Bloodborne for Dummies

Inspired by a Brazilian pocket guide for Dark Souls.

Recently, I’ve seen myself surrounded by some newcomers to Bloodborne that have no idea what to do I’ven decided to do my own little guide for you people who have no idea what to do while playing Bloodborne. Of course, if you’re not new to Soulsborne, this guide will not be very useful because you already know how things roll with Miyazaki, but pass this on to that friend of yours that decided to start the series (“SERIES”) by the end.

  • Start by the Start

This might be obvious or even a little out of nowhere, but if you’re new to Soulsborne, I suggest you start by either Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. I know they have very little to do story-wise, but when it comes to gameplay, it might be better to get used to the frustration and the gameplay while it’s simple and you don’t have to deal with side stepping and the lack of a shield.
This step may be seen as not obligatory since this is not The Witcher and there is no real continuous narrative, but from an experience standpoint, it might just be the best thing you ever did.

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  •  Try different builds until you find the one that suits your gameplay the best

In Bloodborne, there are no classes. The status of your character is defined by his or her upbringing or past. These are, more or less, the equivalent of the classes that most games present us with, but they do not define what your character does. You can start with a Troubled Childhood and end up with a character focused on Arcane and Blood weapons. Only you, through trying, will know what suits your play style the best and the one you enjoy the most.
Don’t be scared to restart the game because you think you have fucked up a build. You know have more experience in the game and understand it better, as such playing it again will not as hard as when you went in blind.

  • Do not forget your vitality and your stamina

If you’re a Souls player, you already know how important this is. It’s easy to die in a Soulsborne game and that, partly, due to the fact that the controls and the stamina bar. Unlike most games, the attacks are connected to the shoulder buttons (which I cannot figure out if it’s genius or stupid) and once you attack or side step your stamina bar drops. It’s easy to forget this but the first step to becoming good at Soulsborne is to watch the stamina, time your attacks and defensive moves and voilá! Of course, this is always easier said than done.
And as in any game that requires it, always keep an eye on your vitality and use your healing items (here called Blood Vials) wisely. Double your wisdom if necessary.
Experience points are never wasted on vitality or stamina because they’re your most important statuses.

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  • Go to the Hunter’s Dream frequently

Lighting up the Lamps is just a part of it, you actually need to go to Hunter’s Dream to upgrade. Once you have enough Blood Echoes (the trading coin of this game), go there. Don’t get cocky and think you can get more by going further into Yharman. You never know what awaits you and it’s best to get the upgrade first than to lose all your Blood Echoes.
However, this is a frustrating game and you’ll lose a lot of Blood Echoes. You’ll have 1.000, 10.000, 100.000 Blood Echoes and you’ll lose them. Always have that in the back of your mind when playing and before acting like a champ and facing a new enemy or a boss.

  • Take your time

There is no rush or pressure for you to finish the game. Although my words might seem like sweet likes from the mouth of the woman, they’re not. Don’t listen to the fandom and enjoy the game in your way.
This is a frustrating game, people take pride in finishing it faster than others, but this is not the way Bloodborne should be enjoyed it. Once you get too frustrated or angry at it, take a break. Go play something else, go read a book or watch TV. Don’t break your controller because of a game. Sometimes it’s best to rest than to continue fighting your frustration.

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  • Explore

There optional places, bosses, NPCs and items that can be found it this game and those things will get you more lore and closer to a “truth”. Not only that but Bloodborne is a beautiful game where you can be feel overwhelmed by it and it’s worth every loading screen. When I played the game, I sometimes took a break from it by watching the sheer beauty of it.
Don’t forget that there is no right way to do things, so explore the way to make quests, the NPCs you find and even different options and actions. Don’t be scared, the game is unforgiving but it’s not Battletoads.

  • Control yourself

This is easier said than done, but controlling your feelings and keeping a cold head will win you battles. By doing this you can more easily observe your enemies, learn their patterns and be more efficient. Bloodborne is a game about being efficient.
I almost won against Father Gascoigne on my first try. Why almost? Because I didn’t control my emotions and got cocky. If I had control over myself I would have won. Always keep your guard up, side step, don’t be a cocky bastard like me. Cocky bastards don’t survive for very long.

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  • Choose your battles well

Don’t bite more than you can chew, that leads into frustration and the loss of many many Blood Echoes. The difficulty of many enemies depends on your level and if you feel that they’re too hard don’t engage in battle. Be mindful with the bosses as well. However, always remember that a harder enemy might give you a better reward. There is no pain without gain but be wise about it.

  • Use the runes and keep your weapons well maintained and upgraded

You best friend is your weapon and you should treat it as such. Keep it upgraded and well equipped. Take good care of it and it will make your life better and easier.

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  • Be cautious

Don’t judge enemies on their appearances. Even the frailest of the enemies will start the game by kicking your ass mercilessly. Always be aware of them and of your surroundings because you can (and will) fall in this game.

  • Play online

What is this madness?! Me, the most solo of all players telling people to play online?!
Well, Bloodborne is fun to play with a friend. Like in other Souls games, there are items that allow you to summon other players into your world and leave messages to other players that are in the same area. Take advantage of this and make it a fun experience. Online players are polite, so bow before starting your jolly cooperation and say goodbye when it’s time to part ways. That’s what the move are for, to communicate.
I do advise you to be aware of messages because some will help you and others will troll you. There is no real way of knowing which is which, but if it seems suspicious play it safe.
Although this all seems very pretty, be careful about invasions. They’re bitches and they’ll kick you in the ass each and every time.

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  • Search for the story

Bloodborne doesn’t serve you the story in a golden plate for you to eat up without even giving two thoughts to what’s going one. The game gives you bits and pieces you have to look for it. The story is everywhere, with NPCs, with items, with clothes. Look for it, put the pieces together and use your imagination. There are nearly any rights and wrongs and discussing this with other players is the most rewarding thing I’ve done in ages.
The magic of the game lies here to me. All the mystery and the little things left to our imagination make it truly magical.
Search for it, question it, theorize about it, talk about it, grab it and make it your own.

  • Never give up

It’s frustrating. You must be careful. It makes you angry. But like in life, if you never try you never know and if you fail to try again. Soulsborne are games of trail and error and you mustn’t get frustrated if you can’t do it the first time around, few are ones who can.

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Good Hunt, my dear Hunters, and Huntresses.

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