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Experience is the primary vehicle for upgrading a Guardian's level, subclass, armor, and weapons.[1] Experience is awarded to players for defeating enemies, turning in bounties, and completing quests. Motes of Light can be used to level up armor and weapons, but not levels or subclasses.

Experience gained before level 40 will go toward leveling up the Guardian. After achieving level 40, five Motes of Light will be granted for every 25,000 experience earned.[2] Whether gaining experience before or after level 40, an equal amount of experience is given to equipped weapons, armor, and subclasses.

Experience earned from killing enemies that are a lower level than the Guardian are significantly reduced.[3]

The following table shows how much additional experience is required to level up from the previous level:[4]

Level Additional Experience Required
Level 1 N/A
Level 2 900
Level 3 4,100
Level 4 5,000
Level 5 6,000
Level 6 7,000
Level 7 8,000
Levels 8-37 9,000
Level 38 10,000
Level 39 15,000
Level 40 20,000
Total 346,000