XP in Assassin's Creed Odyssey is pretty important, now that it's essentially a full-blown RPG, and as you'd expect it's the key to levelling up quickly as you progress through the game.
There are loads of ways to earn it, but some activities grant you significantly more XP than others, so here in this guide we'll run through some of the best ways to earn XP fast, so you can plough on with the story when the grind starts to get tough.
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Assassin's Creed Odyssey XP and levelling explained
Earning XP in Odyssey works pretty similarly to how it did in Origins - that is, it's earned from just about everything.
Everything from defeating standard enemies to completing main story quests, sidequests, naval combat and more will grant you XP, and so you'll naturally level up and scale just from playing the game however you choose. On the topic of scaling, too, it's worth noting that the amount of XP you get from certain activities, particularly combat, will naturally increase as you progress through the game.
That said, you will likely hit a wall at some point - likely well before you hit the cap of Level 50 - where the game gates off a mission behind a level that you haven't yet reached (yes, main missions have level requirements in Assassin's Creed Odyssey) and so at that point, you're going to need to grind.
There are plenty of ways to do it, and like we said you can just crack on and do whatever activities take your fancy if you're not in a hurry, but if you are in a hurry and want to crack on with that main story, or even just reach some of those late-game islands and areas, then below we have our tips for getting XP and levelling up fast.
Looking for more help? Our main Assassin's Creed Odyssey guide and tips hub gives you an overview of our pages, while we also have all fifty-plus Ainigmata Ostraka puzzle locations and solutions, plus more on how to get the Assassin's Creed Odyssey best ending, a list of all Assassin's Creed Odyssey tomb solutions, the best weapons, armour, engravings, and legendary armour and weapons listed, the Kalydonian Boar strategy and location, Orichalcum locations and even help with Assassin's Creed Odyssey romance options. Elsewhere we can help with how to earn money and Drachmae fast in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, how to earn XP and level up fast in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and our picks for the best side quests in Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
The fastest ways to earn XP and level up in Assassin's Creed Odyssey
There are several quick ways to earn XP in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but which one comes out as the absolute fastest is going to come down to your own preferences and respective abilities. With that in mind, here's a handful of what we've found to be the best options, so you can decide for yourself.
Fast ways to earn XP and level up in Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Specific Message Board Bounties - Throughout the world, namely in towns and major settlements, you'll find Message Boards with a number bounties on them. Interact with the board to view the list of bounties, and you'll notice that as you hover over each one they show their rewards, including some colour-coded icons for Drachmae and XP that you'll earn. Blue is decent, but the gold-coloured XP icon means it rewards you with high XP.
Often these are quite quick, or even tasks you'll naturally be carrying out anyway, and so they're a great source of quick, high XP, but it's worth noting that they're sometimes time-limited to around 24 hours or so. Pick them up in every location you visit as you pass through, and you'll naturally complete bounties as you go - you'll also sometimes be told if one's nearby, so going five minutes out of your way can give you a nice and quick XP bump.
Naval Combat Bounties and Contracts - Ship-to-ship combat requires you to invest some time into upgrading your ship and its combat capabilities, but it's likely that you'll be doing that anyway as you progress through the game. If you have a well-upgraded ship, or you plan on getting one anyway, then sinking other ships, when there's a specific bounty out for one can be a great source of large amounts of XP.
You get the bounties and contracts from those Message Boards, and the desciption will indicate that it's a naval one. These are one of the largest sources of XP in the game, and also provide you with a big chunk of both money and tradeable resources, too, so take them whenever you can.
Conquest Battles - Like naval combat, conquest battles can be time-consuming but are also excellent sources of XP, giving you about as much as a longer story mission. The added benefit is that you'll often need to complete all of the local area's tasks to actually trigger the battle, and you'll be getting XP for doing those tasks anyway before the big tasty slice of experience you'll get at the end of the bout itself.
Keep an eye on the map to see when an area is vulnerable and ready for a battle - it's marked by the purple bar on the right hand side of your map screen - and head over to vulnerable areas as soon as you can. Once that purple bar is low, there's a chance the battle can play out automatically before you get there and the region flip to the other side's control, bringing it back to stability and meaning you miss out on the battle, and all that XP. Oh, and when you're in one, try to get as many kills as possible, as the more you get the more XP you're given as a reward.
Message Boards can also tie into these quite nicely, too, with specific Bounties helping to trigger conquests by destabilising regions - for instance when they ask you to kill an area's Leader.
Exploration - Generally exploring the evironment in Assassin's Creed Odyssey will provide you with a steady stream of XP. It's nothing huge, but it adds up over time. Whenever you find a previously-unvisited location you'll be given some XP, so if you get into a habit of visiting everything nearby as you generally progress through the game, you'll keep yourself well topped up.
Combat - Including the Arena, combat, particularly with higher-level enemies, is a good source of XP. If you need to specifically grind out a few levels for a mission for instance, combining this with some exploration and going to a new island, that's perhaps towards the upper end of the difficulty in terms of level compared to yours, is a great way to combine exploration XP and combat XP from defeating high-level foes - like those tougher Mercenaries, in particular.