Experience points are the building blocks of the game and are the method in which you will gain levels to empower your character.
There are four different ways to gain experience points:
- Killing enemies
- Completing missions
- Completing in-game challenges
- Helping to revive a teammate
Let’s break down these different methods:
- Killing enemies: Given that this is the primary form of action in Borderlands, you’ll have to get used to killing enemies quickly. As soon as you dispatch an enemy, a small number appears to add to the experience bar at the bottom of your playfield screen. Different enemies give different amounts of experience, and this can be boosted by the Roland’s Leader Class Mod (Note that no other method can be boosted.). Also, keep in mind that throughout the multiple playthroughs of the game, the enemies scale with new areas until you over-level yourself in that area. For example, during the first playthrough, if you generated 5 experience points in Fyrestone for each enemy killed, and returned after defeating Sledge, your experience points won’t be 5 per enemy killed; it’s more likely going to be 1 experience point.
- Completing missions: Once you begin accepting missions in Fyrestone, you will gain experience points from turning them in to quest givers and the bounty board. The experience points are static, meaning the amount given will not change.
- Completing in-game challenges: There is a menu within the character menu that lists all possible challenges within Borderlands. They range from benchmarks for number of kills overall, number of kills with a certain weapon to spending a certain amount of money in vending machines or opening a certain amount of weapon and item chests. Once the challenges are satisfied, the amount of experience points are automatically added.
- Helping to revive a teammate: Inevitably, even the best bounty hunter goes down. If you happen to be in a multiplayer game, you can help revive your struggling teammate during their “Fight For Your Life” bleeding out moment by reviving them manually. If you are successful, you will gain 100 experience points per revival.
Gaining experience means leveling up. Leveling up in Borderlands is much like leveling up in an RPG. The more experience points a character gains, the more powerful they become and gain access to more abilities. In the case of Borderlands, the higher levels mean being able to wield increasingly powerful weapons and gear and being able to face stronger enemies and accept complex missions.
Every little bit of experience counts toward the ultimate goal: A Level 69 character that can wield the best gear in every fight. Once you receive the “Leveled Up” notice, there are some things you can do. If you’ve been holding on to a weapon that you couldn’t use until this level, check the weapon’s statistics and equip it. The most important thing to do, however, is level up your action skill. Check your skills on the Skill Tree tab and apply a point to the appropriate sub-skill.
The Challenges menu tab is an important sub-menu where specific benchmarks await your character. The challenges are static in their criteria and amount of experience points awarded, but each created character will have them at the start of their journey across Pandora. The max experience points any one challenge can have is 20,000 EXP. There are 117 challenges and will take multiple playthroughs to complete.