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Experience, or EXP, are obtainable reward points as part of a vital, in-game system by which certain characters can progress through the game via level up. The system has a set number after each level up which has to be completely depleted to zero in order to progress to the next level. The set number can slowly be depleted after defeating enemies, and different enemies provide different amounts of experience once they are defeated. The set number increases after each level up, therefore making it harder to reach the next level. Tech Points are also obtainable reward points and work like experience points but are awarded when the player uses various techniques in battle, like deflecting blows or exploiting enemy weaknesses.
In most games of the series, the experience gained from each defeated enemy is the product of a base value unique to the enemy type, a value based on the scenario's "Battle Level", and any modifiers on the player character, such as those granted by EXP Boost, Hi-EXP Boost, Experience Boost, Double EXP, EXP Incentive, the EXP Necklace, the EXP Earring, the EXP Ring, or the EXP Bracelet. Upon acquiring experience, a counter appears on the HUD displaying the amount earned from the battle, as well as the experience required to reach the next Level; generally, the amount gained from a specific enemy will also appear over that enemy as they fade away. Kingdom Hearts II introduces Bonus Levels, which increase after clearing scripted events and earn the party stat boosts, equipment slots, or new abilities. The recurring EXP Walker ability allows the user to gain one experience point per step walked.
In Kingdom Hearts, during the Dive to the Heart, Sora's answers to the questions posed by Tidus, Selphie, and Wakka can influence the rate at which he gains experience. If his answers lead to dawn, he rapidly gains experience early on, but the rate slows down as he reaches later levels. Midday options mean the rate he gains experience, regardless of level, will be a consistent pace. Night options mean early levels take more experience than usual, but at later levels he levels up faster.
There are only two effective Battle Levels, distinct from those used to depict the average difficulty of the scenario: before Kairi's rescue, and after it. Instead of being a product of an enemy's individual value and the scenario's battle level, each type of enemy has two individual experience values. The values used before Kairi's rescue are generally staggered to provide increasingly rewarding battles as the player makes their way towards Hollow Bastion, while the values used after her rescue are more equalized, to make battles in each world approximately as rewarding as in any other.
In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, the system is halfway between the original system and those used in later games. Each enemy has an individual experience value for each floor of Castle Oblivion that it can appear on, with more experience being rewarded as the player makes it farther to the end of the game. Furthermore, experience is not directly awarded to the player character upon an enemy's defeat; instead, they drop Experience Prizes, similar to HP Prizes in other games, which the player character must pick up in order to acquire. These prizes fade away if left on the field, making it possible to miss them, but any prizes still on the field when the battle ends are automatically picked up.
In Kingdom Hearts II, there are multiple EXP levels that increase independently from the standard party levels and Bonus Levels. Drive Forms level up based on certain factors such as landing hits, collecting Drive Orb prizes, and defeating a certain type of enemy. Summons gain one experience point based on when the Summon Gauge drops a level.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Deck Commands gain experience in the form of Command Points, or CP. Each command has a max level, and leveling up commands allows them to be used in Command Melding with each other to gain access to more commands. The Double CP ability increases the CP gained per enemy. Using a Secret Gem during Command Meld allows the resulting command to reach max level. Finish Commands use a similar system to Drive Forms, though the exact requirements for each finisher in the protagonist's finish tree depends on certain requirements and which finisher is equipped.
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Spirit Dream Eaters gain experience independently from Sora and Riku, and are unaffected by EXP Zero. Spirits gain experience by defeating enemies or playing with Training Toys. Spirits also have an Affinity that maxes out at 9 and increases by a similar method, but defeating enemies will always add one Affinity experience point per enemy defeated.
In Kingdom Hearts, leveling up can be done easily by juggling Rare Truffles; they drop large amounts of experience after 100 juggles, which equate to around 5050 EXP points.
For those without the patience to juggle Truffles, quick leveling can be done via repeating Seeds 10-1 in the Hades Cup repeatedly until the player reaches level 70, at which point they can easily complete the Time Trial for the Hades Cup. Doing so allows Sora to "choose" whom to fight. Repeatedly defeating the Rock Titan is another good way to gain experience, as it awards 4000 Experience, and about 100 Technique, or Tech, experience per defeat.
For those who haven't completed the Time Trial and don't have access to the "choose" feature, repeated Ice Titan conquering is also decent, and actually better if the player doesn't care about what level their companions are, or if they have Strength under 55. The Technique experience gained from the Ice Titan is almost equal to the amount received for defeating it, although the fight takes a little longer and is harder for some. It's excellent for leveling Sora up by himself.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
In Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, the best place to level up varies between characters. In Sora's Story, the ideal location is Destiny Islands, using a Deck made of Mushu and Fire cards; Sora should have learned the Mega Flare Sleight beforehand. Upon entering a battle, immediately stack a Mushu and two Fire cards in order to create Mega Flare. After defeating them with Mega Flare, a new horde of enemies will appear. After defeating swarms of enemies, Sora will gain around 2000 experience per battle. Using a 'Teeming Darkness' room card is recommended due to the increase of Heartless within the room.
In Reverse/Rebirth, the best location is at Basement 1. To gain experience, simply engage in battle, activate Lexaeus's enemy card and its Warp Break ability, and attack the enemies. To make the process easier, use a Martial Waking card so that Riku's cards are of a higher value than the enemies' and get into Dark Mode before activating Warp Break.
Kingdom Hearts II
In Kingdom Hearts II the best location to level up at is the peak of Pride Rock. Swarms of Rapid Thruster Heartless spawn repeatedly here which makes leveling up simple with long combos and Magnet-Thunder.
Another excellent place to level is to go to through the Castle That Never Was with Experience Boost and the Gull Wing Keyblade equipped, while using a high-level Drive Form. The player should turn off Donald's Donald Cure ability and allow Sora to get hit until the HP bar is flashing red. The experience gained will be from 1500-3000 points per Nobody. It should be noted that this method is risky if Sora is not at a high level.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, the best location to level up at is Mission 93: Believe. The player should equip the Extreme ring, Auto-Life, and the Pandora's Gear+ with 3 Ability Units (the last slot can be a Power Unit or a Sight Unit). With 3 Ability Units, the weapon will have Alive 'n' Kicking, which will always stagger enemies when the player is at at full HP. It also has Vitality Surge, which increases strength when at full HP, and the Extreme Ring caps the player's HP at 1. This effectively means that the player will always be at full HP, as they have only 1 HP maximum, and therefore will always have the strength boost and stagger effect. Auto-Life ensures that they can take an extra hit, to cover mistakes. To top it all off, the Extreme ring also grants doubled experience with its Hi-EXP Boost.
Go through the mission as normal, taking out the Neoshadows along the path. Once the Riku fight begins, jump and hit him once, then fall back to the ground. Quickly jump and attack once again, and continue this process until Riku falls. He will remain stun locked the entire time, as long as he is staggered again quickly enough. If the player misses the timing then Riku can quickly break out, and if he turns his keyblade into a sword of light, he can no longer be staggered. If this happens, resort to using Limits to take him down as quickly as possible. Performing this strategy correctly rewards 6,378 experience about every 2 minutes.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
The best location to gain experience for all three characters is the Reactor in Radiant Garden, using a Command Deck with four Mega Flare Commands. The player needs to have the ability EXP Chance activated and their health must be below 25%. The player should also take off every Treasure Magnet ability the player has equipped, and go to center of the Reactor. Unversed will spawn at this point. After defeating them with Mega Flare, a new horde of Unversed will appear. After defeating multiple swarms of Unversed, the player will gain around 1600 experience points. Equipping a Keyblade that has a high magic stat is recommended, such as No Name, Pixie Petal, Ultima Weapon, or Royal Radiance.
A location for Ventus and Aqua to gain experience is the Launch Deck in Deep Space. The player should make sure that the Mickey Dimension Link has its second emblem, as it provides Double EXP. The player must exit from the Machinery Bay Access save point and walk forward until enemies appear, then summon the Mickey D-Link right away and defeat the Unversed. After defeating the multiple swarms of Unversed, the player will gain around 2000 and 3000 experience points. Each encounter should be less than a minute.
The best strategy for Terra is to enter the Skull Rock: Cavern in Neverland. The presence of the Blobmob Unversed in that area is one of the best sources for experience. Meld the EXP Walker ability and equip Ars Solum, Quake, Magnega, Victory Pose (used at the end of each encounter) and Mega Flare for this strategy. Each encounter should be between 5 and 10 seconds.
Another strategy is to meld the EXP Walker ability and fight Unversed, while at the same time walking and avoiding using Movement Commands, such as Cartwheel, Slide, etc. This will make the player receive the optimum amount of experience in an average battle. The player can also use it with EXP Chance to allow a larger EXP revenue.
The best strategy for all characters is to equip Mega Flare, meld the EXP Walker ability and clear the Keepers of the Arena match after match for faster leveling. It is the only match in the Mirage Arena to reward the most experience (6000 to 7000+).
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
Outside the Coliseum, in Olympus Coliseum, is a good place to gain experience points. Walk towards the other end of the entrance and one Air Soldier, one Invisible, and two Wizards will spawn. After defeating them, more will appear. By defeating the multiple swarms of enemies, the player will gain around 8000 to 9000 experience points. Equipping Oathkeeper is recommended, due to its LV1 Clock Ability; Undo, which will protect the player from the Wizards', Air Soldier', and Invisible' status effect-based attacks and its LV4 Clock Ability EXP Boost; which provide an addition boost in experience points.
The best place to gain experience toward the end of the game is in Castle Oblivion. The Zero/One Keyblade is recommended for its clock abilities Attack Upgrade, All Critical, Heavy Blade, and Targeting Scope, with Mega Flare as the Finish command and a few Magnega. After destroying a few Blox to build up the Clock Gauge, speak to Hercules to face off against endless waves of Shadows for 30 seconds. Just attacking should be enough to one-shot all of them, with Mega Flare being used to wipe out the rest. After the Clock Gauge resets, use Magnega and other commands to build the gauge up and keep the cycle going. This method should easily defeat 50. Following this fight, Data-Sora will face a Large Body and a few Wizards which are made easy with Heavy Blade, and All Critical. After that, a few Shadows will appear. To find the right one, Magnega or Mega Flare should be used. Finally, Angel Stars, Wizards, and Invisibles will appear, which again can be defeated easily with Magnega and Mega Flare. This method will earn 50,000 experience in under a minute.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
In Dream Drop Distance, the best place to grind is in the Symphony of Sorcery outside the Mysterious Tower. Sora and Riku should have EXP Boost equipped, which only works if their HP is at 25%. To do this, use Mega Flare to take out the Dream Eaters quickly. Go back inside the tower, and then back outside so the Dream Eaters can respawn. If their HP goes past the alarm zone, make sure the Nightmares deplete it back in the alarm zone. Avoid having Spirits that have Cure spells so that EXP Boost will work. This strategy is easier for Riku because he has the Sacrifice command.
For Riku, another good place to level grind would be at Country of the Musketeers, in the Green Room. Getting around won't take long and will net around 3,000 EXP. Using Flowmotion, Mega Flare, or Meteor makes it easier.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-
Kingdom Hearts III
In Kingdom Hearts III, the Battlegates, particularly Battlegate 0 at the Keyblade Graveyard and Battlegate 1 at Olympus, are a good way to gain experience in the postgame. It is recommended to consume Cuisine that can grant the party the EXP Incentive ability to increase their EXP revenue. The party should repeatedly enter the Battlegates and defeat the enemies there in whatever method they choose. Crowd-control techniques such as Shotlocks, especially Infinity Circle, Aeroga into Thundaga (which can potentially trigger the Aeroza and/or Thundaza Situation Commands), or Link Summons like King's Flare are excellent choices for this task.
Kingdom Hearts II
Synthesising items grants experience to the moogle, which increases the moogle's level. Leveling up grants perks, such as the ability to use modifier materials, halving the materials required for synthesis, and unlocking new items in Free Development.