Bloodborne: 24 Tips for Survival

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Bloodborne: 24 Tips for Survival

Psst.. Bloodborne is out tonight! And if you know anything about From Software, you know they don’t make cakewalks. To give you a head start, PlayStation’s internal teams joined forces to provide a list of crucial tips. Enjoy, and leave your advice in the comments below!

Bloodborne: 24 Tips for Survival

Character Development

Choose carefully. Spend time selecting your “Origin” during character customization.
Selecting the one that fits your play style will save you time and Blood Echoes in the long run.
–Julie Abdalla, SCEA Test Analyst

Stats 101. Vitality grants more health and is always helpful. Endurance and Strength are good bets if you want to maximize your melee, while Bloodtinge boosts the effectiveness of your firearms. Whichever play style you prefer, pick a few key stats and pump them. Don’t spread yourself thin!

Blood money. Blood Echoes are your sole form of currency, both for purchasing items and leveling up. If you die (and you will), you’ll lose them… but if you can get back to your body without dying again, you can reclaim them. Look for a puddle on the ground or an enemy with glowing eyes.

Dress to kill. As soon as possible, save up Blood Echoes to buy the Yharnam attire from the shop in Hunter’s Dream. This new garb will greatly increase your defense and help keep you breathing early in the game.

Bloodborne, RunesBloodborne, Weapon Custom

Invest for success. Use Blood Stone Shards to “reinforce” (aka upgrade) a weapon’s damage. You can do this in the workshop located in Hunter’s Dream. Once you’ve chosen a good melee weapon, reinforce it as much as possible as early as you can. The extra damage will make your life so much easier.

You are the weapon. It’s best to stick with one weapon and learn its intricacies — how far it reaches, how long it takes to swing, which buttons yield the best attacks. For example, the Kirkhammer starts as a humble sword, but tap L1 and it transforms into a mighty hammer that can eradicate mobs of beasts with one swing.
— Justin Massongill, PlayStation.Blog

Smart shopping. Quicksilver Bullets are hugely overpriced in Hunter’s Dream, so make runs through Central Yharnam and scoop them off the snipers instead. Save your Blood Echoes for Molotovs and other, more exotic purchases.

Insightful mind. Your Insight level is shown in the upper right-hand corner of the screen under your Blood Echoes. It indicates the depth of inhuman knowledge you have attained, and you can spend a point to call in other players for help. Pay close attention to your Insight level — things around you may change as it increases…
— Kumi Yuasa, SCEA Bloodborne Producer

Bloodborne, Hunter

Combat Strategies

The best defense. Bloodborne rewards a smart offense. After you take damage, for a few seconds you can regain lost health by landing blows on enemies. In tough combat scenarios, it may pay to launch into a berserker rage and earn back every possible drop of life.

Lock and load. You can click R3 to lock onto a foe, and you’ll circle strafe around it. You’ll need to lock on to throw items or fire projectiles. Locking on isn’t always the best choice, though. When fighting multiple foes or certain bosses, you may want to preserve your freedom of movement. Generally, it’s best to lock on when you’re facing one tough enemy, such as a Wolf Beast or Brick Troll.

Gun stunner. Bloodborne’s firearms inflict little direct damage. Instead, use them to stun enemies and set up devastating Visceral Strikes. Lock on to an enemy (click R3) and press L2 to fire. A well-timed shot, landed just as the enemy is attacking, will briefly stun it. Then, at close range, quickly tap R1 to inflict a deadly Visceral Strike. This will kill most beasts in just one hit, and even works against many bosses. Practice this and you’ll be unstoppable.

Free ammo. Heading into a crucial battle and need Quicksilver Bullets? No worries. Tap Up on the directional pad and, at the cost of a little life, you’ll snag five free rounds. If you’re quick, you can even regain that lost life by slashing at a nearby foe.
— Justin Massongill, PlayStation.Blog

Drink up. Blood Vials are quite common in Yharnam, so don’t skimp on healing. Tap Triangle whenever you’re not at maximum health — yes, even during a fight.

Bloodborne, Hunters dreamBloodborne, Gehrman

Meet the Molotov. Early on, Molotovs will be your best friend. They’re affordable, inflict significant damage, and will allow you to defeat enemies that are much tougher than you. Combine them with the Oil Urns to inflict grave damage.

Hit and run. The lunging attack (Up on the left analog stick and R2, simultaneously) is a powerful move you’ll want to use again and again. Use it to land the first strike on a dangerous enemy or to deliver a final blow from afar.

Wear and tear. Inflicting less melee damage than normal? Your weapon is probably in disrepair. Keep your weapons in tip-top shape by visiting the workshop in Hunter’s Dream.

Flame on. The torch illuminates dark spaces, and can inflict decent damage up close. But when equipped, it will also keep certain, dangerous enemy types at bay. It’s a useful tool for any Hunter.

Trap ’em. Try to lure large enemies into smaller pathways where they cannot easily get through, and then perform thrusting attacks to kill them from relative safety.
— Brandon Buchholtz, SCEA Test Analyst

Build a combo. Hops and rolls count as a “move” in a combo. Try dodge rolling and following that up with L1 or R1. You’ll attack in a unique way.
— Brian Dunn, SCEA Brand Marketing

Bloodborne, Lantern

Tips For Central Yharnam

Fear the wolves. Wolf Beasts spell trouble. You’ll first encounter a pair of them on the Great Bridge in Yharnam en route to the Cleric Beast. Throw a Pebble to lure one out, then fight it one-on-one, being mindful to hop backwards before it attacks. If that doesn’t work, melt ’em with Molotovs.

Troll the Trolls. A Brick Troll can be a handful. Early in the game, don’t mess around: Toss two Molotovs and be on your way. If you don’t have that luxury, use lock on (click R3) and work your way around to its backside. Land a blow or two, then get out of the way. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Stone’s throw. In Central Yharnam, the Hunter mobs crowded around the fire pit can easily overwhelm you. Throw a Pebble to lure one away and deal with him Mano y mano.
— Brandon Buchholtz, SCEA Test Analyst

Cut corners. Explore the environment to find secret paths and routes, and be sure to unlock doors and gates to create shortcuts. When you need to return later to pick up your dropped Blood Echoes, shortcuts may be a big time saver!
— Kumi Yuasa, SCEA Bloodborne Producer

Watch the windows. Keep an eye out for illuminated lanterns near doors or windows. These signify that you can interact with an NPC inside. Some of these NPCs will issue side quests.
— Tommy Garry and Colin Fannon, SCEA Test Analysts

Reader Tips

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11 Author Replies

  • still gonna die anyway

  • is from ever going to make a vita game
    they used to do stuff on psp but now only do souls, souls clones and the occasional armored core

  • 2.85/5? why everybody hates this post?
    As a Souls veteran (Demon’s, DS 1 and 2), I cannot wait – the “bloodthirsty” is so damn real that I can smell it. Still remember that Tower of Latria on Demon’s – Bloodborne is really having that place’s vibe.
    And I want some “Wow” moment like I did it on Dark Souls – Ash Lake and Demon Ruins are good memories, you know…

  • @ 3. probably because it didn’t say Spoiler. Fear the Wolves is one example. Or perhaps everyone is just a Souls God and thinks this post is idiotic. who knows. I enjoyed it and thought the insight was good. Helpful? I’ll know more once my copy lands tomorrow.

  • ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

    If you buy the game at TARGET and a $20 psn card you will get $15 off


  • Is the day 1 patch going to be available later when the store updates? Box says it’s 41 GB but many who downloaded are saying it’s only 30 GB of game space. I’m worried about those huge loading times with no item/lore descriptions. Also there’s no steady 30 FPS, there are frame rate drops everywhere in the game. Please tell me there’s another patch.

  • Pro tip #1: Visit the wiki for everything you need:
    ;) We’ve been working hard on it :)

  • Hi, Sid, I started at 9 pm and played until 1 am here in SoCal. Bloodborne is great. I love it. Thanks for the tips. I am pleased that I already figured them out on my own as I played, except the lanterns. I saw them, the pink lanterns, right? But no, didn’t know about quest givers. I did talk to one dismembered voice with emphysema near a “bonfire” but no quests. You can hear him coughing if you use headphones.

    Oh, tip 25: download the Bloodborne headphones companion app. I heard every cough, footstep, growl, breathing and crazy laughter everywhere I went.

    • I’ve found two quest givers: An old woman in a house past the hound cages, and a young girl (who I now can’t seem to find again).

  • Really hoping I can enjoy this game, I have the next 4 days off :)

  • Added tips imported from Dark Souls 101:

    Tip #25: Don’t be casul :)

    Tip #26: If you want PVP, don’t you use healing items. Fair game.

  • Thanks for the tips!! This game is soooo freaking awesome!!!

  • Thanks Sid. I don’t care what anyone else says about you, you’re ok in my book.

  • Tip 25 (sung to the tune of a certain 1960s superhero theme hope the ASCII codes work):

    ♪ Na na, na na, na na, na na…FEXTRA…WIKI

    Google, google google google…FEXTRA…WIKI ♪

    • Always helpful! One thing I’m really digging about Bloodborne, however, is that I don’t feel like I need to bury my head in a wiki or YouTube app to move forward. I’m sure I’ll need to eventually, but I’m having an easier time understanding where I need to go and what I need to do. My $0.2

  • cannot wait to play this later today when I get my copy

  • Thanks for the tips Sid. I’m gonna need em. Good luck in yarnham!

  • Thanks for the tips, it was a good read and will help. God knows I need the help. Killed the first Wolf Beast with my bare hands and died 30 times! HAHA! I am not the best souls player but didn’t get mad and just kept trying and persevered. I had more trouble with the tables when I was dodging than the Wolf Beast. However, I did have him down to no health 3 times and was able to get a few hits in but he still wouldn’t die and then I died. If I would have respected him more I would have killed him on my 12th try. The game is outstanding and is definite GOTY material. From Software and Japan Studio are gaming development gods. Thank you for this challenging yet rewarding epic!

    • Awww I was trying to do that too! But you need to die so you can get to Hunter’s Dream, so whatevs :) Glad you’re liking the game! It’s the best one I’ve played in a long time

  • Spread the word, pick it up from Target, get $15 off the game and a gift card launch week.

    If you need a PS Plus resub, or want to buy Axion Verge or Bastion there ya go!

  • Got my copy today. It’s in my PS4. And I’m at work. How’s a person supposed to concentrate?

    Here’s a general tip for the Souls series, which I’ve found helpful: it’s not a hack and slash. Treat each encounter as if it could be your last.

  • Thanks Sid and Jake Massongillmore for the tips. I tried DS and miserably failed. I’ve played the stuffin’s out of Destiny (got the platinum, finally) and pre-ordered this little beastie.

    I’m learning it’s not Onimusha. Ye olde “hack and slash” button-mash method is clearly not working.

    Also have to equip weapons. That might help.

    Will keep at it.

  • Thanks for the tips. My local gamestop released it last night, i picked it up, but havent been able to play yet. Im going to play for sure tonight though. Im at work right now looking at the time go by so slow, cant wait to get home and play. i never played a dark souls game but i have been hyped for this one. Bloodborne is one of the major reasons i purchased a ps4 day one.

  • BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • anybody down for some unselfish coop add me slickster410, i’ll be on pretty much all day

  • Not sure about the pistol but if you go with the blunderbuss early on you can unload on the brick trolls up close to stun them and unleash a healthy heart ripping one shot. :D

  • Love the game so far! I have some thoughts maybe they are more of a personal preference.

    Wish they would fix the jerky camera auto movement. I dislike that it moves in extremely close up on it’s own if a distant background object obstructs the view a little. It seems to do very fast snapping to position I wish I could adjust that auto pan zoom speed / max distance ration. The current auto camera setting isn’t doing much to correct this. Most of the time the camera isn’t an issue but it gets all crazy when you’re near a wall, a fence or some barrier or object cluster.

    Auto Center: disable – I wish there was a setting that if you let go of the right stick after moving the camera the view doesn’t immediately re-center itself while walking. Or that as I walk and turn a corner the camera doesn’t rotate against my own right stick movement. It sucks to compete right stick with hitting circle. Otherwise I understand that if you are locked onto an enemy the camera can’t be helped at that point.

    Comparing gear stats during purchase. It would be cool if they could add that. I wish you could buy and sell stuff in the same screen.

    Would love to see new tweaks based on community feedback. The game rocks!

  • Comparing gear stats during purchase.
    – you know show how the for sale item impacts your stats prior to buying.

  • This game is everything I hoped it would be. THe environments, the attacks, the setting, the enemies, the sound (OMG the sound!), it´s all outstanding. I´m dying a lot but learning from it and having a great time. I´m bookmarking this page since some of the tips I hadn´t thought of.

  • When it comes down to it the Kirkhammer is good but not great. I find myself using the Saw Cleaver more than than the Kirk. I have taken down 4 bosses and plenty of giants with this weapon. Also found a prostitute.

  • This game is so badass i really havent gotten any sleep for real the blood wont allow me to lol!

  • Tip –

    Any time you can square off with an enemy one-on-one, take a moment to learn the sign-posts of different attacks before taking it out. To some that is obvious advice. For those who haven’t been deep in these From games (or action games), learning the subtleties of enemy wind-ups can mean the difference between using one quicksilver bullet and losing all of your blood echoes

  • It’s not Hack n slash. It’s Hack n Dash!

  • “Dress to kill. As soon as possible, save up Blood Echoes to buy the Yharnam attire from the shop in Hunter’s Dream. This new garb will greatly increase your defense and help keep you breathing early in the game.”

    I found a set of this before I even defeated the first boss. Trying to be a spoiler free as possible, but instead of going down the long bridge, run across. In the back of the area (to the left) there are some crates you can break through, then you can carefully drop down to another area. After killing the enemies, the armor set is towards the end.

  • I just cant play it, hours of constant dying… not to mention half an hour trying to figure out how to equip a weapon…. Order 1886 is so much more my thing :)

  • I haven’t played the souls games since Demon souls. Man am I glad I came back to Bloodborne! This is easily my favorite Ps4 game!

  • Im so disappointed in this game , no controller vibration when you hit enemy and objecks when you shoot . Only vibrates whehn my Chacter took Damage . And you cant aim gun , whats the point in having a gun , i wasted 60 bucks . Traded it in for a game the makes the controller rumble right like Destiny . And when they makea Blood Borne 2 im going to avoid it like the Plague

  • + ULRTA_VIOLATE – Have you never played a Souls game? If so, you would know what kind of game you were getting. It seems to vibrate just fine to me. Maybe it would be a cool added feature if it added the vibration effects you mentioned, but it’s definitely not necessary. Also, this game is an Action/RPG, not a shooter. You do have a lock on feature, which aims your gun at exactly at the target you’re wanting to shoot. Similar to how guns work in the Devil May Cry games. So, I think you may just not have learned the games’ mechanics, and gave up too soon. And later on you even get a scope that you can aim like a FPS (use for sniping only though, you’d get killed trying to do it close up). Not to mention, the main point of the guns in this game is to stun and enemy for a critical attack with your weapon. You rarely ever use it to kill enemies all by itself, if at all.

  • + gerneric123 – I would love to see a Souls game or Bloodbourne on the Vita. But as long as you have a PS4, it already does. The Vita and PS TV have basically turned into PS4 and PS Now game streaming devices. Which is actually pretty cool to me. Bloodborne actually plays really well on the PS TV, and would play just as good on the Vita if it only had an R2 & L2 button. Even if I’m at work and my PS4 is at home, all my PS4 titles play remotely like I’m sitting right in front of the PS4. If they will make a Vita with an R2 & L2 button, it would be perfect. But, having to map buttons to the touch pad makes a lot of games hard to play. It would be so easy for them to make a new Vita model with 2 buttons located just inside R1 and L1 that your finger tips could press while curled around the R1 & R2.

  • I’m having a terrible time connecting to other games or beckoning. Why is it so hard?

  • Me too. I haven’t been able to summon anyone but NPC characters. It’s nothing like Dark Souls II where there were gold marks all over the place and you just stand on it and hit X to summon some random guy to help you kill a boss. In Bloodborne my bell just rings for 15 min till I finally silence it.


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