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How to earn XP and level fast Starfield

It’s quite an experience, earning all this XP

A spaceship leaves Hopetown at sunset in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

Earning XP in Starfield is crucial for unlocking new skills and beefing up your character’s stats. Starfield is fairly generous with its XP, and you’re never short of ways to get what you need, even early in the game. But you can speed up the process. Here’s how to earn XP and level up fast in Starfield.

Go To Sleep

A character looks at a bed on a spaceship in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

Sleeping in a bed restores your health and gives you the “Well-Rested” perk. Being well-rested gives you a 10% XP buff for 24 in-game hours (based on universal time), so it’s a good idea to take a nap before you head out on a mission or take on side quests. You have a bed on your ship, in your room at the Constellation Lodge, and, if you have the Kid Stuff trait, at your parents’ home in New Atlantis.

Also, while not quite as effective as sleeping, drinking a Boba Alien Tea will give you a modest XP boost perk: 2% for 15 real-world minutes.

Explore New Locations

A ship lands on a moon at night in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

You get 20 XP every time you find a new location, whether it’s a landmark, a settlement, or a point of interest. The best way to handle exploration is to start at a landing point, such as a city or outpost, and explore any nearby areas of interest. Use your scanner to identify points of interest or unknown locations on the horizon, and place a marker on your surface map. Head back to space, and choose a landing point near your marker to cut down on how long it takes to reach your destination.

You can get 100 or more XP from your first visit to a planet this way, plus some extras for arriving in the space around the planet and its moons the first time.

Take On Trade Commission Requests

An explorer stares at the Trade Commission mission board in The Well in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

Trade Commission requests are a solid way to earn credits, but they’re an easy way to find new locations as well. Most of these requests involve reaching a new location in space, which earns you some XP, and landing on a planet or moon, which earns you XP, before exploring a bit, which — surprise! — earns you some XP. You can typically get 60 to 100 XP just from a quick bounty request.

Complete Quests

An explorer talks to a New Atlantis citizen in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

During your first visit to New Atlantis alone, the good — and not-so-good — citizens drop at least a dozen quests into your lap. The easy ones, such as exchanging a gem for a plate or finding a handful of bio-sensors, may not reward you with a ton of XP, but especially when you’re first getting started, it adds up pretty quickly.

Longer or more involved quests tend to shower you with a few hundred XP, though. For example, finishing the tour around New Homestead on Titan takes probably 10 or 15 minutes of slowly walking and listening to Bill Starsap talk, but you get 200 XP at the end. Some complex quest chains, such as the Red Tape line in Cydonia on Mars, open several new quests and chances to earn XP as well. Small wonder that quest is one of our recommendations for what to do first in Starfield.

I hit level 10 before even reaching Neptune during “The Old Neighborhood” (Starfield’s second campaign mission) just by doing maybe a dozen side quests. If you’re struggling, stop the main story for a bit and see who you can help.

Complete Faction Quests

An explorer talks to a faction organizer standing behind a counter in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

Faction quests in particular are a guaranteed way to get at least 200 XP or more a pop (and also plenty of extra credits as well). You can start as soon as you land in New Atlantis by visiting MAST headquarters and joining UC Vanguard. From our experience, the first several missions have no story-altering choices, so you can do them all with no fear of locking yourself out from completing other faction quests.

Even the more in-depth faction quests tend to take about 30 minutes at the most, so you get what you need pretty quickly, alongside a nice dive into Starfield’s lore.

Defeat Enemies

An explorer aims at a space pirate in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

Combat is one of the least efficient ways to earn XP — unless you’re taking on large numbers of enemies. You get 10 XP if you or a companion defeat an enemy, which is paltry if you’re just invading an unsuspecting ship or a lonely outpost. Constellation missions usually pit you against a few dozen enemies, though, and if you spot an abandoned lab or mining outpost on a settled system or lonely moon, you can almost guarantee there’ll be a crew of Spacers or pirates waiting. If you take a nap beforehand, the Well-Rested perk can easily turn such ventures into triple digit XP hauls.

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