Bloodborne might be the most accessible Souls game yet, but some elements are still pretty confusing. You know, like figuring out how to join up with other players. Here's how to do it.

There are several forms of multiplayer in Bloodborne, and I'll walk you through all of them.

You'll need three items to make all of this happen:

  • Beckoning Bell
  • Small Resonant Bell
  • Sinister Resonant Bell

The Beckoning Bell is given to you by a messenger on the steps of the Hunter's Dream pretty early in the game, right over here:

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The Sinister Resonant Bell and Small Resonant Bell aren't available until you've collected 10 insight, which happens by encountering bosses, beating bosses, and consuming Madman's Knowledge. When you've reached 10 insight, there will be a second shop available in this area:

These creepy dudes will let you buy each bell for a single piece of insight. Don't worry about spending insight, since you're going to find a bunch and it's possible to farm more.

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Once you have these items, there are three options in Bloodborne:

Co-Op With A Stranger

Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends and strangers in Bloodborne! The night is dark and full of terrors, so why not make those terrors bleed with two blades, instead of one?

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For starters, drop the Beckoning Bell into your quick items slot. It's also possible to use the bell from your inventory, but having it in your quick items area allows you to quickly tell if it's even possible to bring someone into your world. If it's greyed out, that's a section of the game where people can't join up. If that happens, walk a few feet away and you should be fine.

Warning: By looking for help from strangers, you're also open to being invaded by strangers. Scroll down further to understand what that means.

Once you ring the bell, this will happen.

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The game is now searching for a friend! Hooray! If you're lucky, a few moments later...

Naturally, my first co-op buddy was someone named **** Buttkiss. Of course.

If you're having trouble bringing someone in, try hanging out near the entry to a boss. That's often where fellow Souls players will chill out, thinking it's where most players will need help.

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Co-Op With A Friend

New to Bloodborne is the ability to link up with friends. It's not as easy as sending an invite, but once you know how it works, it's easy enough to battle the darkness with someone you know.

Basically, the game accomplishes matchmaking through a password system. Hit option on your controller, and head over to the settings section on the right side:

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Scroll down to network:

Change your region from "local" to "worldwide."

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Now, set a password. Important: both players must use the same password for this to work!

Once you've done that, one player rings the Beckoning Bell, while the other player rings the Small Resonant Bell. If you're hanging out in the same area, after a few seconds (and sometimes minutes, so be patient) of waiting, the game will find a way to bring you across the void and...

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Voila! You can now slaughter beasts with someone you know. If you defeat a boss, the person invited into the world will be banished, and you'll have to start the process all over again.

Heads-up: if you're still having trouble connecting with a friend, it's possible your levels are too far apart. When asked, Sony recommended players were within 10 levels of one another.

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Invading Others Players And Killing Them

In previous Souls games, when a player became "human," it was possible for another player to invade them at any time. Becoming human happened whenever you defeated a boss or used a certain item. The advantage to becoming human was more health, a precious Souls resource.

It doesn't work that way in Bloodborne, however. Unless I'm missing something, players must ask for invaders to come into their world, which means you're otherwise safe while playing.

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If you'd like to tackle your fellow hunters, it's pretty easy. Just ring the Sinister Beckoning Bell:

Once it's ringing, you can continue running around, while the game tries to find you someone.

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Here's an example of two players coming together:

I spent more than 20 minutes looking around this morning, however, and never found anyone. It's possible my higher level character provides fewer opportunities to match against people, but I'm concerned the new way of handling invasions in Bloodborne, by asking players to actively look for it, there will be fewer chances to participate in them. That seems unfortunate.

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That's it, though! Happy hunting! Any questions? Drop 'em below and I'll be here to help out.


You can reach the author of this post at patrick.klepek@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.