- Note: This article concerns only the original computer game.
|You have been warned!
In general, kill as many monsters as you can, even if it means lurking in dangerous places. You have swallow potions, so make the most of them! And if you run out, brew some more! For each level Geralt advances, the experience points (XP) you get per monster are reduced by 5 XP and the XP you require to reach the next level increases by 1000 points. This means that killing foes sooner than later is more beneficial. Only your patience (or lack thereof) limits the amount of experience points you can rack up.
Another obvious exploit is the way the game handles the passage of time. Because it does not actually affect gameplay, quests can be put off indefinitely while you rack up additional experience points. Below is a chapter-by-chapter guide on how to earn that extra XP:
Be forewarned that any XP you gain from killing monsters depends on your level at the time, so any deviation from the numbers mentioned below is perfectly normal.
Prologue (Kaer Morhen)
There is an endless supply of Salamandra if Geralt chooses to fight the frightener during the assault on Kaer Morhen. This can be exploited by postponing finishing the fight. Simply do not ring the bells, avoid the frightener, and stay near the entrance. This allows Geralt to kill bandits without advancing the main battle (with the frightener). Each bandit is worth 10 XP.
Note: To allow new bandits to respawn, you must rotate the camera so that the entrance is not in your field of view. Bandits only appear if Geralt has his back turned to them... It is possible to gain an extra level this way, but it does take a while.
Chapter I (Outskirts of Vizima)
Echinopsae can be found in the cave to the west of the Maribor Gate to Vizima. Depending on Geralt's level, these beasts are worth around 100 XP each and there are seven of them in the cave (Technically, on your first visit, there are eight of them, but the eighth one does not respawn). They respawn every time you exit and re-enter the cave, so just keep doing that until you have had enough. This way you can easily boost Geralt's stats by two to three additional levels. As previously mentioned, doing this as early as possible in Chapter I, will maximize the number of points you can gain.
- Note: A torch is a surprisingly good weapon against echinopsae.
- Note: One incineration effect will usually kill an echinops, Geralt can duck behind cover after using Igni and simply wait for the echinopsae to die enabling you to acquire kills with minimal risk.
Chapter II (Temple Quarter of Vizima)
Wyvern Island is a good place to rack up a few extra XP. It is also worthwhile running around the swamp at night. This early in the game, bloedzuigers are still worth nearly 100 XP and are quite abundant. I use the Igni on them and just keep running around them until they die from the incineration (this avoids taking damage from their poisonous spray when they die).
Near the collapsed towers, to the east of Wyvern Island, there is a campfire and at night the place is crawling with ghouls and alghouls. These re-spawn nightly, so killing them all and then using the campfire to wait for more is another way to gather XP. The alghouls are tougher but much more rewarding in XP terms. Alghouls and Ghouls can also contain White Vinegar, which can be sold to Kalkstein for 20 orens per vial.
You can easily level up in the Vizima sewers by slaying graveirs in the crypt. Take the Finders Keepers quest to get the key. You will eventually find the heirloom and then four graveirs (one yields up to 350 XP) each time you enter the crypt. There are also some re-spawning ghouls, but less frequently so. Another method is to use the fireplace within the crypt to rest, this will not only restore Geralt but also re-set the zone exactly as if you'd just re-entered the crypt. The entrance and the fireplace are on opposite ends of the crypt thus allowing you to make a circuit clearing the crypt of monsters as you head in one direction, resetting when you reach either end and having a new set to clear on the return trip with no extra time spent on backtracking before resetting the zone. (At level 20 that's 1600 XP per circuit from graveirs alone)
Chapter III (Trade Quarter of Vizima)
A great way to earn a lot of XP in a (comparatively) short time is during the Gold Rush quest. Take the warehouse route into the bank. There will always be 5 Fleders available for your hunting pleasures: 3 on the ground floor and 2, by the door, on the upper floor; simply alternate getting in and out of the town hall exit or through the trade quarter exit, and they will keep respawning. Depending on your level, each of them will net you upwards of 285+ points, which works out to a total of almost 1,500 XP per run.
An endless supply of Alps is available in the Elven ruins in the sewers in the Trade Quarter. Just go there before completing any quests in Chapter III, and use the campfire in the room adjacent to the room with the teleporter and the throne. On your way you will also encounter a couple of other beasts, a fleder (bonus) and a ghoul (not as lucrative, but readily available).
All three foes respawn every time you meditate, so just keep alternating between meditating for an hour and killing the monsters. And if you do not want to waste time, just teleport out and back again. Each one of these "rounds" is worth around 850 XP (depending on Geralt's level at the time). Note that this can only be taken advantage of before completing Echoes of Yesterday or Gold Rush. As long as you have not done the quests, the monsters will respawn endlessly and everything game-wise is simply on hold until you are done.
Another good area to gather XP is the Swamp at night. There are tons of echinopsae, archespores, bloedzuigers, drowned dead, and drowners (more of a nuisance at this point, but still easy to kill). Also the path through the swamp, between the ruined tower and Wyvern Island offers many ghouls, alghouls and cemetaurs which appear at night and respawn every time Geralt meditates at the nearby campfire. Some caution should be exercised as a group of them will very quickly attack when Geralt finishes meditating.
Royal wyverns should replace the regular wyverns in the swamp after you knocked off Moa for the Royal huntsman trophy quest, and these are worth around 500 XP a piece. They spawn in groups of four, so 2000 XP per run. Do not get swarmed, they hit hard.
Kikimore warriors will also spawn all over the swamp, and they are worth 450+ XP a piece.
Finally, the swamp cave is full of cockatrices, they also respawn regularly, and are the best way for you to level up in this Chapter. They are worth 750+ XP a piece! And there are six of them per cave run, yielding a whopping 4500 XP total!
- Make sure you have the bestiary entries for fleders, alps, bloedzuigers, wolves, royal wyverns, ghouls, cemetaurs, kikimores, archespores, cockatrices, and graveirs before doing the above. For contracts, and skinnable items see Cheapskate's Guide.
- When you kill the alp, before looting the corpse, take the opportunity to switch to Strong silver style combat before re-sheathing your weapon, then go get the fleder and the ghoul. However, it takes longer to kill the Alp, then run to the Fleder and Ghoul, then run back, than it does to simply kill the Alp twice (and killing the Alp twice will yield more XP).
- Or simply remember the keyboard shortcuts: Q for steel sword, E for silver sword, Z for strong style, X for fast style, and C for group style.
- Make sure that you "surface" from the alp-run early in the morning, so that there is a full day to do all the other quests that have been on hold while you racked up XP.
Chapter IV (Lakeside)
Basilisks! These are worth around 1400-1500 XP each and while they do not respawn reliably, they do eventually. You will find them on Black Tern Island, just west of the Lady of the Lake. There is also a colony of wyverns on the island, including a few royal wyverns and they also respawn (if not reliably).
The creatures in the crypt in the fields (which include quite a few cemetaurs, alps, fleders, and alghouls) also respawn regularly, so visit often! The majority of the crypt's residents will respawn at midnight, but there are four alps that will constantly respawn every time you enter the crypt, worth 400-500 XP each. A quick run can net at least 1600 XP per cycle, providing the highest XP gains in Chapter IV. You can also kill time running around the fields killing monsters. During the day, there are quite a few noonwraiths and giant centipedes and at night there are devourers and centipedes.
Advance the quest, The Heat of the Day, to the point where you have seen the Midday bride but not to the point where you have to find her mirror. She will respawn at the Raspberry patch every time you meditate or reload the Fields map during daylight hours. Approach her when she is neutral (blue) and there is a cutscene, then she becomes aggressive (red). Killing her yields around 950 XP each time (yes, this is quite evil).
Chapter V (Old Vizima)
More basilisks. There is at least one basilisk in each one of the ancient tombs that can be accessed via the Wayfarer's stones, worth over 1400 XP each. Just because you do not have to visit all three ancient tombs to complete the game, does not mean that you should not! The creatures in Raven's crypt all respawn after midnight and the area contains at least 24 wraiths, 16 fleders and 1 basilisk, though an average quick run will only have about 20 wraiths and 12 fleders because of how monsters reveal themselves. Meditating until midnight and then again meditating until a couple of hours before midnight will allow you to use potions, clear the crypt and then meditate an hour until midnight so that everything respawns, enabling you to get two full runs from one set of potions. Using this method, it will take about 36 runs or 18 sets of potions to level from 40 to 50, give or take a few runs/sets depending on how thorough you are. Finally, there are at least two, and often three necrophages (graveirs and cemetaurs) outside Kalkstein's place in Old Vizima. Simply enter / exit Kalkstein's for them to respawn.
- Just generally kill as much as possible, no special tips here.