In the easiest difficulty grinding experience is pretty pointless. You’re gaining levels extremely fast and can finish it quite easily without any item or level grinding required. By the time you get to Cruel (second) difficulty you should be over level 30 and you can start farming the first few areas of Act I without much trouble.
Afterwards, you should always try to be at the very least the same level as monsters in a particular area otherwise progression might get difficult, especially if you prefer playing solo and not in groups. Some skill tree builds also aren’t as strong until level 50 or so (dual totems or Freezing Pulse for example) so it’s highly recommended to stay a few levels above the mobs in the zone you’re in. You can take a look at the table below for a quick overview of the monster levels in every zone.
|The Twilight Strand||1||33||52||Yes|
|The Coast (Terraces)||2||33||52|
|The Rocky Climb||8||36||54||Yes|
|The Prisoner’s Gate||11||37||55||Yes|
|The Ship Graveyard||12||38||55||Yes|
|Ship Graveyard Cave||13||39||59|
|Cavern of Wrath||14||39||55||Yes|
|The Den (Cave)||17||42||61|
|Blackwood (Dark Forest)||18||42||57||Yes|
|The Weaver’s Chambers||20||43||58|
|Crypt (Church Dungeon)||21||43||60||Yes (lvl 1)|
|Chamber of Sins||20||43||58||Yes (lvl 2)|
|Wetlands (Pools and Streams)||23||45||59||Yes|
|Caverns (Waterfall Cave)||25||46||60||Yes|
|The City of Sarn||26||47||61||Yes|
|Warehouse District (Warehouses)||29||49||61||Yes (sewers)|
|Solaris Temple||31||50||62||Yes (lvl 3)|
|Sewer Waterway (Sewers Aqueduct)||32||51||63|
|Lunaris Temple||33||51||65||Yes (lvl 2)|
|The Sceptre of God||35||53||67||Yes|
I included the waypoint information just in case you need to know which zones have them. If you’re looking for specific quest walkthroughs read this article.
Where to grind levels?
Below are my absolutely favorite areas to grind experience, so if you’re looking to gain some quick levels I suggest you do it here.
Act I: The Ledge
Probably the best of all areas, The Ledge is really straightforward. Monsters include mostly Skeletons which are slow and really easy to mow down either one by one or with AoE skills. There’s also a waypoint in the middle of the zone so you don’t have to spend too many Portal Scrolls if you wish to clear your inventory.
Tip: the “sharp” tip of the waypoint always points towards Kuduku and the next area (Rocky Climb).
In The Ledge I recommend you simply run from one end to another and clear everything along the way. Reset the instance and repeat. Really easy, fast, and like everything else in Path of Exile best done in groups.
Act II: Fellshrine Ruins
There are actually a few areas which are equally good for grinding levels in Act II, but Fellshrine Ruins is probably my favorite zone. Take a waypoint to Church Dungeon Level 1, and take the exit to Fellshrine Ruins immediately next to it. In Fellshrine I found it best to simply follow the road, and once you get to Crossroads exit just reset the instance. Rinse and repeat. If you don’t have Church Dungeon waypoints go to Crossroads and just follow the road east.
Monsters in Fellshrine mostly include skeletons and zombies which are both extremely easy to kill, and when you come across Hulking Titans you can easily skip them if you find them hard to kill.
Alternatively Church Dungeon, Western Forest, Pools and Streams and Pyramid are all just as good for farming, so take your pick.
Act III: The Docks
Without a doubt The Docks is the best area for experience grinds in Act III on any difficulty. Another area littered with skeletons and zombies who won’t cause you any trouble. There’s plenty of room for kiting, and ranged classes will certainly enjoy killing monsters from safe spots over ledges.
If you’re level 30 or so after finishing Act II, press the magic “S” button and find a group for The Docks. You’ll be level 35 in just a bit over an hour, making progression through early Cruel difficulty much easier. If you’re trying to go on Merciless, you can easily farm this zone until level 60 if you wish and still get plenty of experience.
Docks may be my favorite Act III grinding spot, though it isn’t the most optimal. The typical progression players do (especially in Merciless) is City of Sarn > Catacombs > Library > Lunaris. In Cruel and Normal difficulties I tend to over-farm in Act I & II so I can completely skip XP grinding in Act III.
If you really wanted to you can finish Merciless by the time you hit level 50, although there’s not much point. You can just open up Docks and farm there until you’re level 74 with ease. It’s one of the easiest area to farm, has decent drops so you can upgrade your equipment, and you can even get quite a few maps there to get you started. If you’re around level 62 you should still be getting almost 20% of your level by doing just one full Docks run which takes no longer than 10 minutes in the worst of groups. At level 73 if I remember correctly you’ll get about 8% of your level with one full run which is still a decent amount.
Before doing level 66 maps I would recommend you try and hit at least the same level in non-map areas: it’s extremely easy and even though it’s a grind, that’s what Path of Exile endgame looks like so you might as well get used to it. As for equipment and defenses you should try and max your elemental resistances and get at least 2,000 health (or 3,000 energy shield), otherwise you might end up dying far too often to continuously get experience.
Leveling really slows down after you hit 75, in which case you’ll want to do maps at least level 67, or find a group for Lunaris Temple. By the time you hit level 80 I’m sure you’ll already know what your preferred way of leveling is. Realistically you shouldn’t expect to hit level 100 anytime soon as it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, but in case you’re planning your character skill tree build you can expect to be level 90 at most.
General leveling tips:
- Try grouping up with other players if you’re having trouble progressing, or find a group that just grinds the same area over and over again and farm experience. Once you’re 3-4 levels above the monster’s level in a particular area you should have no problems clearing it alone.
- Farming experience in groups for a couple of hours may be boring, but it’s definitely better than dying constantly. Remember that dying on Cruel and Merciless difficulty levels will decrease your experience by 5% and 10% respectively, meaning you’ll eventually have to farm that XP anyway.
- Also it doesn’t really matter what level you decide to go grind for experience, you will have to catch up in levels sooner or later. Simply progressing through quests in harder difficulties won’t give you enough experience points and you WILL have to grind. I suggest you do it early while you’re about the same level as monsters in order to maximize your experience gain and loot.
- On Cruel and Merciless difficulties try not to have a full XP bar before you engage bosses. In fact I recommend you go attempt to kill bosses just after you gained a level to make sure you lose as little as possible if (or rather when) you die.
- It’s always best, fastest and safest to do maps with a full group. If your defenses or damage is lacking don’t be afraid to run in and out of fights and play more passively and safely. Once you figure out you gain 1-3% XP for a full 66 map run dying and losing 10% of your experience is a significant amount of farming.
I do hope this post helps you at least a little bit to powerlevel your characters as quickly as possible, or at the very least make sure you know where to catch up with levels. If you have any other great areas for farming you like or other leveling tips be sure to post them in the comments below.