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Black Desert PvP

Player versus player in Black Desert should feel relatively familiar to any one with former MMO PvP experience. Granted it, like most games, has it's own rule set and restrictions (penalties) in place to curb overly negative behavior from the player base. Below we'll cover a general description of the various means in which you may engage in pvp.

In general you can break the PvP down into a few categories:

  • Non-consensual (Flagging)
  • Guild Wars
  • Occupation (Siege Wars)
  • Crimson Battlefield (Open world pvp)
  • Arenas
Some forms of PvP are not available until your character reaches level 50.

Certain types of pvp engagements may result in gem destruction & potentially item loss dependent on your karma level. (This is not a full loot game however)


Δ When flagged for PvP your combat state icon will change to flames.

While open world pvp certainly is available in BD (Black Desert), the form most players often first inquire about is whether or not they can be attacked at any time. You absolutely can be engaged at any time while out in the world, in what is considered "non-consensual" pvp, achieved by "flagging" (alt+c), being level 50, and being outside of a safe zone (cities or towns as indicated upon entering or exiting one).

Δ When flagged for PvP and you hit some one, you will begin to glow red & gain a debuff icon.

This changes your status to flagged, indicated by the flaming swords near your health and mana bar, and allows you to openly engage any other player level 50 and above in pvp. Upon actively attacking a player while in this stance, you will begin to glow red and have a debuff applied that allows all non flagged players in the area to freely attack you.

There are extensive penalties that quickly add up for engaging in this style of pvp. Please see the penalties section below for more information.

Guild Wars

One of the more common methods for guilds to openly engage in guild versus guild battles is accomplished via declaring a guild war. This is only available to guild leaders and officers of appropriate rank through the guild window.

Δ This is the war menu located inside the guild window.

Guild wars function in one of two ways, consensual (where both guilds accept the declaration), and non-consensual whereby the declaring guild forces the war and pays a set amount of silver from the guild bank to fund the war. (In which the war is continued until funds are depleted or declaration is canceled from the aggressor)

All players in both guilds may engage in open pvp any where outside of safe zones, regardless of level, and with no penalties.

Multiple guild wars may be declared or engaged upon at one time.


Occupation perhaps more commonly known as sieges, involve guild versus all other guilds participating in the attempt to occupy a major city, castle, town, or node. This pvp category could be described as a "last man standing" type of game type. Where the objective is to eliminate all opposing siege camps while not losing your own.

The victor being whomever manages to push all other opponents off the battlefield and successfully destroy all other siege camps.

Please refer to the occupation section of the wiki for a more in depth explanation of sieges.

Red Battlefield

The Red Battlefield is one of the newest forms of open world pvp, that was brought in to fill a gap where players seeking the ability to engage in less structured objective biased pvp, could find spur of the moment consensual fights out in the game world with out incurring penalty.

Upon selecting the option to participate in the Red Battlefield, players will be assigned a team and any opposing players will appear red to them, indicating them as hostile and open to attack any where outside of safe zones. While this form of pvp is less objective based, there are a variety of rewards for being victorious in combat.


Located outside most major cities, are battle arenas that have their own unique rule set for PvP combat. These arenas are more commonly used for dueling, practice combat, and small scale friendly skirmishes. As they allow for players to fight amongst each other freely with out incurring penalty, and instant respawning on location upon death. Simply step into the battle area and you will instantly be flagged for pvp with no risk.

Δ This is the Hidel arena just outside of town.


One of the main methods used in BD to curb negative player behavior while still allowing for the freedom to play the game with a criminal mindset is death penalties in pvp.

Most forms of pvp do not heavily penalize you for dying, the worst risk being destruction of one of your slotted gems. (while it can be costly, it is far from being overly debilitating) However if you engage in several non-consensual forms of pvp (flagging on players) and repeatedly kill or engage in other activities that lower your karma into a negative amount.

You will find yourself facing an increasingly heavy amount of punishment:

  • Respawn location being randomized (still within region but not closest to body)
  • Gem destruction upon death
  • Item(s) being dropped upon death
  • Item destruction upon death
  • Being attacked by other players at any time
  • NPC guards attacking you
  • Town NPC's not communicating with you

You can recover from this by grinding your karma back into a positive state, and everything will return to normal in regards to NPC interaction and PvP rules against you.