Best servers to join in Black Desert Online (2021)

First things first.

Image via Pearl Abyss

Choosing a server can feel intimidating or confusing when starting Black Desert Online, so we put together this guide to cover what you need to know about the different types of servers and why you should join them. The good news is that you can change servers within your region at almost any time for no cost, so you’re free to experiment and find what works for you.

Servers can have any number of the following modifiers: Novice, Season, PvP, Growth, Elvia, or Conquest War. Many servers will have no modifiers, a handful will have two modifiers, almost half will have exactly one modifier, and we have never seen a server with three or more modifiers at once. Below is an overview of each individual modifier and why you would want to play on that server, but the very best servers will have a combination of two modifiers.

  • Novice servers are dedicated to the new player experience, and can only be accessed if the total level of all your characters is less than 150. These can be a good way to dip your feet without being overwhelmed by the many interlocking systems that endgame players are using to get an advantage, and Novice servers often have XP boosts for low level characters.
  • Season servers are dedicated to seasonal events, with special modifiers based on the event. These servers usually give unique boosts and only run for a limited time, so it can be beneficial to use them while you can.
  • PvP servers have drastically changed systems for how open world PvP works, and are best suited for players who want to seriously test their mettle as gankers.
  • Growth servers have XP boosts that are especially strong for mid-level characters. They are intended for players that don’t necessarily fit into the Novice Server but aren’t strong enough for Elvia servers or PvP.
  • Elvia servers have some of the largest reward boosts of all servers, but also have much more difficult challenges. They are intended for experienced players.
  • Conquest War servers are activated for large scale PvP warfare on a rotating basis. These servers almost never have any other modifiers.
  • Servers with No Modifiers are usually low in population, and can be good if you want a less crowded region for trying things out, content creation, or to reduce the strain on your system.

Overall, servers with Season and Growth modifiers will be the most beneficial for typical players who haven’t yet maxed out their characters, while PvP servers with any modifiers are best suited for PvP action. Low population servers will sometimes have an additional EXP boost visible in the server select menu, so keep an eye out for those in order to make the most of your time.