Maybe you never expected to go out like this, slowly bleeding to death in the desert. Perhaps you thought you might not have to worry about the intricacies of buffs and debuffs in a game about barbarians.
The circumstance of slow death by minor damage is not just a reality in Conan Exiles; it’s a common occurrence. Combat can be complicated, and knowing what is actually killing you can be challenging.
There are some common sense ideas, like a big cat applying bleeding or a spider using crippling poison, but how do they stack, and how much damage are they doing? Additionally, how can you start using them to your advantage? The monsters may be able to pile on a lot of damage by using a bleed in Conan Exiles, but so can you.
TL:DR: There’s Blood Everywhere!
Bleeding is a status effect in Conan Exiles and one of the most important to understand if you are interested in PVP. Bleed pauses and prevents healing, which is very helpful against other players.
You will notice a bleed has been applied by the red blood splatters in the upper right-hand corner. You can then check your current stack under your health bar.
Bleed can stack up to 20 times, causing 27 damage per second at full stack. This is armor ignoring damage, as in it will go straight for your health pool. It takes 8 seconds to wear off but is renewed with each new stack.
A level one player only starts with 200 health, while a fully leveled player has a little over 400 depending on their build. If you manage to get 20 bleeds stacked on you, it won’t be long until you’re respawning on your bedroll.
There is a solution, but only if you can take a moment to apply it. Bandages are the cheapest defense against bleeding and stop the bleed debuff immediately. You will need to put away any shield and weapon to start the bandage animation, which can be a dangerous operation.
My Experience With the Bleed Debuff in Conan Exiles
I’m not much of a kill them slowly kind of player, but bleed is too helpful for me not to have familiarized myself with the mechanic early on. My favorite weapon is the great two-handed ax, which does not apply a bleed unless you’ve got a nice great ax.
However, when I set up a one-handed ax with a shield for those lengthier fights, I noticed how beneficial a bleed was.
Even if I hadn’t stumbled on bleed from my own weapon, it was only a matter of time until something in the wild took me down with it. I have a terrible habit of not paying attention to debuffs or how high they’re stacking, and that usually leads to a frustrating death in a game like Conan Exiles.
This is likely why I came to understand bleed defense in the most backward way possible. Instead of looking it up directly, I was just frustrated with what I thought was the pointless nature of healing wraps.
I soon discovered that half of their purpose was to defend against bleed, which was vital information to have as soon as I joined a PVP server.
Learning about debuffs is best done in a controlled scenario. This is one of the many reasons it’s best to start on a PVE server. Monsters are a tiered introduction to debuffs and their effects. PVP players are more of a shove-off-a-cliff approach to learning about bleed.
Bleed debuffs can pile on quickly, and it’s best to practice how to defend against them with NPCs. Similarly, it’s also easier to learn how to apply them effectively without the interference of overzealous PVP players.
You’ll be able to quickly recognize bleed attacks by the enormous red blood splatter in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. If you’ve noticed this splatter several times over, you’ll need to check how many you have stacked and consider removing the debuff.
Because bleed can stack up to 20 times, last for 8 seconds, and bypass armor, it will quickly eat away your entire health pool if you haven’t practiced dealing with it.
Unfortunately, bleeding also cancels healing, so you won’t be able to use potions or food to recoup your health pool until you’ve handled the debuff. Don’t neglect your vitality stat, or you may find bleed is especially dangerous for your character. Running may be more difficult as you may not climb while bleed is applied.
This is a total of 27 damage per second if you’ve managed to gather a full 20 stack. Just one bleed applies 1.35 damage per second. The early game monsters will only apply a couple, but a pack of late game monsters could send you the full 20 stacks.
There are no stats that affect this number, so there’s no need to worry about building your character a certain. Weapons also all apply the same amount of bleed damage; the only difference will be how often they apply it.
To defend against bleed, you’ll need to master using bandages. Bandages or healing wraps immediately remove the bleed debuff. They are not the most efficient way to heal; leave that to food and potions, but it’s essential to have them on your quick bar for fights that involve the bleed debuff. You will not be able to use food or potions until you’ve used a wrap to cure bleed.
See also: Conan Exiles Factions Guide
Weapons: How to Apply Bleed
Four weapons automatically apply bleed: one-handed axes, daggers, spears, and katanas. These weapons have heavy and light attacks, and each set has a full combo. This is important in relation to bleed because some weapons only apply bleed on certain attacks. You’ll need to know which is which to apply bleed effectively.
Daggers are the queens of bleed, applying with every heavy attack. This means you’ll get a stack of 6 for every combo you complete on an enemy. Even if you’re not interested in PVP, a set of daggers is a great addition to your dungeon-crawling load-out.
Large bosses, especially heavily armored ones, crumble quickly with a 20 stack of bleed applied. Daggers are the best way to accomplish this, and most players keep a set of daggers just for this purpose.
One-handed axes are my favorite PVP bleed weapons. One-handed axes apply a bleed on their 3rd and 4th heavy attacks for two stacks of a combo. It can take some practice learning how to land these two attacks, which is why you should practice on NPCs before picking a fight with another player!
Realistically, you will not be able to get a full 20 stack on someone in PVP, but the heal interruption is invaluable in taking down a tough opponent.
Spears are our go-to bleed machines when on horseback. Every heavy attack on horseback will apply a bleed. This is most useful in PVP while harassing a grounded player.
The killer combo is to use a lance charge to knock a mounted player from their horse and then use a spear to pick them apart. The constant bleed applied will keep them from out healing your attacks. On the ground, a spear applies one bleed on their fourth heavy attack.
Katanas are the two-handed answer to a bleed weapon. Like the one-handed ax, katanas can apply a bleed twice per heavy combo. The difference is that they apply a bleed on their second and fourth heavy attack.
Katanas have been poor damage dealers for most of the game that is simultaneously difficult to find and make. Until their damage is fixed, I wouldn’t recommend running a katana.
I have some good news if this list isn’t long enough for you. Many other types of weapons can apply a bleed; just pay close attention to their item stats. There are valuable versions of two-handed axes, swords, and more that have a bonus bleed effect. These four weapon categories are just the ones where the weapon comes standard with a bleed effect.
Followers: How to Apply Bleed
The gnarliest combat combinations in Conan Exiles include your follower. Lucky for bleed debuff fans, many followers can apply the debuff in tandem with your efforts. Doubling your debuff application will get you closer and closer to that coveted 20-stack bleed max.
Even if you don’t personally apply bleed in your build, having a follower that can apply it will help keep opponents from healing. This will leave you open to dealing with the big damage.
Any thrall can apply to bleed; you’ll only need to equip them with daggers or similar weapons with the effect. Because stats have no effect on how much damage a bleed effect will do, there’s no need to worry about leveling up a thrall specifically for applying bleed damage.
They will apply the same amount with high strength, accuracy, or vitality, as long as the weapon you give them is capable of applying it.
It gets a little more complicated when you’re talking about animal followers. Different species can apply their own unique debuffs. There are clear winners regarding bleed applications, and those reside in the big cat category, with honorable mention of the crocodiles.
All of the large cats apply bleed, and all make good pets for interrupting healing. The best of the big cats is the sabretooth. They are both the most difficult to get and the most powerful once leveled up. The sabretooth applies to bleed only on their first combo attack. This massive leap will also knock down applicable targets for a bonus couple of hits.
They make a great PVP companion between their raw power, bleed debuff, and how quickly they attack. It will be more difficult for your opponents to dodge the bleed attack of an animal that moves as quickly as a sabretooth.
Crocodiles apply to bleed with every single attack, and they are the only pet that does so. They only receive honorable mention because they are a less practical end-game pet compared to the sabretooth or the other big cats.
If you’re looking for a pet that can apply a 20 stack of bleed, look no further than the southern river because a crocodile is the only one that can do it. Unfortunately, their damage is too low otherwise to make them as viable as the sabretooth or the wolf.
Wraps: How to Cure Bleed
Your first set of wraps, the rough wraps, can be made in your inventory with just ten plant fibers. I recommend keeping a couple of stacks on you if only to stop bleeding after a fight. It’ll only take bleeding out once after you’ve already won the battle, and you’ll never forget to bring wraps along.
Better healing wraps are available to craft at the alchemist’s table, but you would only prepare these when you find yourself very comfortable with full chests of resources. Potions are more practical to heal in battle when bleeding is not applied, and food is the most efficient way to heal outside combat. You can spend the entire game relying on rough wraps to defend against bleed, and it won’t be an issue.
The reason is that if you use a wrap in combat, you will likely only be able to use it to clear your bleed debuff before you’re hit again, and the wrap is useless. Wraps can only be applied while standing still.
You do not have to be “out-of-combat,” but as soon as you move or someone hits you, you’ll lose whatever was left of the healing effect of the wrap. Because the more advanced wraps have higher healing per second, they are only beneficial if you can heal for the full 9.5 seconds, which is unrealistic in a fight.
Rough wraps will work fine for clearing a bleed debuff in the middle of a fight, but be aware that all wraps must be used on your action wheel. This means you’ll have to put away any weapon you had equipped to start using the wrap.
In addition, the wraps use a slow animation, and their healing will stop once you move out of it. Wraps immediately cure bleed, so you can duck out of the animation whenever you feel it’s necessary.
It would help if you practiced applying a wrap in combat and then switching out of the animation to your weapon set when it’s appropriate. Potions are a much easier way to heal in combat (they take half the time of wraps) but cannot be used when you have a bleed debuff on.
Specifically, they’ll only go off for one tick, which means they’ll only heal for 1/5 of their normal healing power.
Potions: How to Cure Bleed
Crafting a cure-all potion at your alchemist’s table is an even quicker but more expensive cure to bleeding. A violet curative or antidote will cure bleeding, and they will do so instantaneously. The trade-off is that they are generally more “expensive” (difficult to obtain the ingredients for) than healing wraps.
It is important to test these cure-all potions out before making a huge stack or relying on them in combat. Sometimes they are downright broken, or they’ve been patched out and no longer deal with bleed.
Practicing different combinations of wrap healing, potion healing, and food healing is the only way to get better in high-stress fights. You may find that one works better for you than the other, that they work faster, or that the ingredients are easily accessible to your base.
Fetch the Leeches
So, will you be a bleed dealer or just a bleed defender? Every Conan Exiles player will have to know how to defend against the bleed debuff, but not every player prioritizes dishing it out. The benefits of stacking bleed are impressive.
Bleed inflicts damage that bypasses even the best armor, making it impossible for your opponent to heal. It would be unlikely to play on a PVP server and not come across several players using bleed to their advantage, sometimes even against you.
When you’re ready to get in the game, you must find or craft an excellent weapon that applies bleed. While a bleed application can come on any weapon, the ones guaranteed to have it are daggers, one-handed axes, katanas, and spears.
Out of these, daggers are the go-to for a dangerous 20 stack of bleed, as they apply on every heavy hit. If you see someone draw daggers, you better hope you remembered to put healing wraps on your action wheel!
Conan Exiles Bleeding FAQ
Question: What does bleed do in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Bleed is a debuff that ticks 1.35 damage per second for 8 seconds and can stack up to 20 times. Each application restarts the 8-second timer, which means you could wind up with 27 damage per second until the opponent is killed, and then another 216 pts of bleed damage once the fight is over.
Bleed also prevents both healing and climbing. You will need to remove the bleed before you can effectively do either.
Question: How do you get rid of bleed in Conan Exiles?
Answer: The most practical way to get rid of bleed is to use healing wraps. The first wraps you’ll be able to craft are called rough wraps and can be made out of your inventory with ten plant fibers. Wraps immediately stop bleeding, even if you don’t have time to let the entire animation play.
You may use wraps in combat, though the animation will stop if you get hit or move. The wraps will stop healing when the animation stops. There are also some potions at the alchemist’s table that can cure bleeding.
Question: Does stats or weapon tier effect bleed in Conan Exiles?
Answer: No, the bleed application does not scale with anything. The only thing that matters if you are looking to apply bleed damage is how quickly you can stack it. A 20 stack of bleed will cause 27 damage per second, which is great for lower levels but might be considered too low for high-level fights.
If you’d like to try a bleed build, the most important addition you can make is a follower that also applies bleed. Any thrall can apply the bleed debuff with the appropriate weapons.
Question: Is bleed good in Conan Exiles?
Answer: A bleed build can be out of DPS, but it is good to always have some daggers on your action wheel. Because bleeding prevents healing, it is a very useful tool in PVP. It may not be your primary damage dealer, but in combination, it could keep your opponent from sneaking in a quick heal and ruining your day.
Bleed damage also ignores armor, so it’s particularly effective against a heavily armored boss or opponent.
Question: What are the best followers that apply bleed?
Answer: Any thrall can apply the bleed debuff if you equip them with a weapon capable of it. Because stats don’t contribute to bleed damage, just pick the thrall you like the most all around. The best animal follower that applies bleed is the sabretooth tiger.
While the crocodile applies the bleed debuff the most often (with every attack), the sabretooth deals out much more damage. Bleed’s number one benefit outside of damage is pausing heal, so pick the follower that can deal the most damage even if they apply the bleed debuff less regularly.