Since leveling speed in Everquest is determined by Hotzones, which changes every now and then it’s hard to find a leveling guide for Everquest. While it is fastest to level in Hotzones, it is always good to have options on where to level. In this guide i will list the zones by tier where you can level the fastest in Everquest. This is one of the few guides that is updated for Veil of Alaris all the way up to level 95!
The best way to level in Everquest is by using the Hotzones. These are zones that give a substansial bonus to experience while adventuring in this zone. Special augments will also randomly drop in these zones. And Franklin Teek in the Plane of Knowledge will give you quests to do in the Hotzones.
Current Hotzones are:
- Level 20: Crescent Reach
- Level 25: Blightfire Moors
- Level 30: Great Divide
- Level 35: Stone Hive
- Level 40: Dranik’s Scar
- Level 45: Goru’kar Mesa
- Level 50: Plane of Disease
- Level 55: Blackfeather Roost
- Level 60: Sunderock Springs
- Level 65: The Steppes
- Level 70: Vergalid Mines
- Level 75: Direwind Cliffs
- Level 80: Ashengate, Reliquary of the Scale
- Level 85: Korascian Warrens
- Level 85: Feerrott, the Dream
Everquest have quite a few ways to increase experience gain and in this guide i will show you what these are. These are certain ways to increase your leveling rate.
Veteran Rewards are skills players gain when their accounts have been active for a long enough period of time. The one year Veteran Reward is by far the best one and will give you DOUBLE XP for 30minutes every 24 hours.
Xp potions(Soe store):
Xp potions can be bought through the SOE store and come in all different types. If you are a gold member with a recurring plan you will get 500 station cash for free every month that you can spend on Xp potions.
The first time you visit the SOE store ingame you will get a FREE complimentary 10% XP potion that lasts for 4 hours.
Potions that are available are:
10% increase in xp for 4 hours (100sc)
25% increase in xp for 4 hours (300sc)
50% increase in xp for 2 hours (100sc)
These are also available in group versions for 500sc, 1400sc and 4500sc.
Xp potions (LoN)
Xp potions can also be acquired through the Legends of Norrath card game accessible through Everquest. The potions come in most of the sets but not in all of them. Check http://legendsofnorrath.station.sony.com to see what sets may reward xp potions.
Xp potions are also available as rewards from completing scenarios in Legends of Norrath. Scenarios are story driven campaigns where you don’t play against other players. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to acquire XP potions.
Hotzones are zones that give you a substantial increase in experience while hunting in them. These zones are the recommended zones to use while leveling. It’s hard to determine how much xp is increased but it is quite a lot. To see a list of current hotzones go to:
Bonus XP weekends and events:
Every now and then Everquest will have special events like anniversaries, Christmas events, etc. Quite often these events will feature bonus xp for all players during a few days. Bonus xp weekends usually gives double xp and comes along every couple of months.
Level 1-10 Zones
These are the zones you will start out in, and learn the ropes of the game if this is your first toon. The Tutorial is recommended, but Crescent Reach is a viable choice as well.
The mines of Gloomingdeep is the starting area and tutorial for Everquest. Although grinding is more efficient than questing in Everquest, it is recommended that you do these quests for the first 10 levels.
The tutorial is the recommended way of leveling from 1 to 10 in Everquest when you first create a new character talk to the barbarian standing next to you, Arias. He will ask you to complete a quick task for him, finished the task and you will be ported to the main area of the mines.
You will now be in a cave with a lot of NPCs, most of these have a purpose. Like teaching you about things in the game, to buy or sell things from, or to give you quests.. You can also hire mercenaries from one of them. Talk to all of the NPCs that offer you missions, complete these missions and come back and accept the new ones. Do these missions until you’ve done them all. Further into the mines you will find guard Hobart and Guard Maddoc. They will offer you quests from level 4 and up. Even further in you will find more NPCs that offer you quests, accept all of these quests and finish them. When you’ve finished all the quests in Gloomingdeep you will be around level 10, you can now go back to the area where you started and click on the big door to be ported out of Gloomingdeep.
Crescent Reach 1-15
As you enter Crescent Reach go east until you come to an area with leaf drakes, spiderlings, and skeletons. Stay here for until you are at around level 4. You should now move a bit north to an area with bears and pumas. Kill everything you see her until you’re around level 8 or 9. You can now move a bit further north to the areas with the gnolls and skeletons. You can kill these until around level 18. But should probably move on to Blighfire Moors a few levels before that. Blightfire Moors is ideal in your late teens and early 20’s and can be reached directly from Crescent Reach.
Various Starting Zones 1 – 5+(This way is not recommended except for on Progression Servers, Project 1999 and EQ Classic Severs)
In the olden days of Everquest, every race had their own starting zone. The zones still exist but no one uses them anymore due to the Mines of Gloomingdeep, where you now start. The Mines are vastly superior in terms of leveling to these starting zones. If you play on progression servers however, or Project 1999 / EQclassic however you will still start in these starting areas. These zones are also great for some good nostalgia, as long as they haven’t been revamped.
Leveling in these zones is fairly straight forward, start in the area just outside the city gates and work your way further up the levels.
The starting zone / zones will take you to around level 15.
Dark Elf – Nektulos Forest
Froglok – Rathe Mountains
Halfling – Misty Thicket
High Elf – Greater Faydark
Human – Freeport and Commonlands / Qeynos and Qeynos Hills
Iksar – Field of Bone
Ogre – The Feerrott
Troll – The Feerrott
Vah Shir – Shadeweaver’s Thicket
Wood Elf – Greater Faydark
Level 11-30 Zones
These are the best options when you’ve finished in the starting zones. Most of these are pretty straight forward so i haven’t explained to much in the guides. Just head to the zone you want and start grinding level appropriate mobs. A tank mercenary is recommended in these zones.
Kurn’s Tower 10-15
Kurn’s Tower is a dungeon in the Field of Bone on Kunark. It is filled with undead, making it a good place to level for Paladins and Clerics.
When you first enter the you should pull to zoneline and fight around here. If things get to heated you can just zone out. As you level up you can move further in and up the tower. You can stay here until 15, possibly longer if you like it here.
Highpass Hold 10-20
Highpass Hold is a mountain pass between Kithicor Forest, Blightfire Moors and the Karanas. It used to be one of the most popular leveling spots in the game back in the day. The pass is filled with Orcs and Gnolls. Highpass Hold provides good XP from level 10 to around level 20. When leveling here gets slow you can move on to Highpass Keep, the castle in the middle of the zone.
Paludal Caverns 15-25
Paludal Caverns is a zone on Luclin, the zone in can be found in Shadeweaver’s Thicket. You will be fighting mostly Phlarg Fiends and Recondites here, these will take you to around level 25. When you are around level 25 you can move on to Marus Seru, it is relatively close by and is good from level 20-30.
Estate of Unrest 15-30
Truly a legendary old school Everquest zone, Unrest is a mansion filled with all kinds of Undead. This makes it a prime leveling spot for Paladins and Clerics. The zone provides good XP until around level 35. When you first enter, stay around the mansion killing Zombies, Skeletons and various mobs here. When you are around level 17-18 you can move into the Estate, most usually agro in numbers so be careful. As you level you can move up and around the Estate, until you can take on the whole zone. XP starts getting slower at 30 but you can stay here until 35 if you like.
Blightfire Moors 15-30
Blightfire Moors is one of the best zones in the game from around level 15 to level 30+. You can get here from Crescent Reach, or just by clicking the Crescent Reach book in PoK.
Start off by killing rats and snakes near the zone in from Crescent Reach / PoK. Then move on to the Gnoll camp in the southwestern corner. When you finish up there you will move on to one of my favorite leveling spots. The Bee Field are all the way to the North East. The bees and wasp people around here will provide good XP to well over level 30. When finished here you can move straight on to the Hive, which is located just a bit further east.
Lake of Ill Omen 20-30
Lake of Ill Omen provides you with good XP in your 20’s. In the middle of the lake lies Veksar, another great zone you will probably come back to later. The best place in the zone is the Sarnak Fortress on the right side of the lake. There are also several good Goblin camps in the zone.
Castle Mistmore 15-35
Another legendary Old School zone, Castle Mistmoore is the home of the Vampire Mayong Mistmoore. The mobs here are known for dropping a fair amount of plat for their level. You should be around level 20 when entering this zone, and to begin with you should stay around the entrance. When you are around level 23-25 you can start moving further inn towards the Graveyard. When you are above level 30 pretty much the entire zone opens up to you and you can stay here until around 35-36.
Marus Seru 20-30
Marus Seru is a zone on Luclin, the easiest way of getting there is through Netherbian Lair. The zone is perfect for leveling around level 20-30. Anywhere in the zone is good for leveling, just kill everything here. Mobs in this zone seem to have a long agro range, so be careful.
Nedaria’s Landing 20-30
Nedaria’s Landing is a zone from the Omens of War. The Experience here is good in your 20’s, but you should move on before level 30. Most of the mobs are just random wildlife. The Forgotten Halls is a instanced zone here that scales with your level, and can be good XP aswell.
Warslisk Woods 20-30
Warsliks Woods is a zone on Kunark, it is easily accessed through the Field of Bone, The Overthere or Lake of Ill Omen. It is mainly populated by Giants, goblins, undead and some Iksar. The best camps are the Giant fortress and the Brute Camps near zone to Lake of Ill Omen.
Netherbian Lair 20-35
Netherbian lair is accessed through the Nexus on Luclin, or from Dawnshroud Peaks and Marus Seru. The big corridors are pretty safe to travel as all the mobs are in the caves going off to the sides. The XP here is good in your 20s and well into the mid 30’s.
High Keep 20-40
High Keep used to be THE place to level from 25-40 back in the day. Go down in the basement, which is filled with goblins. There are several rooms and the goblins further down are a bit more powerful. This zone isn’t used much anymore but still provides great XP, so you’ll most likely have the entire basement for yourself. The plat here is pretty decent aswell.
Echo Caverns 20-40
The Echo Caverns are a series of tunnels beneath Luclin. You can reach the caverns from Shadow Haven. You can stay here for quite a few levels, from 25 to around 40 is ideal and provides the best XP. But you can stay here all the way to level 50.
Level 31-50 Zones
The Tank Merc really shines during these levels and he / she can usually still take on any yellow con mob alone. Remember to pick up new defiant gear and / or other upgrades, preferably Ornate Defiant at 26 and Intricate Defiant at 48. The defiant gear will make leveling a lot faster.
The Overthere 25-35
The Overthere was maybe the most popular grinding spot during the Kunark era. It is still a very viable choice for grinding from around level 20 -40. The “Ledge” close to the Frontier Mountains zone is perhaps the best spot to grind here.
Stonebrunt Mountains 20-40
You can go to Stonebrunt as early as before level 20 and the XP here can take you all the way to level 40 or so. There are a lot of mobs, most of them wander so there aren’t many adds. Most of the mobs in the zone are animals except for the Kobolds that live here. The drops here are also worth decent plat, so it’s a good zone to grind plat in for lowbies.
Dawnshroud Peaks 30-45
The Dawnshroud Peaks are a series of mountains on Luclin populated with various wildlife. You can get there by traveling through Netherbian Lair. You will be fighting mostly Rockhoppers, Wolves, Zelniaks and Sambata tribals. All these can be found roaming throughout the zone and in camps.
Goru’Kar Mesa 30-50
This is one of my favorite “new” zones for these levels. TONS of mobs, both random wildlife and camps of Spiders, Centaurs, Harpies, and giants. The giants is the best ones by far and you can start taking them on at level 40 +. The Giants provide very good XP and can be grinded to well over level 50 if you want to. Try fighting in the giant caves if they aren’t already camped.
Lower Guk 30-50
Lower Guk is a legendary zone from the old school EQ days. The zone is filled with undead frogloks, making it a good leveling spot for Paladins and Clerics. The mobs will get progressively harder as you venture further into the dungeon so just work your way in, you can level here all the way to 50, but I usually move on at around level 45+.
Nagafen’s Lair 35-45
Nagafen’s lair is the home of the dragon, Nagafen, one of old school Everquest’s most notorious bad guys. This is also an excellent place to level from 35-45. You will be fighting mostly Kobolds found around the zone. These are easy to kill and don’t hit for much. The plat here is also good making it a good plat farming area for you around level 40.
Stone Hive 35-50
Stone Hive is the home of the bixies, a type of bee people. This is one of the best zones to level in your 30’s and 40’s. If you leveled the previous levels in Blightfire Moors at the bee fields, you can just move right into Stone Hive and continue Leveling. Start outside for the first few levels, then move inside to the first floor and the move your way up as you get higher level.
Crystal Caverns 35-40
The Crystal Caverns used to be the home of the Coldain Dwarves. It is now mostly populated by Orc, Tentacle Terrors, Spiders and various other monsters. This zone provides great XP all the way through your 30’s. Start at the entrance and work your way in, I usually move on at around level 40+.
City of Mist 35-50
City of Mist is a Kunark zone. It is one of my favorite zones for around level 35+. It is filled with undead making it a great zone for Paladins and Clerics. Stay around the entrance until level 40+ or so then move further in. I usually stay in CoM until about level 50 then move on.
Jaggedpine Forest 40-45
Jaggedpine Forest is accessed through Surefall Glade or Nedaria’s Landing. It’s an outdoor zone with mostly wildlife and a lot of Darkpaw Gnolls. You can start leveling here at around level 30 all the way to around 50 if you like.
Akheva Ruins 45-55
The Akheva Ruins is a zone of Luclin, accessed through The Maiden’s Eye. You can start leveling here at 45+, but around 50 is ideal. Stay around the entrance until 50+ then slowly make your way inside. I usually stay here until around level 55 then move on. AA XP here is decent until 60 +.
Level 51-60 Zones
This is when the fun starts. At level 51 you can start to gain AA’s (Alternate Advancement Points), so as often as you can and as often as you can, drag the AA slider to 100% and grind out some AA’s. If you get to level 70+ with few AA’s you will have a hard time leveling. Offensive and Defensive AA’s make leveling a lot faster and easier so be sure to get them early rather ran late. I usually get between 50-150 AA’s before dinging 60.
The tank merc is still very strong these levels, but will start having a hard time soloing mobs at 60+. So you can start thinking about getting a healer merc, depending on which class you are playing.
Dulak’s Harbour 45-55
Dulak’s Harbour is the town of Clan Broken Skull. It’s a fast and fun place to level in your 50s. Start in the main area of the little town, then make your way to the ships that are docked around the zone. I usually go over to AAXP at around level 51 and grind out 10-20 AA’s here before leveling to 55, then moving on.
AA’s : 5-9 Per Hour
Veksar is a instance in Lake of Ill Omen. It is inhabited by mostly undead, and some goblins just as you enter. Making it a great hunting spot for paladins and clerics. Most of the mobs in Veksar drop from 1 to 10 PP and a lot of vendor trash so you more than make up what you spend on your mercenary.
As you enter start going left. Skip as many of the goblins as you can and just go to the undead area. The first undead area is where you will be spending your time at first. When the mobs start turning light blue you can move further in, past the underwater tunnel. This is the main area of Veksar, this area has a ton of mobs for you to grind. You can stay here well into your 60s and for hundreds of AA s if you have the patience. When XP starts to get slow you can move on up the stairs to the east. Mobs here where will be slightly higher level. You can move further on from here by exiting even further to the east. You will now be in the last area of veksar, where AA experience will be good until around level 70. I usually move on at around level 65.
Plane of Justice 46-52
AA’s: 4-8 Per Hour
Plane of Justice is one of the first Planes of Power you will get access to. The zone can be quite confusing, but you’ll get the hang of it. To start with I like to stay in the corridors near the entrance and then work my way inside, visiting all the jail cells while I make my way through the zone. I usually level from 46 to 52 here, grabbing about 40-50 AA’s at level 51.
Plane of Innovation 48-55
The Plane of Innovation is a really cool zone. It’s a giant junkyard, filled with clockworks and machines. Stay near the entrance for the first couple of levels then make your way further inside. AA XP here is still good until a good way into your 60’s
Ssraeshza Temple 50-60
AA’s : 4-8 Per Hour
This is my favorite of all the Luclin zones. The Temple is the home of the Shissar, a type of snake people that used to live on Kunark. The XP here is awesome in your 50’s. Stay in the area around zone in when you first get here. When you feel more comfortable you can start moving around. There are tons of mobs here and several floors. At some point, consider turning the AA slider to 100% and grab 20-50 AA’s here.
Old Sebilis 50-60
AA’s : 2-7 Per Hour
Old Sebilis is another awesome Kunark zone to level in your 50’s. You no longer need to do the key quest if you are above level 46. You can basically level anywhere in the zone but I prefer the Frogloks. Just move around the zone killing all the Frogloks and / or other mobs you see. As you get further in the mob will be higher level. AA’s here are good until around level 60+.
Mines of Nurga 50-65
AA’s : 3-8 Per Hour
Stay around zone in, and pull to zone to begin with. Respawns are about 20 minutes so there are always plenty of mobs. After a few levels start moving further inside. Aggro range of mobs is pretty small so you can move around with relative ease. XP here is good until mid 60’s, same goes for AAXP.
The Hole 50-70
AA’s: 5-20 Per Hour
Everyone’s favorite grinding zone, The Hole is filled with undead and all kinds of nasty monsters. It’s a one of the best zones in the game to level in for any class, but Paladins and Clerics really shines here due to all the undead. The Temple is probably the best spot to grind in the zone, but really the whole zone is really good. I usually grind out a few hundred AA’s here before moving on. The AA’s are good until your early 70’s.
Velketor’s Labyrinth 55-60
AA : 4-8 Per Hour
Velketor’s Labyrinth is a Velious era zone that is excellent for leveling in your mid 50’s / low 60’s. The AAXP here is also very good around these levels. The zone is mostly populated by spiders , gargoyles and kobolds. Any of these are good to level on, but be careful as some mobs are invis here.
Crypt of Decay 55-60
AA’s : 3-7 Per Hour
Crypt of Decay is one of the best of the Planes of Power to level in your mid 50’s to mid 60’s. You have to be 55 to enter, so I usually level from about level 55 to 60-65 here depending on how long I can take it. The Puslings near the entrance are Undead so this zone is excellent for Paladins and Clerics to level in. AAXP is good here until around level 70.
Level 61-70 Zones
After leveling to 60 you should really start looking into grinding AA’s, having lots of AA’s will help you a lot faster and if you have few AA’s you will level a lot slower. Stop every couple of levels and grind out some AA’s. When you get 300+ offensive and defensive AA’s you will have a much easier time leveling.
The tank merc starts slowing down a bit after 60. He is still effective, but i usually swap him out for a healer sometime around level 65.
Bastion of Thunder 60-65
AA’s : 5-12 Per Hour
Bastion of Thunder (BoT) is a zone from the Planes of Power expansion. You have to be level 57 + to be able to access BoT. The zone has 4 parts all with different elemental mobs. XP here is good until mid 60 but AAXP is decent until your 70’s. All the wings are accessed easily in the start of the zone so just pick whatever wing you prefer and start grinding. Earth and Water tend to be the easiest.
Crypt of Nadox 60-65
Crypt of Nadox is a huge zone. You can usually start leveling here in your mid 50’s. It’s filled with Undead mobs, so it’s a very good soloing spot for Paladins and Clerics looking for some good XP. The zombies in the southern most part of the zone, next to the Hate’s Fury zone in is probably the best spot in the zone. XP here starts to slow down at about level 65.
Plane of Fire 65-70
Plane of Fire is definitely one of the best leveling zones in your 60’s. This place is famous for being camped by Rangers using their Headshot AA to grind AA’s here. It’ll probably take a while before you become 100% comfortable with the zone, but once you get a hang of it, it provides great XP. I usually stay here to level 70, grinding out a few hundred AA’s in between the levels.
Wall of Slaughter 65-70
The Wall of Slaughter is another great XP zone for Paladins and Clerics. The whole zone is good for quick XP for any class, but undead killers will have a easy time XPing at the undead Murkgliders in the Zone. The XP here is great until your 70’s so I usually level to 71/72 + a good couple of AA’s here.
The Steppes 65-70
AA’s : 5-10 Per Hour
The Steppes provides you with plenty of mobs to grind and quite a few camps. There’s a lot of wild life here a long with gnoll camps and a few caves with spiders. I usually stay near the zone in fighting snakes and lizards to begin with, then move on to the spider caves, ending with the gnoll camps. XP will be good until 70+.
Level 71-80 Zones
Welcome to level 70. You should head over to the Bazaar around now and pick up some equipment upgrades, at around level 70 you can usually find some really cheap upgrades that will make leveling a lot faster. Leveling will start to slow down around these levels so find ways to maximize DPS (weapons,equipments, skinspikes etc) and try to have as little downtime as possible (get mana regen items /buffs etc). This will help leveling speed by a lot.
AA’s : 5-12 Per Hour
Arcstone is maybe the best zone to level in your early / mid 70’s. If you get into trouble here you can just jump of the edge of the zone, and you will land safely in Freeport. XP here is awesome and most of the mobs are undead so it’s a great place for Paladins and Clerics. I usually stay here until 75+ and grind a quite a few AA’s in between levels.
Dragonscale Hills 70-80
AA’s : 5-15 Per Hour
Dragonscale Hills is my favorite zone to level in your 70’s. You can pick up tasks from a gnome name Sigglik that are completed at the farm. These quests usually requires a group but the XP is awesome. If you want to solo you can go to other areas in the zone, like the Doombugs to the south of the farm. Or you can go to Arcstone.
Direwind Cliffs 70-80
AA’s : 5-15 Per hour
The Direwind Cliffs is a really cool zone from The Serpents Spine. There are quite a few different kinds of mobs here and the graveyard has undead making it a good place for Paladins and Clerics to level. The XP here is awesome all the way through your 70’s.
Loping Plains 75-85
AA’s : 10 – 25 Per Hour
The Loping Plains is a great place to level in you mid 70’s to mid 80’s. The zone has quite a few undead camps (Graveyard, Chapel and Decaying Caverns) making it a good place to grind for Paladins and Clerics. There are also areas with minotaurs, werewolves and other creatures that make for good grinding spots. The zone is also very open making it a good zone to kite in. I usually stay here until somewhere between 80-85 and grind out a few hundred AA’s here before I move on.
Level 81-90 Zones
AA’s Per Hour : 10-30 Per Hour
The revamped version of Blackburrow is very good for leveling in your 80’s. You should have decent gear and a few hundred AA’s if you plan to solo here. Go inside and kill Gnolls, they add easily so be careful. I’d recommend that you stay on the first floor/ near the entrance for a good while before you move further inside.
AA’s : 10-30 Per Hour
Toskirakk is only recommended for players with a lot of AA’s and good gear. The Mobs here hit HARD, so be sure to have a good deal of defensive AA’s. The boars here are a lot weaker than the rest of the mobs so you can try your hand on them before you do anything else here.
Level 90 – 95
Korascian Warrens 88-95
Level Range 88 – 95
The mobs in this zone hit for a lot of damage and can be quite hard to kill solo so be sure to have a lot of AA’s and decent gear before coming here. The zone is huge and there are a lot of camps, so if you have good gear/AA’s this is a very good high level leveling zone.
Gratz on dinging 90. Leveling 90+ it is recommended that you get a group. If you still want to solo the 81-90 zones will still be good.
You can also do solo kill tasks in any of the Veil of Alaris zones.