Leveling Guide

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This will be a general rundown of ways to optimize experience per hour, in order to expedite the leveling process. However, it is important that efficiency should not take precedence over fun. If you don't find these practices enjoyable, please take whatever methods will help you avoid burnout.

Do not fall behind on Class and Job Quests! Not only are they easy EXP, but they unlock critical new Actions for your Job and have free gear!

Bonuses

Transcluded from Experience:

Quite a number of bonuses can be applied to increase EXP earned. Most of these bonuses stack additively with one another, unless otherwise noted in the sections below.

Meals

Meals can be consumed for a wide variety of buffs, as well as a 3% bonus to EXP gain for 30 minutes. The duration can be extended to 60 minutes by consuming multiple servings of the same food. Only one meal bonus can be active at a time. This bonus applies to EXP gained from defeating enemies, synthesizing recipes, and gathering items.

Other Consumables

Item Duration Effect Source
Battle
Squadron battle manual icon1.png  Squadron Battle Manual 120m +15% EXP earned from defeating enemies (does not stack with FC Actions) Reward from Squadron Missions
Crafting
Company-issue engineering manual icon1.png  Company-issue Engineering Manual 180m +150% EXP earned from synthesis (Up to 250,000). Effect halved after level 40. Purchased from Grand Company Quartermasters for Company seal 1,440 Company Seals
Company-issue engineering manual ii icon1.png  Company-issue Engineering Manual II 180m +150% EXP earned from synthesis (Up to 500,000). Effect halved after level 50. Purchased from Grand Company Quartermasters for Company seal 2,300 Company Seals
Commercial engineering manual icon1.png  Commercial Engineering Manual 180m +150% EXP earned from synthesis (Up to 1,750,000). Effect halved after level 70. Level 50 Crafter Class Quests, Purchased from a Scrip Exchange for White Crafters' Scrip 30 White Crafters' Scrip
Revised engineering manual icon1.png  Revised Engineering Manual 180m +150% EXP earned from synthesis (Up to 2,000,000). Effect halved after level 80. Purchased from a Scrip Exchange for White Crafters' Scrip 30 White Crafters' Scrip
Squadron engineering manual icon1.png  Squadron Engineering Manual 120m +20% EXP earned from synthesis (does not stack with FC Actions) Reward from Squadron Missions
Gathering
Company-issue survival manual icon1.png  Company-issue Survival Manual 180m +150% EXP earned from gathering (Up to 250,000). Effect halved after level 40. Purchased from Grand Company Quartermasters for Company seal 1,440 Company Seals
Company-issue survival manual ii icon1.png  Company-issue Survival Manual II 180m +150% EXP earned from gathering (Up to 500,000). Effect halved after level 50. Purchased from Grand Company Quartermasters for Company seal 2,300 Company Seals
Commercial survival manual icon1.png  Commercial Survival Manual 180m +150% EXP earned from gathering (Up to 1,750,000). Effect halved after level 70. Level 50 Gatherer Class Quests, Purchased from a Scrip Exchange for White Gatherers' Scrip 30 White Gatherers' Scrip
Revised survival manual icon1.png  Revised Survival Manual 180m +150% EXP earned from gathering (Up to 2,000,000). Effect halved after level 80. Purchased from a Scrip Exchange for White Gatherers' Scrip 30 White Gatherers' Scrip
Squadron survival manual icon1.png  Squadron Survival Manual 120m +20% EXP earned from gathering (does not stack with FC Actions) Reward from Squadron Missions

Armoury Bonus

The Armoury Bonus is a bonus applied to EXP gained by combat classes when below the level of your highest class. The bonus is +100% for levels 1-79, reducing to +50% for levels 80-90. Despite what the in-game Active Help entry implies, this bonus does not otherwise change depending on the discrepancy between levels. This bonus applies to EXP gained from the following activities:

Rested EXP

Rested EXP is gained by resting or logging out in areas designated as sanctuaries. Sanctuaries are typically areas around an Aetheryte as well as City-States, such as Limsa Lominsa, Gridania, and Ul'dah. Sanctuary status is indicated by a crescent moon symbol to the right of the experience bar. Rested EXP provides a 50% bonus to EXP gained from defeating enemies, synthesizing recipes, and gathering items. Because of this, rested EXP is consumed as a percentage of the bar, rather than a flat amount.

The current rested bonus is displayed on top of the experience bar. The dark orange portion indicates how much EXP can be earned before the bonus fades. If the bar is blue, it indicates that the bonus will carry over to the next level. It takes 7 days to gain a full bar of rested EXP, at which point no more will be accrued.

Rested EXP bar


Free Company Actions

Free Company Actions are buffs granted by a Free Company to its members for 24 hours, some of which can increase EXP gained. Up to two Free Company Actions can be active at any one time.

Action Icon Description
The Heat of Battle The heat of battle1.png Increases EXP earned through battle by 5%.
The Heat of Battle II The heat of battle1.png Increases EXP earned through battle by 10%.
The Heat of Battle III The heat of battle1.png Increases EXP earned through battle by 15%.
Helping Hand Helping hand1.png Increases EXP earned through crafting by 5%.
Helping Hand II Helping hand1.png Increases EXP earned through crafting by 10%.
Helping Hand III Helping hand1.png Increases EXP earned through crafting by 20%.
Earth and Water Earth and water1.png Increases EXP earned through gathering by 5%.
Earth and Water II Earth and water1.png Increases EXP earned through gathering by 10%.
Earth and Water III Earth and water1.png Increases EXP earned through gathering by 20%.

Special Equipment

Certain Equipment provides a bonus to EXP gained when worn, up to a certain level. This bonus applies to EXP gained from defeating enemies, synthesizing recipes, and gathering items. The following is a list of equipment that grants a bonus to EXP, as well as how they can be obtained:

Gear Bonus Max Level Source
Moogle cap icon1.png  Moogle Cap +20% 10 Pre-ordering A Realm Reborn
Helm of light icon1.png  Helm of Light +20% 10 A Realm Reborn - Collector's Edition
Friendship circlet icon1.png  Friendship Circlet +20% 25 Recruit a Friend Campaign
Aetheryte ring icon1.png  Brand-new Ring +30% 30 Complete all Hall of the Novice training exercises for a single role
Ala mhigan earrings icon1.png  Ala Mhigan Earrings +30% 50 Pre-ordering Stormblood
Aetheryte earring icon1.png  Aetheryte Earring +30% 70 Pre-ordering Shadowbringers
Menphina's earring icon1.png  Menphina's Earring +30% 80 Pre-ordering Endwalker

The Road to 80

Some Worlds with lower populations are occasionally designated as Preferred Worlds. This designation gives characters newly created on those worlds a passive buff called The Road to 80, which applies to any class below level 80. The Road to 80 provides a multiplicative 100% bonus to all sources of EXP, calculated after applying any other bonuses. For more information about Preferred Worlds, please refer to the Play Guide entry on population balancing.

Prior to Level 15

Battlecraft Leves, FATEs and your class Hunting Log should get you to 15 in fairly short order (a couple of hours, tops). Leverage as many of the above bonuses as you can. Once you hit 15 you can queue Dungeon Sastasha, and level 16 will allow you to use Duty Roulette: Leveling.

Dailies

While queuing, participating in level-appropriate FATEs and completing one-time Hunting Logs will allow you to use your downtime. Prior to level 60 Battlecraft Leves are available. After 60, Stormblood and later zones have an EXP Up mechanic for FATEs. Beginning with Shadowbringers, players also have the Shared FATE system to work on.

  • Tribal Quests become available beginning at level 41. Each expansion has a different set of tribes oriented towards different playstyles. You can complete 12 tribal quests a day, but only 3 from any particular tribal NPC. A Realm Reborn tribes have more than one quest-giver NPC, but later tribes do not.
  • The Hunt has both daily and weekly bills that offer some EXP. Generally quick and easy to do while waiting in a queue.

Weeklies

Next Steps

Once you have exhausted all of your repeatable options, the fastest EXP per hour is going to be your highest available leveling dungeon. Leveling dungeons are those whose level doesn't end in a 0. As an example, when you get to level 50 run the level 47 dungeon, The Aurum Vale, until you can switch to the level 51 dungeon, The Dusk Vigil. Level-cap dungeons (50/60/70/80) are designed to dispense Allagan Tomestones and loot to help players gear themselves, and not for Experience.

Alternatives are available when queue times are very long (15 minutes or more, common during off-hours and for DPS):

Deep Dungeons

Field Operations


Additional, last-ditch options (for horrifically long queues) that are designed to be slower than human players include:

Squadrons

Command Missions: A specific subset of dungeons up to level 57 (for leveling).

The Duty Support System

A Realm Reborn 2.0 dungeons only, as of patch 6.1.

The Trust System

All Shadowbringers and Endwalker dungeons, covering levels 71 - 90.

Gear

The very first starter gear set every player should get is from the Npcs offering quests related to the Hall of the Novice icon.png Hall of the Novice training. Even if you scoff at tutorials, the +30% Experience Experience from the Aetheryte ring icon1.png  Brand-new Ring is worth it.

The primary source of gear between level 15 and 50 will be Dungeon drops. For leveling dungeons, you are guaranteed one piece of gear for your class at the end of the dungeon. It drops directly into your inventory, and must be a piece you do not already have. This gear is Green rarity and has stats like HQ icon.png High Quality white (crafted) gear. There is a new dungeon set in each leveling dungeon.

Once you hit level 50 you can begin using Allagan Tomestone of Poetics Poetics Tomestone gear. This was the last, best purchasable gear from that expansion's endgame. It lets you skip the gear treadmill and will last 5 levels into the next expansion.

Additionally, completion of your Job Quests (and later, Role Quests) nets you a passable set of Artifact Armor. These sets are also Blue rarity and are a decent start if you don't have Allagan Tomestone of Poetics Poetics gear yet.

If you are flush with Gil Gil, you can procure crafted gear from the Market Board. Be sure to only purchase HQ icon.png High Quality gear as Normal Quality has a 10% stat penalty. This may not sound like much, but it's enough that level 56 NQ gear will be worse than level 50 Allagan Tomestone of Poetics Poetics gear! So don't bother with NQ after level 50.