Your Hero is one of the most important parts of Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire. This is due to the Hero skills that you gain by spending skill points when leveling your hero. Many of these skills are incredibly powerful and give you boosts that cost millions of rss in research to get a tenth the effect of. That being said, it’s hard to tell what the best Hero skills are. That is what this guide is for. As a bonus, we’ll go over several ways to help you level faster so that you can unlock higher levels of these skills more quickly.
Hero Skills Overview
Hero skills are gained every time your hero levels up, and can be viewed by clicking on the character portrait in the upper-left corner of the screen, then on “skills”.
As you scroll down the page of skills, you will notice that there are two primary paths of progression: skills that increase your resource production on the right, and skills that increase your combat effectiveness on the left. In the middle are speed-up boosts unlocked by moving down both trees, plus the March Size Increase at the very bottom which can only be unlocked at level 50.
Unlike the Research trees, Hero skill levels don’t have prerequisites where you have to go back and level an earlier skill to get a new level of one you want. Once you have a level in a skill, each additional level just costs skill points.
It is currently impossible to max all Hero skills even at the highest current level. It’s almost certain that the developers will increase the Hero level and add more skills as the game progresses, but at the current time and up to level 50+ you will have to make some choices on which skills to prioritize.
Furthermore, the only way to reset your skills are through packs that contain a reset. There are much more important packs to prioritize as we discuss in our What To Look For In Packs article. Unless you are willing and able to purchase a lot of packs though, you have to pick a play style and stick with it for a while. The good news is that we’re about to help you do that.
Best Hero Skills
To decide which skills you want to focus on as you level up, first you need to know what they do.
The combat tree starts with Hero Attack, which is only effective when fighting monsters, particularly higher-level monsters that require a huge amount of research to even get to. Farther down, you have skills which increase the Attack boost for select troop types, followed by a Troop HP buff.
All of the combat-based Hero skills aside from Hero Attack are really excellent buffs if you plan to be engaging in of combat. Seeing as how this is a strategic war game, it is likely you will see your fair share of fights. Troop HP in particular is great, seeing as how that boost type is rarer in the game than Armor or Attack. It scales better the more that you are fighting against stronger or equal troop types though, and you will have to balance that against the need for more Attack.
The production boosts might be the first draw when looking at the skill tree, though. Resources are scarce in this game, and a production increase can be a huge help. This is particularly true of the hero skills because they boost ALL TIERS that a rss building produces. This puts them on the same level as Economics Research that requires a level 20 or higher University, except with even better increases.
Their usefulness is limited somewhat by rss production caps, though. You could have a +50% boost to your quarry production and it really wouldn’t matter if you only had one quarry. Or five quarries for that matter, seeing as how costs for buildings and research spiral into the millions or tens of millions at Citadel levels higher than 10.
The skills in the middle of the tree are arguably the best of the bunch. Training speed is useful if you are playing offensively, or defensively without stacking Hospital Wards, as you will have to train a lot of troops to replace the dead ones.
The March Size increase at 50 is a HUGE boost, but you won’t get to that until much later in the game, around tier 4.
The percentile Construction boost and the Research boost are contenders for best skills, especially at higher levels. To illustrate, let me show you a screenshot from somebody working their way toward tier 4 troops:
Ignore the completely insane rss costs for a moment and look at the completely insane time difference. This account has the 50% off building times pack boost, but even after that you would still need 93 days base time to level the University from 29 to 30. How did this player almost cut that time in half again? By stacking the Construction Time skill and maxing the similar-but-lesser Economics research boost.
The research times at that level are similarly heinous, and the Research time reduction skill is similarly useful. They start out not so great when timers are in minutes, but their usefulness grows along with your empire. If you plan on getting past t3 and into t4 eventually, having some points in the time reduction skills is insanely helpful. It is helpful even before then because it saves you speed-ups that you can use on other things.
Assuming that you aren’t going to be shelling out for skill resets very often if at all, what are the other key skills to focus on?
Let’s identify the ones that aren’t as good to help answer that question. Hero Attack is only really useful to open up the rest of the combat tree. It can help fighting level higher-level monsters, but if you are that far along in the game you likely have other more pressing concerns than getting in an extra monster hit. And if you do need that, you have the Hero tree research.
Going wide in the production skills is useful at the start of the game but less so when you get to the point that you need rss far above your production caps. If you have the production boosts from packs, it might be worth it to go wide and offload your excess at to an alternate account at a high tax rate (ugh) to get around the rss caps and make slow progress, but otherwise these don’t scale well as you level your Citadel.
My recommendation assuming you aren’t going to be buying skill resets is to focus on the combat skills OR the center-of-the-tree skills for long term benefit. Use the production skills only to open up the middle of the tree, and maybe stack levels of one single production skill if you are hyperfarming.
The Attack skills and especially the HP skill should be your main target for skill points, followed by the Construction and Research if you are planning on advancing much past t3 eventually and don’t want to pay for skill resets. If you CAN pay for skill resets, spec for the research and construction speed boosts around Hero level 40. This will save you pack money in the longterm.
Regarding the attack skills: You can keep them even if you like, but at some point starting in t3 or t4, the costs for research becomes such that specializing in a particular troop becomes a cost
If after reading this you feel like you hosed up your skill tree, and can’t afford a skill reset, don’t sweat it too much. Most of the skills are pretty great, and you may just have to change your strategy.
If you went really wide in the production skills and you’re hitting the resource caps, think about creating a banking alt or a using guild bank if your guild has one. You’ll get taxed but you can reduce that with Economics research and leveling the trading post, and at least you’ll still be slowly producing rss.
To get these skills in the first place, you need EXP. You get EXP from a couple of different sources, including completing quests, fighting other players, attacking monsters, and building up your empire. There are also the EXP consumables that come in packs and drop randomly from monsters. But please don’t waste your loyalty on Hero EXP.
You can also buy EXP boosts in the Guild Store that will increase your EXP gain for a period of time. This will not increase the EXP gained by using the consumables, but by combining it with the methods above you can level much more rapidly. Here are some specific tricks:
Wait To Collect Empire Quests
Empire quests are the ones you get for finishing buildings or research. You’ll complete a ton of these just by going about your business, and they don’t have to be completed immediately. So wait to collect on them until you have the loyalty for the EXP boost, activate it, and then collect them all in one mass click-frenzy.
Pro-Tip: The Empire Quests from high-level research and buildings give large amounts of resources back on completion as well as sizeable EXP. If you wait and use an EXP boost when completing them, the quests are worth tens of millions in experience points and helpful for getting to level 50 hero.
Buy Packs With EXP Items
The game was designed with this in mind. If you are purchasing packs and want to get level your Hero quickly, check and make sure the pack you are buying includes EXP. Not all do and the rest will contain variable amounts from pack to pack.
Kill More Monsters
You get a significant amount of EXP from monsters, particularly higher-level monsters. You’ll need to advance your research in the Hero tree to at least level 2 monsters to see a significant gain, and additionally you will want to craft some green Hunter gear to help increase your max MP and monster-killing mojo.
You’ll also get a ton of loyalty this way. You want to hit higher-level monsters for EXP and crafting drops and lower-level monsters for max loyalty gains. We cover that specific strategy in our article on How To Get More Loyalty, and explain Monster Lairs in the Gear and Gems Guide.
Build An EXP farm
If you read our Resource Guide, you will have seen the concept of farm accounts mentioned. They are primarily for resources, but you can convert them into EXP farms easily by training some siege troops on them. When you go to “harvest” the rss from your farm by sending a march, you’ll also gain EXP from the fight and lose few or none of your own troops because it is siege. You then reset the EXP farm by using the Hospital on the siege troops.
Bonus: If your area of the server is relatively safe or one of the dominant guilds enforces a no-tile-hits policy, you can also send those siege out gathering for tile resources. Just recognize that this has inherent danger since you can’t recall them if a nearby enemy decides to tile you, unless you are on the farm account.
If you have two devices, you can make the EXP farm go a little faster by resetting via Hospital without logging in and out of accounts. Alternatively, you and a friend could send t1 troops out to occupy tiles, and then attack each others’ camps. This isn’t exactly cost-effective, but it is fast and you can control the casualties. It’s also a good way to farm gems and crafting drops, but you need a few thousand troops at a time for drops to happen.
Go On A Rampage
Given that a combat is a great source of EXP, it stands to reason that fighting a lot in general would be a good way to level more quickly. And this is correct.
There are multiple ways to go about this, some more effective than others. You want to maximize opponent casualties to get the most EXP, ideally while minimizing your own so that you can keep the EXP and resources rolling in. You could tactically choose opponents based on their strengths versus your own, and follow all the advice in the Combat Attack Guide. If you don’t care as much about your own losses, you could also stack Attack by building barracks or prioritizing Attack gear to maximize opposing casualties.
For an alternative viewpoint on this subject, this next tip comes from a contributor who has helpfully shared their thoughts on the best way to quickly gain combat EXP while minimizing risk.
Look, setting up a farm is slow. And setting your own stuff on fire is boring. Setting somebody else’s stuff on fire is WAY more fun! So go on a rampage. You know you were going to anyway.
EXP scales with the amount of power loss you cause to the other player so *theoretically* you’d want to target strong opponents and carefully send just the right troop composition and blah blah blah.
Forget that. Trade on volume. First, park yourself in the middle of a lower-level hive. Next, slap the table and yell “This is MY house now!” at the top of your lungs. Then start releasing marches like swarms of angry bees. Some of the targets will panic-bubble. Others will just stand there in slack-jawed horror as their stuff catches fire. Some of them may even ask in mail or realm chat why you’re doing this! They don’t even have any unprotected resources!
“Oh yes you do!” you’ll exclaim gleefully, as you suck every last drop of precious Hero-leveling nectar out of their exposed tier 1 troops.
And remember to hit all of their occupied tiles. You’ll get more EXP.
Thanks for that tip, Anonymous.
While we neither condone nor condemn the above suggestion, I would recommend that you do the math and make sure you can eat a lower-level spite-rally before you try Anonymous’s EXP gain strategy.
If you’re just not big on the idea of treating lower-level hives as EXP farms, that is totally okay. You can and should still be attacking people regularly, and you can pick bigger targets and have a smaller number of more strategic fights that still lead to sizeable EXP gains. This will also save on ports, tears, and angry messages in your inbox accusing you of being the devil. Probably.
Tile hits and successful attacks are also the fastest and most repeatable way to get gems and rare crafting mats to make your equipment better. The lifetime enemies that you make along the way are merely a bonus.
I want to repeat again that almost all of the Hero skills are excellent, and none of them are truly bad. Even if you were dumping a bunch of your points exclusively in Hero Attack, that is going to be okay. One-shotting monsters at will isn’t the worst thing.
And if you read the suggestions at the top, remember that they are suggestions and there is no “best build” at the moment. I suggested HP for long-term survivability followed by the time reductions and the attack skills, but you may be focusing on rss-farming to help your guildmates past resource humps or otherwise in need of the production boosts. If so, go for it! Just remember that when in doubt you can’t go wrong with increased combat effectiveness in this game.
After all, sometimes the best farm is the one that belongs to somebody else.
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