Divinity 2 Levelling Guide: Fight, Find And Steal Your Way To The Top

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Divinity Original Sin 2 is hard. Don't make it harder. Larian Studios/Player.One

Critics are already hailing Divinity: Original Sin 2 from Larian Studios as one of the best RPGs of all time. I still have a ways to go, but after hitting level 14 and finishing one of the toughest battles I’ve ever had in any turn-based strategy game (for hardcore context I’ve done a Long War mod XCOM campaign on Impossible) I can offer some tips for newer Divinity 2 players in need of a levelling guide. This is not a “how to grind to XYZ level” because, frankly, Divinity 2 doesn’t work that way. The best way to level up (or feel levelled up) is a mix of combat tactics, exploration and good gear.

Divinity Original Sin 2 Levelling Guide: Combat

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Combat is about more than levels (most of the time). Photo: Larian Studios/ Player.One

Let’s be real. You didn’t know you needed a levelling guide until you got your ass handed to you in a battle. And then you probably roamed somewhere else, and got your ass handed to you again by something maybe one or two levels above your current one. I get it. But the root cause of your frustration isn’t necessarily that your level is low. It might be you’re not using your current level to its maximum effect. Here’s some stuff to keep in mind.

One of the key combat spells in Divinity 2 is Teleportation. It requires two points of Aerotheurge skill to learn, or you can use the Teleportation gloves acquired early in the main questline of the game. I recommend having at least two characters with the skill, especially when starting out, because it is a literal lifesaver.

It’s best applied to your long range, DPS characters (i.e. Rangers, Mages, etc) because its most practical application is to relocate the catastrophic melee enemies who get too close. If possible, drop them onto a surface that's on fire or full of poison. Teleportation also serves as a means of last-ditch rescue; sometimes the best solution is to move a vulnerable character out of harm’s way.

Divinity 2 also uses status effects to make your life a living hell. Keep an eye out for characters infected with Decay, as they’ll take damage from healing spells. Fortify prevents teleportation, so if you’re rescuing a character remember to teleport, then buff.

Pay close attention to the magical and physical armor of your enemies. You’ll find your party generally has a mix of characters who specialize in physical or magical damage, so don’t make the mistake of having everyone attack one enemy. If a foe has 100 magic armor and 50 physical armor, and another has 50 magic armor and 100 physical armor, divide your attacks between the two. Armors also block negative status effects, so sometimes it's better to hold off on casting a strong spell with a long cooldown until it can actually take effect ( see: the Chicken Claw ).

The environment also plays an important role in each battle. Sometimes the key to winning a battle is to put your party members in the optimum position before you start the dialogue thread that ends in a battle. Get your mages and archers up high for the elevation bonus, and move your assassin (if you have one) behind the group you’re about to fight.

Finally, quicksave quicksave quicksave. I recommend quicksaving each time you kill an enemy, so if you make a mistake you can undo it without losing all the progress from the battle.

Divinity 2 is meant to be challenging, so don’t get discouraged that you’re not blowing through the early game like you do in most RPGs. I’ve found the second 20 hours a lot easier than the first. Eventually, you’ll start to understand that the combat isn’t meant to always play out the same in each encounter. And once you start racking up wins against foes on your level, you’ll get that valuable XP you need to move on to bigger and badder things.

Divinity Original Sin 2 Levelling Guide: Exploration

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If you want XP in Divinity 2, go find it. Photo: Larian Studios/ Player.One

Divinity 2 hands out XP inconsistently. Yes, you can gain a lot from grueling battle victories, but you can also pick up a good chunk of XP just by discovering things on the map. So if you find yourself in a situation where you need a higher level but don’t know how to get there, turn around and start walking.

Exploring in Divinity 2 isn’t just about clearing the fog of war off the map, either. Invest a few points in the perception skill for your party leader to spot buried treasure and traps. Keep your finger on left-Alt CONSTANTLY as you walk around to highlight the various crafting materials and occasional quest item lying on the ground. You never know when a silly side quest will require something you happened to pick up on your travels.

There’s also a fair amount of non-combat related quests to find. Sometimes it’s mazes or characters who talk in riddles, others it’s basic fetch quest back-and-forth stuff. Along with perception, your party leader should have the Pet Pal perk to talk to animals. They can give quests too. Divinity 2 has a lot of non-violent XP out there to help you level up, but you need to go out and grab it.

One final note on exploring: make sure you activate fast travel waypoints by interacting with them as you find them. They show up on your map once you discover them, but can’t be used until they’re activated. You’ll save yourself a fair bit of backtracking.

Divinity Original Sin 2 Levelling Guide: Gear

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Good gear sometimes requires bad behavior. Photo: Larian Studios/ Player.One

The final piece of the levelling puzzle in Divinity 2 is gear. As mentioned above, you’re likely feeling your level sucks because you’re losing often to enemies who might be just one level higher than you. But Divinity 2 is a dynamic game with a lot more going on than level-based stats. It’s got a shitload of gear, too.

It’s overwhelming at first. Virtually every single NPC in Divinity 2 will trade with you. Obviously merchants carry the most goods, but you’ll find strong gear from a variety of sources. Browse the inventory of just about everyone, especially early on, to get a handle on what’s available to you at your level.

But how do you pay for it? Picking up everything in sight is a good place to start, but selling mushrooms and cups isn’t a guaranteed path to riches. Nope, if you wanna get the bling in Divinity 2 you’re gonna need to do it the old-fashioned way: theft and bribery.

The bribery is easy, but a little counterintuitive. You need to find a merchant with a LOT of stuff you want to buy and gift him a bunch of stuff. Instead of asking for gold for a bunch of items, just accept nothing. The game will even ask you again “Are you sure?” and agree to it. You’ll see a number next to a gold star on the merchant’s side of the screen. That’s your reputation with the merchant. Keep gifting until it gets to 100 and then do all your serious business. You’ll save thousands.

Theft is a little trickier. You need to invest some points in the Thievery skill for one of your characters. If you’re trying to game the system a bit, once you get to Act II, you can use the Magic Mirror on your ship to respec a character and put a ton of points into Thievery, go out and steal a bunch, and then respec back to something more useful. If you’re still on Fort Joy this isn’t an option, unfortunately. But you’d be surprised at how much gold some characters carry. I pickpocketed a fisherman who had $4k on him for some reason. It went a long way. Just remember to quicksave before you attempt to steal something, in case you get caught and a fight breaks out.

That’s pretty much it! Follow these tips and your woes with Divinity 2 should diminish almost as fast as your level will rise.

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