Jon has been playing "Black Desert Online" and roaming the lands between Calpheon and Valencia since its initial release in NA.
What Can You Do in Black Desert Online?
Black Desert Online (BDO) is a semi-sandbox MMO game that is stuffed with content. As a player, you can explore the land, craft, hunt, complete a staggering amount of missions, do PvP and more. This guide is written both for players that have experienced the game but are at a loss as to what they can do in the game, as well as those that are curious but haven't actually played the game before. Hopefully, these 13 suggestions will point you in the right direction!
13 Fun Things to Do in BDO
- Explore the World
- Complete Quests
- Gather Resources
- Capture and Breed Horses
- Train AFK
- Defeat Scroll Bosses and Awakened Scroll Bosses
- Defeat World Bosses and Field Bosses
- Manage Your Nodes and Workers
- Decorate Your Home
1. Explore the World
The world of Black Desert Online is huge and since there is no fast travel as in so many other MMO games exploring becomes a challenge. There are many spots in the game that are not clearly marked on the map as interesting and finding them can be entertaining and profitable. While exploring you can also stumble upon hidden locations and NPCs that give you added knowledge, leading to greater energy reserves.
Exploring can also have a financial benefit. In some areas, there is a higher density of ore nodes that can give gold, silver, and platinum in addition to gemstones. And while some of those rocks need an advanced gathering level (skilled 5 for example) to be accessible knowing about them before reaching that level is useful. As an example, the Khurutos caves have a large number of red crystals and some gemstone deposits that can be mined at skilled 5.
Exploring the world is a fun thing to do, and it has a meaningful benefit as well.
2. Complete Quests
If you haven't figured it out by now, questing does not help you level your character in BDO. You only gain combat experience from grinding monsters (and a little bit from using life skills). Quests mainly give you contribution points that can be used to invest in nodes and special equipment. Don't worry about using them as you cannot lose your contribution points. Anything that you buy with contribution points can be returned for the same points.
Quests are also a source of knowledge which gives you energy points. Energy points are mostly used for life skills and are essential for crafting.
Some quests give you special rewards, and while doing quests is really optional, everyone should run through the Black Spirit quests. They, and a few others, reward you with extra inventory slots.
One of the harder life skill professions is hunting. To start hunting, you need to get your hands on a musket. One way is to tackle the hunting quests that the Black Spirit points you towards. When you have done them, you can do daily hunting quests to level your hunting skill. Above is a video which shows the location of all the daily hunting quests in-game.
4. Gather Resources
Gathering resources is an important part of Black Desert Online. Some of the end game elixirs and foods require materials that can only be found by manually gathering them. All types of gathering use the same life skill but they require different equipment such as axes, picks, tanning knives, and fluid collectors.
As your gathering skill increases you will be able to obtain rarer materials and get access to special "armor" that gives you added gathering abilities, such as the silver embroidered gatherer clothes and better gear such as a steel pickaxe.
A clever way to gain both contribution points and gathering experience is to complete the daily gathering missions that are to be found around the land. In the video above you can see where the four gathering missions located around Velia are and how to complete them.
The crafting system in the game is an intricate and complex system that relies both on the use of workers and your own abilities to gather raw materials and process them into finished products.
Setting yourself a goal to craft a food type or an alchemy elixir that can be used at endgame is a way to challenge yourself. Experience boosting food and elixirs are always in demand. You can also set aim for an in-demand type of armor such as Grunil armor or Yuria weapons. Or you could simply make beer to feed your workers or pet food to feed your pets.
Crafting effectively requires clever use of your contribution points and workers. There are several guides on the web for each crafting profession in addition to lists of recipes.
Assuming you are bored by the endless grind, semi-afk trading can be really profitable. You can start out by getting yourself a donkey, buy some trade goods and ride to the next town to sell them. As you progress you can buy wagons and horses and when you get a higher trade skill you can start trading in more expensive goods. You can also produce your own trade packs via crafting to sell to traders.
The price of trade goods depends on two variables. First is supply and demand which fluctuates over the day. The other is the distance between the node which supplied the trade good and the node where it is sold. You also need to have the two nodes where you do your trading connected by using contribution points, otherwise, you only get 30% of the value of the trade pack.
I should mention that at the start profits from trading will be small. But with better skill and equipment it will increase. A favorite method is to craft Calpheon timber crates and set up a trade route to Valencia. With trading skill at Master 2, this can result in some serious profits.
You could also emphasis producing imperial trade goods and sell them to the respective traders. To find out which goods the imperial traders buy you need to talk to them. There is, however, a limit on how much they will purchase off each trade good, which is reset at set time intervals.
7. Capture and Breed Horses
In Black Desert Online, you can capture horses in the wild, train them and breed them together to get a higher tiered horse. This is a time-consuming method but a rewarding one as a Tier 7 horse gives a significant boost to your overall performance in the game since there is no fast travel between places.
To capture a horse you need to have your training skill at level 5. In addition, you need capturing rope which can be bought from the stable vendor and you need a lump of sugar which can be bought from the marketplace. Buy at least 10 of each when you head out to capture a horse. When you have located a horse you need to lasso it, approach it, complete the minigame, feed it the sugar and then attempt to mount the horse. The video above shows how this is done. If successful you can take it to a stable and get it registered to you.
You can only capture up to Tier 5 horses in the wild. To get to Tier 7, you need to breed them together. Each horse can only be breed a limited amount and the higher level the horse the more chances are of getting a higher tiered horse from the breeding.
8. Train AFK
If you need a break and go AFK there are still a few things you can do in BDO while AFK. Training your stamina by running in a loop, training your strength by walking with a tradepack in a loop, training a mount in the same way or auto-fishing are all activities that can be done while AFK and you reap benefit from. Combining training and trading is a clever way to improve stats and earn a little silver at the same time.
Setting up an auto-loop
On the map, you can choose to set a destination point. If you then click the auto-loop button your character will go back and forth between those points until you order him otherwise. Simple as pie. If you are training your mount you need to check in a few times to feed it or carry carrots and check the auto-feed box.
One of the more lucrative life skills in BDO is fishing. Soon after you start the game you can get a quest that rewards you with a raft. You can then use that raft to sail out to sea and start fishing there. As your fishing level increases, you can get a better boat and better fishing rods to fish with either from the marketplace or you can make them for yourself.
Your fishing location has also an effect on the quality of fish you catch. There are hotspots that move around the sea and can be found by looking for birds flying above the spots. These hotspots have only the top tier fishes, which can be sold to special imperial fishing traders for a very nice price. Now at first, you might not be able to see many yellow fish hotspots since the ability to see them is connected to your fishing skill. But as your fishing skill increases, you will be able to find hotspots more frequently.
At the end game of fishing, a profit of 6 to 8 million each hour is easily attainable. You can also AFK fish at a dock to use that downtime for further profits. The video above will show you how to find these hotspots and what they look like.
AFK fishing in BDO is super easy. Just equip a fishing pole with max durability, make sure that you have enough free slots in your inventory, find a water source and press space to start fishing. You might notice that you get a fish but the character does not reel it in. While you can actively reel the fish in by completing the mini-game, the character will automatically reel the fish in after a few minutes if you are AFK fishing and will cast the line out again. You can see in the video above how this works.
To maximize AFK fishing gains you should equip a fishing pole with maximum durability. The Epheria fishing pole gets extra durability with each upgrade so that is a great choice for AFK fishing.
10. Defeat Scroll Bosses and Awakened Scroll Bosses
In this game, there are certain monsters that are collectively called scroll bosses.
Scroll bosses are monsters that you need to summon using specific scrolls. To get these scrolls you need to speak with your black spirit and complete a daily or in some cases weekly quest to get a scroll. You can choose to get a regular scroll or an awakened scroll piece.
The regular scroll can be used immediately, at the right location, to summon a scroll boss, while the awakened scroll piece needs to be combined with a few other to make an awakened scroll, which then can be used to summon an awakened scroll boss.
The regular scroll bosses are easily killed solo. The awakened ones can also be defeated solo but they are somewhat harder to kill. The scroll bosses usually drop black stones and hunter seals, but they have a chance of dropping boss armor, which is the main reason to do them.
Above is a video where the Dim Tree Spirit scroll boss is soloed.
11. Defeat World Bosses and Field Bosses
Wolrd and field bosses are elite monsters that spawn only occasionally on each server. These bosses are extremely hard to kill, impossible to solo and usually take a large group of players to band together to kill them.
The benefits from partaking in world and field boss combat are the possibility of getting boss armor, dandelion and Kzarka weapons and Kutum off hands. To have a chance of those items you need to be early at a spawn and do serious damage to the boss. Otherwise, you will only get a few black stones, some silver, and hunter tokens.
12. Manage Your Nodes and Workers
Making good use of nodes can enhance your ability to make money and craft end-game items. You have a limited amount of contribution points so you cannot take every node that comes by your path. However, you should not be afraid to grab nodes as you can just as easily discard them again and regain the contribution points.
If you have invested in a gathering node you can hire workers to work that node to give you material on a regular basis. You need to talk to the worker manager in a nearby city to get workers and you need to feed them beer to replenish their energy. When you have a worker simply go to the map, click the resource node and select the worker you wish to work that node. For a more detailed guide, you can read this guide on how to make money from workers.
13. Decorate Your Home
Yes, you can even decorate your own home and invite people to come and have a look. There is a variety of furniture that you can add to your home such as carpets, paintings, and lights, Some of the items in your home can even be useful like a bed and crafting stations.
The furniture can be crafted or bought at the marketplace and each piece of furniture will give your home some interior points.
. . . And So Much More
There is so much more to do in the game. In this list, I have only mentioned a few of the more popular activities, excluding PvP and guild warfare which is not mentioned. So if you are wondering if you should try this game, then just download it and try.
You won't regret it.
© 2016 Jon Sigurdsson
Questions and Comments
B on May 03, 2020:
It is completely free to play!
Eva on October 10, 2018:
nice. thank you for sharing.
Jon Sigurdsson (author) from Iceland on July 13, 2016:
You need to buy the game, a few packages are available with the cheapest being 30 dollars I think, but after that it is free to play.
ShyGamerGirl on July 06, 2016:
I've heard about this game, but I have never thought it has so many activities. Even though they are so girlish, you know? :) Anyway, is it free to play?