An Experience Point (abbreviated EXP or XP) is a unit of measurement for character level advancement. Advancing to the next level requires a fixed amount of experience points which is determined by a formula.
In World of Warcraft, you can gain experience by killing mobs, completing quests, exploring, Battlegrounds, or collecting materials with a gathering profession such as Mining or Herbalism (but not Skinning). Raids can give XP, but in very low amounts.
This is based on the concept that as characters defeat stronger enemies, they gain combat experience that allows them to improve their skills. This system is adapted from D&D and is present in some form or another in almost all role-playing games.
XP To Level
- Main article: Formulas:XP To Level
The experience needed for a given level is specified by a formula that takes in to account several different factors. Up to level 10, it takes 8*CL kills of creatures of your same level to advance to the next level, where CL is your Current Level.
At level 11, the "difficulty reduction factor" added in patch 2.3.0 will kick in, thus reducing the XP needed to level. At level 30 the "difficulty factor" (from the original game release) will kick in, which increases the number of kills needed to level.
At level 60, the expected XP from killing a mob of your level increases drastically, as it is assumed that you will be killing mobs in Outland. This increases XP required to level. However at the same time, another reduction factor (active 60-70 only, added at the release of WotLK) goes into effect reducing the XP needed.
At level 70, the expected XP from killing a mob of your level increases drastically again, as it is assumed that you will be killing mobs in Northrend. The 60-70 XP reduction factor expires also, thus causing a large jump in the XP needed to level.
The following formula for quest XP was obtained by studying the XP rewards provided for various quests and various levels on the long defunct www.wowdbu.com (since 2008).
Character_Level <= Quest_Level + 5 : Quest_XP = (100 %) or Full_Quest_XP Character_Level = Quest_Level + 6 : Quest_XP = ( 80 %) or ROUND(Full_Quest_XP * 0.8 / 5) * 5 Character_Level = Quest_Level + 7 : Quest_XP = ( 60 %) or ROUND(Full_Quest_XP * 0.6 / 5) * 5 Character_Level = Quest_Level + 8 : Quest_XP = ( 40 %) or ROUND(Full_Quest_XP * 0.4 / 5) * 5 Character_Level = Quest_Level + 9 : Quest_XP = ( 20 %) or ROUND(Full_Quest_XP * 0.2 / 5) * 5 Character_Level >= Quest_Level + 10 : Quest_XP = ( 10 %) or ROUND(Full_Quest_XP * 0.1 / 5) * 5
Some lower level quests (Quest_Level < 10) seem to give full XP only for Character_Level <= Quest_Level + 4, differing by 1 level with the table above.
For the table, see Mob difficulty colors.
In respect to current level, higher level quests do yield a larger relative xp gain. However, in the time it takes to do these harder quests it is possible to do several of the lower quests. Each to their own, but don't confuse the absolute value of xp gained as a number with the relative xp gained as a percentage of current level requirements. One strategy is to avoid reds, miss most oranges and focus on a mix of yellow and greens. If you are meant to do them then you will find you have time later. If by then you have already moved on, there are plenty of shiny new quests in the next zone.
Also, bear in mind that by completing higher as opposed to lower level quests, you will reach a point where the quests below you are grey and there are no new quests to complete. All that's left is the grind...
Match the green and yellow quests and there is more than enough to see you questing all the way through the game.
Rested Bonus - Normally, the experience bar is filled purple for the amount of XP a character has. When a character is in the Rested state, the bar will be filled blue and all experience gains (except quests) will be doubled (2x). A character will gain the bonus if they stay inside of an inn or capital city. The longer one stays inside, the more the XP they can receive before returning to a normal state (shown by a transparent-blue bar follwed by a marker, positioned after the filled bar of XP already gained).
Recruit-A-Friend - (note: read more here: Recruit-A-Friend) After successfully recruiting a friend for a trial period, both you and your recruit will receive a 3x XP bonus for all XP gains (does not stack with Rested Bonus) as long as you are both in a party and close enough to each other within the game.
Adventurer's Journal - (Applies only to characters below level 85.) There is a chance that after reading an Adventurer's Journal (created by a Scribe), you will receive a buff that grants a 10% increase to XP gains from killing mobs and from quests.
Mob Gray Level
Killing a mob stops giving XP if the level of that mob is too low. The level of the mob by its portrait will become gray. this is called the Gray Level, and occurs depending on your character level.
The full formula for the Gray Level is rather complicated, so here is a table. Mobs at or below the level given in the table do not give XP.
- A Gray Level of 0 means that no mobs are gray at that character level.
- The lower the Gray Level (bigger difference between character level and the gray level) the better for the player, as it means more mobs to give XP.
- For character level 6-39 there is a little jump in favor of the player every 10 levels.
- For character level 40-59 there is a little jump in favor of the player every 5 levels.
- At character level 60 there is a big jump to the disadvantage of the player.
- For character level 60-80 the Gray Level is simply 9 levels below the character.
- Main article: Level locking
If you do not want to gain XP (ex. for the purpose of making a Twink), you can visit or to turn off all experience gains. It costs 10 to disable and another 10 to enable it.
Money Instead of XP at Max Level
When a character has reached the highest level attainable (60 for , 70 for , 80 for , 85 for ) they will receive money instead of experience points from completing quests. As far as can be determined, for all of these versions the conversion formula is:
Money in copper = XP * 6
Patch 4.3.0 (29-Nov-2011): XP needed to gain levels 71 - 80 lowered by 33%
/ Patch 4.0.1 (12-Oct-2010): Gathering herbs and Mining will give XP.
Patch 3.2.0 (04-Aug-2009): Battleground experience has arrived!
- Players will now be awarded experience for completing objectives and actions that yield honor in Battlegrounds (honorable kills not included).
- Players who do not wish to gain experience through PvP can visit Behsten in Stormwind or Slahtz in Orgrimmar - both located near the Battlemasters in either city - and turn off all experience accumulation for the cost of 10.
- Disabling experience gains will prevent a player from gaining experience through any means available in the game.
- Players with experience gains turned off who compete in Battlegrounds will face off only against other players with experience gains turned off.
- After disabling experience gains, hunter pets will continue to gain experience up to the level of the hunter.
- Behsten and Slahtz can reinstate experience gains for players, for a 10 fee of course. Any experience that would've been accumulated if experience gains were enabled cannot be recovered.
- ^ Vrakthris 2010-12-09. #3 - Xp for skinning?. Official Customer Support forum (US).
- ^ Natryndon 2010-10-16. #8 - [BUG] - Node-based Gathering Skills Give XP. Old Official forums (US). Archived from the original on 2010-10-16.
- ^ Gregg Reece 2010-09-13. Cataclysm Beta: Mining and herbalism give experience. WoW Insider.