Reaching level 11 in The First Descendant.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

How to quickly level up your Descendant in The First Descendant

Wave after wave... Wave after wave...

Leveling up your chosen Descendant in The First Descendant is the best way to upgrade your character's stats. The leveling system in this game is pretty simple, at least for leveling up your Descendant and not your Mastery Rank or Weapon level. If you want to level up your Descendant quickly, I've got a few tips for you!

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The best ways to level up your Descendant in The First Descendant

As you can level up your Descendant to level 40, it's best to find a good middle ground between leveling up fast and leveling up in a way that's still fun. With these five basic leveling strategies, you'll be able to enjoy your game while maxing out your Descendant's level:

5. Defeat bosses

A yellow titled boss enemy in The First Descendant.
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Bosses have yellow titles when you're completing battlefield missions, as opposed to the red titles of regular Vulgus enemies. When you're completing dungeon-style missions (for more information about these missions, scroll down to number two on this list), they have red titles but much more health and may heal themselves two or three times. They're much harder to kill, and it's best to team up with other players during missions to take them down faster.

As they're bigger, badder enemies, you'll get more EXP for killing them than Vulgus. It's not the best technique to use, though, because the time sink to kill some of them is ridiculous.

4. Defeat the Vulgus

Fighting the Vulgus in The First Descendant.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

The Vulgus are one of the main enemies that you'll see in The First Descendant. They spawn out in the wild and during every mission. You'll get EXP for each one that you take out (read: kill). You don't need to worry about playing missions publicly, there are plenty of Vulgus that will spawn during each mission for all of the players working with you.

That said, I do recommend figuring out which of your guns you're most comfortable with and practicing with any new ones you get to find your favorites. You're going to be far more competent at taking down the Vulgus with some weapons over others, especially if you're not typically a shooter gamer.

3. Complete missions across the map

A battlefield mission in The First Descendant.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

There are various missions that you can complete around the map, including repeatable ones. Missions don't automatically activate unless you fall into the mission area and someone else is already running that mission. In that situation, you'll become part of the mission and play through it with the other people in the area.

Before you start your own missions, you can check how much EXP you'll get from them under the "main reward" section. As you can see from the screenshot above, the Kingston Communications Repeater mission gives you 1,070 EXP for each run. This mission is one that you can repeat, and it takes place nearby, so it's a good one to grind for quick EXP. Other people are often in the area, so it's rare to be alone for missions like this - those being ones that are close to transporter points or in main areas.

2. Complete dungeon-style missions

The Slumber Valley mission in The First Descendant.
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The First Descendant has some missions that run in a dungeon style. These missions can be started solo or you can join them publicly and wait for a group. From what I've seen, you'll end up with three or four players running the same mission together.

You can tell you're about to start one of these bigger missions because interacting with the mission's starting point will send you to a new screen asking whether you want to complete it privately or publicly. The example I have for you here is the Slumber Valley mission, which offers 1,200 EXP upon completion. These bigger missions also give you a bigger and better range of rewards!

1. Repeat the Kingston Resource Defence mission

The map location for the Kingston Albion Resource Defence mission.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

The Kingston Resource Defence mission is a wave-by-wave enemy encounter mission. You can find it by going to the Special Operation Terminal in Albion, finding the Kingston region on the map, and selecting the Kingston Albion Resource Defence mission.

The waves of enemies get stronger as the mission continues, but each wave you defeat gives you EXP and some other rewards. Because it's set up to give you EXP after you complete each part of the mission, it's the best way to farm EXP in the game and level up your Descendant faster.

I hugely recommend this strategy for leveling up fast in The First Descendant. My team of four only did the first seven waves and I still leveled up from level 11 to level 16.

How to level up your Mastery Rank in The First Descendant

The location of the Prime Hands in The First Descendant.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Your Mastery Rank is completely separate from your Descendant Level. They are both independent leveling systems with their own benefits. While your Descendant Level affects your stats - such as your HP and attack - your Mastery Rank upgrades your storage and module capacity.

You will level up your Mastery Rank organically as you play, but you do need to go and use the Arche Factor Manipulator Prime Hands back at the hub in Albion to actually rank up. If you don't go and use the Hands to rank up, you won't be able to gain any additional points towards the next rank.

Go into the room where the Hands are, interact with the terminal, and click to rank up. You'll get a bit of a strange cutscene where your Descendant is standing between the giant hands to gain more power. Once that's done, you'll be the next Mastery Rank, and you can start building Mastery Rank EXP up again.

Mastery Rank EXP can only be gained by either completing missions for the first time or by leveling up without any of your Descendant's module slots filled.

Want to read more Pro Game Guides for The First Descendant? Try our guide on How to fix Caliber not showing in The First Descendant or How to unlock all trophies in The First Descendant.

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Lyssa Chatterton
Lyssa Chatterton has been a freelance writer for over 6 years, ever since graduating from their Master's degree in Transliteration & Screenwriting. They have worked with clients in practically every industry, including iGaming and TCG/Tabletop news. Lyssa prefers cosy games and indie games, but that doesn't stop them from going all out with a great fantasy RPG or digging out old retro games. An avid fan of Pokémon, Animal Crossing, the Witcher, and Persona, you'll be seeing a wide range of writing from this freelancer.

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How to quickly level up your Descendant in The First Descendant

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