Looking for locations to grind? Check out our Alliance 1-60 Guide and Horde 1-60 Guide for prime locations!

One of the best ways to get experience, before level sixty, is to grind away enemies. Grinding is going out into the field and slaying monsters repeatedly over and over instead of questing or running instances. It can be quite boring (since it’s mostly a solo activity), but at times it’s much better then doing quests if your goal is to level up as fast as possible.

Quests are the foundation of World of Warcraft. They provide tons of experience, cash, and much needed items. They also are a lot of fun, especially when you complete them with other adventurers. However, it isn’t always the most efficient route of gaining XP. Some classes at certain times can grind away enemies to shave off some time to level up.

To grind, you simply find enemies below your level that you can kill relatively fast and supply good XP. All enemies provide the same amount of XP determined by your level vs. theirs (and if they are elite or not). So it all comes down to finding enemies that are very weak, are lower level then you (the XP hit is well worth it for how much easier it is to kill them), and are in mass supply.

Humanoids often make the best enemies to grind since they are generally not very well armored and have lots of loot (both coin, items, and cloth). Certain kinds of dragonkin are very good as well, but like any enemy it really depends. Spellcasters normally have the lowest amount of armor and if their magical attack is shut down then they aren’t very damaging either.

Once the enemy is found you just work into a pattern of killing an enemy, resting up, killing another one then rinsing and repeating. It’s very boring work (and why questing is such a nice alternative even if it’s slower at times) but it gets the job done. I do suggest having some nice music and breaks planned to keep yourself from over-stressing yourself.

When to Grind

There are a lot of factors involved in determining if grinding is right for your class, level, and playstyle. For instance, Rogues will often find grinding superior to questing due to how fast they can kill certain Humanoid enemies. Anyone below level 20 or above level 60 will find questing to be better due to the mechanics of how XP is calculated and the low amount of DPS at lower levels.

 To figure out if you should grind enemies over questing, you simply need to look at how much XP you get per kill and how long it takes you get it. Compare that to quests (have a look at our quest DB) and see if running quests give more or less XP then grinding away enemies.

Let’s use an example that will help illustrate it.

Say it takes exactly 2 minutes to regen, find an enemy, and slay it. The enemy is worth about 150 XP a kill (you and the enemy both are about level 20) so you get 150 XP a kill. You spend about 9 minutes out of every 10 fighting and the other 2 resting. This means you get 725 XP every 10 minutes.

Now, let’s assume that you have several quests. Most of them take about 10 minutes each and give a total of 400-500 XP after all is said and done. None of the quests stack so you can’t do multiple at once.

In this scenario, it may be better to grind away enemies then attempt to go out and quest. You’ll gain more XP over time (and probably more money).

Let’s use that same example and make it 3 minutes to regen, find an enemy, and slay it. That makes the amount of XP you get 450 XP every 10 minutes. Questing and grinding both give the same amount of XP in the same amount of time at that point, so it then comes down to whatever you’d like to do.

If we extend the time it takes for battle anymore, questing becomes far superior (along with easier and much more fun).

You can really just break things down to this: If you enjoy sitting in one place killing monsters over and over and are getting good XP then stick with it. If it’s taking forever to kill the enemies and the XP is bad then questing will probably be superior. If you lack any quests that give good rewards and don’t take forever, then grinding may be good.

Generally speaking, unless you’re a Rogue designed purely for grinding, you’ll probably find questing faster since it involves grinding away enemies and you get a bonus for it. The traveling time though can mess up the efficiency.

Whichever way you do decide to go, remember that WoW is all about having fun. It’s not about how fast you can get to a certain level or how much cash you have, but it’s about the fun you have going on the journey.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.

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