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Black Desert Online: how to gain Knowledge

Knowledge is crucial to character development in Black Desert Online. Here's everything you need to know.

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Black Desert Online: how to get Knowledge

Knowledge is an important system in Black Desert Online, but is also a system relatively unique to this MMO.

Knowledge is essentially what your character knows about the world around them, and spans a broad spectrum of the game. It includes things like details about the world itself, information of the NPCs who inhabit it, or in-depth information on enemies.

Gathering knowledge is something that’ll happen naturally while you play, but it’s also important to be constantly aware of the knowledge system and pursue more of it from early on – even though the game doesn’t necessarily surface how important it will later become early on in the game. That’s why we’re here – to fill you in.

There are three types of Knowledge:

  • Characters (NPCs)
  • Topography (The World)
  • Ecology (Monsters)

You can press H on the keyboard to enter the knowledge menu and see this for yourself.

Within these three categories, knowledge is broken down on an even more granular level, such as "People of Eastern Balenos", and within that, "Velia Villagers". Acquainting yourself with the villagers in a particular location will fill out your knowledge of that area. When that knowledge is considered ‘complete’ by the game, it fills out in the menu.

What does gaining Knowledge do?

When your overall knowledge level increases, so too does your vital Energy Points cap. This is explained in detail in our Experience Points guide.

Knowledge of monsters is graded from C up to S rank. Grinding monster knowledge can be extremely useful, as has a major impact on your battling this monsters in the future. Battling enemies you have a greater knowledge of will result in better loot drops, damage dealt, and damage taken.

An important thing to note about Monster Knowledge Ranks is that they do not change once they have been rewarded. If you get lumbered with a C-rank there is a way to remedy this: Visit the Calpheon Library and find the NPC Annolisa Rosie. She’ll allow you to reset your knowledge of any particular monster in the game for 10 energy, allowing you to then go off and fight them again to try for another rank. It’s worth noting that bosses do not have ranks, so you need not worry about them.

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How do I gain Knowledge?

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to gain knowledge because doing so increases your Energy Points cap. If you’re looking to grind knowledge early on, the best way to do so is to visit a variety of places while exploring, talking to every NPC who appears on the map as a question mark you see along the way, thus gaining knowledge about them.

The best way to do this is to keep an eye on your mini map in the top right of the screen – any ‘?’ icons mark an NPC of interest. Go over, talk to them, and you’ll gain at least the most basic level of knowledge about them, which’ll help. As you gain more knowledge, you can then use that to carry deeper conversations with NPC characters you’ve already met, which in turn will again bestow further detailed knowledge.

Another great way to grind out knowledge is to simply explore. If you’re following our guide to levelling up quickly, that’ll take you to a number of in-game locations before you actually are required to go there – and you’ll gain knowledge for discovering and learning of those places.

Keep in mind that greeting an NPC costs a small amount of energy, so there is a cap on how much you can grind that. There’s more on energy in our Experience Points guide.

Beyond that, however, knowledge is typically gained by taking on actions like:

  • Talking to NPCs around the world
  • Fighting and killing enemies to learn of them
  • Exploring the world
  • Crafting & Gathering
  • Reading Books in Libraries

Back to Black Desert Online guide to levelling, classes and more.

About the Author

Alex Donaldson avatar

Alex Donaldson

Assistant Editor

Alex started out his career in the games media as an over-eager kid working on fan sites, and now has decades of experience. He's the resident expert on esoteric matters like Pokemon Go, hardware, Japanese RPGs and fighting games, and outside of VG247 he's the co-founder of genre-dedicated outlet RPG Site. He also collects original arcade machines, Lego, and considers himself a whiskey buff.

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