Guide: The 5 Bloodborne Tips I Wish I’d Known Earlier
Everyone’s a beginner at first right? Evidently From Software disagrees, and particularly if you’re not familiar with their previous Dark Souls games then Bloodborne has a bit of a learning curve. If you’ve found yourself stuck only half an hour into the game that’s cool – I did too. Here are the five things I wish I’d known, and these beginner tips should help counterbalance a few of the game’s challenging design choices.
1. You need an insight point before you can level up. Okay, you’ve started the game, got yourself killed, got some weapons and made it to the Central Yharnam lantern (effectively a checkpoint). Things have been going okay so far, but the bad news is that you won’t be seeing that next lantern for a really long time. The other bad news is that until you’ve got an insight point (displayed next to the eye logo in the top right of the screen – that 0 needs to become a 1) you won’t be able to level up.
There are two ways you can get your first insight point, either by discovering a boss or finding a Madman’s Knowledge item in the sewer. Reaching the first boss isn’t too tricky if you know the shortcut (see tip 3) although finding the item in the sewer isn’t too hard if you employ tip 2.
The location of the sewer and subsequent item is as follows: Keep following the main path from the Central Yharnam Lantern, past the bonfire and round until you get to the bridge. Instead of going down the bridge towards the two wolves (who you can ignore completely) run over and down the other side. At the back left of this area are some barrels which you will need to destroy, revealing a hole you can drop down into.
Keep dropping down until you reach the two walkways either side of the sewer. There are some enemies patrolling on each side – they’re not too tricky to kill as long as you take them out one at a time. At this point you can make a quick diversion to collect the armour mentioned in tip 5, then head to the end of the walkway and jump out into the area below. Some undead enemies will spawn, you can ignore them and climb up the ladder. At the top carry on, then on your left you’ll see’s an alley that leads to a dead end with a few wrecked boats and some giant rats. Kill the rats and the Madman’s Knowledge is at the end of the alley. You’ll need to use this item in your inventory to get the insight point.
2. You can run past the enemies. Until you’ve got that insight point you will not be able to use your Blood Echoes to level up. You also lose all Blood Echoes when you die – you can recollect them from the point at which you died (this may require you to kill a nearby enemy who has ‘absorbed’ them and can be identified by their glowing eyes) but if you die on your attempt to grab a previous stash then they’re gone for good.
This means that until you’ve got that insight point there’s no point in hoarding Blood Echoes, and you should prepare to lose those that you’ve got. It also means that the only point in fighting enemies is to learn their patterns and get good at the game. Even once you’ve got your reflexes sorted though your character still sucks, and if you’re defeating every enemy on the way to the boss then you’re wasting your time. In particular the bonfire area has a lot of bad guys for you to face, and taking them all on can be hard. You know what’s not hard? Running straight past them.
3. There’s a shortcut to the first boss. Once you’ve got the art of running past the enemies down, getting to the bridge is pretty straightforward (there are still some enemies you’ll probably want to kill but nothing too tricky). Now there are two wolves in your way, which you may have some luck defeating if you can isolate them, but there’s a good chance they’ll just kill you. However there is another route past them, and that is the following shortcut:
In the area after the bonfire (otherwise known as the courtyard with the birds) there are some barrels in the back left that you can smash, revealing a hidden path down to some cages with beasts in them. Kill the animals then move around to the left (there are a few other ways you can go too but ignore them for now) and head under the arch and into the building (beware there are a couple of enemies inside). If you go straight out the other side you can follow the path towards a lever which opens up a gate right by the lantern you’ve already activated. Now when you die you can head left instead of right and go back to this point. With the pathway ready head back into the house and go upstairs (where there are more enemies). The exit here brings you back out onto the bridge but the other side of those nasty wolves. Head the other way from them and run past the ogre to meet the first boss.
4. Once you’ve got an insight point you can grind some levels. Usually grinding in videogames isn’t that much fun, but you know what’s less fun? Having your ass repeatedly kicked in Bloodborne. Now you’ve got the opportunity to raise some stats there’s nothing to stop you from repeatedly killing the earlier enemies and cashing in their Blood Echoes by returning to Hunter’s Dream and speaking with the doll. With a bit of practice the bonfire area becomes fairly easy to clear, and it becomes easier once you get the hang of isolating the enemies and easier still as your level rises. There’s also tip 5, which will help increase your defense too.
5. There’s strong armour in the sewer. Hopefully you already know where the sewer is from tip 2, and the armour you can find there is easier to locate than the Madman’s Knowledge item. Once you’re in the area with the walkways you need to drop down again (or use the ladder that’s about half way along) to the very bottom with all the giant rats. Kill the rats and keep on walking to the end of this area. Here on the left is a glowing orb, which is armour with stats almost twice as good as what you started out with. Better yet you now look awesome like the dude on the cover.
And that just about concludes my beginner tips. Hopefully you’re now level twenty and ready to kick the first boss’s ass. After all this trouble you can bet it results in a massive sense of achievement.