Experience points (XP) are earned by players through various actions and are used to buy skills. A new character must spend 100 XP on their first skill; each successive skill costs 25 XP more.
When attacking, characters receive XP equal to weapon damage for each successful hit. XP awarded is equal to full weapon damage even when then target has just 1 HP.
When a target dies, the character dealing the killing blow receives a bonus XP award of (5 + target's maximum HP) / 2, rounded up. (See animals for bonuses for killing animals, which do not always follow this formula.) There is no bonus for killing characters from your home camp, or for killing NPC traders.
Applying a healing item to yourself, another player, an animal, or an NPC gives you XP equal to the number of HP healed. For example, if you use a first-aid kit to heal 1 HP, you gain only 1 XP. Eating tasty berries gives up to 2 XP, mangos and bananas give 1 XP (to players without full health), and so on. Similarly, a character with first aid or natural medicine can earn up to 10 XP using a first aid kit or healing herbs.
Eating a poisonous berries inflicts 2 HP of damage while giving you 2 XP. Drinking a bottle or gourd of salt water likewise causes 2 HP damage for 2 XP. A player with 1 HP who eats poison berries is awarded no XP. There is no XP bonus for killing yourself.
There is an occasional 1 XP award when chopping jungle (of any density). Revealing a hut by chopping down vegetation yields 10 XP. Revealing a food source (a bush or a fruit tree) by chopping vegetation yields a 5 XP reward. (See Special weapon event odds for research on the matter.)
Spirits can gain XP by using spirit scream skills. XP gained is tied to the level of the haunting skill and the number of listeners (alive playable characters) in an area.
- Haunting scream
- Yields 1-2 XP for 2 AP when one listener is present.
- Yields 2 XP for 2 AP when two or more listeners are present.
- Shocking shriek
- Potentially damages listener(s) for 2 damage.
- Damage dealt equals XP gained. Spirits recieve a kill bonus when a victim dies of fright. More research regarding this skill is needed.
- Banshee wail
- Potentially damages listener(s) for 4 damage.
- Uses 2 AP when one listener is present.
- Uses 4 AP when two listeners are present.
- Uses 6 AP when three or more listeners are present.
- Damage dealt equals XP gained. Spirits receive a kill bonus when a victim dies of fright.
Whenever a trader's stock of an item is short, a player who trades them that item will receive 1 XP. The first time you trade anything with a trader who is happy to see you (even the one in your hometown) you gain an additional one-off bonus of 100XP.
- A bit of minor elaboration: With every first item traded to a trader in a settlement (other than your hometown after the first time), you receive 100 XP. This bonus can be repeated any number of times through trading in another settlement.
Shamen possess a handful of spirit-oriented skills for use at their discretion. However, the relatively modest XP gain from using these skills makes them more suitable for support.
- Exorcism gives 5 XP per spirit exorcised. An unsuccessful exorcism ritual takes 1 AP, but a successful one takes 4 AP, regardless of the number of spirits exorcised. May not always be successful when used.
- Spirit Summoning
- A shaman successfully invoking spirits receives 2 XP per spirit. Invocation uses 5 AP, regardless of the number of spirits that are summoned. May not always be successful when used.
- Shaman torments spirit(s) causing them to haunt and recieves 2-5 XP depending on number of listeners and number of spirits present.