Despite its fast-paced action exterior, Scarlet Nexus is a JRPG at heart. Yuito and Kasane both gain experience and level up by doing a variety of activities within the game. On top of that, they can also raise their Bonds (relationships) with their teammates. By leveling each of these aspects, both protagonists can become stronger and more formidable in battle.

Like with most RPGs, there are fast ways to gain XP and level up fast. The following guide covers everything in the game that will help you get to maximum strength in no time.

scarlet nexus leveling and bonds

Scarlet Nexus Character Leveling Guide

The tips in the section will help you gain XP for Yuito and Kasane as fast as possible. Each time they level up, they gain Brain Points (BP) which can be spent in the Brain Map to unlock new skills.

Side-Quests & Bond Episodes

Scarlet Nexus has two types of missions that exist outside of the story. Those are side-quests and Bond episodes. Side-quests can be acquired from NPCs scattered around the world, while Bond episodes occur during Standby phases.

There are a total of 68 side-quests to complete, 34 for Yuito and 34 for Kasane. By completing them, you’ll receive helpful rewards as well as experience points. Make it a point to complete side-quests during each Phase of the game to maximize your XP gain and level up fast.

Bond episodes should be completed as they appear during Standby phases and will also give you XP when they involve fighting enemies so be sure to check in with all of your teammates at the hideout.

scarlet nexus leveling and bonds

Brain Map Skill Unlocks

As mentioned above, leveling up grants you BP that you can use to open up new skills on the Brain Map. To level up fast, it’s important to unlock nodes on the map that raise the amount of XP you gain during battle.

The following unlocks should be a high priority in order to maximize your XP gain and level up fast:

  • Brain Crush EXP Bonus (Support Tree, 4 BP) – Gain more XP for defeating enemies with Brain Crush.
  • Overkill (Support Tree, 3 BP) – Striking enemies with fully depleted Crush gauges will give you more XP.
  • Brain Drive: Bonus Multiplier Up (Brain Drive Tree, 3 BP) – Raises the XP gain multiplier when Brain Drive is active.
  • Brain Field: Overkill (Brain Field Tree, 2 BP) – Increases your XP gains for striking enemies with depleted Crush gauges while Brain Field is active.

Special Contract Plug-in

This unique plug-in unfortunately is available only to those who pre-ordered Scarlet Nexus or who picked up the DLC pack. If you happen to have done either, you can equip this plug-in for a whopping 5% increase in XP gains (with a 5% increase to credits gained as well).

scarlet nexus leveling and bonds

Best Level Grind Area – Hieno Mountain

We know that grinding isn’t everyone’s favorite aspect of JRPGs. Technically, you don’t need to do this in Scarlet Nexus. Especially if you’ve followed our above tips, you should have more than enough levels to clear the game at maximum strength. However, if you’re up for squeezing in a bit more XP gains, you can head over to Hieno Mountain.

There, you’ll find Session Pounds. These enemies self-destruct, dealing damage to your team. Even when they kill themselves, though, they still give you 600-1000 XP. All you need to do is stun them with a Psychokinetic attack, wait for them to blow up, and enjoy the XP rain.

scarlet nexus leveling and bonds

Scarlet Nexus Bond Leveling Guide

In this section, we cover all the ways in which you can raise your Bonds with your team.

Bond Episodes (duh!)

scarlet nexus leveling and bonds

The main purpose of these Scarlet Nexus missions is to raise Bond levels, with XP gained from killing enemies as a bonus. As mentioned above, they become available during Standby phases and can be activated by speaking to characters with a pink link icon on top of them.

Some Bond episodes may also begin from messages so be sure to check your inbox and reply to everything. Every time you complete a Bond episode, your relationship with that character increases, so don’t ignore your teammates.

Active Party Members

Bond levels can also be increased by placing characters in your active team. Adding them as SAS from Reserves doesn’t count, though. They must be in the field with you in order to increase Bond levels with them.

The longer a character stays in your active party, the faster your relationship will develop. The gains are arguably minuscule but it’s one of the few ways you can control how fast you develop your bonds.


scarlet nexus leveling and bonds

Similar to games like Persona 5, you can develop your Bonds with your Scarlet Nexus crew by giving them gifts. You can do this during Standby phases in the same way you approach characters to start Bond episodes.

There are three levels of gifts. When highlighting gifts, you can see which characters would most appreciate them. Characters who are only highlighted with no icon will raise their Bond levels slightly. If they have a small yellow heart on their portrait, then the gains become moderate. A big red heart means you’ll get a significant chunk of Bond gains.

You can acquire gifts either by exploring the world or by using the Exchange tab in the shop.