Bloodborne is packed to the gills with nasty little and not so little beasties, all baying for your blood.
Bloodborne guide: enemies and how to kill them
Bloodborne really doesn’t mess about – one of the first enemies you meet is expected to kill you immediately, and when you meet some of the same kind later on, you’ll see From Software kindly halved the HP on it.
Speaking of that, the strength of enemies varies from area to area, and even sometimes within the same area. Be aware that just because you took a wolfman down with one hit a moment ago doesn’t mean the next one will be so easy. Why? Because this is Bloodborne.
Here’s we’ll be compiling a list of enemies we’ve encountered, in order of discovery, and how we’ve beaten them. Bosses are not included; check our story walkthrough for hints on those.
Netherbeasts are hulking big wolf like creatures with powerful slashing attacks. They’re very, very dangerous in numbers, because the way they move makes them very difficult to keep together; they will split up and get on either side of you. They’re also very perceptive, with a long aggro range, so they’re difficult to get alone, too.
They usually hunt in pairs. Your best bet is to kill one as quickly as possible, so you can take your time with the second. Lob a Molotov (or better) at one, and take it down with powerful attacks while it’s a bit flummoxed. You can also try funnelling the Netherbeasts into a narrow corridor or stairway and taking them both out at once using a choke point, but mind you don’t get caught on the geometry yourself.
- Undead Beast
Souped up Netherbeast which, by the time you get to it, is not worthy of your concern despite their larger health pools.
Big, tough beasts but nothing especial to worry about after what you’ve been through so far.
Henchmen come in several varieties. In general these guys aren’t hard to take down, but they often ambush you, and in groups they will quickly whittle you down. Don’t underestimate them.
We’ve got strategies for specific varieties below, but in general, the easiest way to avoid Henchmen attacks is to backpedal from them. Look at their weapons to determine what kind of attack they’ll do; pitchfork guys stab, sword guys slash wildly at short range, and axe and shovel guys have a quite dangerous mid-range chop. All varieties can do two-hit combos, so be wary.
- Torch bearer
If you get close to a guy with a torch he may shout “get away, get away, get away” and set you on fire, which does a boatload of damage.
- Shielded wolfman
If you’re strong enough you can probably risk hitting through the shield until the Henchman flinches. If you’re more cautious, get hip-to-hip close and circle until he attacks, giving you an opening, or you’re behind him; you won’t be hurt in the meantime. The most dangerous move these guys have happens at a distance – a swift and deadly charge attack.
Don’t maintain line of sight with these guys; their attacks hit much harder than your puny popguns do. They’re usually found in mobs, and in most situations trying to take these guys down first will result in you being swarmed by other enemies. Grit your teeth and stay out of sight until you can get them alone.
- Frenzied Henchmen
Bigger. Badder. Still pretty easy to Countershot, though.
- Mutant Henchman
Quite exciting! Not only has more health: when it’s been damaged enough, it mutates, after which it can poison you and has greater reach. Watch out for the ones wandering around already mutated.
These little buggers are a nightmare. They move so fast, and hit so hard, that they can take you down in moments. As with all Bloodborne enemies under the size of a house, the best strategy is to hit them before they hit you; sneak up and smack them before they go for you.
If you can’t do that, it’s imperative to lure them out and get them alone. Don’t let them get behind you; lock on and spin to follow them, then dodge when they get close. If all else fails, let them bite you and then take them down, hopefully getting your HP back via Regain.
- Demon Hound
Slightly tougher than garden variety Hound, but not by much.
Usually found in small groups, Crazed Crows aren’t very dangerous, which is a nice change. They attack a few moments after the spot you, so if you rush in you can take out one, two or even all three before they get off the ground. Otherwise, they pause for several moments between attacks, returning to huddle on the ground, so you can take them out then.
If you’re silly enough to let them come at you, all three attacking at once can be a worry – but when they take off, just roll on out of there. The only real danger is when you find these guys with other enemies, in which case you should take them down as fast as possible.
Your standard issue big guy. Early on you will want to avoid them or throw a Molotov to make it easier. Stay at a distance and Countershot as soon as you see his arm move; up close, his attacks are very quick. Backstrikes work well, too. Watch out for the sudden charge and leap attacks.
Brutes come in a number of varieties:
- Brick Brutes
Has a rock. Pretty laughable. Stay close and their moves are slow and easy to Countershot for a stun and Visceral Attack; at a distance they’re alarmingly quick. Same goes for most brutes.
- Hooded Brutes
Has an axe. One of these guys is found early on in Central Yharnam. If you tackle him, make sure you’re alone; you’ll have enough to deal with. He can be farmed for Blood Gems. Much, much stronger ones are found later on.
- Club Brutes
Has a club. That’s about it.
- Cleaver Brutes
Has a clea- yeah, okay, I know, but it’s important this time; they can deflect your gunshots, making them harder to stun.
Equipped with many of the same powers as you, including firearms, Molotovs and trick weapons, Hunters are among the deadliest foes in the game – just like you. Now that you’ve finished preening yourself on that matter, face down these foes.
Good training for PvP. Don’t respawn once defeated, thanks goodness, as they’re “real” people, not part of the nightmare realm.
Shock Hunters are a very nasty variety, equipped with shields and elemental damage. Luckily they’re pretty lightweight and all your attacks will interrupt them.
This guy has significant reach, which can surprise you, but more deadly is his lengthy combo. When he moves to attack, he will hit several times in a row – not just once – so stay patient, watch and learn.
Once the combo has ended you have a decent window to get in there and hit hard. You can probably take most Hunchbacks out in one combo if you’re been upgrading your weapons and attributes assiduously. Often drop Blood Stone Shards.
About as dangerous as Crazed Crows, but can attack from a distance with a leap that is surprising and deadly. They also appear in greater numbers than Crazed Crows.
Mostly stationary but nevertheless occasionally deadly, some of these guys only have a dodgy shottie and others have full on mini-guns. Try not to get in their way. They have low health, thankfully; it’s just a matter of safely getting close enough.
These guys have longer range than you’d expect, but they’re not too hard to take out. If you meet them in a mob, lob a Molotov to clear them out quickly.
A very dangerous foe: its short range bite is very nasty, and at a distance, it will charge you. This last attack is pretty deadly too, but it also leaves the beast wide open for a Charge Attack and a Backstrike.
Gravekeepers have more health than other humanoid foes you will have met before them. They also don’t stagger when you hit them with normal attacks, so don’t let them take you unawares when they just don’t go down after your first combo.
Old Yarnham’s equivalent of Henchmen – common, not especially tough, but a menace in packs and still capable of taking you our if you’re taken by surprise. They dodge attacks with great agility, so be sure of your hits and don’t over-expend by mashing into combos that aren’t going to connect. If you have low stamina, back away after a miss and recover.
All Walking Beast type enemies can come in a variety with glowing eyes, that attacks more viciously and can inflict status effects.
- Hooded Beast
A slower variant of the normal Walking Beast. Much less worrying than the faster ones.
- Hooded Demon
Bigger, scarier Hooded Beast with a howl that puts nearby enemies into a more aggressive mood.
Imps aren’t hostile. Like the lizards in Souls games, they drop upgrade materials if you are quick and strong enough to kill them before they vanish.
- Giant Imp
Bigger and drops better loot, but otherwise unremarkable.
Run away. Don’t even go close. It’s not just that Death Dealers are deadly and hard to kill at low levels; they also transport you to Yahar’gul, Unseen Village and literally nobody wants to go there right now. Here’s how to escape Yahar’gul.
If you must have a go, watch out for its long reach and powerful strikes, as well as it signature move of drawing you in close. It will go into an enraged state once your health is about half, when it becomes ridiculously fast. These enemies won’t spawn until you’ve defeated the Blood-starved Beast or progressed to Yahar’gul.
Every time I see one of these I scream and flail at it, so I have no idea what they actually do. AHHH AHHH OH GOD THEY GRAB YOU AND SUCK ON YOUR HEAD AND THEN THEY CAN FIRE MAGIC PROJECTILES AT YOU.
Their magic attack can stun, leaving you open to the grab, which can steal Insight. Keep your distance to dodge it, and their projectiles. Try sneaking up, attacking, and then running away until they forget about you. Cheesey, but safe.
In some areas these women make the enemies constantly respawn, so you’ll need to find her and take her down fast. In others, she merely (merely!) opens your world to PvP invasions, so: ditto. She’ll sometimes appear in random in your game world when you start co-op sessions, too, so be aware of the risk.
Just about the only thing you will meet in Yahar’gul, Unseen Village that won’t hand you your intestines in a doggy bag. They move fast, but they’re easily beaten down.
- Crazed Hags
Found in large numbers in Hemwick Charnel Lane. Not tough but have some deadly weapons; the one with the glowing fire end is especially dangerous. Avoid packs.
These guys appear in Hemwick Charnel Lane in increased numbers depending on your Insight levels, and possibly other factors. They’re kind of tough, with lots of HP and aggressive attack patterns.
Luckily, they’re easily stunned with firearms, allowing you to use Charge Attacks and Back Strikes on them. Try to get them on their own to make this easier.
Bigger than Brutes and better armed, Reapers are immune to Countershot stuns and Backstrikes. Thankfully they’re pretty slow; just duck under their surprisingly long-ranged attacks and paddle their bottoms.
Reapers come in various varieties – Axe, Ball and Chain. Watch how their weapons move, as each is different, and they have a number of attacks. You can hear them coming as they wear pet bells around their necks. They go to sleep at night in some areas.
The evolution of the Henchman, found in the Cathedral Ward. Extended range, and more worryingly, more difficult to stun with a Countershot.
Hard to kill due to their size. Use overhead strikes for best results.
These guys look nasty but they’re not too tough; their grab attack is the most dangerous thing about them. Just hit them before they can hit you.
Mutant Cranium Creatures
Like the above, but fires magic projectiles, which is not great. At all.
Can poison you but lol: they won’t have time. Just hit ’em.
Giant Snake Clusters
Ha ha, it’s like the other one, only bigger and also it will mess you up. Watch out for venom spit move. Paddle its bottom for best results; it’s slow to turn.
These things are slow and not too tough, but they are very, very good at inflicting Frenzy. It’s the jump attack you’ve got to watch out for; get hit twice by that and you’ll be in trouble. Dodge the initial assault then follow up with a fast combo.
Giant Insect Mutant
A very nasty foe. When you’re at a distance it fires double fireballs which can hit very, very hard. If you get close, it can grab you, and its slashing combos are so quick that it’s very hard to stun them.
Happily, they’re weak to the famous dragon fighting technique; stand behind it and gently caress its bottom. By gently caress, I mean go town like a one-armed carpenter.
Immune to stun. Hits astoundingly hard. Best tactic is to stay far, far away and wait for it to do its ridiculous falling down attack, then wail away for a bit before retreating to a safe distance.
Open portals that suck you to the Nightmare Frontier. At high Insight, or in some areas, you can see them. It’s not pleasant. Don’t engage. Don’t get sucked into the portals.
The grunts of the Lecture Building are slow and easy to get behind, although their long reach and projectiles should not be underestimated. Hard to stagger.
Ah ha ha ha ha ha! What is happening? What is going on? What are these things? I don’t like them at all.
Wait for them to spit poison at you then wail away on them. Be wary of the bigger ones, which have an area of effect attack around their body.
The toughest thing about these guys is that they throw boulders at you all the time. Try to fight them alone and use cover to your advantage; if you have to battle a pair, put the one you’re fighting between you and the other.
These inflict Frenzy status just by looking at you. Sneak up on them for a Charged Attack and Backstrike. If you can’t take them out with one hit, get a better weapon. And run away.
FML. Watch out for the big ones; they hit hard and they can spew poison from both ends.
Grunts. They sometimes have crossbows, which is a pain. Sneak attacks are a big help.
Excellent example of sexual dimorphism here. These are best fought with Countershots; think of them as more interesting Brutes.
Two of the most annoying enemies in the game, now combined. Someone at From Software probably won a small award for this idea, the bastard.
They took the day off after inventing this one.
*head in hands* I just. I don’t. Why. If there is a Pig Spider around the next corner I swear to god. I swear to god, From Software. I will send you an envelope of glitter and never look back.
Sort of like humans who started undressing and forgot how to stop. They fall down easily and you have to wait for them to get back up so you can hit them again. Tedious.
Shadow of Yharnam
Once a boss battle, now a world famous boy band of the Japanese idol type, in that members keep joining and leaving – although unlike boy bands people generally drop out because you hacked their face off. If you have levelled up as you progressed during the preceding zones you will have no trouble.
Spiders with Human Faces
Fight these exactly the way you’d fight spiders, except you should pause occasionally to wipe away your tears so you can see them properly. Watch out for the one who is actually a friendly NPC.
Found in Forsaken Cainhurst Castle. Horrible. So horrible. Really horrible. Has kick attacks as well as swipes, so getting behind them won’t help. Move slowly except when they suddenly don’t. Horrible.
These guys aren’t hostile unless you get all up in their business. If they frighten you, back away and they’ll lose interest.
Can be farmed for Blood Stone Chunks, if you can handle them.
Nasty, but only come in small numbers in Cainhurst.