As you adventure through the game world, your actions can earn you experience points (XP) reflecting your newly gained experience, knowledge, and training. Experience points are awarded to the whole party, not specific characters, but is adjusted on a per-character basis. When any character's experience points reach a certain threshold, a golden "+" in the left upper corner of character portrait will inform you that this character is ready to level up. Clicking the "+" takes you through the level-up process.
- 1 Level advancement
- 2 Sources of experience
- 3 Experience modifiers
- 4 Quest experience
- 5 Bestiary experience
- 6 Exploration experience
- 7 Mechanics experience
As you level up, the amount of experience required to advance to the next level increases. Across both games the differential required is 1000 XP times the current level number. The experience needed for a level is calculated with
(level - 1) * level * 500.
|Total XP required:||0||1,000||3,000||6,000||10,000||15,000||21,000||28,000||36,000||45,000||55,000||66,000||78,000||91,000||105,000||120,000||136,000||153,000||171,000||190,000|
In Pillars of Eternity, the maximum level is 12. It is possible (and advisable) to reach this level by the end of Act 3, for the main character and all companions (or actually much earlier if you play alone or with a reduced number of companions and join the others after you have reached the highest level).
- In The White March - Part I, the level cap is extended to 14.
- In The White March - Part II, the level cap is extended to 16.
In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, the level cap is 20.
Creatures and NPCs have maximum level of 30.
Sources of experience
Notable sources of experience are:
- Completing quests - It is the most effective way to level up your character and your companions. Following the main quest line will only earn a moderate amount of XP. If you're looking towards developing your character to max level with a large party of six, you'll need to undertake optional side quests.
- Stronghold adventures for your idle companions (Pillars of Eternity only)
- Bounties - you can get a fairly big amount of experience by collecting bounties.
- Exploring and interacting with the world - You'll receive experience upon discovering new locations (Areas, and some buildings and caves) and by interacting with the various objects found within (disarming traps, opening chests, etc.).
- Completing scripted interactions and encounters.
- Updating bestiary entries - you receive small amount of experience for discover the strengths and weaknesses of the various creatures you battle.
Apart from the above, no experience is earned for killing anything! The only other advantages gained from combat are clearing the area, earning money, and finding random loot. Part of the reason for this design decision is to reward players who invest in the Stealth stat and avoid combat by sneaking by their enemies.
All experience is granted to the entire party on a per-character basis, and is subject to bonuses in the form of experience modifiers. When experience gain is shown in the party, it is often the sum of experience that was gained for all party members, including bonuses (with some exceptions).
- Companions you have acquired, but left in the stronghold, gain 75% of incoming experience including bonuses. For example, if the party was awarded 100 XP each, all absent party members receive 75 XP.
- Combined with the party-size bonus, your companions can potentially receive more experience if you run with fewer members in the party. This is a plus side for toughing it out with fewer party members.
- For example if a party of 6 receives 100 XP each (no party size bonus), resulting in a total of 600 XP granted to present party members. An absent party member will receive 75 XP making it 675 XP in total.
- However if a solo party receives 100 XP, a bonus of +50% is applied, resulting in a total of 150 XP granted to present party members. All absent party members will receive 112.5 XP (truncated), resulting in a total of 822 XP granted.
- When you meet a new companion and join him/her to your party, he/she will receive the same amount of xp as the player has at that moment. So it seems to be favourable to not meet with a companion as long as you are not planning to use him/her in your party, but rather add him/her as late as possible.
These modifiers are applied to all experience, on a per-character basis.
Party size bonus
A party-size bonus is applied to all experience gained, which gives more experience the fewer characters there are in the party.
In Pillars of Eternity, a bonus of +10% experience is granted per missing party member under 6. The multiplier is calculated with the formula:
0.1 * (6 - numPartyMembers), however if the player character is level 1 - this changes to 0.05 (+5%).
|(If player is level 1)|
|Party size||Bonus XP|
|(If player is > level 1)|
|Party size||Bonus XP|
In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, a bonus of +25% experience is granted per missing party member under 5. The multiplier is calculated with the formula:
0.25 * (5 - numPartyMembers).
|Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire|
|Party size||Bonus XP|
Player–companion level adjusted experience
The amount of experience given to each party member is adjusted individually based on the difference between the player and the companion's level (this adjustment is not applied to the player). This is done so that underleveled companions have a chance to catch up with the player's level. The adjustment multiplier is calculated with:
((playerLevel - companionLevel) * 0.2) + 1
For example, if the player's level is 7, and the companion's is 5, the companion will be granted an additional 40% experience.
Note that the difference between levels is limited to a range of -5 to 5.
|±5 (and beyond)||±100%|
All quests grant a fixed and predetermined amount of experience to each party member (prior to bonuses). Each time the party completes a quest objective, a weighted portion of the total quest experience is granted. This total experience is divided (usually equally, though some objectives are weighted differently) between all objectives, as well as a final "end state" objective. So if a quest has 4 objectives, the experience is split into 5 portions - one for each objective and one marking the completion of the quest.
On quest completion, the "end state" objective experience is granted, plus whatever experience remains from the total (typically consisting of the fractional remainders that accumulate if the total XP cannot be divided into whole numbers for each objective), meaning the end state will often grant a few more points of experience compared to objectives with a weight of 1. Ultimately, if there are objectives that have not been completed, the party will be granted experience equal to the value of these remaining objectives. As such, the amount of objectives completed does not influence the amount of experience granted throughout the quest.
- Skipping objectives or completing more objectives via alternate routes does not yield more experience.
- Completing a quest with a "good" outcome versus a "bad" outcome does not change the experience granted.
- Failing a quest does not grant experience.
Pillars of Eternity
Each quest in Pillars of Eternity has two factors that are used to determine the total quest experience.
- An experience type an its value quest weight (Minor - 1, Normal - 2, Major - 3) which is used to weight how much of the total experience will be granted when objectives are completed.
- An experience level, based on the average character level for the quest. This determines what experience pool this quest will award experience from, and therefore the total amount of experience granted.
These values are plugged into the following table:
- Experience data table
|Stronghold turn pool||4||10||15||15||15||20||20||20||20||20||20||2||2||3||0||0||8||10||10||10||0||8||8||0||6||6||10||10||10||8||8||2|
|Quest total weight||12||21||25||30||39||37||30||32||37||3||9||2||1||3||0||0||9||17||18||10||0||6||4||0||10||6||10||12||3||4||6||0|
The total experience granted for a quest, given the values
questTotalWeight of the appropriate experience level above:
experiencePool / questTotalWeight * questWeight
The experience granted for an objective is:
totalExperience / totalObjectiveWeight * objectiveWeight
Where the totalObjectiveWeight is the sum of the objective weights, plus one for the end state.
- Stronghold turns
On top of experience, Pillars of Eternity grants stronghold turns when fulfilling quest objectives and completing quests. This is calculated in the exact same way as above, replacing
The amount of stronghold turns gained are tracked with a decimal (floating point) value, but are only given as an integer value. As an example, if you accrue 0.25 stronghold turns per objective, you'll only actually get a stronghold turn after 4 objectives are completed. This accruement is tracked separately for each quest experience level, meaning getting 0.5 ST for a level 3 quest, and 0.5 ST for a level 4 quest will NOT advance the stronghold turn, but getting 2x 0.5 ST for any level 3 quest(s) will.
Stronghold turns do not receive bonuses.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, the total quest experience is explicitly defined and predetermined. It then has two fixed multipliers applied to it - a per quest multiplier (always 1), and a global multiplier of 1.35. In addition, the party receives a number of experience multipliers each time they receive experience - though this is not unique to quests.
Quests that do not have this "predetermined" amount instead calculate the granted XP using the quest's level and weighting - though currently there are very few quests that need to do this. For all quests that do not, there is no correlation between the quest's "XP level", "XP type" and the amount of experience gained. These values and any code that references them only exist as remnants from how experience was calculated in Pillars of Eternity.
The only quests that calculate their XP amount with their experience level and type are:
Upon completion of a quest objective, the exact amount of experience gained is calculated using:
totalObjectiveWeight- The sum of the experience weights of all objectives in the quest, plus one for the end state. Most experience weights are 1, so this is commonly just the amount of objectives in the quest plus one.
objectiveWeight- The experience weight of the completed objective in question, which is used as a multiplier for the objective experience.
experienceAmount- The amount of experience granted by the quest in total. In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, this refers to the
ExperienceAmountin "global.gamedatabundle", and is shown on the wiki page as "Experience amount" (remember that this is then multiplied by a global "QuestXPMultiplier" of 1.35.)
The objective experience is then:
xp = (experienceAmount / totalObjectiveWeight) * objectiveWeight
- If a quest has 4 objectives with an experience weight of 1, completing any objective would grant a 1/5 of the total quest experience. Using the above formula, and a total quest experience of 1000 (including QuestXPMultiplier), each objective would grant a base 200 XP.
- If one of the objectives has a higher weighting, it is granted more "portions" of objective experience, and the experience granted to other objectives is reduced to make up for the fact. Using the same example of 1000 total quest experience, and a weight of 3 for one of the objectives, the singular weighted objective would grant 428.5... XP (3 portions), and the others (and end state) would grant 142.8... XP each.
Upon quest completion, the end state XP is granted, and each party member will have earned the
experienceAmount, not counting any bonuses, which are applied on every experience gain.
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Need bestiary experience information from Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Currently this information only is relevant for Pillars of Eternity - although it may be calculated in the same way.
When a creature is killed, the party receives experience not necessarily based on the kill itself, but based on the information that is (potentially) gained about the creature as a result of the kill.
Each type of creature has a "kills to master", the amount of kills required to reveal all the information for a creature in the in-game bestiary. In addition, each type of stat (e.g. Might, Accuracy, etc) has a value representing the proportion of the kills-to-master the party has to get before that stat is shown. These values can be overridden for some bestiary entries (though this is actually never done), and the defaults are as follows:
|Percentage of total kills required to reveal bestiary stat|
|Stat||Reveal kills (of total)|
|Might, Special Damage Types, Special DR, Race||-100% (always shown)|
|Kills, Name, Picture, Level, Description||0%|
|Damage Types, Base DR||20%|
|Defenses (Deflection, Fortitude, Reflex, Will)||30%|
|Dexterity, Resolve, Intellect, Constitution, Perception||50%|
|Health, Endurance, Stamina||60%|
Every bestiary entry has an experience multiplier, which is multiplied by the global experience multiplier of 36 XP to determine how much XP is awarded in total per character for unlocking all information about the creature.
When a creature is killed, if the amount of kills is such that it would reveal new information about the creature, a portion of the total experience is granted. This means that not every kill will yield experience, only those that push the percentage of kills required over the threshold to reveal more information (as per the table above).
The amount of experience granted varies, and is generally one portion of total the amount of times that any amount new information is revealed. This might seem overly convoluted (and it is), and may be tricky to visualize, so take for example an instance where a creature has 8 kills to master, such as a Skeletal Rogue:
- Skeletal Rogue bestiary unlocks
- Kill 1 (12.5%) → "0%" stats revealed (kills, name, picture, etc) + XP granted
- Kill 2 (25.0%) → "20%" stats revealed (damage types, base dr, etc.) + XP granted
- Kill 3 (37.5%) → "30%" stats revealed + XP granted
- Kill 4 (50.0%) → "40%" and "50%" stats revealed + XP granted
- Kill 5 (62.5%) → "60%" stats revealed + XP granted
- Kill 6 (75.0%) → "70%" stats revealed + XP granted
- Kill 7 (87.5%) → No stats revealed
- Kill 8 (100%) → "100%" stats revealed + Remaining XP granted
The amount of times where any amount of new stats are revealed is 7 times, as kill 4 reveals the stats for both "40%" and "50%" (as per the above table). This means that 1/7th of the total XP is granted each time a threshold is crossed - in this instance 25 XP, given that the total amount of XP granted is 180 (BestiaryXp * ExperienceMultiplier)
36 * 5.
Keep in mind that only one portion is granted regardless of the amount of thresholds that are crossed in a kill, with the exception of the final kill, which grants the same amount plus the remainder of the experience. When the party has fulfilled all of the "kills to master", killing that creature will no longer yield experience.
Also note that experience shown in the "Bestiary Progress" log message does not include bonuses, and that the total is across all characters, while the "Party gained..." log message includes bonuses and is the sum of experience gained by all characters. The percentage shown in "Bestiary Progress" is not
numCreatureKills / killsToMaster (which is what stat reveals are based on), but instead the percentage of thresholds that have been crossed over the amount of thresholds.
The following table outlines the XP gained across all bestiary entries.
- Bestiary experience information
|Creature||Category||Kills to master||XP multiplier||Total XP||Kill thresholds||XP per||XP last|
|Animat||Animat||18||4||144||1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 18||18||-|
|Adra Animat||Animat||10||9||324||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10||40||44|
|Stone Beetle||Beetle||9||5||180||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9||22||26|
|Wood Beetle||Beetle||12||3||108||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12||13||17|
|Earth Blight||Earth Blight||5||6||216||All||43||44|
|Flame Blight||Flame Blight||3||6||216||All||72||-|
|Rain Blight||Rain Blight||8||6||216||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8||30||36|
|Wind Blight||Wind Blight||5||6||216||All||43||44|
|Greater Earth Blight||Earth Blight||2||9||324||All||162||-|
|Greater Flame Blight||Flame Blight||3||9||324||All||108||-|
|Greater Rain Blight||Rain Blight||5||9||324||All||64||68|
|Greater Wind Blight||Wind Blight||3||9||324||All||108||-|
|Cean Gŵla||Cean Gwla||11||9||324||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11||40||44|
|Giant Dank Spore||Spore||1||8||288||1||288||-|
|Dargul||Gul||23||6||216||1, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 23||27||-|
|Death Guard||Death Guard||1||10||360||1||360||-|
|Fampyr||Fampyr||8||8||288||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8||41||42|
|Flesh Construct||Construct||7||5||180||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7||30||-|
|Forest Lurker||Lurker||14||7||252||1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14||31||35|
|Gul||Gul||18||3||108||1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 18||13||17|
|Ogre||Ogre||7||6||216||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7||36||-|
|Black Ooze||Ooze||12||4||144||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12||18||-|
|Greater Black Ooze||Ooze||1||6||216||1||216||-|
|Lesser Black Ooze||Ooze||13||2||72||1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13||9||-|
|Phantom||Shadow||8||3||108||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8||15||18|
|Pŵgra||Delemgan||10||6||216||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10||27||-|
|Revenant||Revenant||18||1||36||1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 18||4||8|
|Shade||Shadow||27||5||180||1, 6, 9, 11, 14, 17, 19, 27||22||26|
|Shadow||Shadow||17||1||36||1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 17||4||8|
|Skeletal Fighter||Skeleton||11||5||180||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11||22||26|
|Skeletal Ranger||Skeleton||9||5||180||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9||22||26|
|Skeletal Rogue||Skeleton||8||5||180||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8||25||30|
|Skeletal Wizard||Skeleton||8||5||180||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8||25||30|
|Human Skeleton||Skeleton||17||1||36||1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 17||4||8|
|Spectre||Shadow||30||7||252||1, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 30||31||35|
|Crystal Eater||Spider||12||8||288||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12||36||-|
|Ivory Spinner||Spider||9||4||144||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9||18||-|
|Crystal Eater Spiderling||Spider||18||5||180||1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 18||22||26|
|Ivory Spiderling||Spider||8||2||72||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8||10||12|
|Spear Spiderling||Spider||9||1||36||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9||4||8|
|Widowmaker Spiderling||Spider||18||4||144||1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 18||18||-|
|Sporeling||Spore||10||3||108||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10||13||17|
|Stelgaer||Stelgaer||21||5||180||1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 21||22||26|
|Troll||Troll||10||5||180||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10||22||26|
|Vithrack||Vithrack||10||9||324||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10||40||44|
|Wicht||Wicht||17||1||36||1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 17||4||8|
|Will-O'-Wisp||Wisp||9||3||108||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9||13||17|
|Wolf||Wolf||8||5||180||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8||25||30|
|Wurm||Drake||11||2||72||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11||9||-|
|Xaurip||Xaurip||10||1||36||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10||4||8|
|Xaurip Champion||Xaurip||11||5||180||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11||22||26|
|Xaurip Priest||Xaurip||11||3||108||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11||13||17|
|Xaurip Skirmisher||Xaurip||15||4||144||1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 15||18||-|
|Battery Defender||Battery Guard||9||7||252||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9||31||35|
|Battery Priest||Battery Guard||1||7||252||1||252||-|
|Battery Shieldwall||Battery Guard||6||7||252||All||42||-|
|Battery Siren||Cean Gwla||3||11||396||All||132||-|
|Bitter Spirit||Wisp||15||5||180||1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 15||22||26|
|Ice Blight||Ice Blight||13||6||216||1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13||27||-|
|Greater Ice Blight||Ice Blight||3||9||324||All||108||-|
|Forge Guardian||Battery Guard||4||9||324||All||81||-|
|Lagufaeth||Lagufaeth||22||8||288||1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 22||36||-|
|Lagufaeth Redfin||Lagufaeth||8||11||396||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8||56||60|
|Crag Ogre Cannoneer||Crag Ogre||11||5||180||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11||22||26|
|Crag Ogre Chanter||Crag Ogre||7||6||216||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7||36||-|
|Crag Ogre||Crag Ogre||16||4||144||1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 16||18||-|
|Winter Wolf||Wolf||11||5||180||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11||22||26|
|Unstable Construct||Construct||12||9||324||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12||40||44|
|Animated Weapon||Animated Weapon||3||13||468||All||156||-|
|Small Earth Blight||Earth Blight||1||2||72||1||72||-|
|Small Flame Blight||Flame Blight||5||2||72||All||14||16|
|Small Rain Blight||Rain Blight||4||2||72||All||18||-|
|Small Wind Blight||Wind Blight||5||2||72||All||14||16|
|Cail The Silent||Drake||1||10||360||1||360||-|
|Rotting Flesh Construct||Construct||2||9||324||All||162||-|
|Spirit of Od Nua||Shadow||1||12||432||1||432||-|
|Young Ice Beetle||Beetle||7||4||144||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7||24||-|
|Ancient Death Guard||Death Guard||3||15||540||All||180||-|
|Lesser Frost Ooze||Ooze||6||4||144||All||24||-|
|Eyeless Hammer||Eyeless||12||4||144||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12||18||-|
|Eyeless Stonepiercer||Eyeless||12||2||72||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12||9||-|
|Young Skuldrak||Skuldr||9||1||36||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9||4||8|
|Skuldrak||Skuldr||11||3||108||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11||13||17|
|Skuldrak Screecher||Skuldr||10||2||72||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10||9||-|
|Bog Bat||Skuldr||15||2||72||1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 15||9||-|
|Lesser Peatsucker Ooze||Ooze||4||14||504||All||126||-|
|Greater Peatsucker Ooze||Ooze||1||16||576||1||576||-|
|Young Snow Bear||Bear||2||8||288||All||144||-|
|Magma Blight||Flame Blight||1||12||432||1||432||-|
The party receives a small amount of experience upon exploring new locations. This includes when first entering an area, fog-revealing points of interest, and discovering areas of the world map (Deadfire only).
In Pillars of Eternity, each character gains 10 xp upon entering a new area, and 25 xp when fog-revealing points of interest in an area (yellow markers shown on the map screen).
In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, each character gains
5 * ExpectedPlayerLevel upon exploring a new area, as well as when fog-revealing points of interest (although this is rarely done).
On the world map, discovering larger and more notable areas (such as Karatapu Channel and Kua o Rikuhu Islands) will also grant the party a substantial amount of experience. When this occurs, the name of the location and the experience granted is shown in a large font at the bottom of the screen.
Picking a lock or disarming a trap with Mechanics will give the party an amount of experience relative to the difficulty level required to do so.
Pillars of Eternity
In Pillars of Eternity, the experience gained per party member is simply:
5 * difficulty
The combat log shows the experience gained by the party in total, without bonuses.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, experience is calculated using the following:
The experience above is divided evenly between by the amount of party members, and then gains a fixed +5 experience:
(TrapLockExperience / NumPartyMembers) + 5
It is then granted to each party member where it is subject other experience modifiers such as party size bonus and player–companion level adjustments (see below).
As an example:
- If a solo party picks a difficulty 10 lock, the character will gain 155
(150 / 1) + 5experience, plus a +100% party size bonus, resulting in 310 experience granted.
- If a party with two characters picks a difficulty 5 lock, each party member will gain 42.5
(75 / 2) + 5experience, plus a +75% party size bonus, resulting in 74 experience granted each.
- If a party with five characters picks a difficulty 8 lock, each party member will gain 29
(120 / 5) + 5experience, and do not get a party size bonus, resulting in 29 experience granted each.
Note that the experience prior to other bonuses is rounded to the nearest integer. If the decimal portion is exactly 0.5, it is rounded to the nearest even number (0.5 → 0, 1.5 → 2, 2.5 → 2).
The party only gains experience from the first 10 locks or traps of each difficulty level. After this, no further experience is gained from picking locks or disarming traps of that difficulty level.