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Escapist Editorials
Surviving Bloodborne - 10 Tips and Tricks

Mitchell Saltzman | 26 Mar 2015 15:00
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Bloodborne tips and tricks

Bloodborne is hard. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. And it's not just because it has extremely aggressive enemies that can often kill you with one or two good clean hits, or because of the many ambushes lying in wait around nearly every corner, or because of the two damn werewolves that are waiting for you on the way to the first boss of the game.

Bloodborne is hard because of all of those things, and the fact that it intentionally does not hold your hand at the beginning of the game. There are no tutorials, no tips during the load screens, and no NPC's telling you "Try hitting the enemy after dodging!." As refreshing as it can be to have a game that respects you enough to believe that you'll be able to figure things out for yourself, it can suck to feel like you're just constantly throwing yourself against a brick wall with no knowledge of how to actually break through.

So on that note, here's a crash course on everything that you need to know to help overcome Bloodborne's steep difficulty curve and start enjoying what is no doubt one of 2015's best video games.

Lesson 1 - Know What You Want To Be

All character builds in Bloodborne are viable, but when you create your character, you should know what stats you want to focus on and utilize gear that compliment those stats. Endurance and Vitality are important for every type of character, so if you're ever not sure about what to dump points into, it's never a bad idea to invest in those stats. Note though that Vitality is softcapped at 30 and hardcapped at 50, while endurance is capped at 40. All of the other stats are softcapped at 25 and hardcapped at 50. This means that adding points beyond the softcap will yield diminished returns, while adding points beyond the hardcap will simply be a waste of points.

When you pick your starting weapon, note the attribute bonus. The better the letter grade on a particular stat, the more that weapon's damage scales with that stat. So if you wanted to make a character that focused on having skill as your primary stat, it would be a good idea to pick the Threaded Cane as your starting weapon because it has a "C" rating in skill.

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If Bloodborne is your first foray into the world of the Souls series, you might want to avoid picking starting classes like Noble Scion, Cruel Fate, and certainly Waste of Skin. The first two are classes that are focused on stats that only come into play in the mid and late game, while Waste of Skin is intentionally weakened for those looking for a challenge.

Lesson 2 - Your Gun Is Your Best Friend

Learn to love your sidearm. Maybe even give it a name. Kiss it to sleep at night. Whatever you do, don't forget that it exists. Guns are the key to success against the larger and more predictable enemies in Bloodborne due to their ability to stun an enemy in the middle of an attack, opening them up to an extremely powerful "Visceral Attack." Unless you are investing heavily in the "Bloodtinge" stat and have a decent gun that is sufficiently upgraded, you should almost never be using the gun for damage.

While it's not realistic to use your gun against every enemy, you should always look to use it against werewolves, those hulking brutes with bricks, armored axe wielders, those creepy guys that point at you in the graveyard, and especially against the enemies with bags slung over their shoulder. Remember that your gun shot must land while the attack is on its way to hit you. You can't just shoot them while they're winding up. It's a small window, but with practice you should be able to hit it a vast majority of the time.

Lesson 3: Manage Your Stamina (AKA DON'T MASH BUTTONS)

Stamina management is one of the most crucial skills in the Souls series, and while Bloodborne is much more lenient with regards to stamina due to faster pace of the combat and lack of shields, its still very important to always keep an eye on your stamina meter. Try to avoid just mashing the attack button whenever you have an opening. You need to always be ready to dodge out of the way, and if your mind is just focused on attacking, you're not only wasting stamina, but you're also dulling your reaction time which will cause you get hit.

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Enemies in Bloodborne have a nasty tendency to trick the player into thinking that they're vulnerable, and then all of a sudden use a swift strike to knock the player away. Always be prepared for this by making sure that you have a little bit of stamina in the tank to be ready to do a quick dodge.

Lesson 4: Don't Buy, Farm

It just never makes sense to spend your valuable echoes on vials or bullets. As much as it may be a pain, you should always go on farming runs for supplies whenever you run low.

The best place to do so for vials is through the gate to the left of the Central Yharnam lamp spawn. Kill the first enemy you see for one potential vial, then go down the stairs to kill the two ogres. The ogres almost always drop at least 2 vials each, and once they're done you can head up the elevator to the bridge where you'll be able to let the boulder bowl over the group of enemies for more potential vials. After that, another ogre awaits you on the other end of the bridge for two more vials, and then just after him await two more beasts that have a chance of dropping two more vials each. From there, you can use the lamp at the Tomb of Oedon to return to Hunter's Dream, then go back to Central Yharnam to begin the farm again.

If you want to farm bullets, the best place to go is to the woods just before the second village, Hemwick. You can get there by turning left before the stairway leading to the Vicar Amelia fight. Inside the woods you'll find plenty of riflemen who will always drop bullets when you kill them.

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