Black Desert Online: Beginner’s Guide to Life Skill



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This guide is an introduction to Life Skills for new players of BDO. I review the basics and recommend which Life Skills are worth pursuing as a new player.

Black Desert Online: Beginner’s Guide to Life Skill


img shai1

All classes, except Shai, start at Beginner 1 on all Life Skills. Each life skill has 10 levels, from Beginner through Artisan. Master has 30 levels to Guru, and Guru has 50+ levels. The Shai class automatically receives a boost to Gathering and Alchemy at character creation and starts at Professional 1 Gathering and Professional 1 Alchemy. 

This is the order of the progression of Life Skills in BDO: 

Beginner > Apprentice > Skilled > Professional > Artisan > Master > Guru

Life Skills in Black Desert Online 


img gathering

Gathering allows you to use tools to gather ore, trees, and other resource nodes. It is one of the most profitable Life Skills in BDO. Players with high levels of Gathering Mastery report anywhere from 60 to 160 million silver per hour. Along with Fishing, Gathering is one of the easiest Life Skills for beginners to get started making money with. Besides the gathering tool, all you need is Energy.

On its own, this Life Skill allows you to gather all kinds of crafting materials used in other Life Skills, Enhancement, and worker workshops. Gathering materials are especially essential in Alchemy, which has a greater demand for bottlenecked resources.

In many quest lines, the Gathering Life Skill is a requirement that opens up other Life Skill quests.

Tools for Gathering

img tools

Each gatherable resource category requires its tool. Gathering Tools are obtained via Tool Workshops, Seal exchanges, Events, Contribution Points, and the Marketplace. You can obtain tools from a Material Vendor, but these are only recommended if you have no other choice.


img processing1

In BDO, the Processing Skill allows you to chop, heat, dry filter, shake and grind resources into processed materials. These delicate items are often used in higher-level crafting recipes. Everyone can do basic T1 Processing. However, if you would like to do the second level of Processing–to create plywood, ingots, cloth, etc.– BDO requires you to obtain “Beginner” Processing knowledge. There are up to three tiers of Processing T2 Beginner, T3 skilled.

img process2


img cooking

Cooking is one of the first Life Skills you will most likely level early on as you need to make Beer to feed your workers. Cooking requires a Cooking Utensil installed in your residence, and to own a Cooking Utensil; you need to get it from chefs or innkeepers. But, the said Utensils can sometimes be sniped on the Marketplace, or have your worker craft one in a Tool Workshop.


img Htraining1

Completing a mini-game to tame wild horses and riding your mount increases Training skills. You need ropes from a Stable Keeper to capture a horse in the wild.

The fastest and easiest way to get a good horse is to purchase one at the player Horse Market. But for those seeking more adventure, you can dive into more of the Training Life Skill.

img Htraining2
  • Horse Breeding: breed a male and female horse at each town’s stable keeper.
  • Horse Quest: There is a quest that rewards a nice Tier 5 horse that already knows Sprint and Instant Accel.
  • Horse Taming: capture wild horses at special horse locations in the forests.
  • Stable Keeper Shop: purchase a beginner mount for 15k silver.
  • Horse Market: players can buy and sell horses in a separate Marketplace.
  • Shakatu Seals: obtain via Attendance Reward (10+ per month).
  • Horse Rental: you can rent a horse at the  Stable Keeper for 100k for one week. Not recommended due to the long-term expense.


img fishing

AFK fishing overnight was the easiest way to earn money, and it probably still is. To AFK fish, find a river, lake, or sea, equip your rod, and press the Space Bar. That’s it. You will automatically loot the fish after 3 minutes. Catching rare fish levels your fishing skill faster. With better fishing skills, you can use better fishing rods.

Active fishing takes more keyboard warrior skills. To actively fish, approach water, equip a fishing rod, and press Space Bar to begin fishing. After you get a bite, press Space Bar to reel it in. You must successfully complete 2 mini-games to loot the fish. If you fail either one, the fish gets away.


img hunting

Hunting provides meat and blood but also rare items to craft furniture. You need a matchlock to hunt. To level your hunting skill, you must butcher Wild animals with a butcher knife or do hunting quests.


img farming

You need a fence and seeds to begin Farming. Pruning, killing pests, breeding, and harvesting crops increase Farming skills. Farming is another profession you can do as a beginner that will help you get grain for making worker food. There is a low-level quest line that will give you a free fence, or you can spend 3 CP on a Small Fence.

img seeds

Seeds can be acquired through gathering vegetation, the Marketplace, and seed vendors. A Withered Seed, sold by vendors, is the lowest quality seed, which will not yield very good results. But the good news is that you can breed them, and there is a chance to obtain better seeds, which produce better crops.

img fence

Fences can be rented using contribution points in Finto farm near Vellia.


img trading1

Trading is the act of obtaining one Trade Good and selling it to a Trade Manager for, hopefully, a profit. This one is probably the least used Life Skill in the game right now because you can actually lose money from just doing it if you are not careful. So, before getting into trading, be sure to read up on it. On a simpler note, Trading is not recommended for beginners.

img trading2

You can start trading by talking to a trade manager in every city in BDO.


img alchemy

Alchemy creates potions, which mostly have a shorter buff than foods, magic crystals, and reagents for Skilled Processing of Plywood Hardener, Metal Solvent, and Gem Polisher. Alchemy, however, requires an Alchemy tool installed in your residence. You can get this tool by purchasing from a General Vendor or on the Marketplace, or you can simply have your worker craft one in a Tool Workshop.

Alchemy is a Life Skill that is not as passive as Cooking can be. All Alchemy recipes require rare materials that you have to gather yourself or rarely obtain through nodes and grinding. Being an Alchemist takes time to level up, but helps boost your character’s power in many ways.

img shai2

The Shai class is the only class that begins with Professional 1 Alchemy, as well as Professional 1 Gathering. Alchemy is also one of the life skills not recommended for beginners.


img barter1

A Beginner Sailing Boat can be purchased at the Wharf Master for 10k silver, and when you own one, you can sail at low-level areas. This is useful when looking for fishing hotspots and other adventures, but it’s not recommended to go too far out alone, especially in Ross & Margoria Seas.

For beginners, it is recommended to sail on safer water until you have an Epheria Boat. This is because sailing is very slow, and the waters that far out have aggressive sea monsters that quickly destroy a slow and weak boat. 

Also, building a good boat takes time and effort.

img barter2

Barter is a Life skill that is similar to Trading, except you are doing the business or exchange of goods in an ocean location. It is an expensive Life Skill to get started with but is profitable later on. You should also know that Barter is required to obtain the best boats in BDO. 

Barter and Advanced Sailing are Life Skills that are not recommended for BDO beginners.

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