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What does the red name mean in BDO?

What does the red name mean in BDO?

In the MMORPG Black Desert Online (BDO), player character names can appear in different colors in the game world. One of the most common colored names is red. A red name in BDO indicates a player character that has negative karma and may be attacked freely without penalty. Understanding what causes a red name and the implications of having one is important for both offensive and defensive gameplay.

How Red Names Are Acquired

There are a few primary ways that a player character can acquire a red name in BDO:

Killing Innocent NPCs

Killing innocent/non-hostile NPCs such as townspeople will cause a loss of karma and eventually a red name. The amount of karma lost depends on the NPC. Generally, stronger NPCs like guards will deduct more karma than weaker civilians. Killing enough innocent NPCs to drop below -300,000 karma triggers the red name.

Killing Other Players First

Attacking and killing another player who does not have a red name will deduct karma and can lead to a red name. The karma loss is greater when the level/gear discrepancy between players is higher. Killing much weaker players incurs substantial karma loss. Killing enough players first to drop below -300,000 karma triggers the red name.

Leaving a Guild After Declaring War

If a guild declares war against another guild, any members who contributed to the war declaration will receive a 24 hour red name penalty if they leave the guild. This prevents players from declaring war then immediately switching guilds to avoid retaliation.

Effects of Having a Red Name

Having a red name in BDO has some major effects on gameplay:

Vulnerable to Attack

The most significant effect is any player with a red name can be freely attacked without karma loss for the attacker. They effectively have an open PvP flag enabling unrestricted violence against them.

Ineligible for Guild Membership

A red name player cannot join a guild until they regain positive karma. If they already belong to a guild, they will be automatically kicked once their karma drops low enough. This can leave the player isolated and more vulnerable.

Limited Town Functions

In major towns, red players become restricted in their ability to bank, trade, and access some services. Guards may also attack them on sight. Generally gameplay is inhibited within town limits.

Effect Impact
Vulnerable to Attack Can be freely attacked by any player without karma loss
Ineligible for Guild Cannot join or remain in a guild
Limited Town Functions Restricted banking, trading, and services in town

Losing a Red Name

There are a couple ways for a red name player to revert to a normal white name:

Waiting It Out

Karma will naturally regenerate over time. At the rate of +1 karma per 4 seconds, it would take approximately 33 hours of play time to climb from -300,000 karma back to 0. Offline time counts as well, making this a more passive method.

Grinding NPCs

Killing hostile mobs like bandits will restore karma at a much faster rate. By actively grinding PvE content, a red name can be removed much quicker, often within 1-2 hours. But this keeps the player vulnerable with the red name until completed.

Ultimately the fastest method is combining offline regeneration with active PvE grinding to eliminate a red name. But the player must avoid further karma loss from kills during this process.

Playing With a Red Name

For players who don’t mind (or even enjoy) the chaotic nature of having a red name, there are some approaches to make the best of it:

Use Stealth & Ambush Tactics

With the entire playerbase able to freely attack, stealth and ambush tactics are critical. Use bushes, buildings, and nighttime to stay hidden and launch surprise attacks against foes. Strike quickly from the shadows then retreat.

Hide in the Outlands

Avoid towns completely and spend your time grinding in the open world where guards won’t attack on sight. Be ready to fight or flee from any other players you encounter.

Buddy Up

Having one or more partners who don’t mind a red name can help watch your back. Group up to take on enemies and provide strength in numbers.

Create Alt Characters

A red name only applies on a per character basis. Having alternate characters allows you to still access towns normally for trade, bank access, and other functions.

Dealing With Red Players

For those who encounter red name players, here are some tips:

Assess Your Odds

Check the red player’s gear and level vs your own before attacking. If they vastly outclass you, you may want to just ignore or avoid them.

Bring Friends

Grouping up brings numbers to your advantage. A lone red player can often be overwhelmed.

Use the Element of Surprise

Stealth, ambush tactics and hitting them while they are grinding mobs can swing a fight in your favor.

Know When to Back Off

If a fight is going badly, do not hesitate to retreat. You can always regroup and return later.


Having a red name in BDO carries risk but also enables certain hardcore chaotic playstyles. Understanding the causes, effects, and methods for dealing with red players adds key knowledge for both sides of these open world PvP encounters. Whether you see a red name as something to avoid or target, knowing the deeper implications provides context to inform decisions and strategy. For the victim it means understanding how to prevent or eliminate a red name status. For an aggressor it means recognizing the opportunities that a red name presents. With this knowledge, a sighting of that vibrant red text in the world takes on new meaning and significance in the stories created on the battlefields of BDO.