Black Desert Mobile: Gameplay, story, and everything you need to know

Black Desert Mobile World Boss
Black Desert Mobile World Boss (Image credit: Pearl Abyss)

Black Desert Online is one of the biggest MMORPG's (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) in the world, and during 2019's The Game Awards, the mobile version of the game, Black Desert Mobile, finally made its way stateside for fans to check out. Black Desert Mobile aims to give players the true MMORPG experience on their phone, with many of the same characters, look, and general setting sticking true to the Black Desert Online franchise.

Since its launch, Black Desert Mobile has quickly become one of the most popular Android games, and looks to only keep getting better as more fans jump into the game. In case you're new to the series or looking to jump back in after some time away, here's everything you need to know about Black Desert Mobile.

What is Black Desert?

Black Desert Mobile

Source: Pearl Abyss (Image credit: Source: Pearl Abyss)

Black Desert takes place in a high fantasy setting, and revolves mainly around the conflict of two nations, the Republic of Calpheon and the Kingdom of Valencia. Similar to other popular MMORPG's, Black Desert Online allows for players to do nearly whatever they want while they're playing, including housing, fishing, farming, and more. However, the biggest draw to the game is in its combat, which is more action based than other MMO's on the market.

This active combat system is what sets Black Desert Online apart from most games, as skills are activated through the use of combos for attacking, dodging, or blocking rather than simply using them from a tab of actions. Mounted combat is also available in the series, as is the ability to feed and care for your mounts as their own NPC.

What's gameplay like in Black Desert Mobile?

Black Desert Mobile

Source: Pearl Abyss (Image credit: Source: Pearl Abyss)

Gameplay in Black Desert Mobile isn't incredibly similar to Black Desert Online, but the foundations are the same. Instead of a more complex active combat system, Black Desert Mobile makes things a bit easier for players using touch controls. Dodging is still a huge part of the game, with players on Black Desert Mobile able to avoid huge hits from enemies in a more swift manner.

With an added emphasis on dodging in the game, Black Desert Mobile also rewards players who are able to land counter attacks as well. Much of the combat of the game comes down to an almost Souls-like rhythm of being able to dodge enemies and then deal out some huge damage as a counter. This not only helps keep you engaged while you're playing, but manages to make each battle feel a little bit different, which is tough to do when you're taking on hordes of similar enemies.

What are the differences between Black Desert Online and Black Desert Mobile?

Black Desert Mobile

Source: Pearl Abyss (Image credit: Source: Pearl Abyss)

Black Desert Mobile aims to give players the same experience as its main game counterpart, but there are some stark differences. For one, combat is a bit different in Black Desert Mobile, with an added emphasis on dodging and countering vs. simply stringing together some of the best combos possible. Elsewhere, classes in Black Desert Mobile are balanced a bit differently, with the systems for improving your gear slightly changed.

Black Desert Mobile still includes the Awakening and Succession system that Black Desert Online does, but also introduces another system, known as Ascension. These three essential break down to the following:

  • Awakening: Your character gains new weapons and skills, but stays the same class
  • Ascension: Your character gains new weapons and skills by changing into a new, "higher" class
  • Succession: Your character does not gain new weapons, but has their existing skillset improved

Perhaps most importantly, though, content in Black Desert Mobile is presented differently than in Black Desert Online. Areas you explore in Black Desert Mobile are much more linear than in Black Desert Online, so you won't be able to fully walk around and explore a vast, open-world area like you would in the main game. Despite that, it's still a fairly solid adaptation, and one that continues to strive to implement new features into it.

Does Black Desert Mobile have a PvP Mode?

Black Desert Mobile Combat

Source: Pearl Abyss (Image credit: Source: Pearl Abyss)

PvP modes in MMORPG's are something that fans love, and Black Desert is no different. Thankfully for fans looking to get in some combat against other players, Black Desert Mobile does feature a PvP mode, and with several different modes to try.

The main area of PvP in Black Desert Mobile is known as the Arena, and in this mode, you'll battle it out against other players in a 1v1 battle. There are two different Arenas — Normal and Ranked — to try your hand out, but this is the area for players looking a true test for who the better players is.

Alongside the Arena mode, there is also a PvP mode known as Ramoness, which allows players to team up with one another to battle it out in 3v3 gameplay. Finally, a new mode known as Battlefield of the Sun was introduced into the game in March 2021. This mode is based on the war between the Valencia and Calpheon regions in the game, and allows players to choose a side and fight in a 30 versus 30 battle.

Is Black Desert Mobile available now?

Yes. The game is available now to download on Android devices, provided your phone has the space necessary to download it and is running Android 5.0 and up. You can pick up the game now from the Google Play Store, and get ready to dive in to the fun.

Anthony J Nash

Anthony Nash has been writing about games and the gaming industry for nearly a decade. When he’s not writing about games, he’s usually playing them. You can find him on Twitter talking about games or sports at @_anthonynash.