There are 3 playable races in Black Desert. They are:
- Humans: Most common playable race. You can play a human on the following classes: Warrior, Wizard/Witch, Valkyrie, Sorceress, Kunoichi, Ninja, Maehwa, Musa, Mystic, Striker and Tamer.
- Elves: Race only playable as a female and divided in two subraces. To play an elf, you must choose the Ranger or Dark Knight classes.
There are other races in the game world, some of them more prominent than others:
- Dwarves: They have an important presence on all human lands, usually as blacksmiths or laborers.
- Shais: Hailing from the village of Florin, on northern Calpheon, they, like Dwarves, are very present in the Black Desert world.
- Demibeasts: Deer-like folk. A generally peaceful race.