'Final Fantasy XV' EXP Guide: Level up Fast Using These Lodgings, Meals and Sidequests Tips

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition has finally released on PC, and the Royal Edition has also arrived on PS4 and Xbox One. If you're just diving in, you're likely wondering what's the best way to gain EXP quickly and conquer every part of its vast world. To help those just starting out, we've put together a beginner's guide to Final Fantasy XV's leveling system. In it, we've provided strategies for maximizing your experience gain, including tips for using lodgings, sidequests and meals to power-level up.

Final Fantasy XV EXP Guide: How To Level Up Fast

In order to maximize your leveling ability, you need to understand how Final Fantasy XV's leveling system works. Leveling doesn't happen automatically. While you gain EXP points throughout your journey, you don't actually bank those points until you do specific actions like camping, resting at lodgings, or completing chapters.

You'll earn EXP through a number of activities like engaging in combat, completing sidequests, exploring, or having conversations where you make choices about your response. Below are our top tips for increasing EXP, leveling up and performing well in the late game.

Tip #1: Take Advantage Of The Exploration Ascension Tree

While earning experience through combat is pretty straightforward -- you'll gain a fixed amount for each monster you defeat -- exploring is a bit different. With exploring, you'll want to take advantage of the Exploration Tree in the Ascension menu. There you'll find some abilities that will gain you experience just for doing fun stuff in the game (ex: Reel Experience allows you to gain experience for catching fish).

FFXV experience guide fishing ascension tree reel experience
Unlocking the right nodes on the Ascension Tree will allow you to earn more EXP for doing all the fun stuff you're already doing in 'Final Fantasy XV' for PC. Square Enix

Tip # 2: Complete EXP Boosting Activities

Here are a few of our favorite EXP boosting activities.

  • Get good grades on your post-battle Report Cards
  • Equip the Moogle Charm accessory (EXP +20 percent)
  • Eat these restaurant meals: Galdin Gratin (Galdin Quay, EXP +10 percent), Fine Cavier Canapé (Maagho, EXP +50 percent), Fat Chocobo Triple-Decker (Wiz Chocobo Post, EXP +50 percent), Maagho Lasagna (Maagho, EXP +100 percent)
  • Eat these cooked meals: Lasagna al Forno (EXP +100 percent), Cup Noodles (perfect - EXP+20 percent), Stacked Ham Sandwich (EXP+50 percent), Royal Banquet Canapé (EXP +50 percent), Mother and Child Rice Bowl (EXP +30 percent)
  • Defeat an enemy using an Armiger Sagechain (EXP +50 percent)
  • Catch fish after unlocking the Reel Experience Ascension ability
  • Drive the Regalia after unlocking the Roadlife Ascension ability (10 EXP for every half mile driven in any mode)
  • Ride a chocobo after unlocking the Chocobonus Ascension ability (10 EXP every .35 miles)
  • Win a chocobo race after unlocking the Chocoracer Ascension ability (50 EXP per race won)
  • Max your accumulated EXP with a bonus modifier by staying at a lodging, to a maximum 3x multiplier from The Leville (Royal Suite) in Altissia

Tip #3: Revive Fallen Party Members

A pro tip we learned in combat: help your party members out if they go down at the end of a fight. If Noctis, Ignis, Promtpo or Gladio are K.O.ed when the fight ends, that means they'll miss out on the EXP rewarded for that fight. Losing EXP after a major story encounter or boss defeat could affect the outcome of your final quest bonuses, so be sure to revive those fallen friends before getting in your final, winning strike.

ffxv pc royal edition windows equipment menu exp guide
Choosing the right equipment and accessories can help you gain EXP and level up your party members faster in 'Final Fantasy XV.' Square Enix

Tip #4: Use Equipment Wisely

Your characters will grow and change a lot from levels 30 -70 and equipping the right gear will make a greater difference as you advance. Here are some tips for fortifying your party.

  • Equip Spells - Your party's HP and Strength will grow significantly from levels 30 to 70, but which of the four chocobros is best for equipping spells? The answer is Noctis, as he has the highest Magic stat of the group. Noctis is the only party member you should equip with a spell, and then let Ignis tag in for back up.
  • Equip Two Must-Have DLC Items - We've already mentioned the Moogle Charm, which boosts your experience earned in battle by 20 percent. You'll also want to equip the Nixperience Band (part of the Holiday Pack DLC bundled with both the Windows Edition and Royal Edition) before camping or staying in a hotel. This item prevents you from "cashing in" your experience, allowing you to hoard as much as possible for one big, level-spiking payoff. Take it off when you're ready to cash in your EXP and boost your levels.
  • Using Gear And Status Effects - Vitality and Spirit don't increase much as your party levels up, so you need to use gear and status effects to improve these stats. Gladiolus has the best endurance of all four as his HP and Vitality are significantly greater than the other three.
  • Assess Enemy And Prepare Accordingly - If you've made it past level 70 and you find yourself struggling to defeat a late- or post-game enemy, don't immediately assume you need to spend hours grinding. Rather, you need to study your enemy. Find out what its strengths and weaknesses are and equip your team accordingly. Equipping high-end gear and eating the right food at camp goes a long way toward filling out your team in the areas it's lacking.
ffxv pc windows experience camping food
Choosing the right meals at campsites can be an enormous help if you're looking to gain experience and boost your party levels quickly. Square Enix

Tip #4: Take Advantage Of Lodging Bonuses

Lodgings can provide powerful EXP bonuses - especially if you've completed lots of sidequests since your last rest. Here are some tips for making the most of lodgings.

Be sure to download the Travel Pack DLC, which should be included as part of the mountain of bonus goodies that come with the Windows Edition and Royal Edition. This will halve the price of any stay at an inn or caravan (full prices listed below), making saving up for the larger EXP multipliers that much more appealing.

Learn to Love Expericast Spells

Once you've become reasonably strong, about level 35, you can easily farm some EXP by fighting the Bandersnatch using Expericast Spells in the small crater just north of Hammerhead. The following items can be used to make EXP boosting spells:

  • Cockatrice Crest - EXP Bonus Level 2 (enemy drop)
  • Fine Crest - EXP Bonus Level 3 (enemy drop)
  • Magnificent Crest - EXP Bonus Level 5 (enemy drop)
  • Old Book - EXP Bonus Level 3 (found in dungeons / world map)
  • Debased Coin - EXP Bonus Level 4 (found in dungeons / world map)
  • Debased Banknote - EXP Bonus Level 6 (found in dungeons / world map)
  • Debased Silverpiece - EXP Bonus Level 8 (found in dungeons / world map)
  • Rare Coin - EXP Bonus Level 12 (found in dungeons / world map)
  • Arapaima Roe - EXP Bonus Level 30 - buy in Altissia or win in Arena (240K medals)

Just use one unit of Ice, Fire or Lightning along with as many EXP boosting items as you choose. You will not want to make super-strong spells because you want to use as many as possible in a short time, without actually killing the Bandersnatch in one shot. Be sure to eat some EXP boosting foods and equip the Moogle Charm before heading to the crater.

You can also use Expericast spells effectively against hordes of Imperial Soldiers, or any other tough bosses. The Bandersnatch works because he's not too easy to kill and he's in a convenient location. Your goal with this method isn't necessarily quick kills, but using as much magic as possible.

ffxv experience guide altissia leville multiplier
The Royal Suite at the Leville in Altissia comes at a high price, but it's worth saving up a bunch of experience for that 3X multiplier if you want to see your party levels spike. Square Enix

Use The Power-Leveling Technique In Chapter 8

The best time to exploit EXP bonuses is in Chapter 8 since a ton of sidequests unlock during it. Here's our power-leveling technique to maximize experience in Chapter 8.

  • From the Leville in Altissia, Call Umbra
  • Travel to Hammerhead and complete Cindy's "The Ever Illustrious Regalia" sidequest.
  • Make sure the Regalia has its Enhanced Headlights upgrade and complete as many sidequests in Lucis as possible (Try to get an EXP bonus multiplier from a meal beforehand).
  • Go back to Altissia and stay at the Royal Suite in the Leveille for the maximum x3 multiplier (don't rest beforehand!). This final step will cost you 30,000 Gil but the EXP gained will be worth it.
  • The 2x multiplier at Quayside Cradle in Galdin Quay is also a good place to bank EXP if you'd like to do so before reaching Altissia. But be careful of advancing the storyline to the next Chapter, since that will lead to your accumulated EXP being banked automatically without any multiplier. It's a good idea to keep multiple save files for your main playthrough just in case.

Camp After Staying At An Inn Or Caravan

Camping right after a stay at a lodging will earn you an EXP multiplier and the stat-boosting perks of one of Ignis's home-cooked meals, so try to do the two activities together.

Complete List Of Lodgings And Multipliers

  • Hammerhead (Caravan): 30 gil, 1.2x EXP bonus
  • Longwythe Rest Area - Three Z's Motel: 300 gil, 1.5x EXP bonus
  • Galdin Quay (Caravan): 30 gil, 1.2x EXP bonus
  • Galdin Quay - The Quayside Cradle: 10,000 gil, 2.0x EXP bonus
  • Prairie Outpost (Caravan): 30 gil, 1.2x EXP bonus
  • Coernix Station - Alstor (Caravan): 30 gil, 1.2x EXP bonus
  • Cauthess Rest Area (Caravan): 30 gil, 1.2x EXP bonus
  • Taelpar Rest Area - THree Z's Motel: 300 gil, 1.5x EXP bonus
  • Lestallum - The Leville: 300 gil, 1.5x EXP bonus
  • Old Lestallum - Three Z's Motel: 300 gil, 1.5x EXP bonus
  • Burbost Souvenir Emporium (Caravan): 30 gil, 1.2x EXP bonus
  • Verinas Mart - Ravatogh (Caravan): 30 gil, 1.2x EXP bonus
  • Meldacio Hunter HQ (Caravan): 30 gil, 1.2x EXP bonus
  • Cape Caem - Hidden Getaway: 0 gil, 1.0x EXP bonus
  • Altissia - The Leville: 500 gil, 1.5x EXP bonus
  • Altissia - The Leville (Royal Suite): 30,000 gil, 3.0x EXP bonus
  • Vagoni Albergo di Cartanica: 30 gil, 1.1x EXP bonus
  • Tenebrae - Roues du Repos: 30 gil, 1.1x EXP bonus

What strategies have you used to boost EXP gain in FFXV? Which are your favorite stat-spiking meals from Ignis? Let us know in the comments.

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