Final Fantasy XV Character Progression Guide – EXP, Ascension, Gear, Skills

By   /   Nov 25, 2016
Final Fantasy XV Character Progression

Final Fantasy XV Character Progression Guide to help you understand how to character progress, ascension, and gear work in the game.

As you progress through the game, your characters continue to become stronger. It is important to learn about Character Progress as it allows you to optimise your character in a way to balance out the game’s difficulty.

In this guide, we have explained some of the in-game systems which allow you to develop your characters in an optimal way. However, do note that there is no way the information provided in the guide is set in stone.

You can always change things according to your personal preference and find something which compliments your playstyle.

For more help on Final Fantasy XV, read out our Combat System Guide.

Final Fantasy XV Character Progression Guide

In our Final Fantasy XV Character Progression Guide, we have detailed some of the systems which can help you learn about the game’s Character Progression System in a much better way.

Character Experience

One of the best ways of strengthening stats in Final Fantasy XV is by accumulating EXP or Experience Points. EXP in Final Fantasy XV is earned by completing quests and defeating enemies.

As a general rule of thumb, defeating tough enemies and completing hard quests yield more EXP as compared to easier ones. Apart from these two, you also earn a small amount of EXP through interactive conversations.

Once you have accumulated enough amount of EXP, you need to rest at a lodge or at a camp to add your earned EXP to your Character Level reap the rewards. If you do not rest, all your earned EXP will not come into play on its own.

EXP allows you to level up in the game which allows your characters to deal more damage and receive less in return. However, the amount of EXP required to level up increases with subsequent levels.

For instance, if climbing from Level 5 to Level 6 requires 1,000 EXP, it is possible that climbing from Level 9 to Level 10 will require 5,000 EXP – just a theoretical example. Every time you level up, you get stat boosts automatically.

In addition to this, each quest in the game has a Recommended Level Requirement which can be seen in the Quest Menu. You should always opt for quests which are parallel to your Character Level or below it.

However, if you are up for a challenge, you can always choose a higher-leveled quest and earn a significant amount of EXP in return.


It is another system which allows you to enhance your combat prowess in the game. If you open up the Ascension Menu, you should be able to see multiple Development Trees i.e. Magic, Recovery, etc.

These Ascension Development Trees are made up of nodes called Nexus – for the singular. After you unlock a nexus, it becomes permanently active, allowing you to reap the benefits/ability that the particular Nexus offers.

But how do you unlock a Nexus? Well, it is as simple as it can get. In order to unlock a Nexus, you need to spend AP. At the beginning of the game, the starting Nexuses require a small amount of AP, but as you continue to progress through the game, the higher Nexuses require a huge amount of AP.

AP, in Final Fantasy XV, is earned by levelling up, completing quests, defeating enemies with specific manoeuvres e.g. Warp-Kills, through interactive conversations, completing optional strategy objectives, and more.

Provided that you have enough AP, you can unlock Nexuses in any order you wish. However, you should always try to get the most important ones first lest you would find yourself at a disadvantage.

For example, a Nexus allows Ignis to reveal weak spots of enemies and another one which allows you imbue Noctis’ weapons with elemental effects the enemies he is facing are weak to. You must prioritise one over the other, depending on your playstyle if you wish to succeed in the game.

Since AP is hard to come by in Final Fantasy XV, I would ask you to read the description of each Nexus in every Ascension Development Tree before coming to a conclusion.


Happy Camping
AP Cost: 20

Increase AP gained for making camp.

Happier Camping
AP Cost: 48

Further increase AP gained for making camp.

Fitter Survival
AP Cost: 99

Occasionally double the items from Gladio’s survival skill.

Fittest Survival
AP Cost: 999

Receive double the items from Gladio’s survival skill.

AP Cost: 32

Gain AP for long trips in the car.

AP Cost: 99

Gain experience for long trips in the car.

Angler Action
AP Cost: 18

Gain AP for catching a fish.

Reel Experience
AP Cost: 333

Gain experience for catching fish.

Item Angler
AP Cost: 84

Double the items gained from fishing.

AP Cost: 99

Gain more AP for reeling in a big catch.

Item Angler
AP Cost: 555

Triple the items gained from fishing.

AP Cost: 12

Take photos in battle. Up to five can be saved. Depletes the tech bar by one.

AP Cost: 333

Chance of gaining AP through Snapshot.

AP Cost: 18

Extend the status boost time from meals eaten at camp.

AP Cost: 20

Gain AP for cooking someone’s favorite food.

Lingering Aftertaste
AP Cost: 99

Further enhance status boost time from meals eaten at camp

Persistent Aftertaste
AP Cost: 333

Greatly enhance status boost time from meals eaten at camp.

Noctis Combat

AP Cost: 6

Use left stick and O to take a step in midair after attacking; one time only.

Death Drop
AP Cost: 28

From afar press O in midair to warp into range and strike down from above.

AP Cost: 52

Recover MP when an aerial attack connects.

AP Cost: 16

Dodge enemy attacks in midair by holding square.

AP Cost: 52

Perform a second Airstep after a second midair attack

AP Cost: 333

Airstep after midair attacks an unlimited number of times.

Light Phase
AP Cost: 8

Reduce MP cost of phasing

AP Cost: 99

Increase Noctis’ MP by the number of levels he has gained. The effects of similar abilities no not stack.

Ultralight Phase
AP Cost: 32

Further reduce the MP cost of phasing.

Chained Fury
AP Cost: 10

Boost damage dealt when unscathed during chain attacks.

Warp Factor
AP Cost: 24

Boosts warp-strike damage.

Daemon Destroyer
AP Cost: 24

Warp-strike to break daemon appendages.

Warp Factor II
AP Cost: 52

Further boost warp-strike damage.

Point-Blank Warp-Strike
AP Cost: 333

Deliver a critical hit when warp-striking at close range.

AP Cost: 28

Boost blindside damage.

Super Stalker
AP Cost: 64

Further boost blindside damage.

AP Cost: 16

Phase though an enemy’s attack without using MP by pressing square at the last second.

Blink Boost
AP Cost: 32

Recover a bit of MP by blinking through attacks at the last second.

AP Cost: 333

Negate damage by pressing square immediately after being hit.

Warp Decoy
AP Cost: 99

Leave a hologram to divert enemies after warping.

Static Edge
AP Cost: 34

Significantly increase damage dealt after entering stasis.

Character Techniques


Quick Tech
AP Cost: 333

Accelerate tech bar replenishment rate.


Tech Strike
AP Cost: 48

Add to tech bar when Noctis lands attacks.

Tech Damage
AP Cost: 99

Add to the tech bar when Noctis suffers damage.


AP Cost: 8

Draw enemy attention across a wide area with a firearm. Weakens daemons. Depletes the tech bar by one.

AP Cost: 18

Deal heavy damage with machinery by overloading its energy output. Depletes the tech bar by two.

AP Cost: 18

Draw enemies in an area closer together with machinery by creating a gravitational field. Depletes the tech bar by two.

Trigger Happy
AP Cost: 72

Unleash a barrage at multiple enemies with a pair of firearms. Depletes the tech bar by three.

Limit Break
AP Cost: 999

Break limit on damage from Prompto’s techniques.


AP Cost: 8

Bring all allies together in stalward defense. Rescues from danger and restores HP quickly. Depletes the tech bar by two.

AP Cost: 18

Concentrate ally attacks on a foe with devastating Deathblow strikes. Depletes the tech bar by two.

AP Cost: 18

Imbue Noctis’ weapon with the element that target is weakest to. Depletes the tech bar by one.

AP Cost: 72

Unleash a devastating fire attack with daggers. Depletes the tech bar by three.

Limit Break
AP Cost: 999

Break limit on damage from Ingis’s techniques.


AP Cost: 8

Deal heavy damage to a single enemy with a powerful greatsword slash. Depletes the tech bar by two.

AP Cost: 18

Deal damage to nearby enemies with a fearsome shield shockwave. Depletes the tech bar by two.

Royal Guard
AP Cost: 18

Move quickly to guard Noctis with a shield. Depletes the tech bar by one.

AP Cost: 72

Ambush enemies with a frontal sweeping greatsword area attack. Depletes the tech bar by three.

Limit Break
AP Cost: 999

Break limit on damage from Gladiolus’s techniques.



Link Up
AP Cost: 8

Boost link strike damage.

Super Link Up
AP Cost: 32

Further boost link-strike damage.

Critical Link
AP Cost: 333

Always deliver a critical hit when link-striking.

Limitless Link
AP Cost: 999

Break limit on link-strike damage.

AP Cost: 16

Deliver a devastating blow to a vulnerable enemy.

Ultimate Deathblow
AP Cost: 99

Deliver an utterly devastating blow to a vulnerable enemy.


First Shot
AP Cost: 6

Gain first strike against a nearby enemy with a firearm. Adds to tech bar.

Shock Drop
AP Cost: 24

Electrocute an enemy with machinery when Noctis attack it in midair.

Sharp Shock
AP Cost: 99

Boost Shock Drop damage

AP Cost: 18

Deliver a counterattack and stun enemies with a firearm.

AP Cost: 64

Swiftly unleash damage on an area with a firearm. Makes enemies flinch.


AP Cost: 6

Deliver a powerful counterattack with a greatsword. Makes enemies flinch.

AP Cost: 18

Gain first strike by delivering a powerful greatsword slash.

AP Cost: 64

Protect Noctis from enemy attacks with a shield.

AP Cost: 24

Make an enemy flinch with a paralyzing kick while Noctis is defending.

Acute Antagonism
AP Cost: 99

Boost Antagonize damage


AP Cost: 6

Automatically scan most enemies’ weaknesses at the onset of battle.

Venom Fang
AP Cost: 24

Poison an enemy with daggers when Noctis chain attacks it.

Virulent Venom
AP Cost: 64

Boost Venom Fang damage.

AP Cost: 18

Deliver a counterattack and drain an enemy’s HP with a polearm.

Regenerate Heal
AP Cost: 99

Heal an ally with a hidden recovery item.


Another way to increase your stats is to use better gear. With better gear, you get bonuses which are not permanent like the ones acquired from Ascension Development Tree and last as long as you the weapon equipped.

Since you can easily swap weapons during the course of a battle, you should always try to keep more than one weapon at your disposal and switch between them as necessary.

As you progress through the story, you gain access to more powerful gear which can be acquired from stores and merchants by spending the in-game currency called Gil. Similar to EXP and AP, Gil is accumulated by defeating enemies and completing quests.

Since you probably will not be able to buy everything, you need to weigh your options and prioritise the choice of gear that you buy.

This is all we have on our Final Fantasy XV Character Progression Guide. If there is anything else you would like to add, let us know in the comments section below!

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