that you can catch in the wild, so if you do any taming at all you’ll probably memorize all of those pretty quickly.
If you’re into breeding, people generally breed t7/8 horses, so just learning most of those should be enough to not need to look up a chart every time someone mentions a coat.
What Your Horse Coat Means
Now, I said before that a coat is mostly just the appearance of the horse, but that’s not entirely true. In reality, every coat has different base stats, and also impacts what skills your horse can learn. For example, a T1A doesn’t have the ability to learn sprint, drift, or instant accel, while a T1B can learn all of those things.
This is important to know, because if you’re leveling horses trying to get certain skills, it’s very possible you’re wasting your time going for a skill that’s impossible to get with that particular coat.
In general, the higher tier your horse is, the more possible skills it could learn (with some exceptions).
If you want to see the base stats and possible skills for each coat, check out Where is my horse stabled (not my spreadsheet, and I’m actually not sure who owns it).
BDO Horse Skills & Coursers
The table below lists the skills that your horse can learn.
|Caution||Auto-activates in fall zone||Prevents horse from running off a cliff (can still jump over it if timed right)||4,350|
|Charge||Q (Champron required)||Horse charges enemies||1,530,000|
|Drift||← or → + ↓ while Running||Drift resets the cooldown on Instant Accel||2,320,500|
|Fore Chop||Fore Chop F||frontal attack||4,350|
|High Jump||SPACE while running fast||jump higher while running||86,400|
|Hind Kick||Hind Kick ↓+F||backward AOE attack||4,350|
|Instant Accel||While Running F||Horse temporarily runs faster||2,320,500|
|Quick Back||↓||Horse steps backward faster||79,200|
|Quick Ride||Auto-activates while riding||you can mount the horse faster||86,625|
|Quick Stop||While Riding ↓||you can stop the horse faster||105,600|
|Roar||SPACE (Stirrups required)||regenerate HP and Stamina for 30 seconds||264,000|
|Sideways||← or →||horse can strafe right or left, T5+ Horses only||3,836,250|
|Sprint||↑+Shift (Saddle required)||horse can temporarily run faster||3,315,000|
|Start Accel||Lift front leg with SPACE, then ↑||horse starts immediately running||4,350|
|Streak Leap||Jumps immediately after a jump||horse can jump repeatedly without stopping||1144,000|
|Two-seater||Guild or Party member R||allows another player to ride with you, T6-T8 Horses only||4,972,500|
|S: Fore Chop||AP Up with Fore Chop||stronger Fore Chop skill (Horse does a frontal AOE attack), T8+ Horses only||226,800|
|S: Hind Kick||AP Up in Hind Kick||stronger Hind Kick skill (Horse does a backward AOE attack), T8+ Horses only||226,800|
|S: Instant Accel||F during Instant Accel||stronger Instant Accel skill (Horse temporarily runs faster), T8+ Horses only||10,687,500|
|S: Sideways||Speed Up in Sideways||faster Sideways skill (horse can strafe right or left), T8+ Horses only||10,687,500|
|S: Charge||Q while Charging||horse can use Charge twice, consecutively, T9 Dream Horse only||12,150,000|
|Courser's Spirit||Auto-activated while unmounted||horse regenerates its HP and Stamina when it’s parked, T9 Dream Horse only||9,562,500|
|Double Jump||SpaceBar while Jumping||Jump a second time in the air, must have Steak Leap & High Jump, T9 Dream Horse only||13,162,500|
|Wings of Freedom||Wings of Wind ← or →||allows Arduanatt to turn sideways while using Wings of the Wind, T9 Arduanatt Dream Horse skill only||21,937,500|
|Wings of Wind||E while Double Jump||reduces fall damage by 100% when Arduanatt uses Double Jump, T9 Arduanatt Dream Horse skill only||21,375,000|
|Earth of Life||E||heals Dine and friendly targets for 300 HP and 300 MP/WP/SP every 3 seconds for 30 seconds, max targets is 10, T9 Diné Dream Horse only skill||21,375,000|
|Earth of Protection||Auto activates while using Earth of Life||All AP, DP, Evasion +10 for you and up to 10 party members for 30 seconds, T9 Diné Dream Horse only skill||21,375,000|
|Dark Flame Steps||E||leaves a trail of fire to damage enemies, T9 Doom Dream Horse skill only||21,375,000|
This is probably a good time to introduce the concept of Coursers. A Courser is basically a horse with a semi-perfect skill set. The game defines what semi-perfect means in this case.
If your horse meets the requirements and becomes a Courser, its silver horse icon (as shown to the left) will turn gold.
This becomes important when it comes time to try and breed your horse. Two mated Coursers will produce a foal that is guaranteed to have two skills when it is born instead of 1. This is good because regular horses can sometimes struggle to get even one skill per level.
Every tier of horse has its own requirements to become a Courser.
The Courser requirements for each tier are:
|Tier||Required Horse Skills for Courser|
|1 & 2||
|3 & 4||
|5 & 6||
Charge / Drift / Sprint
Charge / Drift / Sprint / Instant Accel / Sideways
Charge / Drift / Sprint / Instant Accel / Sideways / S:Instant Accel / S:Sideways
As you can see, the higher the tier of horse, the more demanding the requirements are to make a Courser.
Horse Breeding & Color Theory
Every male horse can breed 2 times, while each female horse can breed once. If you have no breeds left, you can “exchange” your male and female horses for a new one (it’s like breeding, but it kills both parents).
When you breed 2 horses together, there is a possibility to get a foal that is lower/the same/higher tier than the parents. The factors that go into what tier your foal will be are the tiers of the parents and the levels of the parents. March 28, 2018 patch notes state that death count no longer affects breeding results.
Check out somethinglovely and you’ll see something like this...
In the image above, each color represents a “tier” of breed chance. The closer you are to the bottom right corner, the better your chances are for a better foal. The red square (on the top left) is where you are currently at. Notice, if you increase the male parent’s level by 1, the box will move right by 1. If you increase the female parent’s level by 1, the box will move down by 1.
Try increasing the male level to 30 and the female level to 30.
You should see something like this. Notice that the red box is in the highest possible tier. This means with 2 level 30 parents, you will have the best chance to get a “good” foal.
But is that necessarily true?
Notice, if I change the father’s level to 27 (instead of 30), it’s still in the highest tier.
It’s important to realize that not every level will give you a higher chance for a higher tier foal. If you want to maximize your time, you should probably consider getting the minimum combination of levels required for whatever breeding tier you want to go for.
Try changing the tier of both parents to 8, but leave the levels the same. Notice, the red box didn’t move at all, but the highest breed tier changed from 11 to 20. This significantly increases the quality of foal you’ll get.
Above the chart we’ve been looking at you’ll notice a spread of percentages. This represents your chances of getting a certain tier and sex of horse out of a breed.
Breed Tier 3
Breed Tier 11
Breed Tier 20
Notice, breed tier 11 can be achieved with 2 tier 1 horses, which means it can result in a tier 6 foal. That’s a pretty good breed if you ask me.
On the other hand, breed tier 20 (2xt8) will most likely result in a tier 7 horse, rather than a tier 8. This goes to show the difficulty of getting a good high tier horse. These percentages aren't set in stone and your results may be better/worse due to RNG.
Horse Color Theory & Purebreds
While we’re talking about breeding, do you remember this image?
We already talked about the green letters/numbers, but what about the 3 numbers at the bottom of each coat?
These numbers refer to horse color theory.
“But emi, I didn’t understand any of that!”
Don’t worry. In reality, 90% of people can just ignore color theory entirely when breeding.
The main purpose of this information, as hinted by Bouwplan’s post, is to help you breed purebred horses.
In the image above, notice how every single t3 horse has at least 2 values for red/white/black. This means that there is no tier 3 purebred horse.
For tier 4 horses, notice how 4B and 4I have two values of 0. This means that both horses are purebred. Purebred horses are horses with a value in only 1 of the 3 colors, and the value will always be equal to the tier of the horse.
But why do I want a purebred horse?
Purebred horses often have the highest base stats of any coat within their tier. In addition, the T8E is a purebred horse that is highly prized for its beautiful, pure white coat and top ranking tier 8 stats.
Courser Awakening: Tier 9 Dream Horses
Throughout this section you may have noticed I’ve been speaking of t9 horses as if they are an entirely different entity than t1-8. They are.
Tiers 1-5 you can catch in the wild, tiers 6-8 you have to breed for, and tier 9 needs to be “awakened”.
Tier 9 horses are fundamentally different from other horses, because they are the only tier that cannot be bred (and they also can’t breed). The requirements to awaken a tier 9 are also significantly harder than the requirements for any other horse in the game. The Dream Horse types you can get are the unicorn Diné, the pegasus Arduanatt, and soon the hell horse Doom.
Image Credit: Inven in their interesting article: Black Pegasus Nightmare of Arduanatt sold at 21 billion in BDO KR’s Luxury Auction. Check it out for more awesome pics of the dreaded Nightmare of Arduanatt horse! :)
Creating a Dream Horse
I’ll go over how to make a Dream Horse, but you can also just check out this image by Famme which pretty much covers everything (and in a better way than I could explain it).
To make a tier 9, you first need to have a level 30 tier 8 Courser. Getting a tier 8 in the first place is already a fairly arduous task, and then getting a Courser out of it will either take god tier luck, or some cash to buy skill resets... and this is the easy part to producing a Dream Horse.
I mentioned before that Dream Horses are “awakened” not bred. The way this works is that your t8 Courser will be used as a base horse, and the Training materials you use will transform it into something entirely new. Once you transform it, its stats and skills will all be reset and it will become level 1.
The implication behind this is -- if you have multiple tier 8 Coursers, use the worst one (or the one you care the least for), because the end result will be the same and you don’t have to sacrifice your good horse for it.
Once you have your Courser, you need to stable it at Stonetail Horse Ranch. This is the only place where you can attempt an awakening. When your horse is stabled, you will have the option to perform “Courser Training”. This will bring up a menu with 3 Training sections
Skill | Elegance | Strength
These are the 3 categories of Training that your horse can receive. You can get a maximum of 180% in each of the three Training areas. Above the 3 categories, there is another xp bar which shows the total xp (shared between all 3 categories) and can go up to a maximum of 200%.
The goal is to make the total xp reach 200% (you can’t attempt an awakening otherwise) and it doesn’t matter what combination of Sk0 ill/Elegance/Strength you use to reach that number within the 180% limit for each. (But, keep in mind there is a penalty after a category reaches 100%. You get .5% per Training item, instead of 1% per Training item after the category reaches 100%.)
For example you could use:
- 100% Skill, 100% Elegance, 0% Strength = 200%
- 0% Skill, 180% Elegance, 20% Strength = 200%
- 25% Skill, 100% Elegance, 75% Strength = 200%
You get the idea. As long as you get 200% total it doesn’t matter what combo you use.
Now that that’s established, how exactly do you train Skill, Elegance, and Strength?
Obtaining Skill, Elegance, & Strength
A Courser's Skill, Elegance, and Strength is gained by using Training items -- each item giving 1% for its respective category, up to 100%. Then .5% per item from 100% to 180%. Each time you give an item to train your Courser, it increases the chances of obtaining a specific Dream Horse type. (Every item fed into a particular Training area will increase your likelihood of obtaining the associated Dream Horse by .5%)
This is obtained by using simple cooking to combine various farming byproducts. Put 2 of any of the following items into Simple Cooking to produce 1-3 Stonetail Fodder.
20x Mutant Plant
1,000 byproducts are needed for 100% if you average 2 procs.
This is obtained by exchanging...
10x Peridot Petal.
10x Peridot Petal.
Patch Update 2-23-18 (many more Peridot Leaf quests added! Please see table below.)
Update: 5-23-18 Patch Notes: More Peridot Leaf will be obtainable now through Daily Quests in Kamasylvia. Please refer to the chart below for details:
|Peridot Leaf Quest||Before Change||After Change|
|[Repeat] Supplying Acher Gear||0||8|
|[Repeat] New Cleaning Tool||0||8|
|[Repeat]Forest Ronaros Feather||0||10|
|[Repeat]Using Spirit Stone Fragment||0||5|
|[Repeat] Raging Guardian of the Forest||0||20|
|[Repeat] Stubborn Fadus||0||5|
|[Repeat] Defeat the Boss||0||10|
|[Repeat] Full-Scale War||0||15|
|[Repeat] Nutritious Meal for the Wounded||0||5|
|[Repeat] Evidence of Someone||0||3|
|[Repeat] Bold Investment||5||10|
|[Repeat] Good Old Friends||10||13|
|[Repeat] Arnatte's Melody||0||3|
|[Repeat] Even the Smallest of Life||0||3|
|[Repeat] A Tune for Spirit||0||3|
|[Repeat] Meet the Deadline||0||5|
|[Repeat] Master of Acting||0||5|
|[Repeat] Carrot Delivery||0||5|
|[Repeat] Elixir of Relaxation||0||5|
|[Repeat] Eat. Drink. Fly.||0||5|
|[Repeat] Delights of the Lake||0||5|
|[Repeat] Patience is a Virtue||0||5|
Additionally, if you have Professional 1 Training you can do the [Training] In Search of the Finest Courser daily quest for a free Training material. If you have Master 1 Training you can do the [Training] In Search of the Finest Courser (same name different link) daily quest for 2 free Training materials.
Finally, once you’ve hit 200% in your Courser Training, you will need a Krogdalo's Origin Stone, obtained through RNG drop from Mirumok Ruins, racing, imperial horse delivery and also questing for Peridot Leaf. To craft Krogdalo's Origin Stone with Simple Alchemy combine 25x Swaying Wind Shard and 25x Rumbling Earth Shard.
Your Chances of Awakening a Courser
Now, seeing all that you need to do to awaken a Courser horse has probably put you off from doing it already. However, if you are still somehow crazy enough to try to do this, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, after you get the things I listed above, you’re all set! No need for anything else.
The bad news is, there is only a 1% chance that your awakening will succeed. If it fails you lose all of your Training materials (you keep the t8 Courser) and have to start all over. The base chance of success is 1%, but each fail adds a fail stack
You can use 100 cron stones to protect half of the materials from being lost upon failure.
If, by some stroke of luck, you actually succeed, your horse will awaken into a t9 Dream Horse. It will have special default skills unique to its type and be level 1. You’ll have to relearn all of your super sick skills (more p2w skill resets).
The awakening process is the same for all 3 Dream Horses, and you can somewhat pick which one you get, depending upon how many items you want to spend.
BDO Horse Taming
Taming is a good introduction to the Training Life Skill. Generally, there are 3 main steps to Training:
- Taming a horse
- Leveling the horse
Given how populated the horse market is, it’s totally possible to bypass the first step and just buy a horse. However, there are still many benefits to taming that you miss out on by skipping this step.
- Taming is the best Training xp in the game, hands down.
- While you will gain plenty of xp by leveling horses, it is basically impossible to get a high Training level without doing lots of taming (at high professional think 1 month of running horses for a level, vs 1-2 days of taming).
- Taming allows you to be completely self-sufficient in your Training journey
- While this “benefit” isn’t really critical (and could actually mean less silver long term than just buying some horses to start with), a lot of people prefer the feeling of starting from scratch and doing all of the content themselves.
- Taming is “fun” and gives you more sentimental value to the horses that you’ve caught, raised, and bred yourself.
- It is much more fulfilling to catch, level, breed, and race horses that you’ve “made” from scratch.
If the sentimental value and “fun” of taming is lost on you, then at minimum it should be done for the great Training xp rates.
If you have at least Beginner 5 Training and level 20+ combat, you can catch any wild horse you see.
Through a series of mini games you’ll experience ups and downs, love and betrayal, and every emotion in between. At the end of it all, you’ll have a horse.
You can find wild horses that are between tier 1 and tier 5. My rate of finding each tier is in the table below:
|Total Horses Caught: 91|
All of the numbers in the table are from my own catch data. It is linked to my personal spreadsheet and will be updated automatically as my data grows. It is up to you to determine when the sample size is large enough for the percentages to be accurate.
As you can see, the higher tier horses are fairly rare, and so it might be impractical to accumulate a large number of them. That said, if you do chance upon a tier 4 or 5 wild horse, it could be a good idea to save it for future breeding.
Now that we have some preliminary information out of the way, let’s look at the actual process (as well as some tips) for taming horses.
Once you have met the level requirements, there are 2 items used in horse capturing.
- Capturing Rope: You’re gonna need lots of these
- Lump of Raw Sugar: (Some say these are just timing aids.)
Capturing rope you can buy from any Stable Keeper. Just talk to him/her and open up their shop. If I’m doing a long taming session, I usually carry around 100 ropes with me (but be warned -- they’re heavy!).
Every attempt to catch a horse will consume 1 rope (regardless of if you succeed or fail).
As for lumps of sugar, these you have to make yourself. First, find a cook npc, and from their shop buy raw sugar and mineral water. Do not buy regular sugar, you need "Raw Sugar". In order to create a “suga lump” you’ll need 10 raw sugar and 1 mineral water. From there, press L to open the processing menu, select heating, and heat together your ingredients.
BDO Horse Locations
Now that you’re fully equipped, it’s time to pick a location for your horse-catching.
Most people follow a rotation/loop/circuit of horse spawns for taming. This has pros and cons.
On one hand, if you follow a circuit you can encounter more horses per hour and can afford to be picky with your taming. Doing taming in this fashion, you can choose to, say, only catch tier 3+ horses.
On the other hand, your travel time between locations could very well make taming this way inefficient xp-wise.
If you’re taming simply for high(ish) tier horses, then following a rotation is probably a good idea.
Identify Wild Horse Tiers by their Colors/Coats
There are 8 total possible horse types that can be tamed. Two Tier 1 horses (T1A, T1B). Two Tier 2 horses (T2A, T2B). Two tier 3 horses (T3C, T3F). There are only one each from tiers 4 and 5 (T4F, T5J).
They can certainly be tricky to distinguish from one another, especially T1B and T3C. The tier 5 horse is very similar in appearance to others, except it has a black/darker hue.Thanks to Violet Astray for the following image, showing the different horses that can be caught in the wild and what they look like. For more details on how to differentiate between the horses, check out her site that has closeups of each horse in her article BDO Wild Horse Identification
Do Higher Tier Horses Give Better Training XP?
This is one instance where I should probably come out and say “I don’t know.” From my research and inquiries, I’ve come to learn that there is a bit of a divide in understanding between horse trainers.
Some people say that higher tier horses give “significantly” more XP. On the other hand, others say that all horses you catch give the exact same amount of experience.
In reality, I haven’t yet done personal tests on a low level account to find the truth to this matter. However, understanding the relationship between horse tier and XP is critical when deciding how you will do taming. If, for example, a tier 3 horse gave 5x the Training xp of a tier 1 horse, then it would absolutely be worth your time to travel in a circuit looking for only higher tier horses. However, if all horses give them same Training xp, then it’s a waste of your time to travel at all, and it would be much better to try to minimize your travel time as much as possible.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some circuits.
BDO Horse Spawn Location Maps
Thank you to Violet Astray, who provided the four taming rotations and wild horse spawn locations via the maps below. She has great info on many horse topics.
It’s important to note that pretty much all of the numbered taming areas have more than 1 horse spawn (some have 3-4). This means that at each place you stop at you have several options for horses to catch.
Now you have both the required materials as well as the location, so let’s move on to the actual process (finally).
Step by Step Horse Taming Guide
Horse taming boils down to a few simple steps.
- Put your rope and sugar on your ability bar (you’ll thank me later)
- Find a horse
- Get sort-of-close to the horse (if you’re too close it will run away. As you get more experienced you’ll learn to get as close as you can without scaring it off)
- From your bar, equip the rope, then click to throw the rope at the horse
- We wait until now to equip it because you move really slow while it’s equipped
- This will bring up the first minigame, just press space when the bar is in the red zone (it’s basically the same as the fishing minigame)
- If you’ve succeeded in the first minigame, walk towards the horse. The goal is to walk all the way to it
- As you get closer, a second minigame might happen (probably more than once). For this one you just need to spam spacebar as fast as you can.
- Once you get all the way to the horse, use 3-4 sugar lumps from your bar, and then try to mount the horse
- If you’ve succeeded, take the horse back to a Stable Keeper to register it. You don’t get any Training xp until the horse is registered. If you failed, then repeat every step again with a new rope. (You will know when you fail horse taming because the horse kicks you in the face and runs away)
Just reading about it might make it seem sort-of complicated, but once you do it once or twice you’ll have it down.
If you would prefer a visual guide, Violet Astray also made a video guide for catching horses.
While that is pretty much everything you need to know about catching horses, there’s a few extra tips that can make it go more smoothly for you.
First off, once you finish catching a horse (you’ve done the minigames and hopped onto its back), you do not have to ride the horse all the way back to a Stable Keeper. You can immediately hop off the horse’s back, get on your own horse, and ride back much faster. The tamed horse will follow you all the way there. Even if you can’t see it following you, just wait a little bit and it will eventually teleport to your location.
Tamed horses are extremely slow before they are registered, so this will save you a ton of time (especially if the horse was caught a long ways away from a Stable Keeper).
Horses Sugar! Wait... Really?
Additionally, no horse taming guide would be complete without bringing up what is possibly the most controversial topic in the Life Skill -- sugar lumps.
There are basically 2 camps of people in the training community.
- People that think feeding X amount of sugar lumps vastly increases the odds of catching the horse.
- People that think sugar lumps have no effect on taming success rate.
It’s important to understand that both camps of people are tinfoil theorists.
That said, I belong to the second camp.
Here’s the general idea for how taming success works (remember this is all tinfoil, and literally no one can tell you the exact way things work).
- As soon as you throw the rope a timer starts. From there you do the minigames and approach the horse, and the timer is ticking in the background the whole time.
- If you try to get on the horse before 30 seconds have passed, you will fail.
- If you hop on around 32-38 seconds, your chances drastically go up.
It is extremely likely that lumps of sugar actually have no effect whatsoever on success rate. However, feeding the horse sugar has an animation time of a few seconds. This means that using sugar lumps is more likely to put you in the correct timeframe for when you should hop on the horse.
This means that, rather than spending your time and silver on making sugar lumps, you can simply use a stopwatch to time how long it’s been since you started the taming process.
But wait, the tinfoil intensifies!
Many people claim that different tiers of horses have different times that have the best success rate. In the other camp (people who use sugar lumps), many people also claim that different tiers of horses require different amounts of sugar to tame.
To me this lines up pretty well to spell out one conclusion -- most of the taming community thrives on tinfoil.
This isn’t meant to be me taking a stab at other tamers. In reality, 99% of players just do what feels right rather than actually doing extensive testing and data collection.
As for me, I haven’t done any testing or datamining on how taming success works, so I can only do what everyone else does -- what feels right.
For me, I don’t concern myself with doing different timers for different tier horses. I’m simply too lazy to remember the times for 5 different tiers, and half the time I mis-identify what tier the horse is.
My method is to always try to mount the horse at around 33 seconds. If I’ve tried a couple times and the horse it being stubborn, I’ll try 40 seconds.
It’s important to realize that no matter what method you try (sugar or sugar-less), RNG will alway haunt you. You will never have a 100% success rate with taming, and some horses are just super stubborn. I’ve had times where I’ve caught a horse on my first try 5 times in a row, only to be followed with failing 10+ times on a single horse.
I swear some horses just hate me.
Regardless, find what works for you, and find what is enjoyable for you.
While the no-sugar method definitely works, not everyone feels like running a stopwatch for every catch. This can create extra mental work that can make taming more exhausting than fun.
Even if using sugar is technically less efficient, if it allows you to tame longer without getting burnt out, you’ll end up with a better end result.
A Few Thoughts on the Profitability of Horse Taming
Finally, I want to make a few comments on a certain video titled How much money is it possible to earn by horse catching and selling?
The reason I’m talking about this specific video is because it’s pinned in the guides section of the horse discord, so it’s likely that many people will see it when looking for information on the subject.
I’ll start off by saying this -- the presentation of the video is great, the mood is good, and it’s easy to watch all the way through. I also really like how he showed/explained his method so that you know exactly how everything worked.
That said, I do have a few issues with the video that I want to bring up, just so that you won’t be misled too much from this information.
First off, you have to pay attention to his method. He is catching horses in calpheon (which may or may not even be a good place to catch horses), he is manually running to the horse location (wasted travel time), and he is running the tamed horse back to the stable (wasted travel time).
Finally, he is selling every horse to the NPC, rather than listing them to the horse market. This results in a lower silver value per horse.
In the end, he ended up with 1,611,593 silver total from 1 hour of taming. Some people would take this at face value and conclude that taming horses is 1.6million/hour as a whole.
However, I know that my audience is purely made of intelligent people capable of thinking for themselves.
Understand that his actual method is flawed, and is not the most efficient way of getting horses.
Also understand that you should never take a 1 hour test as being good enough for coming up with an accurate hourly rate. Just because he got 1.6m from 1 hour of taming does not mean that he will always get 1.6million/hour in the future. You would need a better sample size to really get a figure for that.
One thing I want to note is that in the video he was using a method of glitching horses in order to bypass the minigame. I want to say that was patched at some point, but I can’t say for sure. You can try it yourself to see if it still works.
I know I said that last video was the last thing I was going to talk about in this section, but I lied. One other video to talk about is MiniTrigger’s guide, Black Desert Online -  10 Hours of Taming Horses.
I want to say that I love seeing this kind of video, and I think his method was better than the first video.
At the end of his video you’ll see that over 10 hours he averaged 2,477,000 silver per hour. See how things can change when you have a sample size that is bigger than 1?
I won’t mention the flaws I see in this video, simply because he mentions a lot of it himself.
The point that I want to make here is that your xp rate and your silver/h will be completely dependant on your method, but also on a bit of rng.
You really have no control over how good your rng will be (besides your tithes to rngesus), but you do have control over your method. It is up to you to work on your method until it is as efficient as possible.
Earning Money through Horse Breeding
A lot of people consider horse breeding to simply be a method of grinding out a tier 8 horse. I think it’s a bit more dynamic than that.
Of course breeding is going to be the primary way to get a t8 (the other method being to buy one from the market). However, if you are seriously into horses, you should be aware of the capabilities breeding has.
Most people consider horse training to be an awful way to make money. They’re mostly correct, but I think you’ll find that with a little creativity, you can make training semi-competitive AFK silver (this is with requirements in mind. You can make good silver from horses on a brand new account, but this won’t be competitive with an endgame player’s silver).
I’m going to talk more about making money with horses in the “Leveling Horses” section, so this is only part of it.
Let’s say I do 4 hours of taming and in the process I get 2 female tier 5s, and 6 tier 4s (mixed gender). Most people would sell the low tier horses (t1-3 or maybe t1-2 depending on the person) to the npc for half the market price (this is done in order to free up space in your stable). As for the tier (3?) 4 and 5 horses, those would likely be sold on the horse market for a decent price or leveled in order to breed for a tier 7.
If you are going for a t8 horse then it’s an obvious choice to level them and breed. However, if you’re simply doing taming for xp (idk if anyone but me actually does that), then it might be a waste to sell your higher tier horses to the market.
Horse Market Pricing
Because of the wonderful work of Elynixi, we can come close to figuring out what influences a horse's value. View Elynxi's detailed forum post
The price of a horse (on the market) is determined by 6 horse stats:
- Breed count and Breed reset status
- Courser status - Coursers gain 20% of the overall price
- Gender - Females gain 20% more of the tier + level value.
Elynxi's Horse Market Price Formula: (((TierBaseValue + (TierLevelValue * Level)) * GenderMod * BreedMod * ResetMod) + (SkillValue * 0.3 * Tier)) * CourserMod
Remember in our example, our t5s are female and our t4s have a few males. Wouldn’t it be better to breed the t5s before dumping them onto the market?
You don’t need to level them, just breed and see what you get.
While the price of your t5s would drop a bit by exhausting their breeds, you can’t ignore the price you’ll fetch from the foal. What you’re banking on here are the skills that your foals learn at birth.
If you get a skill of low value, like Forechop, your foal should still make up the cost of the breed. However, if you get a high value skill like Sprint, the price of your foal will go up 3,315,000!
Remember, breeding takes pretty much no effort, it’s completely AFK. If you’re planning on selling your horse (with breeds) anyways, consider your options:
1. Sell the horse immediately for instant payout
2. Sell the horse a day later (after it breeds) for potentially a couple mil silver totally free
If you have just a little bit of patience, the extra payout you get from breeding is worth the minimal effort you just put in to breed your horses.
Let’s take it a bit further. Let’s say you tamed a female tier 5 level 10 (this is actually the best possible horse you can catch). Later that day you go to the horse market and find a male level 30 t5 with breeds.
You, being the intelligent person you are, notice that this level 30 t5 can actually be traded to the imperial horse dude for a profit. Again, you have 2 choices:
- Sell it via Imperial Horse Delivery for immediate profit
- Breed it first
You literally have nothing to lose by breeding it first, and you’ll profit 100% of the time in this case anyways.
Given this hypothetical situation, these are your chances for various tiers of horse if you decide to breed.
That’s a 28% chance of a tier 7. If that tier 7 gets a good skill at birth, you just made even more money. If it’s a female you could even breed it again with the level 30 t5 you have.
For no risk and no work, that’s some pretty good chances at a good horse (and some ok silver).
Now, this is definitely not going to make you rich. What I’m trying to illustrate here is a method of maximizing your profit. You were going to list your t5 horse on the market anyways, you might as well get an extra 1-2m from it for no extra work.
I’m not someone to give advice that I don’t personally follow, so here’s some data from my own spreadsheet (updated automatically as I add more data).
|Average Stallion Level||20|
|Average Stallion Tier||3.38|
|Average Mare Level||15.58|
|Average Mare Tier||3.83|
|Average Foal Tier||5.00|
|Average Breed Value||1,416,413.08|
If you want to see the raw data, you can see my spreadsheet here.
Remember, none of those horses were leveled by me. All of them were either caught or bought. If they were bought, they were only bought because they would profit or break even by imp’ing them. All of that breed money was just additional cash.
All of that breeding took me like 5-10 minutes at most.
While breeding low level/low tier horses might seem like minimal profit (indeed, 2-3m silver/day isn’t much), if you think about the profit in relation to the time you spent, it turns out to be phenomenal.
If you’re someone who checks the horse market a lot, this can help to provide a bit extra passive silver.
If you’re someone who does taming for Training xp, this can make it a bit more of a worthwhile activity. Of course, people who play for xp aren’t necessarily concerned with maximizing silver, it’s always a good feeling to have a pile of cash after a long grind.
I understand that this section was more about an implementation of breeding than breeding itself.
While this section might not have answered all of the questions you have about breeding (it probably didn’t), I think it helps to illustrate the repeating theme of this Life Skill guide -- think for yourself and play creatively.
I’ve done a fair amount of research on Training, and I’ve never seen a guide telling people to breed low value horses for extra profit. In fact, almost all of the things I do with horse training are things that I thought of myself.
I’m not claiming to be the person who came up with any of these ideas (just looking at the horse market will prove that bad-horse-breeding is a fairly popular practice).
If nothing else, I hope that this implementation of breeding can inspire you to think more creatively about how you can implement various features in this game.
It is my personal belief that it’s impossible to get ahead in this game without creative play (and, of course, a lot of effort).
So feel free to copy my method, and feel free to come up with your own. Through brainstorming and testing you might just find that there exists methods that are far better than what I’ve come up with.
If you come up with super-sick, super-secret methods that are better than things I’ve come up with (for any Life Skill) you better share it with me :^)
Leveling up your horses is one of the most fundamental aspects of the Training Life Skill. Let’s talk about it.
Horses gain xp simply by running around. The max level for a horse is 30, and each level requires more xp than the last.
From horse discord, idk who originally made this
You could probably infer it just by looking at the chart, but horse xp is gained on a tick system. After x amount of time (1 “tick”), your horse will gain y amount of xp.
The benefit of riding a horse solo is that you can level it extremely quickly. On the other hand, a merchant wagon will level your horses more slowly, but it will train 4 of them at a time.
You could also use a peridot wagon if you feel like spending half a year to make a wagon that gives the exact same xp/h as a merchant wagon.
To train your horse (either solo or on a wagon) just find a path and auto loop back and forth. To be safe, it’s best if your route is in a safe zone (although not totally necessary). It’s also good if your route is in a fairly lag-free area (no heidel!).
Here are some example routes:
Route credit to ʝεŋʝıo (míѕѕ_чunα)
Route credit to Jezirea - NA
Route credit to KMD
Route credit to MesaFalcon
You can also loop on the path out of north calpheon (although it’s not safe), or on the road north of epheria.
Remember that some routes might be really good for solo horses, but awful for wagons. When you set your route, watch your horse/wagon run through it once or twice before you go AFK. There’s nothing worse than seeing your horse stuck on a rock for 15 hours.
That’s pretty much the basics of leveling, just throw your horses on a wagon and then AFK run them back and forth for like 15 hours at a time.
Horse Market vs Imperial Delivery
If I want to sell a horse I have a couple options.
- I can sell it to other players on the horse market
- I can sell it to any Stable Keeper for 50% of the horse market value
- If the horse is level 15+ I can sell it to any Stable Keeper (imperial delivery) for 50% of the horse market value, and get Shiny Golden Seal - [Imperial Training] equal to the tier of the horse. (Horse must be stabled, then click on the horse and a button will appear for an "Imperial Horse Delivery".)
Let’s do an example to make that more clear.
Let’s say I have a tier 3 horse worth 5m silver.
- If I sold it on the market I would get 5m (before tax)
- If I sold it to a Stable Keeper I would get 2.5m
- If I did Imperial Horse Delivery I would get 2.5m and 3 Imperial training seals
The horse seals have a value dependant on the Marketplace selling price of Black Magic Crystal - Viper.
When you get 12 seals you can trade them in for one Black Essence: Viper. The exchange NPC is Breesman, the Stable Keeper located at Stonetail Horse Ranch in Mediah.
You heat the Viper essence with an Ancient Magic Crystal - Viper to create the more valuable upgraded Viper crystal.
So, let’s do some math:
Ancient magic crystal cost = 290k
Black magic crystal cost = 15m
Profit = 14,710,000 (before tax)
Profit/seal = 14,710,000/12 = 1,225,833
Marketplace prices change all the time. Here's a quick look at what's going on for Viper crystals at the time of this edit:
Although it looks like the Marketplace is over-saturated, the time left was 6+ days on all the crystals on page one. So there was enough demand. So for now let’s just value a seal at 1m. So looking again at our previous example, we got 2.5m and 3 imperial seals, which is a total value of 5.5m. That’s better money than selling it on the horse market.
Get the idea? Here, let’s quiz you:
- You have a t6 horse valued at 8 million, do you:
- List it to horse market
- Sell it via Imperial Horse Delivery
- List it to horse market
- Sell it via Imperial Horse Delivery
- Imperial Horse Delivery would give you 4 million silver and 6 Training seals for a value of 10 million. That’s more than the 8 mil you’d get from listing it to the horse market.
- Imperial Horse Delivery would give you 15m silver and 7 Training seals, for a total of 22m. That’s a huge loss of 8m. So this one you would list on the horse market.
As you can see, sometimes it’s a great idea to sell your horses via Imperial Horse Delivery, while other times you’d be selling them at a huge loss. With a bit of practice you should be able to recognize a profit or loss in just a couple of seconds when looking at a problem like the ones I listed.
Why is this important/relevant?
Well, let’s bring this knowledge back to actual horse leveling.
Let’s say I have four T1 horses on a wagon. I run them for 4 hours and they hit level 15. At 15, I can sell them via Imperial Horse Delivery for around 1m per horse (since the price of a t1 horse is fairly negligible, I’m mostly looking at seal value). This is 1million/hour for AFK running horses.
1million/hour is ok considering there are no requirements at all. You could do this you first day playing the game no problemo.
We can do better though.
The problem here is that you hit level 15 on your horses after only 4 hours (time will vary based on your wagon, xp buffs, etc). If I’m running horses overnight (let’s say you’re getting a healthy 9 hours of sleep), that’s 5 hours of wasted time per night (since the value is coming from the seals, having horses past level 15 doesn’t increase the value much).
So the next night we try the same thing, but we have 4 tier 2 horses. This time it takes me like 8 and a half hours to get them to 15 and I get 8m from it. I’m still getting around 1million/hour, but this goes on for more hours, which equates to more total money. So at this point I’m getting 8-10m a night from doing a 0 requirement activity. That’s fairly decent if I’m a newer player. But, can we do better?
Well, let’s say the third night I try to do the same thing but with 4 tier 3 horses. This ends up taking 12ish hours and we get 12m in seals from it. This is still 1million/hour, but the problem we run into is that we’re only sleeping for 9 hours. This means our horses aren’t level 15 by the time we wake up. This is a problem. That said, it’s not a problem with a very difficult solution.
Consider this: Who’s forcing us to level our horses from level 1? No one. I can very easily go to the horse market, find a tier 3 horse that’s already level 10, and then level it to 15 overnight in maybe 8-9 hours. This means, assuming we can snipe 4 t3’s at a reasonable price, we can make 12m per night instead of 8.
What if we bought t4 horses at level 12 or 13? We could make 16m+ a night!
If Viper Crystals are at a high price when you’re doing this, you could be profiting around 19m/night (I was when I was doing this).
While 19m/night might not seem like a lot to an end game player, remember that there are no requirements to do this.
This means that a brand new player with no gear (and very little silver) could be pulling in 16-19m overnight completely AFK. That makes it potentially the best AFK money in the game for a new player.
Before you run off and start doing this though, consider a few points.
- There’s no progression for this method. While it’s good money for low level players, it doesn’t get better as you level up.
- This is completely dependent on the price of Viper Crystals. Recently (well, recent as of the time of me writing this), they’ve been adding gem boxes to our log in rewards which give Viper Crystals. This has crashed the market considerably. When I was doing this method Viper Crystals were 21m, but now they’re 14.5m. Do the math yourself before trying.
- Now that I’ve written this a bunch of people are gonna start doing it which means you’ll have a lot more competition when trying to buy suitable horses.
- You can only buy 1 horse per hour from the horse market. This means it will take a minimum of 4 hours to buy the required horses. Of course, that’s not 4 hours of active time (you don’t need to be standing at the horse market for 4 hours), but if you can only be at your computer for 30 minutes a day, you won’t be able to buy 4 horses.
If none of that is a problem for you, then feel free to try it out. I keep a log of all of my imp’d horses, and I’ve made around 1b from doing this.
Let’s change gears a little bit.
When I was new to the game everyone told me that horses were absolute trash tier in terms of making money. That said, using traditional methods, they are.
For some strange reason though, I took that as a challenge. I figured that every Life Skill should have some purpose, and that they could all be good if used correctly.
Thus began my quest to “make Training great again”. Over the course of a couple months of running horses overnight, logging hundreds of entries in a spreadsheet, and constant adjustment, I finally perfected my craft.
I’m not sure if it was willpower or stupidity that kept me testing horses for that long, but I did it. And after all that work I turned a “trash tier” Life Skill into the best AFK money in the game for low level players.
This isn’t me trying to brag, and I’m sure there are actually better ways to make money overnight without high requirements (I just haven’t found any yet). While the method itself is extremely simple and straightforward, it still took me literally months to put all of the pieces together (I had the general idea for a long time, it just took a lot of perfecting).
The point here is that you shouldn’t take the advice of other players as church. Even my advice. There is so much depth to this game, and so much room for creativity, that it is impossible for people to have figured everything out.
Do your own testing, think for yourself, try to make bad skills good. Play creatively and you’ll get an edge on everyone else. And once you create the greatest method in the game that no one knows about…. Pm me.
Thanks for reading Eminent's BDO training 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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