As one half of the “Soulsborne” genre that started on PlayStation 3 but really came to prominence during the PlayStation 4 generation, Bloodborne is a jewel in Sony’s 3rd-party crown. Punishingly difficult, yet more accessible than the Souls games, Bloodborne places a premium on aggressive action rather than plodding, careful combat.
The game does, however, share its heritage of massive beasts and close-quarters combat with its brethren. How successfully these encounters turn out has everything to do with how the player builds their character, especially for beginners in this daunting universe. This includes not only the beginning class (Origin) and initial weapon choices but how the player chooses to increase their stats when they gain the ability to level up. Nailing the right character build is vital to give new players the potential edge they’ll need to survive. Here’s what you need to know to get the edge you’ll need.
Just like most RPG’s, the journey in Bloodborne truly begins with the creation of the player’s character. This game does it a bit differently, in that Class selection is done via a brief Origin story, with the character’s stats arranged in a way that supports the stated background. For a beginner build, relying on physical attacks makes the most sense, as it requires the least amount of knowledge about the game’s somewhat deeper magical systems and buffs. The game also rewards aggressive, decisive action in combat, making melee combat a good path regardless of experience level.
That said, an Origin heavy with allocation in Endurance and Strength is a good choice. The importance of each individual stat will be explained further, but just know that these two stats are the most important for using and dealing damage with physical weapons. Vitality (health) is important, but healing won’t be the biggest worry in Yarnham, so starting with high stats there isn’t as important.
The “Violent Past” Origin gives the highest Strength, a mid-high Endurance, and correspondingly the lowest Arcane and Bloodtinge stats of any Origin. This allows for heavy weapons to be yielded with good stamina for multiple swings to take out most basic enemies. Points are not wasted on the magical abilities that will not come much into play in this build. Alternately, concerns over health can be assuaged with the “Lone Survivor” Origin, which sacrifices some of the Strength to bump up Vitality, while still keeping Bloodtinge and Arcane low.
Vitality is health in Bloodborne, and the value of the stat affects how much health the character begins the game with. This should not be the first consideration for a beginner build, as the Blood Vials (in-game health recovery) are relatively plentiful in the early going. They can also be purchased in the Hunter’s Dream, so farming for them in Central Yarnham is an easy affair once comfortable with the combat basics.
Feeling nervous about how many hits can be suffered is normal for first-timers in Yarnham’s horrific halls, though, so the Lone Survivor origin allows a bit more comfort if that is the case.
Endurance here is akin to stamina in other games, crucially governing how many times the character can dodge or swing their weapon before tiring and becoming vulnerable to attack.
A high Endurance stat in the Origin will allow the player to defeat most basic enemies in the early going without opening themselves up to a counterattack while recovering. Getting in close, swinging away aggressively, and dodging back out is a solid strategy for most enemies in Central Yarnham, and an Origin that prioritizes Endurance will make that all the easier.
The Strength stat determines how much damage is done by physical attacks. It is also very important later in the game, where many weapons require a certain strength level to even be wielded by the character. As one might suspect, those weapons are also the ones that deal the most physical attack damage, so the beginner build which prioritizes Strength puts the player in a good position both early and late.
In the early going, the damage done is the most crucial aspect, as it pairs with Endurance to allow dispatching basic enemies with one set of swings. Later, when the bosses get bigger and uglier, those high-Strength weapons will be a sight for sore eyes.
Skill determines speed and effectiveness with physical attack weapons, and pairs with Strength to determine the overall effectiveness of weapons.
Each weapon has a rating for Skill and Strength, from S (highest) through E. The higher the ranking, the more each weapon benefits from stat boosts in those two categories. So a high Skill stat not only gives the beginner more speed with which to inflict damage, but it also sets them up to make their weapons more effective in the later stages of the game.
5 Bloodtinge & Arcane
Bloodtinge is a stat relating to weapons that use Quicksilver bullets. This stat, like Skill, scales with weapons that have a Bloodtinge rating. Arcane, similarly, governs a weapon’s Arcane attack rating, influencing the damage that weapon can do.
Both of these stats fall outside what the beginner’s build is concerned with, as they primarily influence magical weapons instead of the physical damage weapons that beginners should prioritize. Hence the choice of Origins minimizes the points that are allocated to both of these stats.
4 Trick Weapon
Once the player’s character has been created, the game begins in earnest. Very quickly upon awakening in the world, a wolf-like monster encounter will result in the player’s death. This results in a trip to the Hunter’s Dream, where the player will be offered two things. One of those is the Trick Weapon, the initial melee combat weapon the player will use to slaughter the earliest monsters in Yarnham.
There is a choice of three: the Saw Cleaver, Threaded Cane, and Hunter Axe. For the beginner, the Saw Cleaver offers an excellent balance between power and speed and is the perfect starting weapon. It also only needs the Right hand to wield it, leaving the left hand open for the other type of starting weapon.
After receiving the Trick Weapon, the player will be offered a choice of two different firearms. Unlike most games, firearms in Bloodborne aren’t specifically designed for damage, they are more for stunning the enemies in the service of landing devastating physical attacks.
The Hunter Pistol is a single-shot weapon that deals a good amount of damage but requires more skill to stun the enemy. The Hunter Blunderbuss, on the other hand, does significantly less damage but fires a spread shot that is much more effective at stunning.
The beginner needs to choose the Blunderbuss, increasing the likelihood of a stun which will make defeating early enemies and bosses much less difficult.
2 Leveling Up Early In The Game
Early on in the game, players will encounter the game’s first boss, the Cleric Beast. At this time, they will receive Insight, which opens up stat progression for the character. Once this happens, all the Blood Echoes that are received from dispatching monsters can be used to purchase level upgrades for the stats involved with character creation.
Beginners will want to pour those echoes into Skill and Endurance, opening up the punishing high-level physical weapons and maximizing the damage they can do with their associated ratings for these two skills.
1 Don’t Forget To Upgrade Weapons
Speaking of weapons, it’s easy to forget that they can be upgraded just like stats can be leveled up. These upgrades require the spending of Blood Echoes too, along with other items such as Blood Stone Shards.
Once the requisite materials are gathered, the workbench inside the hut in the Hunter’s Dream is where the work gets done. Fortifying the weapons increases the damage they can deal and opens up the Blood Gem slots each one possesses as well. That gets into the Arcane stat that this build doesn’t so much deal with, but if Blood Gems happen to find their way into a player’s inventory, so much the better.
NEXT: Bloodborne: 10 Things To Do After You Beat The Game
Bryan Finck is a Writer at TheGamer as well as editor, writer, and social media coordinator for SUPERJUMP Magazine on Medium. Lover of games, voracious read, small business owner, and father of a very grumpy teenager. When he isn’t working, Bryan does pet rescue and tries to get in a few minutes of actually playing video games.
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