- The following article is based on a subject that has not been officially named in any official Square Enix material; the current title is merely a placeholder.
Level Grinding, Power Leveling, or Training, is a fan-term used to describe walking around an enemy infested location and defeating enemies in battle for the sake of leveling up. The point of this method is to strengthen up the team, usually for an upcoming boss. Level Grinding may also be called Farming, which is usually used for more specific cases, like AP Farming or Experience Farming for Ability Points and Experience Points respectively.
Being a long-time method in role-playing games, Level Grinding has been received with a lot of negative reaction. Many reviewers criticize games that require excessive level grinding in order to defeat difficult enemies. In early role-playing games, the original Final Fantasy being one of them, level grinding was almost mandatory. Since then, grinding has been somewhat disguised as other gameplay elements. Final Fantasy XII, for example, introduced the Hunt system, which many gamers use as a means to grind and earn various items.
Early game, the Peninsula of Power has many high level monsters that yield high experience and gold and are easily defeated with Fire, Fire2, Fire3, Nuke and Harm, Harm2, Harm3 but also have monsters that Harm will not effect. So to do this it is best to get alot of Heal potions and House's or Cabin's and Tent's. Remember to save after ever fight until the battles become easy. Once your out of potions and sleeping supplies go to Pravoka Pirate Town. It is a lot easier if you go as soon as possible the reason why is the farther you level your character the easier the game will be. I recommend going to at least to level 25 especially if you have a Black Belt. With a Black Belt damage doubles with every level if you have him unequipped. So at level 25 his damage will be 50 which even a Knight will have a hard time keeping up with. Additionally, since certain bosses always appear when a character steps on a tile, easy bosses such as the Dragon Zombie and the Evil Eye can be fought repetitively.
On the first floor of the Cavern of Earth, there is a section (a corridor on the far west) that contains a fixed encounter on every tile making it an easy place to level up. It is recommended that you max your party's HP/MP and level up until around level 40.
In the late game, the Warmech gives the most experience of any enemy, though it is very powerful.
Similar to the Peninsula of Power in the first game, south of Fynn is an area with powerful monsters that will raise the party's stats quickly early in the game. Later, the Tropical Island and the Jade Passage have high level monsters that can be defeated with little effort in attempt to boost stats. Additionally, in the 20th Anniversary edition and all remakes based on this version, players can use the Arcane Labyrinth to quickly boost their stats.
Players of the NES and Origins can exploit the Select/Cancel trick, in which the player selects an action and cancels it, but the stat boost still registers. Since there are only three members in the party most of the time and the player cannot cancel after selecting the final player character's attack, it is best to boost stats when a guest character fills the fourth slot.
Due to the nature of armor and weapons in these versions, the best equipment is having no equipment at all, and therefore this saves on grinding for gil. Players of all versions can attack their own players to quickly boost HP or MP.
In the Cave of Shadows, the constant multiplying of enemies can be useful when grinding. Player should kill on of the enemies, have a weaker character as an attacker, who would duplicate other enemies. This strategy can be done to amass large amount of experience points and gil. To successfully farm, player should attack using a katana, magic, and should kill the enemy with one hit. Death Claw, Gaap, Silenus, Chronos, Valefor, Haniel, and Vassago.
An area can be accessed right after Goldor Manor. From Amur, the player must fly north and in the bay with two forests southwest of the Crystal Tower, this place acts like the same concept as the Peninsula of Power from the original Final Fantasy. The grid ends one tile after the mountainside, and this horizontal strip of land contains monsters from the Crystal Tower area.
After obtaining the Nautilus, players often use the Sunken Cave and the Saronia Catacombs to level up. Later, the Forbidden Land Eureka is another good grinding spot. In the DS version, there is a useful way to grind in the Crystal Tower's first floor. When in battle with a group of Blucks, the player must kill all except one and continually Guard until the Bluck summons a Kum Kum. The party can defeat the Kum Kum and simply wait for the Bluck to summon another.
Located north of Mt. Ordeals in the upside-down V shape area, the enemies are those from the Troia area. This is a great location to build fast levels for Palom and Porom before tackling Mt. Ordeals, especially with Dark Knight Cecil's Deathbringer. The fights are harder than anything encountered at this stage of the game.
The Lunar Subterrane, though the enemies are powerful, is often used to grind. Players of the Advance version use the Lunar Ruins to level up, as the enemies leave a huge amount of experience and gold.
On the Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection version for the PlayStation Portable the player can set their cursor setting to memory and go into the land of summons, in the underworld, and find a Summoner enemy that summons Arachne or Nagaraja. The player should cast Slow on a character and have that character attack the Arachne/Nagaraja. Meanwhile, the player should cast Haste on the summoner and the other characters can simply defend. The player can then set the game to Auto.
Alternatively, one can find a Summoner that summons Thunder Dragons and equip one character with the Cursed Ring along with a form of Diamond defensive equipment or the Gold Hairpin. This will raise the character's Lightning-elemental defenses. Then, the player can inflict said character with Slow, doing it twice if the character's speed is too high, i.e. Edge, Kain and Cecil. The character should endlessly attack the Thunder Dragon, and then Haste should be cast on the Summoner. The result is the Thunder Dragon will use thunder magic on the character, but the character will absorb all the damage and heal back the damage lost from the Summoner's melee attack.
If the player is only leveling up a single character, all other characters should be KO'ed. However, if the player is trying trying to level up the entire party, they will all need elemental armor, or should be revived before finishing off the Summoner.
The best place to grind for experience is right outside the Sealed Cave in this little area, the monsters gives lots of experience for a four-member party. The player should grind before finding "Rydia" within the cave, as she is a temporary character.
Free healing can be found on board the Falcon nearby. The only drawback is that monsters give little amount of gil. The only nuisance are the Hellflapper's ability to inflict Blind on the player's fighters (Cecil and Cid). If the enemy's party does not have any flying monsters, a simple Quake from Palom will be sufficient to kill them all. Otherwise, the player should stick with Bio and equip Palom with a Faerie Rod to increase his potency in Black Magic.
Marionetteer can call forth its minions if left alone; this is a good way to grind for experience and gil. It can summon Ogres and Cait Siths for Edge. The player must be careful to not accidentally step on the tile that will make Edge jump into the Tower of Babil as there is no return to the original location and the story will continue from there.
The player should put Edge in the back row because this will reduce the damage he takes, but will also reduce the damage he inflicts. Nevertheless, he can still kill enemies in one blow due to him already being at a high level at the start of his part of the story.
Both of these grinding areas becomes unrevisitable locations.
Areas to grind in The After Years differ from tale to tale, and each have a level cap, with the exception of the game's final tale. The most optimal place to grind in the last tale is the Depths of the True Moon. In B5 of the Depths, all monster encounters with the exception of the Blue Dragon are susceptible to the Black Magic Spell Break. Alternatively, if the monsters are too hard, the next best place is the Subterrane.
In Bartz's World one can grind consistent ABP and decent EXP from Prototypes on the islands in-between Crescent and Jachol; Prototype will be the only encounter fight on the islands. The easiest way to do this is to learn !Control (from Beastmaster) and use it as the sub ability and have Prototype cast Self-Destruct on itself for an instant kill. The party will gain 4 ABP per fight, and 500 EXP. Players may also opt to fight the Mini Dragon enemies near Istory Falls for EXP.
Players can use the Objet d'Art in Castle of Bal to quickly farm ABP as they die with one Level 5 Death. Alternatively, one can choose to throw Lightning Scrolls at the Objet d'Arts, if Level 5 Death has not been acquired. More slowly, they are instantly killed one at a time by Gold Needles, which can be purchased in Bal.
In Galuf's World and onwards, the player may opt to fight the Shield Dragon, if they have the Control ability, to earn 2500 EXP for each party member as well as 5 ABP by simply having the monster use Blaze on itself until it dies.
The island shaped like a key north of Crescent Island is notable, for the only enemies on it are the Black Flame. They provide 870 gil, 362 EXP, and 3 ABP. They can be killed with any throwing scroll magic from the Ninja, or elemental summons.
Interdimensional Rift is a good farming spot as the enemies pose little threat, but grant high EXP. For AP farming, the monsters in the final floors of the Interdimensional Rift give lots of AP with little effort (most can be slain by using Odin), though the most notable enemy that gives AP is the Mover, which must be defeated before they escape or the battle ends, though when defeated, gives away 199 AP. The Advance version has a trick where, if the game is quicksaved in a section of the Interdimensional Rift where Movers are fought, the second group of enemies encountered after resuming the game will always be Movers.
Additionally, players of the Advance version could use the Sealed Temple to grind, and possibly the Cloister of the Dead, as many bosses are fought in a row. However, by unlocking the Cloister of the Dead the player has completed everything in the game and grinding is generally pointless, unless one has not fought the superbosses yet.
In the World of Balance, the Triangle Island has the Intangir, which can be easily be killed with Doom or any available instant death spell in the SNES version, and awards 10 AP. In the World of Ruin, the Dinosaur Forest is used by many to grind, as its enemies leave huge amounts of experience. Also, the desert south of Maranda holds Slagworms (Hoover in the original version) and Cactuars, both of which give out high amounts of AP and Gil (and the Slagworm gives out high EXP as well).
While the Cactuars have high evasion this can be solved by equipping a Sniper Eye, or by using any other technique or spell that can ignore evasion. The worms are vulnerable to the Death and Stop spells which means one can avoid its Sandstorm counterattack, that is potentially devastating. To get the most out of grinding, the party should equip espers that grant stat boost bonuses upon gaining a level.
The earliest point in the game where some players choose to level grind is in the Sector 4 Train Tunnel. If the player heads south right until the end, an infinite amount of troops can be fought. If the player gives a character the Restore Materia and heals until the character runs out of MP, they can switch it and do the same for the other two. This is also a good place to get Limit Breaks quickly, as it is also a source for a vast amount of kills. At this point in the game, each character should be able to kill each enemy in one attack from the back row, including Tifa.
Aeris's LEVEL 2 Limit Break, Fury Brand, can be exploited to get the two other party members' Limit Breaks to maximum so they can use Limit Breaks faster. This is also a faster way of filling LEVEL 3 and LEVEL 4 Limit Break gauges, and it allows players to draw the benefits from Sadness while still being able to use Limit Breaks relatively often.
After leaving Midgar, if the characters' levels are high enough, players can use the Midgar Zolom to grind, as it will respawn infinitely and give high amounts of experience. Learning the Beta technique from the monster is also the most unfair advantage (at the time at least) in the game, except for possibly Knights of the Round near the end of the game. Other players use the Matra Magic Enemy Skill acquired from just outside of Midgar to defeat enemies that appear outside of the Chocobo Farm since they appear in large numbers. If the player uses Hypers to get into the Fury status, the enemies should also make getting and using Limit Breaks simpler.
On Disc 1 in Junon, the player can pull an alarm in the tunnel that leads to the Junon Underwater Reactor, which will allow the player to fight strong enemies from the start of Disc 2, which yields high EXP and AP, as well as high Gil. This method is recognized as a sound way to grind in any solo character challenge.
Outside Nibelheim, the player can fight and Manipulate the Valron enemy using the appropriate Materia. Using the Dive Kick, which takes off one-quarter of the player's maximum health, the player can fill the Limit gauge quickly, while not being threatened with KO since the HP decrease can be calculated beforehand.
After obtaining the Tiny Bronco, the player can head to an island close to Mideel, where they can fight the Mideel region enemies, such as Head Hunters. Equipping three Rune Armlet armors from Bone Village, and each player's double AP growth weapons they should have obtained by this point in the game, the player can stock a lot of AP to level up Materia. With a level 3 Restore materia equipped with an All materia, the player can cast Regen and allow the enemy to attack the player and get Limit Breaks. Equipping three Fury Ring accessories from Gongaga Village will allow characters with a high strength stat to kill the enemies quickly and without need for user input.
Movers in the Northern Cave give 800 AP each, for a total of 2400 AP per battle, but are very rare. Players can also steal Elixirs from Gighee or exploit the W-Item Duplication Bug to give themselves 99 Elixirs to feed the Magic Pots and gain large amounts of EXP and AP.
The level of inactive characters is half of the experience gained by the main party. While the levels of characters that have yet to join the group is also related to the average level of characters already in it, this number, also representing earned EXP, is not cut in half. The opportunity to gain 'free' EXP in this way has to be balanced against the low EXP available early in the story when they must join the group, and of course the chance to play their characters. The optional characters Yuffie and Vincent offer the best opportunities to level faster in this way, as they can join at any time.
Likewise, throughout the game, when one or two characters are forced to go off on a quest without the others, additional levels they have gained will often elevate the levels of everybody else in the group. Even in less than ideal level raising situations, these situations allow the entire group of characters to level up far more quickly than having to level grind for each and every individual character.
Players attempting a low level challenge often eschew the use of Materia as both the gil cost of Materia and the AP requirements to level it is hard to meet with gil drops and AP being almost inextricable from EXP. The Mover is the only enemy in the game that gives AP, and that in large amounts, for no EXP at all. It also drops 90,000 gil. Much earlier in the game, from Corel Prison onwards, the Cactuar makes Materia-using No Item (NI) games easier with its 10,000 gil for only 1 EXP.
Due to the leveling system's nature, it is difficult to level grind in this game, as there is a lot of luck involved. Leveling up is not determined entirely at random; although it is not shown in the game, enemies still drop EXP, and the more EXP the player gains, the higher the chance the player levels up during a Modulation Phase. If the player wishes to level grind, they can do so by fighting enemies in missions that are labeled "Very Hard".
Players use Mover enemies to obtain quick SP, and for quick Gil players use Tonberry enemies. When players unlock Mission 9-6-6: The Reigning Deity, they can equip the Brigand's Gloves and steal 99 Phoenix Downs. These can be sold for a large sum of gil.
If the player wishes, they can buy Dualcast Materia, and then convert them to SP. A faster way to get SP is by buying HP Up materia and with the 99 Phoenix Downs turn it to HP Up +999% via Materia Fusion, then convert it to SP to get around 900,000 SP. They can also use the Phoenix Downs in Materia Fusion to quickly raise the HP stat on a Materia to its maximum.
During the boss fight against the first helicopter in Chapter 1, at some point it will begin dropping Deep Ground Soldiers randomly that Vincent can keep taking out. The soldiers drop handgun bullets and potions the player can use to keep ammo and HP up as the fight goes on. Each soldier gives Vincent 10XP. The helicopter will infinitely drop soldiers until it is defeated. The player can tempsave in the middle of the boss fight and continue at another time to grind at their own leisure.
Grinding is almost imperative in Final Fantasy VIII, but in a different way: since the party's level means less than what magic the player junctions, players grind by drawing spells from enemies, and refining spells from items or lower level spells. The player can easily earn lots of high level junctioning spells early on by playing Triple Triad and modifying the cards into items and refining the items into magic.
An easy way to find high-level spells early is to use the Quezacotl's Card Mod ability to mod the Quistis Card (obtainable at the very beginning of the game) into three Samantha Soul items. The Samantha Souls can be refined into 60 Triples each via the Diablos's Time-Mag RF ability. Junctioning 100 Triples to a character's Strength would allow for that character to, combined with the ease of triggering Limit Breaks, easily annihilate any boss up until Disc 3.
Players looking for EXP go to the Island Closest to Heaven and the Island Closest to Hell, where there are many powerful enemies that give away huge amounts of EXP, and can also be easily defeated with Quistis's Degenerator. AP grinders head to Cactuar Island where the Cactuars can be easily slain by Squall's normal attack, and give out 20 AP each.
While Cactuar Island itself is only accessible on Disc 3, the desert adjacent can be accessed on Disc 2. To maximize the party's potential it is wise to stay in low levels until obtaining the Cactuar GF, equip its stat boost abilities and then fight in the Islands Closest to Heaven and Hell to gain stat boosts along with levels.
For low level games, players may opt to use the Card ability learned from Quezacotl to convert the enemy into a card, while preventing them from dropping EXP but still dropping items and AP. Later in the game, the player can use the temporarily playable character, Edea, to level up GF while having no fear of leveling up members of the party as to avoid over-leveling in a low level game. This may also be done with Seifer during the Dollet mission but would only level up Quetzalcoatl, Shiva and Ifrit.
Final Fantasy IX has fewer places to grind than its counterparts, but they still exist in some forms. The crystal versions of the Four Fiends in the Crystal World yield high amounts of AP. The Grand Dragon and the Yans on Vile Island both give huge amounts of EXP; Grand Dragons can be easily felled after a certain point, especially with the help of Dragon's Crest, but Yans remain exceptionally difficult even at optimum character levels. The party can fight Grand Dragons fairly early on in the game, as they can be fought above Gizamaluke's Grotto and die from Quina's Level 5 Death spell.
The player can also "grind" to max out certain character specific abilities: Zidane's Thievery powers up whenever he successfully steals from an enemy; Freya's Dragon's Crest can be maxed out by slaying 100 dragons and Quina's Frog Drop powers up the more frogs s/he has caught in the marshes. One of the earliest point in the game in which level grinding can be done is in Alexandria after Steiner and Marcus break out of their hanging cage. Having broken out, Steiner and Marcus will be assaulted by an endless stream of Alexandrian soldiers.
If the player moves Steiner to the middle of the room and equips him with the Blood Sword obtained from Queen Stella in Treno, an infinite number of battles can be fought without any healing necessary. When using a turbo controller, the player can keep the confirm button pressed down with a rubber band and Steiner can potentially gain 50 levels overnight.
The Omega Ruins' enemies give high amounts of AP, and with Double/Triple AP Double/Triple Overdrive, and Overdrive → AP large amounts of sphere levels pour in. Also, using Tonberries and their ilk with Overdrive → AP earns lots of sphere levels if the player has killed enough enemies and has the Stoic Overdrive Mode on the player being attacked, and Comrade on other players. Also, killing the Monster Arena's Species Conquest enemies give Spheres that add new stat nodes to the Sphere Grid and boost characters' stats quickly.
Dark Matter items, a notably rare item on the game used for customizing Break Damage Limit to weapons, and Ribbon to armor, can be obtained in two ways. Since all the Monster Arena enemies drop Dark Matter as a rare drop, repeatedly defeating simple enemies such as Vidatu and Sleep Sprout, preferably with the First Strike ability, which notably is attached to a fully-powered Masamune.
A recognized alternative in the PAL and International versions is to defeat Dark Yojimbo. The player can defeat Dark Yojimbo four times, and then reset the encounters by using save and resetting the game, exiting the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth, or entering the Blitzball menu. However, while this has seven-times the likelihood of obtaining it, most parties would take longer to defeat Yojimbo once, than to defeat a mass amount of Monster Arena enemies with less than 99,999 HP.
Gil is relatively hard to obtain in Final Fantasy X, and very important to obtain items with the Bribe command, or improve compatibility with Yojimbo. A commonly used method to obtain gil is to Steal from and defeat Mimic enemies in the Omega Ruins, preferably with the Gillionaire ability, which notably is attached to a fully-powered Godhand. Another used method is to go to Kilika and stock up on Tetra Armor. With this armor, the player can go to the Monster Arena and repeatedly defeat Kottos for Healing Spring items, which can be used to customize SOS Regen to the Tetra Armor. This then sells for a massive profit.
If the player does not have strong enough characters at this point, then having Anima is another useful option as it will kill the enemy in one Oblivion. Alternatively, the player can stay at the Monster Arena. Despite the cost of fighting enemies, the price the equipment dropped by the enemies makes up for it, and then some. The player can also fight Fenrir, which despite the game's claims, costs no money to fight.
In Chapter 1 the player can attempt to grind for EXP in Macalania Woods. The enemies outside the Travel Agency will not be too strong for the party. The player can also get the Ice Queen Garment Grid from doing the "Follow that O'aka" mission. Although the enemies may be too strong to fight this early, the player can escape the battles.
The Ice Queen Garment Grid allows the absorption of Ice meaning the White Elemental enemy's attacks will heal the party. Eventually the player will be strong enough to take on the enemy's throughout the rest of the Macalania Woods. The Amorphous Gel can easily be dispatched with Ice attacks (as it starts as Fire-elemental by default), which can be used on any dressphere if the Garment Grid is equipped.
The Farplane and Via Infinito are places which hold powerful enemies. Via Infinito's battle difficulty rises as player goes deeper underground. Lady Luck learns the Double EXP ability, which can be used whenever a character uses the dressphere. When a character equips both the AP Egg (Triple AP) and the Key to Success (Double AP) they will receive 6x the AP they normally earn, a great way to master abilities, but the conditions for earning the Key to Success means the player cannot receive the Mascot dressphere later on during that specific playthrough.
The characters earn AP as they execute commands in battle. If the player can create a continuous loop of actions that kill neither the party nor the enemies, they can easily rake in AP. One of the most effective methods for stockpiling AP involves the Treasure Hunt Garment Grid equipped with the Mug ability; the Mug ability scores AP even if the character is unable to acquire an item from a monster.
The player can earn gil easily early in the game on the Celsius. If the player has O'aka on the airship and paid off his debts he will sell items at discounted prices. The player can purchase Hi-Potion items for 50 gil. These can then sell for 125 gil in other shops. This means the player can repeatedly purchase 99 Hi-Potion items from O'aka and then cross the room to Barkeep to sell them. Due to how quickly this can be done the player can earn a large amount of gil quickly.
As an older MMORPG, level grinding was the principal means of advancement. Until the release of Wings of the Goddess, this was generally restricted to EXP/Merit parties against enemies like crabs, beetles, mandragora, goblins, colibri, and imps, due to the low-risk of grinding on those. With the 4th expansion, Campaign Battles provided an alternative method of level grinding by participating in Crystal War skirmishes.
A famous level grinding spot early on is to kill the Rare Game Dustia, which gives a lot of EXP and LP, can be killed with a Phoenix Down, and can be spawned early in the game, as soon as the player obtains the Sunstone. Using only Vaan the player can rack up loads of EXP very fast, especially if exploiting the Zone Out Glitch. Later in Royal Palace of Rabanastre when Fran and Balthier join, their levels will be based on Vaan's, as with any other character who will join the party later.
The gambit system also allows for auto-leveling tactics where the player can leave the party leveling and gaining EXP without having to as much as touch the controller.
An easy grinding spot early on is when the alarm sounds after rescuing Ashe on the Dreadnought Leviathan. If the player stays in the area where enemies first appear after the alarm goes off enemies will continue to appear. When the player is close to death they can simply travel back a little bit to the Save Crystal where they can heal and repeat the process.
Negalmuur in Stilshrine of Miriam is a famous auto-level spot: it will frequently summon Ghasts and by correctly setting up the party's gambits it is possible to create an infinite loop, which allows the game to be left playing while the party continues to gain experience. The party should use gambits such as Foe:HP<3,000 to hit only the Ghasts and not the Negalmuur summoning them, and to prevent the party leader remaining KO'd for too long the party can use Decoy to attract as many attacks as possible to other members, and also use a gambit that prompts the allies to use a Remedy on the party leader when needed.
One spot for grinding is in the The Rustling Chapel area of the Golmore Jungle. If the player defeats all the enemies in the area, Dark Skeleton enemies start to spawn. After 21 have been defeated and the player has moved close enough to the center, the Grave Lord will spawn, preventing further Dark Skeleton enemies to spawn. Defeating the Grave Lord and zoning out and in will cause more Dark Skeleton enemies to spawn allowing for a chain in excess of 90.
After this, the player can then return to the Eruyt Village location to sell loot, save the game, and reset it to then repeat. With each regular Dark Skeleton awarding the player over 1000 EXP, doubled with the Embroidered Tippet equipped, and the enemies falling in a few attacks, this is a useful method with little risk other than being overpowered by the Grave Lord at lower levels.
However, if the Vorpal Bunny Hunt has been accepted and not completed, the Grave Lord will not spawn unless it has been defeated. Since the Vorpal Bunny spends most of its time running away from the player, it is far less of a problem to handle than the Grave Lord.
Henne Mines is renowned for two convenient grinding spots: The first is Pithead Junction B where touching the gate switch sends a limited number of Jellies falling from above, and if they die from the Time Magick Break, they will respawn endlessly. If the player programs their gambits correctly, it is possible to sustain an auto-leveling without touching the controller.
Besides the Break spell, it is recommended to have another ally cast Sleepga on the Jellies and another to keep the party alive with curative spells. The second spot is Pithead Junction C that is riskier than the Pithead Junction B spot. Flipping the gate switch will send Abysteels descending down from the ceiling. They do not respawn endlessly like the Jellies, but are vulnerable to Sleep and are damaged by curative magic. With the proper gambit set-up, the player can use Sleepga to neutralize the Abysteels and kill them with Curaja without waking them up.
The Abysteels will leave roughly 3,000 EXP each, which in tandem with their large numbers makes leveling quick and easy. If the party is equipped with Embroidered Tippet accessories, they could potentially earn up to of 100,000 EXP with each press of the switch.
In Draklor Laboratory Imperial Pilot, Imperial Swordsman, and Judge will spawn infinitely and are usually in groups of three or four; however, if one doesn't kill them quickly, there will soon be many more.
Because all official missions are one-time-only events, players are forced to rely on Monster and Summoning Melees if they wish to spend some time leveling up. The Summoning Melee at the Gates of Shattered Time and the challenging yet rewarding gambit of Midlight's Deep are two exceptional grinding locations, though the latter requires some time commitment.
There are several places in the game that allow players to accumulate large quantities of CP in a relatively short time. Although many of these are only accessible (or practical) at or after the endgame, this is also the point at which they become particularly useful. One notable spot is the penultimate configuration of the Tesseracts in Orphan's Cradle, where a moderately powerful party can defeat, for example, the lone Wladislaus in about two minutes (using a slightly risky Evened Odds → Relentless Assault strategy) for 32,000 CP, and it can be respawned quickly by returning to the lower Save Station. This is a good spot, but one which can never be revisited after the Tesseracts undergoes the final reconfiguration in order to access the final bosses.
Another popular spot is in the Archylte Steppe near the Mah'habara Subterra entrance with the fighting Behemoth King and Megistotherian pairing; the party will always get a preemptive strike, and both enemies will be at half of their HP. One way to kill them is to stagger the Behemoth King and use the Commando's Launch ability to prevent it from replenishing its HP, then killing the Megistotherian. With a strong party the battle will only take approximately 7-14 seconds for 6,600 CP, or 13,200 CP with a Growth Egg.
One popular training method, especially for lower levels, requires the player to repeat Mission 24 in Taejin's Tower over and over again. Each battle will yield 6,000 CP (12,000 with a Growth Egg) and the reward for completing the mission is a Moonblossom Seed that can be sold for 6,000 Gil, and it takes only a few seconds to walk from the Cie'th Stone to the Mark, making Mission 24 a good method of getting quick CP with some gil on the side.
In the optional area of the Mah'habara Subterra mines (access granted by riding Atomos back from Sulyya Springs), one will eventually come across an area with six Cryohedrons. They can easily be killed in a matter of seconds for 7,140 CP each time. The bombs will respawn when the player backtracks a little.
As an exception of this endgame rule, a relatively early grinding spot is within the Estheim Residence during Chapter 7 where the party is ambushed by PSICOM troops. Two enemy parties appear in the small map, and so as long as the player eliminates them both and moves to the back of the map, they will keep respawning. This point is specially rewarding in gil as the PSICOM troops here can drop with relative ease the Incentive Chips which can be sold by 2,500 Gil in the nearby Save Station and more often than not, drop more than one per battle.
While the CP is not nearly as rewarding the potential accumulate of CP one can acquire while grinding for gil can be large as the enemies are not hard to defeat and yield around 160 CP per battles that should take no more than a minute at best. And while perhaps not very useful for the current party at this point, they can be useful for Vanille and Sazh who are used next with an expanded Crystarium.
The Oretoise family are big moneymakers. The Adamanchelids are easy to kill and can drop a Gold Dust that sells for 15,000 Gil. The Adamantortoises and Adamantoises roaming the Archylte Steppe have a chance to drop a Platinum Ingot, which sells for 150,000 gil. The Adamantoise in Eden, however, is right next to a Save Station allowing for a quicker restart. It is possible to have Vanille spam Death on an Adamantortoise, which can yield 40,000 CP (80,000 with Growth Egg).
Another good way of grinding Gil is fighting the Sacrifices in the first area of Orphan's Cradle. They drop Perfume, which sells for 15,000 Gil. There are a lot of them, so player can easily rack up a lot of Perfumes.
Additionally, with some patience, 10 minute runs through the Faultwarrens can yield around 75,000 CP (150,000 with Growth Egg). This includes all of the non-marked enemies along the way. Primeval Crossroads → A Dance of Shadow → Via Stellarum → Salamandrine Path → Titan's Trials (Mission 47, Raktavija). Of note are the Cactuars on the Salamandrine Path, which give around 7,500/15,000 CP each if defeated. There are eight of them, but they run from battle if given the chance.
Attacus (Mission 51) gives 75,000/150,000 CP when defeated, although that battle typically lasts at least 15 minutes. Everything considered, an hour in the Faultwarrens can yield almost a million CP. A caveat, though—it's best for the player to be farther along the Crystarium to attempt this, as the fights can be tough.
The best way to quickly accumulate CP is Academia 400 AF in the southern area of New Town near the automatic pathway where fighting a group of a Taxim and five Nelapsis will yield 500 CP, the highest amount that can be achieved in a normal encounter. This value can be raised with finishing the battle with a Paradigm Pack monster ally with learned Bonus CP, like Don Tonberry, as well as turned on Rolling in CP Fragment Skill.
There exists another method to quickly accumulate CP and it exists in Oerba 400 AF, but is only available after completing the main storyline. In the Ashensand area the player can encounter a "paradox sphere" which houses arguably the strongest non-DLC enemy in the game, the Raspatil; defeating it without any bonuses will yield the player 25,000 CP as well as 50,000 Gil.
There are two ways for the player to grind for levels. The first is to clear out the battlefields on the world map. This also yields some decent and rare items. A trick (perhaps a glitch) in the game involves gaining a level in the same fight that clears a Battlefield that rewards XP: this will cause Benjamin to level twice instead of just once.
The other is to clear out higher level zones, leave, and reenter thus making the monsters inside respawn. The player should be advised that some zones don't respawn once the boss is killed. The player should also be aware that Mystic Quest has a level cap of 41.
Since EXP and JP are gained by performing successful actions, regardless of who the action is targeting, players can level grind by defeating all but one enemy units in any battle, prevent the remaining enemy unit from taking any action (such as by inflicting Sleep or Disable) and command the player's units to use their commands on each other, including offensive actions.
Making all characters the same job means that, as JP earned is shared across all characters that have that job available, they progress through that job faster. In addition, Midlight's Deep contains many high level monsters which the player can fight to earn EXP and JP, as these parameters are mitigated by the unit's and target's level.
This can also be performed by lining the party up in an X formation, where all 5 squares have the same elevation, and the middle character uses the Monk's Chakra ability in order to heal himself and those around him as they use their commands on each other.
Leaving the party lined up allows them to act quickly, as they do not move, and other buffs such as Haste and Protect can be used on the entire party. A prime location for grinding can be found early on in the game at Mandalia Plains.
In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance received EXP from one action is dependent on the relativity between the acting character's level and the target character's level. Though missions usually offer challenging high level enemies, they can be completed only once. Enemies throughout the map in random battles will always be at levels relatively average to the player party, and any enemy at the same level will give the same amount of EXP, even if they are as different as an enemy Black Mage or a Thundrake.
Because of this, one random encounter is as good as any other in order to level up. That being said, if a character is to target himself or herself with an action, preferably a healing or supporting one, they will gain 10 EXP; targeting a character one level higher will garner 12 EXP; targeting a character one level lower will garner 8 EXP, and so forth. Therefore, weaker characters can easily level up quickly by affecting higher level characters in battle, even if these characters are party members.
An easy trick to gaining levels fast is the Smile ability the Juggler learns. It is learned by equipping the Orichalcum, and when two Moogles are on the field with that ability at the same time, they can continue using the ability on each other to create a cycle of experience gain and canceling out the other units' chances to move. With this ability, they can easily get to level 50 so the rest of the party can beat up on them to gain levels themselves.
A well-known grinding technique is to use equip the Magic Pot (Manual) summon and to fight a Level 100 Exdeath in Quick Battle at the highest difficulty. The player should attack him with HP attacks to force him to use a Bravery attack, which the player must allow to hit, until Break. After recovering, the player should use the summon to put themselves into a chance to win; enter EX Mode and attack Exdeath with an EX Burst.
This will also work against Level 100 Gabranth due to his lack of HP attacks until he enters EX Mode. To prevent the AI to charge its EX Gauge, the player should attempt to fight in Chase Sequence to improve results. This technique has been known to get many a character from Level 1 to 100. To increase the potency of the trick, the player can equip chocobo accessories and the accessory Rabbit's Foot which increases Luck and shortens the recharge time.
If the player does not wish to wait the recharge period for the summon, the Exdeath method on the Omega friend card is also an effective way to obtain EXP quickly. The player should commence the battle as usual, preferably on Edge of Madness, then allow themselves to have their Bravery broken. Once the player has regained their Bravery, and repeated until Exdeath's Bravery is higher than his HP.
After this has occurred, the player should use a summon which does not reduce the opponent's or the player's Bravery. This will activate the opposing Barbariccia summon which swaps Bravery values. Entering EX Mode and using an EX Burst will give the highest EXP gain. Using the manual form of summons such as Phoenix, Shiva, PuPu, Bahamut and Tonberry in a reserves chain will allow the player fight continuously by using the Retry option once the battle is over.
One way the player can collect a large sum of AP is by fighting Chaos in Quick Battle mode during a Bonus Day. If he or she already had a set of a Diamond Combination to double his or her AP, as well as buying all Calendar bonuses for another double AP, then the amount of AP will be quadrupled on the fight.
The reason the player should fight Chaos is because his battle is divided into three segments, and each segment rewards individually (which means, if he or she loses on any of the three parts, the player will still get the awards for the previous parts of the battle, meaning, for every victory against Chaos equals three battles with a random enemy).
The player should not forget to tackle the AP chances on the fights, each completed task awards the player with two additional AP when completed. The AP chance will repeat itself until the last phase of the fight against Chaos, so if the player completes all of the AP chances in the fight, he or she will get a total of six additional AP.
With all of these tips combined, the character can get 30+ AP with each victory against Chaos.
An easy method to gain EXP is to utilize the Original Rules feature to modify the efficiency and spawn rate of EX Force and Cores respectively; Stage Bravery; and EX Revenge times. This makes leveling up substantially easier than in the first Dissidia.
Fighting the aforementioned Level 100 Exdeath or Gabranth will yield a high amount of EXP if the player breaks the opponent's Bravery in order to receive a high amount of Stage Bravery, then executes an EX Burst. If the player is hit, they can use EX Revenge, obtain an EX Core, which should spawn immediately, and execute the EX Burst as normal.
The player can also accumulate vast amounts of EXP in single battles, by waiting till their Bonus Day (or by changing the PSP's clock), getting a EXP x5 bonus for the chocobo on the Grind Lover Play Plan, then creating a ruleset, which brings the Stage Bravery, Critical Hit Damage and Frequency, and EX Core appearance and absorption rate, and EX Revenge duration to maximum, and fighting a Level 100 Gabranth at the highest difficulty.
Once the battle commences, the player should immediately obtain an EX Core, which should fully fill the EX Gauge. The player should not allow Gabranth to either obtain any EX Cores, or fill his EX Gauge with his EX Charge HP Attack by using a Bravery attack.
The player should wait until Gabranth performs an Bravery attack where the player should get hit and activate the EX Revenge, obtain another Core and perform the EX Burst, break Gabranth's Bravery, gaining a high amount of Stage Bravery, and easily defeat him. If Gabranth does not attempt to use Bravery attacks, one should use HP attacks, where he is programmed to fight with Bravery attacks. In the same way, the player cannot break his Bravery, they can equip a manual Odin summon, and attempt to break his Bravery with that. If the attempts fails, the player can retry the battle.
For AP grinding, the most efficient strategy is to set the PSP's clock to Bonus Day, equip a full set of Diamond Equipment, along with Diamond Studs, Diamond Necklace, and Diamond Ring, and go to the gateway titled Gateway of Good and Evil in Scenario 000. There, the player will find an emblem that will prevent their accessories from breaking, adjacent to a few manikins of the Emperor and Cloud of Darkness.
Depending on if the player successfully completes the AP chance, they should get between 40 and 70 AP per battle. After defeating both manikins, the player can simply exit the dungeon and reenter it, getting between 80 and 140 AP per entry.
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