Middle-earth: Shadow of War - How to easily earn XP and level up fast

Increasing your level as fast as possible in Middle-earth: Shadow of War is essential. Almost everything in the game is tied to level. You can only dominate Orcs up to your level, gear drops scale with how much experience you have, and any chests you get from the market will only give equipment and Orcs appropriate to your level.

Luckily, just about everything gives you experience in Shadow of War. You can do quests; kill or dominate enemy orc captains; battle online, or look for collectibles to get XP. Some shortcuts let you level more quickly though, and we've gathered some of our favorite methods below.

Use XP Boosters to gain experience faster

This is the most accessible route to take to drive your level up. In certain chests, in the Shadow of War market, you can receive XP Boosts that double the experience you acquire for two hours. You can also buy them individually for 100 Gold a piece.

This might be the most direct way of getting bonus experience, but most players aren't going to want to spend real cash to keep a constant supply of boosters. These items have a huge drawback that makes them less than ideal as well. The two hours they last are in real-time, not game time. That means if you sit down and use a booster and aren't grinding for two hours straight, then you've wasted your money. If you activate one, play for an hour, and come back the next day, the hour you didn't use will still be gone. 

The best time to use boosters, then, is when you are going to do a bunch of quests in a row. The story missions give the most XP of anything in the game, and you'll gain a level or more every time you do one for most of the game if you have an active booster.

Farm Orcs for XP

So, you can get a lot of XP from quests and the like, but what about when there aren't very many missions to choose from, and you want to get some levels before you continue the story? Well, there's a way you can stack the deck to where you have unlimited access to XP. It takes a bit of preparation but, come late game, you'll be thankful you have a place to grind up.

When Act 4 of Shadow of War starts, you'll come into possession of a fortress in a new area. Your objective here is to get a steady flow of Nemesis Missions out of this area, so only dominate the minimum amount of captains you have to. The plot at this point makes it imperative to strengthen your fortresses besides the newest one anyway, so there's no loss to be a little short manned there.

When I played through, I only dominated two captains in the area of Act 4. With 15+ enemy captains in an area, you can get seven or eight Nemesis Missions on the map at a time. They give you about 1,000 XP a pop, but they only take about five minutes or so to do. If you activate a booster, you'll be pumping out 12,000+ XP every 30 minutes or so, and that's a pretty fair amount.

You'll get bonus XP for any captains you kill during the missions too, which will help add to the total. When all the Nemesis Missions for the area are done, or too many enemy captains have died, advance time until everything re-balances itself before hitting it again.