Things to Do in Black Desert Online

Updated on January 16, 2018
Saarith LM profile image

Saarith has been playing Black Desert Online and roaming the lands between Calpheon and Valencia since shortly after its release in NA

What can you do in Black Desert Online?

Black Desert Online (BDO for short) is a semi-sandbox MMO game that is stuffed with content. As a player you can explore the land, craft, do PvP and more. This guide is written for players that have experienced the game and understand the basic principles but are at a loss as to what they can do in the game.


The world 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 NPC's 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 amount of red crystals and some gemstone deposits that can be mined at skilled 5.

Exploring the world is a fun thing to do to while away the hours in Black Desert Online and it has a meaningful benefit as well.

A beautiful view from Lynch farms, still searching for the black desert.
A beautiful view from Lynch farms, still searching for the black desert.

Doing 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 lifeskills). 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 the life skills and are essential for crafting.

And finally some quests give you special rewards and while doing quests is really optional in Black Desert Online everyone should run through the black spirit quests as they (and a few other) reward you with extra inventory slots.

I wonder if the farmer needs any help?
I wonder if the farmer needs any help?


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 do 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. Below is a video which shows the location of all the daily hunting quests in-game.

Daily Hunting Quests in Black Desert Online

Gathering 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 knifes 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.

Gathering some coal on a rainy day.
Gathering some coal on a rainy day.

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 below 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 a 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.

Crafting some elixirs at home with my trusty cat. My cat gives me extra alchemy experience.
Crafting some elixirs at home with my trusty cat. My cat gives me extra alchemy experience.


Yet another thing to do in black desert online, assuming you are bored by the endless grind, is some semi-afk trading which 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 depend 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 wil 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 of each trade good, which is reset on set time inervals.

A fine day to ride a wagon in Calpheon.
A fine day to ride a wagon in Calpheon.

Capturing and Breeding 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 below 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, too 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.

Capturing a horse in Black Desert Online

AFK Training

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 the same way or fishing are all activities that can be done 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.

On the map you can choice 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 a mount you need to check in a few times to feed.

They say running is good for your health. In BDO it gives you higher stamina.
They say running is good for your health. In BDO it gives you higher stamina.


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 a higher amount of the top tier fishes, which can be sold to special imperial fishing traders for a very nice price.

At the end game of fishing a profits of 1-2 million each hour is easily attainable. You can also AFK fish at a dock to use that downtime for further profits.

Auto Fishing

AFK fishing in BDO is also 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 below 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. You can read more about maximizing profits in this auto fishing guide.

Auto Fishing in Black Desert Online

Node management 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 on 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.

Managing a flax farming node with an active worker.
Managing a flax farming node with an active worker.

Decorate Your Home.

Yes, you can even decorate your own home and invite people to come 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 more....

There is so much more to do in the game related to PvP and guilds which is not mentioned here, such as node wars and red battlefield.

Black Desert Online Official Trailer

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© 2016 Levictus Marcus Saarith

Questions and Comments

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    • Saarith LM profile image

      Levictus Marcus Saarith 18 months ago

      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 profile image

      ShyGamerGirl 18 months ago

      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?