Black Desert Online Beginner Guide

Black Desert Online isn’t considered as a sandbox MMORPG for no reason. The game includes tremendous features that let you explore, build, craft, trade, and do everything on your own. The main purpose of the Black Desert Online isn’t just only trying to reach the level cap(in which this game does not have) as fast as possible and group up with friends to raid the hardest boss. This is not going to happen in Black Desert Online. Instead, it encourages you to fully participate in its rich crafting and trading features along with an exciting combat-oriented gameplay in mind. The Black Desert Beginner Guide aims to inform all significant features you will be seeing in Black Desert Online. Leveling, Class, crafting, trading, and even silver making guide are also included in this 4,000 words+ article.

Please note that this is only a beginner guide. It does not give you all in-depth details in all sections. If you are looking for the full guide, check our Black Desert Online Strategy Guide instead.

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Features

Families

A family is literately the account name. Everything other than your characters combat progress and your current Energy Points is shared between all of you families characters including mounts and pets.

World Map

In Black Desert the World Map is more than a simple orientation tool. You mainly use the world map to inspect your empire and administrate your workers while being out in the world doing your own stuff. You also use the world map to set Auto Travel locations allowing you to do other stuff while your character is moving from one point to another.

Contribution Points

Contribution Points are gained by finishing quests awarding Contribution EXP. Once you have enough Contribution EXP you will gain another Contribution Point. The Contribution Points are soft capped at 300 but you can still gain more Contribution Points afterwards at a slower rate.

Contribution Points are used for Node Management, Housing and Workers.

Spend Contribution Points can always be reclaimed. However, reclaiming the Contribution Points will cause you to lose any other resources and EXP invested into the thing you are reclaiming.

Energy

Energy is similar to Labor Systems in other games you might have played (e.g. ArcheAge). You can increase your maximum Energy by gathering Knowledge. In addition, you can regain Energy by doing certain quests.

Energy will replenish over time when you are both online and office. But it’s important to know that your Energy will be replenished faster while you are online than being offline. Thus, the easiest way to replenish your energy while you need to be away from keyboard is to only leave your character in a safe location without logging off from the game.

In Black Desert Online, Energy is used for various actions such as crafting and gathering. In addition, you also need Energy in order to gain Knowledge from NPCs or to search for new workers. Energy can also be spent to learn Combat Skill while not being at a Drill Instructor.

Skill Points

Skill Points can be obtained from Combat and Questing. You need Skill Points to acquire new abilities or to level up already known skills. You can learn at any place by pressing K yet learning skill this way and without a Skill Instructor will cost you some Skill Points as well as Energy Points. If you do not want to lose Energy Points, you need to talk to a Skill Instructor for learning or upgrading your existing skills.

Controls

While you have a hot bar, most of your characters skills are used by combining Shift, Space Bar, E, F, Q, left mouse button, right mouse button and AWSD. On your skill book (Hotkey: K) you can check all your characters skill in addition to the keys you need to press.

You will also see a detailed explanation of what the skill is doing in addition to a short video. Yet there are also skills which do not have a key combo to use. Those skills need to be pulled on your hot bar in order to be executed. You can also drag any other skill on your hot bar even if you could use it by key combos.

Back Attack

A Back Attack is activated if you strike an enemy from behind. You will deal extra damage with a Back Attack allowing you to quickly kill your enemies. There are various skills in the Black Desert Online allowing you to turn around your enemies enabling the extra damage from Back Attacks.

Knowledge

Knowledge is what you know about the world of Black Desert. It is ranged from simple Knowledge from the name of an NPC to detailed information about enemies which will grant you benefits while fighting them. When gaining enough Knowledge, your Energy cap will be increased by 1.

There are mainly five ways to gain new Knowledge: Talk to NPCs, kill enemies, discover new areas, crafting/gathering, and read books in libraries.

By pressing H, you will see all you Knowledge as well as how much Knowledge you are missing for the next Energy increase.

The Black Spirit

The Black Spirit is a story related NPC that follows you and can be accessed any time. You will gain quests from your Black Spirit as well as guidance on where to head next or on the games basics. It also functions to as a mobile Enhancement and Transfusion station.

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Class

The following section is used to help people understand the basic concept and play styles of the classes in Black Desert Online. They are not supposed to be full in-depth guides explaining every skills in detailed. Instead you should be able to decide yourself if you like to try out this class. Plus, they will provide some information about useful skills (not all of the classes skills) and gear of the class in addition to the basic information.

Before heading into each individual class please keep in mind that due to the combat system of Black Desert, a high amount of personal skill is involved in your actual combat ability. You might read a lot of different guides for the class you picked to play yet one should not simply copy the build of another person.

It’s more important to understand the decision that player made in his choices and his style. Doing that instead of simply copying a build will allow you to adapt the information you got into your own unique play style allowing you to maximize the skills of yours while being fun to play for you.

Depending on your play style and the skills you prefer to you to maximize your personal combat ability both arguments are valid. Even more opinions on what is best for a class are equipment choices and skill rotations. Dare to create your own build instead of copy pasting builds from other people!

Warrior

The Warrior is a melee based fighter using a shield and a one handed sword as his basic weapons. Thanks to his shield, the Warrior is able to block frontal attacks negating 100% of the incoming damage. He uses two types of combat resources – Stamina and Wrath / Fury – for his attacks.

His skills offer a huge mobility on the battlefield and thanks to his passive skills in combination with his shield the Warrior is one of the tankiest classes in Black Desert.

While the Warrior is a easy to learn class due to his great skill set in combination with his survivability, he is very hard to master especially in high skill PvP situations.

Playing as a Warrior will require a fast reaction time which is needed to utilize his shield block perfectly in between his deadly damage combos or his crowd control. In combat the Warrior has to made use of his mobility skills in order to outplay his enemies. Further do Warrior player require a lot of knowledge about any other class in the game to be able to switch from a defensive stance into aggressive play style chaining crowd control and damage abilities into a flurry of hits that will kill any opponent.

Valkyrie

The Valkyrie is a female counterpart of the Warrior. As a female warrior, Valkyrie use a shield and a one handed sword as a basic weapon. Like the Warrior the Valkyrie is able to negate frontal incoming damage with her shield.

The Valkyrie is slower than the Warrior. Yet she covers a lack of the mobility with an even more tankiness and a couple of supportive skills. Combined with her moderate AoE abilities, the Valkyrie is probably the best PvE farming class in Black Desert until now. In addition to that the Valkyrie has access to a few mid range skills allowing her to outrange other melee classes without a problem.

To excel in PvP the Valkyrie needs to know her opponent. Quick decision making in between her blocks are fundamental to be victories in fights. Thanks to her high sustain and defense, the Valkyrie is more forgiving to mistakes than other classes.

Her combat resource is some kind of spirit / holy energy called SP ingame. Like the Warrior, she is able to regenerate her SP trough various attacks and blocks with her shield.

Her support skills allow her to take the role of a supporter in a group PvP while dealing moderate mid-range damage and protecting allies from various ranged attacks. In addition, she can also be played in a more aggressive crowd control bruiser typish play style.

Wizard and Witch

Currently the Wizard and the Witch are totally identical. To make it less confusing in this part, we will only use the word “Witch”. If you are more interested in the Wizard, please switch the name in your head instead ;).

The Witch is a fragile ranged damaging or supporting class. Besides the Valkyrie, the Witch is the only class that has an actual access to healing spells making her to be very unique in terms of party support in both PvE and PvP.

The Witch uses a staff and a dagger as her main weapon set. Her awakened weapons is yet to be announced. She uses Stamina and Mana as combat resources.

The Witch is fairly easy to pick up but very hard to master. Her skills tend to have a long cooldown. Combined with the low defense, the Witch requires a lot of strategic knowledge and good positioning.

Unlike the Valkyrie, having an access to a limited number of support abilities, the Witch is often called as “the healer” or the “support” class of Black Desert Online because of her various effective support skills. Yet one should never underestimate the raw damage potential hidden in her, especially her AoE kit which is being considered as one of the strongest in the game.

While being one of the weak classes in a one-on-one situation, the Witch shines bright in a group PvE and PvP. She is always in needed of a group play because of her devastating AoE abilities in a combination with her crowd control and her supportive ability. The Witch is also the only class in Black Desert that can revive dead players.

Sorceress

The Sorceress is a squishy mid range melee hybrid with a high mobility. She uses some kind of glove called amulet as a main weapon and a talisman / charm as offhand. While she uses mostly mana for her skills, she has another resource called Shards of Darkness, mainly for buffs skills created by hitting enemies.

This shard mechanic is very important and has to be mastered if you really want to shine as a Sorceress. As shards are somewhat limited, you have to make the right decision for your situation which not only needs a good amount of knowledge about your opponents but you also have take area into your thoughts. Predicting enemies actions will make you even stronger.

While the Sorceress has a high mobility, her defense is really low resulting in a strong punishment for every mistake since your main damage comes from melee combat. If you break your combos or you are caught on the wrong food, you opponent might be easily dealing you a serious damage.

While her damage is really high, she lacks some usefulness in group PvP and sieges as she can be easily picked up by range classes.

The Sorceress is one of the harder to master classes in Black Desert. To be a top Sorceress, you will need to invest a good amount of time into training with her.

Tamer

The Tamer is currently the only pet class in Black Desert Online. Besides her beast companion, she uses a katana and a charm as basic weapons. Her play style is rather unique compared to other classes as one could say she has three types of abilities:

– Her own skills
– Her beast skills
– Combo skills with her beast

This means some skills may have additional or different effects depending on the status of her beast.

At Lv. 49 the Tamer will be able to ride her beast but in the form of controlling and attack directly through the beast instead of the Tamer.

While the Tamer excels in PvE compared to other classes, she is rather weak in PvP. Due to her dependents on her pet, she is even worse in a group PvP.

While she has a low defense, the Tamer is very mobile on the battlefield. And never underestimate a mastered Tamer. Thanks to her skill set, she might be one of the easiest classes to pick up to learn the basics of Black Desert while still having some potential for the endgame.

Ranger

The Ranger is a very mobile ranged fighter. She uses a longbow and a dagger as her main weapons.. She uses mana and stamina as her combat resources. The Ranger is probability the most annoying class to level in the beginning due to her lack of viable AoE skills before Lv. 20. Once you *ding* Lv. 20 your whole leveling situation changes tremendously.

Her main skill set is heavily based on ranged combat adding a nice amount of mobility to her kit. Once a Ranger learned to kite properly they are very hard to catch.

As the damage of some of the Rangers skills scale with her maximum HP, the Ranger is a slightly more tanky than other dps classes like the Sorceress. However, they are still very fragile comparing to the true tank class like the Warrior or the Valkyrie.

While the Ranger is already a deadly foe in PvP, they excel in a group PvP and sieges as well. With the right positioning, she is able to unleash one strong blow after another. In PvE as well as boss fights, it’s important for the Ranger to focus on damage rotations in order to maximize damage output.

In both PvE and PvP, the Rangers take advantage of their “flow”. It is simply the ability to seamlessly weave skills into one another reducing animations and cast times of various skills. Because of this, the Rangers are able to perform several combos in a row. This will, however, requires a very good timing causing the Rangers to be one of the hardest class to master.

Berserker

The Berseker is probably the easiest class to play in Black Desert Online. His primary weapon are two one-handed axes. His combat resources are Wrath / Fury and Stamina.

The Berserker is by far the biggest and the slowest class in Black Desert Online. And he also has the highest crowd control potential. As a tanky bruiser, the Berserker is always at the frontlines fighting head on against his enemies while throwing and grabbing them after a heart’s content.

While the Berserker lacks some refined combo mechanic, his kit allows him to change from one style into another in the blink of an eye making it is very hard to predict his moves. One should also mention that the Berserker defense will be increased as long as he is in the animation of most of his crowd control abilities.

Because of the lack in mobility, the Berserker has a hard time against fast classes in one-on-one battle. Thanks to his huge amount of crowd control skills, he is a very fun to play in a group PvP protecting his teammates and zoning enemies while punishing their mistakes with an endless stream of crowd control.

For PvE the Berserker has various AoE abilities allowing him to quickly farm huge groups of monsters with little to now downtime in between.

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Leveling

Black Desert deserves the title sandbox. There are so many options to choose from. And close to every action you do in-game, it will provide you progress. For example, walking and exploring the world will increase your Stamina and your maximum Energy Points. This said: You cannot do something wrong in Black Desert and close to everything you are doing will grant you benefits.

Leveling in Black Desert Online is close to 100% done by killing monster aka grinding. There is only a handful of quests out there that grant Combat EXP as reward. However, its exp amount is very small and cannot help the actual amount of EXP you need for leveling up. While nobody is saying questing is bad as it has its own benefits like Energy and Contribution Points, it is definitely way slower to level through quests as they often involve a lot of running and talking with only a little bit of actual killing monsters.

You will often encounter people to attack the enemies you are killing. Thus, it is important to know that you will still receive EXP based on the % amount of damage you did to a monster.

If someone tries to steal your pulls, simply damage your monsters as hard and fast as possible. In case you get harassed by the same player repeatedly, try to force him away by doing more damage to his pulls than he is dealing. In case you are not be able to defend your Spot, you can either try to switch the channel at the upper right corner above your mini map or you can try to slightly shift your position in the area you are currently farming.

Questing or Grinding?

The biggest argument on this topic is should you quest beginning a new character or should you simply grind to Lv. 50+ without ignoring every quests out there.

Both are viable strategies and both have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Pure grinding will provide you with a strong character and a good amount of Silver. Questing and exploring will give you a great start into the crafting and money making part of the game thanks to the high amount of maximum Energy and Contribution Points you will gain from it.

Well people will keep arguing endlessly and yet we would never come to a perfect solution for the game. Actually the perfect solution for in this argument is to do what you think is the best for you and that is the most fun you can have. Doing so will give you and your style a solid foundation you can build upon.

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Crafting and Gathering

Workers

Workers are the heart of your economy. They are important for Crafting, Gathering and Trading. Setting up a work force in addition to claiming the resource nodes will cost quite a bit of Contribution Points.

In return your Worker will work for you while you are out in the world surviving your own adventures. After you set up everything, your Workers will do full Gathering and Crafting circles all by themselves. The only thing you need to do is providing your Workers with enough food and a roof above their heads.

Housing

To buy a house / residence for personal purposes or for crafting you need to access a cities management menu. Buying a residence will cost you Contribution Points and Silver. However you can always sell your residence if you do not need it anymore to regain your invested Contribution Points. Yet your Silver will be lost.

Housing is often used for Cooking and Alchemy as both require crafting station which can be placed inside of a residence.

Crafting

While Crafting can be done by yourself, you can also build workshops for your Workers. Thanks to that you are able to refine and craft items while being AFK or busy with other things, like slaying dozens of orcs. To give your Workers access to Crafting you need to build the right crafting workshop in a connected city.

Processing

Processing is a type of crafting that allows you to process raw materials into goods you can use for other types of crafting. Regardless of where you are, you can use eight of the nine available processing methods. (Shaking, Grinding, Chopping, Drying, Thinning, Heating, Simple Cooking, Simply Alchemy)

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Making Silver

Close to everything in Black Desert Online does cost you Silver. While there are many ways of making a fortune in Black Desert, most of them require a more or less complex setup. This kind of set up usually both takes a lot of time and money as well.

Grinding

Yet for those people that do not like the Contribution System, there is still a great way of making a lot of Silver while leveling your character and grinding for Skill Points. Grinding!

Regardless what monster you kill in Black Desert, they drop at least one type of Silver item to other possible drops.

Two Types of Silver

There are two types of Silver in Black Desert Online. The first one is a simple silver that can only be sold to NPC. The second one is an exchangeable type. This type of Silver can be sold to the NPC as well but will yield slightly larger sums of Silver if they are exchanged at the right NPC.

Sometimes those items can also be exchanged against other items which might be even more valuable than the pure Silver count. The downside of the exchangeable Silver items is that you need a certain amount of them before you can exchange which results in longer times grinding before you can cash out.

Fishing

Fishing is one of the best options to make some Silver in Black Desert but the process of fishing is boring and takes a lot of time. Lucky you are able to AFK fish resulting in a great amount of Silver when you come back to your computer.

As the area you are catching your fish needs to be connected to the area you are selling your fish, some time and labor is needed to set fishing up to be really effective. This has various reasons:

First: the further away you sell your fish from the area you caught it, the higher the price you will get.
Second, the more people fishing in the same area, the longer it takes.
Third, the further away you are fishing from the starting area the more the fish are value.

Trading

Trading is one of the easiest ways to make some Silver in Black Desert. While compared to other things, starting as a trader might be somewhat slow in terms of gain. In addition to the high investment costs, you will be able to receive a much higher payout once you train your Trading Skill.

It is important to understand that this trading does not involve other players but trading with NPCs.

The easiest way of starting a career as a trader is to connect Velia and Heidel. Once the two cities are connected, you should acquire the biggest wagon / cart you can effort.



  • Jeff

    Thanks man, liked the guide 🙂 Although, I do think you favour the Witch over the Wizard, which doesn’t surprise me ;P