11 Tips That Will Help You Survive Playing Bloodborne Source:

Bloodborne is the latest game by From Software, the devious minds behind Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, and is one of the best games of the year so far. It’s also one of the most difficult. Anyone who hasn’t played one of the Souls games before is in for a rude awakening when they fire up Bloodborne for the first time, as the game is unforgiving in a lot of way. Never fear! While Bloodborne is a difficult game to come to grips with, it’s not impossible and becomes more enjoyable as you invest your blood, sweat, and tears into mastering its intricate, rewarding design. Those starting Bloodborne for the first time may find themselves quickly becoming frustrated, but these 11 tips will help any hunter gain the knowledge and skill required to slay monsters in no time.

11. Go Slow

One of the best ways to get a handle on Bloodborne‘s unusual design is to memorize enemy placements in each of the game’s areas, as many of them are placed in such a way as to get the drop on you when you first go through an area. You’ll never know exactly what’s going to happen when you enter a new area of the game, so a good strategy is to take things slow. Rushing is a  good way to get killed in this game and you’re already going to die enough as it is; why make things even harder for yourself? Bloodborne is not a game meant to be sped through the first time, so be cautious and take in the beautifully grotesque scenery Yharnam has to offer. Source:

10. Read The Notes

Unlike most games, Bloodborne doesn’t have much in the way of a tutorial system. Most of the game’s mechanics have to be figured out without any aids — the game doesn’t even tell you how to equip weapons!). Luckily, From Software included an ingenious way for players to help each other in the form of notes (the game has to be played online to take advantage of this feature). Many of the notes scattered around the environment offer really useful advice, which is especially impressive given that they can’t be personalized (there are a number of key words and phrases that can be assembled together). Although some players deliberately leave unhelpful or deceitful notes, most of them can be trusted and are a valuable tool. Source:

9. Grind If You Need To

Bloodborne has a leveling system that unlocks after the first boss is defeated. To use it, you must go to the “Hunter’s Dream” ,accessed through the lamp waypoints scattered throughout the game, and speak to the doll character that appears. Leveling up really helps to make the game more manageable, but even improved character stats won’t always be enough to get by some enemies. If/when you hit a wall, consider returning to earlier areas of the game and grinding blood echoes from defeated enemies. Grinding is usually not a fun strategy, but it’s practically essential in Bloodborne and provides the added bonus of giving you more time to improve your combat skills. Source:

8. Use Your Storage

Considering that it’s generally a good idea to carry all of your items with you, it doesn’t seem like the storage system available in the Hunter’s Dream is very useful. However, the strategic value of the storage lies in items that have a carry limit, such as blood vials and quicksilver bullets. These items are dropped frequently by enemies and are replenished when you die, so it’s not a bad idea to drop a few of each when you stop by the Hunter’s Dream. Soon enough, you’ll have a huge stockpile that can be sold back to the vendor for sweet, sweet cash! Source:

7. Look At A Guide If You’re Stuck

Game guides and wikis are incredible tools for learning new things about a game, but a lot of players frown upon over-relying on them, as it takes away from the experience of discovery inherent in game design. An exception can be made for games like Bloodborne though, as it doesn’t explain much of anything to players. Don’t feel ashamed about turning to a guide to help figure out a difficult boss or level. Even if you know how to defeat a boss, you still have to pull it off, which is definitely easier said than done. Source:

6. Level Up Your Starting Weapon

There are a lot of different weapons hiding in Bloodborne, but unlike most games, the starting weapons are actually useful for a considerable portion of the game. The saw cleaver in particular makes a great starter thanks to its versatility and good damage output. Many games have trained us to ditch the early equipment as soon as something new comes along, but with a few upgrades (that don’t actually cost very much) the starter weapons actually become worth hanging on to. Source:

5. Watch Your Stamina

See that green bar under your health? That’s the stamina meter and it often means the difference between life and death in. The problem with stamina is that both your offensive melee attacks and defensive evasive maneuvers are governed by it and drain it as they are used. This creates a tough balancing act between attacking and dodging, making it very easy to run into problems if the stamina bar is drained at the wrong time (like when a big enemy is about to hit you and you can’t attack or roll out of the way). Therefore, it’s necessary to keep a watchful eye on the stamina bar to avoid unnecessary deaths. Luckily, the stamina bar can be increased by putting points into the endurance stat. Source:

4. Ignore the Bloodtinge and Arcane Stats…At Least To Start

There are 6 core stats that be leveled up in Bloodborne, but for most of the game, you only really need to worry about 4 of them: Vitality, Endurance, Strength, and Skill. Vitality increases health, Endurance increases stamina, Strength increases heavy weapon attacks, and Skill increases light weapon attacks. For a good portion of the game, you should only really worry about putting points into these stats, as they are the ones that will have the most impact on the game’s difficulty (plus they all increase overall defense). Bloodtinge increases firearm attack power, but firearms are primarily used for interrupting attacks and don’t deal much damange to begin with. Arcane increases fire and bolt damage, which is useful, but nowhere near as much as the other stats. Source:

3. Fight Enemies One At A Time

There are a lot of instances in Bloodborne where enemies are grouped together, so naturally the first inclination is to take on multiple enemies at the same time. This is a tactic that will lead to  an early death and should generally be avoided. Combat in Bloodborne is all about gaining every advantage and one of the best ways to do this is to try and isolate enemies. Using the pebble items is a good way to lure enemies away from a group and give yourself a much-needed advantage. Don’t forget to also use objects in the environment to your advantage. Putting a pillar between you and a particularly aggressive werewolf can be the difference between life and death. Source:

2. Don’t Forget Your Firearm

Combat in Bloodborne is so focused on aggressive melee attacks that it can be easy to forget about your firearms, which feel pretty useless at the start of the game considering how little damage they dish out. The firearm becomes an essential tool, however, when you realize that it is intended to be a defensive weapon. Guns like the blunderbuss can be used to interrupt enemy attacks, which can lead to a possible counterattack called visceral attacks that deal massive amounts of damage. Bloodborne‘s combat is just as much about reading enemy attacks as it is actually attacking and the firearms are an essential component of this strategy. Source:

1. Watch Out For The Snatchers

If there’s one enemy to truly fear in Bloodborne, it’s the snatchers. These cloaked monstrosities look like they’d be pushovers, but they have quick, haphazard movements and insane damage on their side. Also, if you come across the hidden Yahar’gul, Unseen Village area and die to a snatcher there, they will take you back to a prison that you must escape from before returning to the Hunter’s Dream. Basically, don’t underestimate these sack-toting freaks, as they can really ruin your day. Source:

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)