The Chalice Dungeons in Bloodborne add a considerable amount of replay value to the game. They provide randomized dungeon experiences with new enemies, bosses and loot. You can play through these dungeons solo or with a friend in co-op. However you decide to tackle these additional levels, you'll need some tips to help get started.

How to Enter a Chalice Dungeon

To access a Chalice Dungeon you need to use a Holy Chalice item. These can be found throughout the main game. You can read our free Bloodborne walkthrough to find a number of these Holy Chalices. Once you have the necessary items, head back to Hunter's Dream and look to the left to see a second row of tombstone-like objects. Use one of the Holy Chalice items on the tombstones to enter a Chalice Dungeon. To bring a friend into your Chalice Dungeon, you need to set a password, then share the dungeon and password with your friend so he or she can enter it.

Layers 

Each Chalice Dungeon is divided into multiple layers. You start on the first layer and must find and pull a large lever somewhere in the dungeon to unlock the door that leads to the boss battle. Defeat the boss and you'll have access to the next layer where you must repeat the process. 

Think of the layers in Chalice Dungeons like small areas in the real game. In order to reach the boss in most of the areas in Bloodborne, you need to flip levers, find keys and complete other tasks. It's a similar experience in the Chalice Dungeon except you generally know exactly where the boss is located. The locked door is almost always near the beginning of the layer, making it easy to backtrack once you've found the lever that unlocks it. 

Depth

The items you use to enter a Chalice Dungeon have a designated depth. The higher the depth, the more difficult the Chalice Dungeon will be. As you move down from layer to layer the difficulty increases. Therefore, if you enter a Chalice Dungeon rated at depth level three, by the time you reach the third layer you will fight fairly difficult enemies, and probably in large numbers. 

While it's certainly possible to make it through Chalice Dungeons without getting a friend to help you, the level of your character will have a significant impact on how well you perform. Once you hit level 70 or 80, you should be able to handle just about anything a Chalice Dungeon throws at you, but you can enter your first one pretty early on, so make note of your character level before entering too many Chalice Dungeons. 

Luckily there are plenty of lamps inside each dungeon so you don't have to clear the whole thing in one sitting. If you find things are getting too difficult you can leave the dungeon, level up back in Hunter's Dream or even continue playing the main game, then come back to the Chalice Dungeon another time. 

Enemy Swarms

Chalice Dungeons feature some of the same enemies you encounter in the main game, but there are also a lot of new enemies. In addition, there are new enemy patterns that you don't encounter in the normal game. The biggest difference? It’s common to have a swarm of enemies appear out of nowhere and attack you in a Chalice Dungeon. In the main game you can almost always see enemies well ahead of time, and those you can't see don't generally come in large groups. 

To help combat this, you should always roll into rooms and prepare to roll away at a moment's notice. A lot of enemy groups will spawn as you enter a room or you're about to reach an item. If you roll or dodge when doing this, you'll be that far ahead of the game and ready for anything that may spawn and attack. Don't be afraid to backtrack if you get outnumbered and things aren't going well. It is better to move backwards where you've already cleared enemies rather than running forward where more creatures might join the battle. 

Loot

There are multiple chests in Chalice Dungeons, alongside corpses similar to ones you'd find in the normal game. Each layer of a Chalice Dungeon is generally littered with loot, so make sure you explore thoroughly before moving on to the next layer or exit the dungeon. However, the loot you find inside the dungeon isn't the only loot you'll receive. After defeating certain bosses, you may find that you can purchase new gear from the Bath Messengers or Insight Fountain back in Hunter's Dream. Be sure to check both stores after you complete a Chalice Dungeon to see if new items appeared. 

Now that you know how to beat Chalice Dungeons, make sure you have the best weapons. If you’re stuck on one of the single player bosses, read Prima’s free Bloodborne walkthrough.