ByKen McDonnell, writer at Creators.co
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

It's out, people. Overwatch is finally a game you can own and play whenever your heart desires. Blizzard's hero-based multiplayer shooter has had fans hyped for years and I'm sure many of you are delighted that you can finally start leveling up on #XboxOne, #PS4 or #PC.

Leveling up in #Overwatch means cosmetic upgrades for your favorite characters. You'll obtain a Loot Box every time you ascend the ladder, which will randomly hand out some awards for your efforts (if you need an in-depth examination of how Overwatch's currency works, you can check this out). But how can you obtain more of these Loot Boxes at a faster pace? If you're looking to level up fast in Blizzard's latest hit, here's how you go about it.

Updated: 12/29/2016

Impatient Gamers: How To Level Up Quickly In Overwatch

Update: In the middle of November, 2016, Blizzard released an update for Overwatch which introduced us to Sombra and a few additional changes. As opposed to featuring only one mode, Overwatch now has several Arcade Modes. Players can earn three loot boxes every week by winning a total of nine matches, and the XP required for leveling up has changed. These changes have been reflected below.

Simply by participating in a match in Overwatch, you gain XP. The longer you stay the more you get. It's never recommended to abandon a match, regardless of how the outcome looks — Blizzard is coming down hard on those that cheat or rage quit. But here's a basic breakdown of match XP:

  • Per second played: 4.01 XP
  • Match Finished: 300 XP
  • Match Win: 500 XP

And here's how much XP you're going to need for each level:

  • Level 01 – 2,000
  • Level 02 – 3,500
  • Level 03 – 5,000
  • Level 04 – 6,500
  • Level 05 – 7,500
  • Level 06 – 8,500
  • Level 07 – 9,500
  • Level 08 – 10,500
  • Level 09 – 11,500
  • Level 10 – 12,500
  • Level 11 – 13,500
  • Level 12 – 14,500
  • Level 13 – 15,000
  • Level 14 – 15,500
  • Level 15 – 16,000
  • Level 16 – 16,500
  • Level 17 – 17,000
  • Level 18 – 17,500
  • Level 19 – 18,000
  • Level 20 – 18,500
  • Level 21 – 19,000
  • Level 22+ – 20,000

With that out of the way, let's see how you can fly through these ranks.

1. Group Up With Friends

When you play a match in Overwatch with a friend by your side, you'll gain +20% XP. You need to be in a group of 2-6 players then you'll receive the 20% bonus on all XP earned during the match. On average, you earn around 200 XP a minute in Overwatch. This goes up to 240 with this bonus. So you're basically being rewarded for having friends. COOL!

2. Be A Team Player & Win

Overwatch is not like other first-person shooters. Playing this game like you would #CallofDuty is not only going to negatively impact on your team, but it will also hamper how much XP you earn. Play the objective and fill in roles that your team lacks. This will contribute to the overall performance of your team and will bring you closer to grasping that crucial win. Remember, just for winning you gain an additional 500 XP AND if it's your first win of the day you actually get 1500 XP. Therefore, it's crucial that you remain a team player and focus on the match's objectives.

3. Gold Medals

Medals are awarded to those who perform better than anyone else in a particular area. They're handed out at the end of each match and can be for most kills, most damage blocked, most heals given, most damage unleashed, etc. You earn an extra 150 XP for a Gold Medal, 100 XP for a Silver Medal, and 50 XP for a Bronze Medal. Therefore, if you find you're not performing well as a particular character, change things up. Perhaps your team is lacking a support character and you could spend the rest of the match healing your teammates as Mercy, which could ultimately result in a Gold Medal. Analyze your performance during a match and realize when it's best to change characters.

4. Don't Stop, Won't Stop

Don't stop playing. Okay, that's bad advice. DO stop playing, eventually. But Overwatch does hand out rewards for each consecutive match played. You'll earn 200 XP for each followup game, which is massive all things considered. Blizzard naturally want players to keep coming back, so they've chosen to reward those who play a lot of Overwatch with this consecutive match bonus. This should be pretty easy, what with how addictive this game can be.

5. Backfilling

Joining a match that's already in session means you're helping a team who's been down a hero for a little while. Perhaps someone rage quit or lost connection and now a team out there is suffering. That's where you come in. Backfilling in matchmaking will grant you an additional 400 XP bonus for filling that missing role. That's 400 XP just for showing up! You'll have to play the match to the end of course, but even if the team wins you'll still get the bonus.

6. Change Characters Often

Overwatch is not a MOBA. So what does that mean exactly? Well, you don't have to stick with one character! There are so many different ways of taking part during a match, and it's really important to analyze your team's dynamic. Missing a healer? Fill the role. Need a tank to soak up some damage? Get that big body on the ground. Even if you only spend time blocking damage as Reinhardt for your team, you will be rewarded! You'll bring everyone closer to nabbing that sweet, sweet win, too. So it's best to practice with a character in each of the four classes so that you can comfortably fill in for your team where needs be.

What Happens After Level 100?

Looking good, people.
Looking good, people.

One other thing to know is that Overwatch is capped at level 100. Once you reach level 101, the leveling system resets itself and you become level 1 again. However, this impressive feat will result in you receiving a star or a new color for your end-game image. You'll also get an achievement, and if you're the first of your friends to get there you'll receive yet another achievement and some additional XP! It's a nice system, because you'll go back to leveling up at a really fast pace and can start earning more Loot Boxes like you did at the beginning.

We hope you found this helpful and if you have anything to add on Overwatch or leveling up in Blizzard's multiplayer FPS, let us know in the comments!

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