This is an introduction to Life Skills for beginners to BDO. I go over the basics and give recommendations as to which Life Skills are worth persuing as a new player.
Welcome to adventuring in BDO with Life Skills!
Gathering allows you to use tools to gather ore, trees, and other resource nodes. It is one of the most profitable Life Skills in BDO. (Players with high levels of Gathering Mastery report anywhere from 60 to 160 million silver per hour.)
Along with Fishing, Gathering is one of the easiest Life Skills for beginners to get started making money with. Besides the gathering tool, all you need is Energy. For help gaining Energy, please view our Energy Guide.
On its own, it allows you to gather all kinds of crafting materials used in other Life Skills, Enhancement, and worker workshops. (Gathering materials are especially essential in Alchemy, which has a greater demand for bottlenecked resources.)
In many quest lines, the Gathering Life Skill is a requirement that opens up other Life Skill quests.
Life Skills Progression Stages and Levels
All classes except Shai start at Beginner 1 on all Life Skills. The Shai class automatically receives a boost to Gathering and Alchemy at character creation and start at Professional 1 Gathering and Professional 1 Alchemy.
Each life skill has 10 levels from Beginner through Artisan. Master has 30 levels to Guru, and Guru has 50+ levels.
Order of Progression:
Beginner > Apprentice > Skilled > Professional > Artisan > Master > Guru
Each gatherable resource category requires it’s own tool.
Gathering Tools are obtained via Tool Workshops, Seal exchanges, Events, Contribution Points, and the Marketplace. You can obtain tools at a <Material Vendor>, but these are only recomended if you have no other choice.
|Use on trees to gather logs and timber
|Use on vegetation to gather herbs, fruits, weeds, seeds, and flowers (Barehanded gathering without a tool will mostly reward weeds which are used in alchemy)
|Use on animal corpse to gather hides and feathers
|Use on animal corpse to gather meat (Also used in the Hunting Life Skill to gather blood, meat, and Hunting XP)
|animal blood or tree sap (used in Alchemy)
|rocks, ore, and gem nodes
|gather river and sea water
|Use in the desert of Valencia to gather muddy water, vanadium and titanium ore and shards, blue and violet crystals
Gathering Requirements for Life Skills
Gathering Life Skill is a requirement for other Life Skills and many quests. For example, in order to obtain the ability to process higher tiers, you need at least Beginner 7 Gathering.
Obtain Beginner 7 Gathering with AFK Gathering using Empty Bottles at the fountain in Heidel.
Purchase 34 Empty Bottles at the Material Vendor near the fountain. Or you can use any river/lake for gathering water. I like Heidel because the Material Vendor is only a couple steps away from the water source.
Gathering level Apprentice 4 is a little more challenging to obtain. You will need about 274 Empty Bottles filled. If you do skip the prerequisite quest chain for processing, then you will miss out on the Shabby Fence and some housing furniture, as well as additional Gathering/Processing XP.
We have a more detailed guide on Gathering.
Press L to open the processing window. No tools are needed to process materials. Processed materials are inherently worth more than raw materials at the Marketplace (but this does not always mean they will sell well, if at all, on the Marketplace. Look at supply and demand before processing anything!). Processing, like fishing, is usually a good AFK way to generate extra income, after it is leveled up to Artisan level. (Always check Marketplace demand.) There is a questline to complete before you can process at higher levels. See our guide for the Beginner Processing Knowledge Questline.
Cooking is one of the first Lifeskills you will most likely level early on as you need to make Beer to feed your workers. Check out this Beer making guide, which also goes into greater detail on how to begin cooking. Cooking requires a Cooking Utensil installed in your residence. Purchase a Cooking Utensil from chefs or innkeepers. Utensils can sometimes be sniped on the Marketplace, or have your worker craft one in a Tool Workshop.
The image below shows the location of all the Velia grain/cereal nodes you can purchase to make beer. ( I obtained the map’s background from somethinglovely.net Thanks Fam! )
Completing a mini-game to tame wild horses and riding your mount increases Training skill. You need ropes from a Stable Keeper to capture a horse in the wild. Read a more detailed guide about training in our Training Guide.
When I first started BDO, AFK fishing over night was the easiest way to earn money and it probably still is. To AFK fish, find a river, lake, or sea, equip your rod, and press Space Bar. That’s it. You will automatically loot the fish after 3 minutes. Catching rare fish levels your fishing skill faster. With better fishing skill, you can use better fishing rods.
Active fishing takes more keyboard warrior skill. To actively fish, approach water, equip a fishing rod, and press Space Bar to begin fishing. After you get a bite, press Space Bar to reel it in. You must successfully complete 2 mini-games to loot the fish. If you fail either one, the fish gets away.
Read more about fishing in our AFK Fishing Guide.
Hunting provides meat and blood, but also rare items to craft furniture.
You need a matchlock to hunt. To level your hunting skill, you need to butcher <Wild> animals with a butcher knife or do hunting quests.
To get started with Hunting, you should know about the Hunting quest line detailed in this Hunting guide.
You need a fence and seeds to begin Farming. Pruning, killing pests, breeding, and harvesting crops increases Farming Skill.
Farming for Grain:
Farming is another profession you can do as a beginner that will help you get grain for making worker food. There is a low level quest line which will give you a free fence, or you can spend 3 CP on a Small Fence.
Seeds can be acquired through gathering vegetation, the Marketplace, and seed vendors. A Withered Seed, sold by vendors, is the lowest quality seed, which will not yield very good results. But the good news is that you can breed them and there is a chance to obtain better seeds, which produce better crops. The next tier after Withered Wheat is the normal white grade Wheat Seed, which after about 5 hours from planting, will yield an average of 70 wheat.
To find all the NPCs that will rent you a Fence, please visit our Fence Types & Locations Guide.
Trading is the act of obtaining one Trade Good and selling it to a <Trade Manager>, (for, hopefully, a profit). Trading is probably the least used Life Skill in the game right now. You can actually loose money doing it, if you’re not careful. Before getting into trade, be sure to read up on it.
It is not recommended for beginners.
Alchemy creates potions (most have a shorter buff than foods), magic crystals, and reagents for Skilled Processing (Plywood Hardener, Metal Solvent, Gem Polisher). Alchemy requires an Alchemy tool installed in your residence. Purchase an Alchemy tool from a General Vendor, or on the Markeplace, or have your worker craft one in a Tool Workshop.
Alchemy isn’t as passive as Cooking can be. All Alchemy recipes require rare materials that you have to gather yourself or rarely obtain through nodes and grinding. This profession takes time to level up, but helps boost your character’s power in many ways.
The Shai class is the only class that begins with Professional 1 Alchemy. (And also Professional 1 Gathering.)
Alchemy is not recomended for beginners.
Sailing & Barter
A beginner sailing boat can be purchased at the Wharf Master for 10k silver. You can sail at low levels to find fishing hotspots and other adventures, but it’s not recommended to go too far out by yourself (Ross & Margoria Seas), until you have an Epheria Boat.
Sailing is very slow and the waters that are far out have aggressive sea monsters that quickly destroy a slow and weak boat. Building a good boat takes time and effort. Read more about Sailing and the ship UI in our Beginner Sailing Guide.
Barter is similar to Trading, except you are trading to an ocean location. It is an expensive Life Skill to get started with, but is profitable later on. Barter is required in order to obtain the best boats in BDO.
Barter and advanced sailing is not recommended for BDO beginners.