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Black Desert Online guide to levelling, knowledge, character class and more

Let us help you in this classic fantasy role-playing game.

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Black Desert Online guide to levelling, knowledge, character class and more

Black Desert Online is the smash hit Korean MMORPG that has finally received a western release courtesy of Daum Games.

It's an epic fantasy RPG and that means it comes with many deep systems, some of which are baffling at first but a revelation when you finally understand how they work and make your character build better.

We've started a Black Desert Online guide and will be updating it regularly over the coming month, adding pages that cover the most essential parts of the game. From character improvements and levelling to which class to choose and the best quests for loot.

If there's something specific you want more clarity on, leave us a message in the comments section below and we'll try our best to help you out.

Black Desert Online: 10 beginner's tips
What is Knowledge and how to gain it
How to get EXP and level up quickly
Black Desert Online: how to make silver fast
A guide to all classes, stengths and weaknesses
How to use nodes and workers to earn money

General tips

The closest thing to Fast Travel

Black Desert Online has no fast travel equivalent, but there is a way to travel around that’ll save you from sitting and walking from one place to another – and that’s the ‘auto run’ system. Pressing the T Key at any point will make your character automatically run straight forwards – which is useful – but there’s a trick to make this more useful still.

Open your map and right click anywhere – this will lay a breadcrumb trail on the map. Hitting T will now make your character run all the way to that marker on the fastest possible route, making all efforts to avoid obstacles on the way. I’d keep one eye on it, but you can use this to take your hands off the keyboard and let the game take you somewhere with little to no input, saving some effort.

Explore the world with Spectator Mode

While not massively useful, Black Desert Online has a short-range spectator mode that’s ideal for getting a view of the surrounding area outside the confines of character movement. To use it, sit down or lean against a nearby wall with the R key – this’ll detach the camera and let you explore with it.

Remember that you can disable the game interface by pressing Ctrl+U – making this detached camera ideal for taking awesome screenshots of your character and the Black Desert Online world.

Eating food has great benefits

In-game food actually gives you experience points towards the skill that determines your overall health level – so try to eat food as often as possible. Often food has additional benefits such as combat buffs, too – so it’s well worth buying food or getting into cooking in order to have access to good stuff. Potions are good, but food is often even better!

Idling can be a good thing

Black Desert Online puts a great emphasis on being logged in as much as possible. While logged in there are AFK tasks that the MMO actually encourages you to partake in such as fishing. Energy, a vital resource that you’re constantly using, also replenishes more quickly when logged in and idling than it does when logged out.

Attempt to minimize the game and it’ll even offer to go into a slightly powered-down state that’ll use fewer PC resources but maintain a connection – handy.

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Mounts are good, but not needed right away

While Mounts are cool, don’t rush to get your first horse – walking around on foot will have a positive effect on your character stamina, and you won’t gain this bonus while riding a mount. You can also game this system a bit by using the auto-walk function, described in point one, then heading AFK.

Remember that pressing Shift will allow you to sprint, though this is limited by your stamina. As with walking, the more you sprint, the better your stamina will become.

Make use of the NPC Finder

We mention this on some of our other guide pages – the world of BDO is packed with NPCs, and many of them serve no purpose other than window dressing. It can sometimes be hard to find the NPC you need – but it needn’t be.

Next to your map in the upper right you’ll see a magnifying glass. Click it and it’ll bring up options of NPCs; select what you’re after, and it’ll drop a waypoint to that person. You can either follow it manually or auto-run right to them.

Create extra characters

Because it doesn’t have a subscription, there’s no cost or punishment to making multiple BDO characters. Even if you don’t plan on playing them seriously, it’s useful to have extra characters – many things are shared across your characters, so you can switch character to do something different while your main character is tied up for one reason or another, then transfer back at ease.

Knowledge is Power

In many ways ‘knowledge’, a specific type of progression in BDO, is even more important than your actual character level. Talk to NPCs and explore as a habit absolutely, as raising your knowledge will help with everything from conversation with NPCs to dishing damage out to enemies. There’s more about knowledge in the page of our guide dedicated to that.

Be aware (and beware) of the night-time

Be aware: enemies are worth more experience points at night. But also beware: enemies also become more powerful and dangerous at night, so tread carefully.

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