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Bloodborne’s stats are crucial to survival. A few more points in Vitality can determine whether we survive our foe’s attack next or get rendered into a fine red mist. Worse yet, Bloodborne’s lack of respec system means we’ll have to carefully build our character or risk creating a hero with the fighting power of a sewer rat.
In this Bloodborne stats guide, I’ll review the stats that govern our health, attack damage, and other characteristics. As a bonus, I’ll detail the best weapons that scale with each stat and how to find them.
Bottom Line Up Front: Invest at least 20 points in Vitality to survive powerful deathblows and challenging boss encounters. Start with a more forgiving strength/skill build, then try out arcane/bloodtinge builds on later playthroughs.
Governing the cost of a stat increase and the defense gained upon leveling up, we can increase our characters’ level by channeling blood echoes into a stat within the Hunter’s dream. While the price of the first few levels is relatively low (800-700 from levels 5-8), later levels can require hours of enemy grinding to increase.
In addition to increasing a specific stat, raising our character’s level also raises our character’s defense (approximately 3 defense per level). While this increase is rather insubstantial at first, returning to low-level areas with a high-level character renders us near invulnerable to foes, allowing us to further explore for collectibles we may have missed. I advise increasing our character level every time we have the opportunity.
The functional currency of Bloodborne, we can channel our blood echoes (level up) with the Hunter’s dream doll, purchase items from bath messengers, and fortify our weapons. While we can usually gain blood echoes from regular enemies and coldblood consumables, we tend to earn significantly more from bosses.
I generally advise returning to the Hunter’s dream once we have enough blood echoes to increase our level and spending a coldblood consumable if we’re on the cusp of reaching that mark. Dying once transfers any blood echoes on our person onto a nearby bloodstain, and failing to reach our bloodstain removes all our blood echoes for good.
Increasing Blood Echo Gain – If we equip the Heir and Moon Caryll runes, we can increase the number of blood echoes we obtain from defeating foes. While we can only equip runes after defeating the witch of Hemwick and obtaining the rune workshop tool, these tools are vital for getting an edge on high-level bosses.
We can acquire the Heir rune (increases visceral attack blood echo gain by 20%) from Henryk in the Tomb of Oedon and the Moon rune (increases visceral attack Blood Echoe gain by 20%) from the prison within the Hypogean Gaol. Visceral attacks only work against staggered or backstabbed foes, so take care to bring a sidearm or slowly sneak behind enemies before farming.
Responsible for summoning allies and purchasing items, insight is a valuable resource with adverse stat impacts at higher levels. To specify, players with higher level insight shall suffer from a reduced beasthood stat and frenzy resistance, as well as buffed enemies and bosses.
Gaining Insight: Encountering and defeating bosses, consuming madman’s knowledge, and completing character questlines grant us vast amounts of insight. While these sources can seem somewhat unclear, we can pay attention to the eyeball in the top right-hand corner of the screen to see when we gain a point of insight.
Overall, I advise refraining from consuming madman’s knowledge or other items that grant insight to ward off the impacts of this complicated stat.
Spending Insight: While we generally spend it on summoning help, we can also use insight to purchase bolt paper, consumables, and chalice dungeon materials. I advise using insight instead of echoes to buy bolt paper to save yourself many echoes early on. We can defeat Darkbeast Paarl in the Hypogean Gaol to gain access to purchasing bolt paper with insight.
While these stats don’t increase the amount of damage we deal or whether we can wield specific weapons, Vitality and endurance enable us to play more aggressively and deliver more blows before exhaustion strikes.
Arguably the most crucial stat in Bloodborne, Vitality increases our max health allowing us to endure enemy blows and deliver more punishment before death. Especially with Bloodborne’s unique health system, where we have a short period to regain any health lost by dealing back damage, a high vitality stat enables us to employ more aggressive playstyles and end fights quickly.
I prioritize bringing our Vitality stat to at least 25 and then gradually sinking more points in every few levels if we’re struggling against more powerful foes. This stat has a nonlinear increase, so bringing it to 50 does us less good than getting it to 25.
One of the less critical stats, endurance impacts how long we can dodge roll or attack before stopping and our poison resistance. While previous FromSoft titles tied endurance to carry load, the lack of such a system does away with endurance’s utility in combat.
Another minor benefit of endurance is increasing our resistance to poison buildup. However, unless we’re struggling against a poison foe (Bloodstarved beast in Old Yharnam), I don’t advise putting points into this stat.
Governing our lethality in combat, attack stats enable us to wield more powerful weapons or deal more damage with weapons that scale with the associated skill. I advise specializing in a single stat build to maximize our damage in combat.
Ideal for heavy weapons users that enjoy dealing massive damage and staggering their foes, strength scales best with clubs, hammers, and swords. While this can make strength great for increasing our damage output, the high speed of combat can render this stat less useful in boss battles where we don’t have time to execute a long-winded swing.
I generally advise putting a few points into strength early on so we meet the requirement for most weapons and make the most out of our starting weapons.
Best Trick Weapons
- Whirligig Saw (18 Str, 12 Skill) – The ideal weapon of choice for deranged B-movie serial killers, the Whirligig Saw functions as a spinning buzzsaw and mace in combat. I highly recommend this weapon for players looking to maximize their DPS in battle. We can find the Whirligig Saw within the Hunter’s Nightmare opposite the fight with Ludwig after dropping into a crow-filled canal.
- Logarius’ Wheel (20 Str, 10 Arc) – A giant bloodthirsty wagon wheel, Logarius’ Wheel functions as a short-range club that obliterates anything in its path. While this weapon has a high damage output, its low range makes it less resourceful than other strength weapons. I advise employing only Logarius’ Wheel against large, slow-moving opponents. We can obtain Logarius’ Wheel from the bath messengers after completing Alfred’s quest or killing him in the Cathedral ward.
- Amygdalan Arm (17 Str, 9 Skill) – The arm of an eldritch horror, the Amygdalan Arm transforms from a massive club to a long-range whip-like scythe on use. While the Whirligig buzzsaw may outperform it in terms of DPS, the Amygdalan Arm’s incredible versatility in long and short-range combat situations make it ideal for exploration. We can find the Amygdalan Arm within the Hunter’s nightmare at the end of the Blood River.
- Fist of Gratia (7 Str, 9 Sk,5 Blt)– A madman’s idea of a brass knuckle, the Fist of Gratia turns our firearm into a close-range melee strike. While we generally already have a trick weapon for such melee purposes, the Fist of Gratia’s quick use and high stagger makes it an excellent combo finisher to keep foes down. I highly recommend this weapon if we’re low on quicksilver bullets and looking to stagger enemies. We can find the Fist of Gratia within the Hunter’s nightmare in a cell immediately after the fight with Ludwig the Holy Blade.
Perfect for swift players that enjoy high mobility, skill scales best with bladed weapons like katanas and swords. While skill weapons generally fail to stagger foes and bosses as effectively as strength weapons, their high speed gives us more time to dodge away from high-damage attacks.
I recommend investing in skill-oriented builds if we enjoy quick combat or roleplaying as wayward samurai lost in a Victorian nightmare.
Best Trick Weapons
- Blade of Mercy (7 Str, 11 Skill) – A large saber that splits into two on use, the blade of mercy grants increased damage after performing a quickstep, backstep, or sprint. I recommend this mobile weapon for players who relish dodging enemies and hitting them from behind. We can obtain this weapon from bath messengers after completing Eileen the Crow’s questline or killing her.
- Simon’s Bowblade (8 Str, 15 Skill, 9 Blt) – An unholy amalgamation of ranged and melee, Simon’s Bowblade transforms into a bow upon use. I highly advise this weapon for players looking for a versatile skill weapon in short and long-range combat. We can loot Simon’s Bowblade off of Simon within the fishing Hamlet or from killing him early in the Hunter’s nightmare.
- Rakuyo (10 Str, 20 Skill) – A double-ended longsword wielded by Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower, the Rakuyo transforms into a saber and dagger on use. This unique trick weapon is great for dishing out absurd amounts of damage and bleeding foes if we have enough points in bloodtinge. I advise employing the Rakuyo if we’re looking for a high-damage skill weapon or want to roleplay as Lady Maria, the doll’s violent alter ego. We can loot the Rakuyo from one of two shark giants hiding in the fishing hamlet’s well.
Great for ranged players and bleed builds, bloodtinge increases our ability to inflict blood damage with firearms and a select few trick weapons.
Although this skill is more nuanced than skill and strength builds, bloodtinge is fantastic for players that enjoy parrying their foes and dealing blood damage. I advise investing in bloodtinge if we prefer ranged combat over melee.
Best Trick Weapons
- Chikage (10 Str, 14 Skill, 12 Blt) – A one-handed blade with a powerful two-handed transformation, this weapon devastates foes with its special blood attack. Although this sword excels as a bleed weapon, its typical one-handed attack is decent for firearm users looking for a reliable sword. I advise leveraging this weapon until we can get our hands on the Bloodletter later in the game or equip a blood-boosting blood gem.
- Bloodletter (14 Str, 6 Skill, 16 Blt) – A righteous morning star with a bloody transformation, the Bloodletter can bleed foes apart with its gory transformation into a lengthy, deformed mace. While this is the weapon of choice for bloodtinge builds, its availability far later in the game makes it less ideal for players struggling against early bosses. I advise investing your bloodshards into a decent firearm or the Chikage until we can acquire this legendary weapon far later in the game.
- Hunter’s Blunderbuss (7 Str, 9 Skill, 5 Blt) – This shotgun-turned-pistol excels in staggering foes and obliterating enemies at close range. While Evelyn does more damage, the sheer utility of staggering opponents makes this a valuable weapon in nearly every combat encounter. We can obtain the Hunter’s Blunderbuss as a starting weapon or purchase it from the bath messengers after finding the Saw Hunter badge under the sewers beneath Yharnam.
- Evelyn (9 Str, 10 Skill, 18 Blt) – The most resourceful, highest Bloodtinge-scaling weapon in the entire game, I highly recommend this pistol for those looking to deal damage over staggering foes. While other weapons may deal more damage in a single shot, Evelyn’s low quicksilver bullet cost makes it a better choice for more extended combat engagements and boss battles. We can find Evelyn in Cainhurst Castle within the library’s chest.
Arcane is one of the more powerful and confusing stats of Bloodborne. While only a few trick weapons require an investment in the strange stat, nearly every Hunter’s tool requires a moderate investment in arcane, and weapons modified to scale with arcane (notably Ludwig’s Holy Blade) can do massive damage.
Furthermore, investing in arcane grants us increased item discovery and access to several hunters’ tools, enabling us to cast spells and enhance our character. For players looking to become the very eldritch horrors we’ve sought to destroy, arcane is the stat for you.
Best Trick Weapons
- Ludwigs Holy Blade (16 Str, 12 Skill) – A valiant sword encased in a high-damage sheathe upon transformation, Ludwig’s Holy Blade is widely considered the most potent weapon in Bloodborne. While this weapon doesn’t deal arcane damage outright, infusing it with an arcane blood gem can turn this weapon into an incredibly versatile instrument of destruction. We can obtain Ludwigs Holy Blade from bath messengers after finding the radiant sword hunter badge atop the healing church.
- Holy Moonlight Sword (16 Str, 12 Skill, 14 Arc) – One of From Soft’s favorite recurring weapons (feature as the moonlight greatsword in Dark Souls 1, 2, 3, and Elden Ring), the Holy Moonlight Sword is a righteous greatsword with a beautiful blue-great blade upon transformation. Besides its remarkable ascetic and semantic appeal, this weapon deals bonus damage to enemies of the church and can unleash celestial waves that tear apart everything in our path. I highly recommend this greatsword if we have access to the DLC and are willing to endure a grueling boss fight against Ludwig, the Holy Blade. We can murder his severed head after the fight to retrieve the greatsword.
- Kos Parasite (20 Arc) – Unleash the tentacled power of the great ones at your fingertips with the rotting remnants of a giant tentacle. The Kos Parasite is an excellent arcane weapon with remarkable scaling and damage, but its availability far later in the game only makes it worthwhile for new game plus and PvP. Also, I advise using this weapon in tandem with the Milkweed rune (given at the end of the Saint Adeline quest) for enhanced range, damage output, and attack speed. We obtain the Kos Parasite after defeating the Orphan of Kos at the end of the Hunter’s Nightmare DLC.
Item Discovery – One of arcane’s best features is its ability to increase the drop rate and rarity of items found from foes. Putting points into arcane is an excellent method to obtain blood vials from regular enemies or beast pellets from werewolves. We can also synergize our item discovery stat with the eye rune to increase enemies’ drop rate further. Take care not to boost item discovery too much, or regular enemies may drop rarer, less useful items like shiny coins instead of blood vials.
Best Hunters Tools
- Empty Phantasm Shell (15 arc) – Applies an arcane buff to our equipped weapon, increasing the amount of damage we deal for 60 seconds. This Hunter tool essentially functions like a reusable bolt or fire paper consumable, allowing us to play more aggressively in boss encounters without fear of depleting our resources. I highly recommend abusing this tool in nearly every combat encounter unless we already have an elemental blood gem that prevents us from using this tool. We can find the Empty Phantasm Shell on the upper floor of Byrgenwerth’s mansion.
- Old Hunter Bone (15 arc) – Quickens the rate at which we can perform backsteps and dodge rolls, essentially granting us more forgiving reaction times and invincibility frames. While this arcane tool is less fantastic than sprouting several tentacles from our arm, the Old Hunter Bone’s utility in combat can make it highly versatile in nearly every battle. We can find the Old Hunter Bone on a grave in the abandoned workshop beneath the healing church workshop. Reaching the door to this workshop requires a nearly lethal platforming jump within a dark chamber, so I advise spending any blood echoes on your person first.
- A Call Beyond (40 arc) – Launch a barrage of eldritch missiles at your foes and tear them apart. A Call Beyond requires an expensive investment in arcane but can one-shot several enemies at a time and take large chunks out of a boss’s health bar. I advise employing the Call Beyond if you’re struggling with a particular boss or farming enemies for blood echoes. We can find a Call Beyond in the Upper Cathedral Ward in the boss room where we fought Vicar Amelia.
Congratulations hunter, you’re now prepared to take on the horrible beasts and eldritch denizens lurking in every corner of Yharnam. Whether we’ve built our character into a greatsword-wielding victorian knight or a tentacled occultist, we’re ready for the horrors ahead. So pick a build and grab your weapon of choice; the hunt awaits!