Bloodborne: Surviving The Hunt

Some useful tips for new players


Origins are basically Bloodborne’s version of classes and just as in the Souls games, they really don’t matter all that much after the first hour or two as you can customise and upgrade your Hunter however you like. Given the melee focus of the early stages, the two best choices are Professional and Military Veteran, depending on which weapon you plan to use those who plan on rocking the Cane should go Professional as it offers the best Skill stat, while Axe or Saw players would do better with the Military origin for its Strength value. Milquetoast offers an even spread of points making it a good all-rounder, plus Lone Survivor and Troubled Childhood are okay if you can deal with the lower damage output you’ll be putting plenty of points into Vitality and Endurance anyway, so nothing is really wasted. Noble Scion is purely for Skill builds that want better gun damage, but this isn’t relevant until later in the game by which point you’ve already have exceeded these stats. Cruel Fate is interesting as although Arcane isn’t especially useful early on, the improved drop rate (and rarer items) means you’ll have a steadier supply of stuff. Finally, Waste Of Skin is the ‘challenge’ origin, offering the lowest stats but at the same time the least wasted skill points.

The numbers, Mason… what do they mean?
Basic attributes work in a very similar way to Dark Souls, but the good news is that there are fewer to worry about. In order to increase these, you’ll need at least one point of Insight (you’ll get one when you see your first boss), which will bring the Doll in Hunter’s Dream to life. Here, Blood Echoes can be traded for stat boosts and this is how you level up. But which stats should you be focusing on, and what do they all actually do? Here’s a handy breakdown for you.

Upgrading this adds a decent chunk to your HP, which is always useful. The amount of HP gained drops off once at 30 and again at 50, so consider putting points elsewhere when you hit these soft caps in order to better balance your character and not waste your Blood Echoes.

Heavy melee weapons tend to require high Strength stats to wield, and also tend to offer better stat scaling with Strength as well. Points here boost Physical Attack with these weapons and again, there are two milestones where gains drop off once at around 25 and again at around 50.

Affects your damage output with firearms. Drop-off points are the same as the other two damage stats (again, 25 and 50) but most builds don’t really benefit from boosting it. Unless you’re using one of the few Quicksilver-based weapons that can deal decent damage, don’t bother.

Governs Stamina and resistances. Like HP, Stamina is essential across all character builds, allowing you to extend combos or still have a little bit left for emergency rolls when enemies try to hit back. Stamina gains stop at 40, though you can still add points to boost resistances.

The same as Strength, only for quicker and more complex weapons. If you plan on using gear like the Threaded Cane or Blades Of Mercy (which scale well with Skill), this will be your primary stat. The soft caps are the same as for Strength too, so expect diminishing returns after 25 and 50.

Allows the use of crazier Hunter’s Tools, improves Discovery (meaning you’ll see better item drops) and ups damage with weapons that have Arcane scaling. You can use the basic Tools at 15, but hold off on spending more unless you’re using a melee weapon that benefits from it.

Like so much of Bloodborne, Insight is a stat shrouded in mystery. On a basic level, you need one point to wake the Doll and allow leveling, while getting to ten points in total will make Messengers appear in a birdbath outside the Hunter’s Dream workshop, from whom you an buy gear using Insight as a currency. Ringing the Beckoning Bell in order to search for co-op partners also consumes one point of Insight. Insight is earned by encountering bosses and defeating them, plus you can add to your stock by consuming Madman’s Knowledge items. Be careful, however, as Insight makes the game harder the more you have. Once you go over 15, you will start to see enemies with buffed weapons or new attacks, while going over 40 will open your eyes to a whole world of unpleasant things. You should probably try it at least once but for regular play, particularly in New Game+, you’re better off keeping Insight at 14 or less.

A blow-by-blow guide to all the big bads

From Central Yharnam (Optional)

Lock onto the head and shoot repeatedly to stun and enable a powerful Visceral Attack.

Cleric Beast is weak to fire attacks, so use that to your advantage.

Red aura is not to be feared it’s a limb heal and chance for you to pile on damage.

Drops Sword Hunter Badge (unlocks Kirkhammer and Repeating Pistol) when killed.

From Old Yharnam (Optional)

Riposte effective in all stages of fight shoot whenever it raises its right claw to attack.

Bring Antidotes to clear Slow Poison effect. More can be found behind the altar at the back.

It’s incredibly weak to fire and the Flamesprayer can be very effective.

Guards Pthumeru Chalice, used for creating and exploring Chalice Dungeons.

From Central Yharnam

Riposte effective in early stages of fight shoot to counter melee attacks then use Visceral Attack.

Use gravestones in the lower area to make space to charge attacks.

Can trap him on the stairs by leading him up then running back down and to the side.

Music Box (found at window new Sewer/Central Yharnam) can stun him up to three times.

From Cathedral Ward

Can be reached without the Chief Emblem, by dropping down through Cathedral Ward door.

Heal can be prevented using Numbing Mists, or cancelled with a flurry of attacks.

Use longer weapons to target head and hands where possible.

Interact with altar after fight to learn password for Forbidden Woods door.

From Hemwick Charnel Lane (Optional)

Red lamp often shows Witch’s location, even when she disappears.

Focus attention on the Witch run around looking for her to avoid spawned enemies.

Damage to clones still counts when second Witch appears at end of fight.

Area behind boss gives workshop tool that allows use of Caryll Runes.

From Forbidden Woods

Use large grave to split up the group and fight one-on-one where possible.

Second and third phases triggered by overall HP across all three, so deal with one at a time.

Katana wielder can be easily parried with well-timed shots.

Be careful later on, as their increased range can clip through objects and hit you.

From Hypogean Gaol (Optional)

Avoid using the lock-on function, since the camera struggles to deal with his incredibly fast movement speed.

Each leg can be broken to stagger, with individual invisible HP gauges for each allowing multiple stuns in quick succession.

Attack its head for a longer stun and to dissipate its electric charge, thus reducing a large portion of its threat.

Drops the Spark Hunter Badge (which unlocks Tonitrus weapon and Bolt Paper at the shop) upon its death.

from Forsaken Castle Cainhurst (Optional)

Use environment to block and avoid magic attacks while closing distance.

Melee attacks can be riposted fairly easily, and baited by staying close.

His charge buff can be interrupted with your own charge attack and backstab.

When he prepares a flurry of swords, target and destroy the one in the ground to interrupt it.

From Byrgenwerth

Gear yourself with high Arcane resistance, as its most dangerous attacks are magical.

Clear spider minions as quickly as possible. Avoid locking onto them as frontal attacks are ineffective.

When the crowd is dead, attack Rom’s abdomen in short combos to save Stamina, then unleash hell when it tries to teleport.

Stick at mid range during second stage to easily react to both magic attacks, but look out for melee hits in the third.

From Yahar’gul Chapel

Use side passages to reach upper levels and take out mages first.

Stay toward rear end to avoid AOE attacks move to front on knockdown to target protruding corpse.

Get to higher ground to avoid its vomit AOE attack, then use plunging attack for solid damage and to return to the fight.

From Upper Cathedral Ward (Optional)

Use circular/AOE attacks to identify which of the mob is the actual boss. Boss will not chase player, whereas others will.

The boss will grow at around half life, at which point it will follow you. Lead to upper area to help avoid spawns.

Gains magic at around quarter health sprint around boss to dodge lasers.

From Upper Cathedral Ward (Optional)

Cannon (powered up with Bone Marrow Ash) to the face an effective way of opening Visceral Attack opportunities.

It’s weak to Bolt damage, making Bolt Paper and Tonitrus both good options. Attack from behind where possible.

Try to get to just over half health before starting a big combo, as boss goes apeshit when under half life.

From Nightmare Frontier (Optional)

Head and front arms most vulnerable, but rear is safer melee attacks easier to read and avoid than ranged in this fight.

Limbs can be weakened by dealing enough damage, while hitting head enough can set up Visceral Attack.

Try to stay close so as to avoid magic attacks, as these can easily kill you in one or two hits.

From Mergo’s Loft: Middle

This is less boss battle and more chase. Kill additional enemies that spawn as you pursue Micolash.

The first actual encounter is incredibly easy, but watch out for AOE spells in the second encounter. It’s very dangerous.

Stick close and end combos with either gunfire or Beast Roar to try and prevent/cancel AOE casting.

From Nightmare Of Mensis

Try to stay around the back to avoid flailing blades, but watch for the spin attack it hits hard but is well telegraphed.

At regular intervals, boss will summon fog and clones. Simply run in large circles to avoid both attackers until effect wears off.

Clones die in one hit with a quick weapon, you can see them off as they appear if you’d rather.

From Hunter’s Dream (Optional)

Well-timed shots can easily present Visceral Attack openings, particularly against his more obvious attacks.

His AOE cast later on in the fight is obvious but it has crazy range run away as soon as he starts charging it.

Dodge forward through his scythe swings and gunshots to get a few free hits, but don’t get too greedy.

From Hunter’s Dream

Stay at full health. Its AOE attack will leave you with 1HP from full health but it will kill you outright if you are damaged.

Sit at mid-range to bait a combo attack dodge the third hit round the back and you can land a few attacks then retreat and repeat.

Orbs prevent healing, so avoid them as it can easily kill you in one shot when below max health.

How to see them all…

Accept Gehrman’s offer in the Hunter’s Dream after defeating Mergo’s Wet Nurse for the “Yharnam Sunrise” Trophy. Note that this is the only ending that will not let you purchase the Burial Blade trick weapon in NG+.

Refuse Gehrman’s offer in the Hunter’s Dream after defeating Mergo’s Wet Nurse for the “Honoring Wishes” Trophy and the regular ending, after you manage to defeat Gehrman, The First Hunter.

Find and consume three Third Umbilical Cords (Abandoned Workshop, Iosefka’s Clinic, Wet Nurse). Then, follow the same instructions for the second ending and an extra boss, Moon Presence, will attack after you beat Gehrman.

A few choice things that you might have missed

You can reach the clinic from the very start of the game from Forbidden Woods. Near the dog cages in the village is a tunnel follow it to a swamp, then climb the ladder in the middle to get back Central Yharnam. The Cainhurst Summons item is found here, as is Iosefka. Do not kill her here before defeating Rom or you could lock yourself out of the ‘true’ ending.

After obtaining the Summons, travel to the Witch’s Abode lamp and then follow the path back out. When you reach the crossing at the bottom of the hill, a carriage should roll up to take you to an entirely new area, Forsaken Castle Cainhurst. The enemies outside it are tough as hell, but the ones inside are much more manageable, so just run on in.

Both Gyura (the gunner in Old Yharnam) and Adella (the nun in Hypogean Gaol basement) respond to Black Church attire. Equip the set before approaching them (you’ll need to reach Gyura from the lower lamp without killing beasts or being spotted) and you’ll get new dialogue and gestures sending Adella to Oedon Chapel lets you use her blood for healing.

Use the Make Contact gesture (found in Upper Cathedral Ward) on the large brain in the Nightmare for 30 seconds to earn the strongest Moon Caryll Rune, which increases Blood Echoes earned by 30 per cent. We know it’s tempting to kill something so downright vile particularly in a game like this, where everything seems to want you dead but kindness pays off.

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