Insight: A Look at Bloodborne’s Dynamic Difficulty Mechanic

At some point during your Bloodborne journey it’s likely that you’ll think to yourself, “why is this game so hard all of a sudden?”. While the answer to that might simply be answered by the new area you’ve wandered into, it could also be due to Insight, one of the game’s most mysterious stats.

It turns out that Insight is much more than just a currency for summoning help, it has direct ramifications on the difficulty of your experience. But before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s start from the beginning.

Insight: The Magical Stat

As your Insight goes up (it can be seen at the top right of the screen), the world of Bloodborne changes in various ways. For example, you need one insight in order to access the Plain Doll responsible for leveling up your character. You need 10 Insight to access the Insight Bath in Hunter’s Dream where some powerful items become available for purchase, such as Fire Paper.

More importantly, as your Insight goes up new enemies become available, and existing enemies become more powerful.

Related: Bloodborne Survival Guide

Insight has been designed in such a way that it’s essentially a sliding difficulty bar that adjusts to how well you’re performing. When you find yourself clearing areas and bosses with minimal deaths, you’ll find yourself with a surplus of Insight. Meanwhile, if you keep dying, you could find yourself completely out of Insight. From Software sees this as a way of adjusting the game to your skill level. There is no difficulty setting, after all. But that doesn’t mean you can’t abuse it.

Balancing Your Insight

Since Insight directly correlates with the difficulty of enemies, it’s important that you keep it in mind if you find yourself frustrated. In a way, you have some level of control over how challenging your game experience is.

I’ll give you an example. While reviewing the game a friend of mine got in a habit of constantly using the Madman’s Knowledge (+1 insight per item) he would obtain. So, he always had at least 10 more Insight than I did. Sure enough, he had more difficulty clearing areas and bosses. I beat the game long before he did since I never used my Madman’s Knowledge and hovered around the 10 Insight mark.

If you find yourself struggling with an area, even small advantages are important. You may be better off losing some of your Insight purposely just to lessen the difficulty of enemies. Or, you can let everything happen organically. It’s ultimately up to you.

Insight Accumulation and Expenditure

There are a variety of ways to earn Insight. The most common way to gain it is by entering boss areas (+1) and defeating bosses (+3). You also gain it from consuming Madman’s Knowledge (+1), or from Great One’s Wisdom (+2). There are also some unique ways to gain it which you can see listed here.

As far as using Insight goes, it costs one insight to summon someone with the Beckoning Bell. Also, you lose one per death. Additionally, they can be used to purchase items at the Insight Bath as long as you have 10 or more on you.

So, if you’re looking to reduce your Insight, you may want to buy some items at the Insight Bath to lower it to nine before using the Summoning Bell to summon help. Meanwhile, keep a supply of Madman’s Knowledge in case your Insight falls so low that you can no longer use the Plain Doll or summon for help.


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