Pilot Level and XP in Anthem play a central role in your overall progression through the grind, even into the endgame to a degree.
Here, we'll take a look at the Anthem Level cap and a list of Pilot Level rewards, as well as explaining the system in general.
Knowing the system is going to play a big part in your ability to get the most out of the game - it's also linked closely to how you acquire new Gear (see our Anthem Gear Score, farming and loot system guide for more details on that) - so read on to get yourself prepped with everything you'll need to know about how it all works.
On this page:
Anthem Pilot Level system explained - what's the max level and how does the level system work?
Your Pilot Level in Anthem is your character's level. It's the standard idea of a levelling system - you level up by earning XP, until you hit the level cap - and there are certain things you can do to get XP faster, and of course certain reasons why you'll want to.
The Anthem max Level cap is 30, for your Pilot Level - although to be clear this isn't to be confused with your Gear Score, which is something separate entirely - and when you finish the main story you'll probably be somewhere in the early 20s, depending on the difficulty you played at and how much busywork you did outside of the story's main critical path.
Why is Pilot Level important, and what does it impact?
Your Pilot Level's important because it ties in very closely to your Gear Score, and the combination of Pilot Level and Gear Score is how the game manages your progression, gates levels, and alters difficulty and reward.
That's a bit abstract. More specifically, your Pilot Level's biggest impact is on three things: what Difficulty tiers are available to you; what level rewards are unlocked (see the below section for our list of those) and perhaps most importantly, what rarity and quality of loot is available to you as you play the game.
We cover the ins-and-outs of loot in our dedicated Anthem Gear and loot system page, but the key thing to know about your Pilot Level's impact is what rarity of loot becomes available and when. Here's a quick runthrough of that:
- Pilot Level 1 - 9: up to Uncommon (Green) loot
- Pilot Level 10 - 19: up to Rare (Blue) loot
- Pilot Level 20 - 29: up to Epic (Purple) loot
- Pilot Level 30+: up to Masterwork (Orange) loot, which a chance of Masterworks instead dropping as the top-tier Legendary (Yellow) loot. A small amount of Masterwork weapons will also start appearing from Level 25 upwards.
How does Pilot Level affect Difficulty and gameplay in Anthem?
As for Difficulty - capital D - for most of the game the only Difficulties available to you will be Easy, Normal or Hard. Once you hit the Level 30 cap, Grandmaster 1, Grandmaster 2, and Grandmaster 3 difficulty is unlocked.
Playing on a higher Difficulty means higher quality loot and higher XP as rewards for success - but where it gets interesting is how it interplays with your Pilot Level and other factors, to affect how difficult the game actually feels at different Difficulty settings.
In brief, how easy or hard the game feels scales with several things: your Pilot Level, your Gear Score (how good your equipment is) and the actual Difficulty setting. Pilot Level and Difficulty Setting affect the enemies' health and damage, whilst your Gear Score doesn't impact the enemies' stats, it just makes them feel easier or tougher because you have better or worse gear equipped.
So, if you kept two of those things the same - say by playing on Normal, and keeping your Gear Score at 100, for example - then as your Pilot Level increases, so too will enemies' health and damage and it'll feel tougher if you don't upgrade your gear as you go. If your Pilot Level and Gear Score stay the same, then turning the Difficulty setting up from Normal to Hard will increase their health and damage to make it feel harder. If your Pilot Level and Difficulty setting stay the same, enemies' health and damage will stay the same, but having better or worse gear equipped will of course impact your chances of success.
The thing is, at max Pilot Level, enemies will obviously stop scaling but your loot won't, so for a tougher challenge you need to up the Difficulty setting to the Grandmaster tiers you'll have unlocked at hitting that Level 30 cap. Higher Difficulty settings will give you better gear, so you can put the Difficulty higher again, get better gear, put it up again, and so on. It's a bit chicken-and-egg - if you don't want to play at a higher Grandmaster tiers Difficulty then, without any other endgame content before Cataclysms arrive in the game, there's not a lot of reason to keep on playing and grinding - but then, that's loot shooters, right?
Anthem Level rewards list
As you progress from Level 1 to the maximum Level 30, you'll unlock various rewards like new Javelins and gear slots - more on classes, how to unlock new Javelins and switch Javelins in our specific guide to that - but below you'll find the full list of what those rewards are and what level you'll unlock them.
Note that on finishing the tutorial - where you're in a fixed suit and loadout - you'll hit Level 2 right away, hence Level 2 being the time it lets you choose your first Javlin.
Anthem level rewards list
|3||Second Weapon Slot|
|4||First Component Slot|
|6||Second Component Slot|
|10||First Consumable Slot; Rare loot available|
|12||Third Component Slot|
|14||Fourth Component Slot|
|18||Fifth Component Slot|
|20||Second Consumable Slot; Epic loot available|
|23||Sixth Component Slot|
|25||Masterwork weapons may drop in loot|
|30||Grandmaster Difficulties Unlocked; Masterwork and Legendary loot available|
Looking for more Anthem explainers like this? Our Anthem tips page is a great place to start, or our Anthem guide and walkthrough mission list hub, which has all our Anthem pages in one place, including in-depth looks at Anthem Javelin classes, how to unlock Javelins and some Colossus, Storm, Interceptor and Ranger builds, another in-depth look at Combos, Primers and Detonators and Elemental Effects and debuffs explained, or specific advice on how to Deactivate the Barrier for the Triple Threat puzzle solution. Here's where to find Anthem Collectibles, Anthem Ember Pieces and Anthem Treasure Chests, and how to get your Anthem Legion of Dawn armour and other pre-order bonuses, how the Anthem Alliance system works too. Finally, for levelling and grinding, here's an explainer of Anthem Pilot Level, XP and how to level fast, Anthem loot, gear, and the loot system explained and finally a deep-dive on Anthem Masterwork and Legendary gear explained, a Masterwork list and how to farm them.
How to earn XP and level up fast in Anthem
As with many grind-based shooters and RPGs like Anthem, there's an art to levelling up as quickly as possible for those keen on hitting that endgame stuff as soon as they can.
Loads of things give you XP in Anthem - generally going out into the world from the Fort Tarsis hub and killing bad guys, at whatever level of proficiency, will give you some XP - but the best ways to increase the rate at which you earn it are as follows.
How to earn XP and level up fast in Anthem
- Increase the Difficulty - a simple one, as we mentioned above. The higher the Difficulty you play missions on, the higher the XP rewards for completing it.
- Focus on 'Feats' during missions - when you're playing a mission it's understandably easy to get sucked into just playing it through like ususal, but if you want to max out your Level quickly, you should focus on Feats. These are the achievements you earned like precision kills, melee kills, plants harvested and so on during a single mission. The more (and better tier) you get during a mission the more XP you're awarded. You can view your progress if you're in a mission in the Tracked tab of the map menu.
- Play with other people - playing with others gives you more XP at the end of a mission, the more in your party the better.
- Use Quickplay - similarly, Quickplay gives you both bonus XP and bonus loot at the end for completing the mission. It chucks you into a random in-progress mission that has a free slot, but beware it's been very buggy for us at launch, so it's not as reliable as it could be just yet.
- Tackle Strongholds - really, it's a combination of all of these tips together. The ultimate combo for the best way to earn a dump of XP in one go is to earn lots of Feats, whilst playing with others in Quickplay, for a Stronghold mission. The only issue is those Quickplay games are random missions, so as far as we can tell it's pot luck if you get into a Quickplay Stronghold or not!
Finally, it's worth quickly noting that Alliance XP is something different - you don't get XP from the Alliance System, but the XP you earn does count towards it. In brief, any XP you earn is matched as Alliance XP, that goes towards your Alliance Tier. If that sounds a bit complicated - which it certainly did to us t first - our Anthem Alliance System guide explains how it all works!