Octopath Traveler is the undeniable smash hit of Summer 2018. With beautiful graphics, an absolutely killer soundtrack, a collection of charming characters, and addicting battle and class systems, this is a JRPG fan’s dreams brought to life. However, despite its many achievements, there are a few rather obvious shortcomings; as noted in FANDOM’s review of the game. The borderline tedious level grinding present in the game is by far it’s most glaring of these flaws.
The JPRG genre has a bit of a bad habit of making story progression borderline impossible if you aren’t a high enough level. While Octopath Traveler is as bad an offender as early Shin Megami Tensei titles, it pales in comparison to Bravely Default, which possesses several quality-of-life features that allow a player to boost up their party quickly. Thankfully, though, here are a handful of useful tricks and strategies that make the grind in this game’s latter half much more bearable. Here are the best and fastest ways to level up your party in Octopath Traveler and avoid this title’s biggest pitfall.
Basic Tips and Best Practices
Gaining experience in Octopath Traveler is pretty similar to most other JRPGs, even if the process is a bit antiquated. Only active party members gain experience from battles and, even then, only those who are conscious at the end of a fight. This means that it’s crucial for you to revive your entire active party before finishing off a boss or a high-level enemy and to regularly rotate out which characters you’re using so some don’t fall behind.
Knowing how to earn the Untouchable, Break, and Decimation bonuses and their effects also help tremendously in getting the most out of every enemy encounter. The Untouchable bonus increases the EXP earned from a fight by ten percent and occurs when you finish a battle without taking any damage. The Break bonus is the easiest to earn and increases profits from a struggle by ten percent when you target a foe’s weaknesses often enough to have one enter the Break status. Lastly, the Decimation bonus awards ten percent more job points – which are used to unlock new class abilities – when you finish a fight within a single turn.
Minding the support abilities equipped to each character is also vital in maximizing your efficiency when grinding for levels. The Scholar passive ability Evasive Maneuvers – the first secondary ability Cyrus can equip – lowers enemy encounter rates. While this is very useful in avoiding enemies when you’re over-leveled, it also dramatically increases how long it’ll take to level up and should not be on any character when grinding. On the other hand, the Cleric ability Evil Ward increase the likelihood of escaping from a battle and is instrumental in avoiding time waste when your party gets close to getting wiped out towards the end of a grinding session.
You Can Dance If You Want To…Level Up Quickly
The best strategy for level grinding in Octopath Traveler centers on the ability Bewildering Grace belonging to the Dancer class. Bewildering Grace is a rather high SP cost ability that has a chance of causing a number of effects to occur, including multiplying the EXP or JP earned from a fight by two, five, or even one hundred. This ability can turn even modest encounters into massive experience payouts, and this strategy centers on increasing the likelihood of drawing one of these multipliers.
To execute this level boosting strategy an active party needs to consist of characters with Dancer, Thief, Merchant, and Cleric abilities. The Thief and Merchant characters will primarily attack enemies while funneling SP and BP to the Dancer and Cleric respectively. The Dancer will store up BP until they can spend three to execute Bewildering Grace four times within a single turn. On this turn, the Cleric will use the ability Alfric’s Auspices on the Dancer, which will double their actions this turn and offer eight chances for an experience or job points multiplier to come up.
This strategy is a bit risky, as it has semi-limited weapon and elemental coverage. Bewildering Grace also has a chance to inflict damage, negative status effects, and even death to your entire party. The payoffs easily outweigh these risks though, and so long as you save after every significant experience and job points payout, you can quickly and easily raise your party member’s levels by leaps and bounds at a time.
Preparing for Your Grinding Expedition
At various points in your adventure, you’re going to run into Cait-type enemies. It’s important to take out these monsters immediately as they provide a ridiculous amount of experience when defeated. By using a mid or high-level soulstone item as soon as this enemy appears on screen, you can jump several levels instantly and ensure that the Untouched and Decimated bonuses take effect.
Pro-tip: Soulstones can often be stolen. Read our full guide to stealing in Octopath Traveler here.
The Alluring Ribbon item obtained later in the game is also a great item to equip while grinding, as it raises the enemy encounter so you can increase how much experience you earn for your time. In the early parts of the game, the Carrion Caves found in Borderfell Pass are ideal for gaining levels quickly and earning enough job points to unlock all of the abilities for the characters’ starting classes. At the end of the game, however, the Forest of Purgatory is ideal for boosting your party before taking the game’s optional dungeon and the supper boss that waits within.
The Starseer support skill Hard Worker grants additional JP after battles. The Warmaster support skill Extra Experience is exactly what it sounds like. The boss battles that grant these jobs are extremely difficult (recommended level 50)