Bloodborne is one of the most singular titles in gaming. It’s similar to some Souls games for sure, but the vibe you get from this game is one that is totally unique compared to every Souls game as well as every horror game ever made. The combination of Miyazaki at the controls with a fistful of Eldritch horror inspiration was a match made in heaven, and the result was one of the best video games ever made.
I’ve been a Bloodborne fan since its release, and although I was a fan of the Souls series prior, I had no idea how gripping Bloodborne would be not only for its high-speed gameplay but for the story as well. I found the creepy mystery that was unfolding to be utterly fascinating, and how it all plays out is incredibly creative and unlike anything I’d ever seen before in a game.
Of course, like all games in the FromSoftware catalog, Bloodborne is plenty obscure in not only its story but also its multiple systems at play as well. It can be incredibly confusing not only figuring out where to go but how to do things in the game as simple as leveling up. We’re going to help out with that, so here’s everything you need to know about leveling up in Bloodborne.
How Do You Level Up in Bloodborne?
At the start of the game, you’re going to be facing off against a horrific-looking beast, and after it inevitably destroys your weaponless character, you will awaken in Hunter’s dream. Here, you will find a doll that appears lifeless. For now, that doll will be useless, so you need to take one of the gravestones nearby to return to the town of Yharnam. You’ll be underpowered at this point with little ability to improve yourself, so we’re going to need to make our way through the village as carefully as possibly taking on enemies here and there when we can.
Make your way through the town, collecting as many Blood Vials as you can, and eventually, you’ll find yourself a great bridge. There are many enemies here, but at the very end of the bridge, you’ll enter a fog door against the first boss of the game called the Cleric Beast. This fight will likely be too difficult to face initially, but try your best, and after you die, you’ll be back at the last lantern you rested at.
Once you’re at the lantern, you need to select go to Hunter’s Dream from the menu it presents. When you get back to the Hunter’s Dream, the doll will suddenly be awakened. She will deliver a handful of dialogues to you explaining the current situation, and after that, you will be able to access her at any time in order to level up.
In Bloodborne, there are several level caps you can reach. The first will be at 25, and usually, from there, you’ll start to see yourself getting fewer and fewer benefits each time you level up. Then, the next level cap is 50, and after you hit that, then you basically start getting very little increments of benefits to each stat until you reach level 99. This is when the leveling in Bloodborne more or less stops completely. You can keep increasing stats if you’d wish, but your level doesn’t change, and the sats don’t change much either.
If you choose to play co-op with another player, you will only be able to play with people who are within 10 of your actual level. That means that you’ll need to be at a similar point in the story as them to prevent them from jumping into your game and wrecking everything in sight with one hit.
What do You Need to Level Up in Bloodborne?
In order to level up in Bloodborne, you are going to need Blood Echoes to do so. Every time you defeat an enemy in Bloodborne, it will drop Blood Echoes. The stronger foes in the game will drop massive amounts of Blood Echoes, while the smaller and weaker ones generally drop only a few. There are several items in the game that you can pick up that can be consumed for massive amounts of Blood Echoes as well.
Something to keep in mind during your gameplay is that any Blood Echoes you have will be lost upon your death. This isn’t permanent as you will have the ability to find your Blood Echoes either on the ground where you died or if an enemy killed you; the one that did the deed will be signified by glowing purple eyes. As soon as you defeat this enemy, you gain back all of the Blood Echoes that you lost.
Blood Echoes can also be used to purchase items from the Messengers in the Hunter’s Dream as well as the Chalice Dungeons in order to purchase items, so figuring out when is the best time to get items and equipment vs. the best time to level up is a tricky balance you need to figure out early on.
Once you’ve acquired the number of Blood Echoes needed, you need to return to the doll in Hunter’s Dream and ask her to level you up. This will bring you to a separate screen displaying all of your stats in the game.
Unlike most games, leveling up doesn’t involve the increase of all of your stats at once. In Bloodborne, you’re instead given a choice of one stat to increase per each level up you do. Several stats in the game increase multiple things, such as resistances or certain attack stats, so you can still cover multiple bases by just leveling one stat up.
You can also level up multiple times at once if you have the number of Blood Echoes needed. Each time you level up, though, the price of Blood Echoes will increase for the next level, making it so that you can never increase too much at once. This keeps the balance of difficulty in the game intact.
What Should I Level Up In Bloodborne?
There are a number of stats available to be leveled up in Bloodborne, and each one has a completely unique trait from the others that affects how your character is built during the game. Here is how thedifferent stats work in Bloodborne.
Vitality is the measure of your health while playing Bloodborne. As you level up, your health bar will increase in size. You will see significant changes in the health bar up until you get to level 30. At this point, you will start to see the health increases become smaller and smaller, and once you hit level 50, you will barely see any benefit to increasing this stat at all. Although you can level up to level 99 in the game, anything after 50 won’t make much of a difference in your character’s health.
Endurance is incredibly important in Bloodborne as this governs how many times you can attack and how many times you can dodge and roll as well. You will see an increase in this stat up until level 40, where it will then barely increase until level 99. Endurance has other benefits as well. It can increase resistance in several status-based areas of the game, and those will increase each time you level it up. Once you get to level 40, you will have a total of 160 Stamina available to use. You will then start to gain only 1 stamina per 6 levels until you reach the maximum amount of 170 stamina. That means from level 40 to 99, you will only gain 10 stamina over that period of time.
Strength governs the attack power of our weapon as well as the amount of damage you do during your Visceral attacks. It also determines whether or not you’re strong enough to wield particularly heavy weapons. Certain weapons scale with strength, so it can be very beneficial to put a lot of your leveling into this category. After level 25 of strength, you will barely see any improvement, and from level 50-99, the improvement will be almost non-existent.
The skill also determines a lot of your damage in Bloodborne. This basically determines your physical weapon attack power while giving a little bit of increase to the Visceral attack as well. Certain weapon types require a high skill stat to wield, so you’ll need to invest in this category a lot to make those weapons worthwhile. After level 25, this stat will barely increase up to level 99. Your Visceral attack gets the biggest bonus here, and investing in that enough will cause you to one-hit-kill a lot of enemies in the game.
This is one of the more unique stats in the game, and it powers weapons that deal Blood damage. Weapons that can use this stat are the Chikage, which takes health away as you use it, as well as several other items in the game that have special abilities. Certain guns in the game will utilize BloodTinge, making it a worthwhile endeavor to go down if you tend to use your firearms a lot. After level 25, this stat will not increase much.
Arcane is the magic system in Bloodborne, and this will determine not only your magic attack’s power but also whether or not you will be able to use certain magically infused weapons. It will also determine how often you find new items or equipment. The trick weapons in the game all have weapon scaling to Arcane, though increasing the Arcane stat will not actually up their damage. Instead, it will govern the attack damage done if your weapon is infused with elemental damage. The increase to discovery is a huge benefit with this stat, and you can get it high enough so that every other enemy will drop something useful for you to use.
When is the Best Time To Level Up in Bloodborne?
While you can really level up anytime you’d like after fighting the first boss, you will find that the best times to level up are generally after fighting and defeating one of the many difficult bosses you’ll find throughout the game. They will drop the most Blood Echoes of any enemies in the game and generally will give you the ability to level up multiple times.
Sometimes though, you will need to level up before you can defeat a boss, so in order to get the Blood Echoes needed to do that, you want to find enemy mobs. Different areas of the game will have large mobs of enemies or a small group of ultra-powerful ones that can become amazing places to farm Blood Echoes.
Once you get to the Church are, you will see huge lumbering enemies patrolling the area. These guys are incredibly strong, but conquering them will give you an enormous amount of Blood Echoes each time. You can then go to the nearby lantern and rinse and repeat until you have the amount needed to get to the level you desire.
How Leveling up Can Effect Your Character
Leveling up is necessary for increasing a variety of your stats throughout the game, and it can also give you the ability to use a variety of different weapons you were previously kept away from. While you might look at stats like strength as the ultimate one to focus on in terms of damage, you might find that a different weapon is more fun to use but has weaker stats.
With weapons like these, you can increase the damage done by putting Blood Echoes into the proper stat that it scales with. Certain weapons require specific stats to maximize their capabilities. So, while having a huge amount of strength is great, characters that have high Arcane stats will have access to a whole other kind of damage, and keeping your character varied in the way they can do damage is huge.
How to Level Weapons and Armor
Much like your actual character, you can level up the equipment In Bloodborne too. Any weapon in the game can be increased in its base power, so technically, you never really need to use any of the other weapons you’ll find if you’ve been steadily improving your base weapons.
The way this is done also takes place in the Hunter’s Dream. In the area up top where Gehrman resides, there is a workshop in the corner that will repair your damaged weapons as well as upgrade them.
In order to upgrade your weapons, you’re going to need items called Blood Stone Shards to do so. Everything you do involving upgrades to your weapons with these items is permanent, so think carefully before confirming your upgrades. Initially, you can only upgrade your items 3 times each, but as you acquire better items, you’ll be able to upgrade them more. Twin Blood Stone Shards upgrade to +6, and the Blood Stone Chunk takes you all the way to +9. If you still want to upgrade from there, a Blood Rock will take you to a +10 weapon, which is fully maxed out.
You can add Blood Gems to your weapons here as well, though you need to find a special item before you’re able to customize them that way.
The item you’ll need to start upgrading is called the Blood Gem Workshop Tool, and it’s found within the library right after you exit the Tomb of Oedon. You will find it in a chest in plain sight. Once you have this tool, you’ll be able to add a variety of effects. These include damage increases, adding elements to your attacks, and even effects like poison as well. You can always change which weapon has which Blood Gem, so don’t worry about your decisions being final here.
Armor, on the other hand, is pretty much pointless in Bloodborne, and while it can lend a hand when it comes to certain resistances, you can pretty much dress in whatever you’d like as the changes to stats are so minimal here to most Souls games.
There are many ways to tweak how effective your character can be in Bloodborne, and with each new area, you generally unlock a new ability to modify your character. In order to start using Caryll Runes on your character, you need the Rune Workshop Tool. You will find this after you defeat the Witch of Hemwick in Hemwick Charnel Lane. Take this back to Hunter’s Dream, and you’ll have unlocked Caryll Runes.
You’ll find this workshop is located at the Memory Altar, and it’s a somewhat confusing system to grasp. There are 4 slots you have available to you, although only 3 are useable with any rune you collect, while the 4th is reserved for Runes that are specific to the covenant you’ve chosen to serve. The runes stack on top of each other if they are the same type, so putting multiple stamina-based runes will amplify the effects considerably.
Caryll Runes are an enormous help in Bloodborne and can take the place of the need to level if you’re smart enough with how you employ them. These can change pretty much every kind of stat you have in the game. They affect the health you have, the stamina you have, how much damage you do, how many Blood Echoes you get per enemy, they can enable transformations, determine how many Blood Vials you can hold, and so much more.
There are tons to find in the game, and each one will likely provide a huge help, so frequently visit the Memory Altar in Hunter’s Dream to make sure you didn’t forget about the ones you may have acquired earlier. They are incredibly important and the key to creating a successful character in Bloodborne.
Other Ways to Improve Your Character
Bloodborne gives you multiple ways to improve your character throughout the game and while leveling up is probably the best option most of the time, it’s far from the only one.
You can improve your weapons throughout the game by finding various items that improve them, and each weapon can be improved a handful of times. This isn’t just for the melee weapons either, as the firearms in the game can be improved a lot as well.
In addition to making your arsenal more formidable, you can also buy various items in the game that will make fights way easier for you. Blood Vials are essential items to have as they can heal you in the midst of battle. Quicksilver Bullets will make your guns do extended damage with your guns and can be particularly deadly against specific kinds of enemies. Throwing knives won’t do a ton of damage, but they can knock your enemies off-balance, opening them up for a big attack. Molotov Cocktails can set your enemies on fire, and throwing an Oil Urn at an enemy before that will douse them with oil, making the Molotov Cocktail do long-lasting damage after you’ve thrown it.
These items are not meant to be looked at as a primary form of attack but rather as a last-ditch effort during a tough fight. Quicksilver Bullets are the only item that can be gotten organically, and pressing up on the D-Pad during gameplay will sacrifice some of your health to acquire more bullets.
For whatever reason, Bloodborne is not comfortable giving you the ability to level up right off the bat. Like most things in FromSoftware games, you’re going to have to work a bit before you’re given any rewards. As mentioned earlier, you can’t start leveling up until you’ve gained at least 1 Insight in the game.
You can gain this 1 Insight from fighting the Cleric Beast one time, but there is actually another method available for those that want to power up before they even reach that point.
In order to get there, you’re going to need to sprint past the first area of the game by the large bonfire and then make your way into the area beyond it. Here, you’re going to take a right at the carriage and run up the stairs to the area with the dogs and villagers. You’ll have to fight here, but once clear, go to the bridge and jump off a ledge on the right side and follow the stairs all the way down until you see the room with the orange window in it. Go through here and down the stairs, and you’ll be in the sewer area. Drop down and fight the rats on your left to receive the Madman’s Knowledge which will give you Insight.
Returning to Hunter’s Dream at this point will give you the ability to level up at the doll. This will possibly make things easier for your exploration of Yharnam, as well as making the Cleric Beast a much easier time out on your first encounter, even though it’s likely to still defeat you a few times first.
Insight is gained every time you beat a boss in the game, and depending on how hard the boss is, you might get more Insight. The trick to gaining more and more Insight, though, is that you actually will make the game harder in the process, requiring you to level up even more, to keep pace with it.
Insight acts as knowledge in this game, and when you gain more and more knowledge, the more you can see the world for what it truly is, and brand new enemies will appear, normal ones will whip out special attacks that you hadn’t seen before, and the world itself will start to look more twisted than it ever had before.
What Level Should I Be?
A tough thing to figure out in Bloodborne is just how powerful you should be based on each area you’re at in the game. There isn’t a level end signal or anything like that in this game, so recognizing a shift in difficulty is completely on you and nobody else. Because of this, you’ll need to recognize what points will be actively begging you to level up before trying to conquer them.
If you’re fighting in an area and you’re dealing out good damage to your enemies, but you’re finding that just one or two hits are completely destroying you, then it might be time to level up. Sensing what your character’s weakness is and then addressing it will be the most obvious times to know your level should be higher.
The Cleric Beast is an iconic boss in the Souls genre because of how tough it can be for a first boss, so you want to come into this boss battle well prepared. For me, I generally go into this fight around level 7-10, depending on how hard I want it to be. This means you’ll need to level up at least 6 times to start out, and while that can definitely sound like a lot of Blood Echoe farming, the initial area by the bonfire has roughly 10 enemies available to fight and killing each one about 3-4 times should net you the amount you’ll need in order to achieve this status.
Make sure you’re allocating properly when it comes to leveling up and not wasting anything on stats you’ll never use. For example, I stick to physical weapons and firearms only in that attribute section, so I know that I’m going to need a ton in strength, skill, and endurance, and not much in Arcane or otherwise.
With each new area you come upon, my advice would be to fight a few enemies first and see how you feel. It should be challenging to kill them, but not overwhelmingly so. If they’re causing a ton of trouble, then consider heading back to a nearby area and grinding some levels for a bit until you feel comfortable. The bosses of each area are usually a lot harder than any of the enemies that roam it, so consider that before trying to push onward when the basic enemies are causing the issue.
Enemy Level Scaling
Although plenty of modern RPGs utilize a level scaling mechanic in some fashion or at least include that option, in Bloodborne, you do not have any enemy level scaling, and instead, each area is locked into a certain level. That means that increasing your level will always make you more dangerous than the enemies in the area over time, and doing something like progressing far into the game and returning to the beginning area of Yharnam will likely result in you one-hit killing just about every enemy in the area. The same goes for bosses, so if you decided to skip out on optional bosses that may have been too difficult for you the first time around, gaining more experience and returning later is likely to end up in a very one-sided fight in your favor.
- Keep your character equipped with the best weapons you’ve got and keep stocked on items like Blood Vials
- Abuse the Caryll Rune system. You can make short work of any enemy in the game if you build your character with these correctly.
- Don’t hesitate to take on big enemies. They’re usually pretty tough, but they give out tons of Blood Echoes which are crucial to you when it comes to leveling and purchasing weapons and armor.
Question: Is Bloodborne harder than Dark Souls?
Answer: It’s tough to say because they require such different approaches as games. Bloodborne gives you nothing in the way of defense but allows you to regain life by attacking your enemies. You also have way more chances to heal during a battle, whereas Dark Souls only gives you a handful, but some of the boss fights in Bloodborne are just sadistic, and for that reason, I give it the edge.
Question: How Long is Bloodborne?
Answer: Bloodborne can take you around 70 hours at least at its base game, and the DLC adds another 15-20 hours on top of that. It’s a long experience that requires a lot of patience and strategy to get through.
Question: Is Bloodborne Multiplayer?
Answer: You can play Bloodborne with a friend as long as you have the summon items available. You can even take on bosses together, and the game’s enemies will adapt accordingly.
Bloodborne is a tough journey. You’ll feel like you’re up against it at the start, but as your character grows, so will you, and eventually, you’ll be looking down on your enemies like the Eldritch god you’re training to be.
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