Black Desert Online: Crafting Full Guide for Beginners
Crafting is a vital part of any MMO. Many of us enjoy the challenges, surprises, resource hunting, and rewards that it brings. Black Desert Online is no exception to this. In fact, it could be argued that it has one of the most in-depth crafting systems of any game. Like many other features of this enormous game, there’s a lot to learn about crafting. And, like many other features, the game isn’t always that forthcoming about what you need to do. I quite like this approach; BDO doesn’t hold your hand, it just lets you get on with things. However, it can also be a bit overwhelming whenever you do try and master it.
Even processing, one aspect of crafting, has many different elements to it.
There’s a lot to know about the crafting system in Black Desert. If you want to reach the higher and most profitable levels, you’re going to need to put in a lot of time. There are various skills you’ll need to level up. You’ll also need a lot of contribution points, and a lot of resources you’ll need to gather. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of crafting. This includes the associated life skills, how contribution and energy impact crafting, and how the housing and workshop systems work.
Node and Worker Summary
I’ve already written in-depth guides to both Nodes and Workers. They’re an important part of the game that could have entire essays written about each separate feature of them. It’s important to understand how they impact crafting though, which is why I’ll recap each function here. This game is so interconnected it’s worth seeing how the different parts influence each other.
These are the points of the map that will allow you to gather resources that you need for crafting. There are a variety of different types that you can find, and they’re generally linked to a city or town. To extract the resources from a Node, you must first invest Contribution Points (CP) into it. From here you’ll be able to see the various resource nodes attached to it, which you can invest in with further CP. Once you have the investment, you’re ready to deploy a worker to gather resources. As we’ll see, they store the resources that they collect in the city or town they’re affiliated with. Nodes, and a strong Node network are essential for getting the most out of your crafting.
Nodes are an important way of gathering crafting materials.
Workers are particularly important in Black Desert Online. They are NPCs that you can hire to do your manual labor. This not only includes gathering the raw materials that you’ll need for crafting items, but they’ll even do some of the crafting themselves. There are various levels, skills, and tiers that workers can have, so picking a workforce that is fast and gives you a good return on your time investment is important. You should aim to have workers covering all of the major Node types, including timber, grains, and ore. This will start to bring you a steady flow of produce that you can use to increase your life skills and start crafting.
Crafting Guide: Key Skills
To reach a level of crafting that brings a lot of profitability, you will first need to level up some of the game’s key life skills. There are quite a few of these, and to craft some of the best items in the game, you’ll have to reach a high level in multiple.
The levels for skills are as follows: Beginner, Apprentice, Skilled, Professional, Artisan, Master, and Guru, in that order.
There are ten levels for each tier between Beginner and Artisan, with 30 levels separating Master and Guru. The amount of EXP it takes to reach the higher tiers is colossal, so it’s rare to see anyone who has reached Guru level.
Life skills are unique to each character and can take a lot of time to level up.
Leveling up in a skill brings particular benefits, such as the ability to produce higher-level items or reducing the energy cost of carrying out the process.
We’ll cover the basics of each, below:
Gathering is one of the most widely used skills in Black Desert Online. There are so many different types of things that you can gather; it is a central pillar to crafting. If you want to level up other skills, such as cooking or alchemy, you’ll want to also level up gathering. The main things you can gather are lumber, sap, herbs, ore, meat, hide, and water. Each of these requires a specialized tool. Gathering requires energy, but it rewards you with experience and materials. There are numerous benefits to leveling up this skill; it allows you to gather more items per action, will enable you to collect rare items and knowledge, and reduces the energy cost per action.
By increasing your gathering rank, you can gather items quicker and more efficiently. There are also items and equipment that can boost your level in this field. Another benefit of increasing your skill in this area is that you can use higher-level gathering tools. Again, these make your efforts quicker and more worthwhile. You’ll want to level this skill if you’re serious about crafting. It’s often the cheapest and most efficient way of gathering rare materials that are needed for recipes.
Different types of gathering require special tools, some of which bring advantages.
To level up this skill, focus on having a clear inventory to allow you more gathering time. Next, ensure you have sufficient tools and time. Find a quiet area that is densely populated with trees, and focus on gathering wood or sap. It will take time, but there are buffs that you can get to increase your gathering or life skill experience. These come from elixirs and equipment.
Fishing can be either a very hands-on life skill or an AFK one. You will see many players who are away from the game sat fishing in popular spots; it’s quite a sight. Fishing in Black Desert Online can be a profitable venture, but it’s also linked to other forms of life skill and crafting. It can help you with ingredients for cooking, or to level up your processing skill through drying. In the same way that other items in the game have ranks, so do the fish you catch. There are common fish (white and green), rare fish (blue and yellow), harpooned fish, and big fish. Each has their own merits and uses. It’s also possible to catch random junk, which can sometimes be useful.
Fishing can be either an active or passive skill, perfect for spending time when you’re AFK.
To fish, you’ll first need a fishing rod. There are many of these available, and some can only be used at certain levels of fishing. Equipping and using one will impact its durability, which means that you can only AFK fish for a certain amount of time. However, as with other skills, the more you level this skill up the more effective you’ll be. The chance of durability going down is reduced the higher level you are. Fishing speed is a stat that is separate from the life skill level. This determines how long it takes to get you a bite. Those serious about fishing should focus on maxing this as quickly as possible. Thankfully, many guilds have the +3 fishing attribute. Items such as Silver Embroidered Fisher's Clothes will also give you a boost to fishing speed.
Another skill that can be considered both active and AFK is Processing. When you have workers on Nodes, particularly if you have a lot of them, you’ll soon start acquiring huge amounts of resources. Processing is the life skill that allows you to turn these raw materials into crafting ingredients. Pretty much everything you can gather, from your gathering skills and your workers, can be processed in some way.
The main types of processing are:
Chopping is one of the ways to process wood. Materials can then be used for various crafting recipes.
You can apply these to many different ingredients in the game to produce a wide range of products. Once you reach higher levels of processing, you can get more materials per action and process quicker. It’s a really useful skill if you want to improve your trade skill or want to make a lot of income whilst AFK. Bear in mind that you will have to have plenty of space in your inventory, as well as a high weight limit to carry out a long session of processing.
The more you process, the more knowledge you’ll gain and the more recipes you’ll learn. Although it’s not the most exciting of the life skills, it’s pretty vital for crafting.
There are many benefits to the cooking skill. Not only does it allow you to craft a wide variety of useful recipes (which can help level up your health stat), you can also craft beer. Why beer? Well, it’s an incredibly convenient way to keep your workers’ stamina up. Every cycle of gathering they carry out reduces their stamina. Once they’re out, they stop working. The cooking skill allows you to craft beer to refresh them. When combined with farming on a grain node, it’s perhaps the most effective way of leveling up your cooking skill whilst keeping your workers happy.
Below is the recipe for beer:
5 x Grains
6 x Mineral Water
1 x Sugar
2 x Leavening Agent
Cooking requires a Cooking Utensil in your residence and can be performed whilst AFK.
Aside from the grains, you can purchase all of the other materials from innkeepers or cooking suppliers. Once again, if you stock up on the ingredients, you can craft large amounts of beer whilst AFK. There’s a ‘continuous production’ function you can toggle on. All you’ll need is a residence, purchased with CP, and Cooking Utensils. As with other skills, the higher level you reach, there more recipes you’ll be able to learn and the more items you’ll produce per turn. Cooking is a really useful skill that relies on many other life skills to provide the necessary reagents. Of course, you can buy many ingredients on the marketplace, but that eats into your profits.
Alchemy is a skill that is much like cooking. You can perform it whilst semi-AFK, it requires knowledge of recipes and uses various ingredients. It’s also a very useful crafting skill, as it means you can produce a wide range of elixirs and other buffs. However, out of all the life skills alchemy is perhaps the hardest to get into and level up. It’s heavily reliant on ingredients from other skills, such as gathering and farming. As with cooking, you’ll need a specific set of tools and a residence in which to use them. You can also continuously produce alchemy recipes in the same way as cooking.
There is a good selection of daily quests that you can perform to gain alchemy experience. However, it still takes a very long time to level up. Least of all because of the sheer number of other ingredients you need. Thankfully there is a good questline that can help you learn the basics of alchemy and start picking up some recipes. This questline begins in Glish and should be completed early on for any aspiring alchemists. At higher levels of alchemy, you’re able to start producing magic crystals, which can otherwise be very rare and expensive. However, be prepared to hunt high and low for some of the rare items needed, even to get to the higher levels of this craft.
Like cooking, Alchemy requires specific tools in your residence.
One of the most active life skills in the game is farming. It requires a lot of attention, sucks up your energy, and will take up a lot of your time. Despite that, it’s still a pretty fun and rewarding aspect of the game. It will require a lot of energy to tend to your farming endeavor, but the higher level you reach, the less energy intensive it will become. Essentially, you will be pruning and gathering plants as much as you can. A useful by-product of this process is hard and sharp crystal shards. These can either be used in your enchanting progression or sold for a high amount on the marketplace. There are also many ingredients from farming that are used in cooking and alchemy.
Farming requires fences and groundwater. For the latter, the world map is invaluable in determining good places to farm. Heidel, Velia, and Calpheon are some of the best regions for farming. There is a lot you can plant and grow, so try to link this skill in with your other life skill requirements. Once you’re a higher level, you can employ workers to tend to your crops. However, they will not be able to gather crystal shards, which could make the venture less profitable.
Farming is a very hands-on life skill that requires a lot of attention.
Other Life Skills
It’s worth mentioning that there are other life skills in the game, although they do not directly affect crafting:
Trade. Perhaps the most relevant to crafting is trade. This allows you to make money from items that you craft. The higher level you reach, the better items you can trade.
Hunting. This can be useful in finding some ingredients for crafting, but it’s very time intensive. It also takes a very long time to level.
Sailing. Not all that useful for crafting, and takes a lot of time to level. You need to spend a lot of time on a boat to gain experience.
Training. This is the skill related to horses. It’s a good one to level whilst AFK, as you can auto loop a route.
Crafting Guide: Contribution and Energy
Now that you’re familiar with the entire set of main skills associated with crafting, it’s time to look at two of the main stats that impact how successful your efforts are. The game’s major stats are Contribution Points (CP) and Energy. Both can be earned through participating in the game through quests and events. However, building a crafting, trade, or Node empire is entirely dependent on them.
Let’s start with CP. It can be earned through questing, particularly through following the Black Spirit questline. You can also earn it by trading in certain items with specific NPCs. It’s then used to invest in Nodes, purchase housing, and rent items. It’s therefore invaluable for getting the most out of our crafting. You’ll want to aim for the soft cap of 225CP to invest in all the nodes and houses you need to maximize your profits. Any CP that is invested can be recouped without cost, but you still need to use it wisely.
Energy cannot be refunded once spent. However, it does accumulate over time. Many of the life skills require energy to carry them out. It’s therefore important to get as much as possible. Doing so will allow you to work for longer and level up faster.
Crafting Guide: Houses
Houses are found in all the major towns and cities in the game. They are used for many different functions related to crafting and can be purchased using CP. One of the main purposes of houses is to give you somewhere to carry out your craft. Skills such as cooking and alchemy require specific tools. These tools can only be placed in a residence. Furthermore, in order to have workers gathering materials for you, they need to have lodging. Lodging is also purchased through the housing system. Finally, workshops for crafting trade crates and other items are also part of housing.
Houses can be used for a range of different purposes, including for crafting.
To activate the different types of housing, you first need to visit the map. Here, you can click on a city or town icon to see the available housing. Clicking on one will bring up the types of house you can invest in, how much it costs in CP and silver, and how long it will take to complete. You can only choose one type of property for each house, although you can change this.
Some of the crafting-related properties include:
Different types of properties allow you to craft different items, and each type shows you the required resources required in order to craft that item or trade crate.
Crafting Guide: Workshops
Much of the crafting in Black Desert Online is done by the player, but not all of it. Above we mentioned workshops; these are areas where workers craft produce for you. There are many different types of workshop, and each allows the user to create a different type of product or trade item. However, the player doesn’t process these items directly. Instead, you must use one of your workers. In order to do so, you must first invest in the property and have sufficient lodging to hire a worker. It’s a good idea to have your workshops in the same location as your associated raw materials. This way, one worker will be gathering the raw materials, whilst another will be processing them.
There are different workshops that require both CP to invest in and a worker to work in them.
Black Desert Online Crafting: Summary
That covers everything you need to know to get started with crafting in Black Desert Online. As you can see, there’s a lot too it. The system is incredibly nuanced, with each part taking a lot of time and effort to master. Although many of the associated crafting skills can be leveled up whilst your AFK, some of the essential ones require a more active approach. Skills such as gathering and farming are essential for obtaining the necessary materials for crafting, but they also require energy. Both energy and CP are required to produce items in this game successfully, whether through actions or investing in a Node network. It’s therefore advisable to continue leveling these stats through questing and gaining knowledge.
Although complex, the crafting system in this game can be a joy. Whether you’re leveling skills whilst AFK, or taking a more active role in the many life skills, you can make a lot of money. You can also create some sought after and rare items once you reach the higher levels.