To lock onto a target, press R3 when you are within lock on range to it, indicated by a small white dot on the selected enemy. Lock-On is a feature which focuses the camera on a target letting the player easily direct their attacks and other abilities. It also allows the player character to face the locked on enemy at all times, even when moving away from them so that they could not be backstabbed.
- Note that lock-on is also useful to check if the perimeter is safe. Pressing R3 in dark environments will lock on to hidden foes, provided they are within line of sight of the player character, so that the player can spot enemies even if they are too dark to be seen. Mash R3 as you slowly advance in dark areas (or alternatively equip a torch).
- Certain enemies disguise themselves as statues or corpses. By locking onto them, the player can spot their disguise at ease.
- Only enemies can be locked onto. If an NPC is friendly, pressing R3 in front of them will not cause the camera to be locked on to them.
- Alternatively, if someone appears friendly but can be locked on to, that means they are hostile.
Health is displayed in the top left of your screen with a small red bar, and it determines your capacity to take damage without dying. It can be restored through the use of various blood vials, and the regain system. If it runs out you will die. It's maximum amount can be increased by leveling up Vitality or equipping certain runes. Damage can be lowered per attack by wearing different attire sets or blocking with the Wooden shield.
Stamina is noted at the top left of your screen underneath your health, and determines how many attacks and dodges you can perform before needing to recharge, how long you can sprint for, etc.. It's maximum amount can be increased by leveling up Endurance or equipping certain runes. Different actions will consume different amounts of stamina.
Your stamina would regenerate whenever no stamina-consuming moves are being performed (walking does not consume stamina). If stamina runs out completely, there will be a slight delay until regen begins again. The rate of stamina regeneration may only be boosted by equipping the Hunter rune and consuming blood of Arianna. Since capacity and weight is removed from the game, one can no longer boost stamina regeneration by equipping lighter equipment. Green blossom consumables and special equipment that boosts stamina regeneration are also removed from the game.
This is the value that determines the power of your attacks. It changes depending on your stats, chosen weapon and its upgrades.
Attack rating is dependent on the weapon itself and the player character's offensive stats: strength, skill, bloodtinge, and arcane, each corresponds to different weapons. Strength and skill increases trick weapon (melee weapon) damage; bloodtinge increases firearm damage and Сhikage damage; arcane increases magic (certain hunter tools) damage and trick weapon damage if it deals arcane damage.
Most Trick Weapons can be transformed for a different move set. To transform your weapon, press L1. If you press L1 during combat (after attacking or dodging), you will perform a transforming attack that deals damage as well as transform your weapon.
Poise is removed in Bloodborne. Every attack will stagger the player (unless they are performing certain moves that grants temporary poise), and every attack the player does will stagger small enemies.
Similar to other Souls games, doing significantly more than an enemies full health in a single shot will yield 1.2 times as many blood echos.
In Bloodborne, the best defense is good offense. To compliment the faster-paced combat and keep the action fast and furious, players can regain some of their lost health if they successfully counter-attack against enemies within a certain window of time. Just be careful not to take more damage in the process. Be strategic, but strike fast. Even getting a few chunks of health back from a devastating attack can ease the burden put on your blood vials.
Combat in Bloodborne is fast and frenetic, and dodging and evading enemy attacks to stay out of harm's way and position yourself strategically to strike is the key to survival. Use the Circle button to back-step, roll, or hold it to run if you need to get somewhere, or away from something, fast. If you aren't locking onto a target your character's dodge animation will be a basic roll similar to the roll from the previous souls games, however, when locking on the roll animation is replaced with a side-stepping dodge motion like strafing and has more distance than the standard back-step from the previous souls titles.
Firearms equipped to the left hand have varying ranges and attack power. But they all have one thing in common: timed just right, a blast from your firearm at close range can "parry" an enemy mid-attack and give you an opening to go in for a Visceral Attack.
- Note that you can only perform a visceral attack if you and the target is at the same level of elevation (when not on a ramp)
Charge attacks are a powerful tool in every Hunter's arsenal, but they take time to power up and leave you wide open to attack. Use them sparingly and carefully, and time the attack to the range of your weapon and the distance of the enemy.
There is only one shield in Bloodborne: the wooden shield (which does a mediocre job at deflecting attacks). Other than that, blocking is removed from the game. Hunters will need to stay mobile and utilize dodge and parry in order to avoid taking damage.
Sneak up on your enemy by walking quietly, light pressure on the left stick. When you get within range, hold R2 and execute a fully charged R2 attack. Should the attack land on the opponent's back, it will be knocked down and open to a riposte, performed by pressing R1.
[Backstabs can be used in PvP as well.]
By pressing forward and R2 at the same time you will perform a forward jump attack, giving you extra range and power.
By pressing R1 while falling you can perform a plunging attack on anything below you.
- Note that plunging attacks deal damage twice. Once when the player character lands on the enemy, and once when their weapon hits it.
By holding circle you can dash. Pressing R1 or R2 while sprinting will have the hunter perform a dash attack.
- Note that unlike Dark Souls, each weapon form has 2 dash attacks instead of 1. Pressing R2 and R1 while sprinting will result in different attacks.