A BLOODBORNE Starter Guide For Fresh Hunters

From Software is infamous for their brutal action-packed “Souls” games including Demon Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls II. Their recently release Bloodborne, however, is the next step in the evolution of this series, and with this accolade also comes the brutal difficulty that has scared away so many. Don’t be ashamed: many have been hesitant to jump in because of its reputation. But we want to tell you it is not that bad! The game is actually fairly easy once you understand the rhythm of the game. Just to give you that confidence to jump right in, we are going to give you our best tips to not only survive, but thrive in this fair world. Here are the answers to the test. Making a characterLooking great should always be priority number one when creating a character, but there are two options allotted to the player at the beginning of Bloodborne that can completely alter the first few hours in Yharnam. Character background story and weapon choice. Background story is simply a class and each one has different stats like strength, vitality, and endurance. Most people will have the impulse to go for high strength or vitality, ignore that impulse and jump onto a class with a high endurance. The Lone Survivor class provides the most endurance while still offering decent stats all around. Endurance is extremely important because you need it to run, dodge, and take less damage.The second important choice is your weapon, as each one fits a different play style. You will have the choice of the Saw Cleaver, Threaded Cane, and Hunter Axe. Saw Cleaver will give you the most balanced weapon– not extremely fast nor slow, while being not very strong nor weak. Threaded Cane is the fast option but the trade off is power, while the Hunter Axe will give you the opposite trade off between power and speed. Choosing the one that fits your play style is the most important one for the first area of Bloodborne. None of these weapons are necessarily above the others, just choose the speed and strength you are most comfortable with. Currency and how it works Blood Echoes or the number at the very top of the right hand corner of the screen is your experience and money. Every time you take down a baddie you are rewarded with some Blood Echoes automatically, so there is no need to go collect them or anything. Once you unlock the ability to level up which we will discuss further down the guide, you will be able to use this currency to make your hunter a bit stronger. It is also the currency that you will need to purchase items at the shop, whether it is health potions or a slick new weapon.”Souls” games are infamous for the little game design choice of making you lose your currency if you die, Bloodborne is no different. Before you begin to hyperventilate and go into a nervous breakdown, you are allowed to go pick up your lost Blood Echoes. Whenever you die, all the Blood Echoes on you are “dropped”. All you need to do is go back to the location and pick it up from the ground. If it is not on the ground it means an enemy has taken them. Search the area and there should be a baddie with some glowing white eyes. Cheeky little thief. Take him down and you will have successfully recovered your goods. If you die before recovering them however, they are lost forever.This may sound obvious but don’t run around with too many Blood Echoes on you unless you are versed in the area well enough that you know you won’t die. The same goes for boss fights. If you don’t want extra pressure during a boss fight make sure you don’t have so many Blood Echoes on you that it would hurt to lose them. With all that being said, if you lose them, it is not as big of a deal as it may feel. Understand that as more areas open up, level grinding and collecting Blood Echoes becomes much easier. Do not grind right awayUnless you are confident enough in your skills to survive against stronger enemies right off the bat, do not grind for Blood Echoes. In order to level up you must have at least one “Insight”.  This is the number below your Blood Echoes counter. This form of currency awakens the doll located in the Hunter’s Dream hub world who acts as a shop to increase your stats. You begin with zero and there are only two ways of increasing that number- find an item called “Madman’s Knowledge” or face a boss.Madmans Knowledge is obtainable in the first area of the game, it just requires some exploration and some avoiding skills. If you find the secret path to the sewer looking are, there will be some tough enemies but the reward for this is finding this particular item which once used gives you one Insight. We suggest avoiding this method.Instead go to the Cleric Beast/ first boss. Once you find this giant beast, either beating him or losing to him will reward you with one insight. Most people won’t be able to beat the boss on their first try which is why you shouldn’t grind right away. Once you can level up you can grind and spend those Blood Echoes.If you have collected about 2,000 Blood Echoes without having insight and you don’t want to lose them, go back to the Hunter’s Dream and purchase the new garb at the shop. They won’t give you significant stat boosts but it is something.Hunters DreamWelcome to your sanctuary. This is your safe haven. Take the time to interact with everything, especially the notes on the ground. These notes are essentially the tutorial. Lanterns These serve the same purpose as bonfires do in the “Souls” games, a checkpoint and in this case, the way to go back to the Hunters Dream. Once you find a new lantern out in the world walk up to it and activate it. This will be your most recent checkpoint. Die anywhere in this location and you will respawn back at the lantern. Most areas only have one lantern within them and then one more will usually unlock once you take down the location’s boss. Most people will be frustrated about the lack of checkpoints but it is a level design choice that makes sure you play this game with full attention and finesse.Note, going back and forth will also trigger all the enemies in a location to respawn.StaminaStamina is the green bar that sits right below your read health bar, this is the most important bar to keep an eye on in the game. Once you can begin to level up, focus on the endurance to increase your stamina. This will allow to you to evade attacks and roll out of the way. Having plenty of endurance allows you to survive much longer in battle. The last thing you need is a depleted stamina bar while a giant boss is about to swing at you and you are just stuck in molasses. CombatBest advice here is to practice the basics, evade and strike. Each enemy will give you plenty of opportunities to strike them, you just need to pay attention. There is a rhythm to it and with practice it becomes second nature. Transforming your weapon with the left button will usually change your weapon into a bigger stronger, slower option.With no shield in hand, the guns you use aren’t powerful but they can stagger an enemy. Use this to your advatanage. Don’t be afraid to use the heavy attack as well. A heavy attack may be a bit slower but it delivers a punishing blow that will make smaller enemies seem like a cake walk. Light attacks should be reserved for tiny fast enemies or times when you need to poke and run like during a boss fight. Locking onto an enemy also assures your attacks won’t miss.Another nifty new addition here is the ability to regain your health during combat. When you take damage the loss of health is slow for a reason. Hit the enemy back quickly and some of that last health is regained.Blood Vials Blood Vials are the health potions of the game. Enemies will drop them a lot of times when you defeat them so don’t be afraid to use them when you need to. The game actually gives you a lot of them so there is no need to use them sparingly. At some point early on they end up just going to your storage in the Hunters Dream for later use.All you need to do to use one is press the triangle button. The animation is fairly quick so take a step back or two from your enemy and use one quickly. EnemiesDivide and Conquer. Do not run up to a group of enemies and think that the results will be in your favor, because they won’t be. Always do your best to separeate one or two of the enemies from a crowd and taking them down should be a breeze. The best way to separate them is by throwing pebbles which are also collected from defeated enemies (usually crows).Each enemy also has a pattern to their fighting, let them swing at you and usually this leaves them vulnerable. Holding the run button and using the heavy attack before they even notice you will make taking them out much quicker.Shortcuts Every area you will discover has some shortcuts. The game is designed so that exploration is rewarded with a shortcut that will lead you right to the boss. Most of the time it will take you a couple of tries to take down a boss and of course dying will send you all the way back to the last lantern. So, unless you want to keep traversing a whole area every time you lose, search for gates or doors that can be opened. In Centeral Yharnam, there is a black gate to the left of the lantern that once opened gives you a quick way of getting to the bridge where the Cleric beast is located.Another important piece of advice is to run past all the enemies once you have cleared out an area at least once.  There is no need to repeatedly clear out an area to get back to the boss. This will be a waste of your time and will probably just frustrate you. Cleric Beast This is the big bad boss fight that every one is talking about, the Cleric Beast. He is big, somewhat nimble and packs a punch. He has some basic attacks that include swinging his arms around, grabbing you, and if you put some distance between you two he can jump up and stomp you. His moves are very deliberate so pay attention to him lifting his arms and such.To avoid most of his attacks, rolling towards his body is effective. His swipes are huge but he reaches forward so the closer you are to his body the more likely it is you won’t get touched. strafe to his sides and his back to avoid being hit as well. Also focus on his left arm, it provides a large target that is hard to miss. When enough damage is done to him he will stagger and just sit there for a few seconds, charge up your heavy attack and wail on him.If you have them, spam moltovs. They do plenty of damage and allow you to keep some distance when healing is needed.Lastly, do not get greedy. A mistake a lot of people make is they see the boss fight have a sliver of health left and break out of their routine to try to get that last hit in. If the boss is almost dead, whatever you are doing is working so keep doing that. Death Here is the best advice that once accepted will make the game that much more enjoyable– Death in the game will happen, you will die, and that is just fine. There are two instances where the game teaches you this rule, the encounter with the first enemy and the encounter with the Cleric Beast. Once you die going into both battles, new important aspects of the game unlock, weapons and the leveling up mechanic. This choice is deliberate, it is the developers telling you that death isn’t the worst thing.You will die a lot when you begin your journey. Trust us, that doesn’t last very long. The game only punishes the player for his or her mistakes and once you begin to understand the nuances of battle and all the intricacies of the game you won’t be making too many mistakes.-Those are our tips to help you survive the brutal world of Yharnam. Take your time in learning the nuances of the game and don’t give up. The game has an overblown reputation of being difficult when in reality it is quite easy and fair. Take these tips and apply them to your gameplay and you will become a pro in no time. Make your way down to the comments section below to let us know if this helped you out or if you found another tip to help other fellow hunters out. Let the hunt begin!

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