Most Bloodborne players grow familiar and tired of the You Died screen.  Compared to the Dark Souls franchise the average gamer shouldn’t croak nearly as much, but considering the brick-wielding behemoths, pitchfork-carrying crazies and other terrors in From Software’s PS4 exclusive, everyone’s bound to perish sooner or later.  This is especially true if they make one or all of these new player mistakes. 

Failing to equip weapons 

This is the worst. You selected a melee weapon and firearm while at Hunter’s Dream, then made your way to Central Yharnam. Your first enemy was in sight so you ran up to it and mashed R1, and your hunter responded with a flurry of punches. Yup, you forgot to press left and right on the DualShock 4 d-pad to physically equip your weapons, and now you’re done.  Unless, of course, you meant to beat the game with your fists the whole time. Then by all means proceed.

Playing the game casually 

Bloodborne usually demands almost all of your attention. Unless you’re some multitasking ace, playing the game while talking on the phone or checking sports scores will result in your demise. This isn’t Angry Birds where you put down the smartphone or tablet to grab something from the fridge. Standing around for even a few seconds in Bloodborne will give one of the different monsters enough time to deplete your hunter’s health bar. 

Granted, you won’t be on edge the entire time. Visiting Hunter’s Dream, standing near a lamp or clearing an area of enemies provide brief moments to relax, but if you think it’s OK to battle the Shadow of Yharnam while having a deep conversation with someone, expect to come up on the losing end. 

Never turning around 

If an enemy sees your hunter, there’s a good chance it will immediately engage, even if it means walking a sizable distance to reach him or her.  That said, it’s easy to focus primarily on what lies ahead instead of the creatures behind you.  We lost track of how many times we thought we were hidden, only to have members of the Hunter Mob stab our backs. Always examine your surroundings to make sure everything behind you is either dead or on fixed patrol. You also want to make sure you don’t accidentally dodge backwards into an object; we rolled into a carriage in Central Yharnam and the Hunter Mob bodied us. 

Running out of Molotov Cocktails, and unaware they are gone 

It’s OK to admit that one or several times you went to throw a Molotov, only watch in horror as your hunter came up empty and a particularly vile monster quickly pounced; perhaps you experienced it with Quicksilver Bullets.  Regardless, game over. 

Neglecting to level up or fortify weapons 

You may think that your hunter is some all-powerful warrior, but the reality is the monsters in Bloodborne are in many cases tougher. In addition, your weapon degrades over time and requires repairs and/or fortification to make it stronger via the Workbench in Hunter’s Dream.  Increase the odds of surviving as much as possible by boosting your character’s stats (speak to the doll at Hunter’s Dream) and improving his or her Saw Cleaver, Threaded Cane and the other weapons in the game. By doing this, you gain more health and strength while at the same time dealing vicious attacks that’ll cut through most low level foes with ease. Fail to do either of these tips and expect to have a bad day. 

Not picking up lost Blood Echoes

Hunters lose their Blood Echoes after dying but have a chance to reclaim this loot by either killing the monster carrying them or simply picking them up off the ground; die before reaching your Blood Echoes and they’re gone for good.  With that in mind, always go after your Blood Echoes because these bits of virtual currency allow you to level up, strengthen weapons and buy new gear.  You wouldn’t leave $5,000 on the sidewalk, would you? Heck, we’d pick up a quarter. 

Ignoring shortcuts 

At times Bloodborne may seem open-ended and confusing, but the developers at From Software provide shortcuts that let you quickly access specific areas (a boss, for example) without much backtracking. However, it’s up to you to open the various gates that connect everything together.  Not doing this means having to battle the same enemies again and again. 

Misusing Stamina 

Compared to Dark Souls 2, Bloodborne features more offensive-minded combat that lets you hack and slash enemies without having to constantly raise a shield for protection. Unfortunately your Stamina gauge depletes whenever you swing that Hunter Axe or dodge. Yes Stamina quickly refills, but it’s easy to mash the attack button too many times, to the point where your hunter tires and cannot escape a monster’s counter attack. Basically, you want to attack a few times while preserving just enough Stamina to dodge when the situation calls for it. Rapidly pressing R1 while ignoring the Stamina gauge is a great way to wind up dead.

Abusing the lock-on feature

For the most part, the ability to individually target enemies in Bloodborne is a useful feature that’ll keep you alive more often than not, but there’s also a wrong time to use it.  Case in point, during the boss fight against Father Gascoigne, where locking on too much while in the cemetery may cause your hunter to get stuck on some gravestones. Don’t get us wrong. You should lock-on as much as possible, but keep in mind this may restrict not only your character’s movements, but also your ability to rotate the camera. When in trouble, click R3 while targeting to break the lock, then get the heck out of there. 

Beat the game with Prima’s in-depth Bloodborne walkthrough. Make sure you pick the best weapons before exploring, and loot farm for more Blood Vials.