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Bloodborne and Beasthood: the final word on Beast Transformations

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One of Bloodborne's more mysterious attributes, the character stat known as Beasthood, has been a source of speculation within the game's community since before the PlayStation 4 exclusive launched last month. Would the player be able to transform into a beast, like some of the game's enemies? While some of Bloodborne's in-game descriptions hint at that and rumors have been flying about a hidden, unlockable beast mode, the game's official strategy guide definitively says, "Nope."

According to the Bloodborne guide from Future Press — which was delayed and is now going out to those who pre-ordered the book — the Beasthood stat "determines the maximum strength of your Beast Transformation using Beast Blood Pellets or the Beast Claw's transformed mode."

That "transformation" isn't a physical shift into some werewolf-like form, however, the guide explains.

"You won't literally transform into a beast, but raising the Beast Gauge will give you a serious increase in attack power, at the cost of a similarly serious decrease in defense," the guide says. "The higher your Beasthood is, the higher your maximum potential damage when using Beast Transformation."

Bloodborne players have already figured most of this out; the game's wiki and subreddit have already outlined the basics of Beast Transformation. It's really another mechanic that enforces the aggressive nature of Bloodborne's combat. But some Bloodborne fans were holding out hope that there was another layer to Beasthood and transformations.

While the guide may have crushed a few dreams, it goes a great job of explaining how Beast Transformation works.

To raise one's Beast Gauge, players will need to consume a Beast Blood Pellet or equip the Beast Claws and attack with them in their transformed mode (which gives the player's hands a slightly more beast-like appearance). While under the influence of that consumable item or that weapon, each successive hit will build up the Beast Gauge, leading to an increase in attack power and a decrease in defense.

According to the guide, there are six levels on the Beast Gauge. At the lowest level, Beast Transformation will multiply physical attacks by 1.2, and decrease the player's defense by 20 percent. At the highest level, players will do 1.7 times the normal physical damage, but their defense is lowered by 80 percent.

The guide also has a few tips for maximizing the Beast Gauge and transformations. Since Insight lowers Beasthood, the guide recommends having zero Insight. The Ashen Hunter Garb set has the highest Beasthood attribute, and the best weapon for filling the Beast Gauge is Logarius' Wheel. Using the wheel's transformed mode, the weapon's heavy attack is best for filling the Beast Gauge quickly. However, since the wheel does arcane damage, it suggest that players switch to another weapon with a higher physical attack to maximize their Beast Transformation multiplier.

Beast Runes and runes that increase the player's stamina are also recommended to maximize your Beast Transformation potential.

While a bit disappointing, it's good to have a definitive answer to Bloodborne's Beasthood and Beast Transformation mechanics. There's a lot more in the 550-page guide from Future Press, which is stuffed with good reference info for Bloodborne players.

For more on Bloodborne, check out Polygon's review of the PS4 game and our let's play video series.