Generally speaking, questing is the most efficient way to level. Adventures, Dungeons, and PVP instances do give decent chunks of XP, but never pop often enough to be worth doing at lower levels. Expeditions do give a nice chunk of XP the first run through from their quests, but after that tend to give less than adequate XP.
When leveling, you should always be in zones 3 levels higher than your current level, preferably doing quests 3 levels above you as well. Some zones may have limited quests in the 3 levels above you category, so you will probably want to finish up quest chains before moving on to the next in a zone, unless the current chain has it’s recommended level equal to, or lower than, your current level. If you are leveling a stalker and find yourself having too many issues in stealth, you may want to try killing mobs of a lower level, if required. Other classes shouldn’t have many issues with this, so long as you don’t over pull mobs, use appropriate class builds, and avoid pulling group mobs. Adjusting your spec to have more survivability may be necessary in some situations, but for the most part, 3 levels above shouldn’t cause too many issues. Please note that there are 3 exceptions. Arcterra can only be entered at level 48, and Crimson Badlands can only be entered at level 49, even though these zones are for level 50s. In addition, Grimvault tends to be easier if you enter at level 44. The zone list below shows the optimal level ranges for each zone.
While leveling, you should only be doing quests labeled as “Story” Quests, whether they are World, Zone, or Regional Story quests. Do not do Task quests while leveling, with only 3 exceptions: While in Grimvault (Optional during XP weekends, and if you intend to go to Arcterra at level 48), while in Arcterra or Crimson Badlands, and if progress on the Task quest is earned automatically while doing a Story quest. Challenges can be skipped unless they’re part of a quest, as they tend to give minimal experience and rewards. The diagram shown below will illustrate the difference between these quests on the Objective Tracker.
Path Missions can be avoided entirely while leveling, unless it can be done while doing quests. For example, Scientist missions generally just require you to use your scanbot for everything. Settler Missions can be done while leveling if you wish to give yourself the XP boosts, but it isn’t worth going out of your way for them. You best bet tends to be waiting until you are level capped to do your path. It is worth noting, once your path is capped, Path XP is converted into normal XP, but this likely won’t happen until you hit max level zones anyway. You will eventually need to level your path for the AMP and Tier boosts you earn from them, so do keep this in mind as well. Paths cap at level 30, which is the same point you earn the Tier point from it.
Professions tend to be useless in general, aside from the gathering Professions (Relic Hunter, Mining, and Survivalist), Architect (if you do housing), technologist (if you intend to raid), and cooking (which doesn’t NEED to be leveled, and doesn’t count as a normal profession). I wouldn’t advise doing non-gathering professions until max level. Gathering professions can usually be done with little extra effort while leveling, and can either give you a VERY minor cash boost, or give you extra materials for when you actually intend to craft at max level. If you don’t know what professions you want to take, I would suggest taking up Survivalist, as it causes extra materials to drop from normal mobs, but it doesn’t actually speed up the leveling process in any way. Overall, professions will slow you down, and tend to be useless for pre-50 content, and are even useless in level 50 content in many cases, so they can be safely avoided.
For levels 1-48, follow the zone guide below. Please note that skipping the tutorial will likely yield a faster leveling experience, but cannot be skipped if you’re new to the game. Do not pop level boosters during the tutorial, if you choose to do it and recommend to start using boosters when you reach the level 6-13 zones.
When you hit level 48, you can go to the zone Arcterra and do Dynamic Events and the “Pillars of Kel Havik” event for quick bonus XP, then move to Crimson Badlands. Alternatively you can finish questing in Grimvault, and will only NEED to do this if you run out of quests before level 49.
When you hit level 49, you will likely run out of quests in Grimvault, and will not gain as much XP in Arcterra, so you should move to Crimson Badlands and do the introduction quest, and the dailies in that zone at this time.
These are all the zones you will encounter, along with their recommended levels and their optimal levels in parenthesis. The parenthesis format is the level you should go to the zone to the last level you should spend in that zone.
: 1-3 Optional unless this is your 1st Character.
Levian Bay [Dominion]
, Crimson Isle [Dominion]
, Northern Wilds [Exile]
, or Everstar Grove [Exile]
: 3-5 (Required)
, Ellevar [Dominion]
, Celestion [Exile]
, or Algoroc [Exile]
: 6-13 (6-10)
and Galeras [Exile]
: 14-21 (11-19)
: 22-28 (20-25)
: 29-34 (26-31)
: 35-40 (32-37)
: 41-45 (38-42)
: 46-49 (43-47)/(43-48)