Bloodborne’s Messengers and Notes system is a little bit different from Souls games, and there are some really neat features you might not know about.
Bloodborne guide: how Messengers and notes work
Bloodborne allows players to leave little Notes for each other around the environment.
Unlike Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, where this feature was just quietly not explained, in Bloodborne there’s an in-lore reason for this: you jot down a Note in your Notebook and give it to Messengers, little skeleton-looking creatures that can move between words – it’s they who drag you between Hunter’s Dream and the Lanterns, in fact.
Some of the Notes you find are tutorial prompts or letters that are part of the game, but any time you’re online you’re likely to see a variety of comments left by other players. To spot a Note, look for the grey-brown bubbles on the ground, and listen for the Messenger’s chuckles.
Not every Note is trustworthy, as some players love trolling others to step off ledges for no reason. Most do offer helpful advice, though, or just make jokes.
If you like a Note, you can rate it Fine, and if you dislike it, you can rate it Foul. This is done by pressing left or right on the touchpad respectively while viewing it. If you’re not sure if a Note is Fine or Foul yet, you can rate it later by opening your Notebook and selecting the Viewed Notes option.
Those little cuties
One cute aspect of rating Notes is that the Messengers react; if you rate a Note Fine, they do a little dance and laugh happily. If you rate it Foul, they moan and slink away sadly. Adorable.
As you progress you may collect key items called “Messenger Top Hat” and the like. These change the appearance of your Messengers.
It is believed that the number of Messengers around a Lantern when you first warp in represents the number of players int hat area at the time, so if you’re worried about invaders or looking for a co-op partner, keep an eye on them.
Rating Notes is important. Not only does it mean more players will know whether the advice is good or bad, Notes with high ratings will appear more frequently. Additionally, when your Notes are rated Fine, your health will be boosted. When this happens regularly it can be a big help. Every time you rate a Note you could be saving someone from losing a boss fight, for example.
To leave your own notes, equip the Notebook in your quick slots, navigate to it using the D-pad, and press Square. You can leave single words or use templates, selecting words to fill in the blanks, and can even string a limited number of phrases together. Take a good look at the various words and button prompts in the compose frame and see what you can do; the more creative, the better.
You can add a gesture to the message, too; just press L1 while composing, and when people view the Note, they’ll see a blue spectre performing the gesture. This can really increase your chances of getting Fine ratings.
You can only have so many active Notes in the world before the earliest ones will be erased to make room for new ones. To ensure your best Notes are retained, open your Notebook, select Notes Made, and press Square while the cursor is over the appropriate Note.
Tips for highly-rated Notes:
- Help other players find treasure hidden from sight.
- Warn players about ambushes.
- Give advice on how to defeat various enemies.
- Warn players about falls.
- Show players the best places to drop to hard to reach items and paths.
- Label shortcuts and hidden paths.
- Label the main path and boss arenas.
- Advertise your availability for co-op.
- Highlight levers that are hard to see.
- Warn players about bad Notes.
- Make jokes.
- Warn players that nearby characters are NPCs.
- Leave a note in a hard to reach place.
- Celebrate your successes against difficult bosses and traversal challenges.
- Encourage other players.
- Don’t spam boring set phrases in high traffic areas.
- Don’t leave duplicate notes unless you think there’s a better position for it.