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Black Desert Online: Beginner’s Levelling Guide 1-56

For the newcomer, Black Desert Online can be a daunting game. As I mentioned in our Beginner’s Guide, this game is dense. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed early on and abandon the whole game. This is particularly true if you take advantage of the 7-day free trial. However, the game is fun and rewarding, and has a lot to offer players.



We covered many of the basic elements already, and I’ll try not to repeat them too much in this guide. One thing I did mention was that the game doesn’t really get started in earnest until you’re level 50- 56. At 56, your character becomes ‘awakened’ and a whole new skill set opens up. In this article, we’ll look at some techniques and tips for Black Desert Online leveling from level 1-56.



There are two main ways you can reach level 56 in Black Desert Online; questing and grinding. In this guide I’ll cover both, having used both methods to level characters. As we’ll see, thanks to a wide variety of bonuses, it’s currently fairly easy to reach the level of Awakening. This guide will cover the tactics, areas, and tips you need to get yourself to the real start of the game; level 56.


Black Desert Online Levelling Guide: Top Tops

Before we get into the main bulk of the guide, I thought it best to share some top tips to make the most of your time. It’s possible to reach the higher levels of this game very quickly, but it’s worth taking your time with your first couple of characters.


If you rush too much, you’ll miss out on a lot of benefits:

  • Use the Olvia servers when you can. These give you 100% bonus combat experience, and you can access them for 30 days.

  • Use the experience bonuses wisely. In addition to the server bonus, you can also activate a daily XP boost and several other bonuses to combat experience. Some stack, whilst others don’t so be sure to read each one. Try and maximize your combat time when they’re active.

  • Run everywhere. This was something mentioned in our beginner guide, but running increases your stamina so avoid horseback travel for your first run through. Activate an auto loop whilst you’re AFK.

  • Talk to everyone. Another piece of advice that’s worth repeating. If you see an NPC with a ‘?’ on, talk to them to increase your knowledge. It will help massively once you hit the higher levels and get into the main game.

  • Acquire some pets. The pets in BDO are adorable. More so than that, they can help you collect loot as you go. This saves a lot of time when you’re leveling, as you don’t need to stop to pick up loot from defeated enemies. You can have 4 pets on the go at once, so make the most of it.


Black Desert Online Levelling Guide: Follow the Main Quest

Following the main questline of BDO is not the fastest way of getting to level 56. In fact, it’s considerably slower. Along with a lot of standard MMO gather and kill quests, there’s a fair amount of traveling to and fro. Thankfully, the world of BDO is dense and vivid. If you’re not up to the sightseeing, you can make use of the auto-run feature and do something else whilst your character runs. However, although it’s not the fastest route to leveling up, I’d definitely recommend doing this for your first character.

‘The sole path to power is through me!’  Newcomers should follow the Black Spirit quests for their first character.


You can consider the Black Spirit quests to be the tutorial for the game. Under the watchful eye of the trickster Black Spirit, you will traverse much of the game’s map and be introduced to the core mechanics.  You will occasionally be made to make a choice in terms of the quests at hand, and your rewards will include extra inventory space (priceless), XP, contribution points, gear, and potions. So many potions.


The quests in the Black Spirit questline take you to some excellent areas for leveling. If you have a character that’s remotely capable of AoE moves, you can clean up the mobs in very quick time. Although it’s tempting to rush on and level up, try and keep only slightly ahead of the suggested level. It makes for a more enjoyable experience.


Finally, remember to pick up as many side quests as you can whilst following the Black Spirit questline. Although you won’t get experience points for these, you will increase your knowledge and contribution points. And get some more potions.


Get Your Grind On

If you already have a character or two awakened, and you feel like you have a good grip on the game, you may want to think about power leveling a new character. As you’ll no doubt have noticed, this can be quite a fast process. You can level up through combat, particularly up to level 50, in a relatively short amount of time.


Grinding Tips

Although it is fairly straightforward to grind your way up, there are some things you should note:

  • Do at least some Black Spirit quests. This will help you expand your inventory as you go, which is an invaluable asset. It will also net you some contribution points and help you level up your energy.

  • Make sure you unlock higher-levels. There is certainly one Black Spirit quest you have to do in order to level above 49. It’s a fairly simple boss-killing quest which shouldn’t give you any issues. But you can’t level higher without doing it.

  • Increase your AP. Although through the lower levels you can get by with just starter gear, once you’re at level 50 the enemies become a lot tougher. You’ll want to aim for around 90 AP/120 DP by the time you’re 50ish, otherwise, your progress through the last 6 levels will be a lot slower.

  • Make time for life skills. I don’t mean real-life skills (although they’re important too) but the in-game life skills such as alchemy, hunting, and cooking. It’s fairly easy to level these on the side, but it makes your progress easier once your reach awakening.

  • Consider grouping up. If you make friends or guildmates that have high-level characters and some spare time, ask them to run you through levels 1-50. There are plenty of people in BDO who will offer the same service, for a price.  


Make sure you finish the Black Spirit quest given at level 49. Without it, you can’t progress.


Levels 1-10

The beginning of the game goes by incredibly fast, particularly if you’re on the bonus XP server. It’s always worth following the tutorial for these first few levels, as it gets you as far as level 10, some extra inventory space, and a donkey mount. All of these are useful to help make the process of leveling easier. These first few levels will get you as far as Heidel and give you a good chance to familiarize yourself with the basics of the class you’re playing. You’ll mostly be slaying not-so-fearsome woodland creatures that don’t attack you unless you engage them first.


Levels 11-20

One of the things I really like about this game is that the map gives you all the details you need to figure out where you’re supposed to be. Exploring and gaining knowledge clears the fog of war, but even with it there you can still see the recommended level or AP for monsters in that area.


The map in BDO is perfect for finding out where you’re supposed to be. Just like a real map.


For levels 11 through to 20, there are some good areas near Heidel:

  • 11-13 – Forest of Seclusion. More woodland creatures to slay here. They are incredibly easy to kill and don’t really offer much of a challenge, but they do give good XP.

  • 13-15 – Heidel Quarry. The imps here are more of a challenge than you’ve seen before, but you can easily line up and slay quite a few at a time. You’ll burn through these levels in no time.

  • 15-18 - Moretti Plantation. South of Heidel, this area can be quite challenging if you’re still on starter gear. However, the XP is worth it. The scarecrow ghosts aren’t all that spooky, but there is an elite version that can deal a fair amount of damage.

  • 18-20 – Castle Ruins. This is a great spot for leveling. There are a variety of enemies to deal with, and you can cycle through locations. What’s more, these mobs tend to drop a good quantity of silver which can soon start filling your coffers.


Levels 21-30

You can really start picking up the pace once you hit 20, as new skills become available to you. This is particularly beneficial if your character has area of effect abilities; you can pull and take down large amounts of enemies at once.


Try and surround yourself with as many enemies as possible and cut through them with an AoE attack.


The best areas for leveling from 20 to 30 are:

  • 21-24 – Castle Ruins (still). Yes, the trusty castle ruins can see you through a large portion of your early levels. It doesn’t become too tedious either thanks to the range of enemies that comprise the Al Rhudi Rebels.

  • 24-30 – Blood Monastery. With echoes of World of Warcraft’s beloved Scarlet Monastery, the Blood Monastery is full of pesky cultist you can eliminate by the boatload. I found that levels 20-30 flew by, even though I was only questing in these areas rather than grinding.

Both of these areas are pretty popular grinding spots, but thankfully there’s a lot of space and the respawn rate is high.


Levels 31-40

There are a few options to grind your way through these levels. Some are better suited to other classes than others. I first went through these levels with my Ninja following the Black Spirit quests. My leveling progress slowed due to the route it took, but I feel a caster/ranged class would do well.


Delphe Knights Castle area was annoying for my Ninja but easier for a caster class.


Here are some areas you should target for grinding out these levels:

  • Level 31-35 - Delphe Knights Castle or Khuruto Caves. If you’re a ranged class, the harpies at Delphe Knights Castle are a breeze. You can target a whole bunch and watch them fall from the skies. Melee classes should consider Khuruto Caves. It’s a popular grinding spot but you can breeze through it if you get the area to yourself.

  • Level 35-40 – Abandoned Land. Despite the name, this area is crawling with mobs that are easy to kill. The infected humans that roam here can be pulled, and exterminated, in large numbers. It can be crowded sometimes, but as usual, the respawn rate is fairly quick.


Levels 41-50

Now we’re getting into towards the final leg stretch before the real game starts. The Black Spirit questline does take you to some of these areas, but you can also hit them without doing those quests:

  • Level 41-45 – Oze Pass. Here you’ll find a large area inhabited by half-petrified dwarves. Not scared, turning to stone. You can cut through them with relative ease, and there are some large groups too. Pull a few and smash them to pieces. Rinse and repeat.

  • Level 45 -50 – Mansha Forest. This is one of the best places to get you to level 50. The enemies are plentiful and group together, meaning you can take out large quantities at a time. There are a lot of quests here that can earn you contribution points, which you may as well pick up as you’re going to be slaying a lot of Mansha Spearmen and Warriors anyway.


The game really starts to open up at level 50, and a lot of new information is available to you.


Levels 50-56

Now that you’ve hauled yourself to level 50, things are going to change somewhat. Enemies become a lot harder and without the right gear, you may find this stretch quite a grind. Aim to have your AP at around 90 to continue slaying monsters without prejudice.


Some areas to target include:

  • Level 50-52 – Catfishman Camp. This area is somewhat ridiculous. Not only is it inhabited by Catfishmen (and women, presumably) there are so many of them. You’ll be in this area anyway to finish the aforementioned Black Spirit quest to continue leveling, so pull as many mobs as you can and get smashing. Just watch out for the elite Catfishman that spawns, he can be deadly.

  • Level 52 -55 – Elric Temple of Helm Station. I started out at Helm Station but soon found my AP wasn’t quite where it needed to be. It was taking an unnecessary amount of time to defeat the mobs here. Instead, I geared up and switched to Elric temple. The spawn rate and density isn’t quite as good, but I was gaining XP at a faster rate. If you have the gear for it, hit up Helm Station.

  • Level 55-56 – Sausan Garrison. I learned from my previous mistake and made sure my gear and AP were high enough for this area. Some of the enemies hit like a train and can knock you down. However, it’s a really great place to grind out that last level until you reach 56.


Make sure your gear gives you enough AP to take on enemies above level 50. Pay attention to the optimal AP markers.


Black Desert Online Levelling Guide: Final Thoughts

The road to level 56 doesn’t have to be a long and arduous one. If you’re well prepared and have enough gear/money from previous characters, you can breeze to this point in a few hours. However, if you’re still on your first character or two, I strongly recommend taking your time. Learn the game, level up your Energy and Contribution points as you go, and gain as much knowledge as possible. It will make your start in the real game a much easier process.


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