Complete Guide to Character Building
This guide covers leveling among all ranges. But since this guide is mainly focused on endgame and character building, it will assume you have at least one good character to get you through story and unlock all the Extra Quests.
I will try to keep this guide as relevant as possible should new leveling methods be discovered.
- About Leveling
- Leveling At Different Levels
- Best Ways To Farm BP
- Leveling The Blacksmith
- Leveling Sword Art Online Characters
- Leveling Accel World Characters
Advanced Character Building
I think it goes without saying, but its really important to carefully pick which characters you level and when. The character you play will affect your play-style and by extension, affect your enjoyment of the game. For now, don’t worry about what your Tier Whore friends are doing and ask yourself one question:
“What kind of character do I wanna play?”
If you have trouble with this question or you straight up don’t know which character does what, I wrote a wonderful post that pretty much sums up all the characters in the game:
Once you’ve made up your mind, its time to level that character (You can even pick 3 and level them all at once). From there, this Guide will assist you in nurturing any character until they fulfill their full potential.
Just to be clear, character levels don’t mean that much in this game. Especially for SAO characters. AW characters get damage increases with each level but still, the true value of a strong character lies in the Levels of your Sword Skills, Buffs and Proficiency.
So the “Ah. I got a Max level character now. I’m the best” mentality doesn’t really apply in this game.
Additionally, there different kinds of equipment that increase Experience gain rather dramatically. These items affect the rate of gaining character levels as well as the rate of leveling up Proficiency, Sword Skills & Buffs. Since this guide is centered around efficient ways of leveling, Crest of Yggdrasil or any other EXP+ item is recommended to be used throughout the entire leveling process.
-HOW TO GET EXP+ ITEMS-
ASUNA & KUROUIKIHIME DOLLS [AW CHARA ONLY]:
Experience Gain +???%. (Value not listed in Strategy Guide. Most likely around +20%)
These items are DLC. They’re part of the “Accel World item set” included in the Season Pass.
Grow Charm (グロウ・チャーム):
Experience Gain +10%.
This item appears in the Weapon Shop for 50000 Yld after ep13.
Crest of Yggdrasil (世界樹の紋章):
Experience Gain +40%.
Reward for completing Santa’s chain of Friend Quests. [Endgame only]
*Note: Be extremely careful with Crest of Yggdrasil. You only get one in the game and it is possible to accidentally sell or discard it.
~LEVELING AT DIFFERENT LEVELS~
**The Version 2.00 Infinite Dungeon has mobs and bosses ranging from Lv1000 – Lv2000. This makes it the best place for leveling at any level.
-LvBaby to Lv500-
If you are just starting out I would advise you to not worry about leveling and just enjoy the Story Mode. When you become too strong, the Story Mode becomes a drag and not exactly fun to do. Also, most likely by the time you finish story, you should have at least one good-ish Lv400 character. That should be enough to carry you through unlocking all the Extra Quest and stuff.
If you already have a good character and now want to bring other baby characters to Lv500, the Sky Cave in Flosshilde is a good look. This dungeon is located at the highest altitude in Flosshilde, right in the middle of the map. The monsters are all around Level 600 and they aren’t too strong. Also material for Blacksmith leveling can be farmed there if you haven’t done so already.
Outside of this, you could run 5-8 Star Difficulty Extra Quests. Baby Level characters will most likely die a lot if you do this so it is advisable to put the game in Easy Mode and smack around these Extra Quest monsters with your strongest character while your two partners gain levels.
Another method of leveling is where you log online and be disgusting dead weight and get carried by your friends to “Power Level”. I don’t approve of Power Leveling because I feel like players should at least get their own levels themselves. Also, you might end up with a Max Level character who doesn’t even have all their Sword Skills unlocked which is complete disgrace. Earn your levels yourself and be proud of your character.
-Lv600 to Lv1000-
From here, Extra Quests & Online Sudden Quests will become the only efficient way of gaining levels without spending BP. As of now, there is no offline dungeon that has enemies beyond level 600. This will definitely change when the Infinite Dungeon comes to the game, but for now we are stuck with just Extra Quests if we want to level beyond 750.
At this point, the rate of leveling will slow down drastically. Therefore it is faster and more efficient to use BP to buy levels for your character until they are Lv1000. Efficient methods of Farming BP will be covered in the next section of this post.
-Lv1000 to LvMAX-
Beyond Level 1000, buying levels with BP becomes extremely expensive. So expensive that its actually faster to level your character manually than farm BP to level them.
From here, only high difficulty Extra Quests and Sudden Quests will level your character effectively. Now is the time to band together with your friends and tackle 9/10 Star Difficulty Quests or Online Sudden Quests which will always be +200 above the Highest Level player present. Since only focusing on levels is boring it makes sense to start farming good weapons for your characters while you do this.
If you are sick of your friends or you don’t have any, another good way of leveling beyond 1000 offline is to put the game in Easy Mode and just blitz through those 10 Star Difficulty Extra Quests.
In Version 2.00, charging through the Infinite Dungeon from floor 101 is the best way to gain levels above 1000.
-Fastest Way To Level Up-
As I know that “What’s the fastest way to Level Up?” is the most popular question in any RPG, I have preemptively answered this question in the form of a video:
Sure, the video is in Japanese but here’s how to do it:
- Farm BP
- Go to BP Shop
- Buy Character Levels
Simple, Fast & Easy. But keep in mind what I said above about how expensive levels become beyond level 1000.
But anyway, in this case, the question of “What’s The Fastest Way To Level Up?” becomes the question of “What’s The Best Way To Farm BP?“.
~BEST WAYS TO FARM BP~
BP is really easy to obtain since it drops from every single monster. It also drops when you break Boss’ body parts. The problem is that we need a large amount of BP to Level Characters. Therefore if we want a good way to farm BP, we need a method that is easy, quick to do and gives a relatively high BP gain per run.
-BP Farming Method #1-
- Scarlet Rain [Lv700+]
- Buffer (Sharpness + Enhance Fire) [Can be any Level]
- Debuffer (Weakness) [Can be any Level]
- Play The Game in Easy Mode
- Make sure to equip Scarlet Rain with BP Gain UP items.
[EQ★5] Angel of Hurricanes (竜巻の天使)
Legendary Raven “Rashiel” Lv600
- Scarlet Rain Deploys Invincible
- Debuffer uses Weakness
- Buffer Uses Sharpness & Enhance Fire
- Scarlet Rain Destroys Rashiel with LASER
About This Method
- ~12000 BP per run.
- Super Easy
- Fairly Fast
- Character’s don’t need to be that strong
This method is great for players who have more or less just finished Story Mode. Its really easy to do. Even of your character’s are low level, Scarlet Rain can not only DOWN the bird easily, but break its parts for pretty much free BP.
To do this efficiently, it would help if you have Scarlet Rain’s Attack Unit at Max Rank. Also equip her with a 40% Fire Engraved Stone. Her Armaments should look like this:
- Scarlet Wing [Obtained through Side EP “Mystification/Emblem” #03]
- Scarlet Enhancer
- Thrust Up (Lowers Blunt Resistance)
- Thrust Up (Lowers Slash Resistance)
- BP Booster
- Lime Wing [Obtained through Side EP “Mystification/Emblem” #02]
(Note that all of this equipment, unless otherwise stated, can be bought in the Engraved Stone Shop)
-BP Farming Method #2-
- Nitride Unica [As Strong As Possible]
- Buffer (Sharpness) [Can be any Level]
- Debuffer (Weakness) [Can be any Level]
- Play The Game in Easy Mode
- Make sure to equip Unica-chan with BP Gain UP items.
[EQ★8] Different Deities (異種なる神々)
- Nitride Unica Accel Moves in & casts Dark Cloud Storm
- Debuffer uses Weakness
- Buffer Uses Sharpness
- Switch back to Unica-chan because the player-controlled chara does big damage on easy mode
About This Method
- ~40000 BP per run.
- Difficult to Perform
- Extremely fast if correctly executed
- Nitride Unica needs to be as Strong as she can possibly be.
This is a rather high level BP farming method with lots of requirements. On the plus side, it gives a ton of BP in a short space of time. Since this is such a good way to farm BP, Nitride Unica is definitely worth Leveling purely for the sake of this specific farm.
If the birds do in fact survive, chasing them down can take up a lot of time. In this case, it will be faster to simply exit the quest after killing the two turtles and do it again.
To do this efficiently, it would help if you have Nitride Unica at Max Level and her Attack Unit at Max Rank. Also equip her with a 50% Dark Engraved Stone [If you can’t get 50%, Use a 40%]. Her Armaments should look like this:
- Dark Up (Lowers Ice Resistance)
- Dark Up (Lowers Status Ailment Resistance)
- Blunt Up (Lowers Thrust Resistance)
- Blunt Up (Lowers Slash Resistance)
- BP Booster
- Lime Wing (Obtained through Side EP “Mystification/Emblem” #02)
The rest is the level of your Dark Cloud Storm.
(Note that all of this equipment, unless otherwise stated, can be bought in the Engraved Stone Shop)
-More on BP farming-
Since BP is dropped by everything, it sometimes happens that you look up at your status screen and go “Damn! When did I get so much BP!?”
With that being said, a dedicated BP farm isn’t something that needs to be focused on in particular. You can farm good weapons from Sudden Quests and gather BP at the same time.
But also because BP is somewhat easy to farm, it means that you can spend it rather aggressively if you so desire.
~LEVELING THE BLACKSMITH~
In this game, the Blacksmith has its very own level. The Blacksmith level dictates which kind of weapons you are allowed to upgrade. For example, a blacksmith of level 3 will only be allowed to upgrade/synthesize weapons of Rank 3 and lower. On top of this, the blacksmith will be restricted to weapons of +3 regardless of rank. (Can’t upgrade a Rank 2 weapon above +3 if you only have Blacksmith level 3).
The Blacksmith gains levels by normal use. Given the various level restrictions, this means that you have to actually go and upgrade low rank weapons purely for the sake of leveling your Blacksmith.
Bringing your blacksmith to around level 7 is easy. But getting it to max level is extremely painful.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way around this. You just have to put in the time to farm for material/money to level your blacksmith.
The higher the weapon rank, the greater the experience gain will be. But since farming Rank 8,9,10 material takes extremely long, its recommended that you use lower rank weapons and store bought material to level your blacksmith.
For information on all the materials in the game as well as where to obtain them, check out the Material List page.
I have read online that bringing the blacksmith to Level 10 using only Rank 2 weapons took around 385 upgrades. That’s a huge amount and sounds really time consuming. In my case, I always used the highest possible rank of weapon. I spent a hell of a long time farming but I might have done a total of around 70 or 80 upgrades. It sounds like a lot now but just wait til you’re actually doing it. Its painful man (;_;)
Its up to you to decide how you will upgrade your blacksmith. Pick the method that suits your laze the best.
~LEVELING SAO CHARACTERS~
SAO Characters have a tons of skills to level. On top of that, each of their weapons also have Profiencies to level. SAO characters need an unprecedented amount of work for them to be strong but it is all worth it. When compared to the AW characters, they shine in terms of versatility.
But since the SAO characters have so much variety, Leveling every single skill can be redundant since you can only use a set few at any given time.
Therefore as a Leveling Rule, it is recommended that you only Max skills that you will actually use. This also applies to weapon selection. No point in leveling up Strea’s Spear if you are just going to play her on 2Hand Sword & Axe only.
But just to be clear. For you main weapon, every skill is worth equipping and leveling. For each Sword Skill in your pallet, you get 10% more damage in skill connect combos. Not putting a Sword Skill in your pallet is like saying NO to free damage.
If you are unsure about which buff skills are worth leveling, I wrote in-depth character guides – including which skills are useful – on each respective Character Guides page. If that’s not enough information you can also check out the SAO Sword Skills & Weapon Breakdowns and the SAO Magic/Buff Skills Breakdowns pages.
Note that SAO characters can also be equipped with weapons. Since Weapon Building is a whole other topic altogether, I also wrote an in-depth post about it here:
Lastly, keep in mind that Weapon Proficiency, Debuffs and Offensive Magic all level up faster when you use them on High Level Monsters. This is why Online Sudden Quests and High Difficulty Extra Quests are used in most of these leveling methods.
-Leveling SAO Healing & Buff Skills-
Leveling Buffs or Healing skills increases their duration or effects. As there are some quite difficult Quests in the game, it is highly beneficial if you do in fact get your Buffs & Healing Skills to level 1000. Its not about being a completionist, its about making your character as reliable as they can possibly be. Because man, there are not many things worse than a Rain who only has her buffs at Lv150 and they wear off in 60 seconds or an Asuna with Heal at Lv100 and it only recovers the amount of a toe stub (~_~;)
So. I made a video on an easy way to get your Buffs & Healing skills to Lv1000:
This method is nice and simple. Just keep casting skills as you continue cycling through each of your 3 characters. It helps if each character is equipped with a Crest of Yggdrasil, but if you don’t have 3, use Grow Charms on the remaining characters.
This method works for all forms of Buffs, Healing, Song Buffs, Healing Familiar Skills and other auxiliary skills (Like Searcher). But take note that debuffs & Battle Shout will not be able to be leveled this way.
For debuffs, you can do this same thing in an Extra Quest with high level monsters or you can use the Offensive Magic Leveling method detailed below.
This method can also be used online but be careful; the game has a high chance of crashing when 6+ players are doing this.
-Leveling SAO Offensive Magic-
Likely the easiest way to level all Offensive Magic, Debuffs, Battle Shout & Offensive Familiar Skills. The Wights are unable (Not allowed?) to enter the small treasure rooms on either side of the lowest level of the ship. This means you can trap them at the entrance and level your magic. It helps if you character is equipped with any Max MP Increase items.
Sometimes, the Wights go into their Ethereal Mode if you don’t have enough aggro. When this happens, activate them by running passed them through to the other safe side of the ship.
There are some wonky things with this method (like Sling Stone flying into the roof). But Tier 1 magic can be leveled on the Hildsvini/Thokk Sudden Quest (in the desert). If you stand at just the right distance, he will keep using the Sand Breath without moving. When this happens you can just hover there and spam your Level 1 magic on him (Thanks Rea).
This Wight method is not so good offline as Sudden Quests have a 10min time limit as well as a small area in which they occur. Leaving this area will cancel the quest. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you do this online. You can even solo in a password protected lobby like I did in the video.
If you are unable to use Online mode for whatever reason, the Death Extra Quest can be used to level magic. If you position yourself above him just right, he will only be able to hit you with 1 of his attacks.
*This method and its alternatives can also be used to level Bows.
-SAO Weapon Proficiency & Leveling Sword Skills-
When you land attacks on a monster, the respective weapon that you use will gain Weapon Proficiency. The status of your Weapon Proficiency is denoted as a red % bar, found on one of the bottom 3 Passive Skills of your character. When you get a Weapon Proficiency to 100%, you get an amazing Weapon Master Passive Skill that increases all damage of that weapon by 50%.
Since this is such a huge reward, its absolutely necessary that you do in fact work towards this Passive Skill. But unfortunately, leveling Weapon Proficiency can take extremely long (up to 8 hours for slower weapons).
But even so, this Weapon Master Skill is what separates the Men from the Boys. The Tigers from the House Neko. The Touno Shiki from the Emiya Shirou. The Vile Beasts from the other Tamed Animals. I’m sure you get the idea but I’m just trying to emphasize how strong this Passive Skill will make your character.
-Proficiency & Sword Skill Leveling Method #1-
This method is easy & straightforward. You just can just mash Square for hours on end until you get the Weapon Master skill. Since this method is pretty boring, it is OK to let your mind wander and daydream about Sakuya-san’s cleavage. You can also band together with a few friends online and just mash Square while you talk in a party. This method requires almost 0 brain power or concentration so I used to translate stuff while I did this.
The only attack that may catch you off guard is the Overhead Rock Summon but that attack has both a distinct sound and visual cue so you can just block it or dodge it if you hear or see it.
For Sword Skills, this method becomes annoying. This boss moves around too much and for some reason, he is exceptionally good at catching you with his Hand Clap Attack when you use long Skill Connect combos (Even though he will whiff every time when you are doing proficiency). If you want to level Sword Skills, I would recommend using the second method described below.
In any case, it is a good practice to use Rank 1 weapons so that the boss does not die quickly. But in Hildsvini/Thokk’s case, you can easily reset him if he is about to die so the rank of your weapons doesn’t particularly matter.
I secretly call this method “Hit Hildsvini in the wienie/Hit Thokk in the cock”.
-Proficiency & Sword Skill Leveling Method #2-
*To perform this method, you need Sling Stone at least at Lv300+.
This method is wonderful. Ruhiel is an M so he likes getting hit all over his body with tiny rocks. For him, it feels so good that he becomes incapacitated with pleasure every time you do it. When this happens, you can move in close and freely level up Weapon Proficiency or Sword Skills (and make up twisted backstories for him).
For this method to go smoothly, it helps if you kill the two Soul Reaper type bosses on either end of the deck of the Ghost Ship (I didn’t do this in the video to save time).
For landing square/triangle attacks, this method is considerably faster than the previous method described above because you can land standing attacks. For almost all weapons, standing attacks are faster than hovering attacks. You can also cancel hits with a dash mid combo to land even more hits per second (If you watch very closely, I did this in the video).
For Sword Skills, this method is still good because the boss does not move at all. This means you are free to use Skill Connect combos to your heart’s content. The only danger here is that you cannot regenerate MP during a Skill Connect combo and you need MP to DOWN Ruhiel. So be careful.
In any case, it is a good practice to use Rank 1 weapons so that the boss does not die quickly. Ruhiel has a ton of HP so he will not die quickly but resetting him is a pain so it would be beneficial to use Rank 1 weapons for Sword Skill Leveling.
**For leveling Counter Based Sword Skills, the Odin Sudden Quest in Nibelheim is recommended.
-Proficiency & Sword Skill Leveling Method #3-
With the new Mugen Dungeon added in Version 2.00, every single monster is Lv2000 above floor 100. This makes it the best place to level Sword Skills, Weapon Proficiency and Debuffs. Just run in there with 3 Party members you want to level and hit some monsters. It helps if you play the game in easy mode and if you target clumps of monsters. Each hit landed on a monster will increase the rate of experience gain.
~LEVELING AW CHARACTERS~
Unlike SAO characters, AW characters don’t have that many skills to level. On top of this they have no weapon proficiency and only two buff skills.
With that being said, Accel World characters benefit a lot from increasing their character level. With each level increase, they get a boost to their Physical Attack Power. This means that once you have maxed an AW character’s level, the only things left to do is to increase the Levels of their 2 buffs & Sword Skills. (Advanced Character Building will also overhaul their Strength, but more on this later.)
If you want more information on the Accel World characters, you can check out their respective Character Guides pages.
-Leveling AW Special Moves & Incarnate Skills-
Since AW character’s don’t have magic and can’t fly, leveling Sword Skills is slightly harder to do using the methods I described in the “SAO Weapon Proficiency & Leveling Sword Skills” section of this page. These methods can indeed be used but the overall leveling process will not be as smooth as it is for SAO characters (Which is fair because they have less skills to level). It is still possible to band together with friends using SAO characters to level Sword Skills on the Blue Bird in the Ghost Ship. This is most likely the most efficient method.
Unlike SAO characters, AW characters are not able to equip Rank 1 weapons to make themselves weaker on purpose for leveling. But to offset this, you can equip 6 Enhanced Armaments that debuff monsters. Each of these Debuff Armaments decreases the Physical Attack of your character by 20% making them weak enough to not kill monsters when leveling Sword Skills.
-Leveling AW Buff Skills-
100.99% of players neglect the Accel World character’s buff skills because they typically have a short duration and only affect one character as opposed to affecting the party. If only those players knew that the Accel World character’s buff skills usually give twice the increase of SAO character’s buffs. I almost can’t gush enough about how good these buffs are man.
Unfortunately, each of these buff skills have a lengthy 180 second cooldown time making leveling them a pain. It is possible to decrease the cooldown time further with the use of equipment, but even then, leveling these buffs is HARD (X_X).
Currently, the fastest way to level these buffs goes something like this:
- Cast the buffs.
- Switch character to replenish cooldown.
- Switch back to AW character.
- Cast the buffs again and repeat.
This is better online because you don’t fully have to leave the Maintenance Booth menu for your character to change.
If a new, better, faster and more efficient method is discovered, I will update this section.
ADVANCED CHARACTER BUILDING~
**AS OF VERSION 2.00, THE PASSIVE BUG HAS BEEN REMOVED
Unfortunately, the legendary Passive Skills Bug has been rendered unusable as of Version 2.00. More information in the News section of the Passive Skills Big post:
~HOW TO BE OP?~
You want to know how to be Over Powered?
Well, I have already given you all the tools to become crazy strong in this post and the Character Guides. From here, its up to you to work hard to make godlike characters.
Now, the only thing you will need need is hands-on experience with the game. But there’s no efficient way or formula to do that so why not just have fun playing the game with your characters.
Thank you for reading.