So, you've read our non-spoilery beginners guide giving general tips on combat, exploration, upgrading, and how NOT to get your face chewed off by lycanthropes. Now GamesRadar's writers great and small have assembled like a dapper beast-hunting party to bring you round two: the tips for Bloodborne experts, by Bloodborne experts.
This guide comes after hundreds of combined hours of thorough, slept-debt-inducing, matchstick-between-the-eyelids play, more hardcore, more specialised, and likely to make you extremely puzzled if you haven't already got a firm grasp on From Softwares challenging RPG. Want to master Chalice Dungeons, find the best farming spots, learn the intricacies of insight, boost weapons using scaling smarts, and build a PvP conqueror? Read on, and let the good blood guide you.
You might already know that the better your skill, the better you weapons perform. This is called scaling. What you may not be aware of is the scale cap: there's a 'soft cap' at 25 where returns diminish, and then another cap at 50 where they diminish further. Levels up to 25 are twice as effective as the levels from 26 to 50.
Scaling varies weapon to weapon, and is attributed a grade, so before you spend all those Blood Echoes levelling a particular attribute, first consider if they arent better spent elsewhere.
Insight is an obscure currency in Bloodborne. You earn it by beating bosses, entering certain areas, and consuming items such as Mad Mans Knowledge, and spend it on weapons and armour at the Messenger well to the left of the house in Hunters Dream (the one tucked away on a ledge). Youll need it to use the Beckoning Bell, too.
But Insight also has subtle effects on the game world. At level 15, for instance, the lamp enemies in Cathedral Ward shoot projectiles. At 20, youll hear a secret message during the Vicar Amelia boss fight. And at 40, weird Lovecraftian monsters called Lesser Amygdala start crawling up walls. Theyre gross.
Becoming a beast
Equipping the Beast Claw weapon and pressing L1 to transform it gives your character giant werewolf claws and activates Beasthood, a high-risk state in which attack power increases at the cost of defense. Landing hits in this state fills up your Beasthood meter (heavy hits fill it faster).
Not got the Beast Claw? Chomp on a Beast Blood Pellet to trigger Beasthood with any weapon. Loot these consumables from WolfBeasts, and from abandoned houses in the Forbidden Woods. Beasthood inversely scales with Insight: the higher your insight the lower your Beasthood, but spending Insight at the Messenger well increases Beasthood.
Farming Blood Echoes and Blood Vials
Like it or not, farming is a necessary evil in Bloodborne if you want healing items and upgrade materials (and you definitely want these). Early on you can do a short circuit to earn 10k Blood Echoes and around 15 Blood Vials: start on the Great Bridge, defeat the crows and troll, then the werewolves, then turn right and kill the enemies in the house, and finally the two trolls down the stairs. Later, a loop around Hemwick Charnel Lane lamp offers upwards of 35k Blood Echoes.
Learn about Runes
Rings return in Bloodborne, albeit in the form of Caryll Runes which similarly alter your abilities but look slightly less bling. After finding the Rune Workshop Tool, purchase Runes at the Memory Altar in the Hunter's Dream. The first three slots are for generic Runes, while the fourth is reserved for Oath Runes, which determine which covenant you ally with.
Runes of the same type can be stacked. The Anti-Clockwise Metamorphosis Rune, for example, comes in 10% and 15% models; apply them both for a total 25% stamina boost.
Join a Covenant
Yes, just like in Dark Souls, there are Covenants in Bloodborne. No, we havent found them all yet. Nobody has. To join them, first obtain that Covenant's particular Rune - either Corruption, Hunter, or Radiance - then equip it in the Oath slot of your Caryll Runes. You can chop and change as many times as you like - covenant members dont seem to mind your fickleness. Right now, the three Covenants you can join are...
Joining the Cainhurst Vilebloods is fairly straightforward: simply visit Annalise at Castle Cainhurst by equipping the Crown of Illusions after defeating Martyr Logarius to open the hidden path. Answer yes to her question and Annalise will give you the Cainhurst badge, unlocking the Chikage katana and the Cainhurst armour set for purchase.
Offer Blood Dregs to Annalise to increase your Covenant ranking and earn rewards. The Caryll Rune associated with this Covenant is Corruption.
To join the Executioners you must complete Alfreds questline. After meeting Alfred outside the Tomb of Oedon, grab the unopened summons from Annalises room. Give these summons to Alfred, and then go back to the Tomb of Oedon to find the Radiance Rune, which is required to join.
Afterwards, dont forget to visit Annalise and grab the Queenly Flesh in order to revive her when she cops it. Just place the flesh on the Altar of Despair after having defeated Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos in the Upper Cathedral Ward, and shell sparkle back to life, ready to lovingly induct you into the Cainhurst Vilebloods should you choose.
Hunter of Hunters
Join the Hunter of Hunters by visiting Eileen at the balcony right outside the Cathedral Ward (shes the one in the plague mask) and completing her quests. The first is at the Tomb of Oedon: help her kill the Hunter (careful not to hit her in the scuffle or shell turn hostile) and shell give you the Approval gesture to use.
The second quest is at Grand Cathedral. After Roms boss fight, help Eileen in her second bout to acquire the Crow Hunter Badge. With it you can buy the fetching Crowfeather set and the Blade of Mercy, as well as the Hunter's Caryll Rune, Hunter. If you managed to avoid Eileen up until Rom, however, shell attack you on site. Killing her still gets you the Crow Hunter's Badge though.
So there we have it, a set of expert tips and tricks to help you safely navigate through the horrors of Yharnam. Keep checking back, as we'll be updating this guide again soon with additional information.