General Leveling Guide for Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet
This guide will cover efficient ways to level your character as well as provide you with some generalized tips on creating a build. This guide is targeted at endgame leveling with access to Extreme Mode, but most of the methods here should be able to be adapted for players who haven’t yet cleared the story but want to stop and level up a bit.
- Increasing Character Level
- Skill Proficiency
- Weapon Proficiency
- Medal Farming
- Weapon Building
- Increasing Friendship Affection Level
~Increasing Character Level~
When you gain experience, your character will level up. Leveling Up increases your max HP and each level earns you a batch of “CP”. CP are the points used to increase your Status Parameters in order to build up your character so that they can equip a particular weapon or use a particular set of skills.
As you kill monsters or players in the field, you will gain experience. This experience will accumulate and you will receive it all and level up once you head back to town.
I have made a video with the best and easiest way to level up in this game with credit to a Japanese player, Maakun who figured this out in the Beta. But unfortunately, as of version 1.12 it has been removed.
Another fast leveling method would be to target the groups of Player Enemies in the Forgotten Forest area. There are multiple ground and each kill rewards you 12000 EXP. They are also fairly easy to kill and occasionally drop Rank 7 weans making this method easy and fast enough to warrant using:
In the video above I cycle between 4 groups of Players. I use the Stun Shot skill to incapacitate them easily and kill them. Once you have run through all 4 groups of players, you can turn around and repeat the cycle again because the Players respawn if you move a set distance away.
Here are some other leveling idea that I tried but all had something wrong with them:
- Farming Humanoid Mid-Boss in the Second Area Underground Weapons Base.
- Farming the Concealed Genbu which can be killed in 2-3shots with a High End Sniper Rifle.
- Making the Abyss Guide in 4th Area fall off a Cliff at low health so he can continuously create his children.
- Fighting the Mobs generated by the Glaring Eye boss.
- Fighting the Mobs generated by that floating ball-shaped turret that makes a noise.
- Just clearing one of the High Difficulty dungeons
I would recommend stopping and returning to Town every now and then to accept your experience points and level up. There’s no harm in saving often.
If you equip weapons or accessories with the “Experience Gain Increase %” passive skill, you can make this leveling process go even faster. (Equipping them to Arfa-Sys also has an impact on experience gain)
When you level up, all of your friends will level up as well to match your level so you don’t need to worry about too much about who to bring with you.
Your Skills each have their own proficiency which increases as you use them. Increasing their proficiency increases their respective effectiveness. The benefits depend on the type of skill. As an example, Buffs & Debuffs will get increased duration, healing skills will recover more HP and offensive skills will deal more damage as you increase their proficiencies.
For Skills that have 3 tiers, like Power Form for example will be unlocked as follows:
- Skill Tier 1: Power Form 1 – Unlocked
- Skill Tier 2: Power Form 2 – Unlocked when Power Form 1 is at 50% Proficiency
- Skill Tier 3: Power Form 3 – Unlocked when Power Form 2 is at 100% Proficiency
Each tier grants an even bigger increase to its abilities and you can also equip multiple tiers of a single skill to circumvent cooldown times on skills you really like.
All skills earn proficiency on activation. In order to level them, you don’t even need to hit a target (regardless of the skill type).
This means that the best way to increase skill proficiency is to just keep casting your skills. Whenever you are exploring the fields or just running around, consider casting your skills to level them up. I would watch an anime or something while holding my controller and mashing out skill casts to increase proficiency while I’m doing something else.
If you own a Turbo controller or an Arcade Fight Stick with a rapid fire function, you can also set this up to level skills overnight or while you do something else.
For skills that have long cooldown times, it would be most efficient to make use of the Handgun Weapon Art (It reduced cooldown times) or to cast the skill and then teleport to the same area to refresh the cooldowns and then cast it again.
For more information on skills, check out the Skill & Gadget List.
Each weapon type has its own Proficiency that increases as you use it. Weapon Proficiency caps at 1000 and your weapon’s damage increases as you increases your Weapon Proficiency. Weapon Proficiency is earned faster on higher level bosses/mobs and is earned per hit.
This means that you should equip the most rapid fire version of your weapon type and go out to fight high level enemies on Extreme Mode.
For the method below, make sure you are playing the game in Extreme Mode and go to the boss area with no party members.
First, head to the A Dungeon in the Third Area, Old South. This is the same dungeon where there was a boss chasing you while you had to hit 9 switches.
In the dungeon, head for the platform indicated in the picture below:
On this platform, the boss will only either fire long range fireballs or attempt to come up the platform to try and physically attack you. This is your chance to fire your gun at him and earn weapon proficiency since his fireball attack is really easy to dodge like this.
In the event that he comes up the ramp to try and attack you, jump off the side of the ramp and lure him off it.
When he falls off the platform after you, use the UFG to get right back on the platform leaving him on the lower floor.
Now he will either fire the fireballs again or slowly walk around to the ramp and come up to you again. This is your chance to fire at him and earn weapon proficiency.
If he comes up again, just fall off and repeat this process over and over.
This method is fairly easy and you can gain a good amount of proficiency per run. You can also level up every weapon type that isn’t the sword while using this method.
To level up the Sword, I’ve found that a good method is to fight one of those Spider Turret robots. It only has one attack for close range players and its really easy to see it coming so you can dodge it every time. When you dodge it, go back in for more Square attacks and repeat this process. For leveling the Sword, it really helps if you have healer teammates with you (Asuna, Zeliksa, Silica, Premia)
Medals are earned during gameplay and are used at the Medal Trading Facility in order to earn Skill Points, Memory Chips, Weapons, Outfits or Accessories. Medals of all kinds can be farmed simultaneously while you work on leveling something else.
When farming for Medals, make sure are wearing equipment with the “Medal Acquisition+1” passive effect. This will increase the amount of medals you will gain each time.
As explained in the Basic System & Facility Explanation guide, there are 3 types of Medals:
- Killing 5 Enemies with Gadgets
- Inflicting a debuff on an enemy (Blaze, Poison, Suppression, Paralysis)
- Killing an in-game player
Using the Blaze or Poison Bullets to debuff a large mob of lower level enemies or using Maakun’s Character Leveling Method will earn you a steady amount of Attack Medals. The leveling method was described in the Increasing Character Level section of this post and its the method where you constantly where kill Enemy Players.
- Healing an ally
- Recovering an Abnormal Status
- Reviving a downed ally
- Buffing attack (Your own or an ally)
- Buffing defense (Your attack or an ally)
Leveling your buff type skills or using the Affection Leveling technique described later in this post will earn you a good amount of Support Medals.
- Killing enemies with a weapon
- Getting kills in quick succession
Running through the First Area on easy mode where the mobs are super weak and killing everything in sight will earn you Weapon Medals on every kill.
**Note: For advanced weapon building, its recommended you start a New Game Plus on Extreme Mode in order to get Liz’ Blacksmith to Lv7. Liz’ Blacksmith level affects the Rank of weapons she can Strengthen but it also affects the max % of passives effects you make through the blacksmith.
After discovering which kinds of weapons you are interested in, the next step is to find the best versions of its respective type. Ideally, you will want to aim for a Legendary rarity drop as it has 8 Passive Slots which offers a lot of customization options. But sometimes you can go days farming a certain boss to no avail so the key is to find something you are satisfied with. If you are willing to pour the time in for a Legendary grade weapon, then go ahead. But there’s nothing wrong with making a solid Epic grade weapon to hold you down throughout the game.
Once you have found a satisfactory weapon, pick out Passive Effects that you think would accentuate the weapon’s strengths the most. Some examples of good combinations of passives would be Weakpoint or Critical Hit Increase in a Sniper Rifle, Optical Damage increase on an Optical based handgun, Bullet Circle efficiency on a shotgun.
Ultimately, the decision is yours, but if you are really struggling to pick stuff out, I’d say go with all of the critical and damage increases that correspond to your weapon’s type.
Once you have made a list of desired passives, proceed to collect weapons of all types that have those passives of interest for the purpose of using them as materials to strengthen your weapon. Since weapons of all types can be used to trade or increase passive chips on your weapon, don’t sell any weapons that have a passive you are interested in.
About Passive Effect Growth & Switching
Passive Effects can be traded from a material weapon into your base weapon. The material weapon is destroyed in the process so be careful.
Passive Effect chips can be increased upon and switched out for other passive effect chips from the material weapon. Passive effect chips on your weapon come in two flavors: Yellow Diamond and Free.
For Passive Effect Chips marked by a Yellow Diamond:
- These are “locked” to your weapon. Being locked means that you need to spend a releasing chip (Yellow Diamond currency) to unlock it so it can be switched out for another passive chip.
- “Locked” passive effect chips grow if you add same-type passive effects into them.
- Once you use a Releasing Chip on a Yellow Diamond chip, it becomes a Free chip.
For Free Passive Effect Chips not marked by a Yellow Diamond:
- These passive chips can be switched out at no further cost with the passives on your material weapon
- Free passive chips they can also grow their passive effects by adding same-type passives, but you have to do add the increase manually.
- There is no way for a Free passive chip to become a Yellow Diamond chip.
- Even if a chip was a Yellow Diamond on the material weapon, it will be imported as a Free chip when trading it into your base weapon.
However, there is a limit to how many Yellow Diamond chips you can unlock on your weapon. This changes by Rarity but it means that ideally, you’ll need to find a weapon that already has most of the passives you are interested in. Then from there, you use the Releasing Chips to trade out unwanted passives with desirable ones on material weapons.
Since this process is heavily reliant on luck, it might be best to consider a 6 or 7-slot Epic weapon that has most of the passives you’re interested in over a 8-slot Legendary that only allows 3 slots to be changed and most of the slots are things you don’t want.
The Weapon Building Flowchart
The overall weapon building process can be broken up into two parts that can be done as overarching processes.
Process 1: Building up good Passive Effects
- Decide which passive effects you are interested in.
- Find a weapon that has that particular passive effect and is closest to max (Higher rank weapons have higher % Passive Effects)
- Grow the Passive Effect chip until it reaches max by feeding it material weapons containing same-type passives.
- Keep doing the above until the passive % caps.
- When you find a weapon you are happy with from Process 2, trade in the max % passive into your base weapon.
Process 2: Finding the best version of a weapon
- Decide which weapon you are interested in.
- Farm the monster/boss for that weapon until you get a drop you are satisfied with.
- Look at the rarity, base attack power and number of passive chip slots to help you make a decision on whether it is worth investing in.
- Select the weapon that has majority of the passives that you are interested in.
- Boost the wanted passive skills to max by adding same-type passives from material weapons
- Trade out the unwanted passives with max % passive effects from Process 1.
- Once you are happy with the passives, proceed to upgrade the attack power of your weapon.
Since all weapons can be used to extract passives from, its recommended you carefully look at the passives on each weapon you pick up before selling it. Even if its a shitty weapon you have absolutely no interest in, its passives may be good and perfect to be used in your dream weapon.
When a passive caps, the blacksmith will tell you that the effect cannot be increased anymore. Keep in mind that this cap is affected by the Blacksmith Enhancement Level indicated in the top right corner of the screen in Liz’ Smithy.
For the full list of passives skills and their estimated maxes, refer to the Passive Effect List.
~Increasing Friendship Affection Level~
Max Friendship Affection Rank on all of the characters is one of the requirements needed to see the True Ending of the game. Affection also unlocks Side Events and gives you the ability to change your partner’s outfits. This makes increasing Affection a rather important aspect of this game. Affection caps at Rank 4 100%.
There is no dating system in this game, so the only way to increase affection is in battle. The fastest way to increase affection is discussed in the video below:
The dungeon in the video is in the fourth area.
In the video, I lure my teammates into an area with Snipers that pick them off one by one. I set the game to Extreme Mode to make the Sniper shots a one hit kill and I protect myself with the Sword Barrier skill while I resurrect my dead teammates and earn affection. I equipped two versions of Sword Barrier so that I can cycle between them when either is on cooldown so that I don’t accidentally die while my Sword Barrier stance wears off.
Basically, you need to set up a situation where your teammates die frequently and you can resurrect them easily and safely to efficiently earn affection points. Don’t be afraid to come up with your own methods of getting your friends killed.
Each time you resurrect a dead teammate, you get 5%** so this process does indeed take long considering the max is 400%. But even so, this method is efficient enough to finish all the characters in a good 5 hour sitting or so.
Note: This guide was written during version 1.02 and it was said that Affection is going to increase in version 1.03. I am unable to confirm how the affection gain will change since I have all of my characters maxed out (@_@)