Black Desert Online Nodes and Workers Guide

A basic guide to node management and hiring workers in Black Desert Online (BDO) to help you get started.


Node Basics

What are nodes?

Nodes are basically locations on the map you can invest your contribution points to establish trade routes and resources that your workers can gather for you. To be effective, Nodes must be connected to each other and connected to the nearest city. Here are some examples of how nodes looks like in the world map. Nodes won’t show up until you have explored the area.


Nodes are represented by various icons and you can see what they all look like on the top left of your world map. Don’t be confused by the fact that the first icon is named Node, it is simply a generic icon for node and is not the only icon for nodes. Cities (but not towns) are automatic nodes that require no investment but other nodes need to be manually invested.


When should I worry about nodes?

You don’t really need to start worrying about nodes until you arrive in Velia, your first city. Once you are in Velia, check on the top left corner of your UI to see how many Contribution Points you have.Contribution XP are earned solely via questing and are used for node management and housing. For me I have 14 available contribution points out of a total of 48 earned. Contribution points are never lost, you can invest and withdraw them freely without any penalty.


In Velia you should see your first node location just south of the city. It is the Bartali Farm. This is the first node I pick because it has access to Potatos resources that I can send workers to gather. Potatoes are really good resources to gather first because they allow you to make Beer cheaply, which are what you can feed to your workers when they are exhausted and stopped working due to no stamina.


Setting Up Your First Node

The first thing you will notice when you click on any node in the map is that it will open up the area of the map specific to the node. Then on the top left it will say visit the Node Manager to invest and the amount of Contribution Points required for investment.


What you want to do is press Esc to return to the world map and right click on that node  This will draw a line from you to that node’s manager. You can then use either auto run or manually follow the direction lines to run to the node manager.


When you arrive at the Node Manager, press R to interact with it and you will get a conversation window with the Node Management button. Clicking on it will open up the Node map again and allow you to click on Contribution Invest to invest 2 contribution points (in this example) to the node.


Now that you have invested in this node, you can uninvest it as well whenever you like. Investment must be done by person face to face with the manager but uninvesting it can be done remotely over the world map. Note that if a node is connected to two or more nodes, you must uninvest in the connected nodes first before you are allowed to uninvest.


You do not lose your contribution points when you uninvest in a node so feel free to uninvest them whenever you decided that you do not need that node anymore. Just keep in mind that if you want to invest in it again you must visit the node manager in person again.

Leveling Up Nodes

Something to note is that you can invest energy to level up a node. Nodes can be leveled up to level 10. This will just give you better drops if you are killing mobs under the node influence area. There are also reports that leveling up the resources next to the node by putting in energy can increase the amount of drops that your worker can gather from that resource each time. For town/cities nodes some people have reported better merchant prices, more quests etc but you may need to level it up quite a bit for it to work as people have reported no change in merchant prices with just a few levels.


Node Connection

Nodes cannot exist alone, they must be connected to one another and to a City. You always start your first node next to the city and find ways to connect to the next node and so on. If you try to talk to a Node Manager on a node that isn’t connected, you will be direct to the previous node to invest and connect it.


Example Connection

For this example I am going to do a Velia –> Olvia connection. The first node you need to invest in is Coast Cave just to the left of Velia. Remember to open up the world map and right click on the node if you can’t find the node manager. Nodes also won’t show up until you explore that area.

The full connection is Velia –> Costal Cave –> Coastal Cliffs –> Balenos River Mouth –> Wolf Hills –> Casta Farm –> Olvia. The Nodes you need to invest in are the following. Oddly enough you don’t need to invest in Olvia even though it is a town and not a city.

  • Coastal Cave
  • Coastal Cliffs
  • Balenos River Mouth
  • Wolf Hills
  • Casta Farm

An Alternate connection marked in purple is Velia –> Loggia Farm –> Imp Cave (underground) –> Western Guard Camp –> Western Gateway –> Wolf Hill –> Cast Farm –> Olvia


Connected nodes have a yellow line connecting them while possisble node connections are represented by white lines.


Node Benefits

Once you have setup your nodes correctly, you can enjoy trading and send your workers to gather resources off the nodes you have invested in. You can buy wares from any connected Node and then sell them to another connected node. The longer the distance between the node you are buying/selling, the more potential you have to make more money as there is a distance bonus when selling wares. Always check the market price of the item to see where it is more profitable to sell as other players trading the same route as lower the prices. Note that Node Mangers are also Trade Managers in some areas.


The other thing you can enjoy with Nodes is Worker Production, which I will explain below.

Workers and Nodes

Hiring Your First Worker

By now you probably have your first node setup in Bartali Farm. It is time to hire a worker so you can have him farm potatoes and make beer via cooking. The person you want to find in Velia is the Worker Supervisor. You can use the NPC button to find him by clicking on the Worker Button.


Clicking on the Contract Workers button (costs 5 Energy) will roll a random worker for you. This worker can be either Giant/Goblin/Human and is usually the lowest rarity but sometime you can get lucky and get a Skillful or Artisan worker. You will need 1 Lodging to hire the worker, which you should have per city by default. Goblins are usually the best workers if you play actively as they work fast but deplete their stamina quicker. Giants are more for those who log once in a while as they have more stamina but work slower. Humans are in between. If you don’t like the worker, you can reroll for 5 more energy. In addition to lodging, make sure you have the silvers to purchase the workers. Lowest tier workers costs anywhere from 2-3.5k silvers to purchase so don’t waste your energy to reroll unless you have the silver and lodging to hire one.


Getting More Workers

If you want more workers, you have to purchase lodging in Velia. You can do this by opening the world map and clicking on Velia. This will show all the houses that are available.

  • Blue houses are the ones you can purchase
  • Greyed out houses have other purchase requirements
  • White houses are the ones you own.

What you want to do is use the filter at the top for Lodging and purchase any house that is highlighted. It should cost you 1 Contribution Point and a bit silver (500ish) to purchase one for the purpose of Lodging. This will allow you to hire an additional worker after the construction has finished (5 minutes).


Getting Your Workers to Work

Now that you have hired your first worker, it is time to put him to work. Go to the Node manager again next to the node you have invested in. Talk to to the Node Manager and select the Node Management button again. Click on a resource you would like to gather (i.e. Chicken Meat or Potatoes) and you will get the button to invest your Contribution Point on the resource. So you need to invest in the node and also the resource you like to gather via face to face with the Node Manager NPC.

After you have done that you can click on Start Work button and your worker will start gathering and put the stuff he gathered in the storage which is next to the docks in Velia.


You can have only one worker on a node so plan your workers accordingly and put your best workers on the resources you want the fastest.

Worker Stamina

You can view all your workers on the pickaxe icon on the top left of your UI. This shows all the workers you own. The yellow bar is their stamina, which is how many times they can work before they stop. To refill their stamina, you need to make food for them. Generally Beer is the easiest and cheapest to acquire and is sufficient for their needs.


Making Beer

To make beer, go to the Tavern next to the Chief in Velia. You will find a Chef there named David Finto that will sell you the stuff you need to make Beer.


You want to purchase Cooking Utensil for 1000 silver and then purchase the following per Beer you want to make.

  • 1 Sugar
  • 6 Mineral Water
  • 2 Leavening Agent


Now go climb the stairs to the houses above the tavern and purchase one for Residence. Use the Place Mode once you have purchased and entered your house to place your Cooking Utensil.


With your Cooking Utensil down, it is time to wait for your workers to farm Potatoes to make Beer. It takes 5 Potatoes per Beer and the Potatoes are deposited in the storage near the docks. Press the storage button when you are viewing Velia map to see how many Potatoes are currently in your storage and retrieve them once you have enough to make Beer.


If you want to make a bunch of Beers. Put down the ingredients for 1 Beer in the cooking utensil. If you put more, it will consume it all and only give you 1 Beer. The you click on continuous production and you will get a pop up asking how many you want to make. The ingredients per Beer is

  • 5 Potatoes
  • 6 Mineral Water
  • 1 Sugar
  • 2 Leavening Agent


Once you have produced the Beers, you can feed them to your workers when they have depleted their stamina or stopped working on clicking on the recovery button in the worker list.

Workers in Another City

Once you finish with Velia and want to move onto Heidel, the next city, make sure you deposit a couple thousand silvers into your warehouse. The reason is that the workers in Velia will only deposit to the Velia warehouse and if you want to move your stuff from Velia to Heidel for example that the workers have gathered you will need to transport them from the Velia Warehouse to Heidel. This takes silvers only from Velia warehouse and it can be a pain to run back to Velia and deposit silvers there.


Workers in Velia can travel to a node near Heidel to work if it is connected to Velia but this will add to their travel time and they will only deposit their stuff in the Velia storage.

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

99 replies on “Black Desert Online Nodes and Workers Guide”

Wow, that’s a great guide, thanks! One question, when I tried cooking (lump of sugar for horses) I kept getting only the whole stack of items to go into the cooker. I thought it should pop up that calculator, but it didn’t. I tried right-clicking, dragging into the circular area, etc. I feel like I’m missing something really basic cause no guide even mentions it… 😛

To make lump of sugar, you need to use basic processing (L, pick heating) and not the cooking utensil. Also you need to make you sure you brought raw sugar and not sugar

I have the same problem, can only move the whole stack on an item into processing even if I just want to use 1 or 2.

Yeah, it’s fine when I cook from home, can split everything perfectly, but processing just uses everything you’ve got in inventory, which is strange to me why you can’t split stacks? Not a big deal more an inconvenience.

What I do is I move my character when i processed enough of what I want, that stops the processing.

You don’t know how happy I am to see that you’re making BDO guides! I will definitely share this with my guildies and friends =)

Thanks for the awesome guide, Dulfy!

My country is Ip blocked, so i can’t join you guys over there. Strange isn’t it? i have been playing on EU/US servers since 2004 from wow , gw2, swtor, eso etc and made a lot of friends(who i won’t be playing this game with)
However a game released in 2016 is not available o_0 woot , i guess they don’t want our money …ok

its because of who other publishers of the game only way for them to get rights for EU and NA servers was to agree to countries being restricted due to deals the other publishers had made.

You could always use a vpn to play. It may cost a bit of money to get a good one that doesn’t make you lag more though.

Oh my goodness, I’m so geeked to see you guys opened up a BDO section! By far, Dulfy is my all time fav mmo “guide” blog. And thanks for the super breakdown on Nodes, it’s taken a bit to work out these things and how it all fits together with trading and crafting and our homes.

Looks like this game might be good enough to pick up. I’ve been itching for something rather decent since ArcheAge dropped the ball quite a few times (mainly the hackers is what drove me away from the game.) Hope that labor point BS isn’t a thing in BDO and if it is I’ll just wait for Riders of Icarus to come out.

Thank you so much, Dulfy. I tried to learn as much as I could during CBT2, and even read guides on a different site, but yours is the only one that explained nodes and workers in a way I could actually follow. Thank you so much. T.T

In the section on connecting two cities with nodes, you say the benefit of that is to be able to trade between the cities. I took that as meaning being able to buy a pack from one Trade Manager and delivering it to another in another city ‘without’ having to lug the thing on your back, or on a donkey (which I still don’t have yet), or paying far more than the value of the pack through the warehouse?

How do you do that? 🙂

If you want to make the most money, you need to lug the thing on your back/donkey and deliver to another trade manager that is connected by node. Connecting the nodes allow you to sell it at high % (like 200% sometimes) instead of 30% if the trade manager on the other end is not connected.

Watch your trade advancement on this, Dulfy — you make trade xp on bargaining for the 5 energy, face to face, with the trader, as much or more than for the trade itself I believe. What you make at the lower levels on the trades is dinky silver, and getting to those higher silver trades with the higher trade levels past apprentice is where trader lives.

This is a good strategy for the casual gamer with limited hours/wk to put in the game, but this is a game that really demands huge strategic hours for the trading aspect of the game IMO. If you are serious about trading, you might want to consider getting fast transport and doing it in person. I’m about to have a fast cart and a fast ferry. 🙂

And I’ll be connected Olvia to Calpheon, Hiedel, to Glish sometime before end of today… Working on Iliya and Keplan.

Then again, I’m retired now… Might be Twitch casting starting next week though. There’s not enough out there about this game yet, and gee I have time now. 🙂

You can use the item delivery system to send trade items from one city to another. To do this go to your storage and select the option that says something like item delivery or item transport. It takes some time and costs a little money though, so that may not be realistic to do with low trade level (as the items you can trade with low trade level don’t make much money).

Dulfy guides saved my days when I was playing SWTOR. So glad I can rely on solid info in this MASSIVE game as well 😀

Dulfy is making articles on BDO! So shiny. This tells me two very, very important things:
1) The game is good, because Dulfy is making guides on it.
2) I’m about to start understanding BDO.
Looking forward to the upcoming series!

yea i was very pleased to see Dulfy cover this game cause its a great game and am loving it. NOTE: YOU CAN INCREASE STORAGE OF A CITY BY BUYING A FARM NODE CONNECTED TO THAT CITY AND BUYING A STORAGE HOUSE.

I heard that if you get certain nodes you can get get better item drop rates in areas like the kuruto cave. Is that true?

Velia –> Costal Cave –> Coastal Cliffs –> Balenos River Mouth –> Wolf Hills –> Casta Farm –> Olvia

I cannot get this to work… I am trying to get the node for Balenos River Moth. Could you please assist me on this?

Nothing about Vongole/Jugruta…? (yellow workers you can get with 500 amity) Does anyone know about any more? I know for sure there’s 3rd but didn’t record his name…

Thank you for the guide, Dulfy. I too am excited that you are covering Black Desert. I find that your resources, advice, guides, and other pages actually enhance my experience of the game. I do not have much time to play, it is a fantastic relaxation outlet for me to clear my head after work, and you allow me to play much more efficiently. I’ve been playing Guild wars for 3 years and you have done a phenomenal job covering that game. I was sorry to see you stop covering wildstar (I’ve picked that up casually with friends), but I understand why. I hope you keep enjoying black desert and that the experience is rewarding and rich enough for you to keep on. Thank you.

This has made my day. You helped me so much in GW2, I just happen to randomly check your page today and see you are doing BDO. I am now all in thanks to your guides. YES!!!

So how do you put down only the ingredients for 1 beer? Whenever I try to craft anything, it always only allows me to put in my full stack.

This isn’t a troll. You can move to break production. However, what Matmaker didn’t say is that if you press Cook with more than the ingredients for making one beer, it will consume *all* the ingredients you put in the pot unless you move after the first beer is made.

Use the Continuous Production button if you have more materials. This will make as many as you have materials for.

It’s my mistake, sorry. It’s true only for simple cooking without utensil, but beer can be made only with utensil.

I got my alt up to lvl 10. I am able to pick up Flute Boy daily, but i cannot pick up Bren’s (Meat Wars). I’ve done both on my main.

I don’t understand, where is the node manager to get my worker to start working? who am I supposed to talk to? What am I supposed to click exactly? I can’t figure out how to get my goblin to work.

Either open your map and then click the icon of the location you want them to work in > then click the specific building/ field you want worked, or click the pickaxe icon and send them back out on jobs they just finished. If you’re looking to use them for the first time or switch what they are working on, you need to go through the map menu

Could someone tell me how to “pull” a worker from a node? I have a worker at the Batali Farm, and I’d like to reinvest my contriution points another direction. He finished his work and he’s just sitting at the farm. Is it possible to do that, and put him to work somewhere else? I can’t figure it out. It says I can’t pull my contribution points.

All you need to do is to select another gathering resource and have the worker work on that. No need to pull out the contribution points unless you don’t want that resource anymore.

Dulfy, I didn’t realize you were getting into BDO. So glad you are, and that you’ve posted some great guides already.

I still have problems with the system. I have a few workers in heidel. I have for example the alejandro farm with heidel connected. when I go on the honey produktion symbol on the farm I cant select anything. Same for costa farm etc. every farming symbol on the map hat a shield with two red swords in it. I dont know what that mean. I think I forgot something important but I dont know what. oO

you didn’t get the node investment thing same thing i was stuck on for days.
you MUST go to the node manager. face-to-face.
you won’t get to send any workers there at all the option won’t exist untill you visit all node managers you want to connect to each other face-to-face.
node managers AND the potato farm/ or whatever farm/mine your connecting it to.

thank you. Ive figured it out somehow three days ago. at the end my problem was what you said. I didnt know you have to invest a point in the ressource you want to gather too. now I have allready build a raft and maybe my farry should be ready tomorrow. ^.^

A real stumbling block I ran into when trying to hire additional workers was realizing that there’s a difference between a “Residence” for me and “Lodging” for the workers. Best to go to the city map and sort for Lodging to find available housing. There’s also the Worker Contract items I used to hire additional workers; keep in mind that they are keyed to a specific node/city/town.

wanna add in thanks i was visiting tons of guides, youtubes this is the only one that actually mentions everything step-by-step. and doesn’t skip anything.

also… knowing it was face-to-face..was my biggest failiure. i was getting really upset with the game.
This guide should’ve been in the game-fanbase guide.
the ingame one feels very incomplete.

Been using 6 potatoes per beer for like the past 1000 beers.

I’m probably misunderstanding this guide, but how do you make profit on this? Seems like you’re making your workers work to get beer only for them to consume the beer in order to work to get more beer. What am I missing? lol

Is it worth mentioning the tutorial/quest that just gives you a cooking utensil? It comes from the same chef in the bar. Not sure what unlocks it I’m afraid, but I just did the quest after following this guide. And thanks so much for getting me going!

“You will need 1 Lodging to hire the worker, which you should have per city by default.”

Just to confirm that when obtaining the first worker, there is a fee of 10,000 silver for the lodgings also so ensure you have this plus the fee for the worker. This assumes you have no other housing/ lodgings available.

In regards to investing energy into a City for benefits:

It does not work (like you mentioned in the article) as far as I can tell. I invested into Calpheon with all of my alts and 170 energy each, got it to level 4. I checked prices on regular merchants, trade merchants, stable merchants before and after and there was zero change. I also checked bank storage amount, no additional storage (heard that rumor as well).

There is no way to quickly test fishing rates (too much RNG involved) or worker crafting rates (again too much RNG) in a town, so I will leave that as unknown.

*IF* something does change at level 10 of investment magically, it probably wouldn’t be worth it for how much energy you would have to dump into it overall.

Question…i got my workers going, stopped by the storage to see what
was in there after they were going a bit. I didnt take anything out.
When i exited storage, i had a pack on my back and could barely move.
Weight is good. Is this a bug? If I log out and in its gone.

and no i dumped all my silver in storage, i have noob armor, and this time i didnt even speak with him, i just went up to him

hello i am wondering what i need to do if two nodes keep sending me back and forth to each other and not being able to put contribution points in cause of it

it just mean you havn’t connected one of the nodes to the previous node. Keep run around and see if you can find a third node somewhere that you need to connect first.

For those still having this problem, I had it and just need to connect a third node first to connect the other two and be able to start sending workers. I can’t say exactly what node but just go by logic.

I have one Contribution point invested somewhere and I can’t find it. I’ve checked every city, town, and node. I fired all my workers and sold all my houses. Where could it be or how do I check usage of my cont points?

Do you have to place your workers on the node every time they finish or can you set it so they start working on it again after they finish

So has anyone else run into the bug where you can’t fully recover a bunch of workers? I finished my epheria sailboat and have many workers that haven’t worked at all in days yet I can’t fully recover most of the new hires. They recover up to 1 point of the maximum which is preventing me from selling them on the worker exchange.

It’s not mandatory at all. You can level up to max cap the usual MMO way (by just killing mobs and doing quests) and get good money and loot without touching any node / contribution points / conversations / life skills / enhancements etc.

All these are extras which you can do if you have too much time on you and you would like to add some extra income or fill the boredom.

just started working with nodes and workers. Tried to contract a worker and get the msg ‘house not big enough’, or something along that line. I have one storeroom, one residence, one forge (think that is what the repair npc said) and acrop room at the farm What else do I need. This is really confusing for an old broad. 🤣

I’ve had a worker at Sand Gran B harvesting muddy bags and stuff and it stopped working, i have been to every node its connected to and the node worker in San gran but I can not figure out how to get him to work again! Hes full fed and I dont see any start button anywhere, the repeat last task button is grey so i cant click that either. Help!

do workers automatically link up with a bought house? this node stuff is ridiculous. k.i.s.s.!!! (its a acronym) what were they thinking making this?

A bought lodging, but yes. Workers “populate the available lodging space” until it is full. Don’t think of it as “workers have a house they go to,” because then you’re overcomplicating things unnecessarily; think of it as “lodging increases the maximum number of workers that you can have in that city”. It’s a resource pool modification, not assignment housing.

The node system (as well as its component parts) is actually quite simple, despite its seeming complexity. It only SEEMS complex because it’s a muli-step process (which, when one looks at it, kinda makes a good bit of sense): Buy a lodging in a town/region [because workers need a place to stay], hire a worker from the work supervisor in that region [because workers who work for you aren’t going to appear out of thin air], invest in a node and a sub node [because why would anyone work somewhere that you don’t technically have done amount of control over], send your worker (from anywhere) to work on it (the distance between the work supervisor and the sub-node determines the worker travel time), and feed your worker some beer every now and again so they don’t get too tired to keep working.

There’s also more advanced nuance, such as worker promotion [increases the rarity level and stats of the worker], certain sub nodes having unlock requirements, and the general question of “what do you want your node system to do for you” which can alter the level of seeming complexity, but at its core, the system is deceptively simple.

Even if we throw trade goods’ income rate into the mix: the profit bonus for selling trade goods to a trade manager requires an unbroken link of nodes from the listed location where the trade good “was created” (say, Velia; it’ll say in the trade hood description) to the location where you intend to sell it (for the sake of arbitrary argument, Calpheon). Without that unbroken link, you will only get 30% of the trade good value. So, still pretty simple: to trade without an income penalty, one need only create an unbroken series of node connections between the location where you got it from to the location where you wish to sell it.

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