Gaining XP in any game is extremely important. It’s even a bigger issue in Icarus since you only get to unlock crafting tech tiers once you reach certain levels. Likewise, you’re penalized whenever your character dies while you’re playing solo. Here’s our Icarus leveling guide to help you with some fast ways to gain XP.
Note: For more information, check out our Icarus guides and features hub.
Icarus Leveling Guide: Fast Ways to Gain XP
In general, you can earn XP in Icarus by doing almost any task. Gathering raw materials, crafting, and killing wild animals should help you progress. We also suggest spending a few hours in the Beachhead Recon mission. Although it serves as the game’s tutorial, you can gain XP and learn the ropes while you’re at it. If you can, try to grab the Lone Wolf talent, too. It grants more XP if you’re playing solo/not in a party.
Once you reach roughly level 10 or so, that’s when it’s ideal to go out and do early-game missions like Livewire Terrain Scan since you’ll have some decent tech tree unlocks and talents. In any case, let’s discuss some fast ways to gain XP and level up in Icarus.
Chopping Down Trees
Believe it or not, chopping down trees provides 300 XP (more than other gathering tasks). Once the tree has been felled, you can continue chopping the logs into smaller pieces of wood, netting you an additional 100 XP per segment. You’ll definitely want a Stone Axe for this (10x fiber, 4x stick, and 8x stone).
Related talents that you can obtain later include:
- Lumber Yield – Increased wood from felling.
- Peerless Lumberjack – Chance to instantly chop up a tree.
Building and Dismantling Objects
The wood that you obtained from felling trees, as well as other materials, can be used for leveling in Icarus. Ideally, you’ll want to have some extra points for the tech tree. Then, unlock some Tier 1 tech tree blueprints like:
- Wooden Beam – 4x fiber and 8x wood.
- Wooden Floor – 12x fiber and 20x wood.
- Wooden Wall – 12x fiber and 20x wood.
- Wooden Ramp/Roof – 12x fiber and 20x wood.
Next, start crafting several of these objects. You’re not actually building a makeshift shelter. Instead, you’re just earning XP via the crafting action. When you’re done, highlight an object and press “Y” to dismantle it. The item will be returned to your inventory. Right-click on that item and destroy it to refund some of the materials that were used so you can keep crafting more.
Note: You can obtain a talent like Discount Wood (wooden buildables cost less to craft) to help with the process.
Killing and Luring Animals
The best way to kill animals and gain XP in Icarus is by using bows. You’ll want to learn the crafting blueprints for the following:
- Wood Bow – 30x fiber and 24x stick.
- Stone Arrows – 1x fiber, 1x stick, and 1x stone
- Optional: Bone Arrows – 1x fiber, 1x stick, and 5x bone.
Note: Sneak attacks with bows deal extra damage. My advice is to check your Settings -> Controls and make sure that Toggle Crouch is enabled. If you press the corresponding keybind, you can stay crouched as opposed to keeping the button held down.
Now, you might be thinking that you should quickly skin an animal after killing it. Well, that’s viable. However, it’s actually better to leave the carcass out in the open. If you stay stealthed and wait for a minute, wolves might spawn because they’ll smell the dead animal. You can snipe them in the head and leave them there to lure out more carnivores.
Note 1: If you’ve already unlocked the Kill List Extermination mission, you can make your way to the Lethal Predator’s den when it’s daytime. Build a wooden ramp that lets you get on top of a rock formation where hostile mobs can’t reach you. The Lethal Predator periodically summons pack wolves that you can also kill at your leisure. The only downside is that the target’s script might glitch out, preventing it from spawning mobs afterward.
Note 2: Since we’re discussing XP gains, it should be mentioned that Icarus has a crippling XP penalty if your character dies and has to respawn. This won’t be an issue if you’re playing with buddies since they can just revive you. But, if you’re playing solo, then it can be a huge hassle. Still, there’s a simple but problematic workaround for it. You can learn more in our respawn penalty/character death guide.