There's more to do in Hunter's Dream than initially meets the eye, so we've put together a quick guide to ensure you don't miss anything in Bloodborne's hub world.
When you first arrive at Hunter's Dream
After your first death, there isn't much to do in Hunter's Dream other than collect your weapons from the staircase. You can run around the pathway to your right and read the notes on the floor for additional control tips, but other than that, head up the stairs towards the building and speak to the three Messengers to choose your gun, sword and grab the Notebook. After this, head back to Yharnam.
Unlocking the Chapel
The chapel unlocks the second time you return to Hunter's Dream, which grants you access to the Storage box, Workshop and Memory Altar.
The Storage box allows you to place items you don't need. Also: any items you pick up along your travels that you cannot carry, like picking up a Blood Vial while holding 20, will be sent here.
The workshop is where you upgrade and repair your weapons. To do so, you'll need some Blood Echoes and the Blood Stone Shards and gems you'll be collecting from fallen enemies along the way.
The Memory Altar allows you to apply character buffs that you'll collect along your travels. These can do anything from increase health, stamina and Blood Vial carry limit to strengthening your Visceral Attacks.
You can equip up to three Runes with one slot dedicated to an 'Oath Memory', which is the equivalent of covenants.
How to level up in Hunter's Dream
From the spawn point you'll see a lifeless doll sat below some vines. You need to speak to her in order to use your Blood Echoes to upgrade your character. You have to return to Hunter's Dream a few times before she wakes.
Next to the doll is a group of the creepy white Messengers in a bath. These are your primary vendors for the game. Speak to them to buy and sell items for Blood Echoes.
Buying items with Insight
There's another bunch of Messengers found on the second floor of Hunter's Dream outside the chapel. Once you head upstairs take the first window to the left and immediately left again is the Messengers. Here you can use accrued Insight to buy basic items such as Bolt and Fire Paper, Lead Elixir, upgrade materials like Bloodstone Shards and Blood Chalice items like Bloodshot Eyeballs, as well as armour sets.
There's a third group of Messengers in a tree stump found on the far side of the chapel. From the Memory Altar, head out the door to the left and take a right, down the path is a tree stump, and inside is a pool of dark water, which at some point will spawn Messengers.
You can give these Messengers accessories found during the game, like the Messenger Top Hat. Once you give the top hat to the Stump Messengers, Messengers throughout the game will be wearing them.
One the far end of the Hunter's Dream are a series of Ritual Altars. These ritual altars can be used to form Chalice Dungeons, Bloodborne's new procedurally-generated locations. Once you collect chalices throughout the world, you can place them at the altars to summon a Chalice Dungeon.
Each Chalice will require a certain amount of Blood Echoes and Summoning Materials (Ritual Blood, Tomb Mould, Arcane Haze etc.). Once you have completed a Chalice Dungeon, you can remove the Chalice to insert another in its place.
The Closed Gate
*SPOILERS* On the far right of the Hunter's Dream (from where you spawn) is a gate, which remains closed. This gate only unlocks at the end of the game, where the player will meet Gehrman and face a choice. We won't spoil the details here, but don't worry about trying to unlock the gate for now, just know that once it's open, you're at the end of the game.