Black Desert Online: A Complete Guide to Bartering

Bartering can earn you a killing in Black Desert Online if you know how to maximize your time. The bartering mechanic is fairly straightforward, but the process is tedious. Luckily a lot of the time-consuming parts are accomplishable while AFK. There are a few steps before you’ll be ready and open to trade, however.

Obtaining A Boat

Bartering requires a Bartali sailboat or higher tier, but you likely can’t afford these more substantial vessels right off. However, you can earn a free boat to begin barter exchanges by completing The Great Expedition: Oquilla’s Eye. This toilsome questline is important to undergo before any serious bartering for multiple reasons, one being the vast amount of sailing experience. The total experience you’ll earn will boost your character to sailing level 1 and allow you to attain the “Continuously Breezy Sails” skill. This skill is necessary for making the most time-efficient voyages possible.

Readying The Boat

You’ll need to register the boat before you can launch it into a harbor. You can do this by clicking ‘Take Out.’ You’ll then want to ‘Buy supplies,’ ‘Manage Sailors,’ and ‘Load Cargo.’

The supplies for the ship consist of rations to fuel the crew. The available rations are indicated by the yellow bar under the ship’s statistics.

You’ll need to hire crew members to man the ship, of course. Goblins improve the boat’s speed most significantly. You can train them up by running them through the dailies. When they reach level 8, a speed skill level of 3 is a good standard to keep. If a Goblin’s speed stat is less by that point, it’s not worth investing more time into them, so don’t feel bad about replacing them with a stronger sailor.

Most importantly, remember to ‘Load Cargo.’ This is all of the goods you may want to barter with while on the voyage. You can load these items from two locations:

  1. City storage. Transfer items to the ship’s hold through Wharf Managers.
  2. Your inventory. Transfer straight from your inventory by pressing ‘P’ while at the helm.

To start with, Land Cargo is required to trade for Sea Cargo, with which you can then begin bartering. You can get Land Cargo fairly reliably from work nodes. You’ll want to bring all the Sea Cargo you can feasibly barter in one run. This is where some planning comes in to maximize your time and efficiency.

Planning and Resetting Routes

You can scout the open barters by clicking the ‘Barter Search’ tab. Leveling the bartering skill opens more trade routes. However, you’ll want to get in the habit of being selective early on because you soon won’t be able to run all the routes available to you in a timely fashion. Below are some tips for maximizing the efficiency of each barter run.

  • Plot out ports within short proximity of each other.
  • If you’re missing a material you’ll need for one of the trades, click its icon to see what port has that item available to trade for.
  • Draw a route within a convenient range of storage ports you have set up.
  • You don’t have to commit to the entire route. For example, if you get a good load from the first couple of stops and run out of time or space, you can always return to home base or stop and unload somewhere.
  • Hakoven runs aren’t worthwhile for any less than 250 coins.

Routes can be reset about every four hours, giving you a four-hour window to make your trade run efficiently. This may seem like a large window, but sailing from port to port could take anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour, give or take. After a few voyages, four hours are easily spent, and routes can only be reset 2-3 times a day.

Making Sail

You board your vessel from the Wharf Manager by left-clicking the ship icon. The steering mechanic uses the classic WASD controls making sailing as simple as that.

That being said, the boats can tend to get stuck pretty often. Here are some of the most common instances that cause boats to become stuck.

  • You may run afoul straight away as the docks are a common culprit with a manual fix. You can swim out into the harbor aways and call the boat to you.
  • The next issue arises when using the “Continuously Breezy Sails” skill before clearing the boatyard. This quest-earned skill is a huge boon to bartering efforts by expediting voyage times. However, the extra boost in the sails makes it easy to get tangled on the docks or other obstacles close to shore, so be sure to sail out from the dock before using the breezy skill.
  • Setting the boat’s course on an auto-guided path by right-clicking the destination (the barter NPC of the particular island) on the map is a great way to multitask during long voyages. Still, on some routes, boats may get hung up on submerged debris or other obstructions. If you’ve got your focus somewhere else or are AFK during the auto-voyage, be sure to check back every 10ish minutes.

Making Port

Upon arriving at the next port, maintain interaction with the ship’s helm once you reach the barter NPC, and a UI should pop up. Now, ‘Anchor,’ then you can ‘Barter’ right away. By choosing to ‘Explore,’ you can reap valuable goods.

After you’ve made all your deals, you should think about storing your spoils as you want to manage your ship’s capacity weight during bartering runs closely. Generally, the best ports to stash items at are Illya and Port Epheria. Don’t bother storing tier 1 or 5 items at Epheria, but Velia is a good place to store low-level or starting materials.

Keep a strategic mind about how to store goods in order to save voyages back and forth, ultimately cutting time costs exponentially. With that in mind, here are a few tips on good storage practices while sailing.

  • Always sail with a clear inventory, carrying only the essentials to allow space to transfer cargo from the ship’s storage.
  • Purchasing additional storage in Illya is a wise decision for those making a serious business of bartering.
  • Lema housing is worth looking into as they connect to Illya storage.
  • Tagging your character with an alt who’s equipped with extra storage allows you to offload some items to them through wharves across the map.

Depending on how far you have to travel and just how overburdened your ship is, it might be worth leaving the boat overburdened just to cut down on the number of voyages you’ll have to make.

Boat Upgrades

Along the line, items become too heavy and overburden your ship’s capacity if you are using a low-level starter boat. This is something you’ll need to prepare for because, in order to afford a bigger boat, you’ll need to level up. Here is a tier list of the available boats from tier 1 to 5.

  1. Bartali Sailboats
  2. Epheria Sailboats & Frigates
  3. Improved Epheria Sailboats & Frigates
  4. Epheria Caravels & Galleas’
  5. Epheria Carracks

The Bartering Business

The bartering business is a straightforward and repetitious process comprised of three main steps; load, sail, barter.

  1. Load Cargo (initial trade items.)
  2. Sail to first trade port.
  3. Barter for next/higher tier item.
  4. Load/Store new goods.
  5. Sail to next trade port.
  6. Repeat until you have all tier 5 items.


Once you have all tier 5 items, you can cash them in one of two ways.

  1. Trade the items for Sea Coins which can then be exchanged for a higher value.
  2. Sell tier 5 items outright for 5m each in silver.

And that is the gist of bartering in Black Desert Online. It can seem a little convoluted when you’re first looking at the set-up, but it is a simple trade mechanic at its core. Of course, there are numerous tricks and pro tips to maximize profits and make the most of your time spent trading. But regardless, you are now well equipped to kickstart a successful bartering business.

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