Bloodborne has an amazing multiplayer system that takes a lot of inspiration from the game’s spiritual predecessor Souls series.
Unlike in the Dark Souls games, the window for invasions and uninvited personnel is restricted though, meaning you’ll have to educate yourself about the general mechanics of the multiplayer.
For more help on Bloodborne, read our Insight Farming, Caryll Runes Locations Guide and Weapons Locations Guide.
Bloodborne Multiplayer Tips
Like most things in Bloodborne, fully utilizing the multiplayer system is rather counter-intuitive. Being the sadists that they are, this is probably a deliberate game design by From Soft. Thankfully, you have us to help you in this regard.
In order to get started, you’ll need to get yourself a few items that will allow you to go between worlds (or invite others to come into yours).
Items You’ll Need
Bloodborne’s multiplayer is somewhat similar to Dark Souls, in the sense that there are certain essential items that are specifically made to travel between worlds and (hence) trigger the multiplayer system.
In order to have complete access to the game’s multiplayer system, you’ll need several items. The key factor here is Insight, which you can read all about in our Understanding Insight Guide. You’ll basically need the following items for a full multiplayer experience:
- Beckoning Bell
- Small Resonant Bell
- Sinister Resonant Bell
The Beckoning Bell is given to you by a messenger at the steps of Hunter’s Dream quite early in the game. For the other two bells, you’ll need to gain 10 Insight and purchase them from the Insight Messengers.
Once you have all these items, you can really enjoy the full experience of multiplayer, which basically is playing co-op with strangers, playing invasions, or playing with a friend.
Playing with Strangers
I don’t think there’s a single person who has played Bloodborne who is ashamed to admit that it is a game that can make even the most resolute players sweat and feel puny. Like its predecessors, Bloodborne is a challenge, to put it mildly.
At such times of difficulty, you’ll probably be wanting some assistance. Sadly, unlike Dark Souls 2 there are no NPC summons to take help from, but you can summon real players to help you in the tasks. They gain Insight by helping you out, and your progress becomes a tad bit easier. It’s a win-win situation.
In order to get a player to come into your world, you basically have to invite them with the Beckoning Bell.
Drop this into your quick items slot; you can use it from the inventory, but there are certain areas where the Bell cannot be used, and instead of having to dig through your inventory, it’s better to have easier access to be sure about its usability.
When the bell is unavailable for use, it will simply be great out. In such cases, you’ll just need to move a few hundred feet away from your location to make it available.
When you use the bell, the game will basically ‘open up’ your world to players with a Small Resonant Bell, and they’ll be able to enter into your game.
The Beckoning Bell however is a double-edged sword though. Whenever you use it, a Bell Maiden spawns somewhere in your area. This maiden is actually a gateway for Invaders to enter your world.
Yes, this means that whenever you use the Beckoning Bell, not only are you inviting helpers, you are also inviting Invaders. Note that you are susceptible to Invasion as long as the summoned player is playing with you.
You can attempt to disrupt any possible invasions by killing the Bell Maiden if you spot her, but her spawning area seems to be random as far as we know.
If you’re having trouble bringing someone in, try doing so near boss arenas. Players often lurk around in that region and are easier to summon with a Beckoning Bell.
As you may have derived from the above explanation, possessing the Small Resonant Bell is a good opportunity for you to aid a player who is using the Beckoning Bell and offering you to enter their world.
What if you want to be as blood-crazed as the beasts that stroll in Yharnam though?
Well, in that case, you might want to use the Sinister Resonant Bell. This bell of evil is your primary method of actually invading other players’ worlds. Whenever a player uses a Beckoning Bell, he/she is not just inviting a potential ally, but also a potential enemy. You can be that enemy.
Invading strangers is pretty awesome, since it can make them excellent preys, especially when they’re busy fighting a boss. However, you’ll lose Insight (and face embarrassment) if you manage to get slain by the player you invaded.
Usually, Invasions are done according to your level, so you won’t ever be able to invade a Level 10 player while you are Level 90 yourself. Unfortunately, as of now the Invasion system seems rather dry because of the relative youth of the game. Hopefully it’ll get more saturated once more players start to play Bloodborne and have sufficient levels.
Co-op with a Friend
Sometimes you want the helping hand of someone you know, or just want to make exploring Yharnam a less formidable experience by having a friend.
Connecting with friends in Bloodborne is still deliberately more tedious and counter-intuitive than conventional games, but it’s significantly easier than what it was in the Souls series.
The game accomplishes co-op through a password system; both you and your friend will need to set the exact same password, and only then would you be able to play together.
In order to do so, head to the in-game options and select ‘settings’. Scroll down to Network, and in that change your region from ‘Local’ to ‘Worldwide’. After this, set up a password, and share that password with your friend.
Once you have done that, the player who wants to be the host will need to ring the Beckoning Bell, while the other will have to ring the Small Resonant Bell. If the two players are hanging out in the same area, the ringer of the Small Resonant Bell will get transported to the host’s world.
If you slaughter a boss together, the guest amongst the two will be sent back to his/her original world, and you’ll have to repeat the process.