Enhancement Guide [Black Desert Online]

In Black Desert Online, enhancing is the act of increasing the stats of your gear. Understanding how enhancing works is probably the most important part of the game. In this enhancement guide, I will go over the main features of enhancing your gear to help you optimize your enhancing strategies.

Starting Your Enhancements.

The first enhancement you want to do is to enhance either your weapons or armor. To enhance a weapon, both primary and secondary, you need black stone (weapon). You can get those either from looting it of creatures or buying it from the market. Likewise to enhance any armor piece you need black stone (armor) which you get the same way. To start the enhancing you need to first open up the enhancement screen.

The Enhancement Screen

To open the enhancement screen you need to call the black spirit by pressing the “,” (comma) button and then press the enhancement button near the bottom of the screen. That should open up this window.

Black Desert Online Enhancement guide screen

In this screen, you can see several useful things. First of all is the “Increase enhancement rate by (+0)” at the top. This is the number of failstacks you have gathered on this character. We will look at failstacks a bit later. Next, you see a couple of windows connected with a line. In the right window, you place the item you wish to enhance and the required black stones in the other. The Skip Enhancement Animation button stops that animation from running each time you attempt to enhance. Under this, you get the option of using Cron stones which we will also discuss later. Finally, you can choose to enhance the item or force an enhancement.

Enhancing Armor to +5 and Weapons to +7

Getting your armor pieces and weapons to +5 and +7 respectively is easy as enhancement attempts at these levels cannot fail. You simply need to add the correct black stone in the left window and the gear you want to enhance in the right and press enhancement. When you added a piece of armor or weapon to the enhancement screen you probably noticed that you got two additional choices, Enhance or Durable. While enhancing armor to +5 and weapons to +7 these choices do not matter.

BDO enhancing screen showing the difference between Enhance vs durable

If you attempt to enhance further than this you run the chance of failing an enhancement attempt. At this point your choice of Enhance or Durable matters. The Enhance choice means you have a higher chance of a successful attempt, but you lose 5 points of durability if you fail. Durable means that you have a lower chance of success, but only lose two points of durability if you fail. Each failure will also give you a single failstack.

What are Failstacks?

Failstacks is a word used in Black Desert Online to signify the number of failed attempts a specific character has made at enhancing. Failstacks increase the chance of a successful enhancement attempt. This chance increase depends on the gear type and the enhancement level it already has. You can see the enhancement chance tables here.

Advice of Valks

The Advice of Valks is a special item that can give you failstacks depending on the level of the advice. Typically it runs from 5 to 40 so Advice of Valks +15 would give failstacks from 0 to +15. Note that you can only use Advice of Valks on a character with 0 failstacks to begin with. So you cannot get your failstacks to +15 and use an Advice of Valks – 40 to push it up to +55.

Blacksmith’s Secret Book

This is an item you can purchase from blacksmith or armor vendors in each town. There are four versions of this item, which allows you to store failstacks by creating Advice of Valks. Each item shows the maximum number of failstacks it can store. For example, a Blacksmith’s secret book – 20 will allow you to create a single Advice of Valks with up to 20 failstack. Should you have 25 failstacks and use this item you only get Advice of Valks with 20 failstacks. If you have 15 failstacks and use Blacksmith’s secret book – 20 you get Advice of Valks with 15 failstacks.

Valk’s Cry

This is an item that, when used, gives you a single failstack. You can at most have 10 Valk’s Cry failstacks at any time. You can get Valk’s cry by using loyalty points in the Pearl Store. Each Valk’s Cry costs 100 loyalty points.

You can also get Valk’s Cry failstacks by using a fairy blessing which you get from exchanging 10 of Laila’s petals. Personally, I would save all of Laila’s petals to get a max tiered fairy rather than waste them on added failstacks

Enhancing Armor and Weapons up to +15

To reach an enhancement level of +15 on weapons and armor you continue to use black stones as before. This time however you can fail at enhancing and a clever use of failstacks can save you quite a bit of money. What you need to do is start building failstacks on items you can scarp or sell to increase the chance of success on the gear you wish to enhance.

When you start building your first failstacks you should use items which are plentiful and cheap, as this will save you money in the long run. One such item is the Reblath weapon you can get from the blacksmith in Velia. The simplest way is to use a +14 Reblath to build failstacks and when it hits +15 you can pay 100.000 silver to have it purified and reduced back down to +14.

You can talk to the following NPCs to perform Gear Purification:

  • Velia: Ottavio Ferre
  • Heidel: Eil
  • Calpheon: Leona
  • Altinova: Zigmund
  • Valencia: Saya Nesser
  • Grána: Merindora

For a more detailed guide on failstacking, I would recommend reading Alexmac’s failstack building guide which is popular as it’s simple, but I am not sure if it is the best. Also, by using the durable choice mentioned before, you should be able to build your failstacks faster and cheaper.

Force enhancement

You can also choose to force an enhancement. To do so you will need extra black stones, depending on the level of your gear. When you force enhance you will lose a considerable amount of durability, from 30 up to 100, which you need to restore. In general, it is better to build failstacks and then enhance items. However, in some instances, it could be better to force an enhance, such as from +7 to +8 on a cheap weapon.

Losing Durability

As I mentioned before, you lose some durability on a failed enhancing attempt. The importance of this lies in the fact that an item which has lost its durability cannot be enhanced further. So if you were thinking of enhancing a piece of armor to the max level without repairing its durability, then I am sorry to tell you that this does not work. The good news is that you can restore the durability of your items at a blacksmith.

Restoring Durability

Each enhancement attempt you fail on a weapon or armor will result in lost durability. To restore the durability you need to talk to a blacksmith, press the repair button and chose Recover Max Dur. from the menu at the bottom of the screen. This will open up the following screen.

max durability recovery screen used for BDO enhancement

You place the item you wish to restore in the left box, the item you wish to use as an ingredient in the right window and then press Recover Max Dur. or Artisan’s Memory if you intend to use that.

The items that can restore your durability are the following:

The same item (not enhanced) gives +10 durability.

A single Memory Fragment gives the following durability increases depending on the color of the item: white item +10, green item +5, blue item +3, yellow item +1.

Artisan’s Memory

This is a Pearl Store item which quadruples the returned durability. So if you have a blue item and use a Memory Fragment with Artisan’s Memory you would get +12 durability restored. Artisan memory is best used with select blue items and most yellow items.

Extracting Black Stones

If you have a gear item that you cannot sell on the market for some reason you can extract the black stones back from that item by destroying it. You need to find a blacksmith and select Extraction from the bottom menu. There you can select Extract Black Stones which opens the following screen.

The screen that you use to extract black stones at a blacksmith for enhancing

There you can place the item you wish to extract stones from, press extract and you get your black stones. This destroys the item you extract from and you only get back stones which correspond to the enhancement level. So a +15 item will give back 15 black stones.

Enhancing Armor and Weapons past +15

First of all, the enhancement levels after +15 are called PRI (+16), DUO (+17), TRI (+18), TET +(19) and PEN (+20). To enhance armor and weapons above +15 you need to start using concentrated black stones instead of regular ones. You can get those stones from the market or by heating 1 black crystal shards with 2 black stones of the correct type. On top of that, when you try to enhance a weapon or armor to TRI or higher and fail, the enhancement level of your item drops by one point. So on a failed attempt DUO -> PRI, TRI -> DUO and TET -> TRI. You can use an item called Cron stones to protect from this.

You can also force your enhancement up to TRI level (+18). After that, you need to build failstacks and risk failure.

Cron Stones

You can buy Cron stones from vendors. Each Cron stone costs 1.000.000 silver and you typically need the same amount of Cron stones to protect an enhancement attempt as the item would cost on the market. For example, a TRI Liverto would need around 300-350 Cron stones to protect it during a TET attempt.

Caphras Stones

Caphras stones are a way to increase the power of weapons and armor that have reached TRI enhancement or higher. They can also be used to get a guaranteed 100% enhancement chance from TRI to TET and from TET to PEN. How to get and use Caphras stones is explained here.

Enhancing Mount, Ship and Wagon Gear, and Artisan Rods.

The artisan rods follow a slightly different enhancement path than weapons and armor, see the enhancement tables. Firstly, you can fail at every attempt at upgrading, so +0 to +1 can fail. Secondly, you can only enhance these items to +10. Thirdly, starting at +7 to +8 enhancement artisan rods can fall down a single level if you fail, much like enhancing beyond DUO.

Mount, ship and wagon gear can also fail at each level from +0 but do not risk dropping a level until reaching +7. It is also unclear if they follow the same enhancement chance as the artisan rods. Some personal test of mine seem to show a different chance percentage, will update as I get a larger test batch.

Enhancing Accessories

To enhance accessories and clothes you need to sacrifice another item of the same type that has no enhancement. For example, if you wish to enhance a PRI Ogre’s Ring too DUO you need another non-enhanced Ogre’s Ring for the enhancement attempt. You do not need another PRI ring. The base chance mechanics for accessory enhancing are the same as for weapons and armor, but the success rate is slightly different. Please see the table linked above.

The hardest part about accessory enhancing is the fact that if you fail you lose both the accessory you intended to sacrifice and the item you intended to enhance.

So that’s it. Now if you liked this Black Desert Online enhancement guide then be sure to share it with your friends and allies and feel free to check out my other Black Desert Online guides.

1 thought on “Enhancement Guide [Black Desert Online]”

  1. I’m 3 weeks into the game and being retired I watch videos all the day on BDO trying to understand different aspects of it. This the the best explanation of a subject I’ve found so far. Advice of Valks 15 – 25 brought me here but I understand so much more on enhancement. Thanks!

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