Increase your chances of survival with our handy collection of tips
The kind of players looking for Bloodborne tips are players looking for a challenge. It's the kind of player who finds a masochistic thrill in dying over and over, chasing the adrenaline of a boss that seems almost impossible to beat the first time. Overcoming this seems unbeatablebloodborneChallenging and growing as a player is one of the most rewarding challenges out there.
If you've wandered the dank, dark streets of Yharnam and find you can't get past the first boss - or actually get out of the first room! - then don't worry. Below is a compendium of spoiler-free tips that will introduce you to the game's top-level mechanics and give you a chance to get a foothold on the blood-soaked cobbles of the unforgiving world of Bloodborne. Even Souls veterans can take away some of the important tips below if they review everything as one of themPS Plus Collection gamesAnPS5.
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Well don't be. Each challenge can be overcome once you learn the best approach. Having died more times than I can count in Bloodborne, I have a few non-spoiler tips for you so you don't repeat my fatal mistakes. For all you greenhorns out there, hopefully you're feeling better equipped to face the horrors in the city of Yharnam. And even Souls experts will learn a thing or two about Bloodborne's new systems.
Don't feel bad if you die in the first room
This is your first time playing Bloodborne and eager to take on the many challenges that await you. As you crawl through the very first area, you encounter a ghastly mutated werewolf... and almost immediately he rips you to pieces. No, it's not that you're so bad that you lost to the first enemy - you areallegedlyto die here. You are not expected to be able to defeat this monster with your bare hands; This is just Bloodborne's way of introducing you to the ethereal Hunter's Dream hub territory. There you'll have access to a selection of weapons so you can revive and take revenge on this insane wolf creature.
Beginners should focus on improving their core combat stats
There are no specialized classes to assign to your hunter in Bloodborne. Instead, you choose from an intriguing list of backstory origins during character creation, which simply determines your starting stats. And aside from personalizing your avatar's story, some origins will serve new players better than others. Combat is fairly dependent on your Stamina and Strength stats, with the former determining how often you can dodge and attack, and the latter making you hit harder and resist physical damage. Vitality is also important as it increases your health bar - but staying alive in Bloodborne relies more on your mastery of combat mechanics than your overall HP. When creating your first character, it's not a bad idea to go for the Milquetoast or Violent Past origins to give the above stats a helpful boost.
Aggression (within reason) pays off
In the Souls games, patience is a virtue. It is best to wait and watch your enemy's movements and study them to find the opportune times to attack. But Bloodborne's combat is much faster than Dark Souls, and sometimes you need to go on the offensive. Whenever you get hit, hitting back in response allows you to restore some (or even all) of your lost health thanks to the Regain mechanic. Instead of retreating when you take damage, you're rewarded for fighting your way through some pain in a close fight, or being aggressive when caught off guard by an attack. Just don't try to take on too many enemies at once, because it's easy to get overwhelmed and end up losing health faster than you can fight to get it back. Speaking of...
Lure single targets away from large groups
With shields not an option when you first start Bloodborne, dodging enemies is your primary method of avoiding deadly attacks. But when you're surrounded by monsters, dodging their attacks becomes almost impossible. It's best to avoid the one-vs-many situation altogether, which isn't that difficult. If you see a band of enemies ahead, try to get within range of the nearest one and get their attention (or pin them on the head with a commonly found throwable item like a pebble). Hopefully you get it rioting without attacking the whole pack and have the group pick it off piece by piece instead of trying to smash through them all at once with Rambo. Trust me, this approach only works if you can kill the opponent with a swing or two of your saw blade.
Your weapon is not intended as a ranged weapon
Sure, you can use a bullet to get the attention of a distant enemy when you run out of thrown items like pebbles or Molotov cocktails. However, this is quite a waste as weapons in Bloodborne don't work like they do in most games. Instead of using your firearms to deal damage from afar, you actually want to pick up all your bullets when enemies are right in front of your face. A well-timed shot during a monster's attack animation triggers a return shot, giving you a chance to unleash a devastating gut attack that can often kill your opponents in one hit. Enemies I once feared (like giant brick-wielding ogres) now seem trivial to me once I figured out how to time a blunderbuss shot to set up a quick and chaotic execution.
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Be aware of which weapon form serves you best
One of the coolest new concepts in Bloodborne is the two-for-one primary weapon deal. Just tap the L1 button and your blade or blunt object of choice will toggle between short and long range forms. Knowing which form works best against which opponent is crucial, as the different attack ranges and animations can make all the difference in a fight. Also note that switching to a two-handed form like the Hunter's Ax means you can't use the pistol or torch in your off-hand. Once you really know your favorite weapon inside out, you can even switch forms mid-combo, but it's probably best to avoid this trick when you're first getting your bearings.
Always check your corners
I wouldn't call them jump scares per se, but there were times I almost soiled myself after a troubled villager jumped onto my Hunter from the shadows. Bloodborne loves to hide monsters in the most unlikely of places, and takes advantage of the fact that in most games you can run from one group of enemies to the next without many surprises. But these aren't cheap, pre-made spawn-ins: if you know where to look, you can attack enemies before they do the same to you. Keep an eye out for potential hiding places in the nooks and crannies of the environment so you can kill whatever is lying in wait. And if you're ambushed, make a mental note of where it happened because...
Yes, everything respawns when you die
Like the Souls games, killing villains in Bloodborne isn't a one-off affair. With the exception of bosses, every ghoul, ghost, rabid dog, and creepy villager you kill will come back to life in the same place every time you die or return to your home base in Hunter's Dream. This isn't as punishing as it sounds, because once you know how to efficiently kill everything in the immediate area, it's pretty easy to fight your way back to where you left off (assuming you don't get cocky and die of it). total wimps, like I sometimes do). It also adds a reassuring sense of predictability to the level layouts after you've died a few dozen times, knowing exactly where and when to expect imminent danger.
Don't be a hoarder with your Blood Echoes
Blood Echoes are Bloodborne's currency, meaning you need them to level up or buy items. And the first time I threw away 14,000 Blood Echoes for sheer hubris, I practically cried out in agony. As with Dark Souls, if you fall in battle you have a chance to find your corpse and regain your Blood Echoes. Die again before you do, and all those precious echoes will be gone forever. Bloodborne ups the ante even further: monsters near your dead body can absorb its essence, requiring you to kill them to get your stash back. Her glowing blue eyes will let you know who took her, but if you don't know how to take her down, your lost savings might be all but gone. Once you've collected a lot of Echoes, resist the temptation to explore new areas. Head to the Hunter's Dream instead and spend them on stat boosts or gear.
Your lifetime should be spent getting an overview of the country
Bloodborne takes a sophisticated approach to level design. Rather than feeling like a series of separate, individual stages, the derelict city of Yharnam is one large, interconnected maze filled with intersecting paths and passages that bridge areas that you initially thought were far apart. Oh, and there's no map screen to keep track of where you've been, meaning you'll have to do some serious mental mapping every time you step foot into uncharted territory. There's an easy way to do this: once you've eliminated the enemies in an area, take some time to really explore the area. You're guaranteed to find a few shortcuts or secret items, and you're far less likely to get lost if you fall in combat and need to find your body.
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Heal yourself with ruthless devotion
You may be familiar with Dark Souls' Estus Flasks: potions that you must ration throughout your adventures, as they can only be refilled at a bonfire. But the self-healing system in Bloodborne works very differently. From the start you can carry up to 20 vials of blood that you can chug to regain a decent chunk of health. And crucially, enemies often carry more vials of blood to refill your supply, sometimes dropping up to four on death. Some creatures, like the aforementioned ogres or red-haired werewolves, reliably drop a lot of blood vials. Once you know how to take them out easily, refilling potions is a breeze. Heal yourself whenever you want to replenish your health, because you can always find (or buy) more blood flasks later.
Don't forget to upgrade your weapon
Upgrading your weapon of choice should be one of your main goals. To do this, you must track down the necessary materials in the streets of Yharnam, and then go to the central building in the hunter's dream. The workbench there tells you what materials you need and how many blood echoes it costs to make your weapon more powerful. Don't neglect this to simply improve yourself as pure stat boosts have diminishing returns. A strong arm is worth nothing unless it carries a strong weapon and vice versa. Get a feel for which weapon best suits your playstyle, then build it up as quickly as possible.
Backstab the big boys
Large enemies tend to use heavy attacks that recover slowly. With that in mind, it's best to quickly bypass the incoming offense and choose a less direct attack. However, there is a special nuance to maximize your chances. You should read their attack, dodge accordingly, and then hit them in the back with a charged punch. This will stagger her, allowing you to proceed with a visceral attack which, as mentioned, will very likely finish her off. You can also tiptoe behind some enemies who have their backs turned by giving the analog stick a very gentle nudge, which perfectly primes you to unleash the same visceral attack.
Find and open all shortcuts
Shortcuts not only save time; They make you go back to where you were before you diedmuchless dangerous. This is very important when you have a lot of blood echoes on the line (let's say 14,000 or so). Similar to Dark Souls, these shortcuts can be found anywhere, you just have to take things at a deliberate pace and pay attention. For example, before tackling the Cleric Beast, make sure you first go down in the unlit bridge residence, then go out the door to the left and go up the stairs to open the gate there. This will give you an easy path when starting from the Central Yharnam Checkpoint Lamp.
Besides these tips, the city of Yharnam has much more to offer, but you must discover the rest of its mysteries and surprises firsthand. Also, half the fun of Bloodborne is dying a horrible death and then swearing you won't make the same mistake again (although you probably will). Good luck to you, Hunter, and may your Blood Echoes spill over.
And if you're looking for more, stop byWhat makes Bloodborne's fight so damn brilliant?
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Lucas Sullivan is the former US Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar+. Lucas worked for GR for seven years, starting as Associate Editor in 2012, before climbing the ranks. He left us in 2019 to pursue a career on the other side of the fence, joining 2K Games as Global Content Manager. Lucas is no longer allowed to write about games like Borderlands and Mafia, but he can help develop and market them.