In this guide I will go in depth into leveling up in Wayfinder. Wayfinder is a free to play MMO that released its early access version on August 17th, 2023. In the game you play as a titular wayfinder who is essentially a living memory of a legendary hero who fought and “died” trying to save your world from a dark power known as the gloom. And now you continue the fight. This isn’t only a cool backstory, but also an in-universe explanation for why there are multiple copies of the same person running around, why you can use a variety of mythical weapons, and why you have to train and regain your strength. In other words, the game has in-universe justifications for its’s core equipment/weapon mechanics as well as leveling. These mechanics come together to offer a unique system for customizing your character that I personally quite enjoy. However it also means that leveling up in Wayfinder is more complex than in most MMOs.

Leveling Up Your Wayfinder

In a normal MMO you will pick a class to play, customize your character’s appearance, grab your class specific weapon(s) and proceed to level up your character by beating monsters and completing quests. Simple. In Wayfinder however, while you do pick a wayfinder (your class equivalent) to level up, you also level up the specific weapon you wield, your weapon mastery, your abilities, and your affinity.

(Digital Extremes via Joel Stadler)

At the start of the game you will pick a wayfinder to play for the game’s tutorial. Each wayfinder is a specific hero such as the stalwart Windgrave with his sword and shield, or the shadowy Niss with her dual daggers. Once you play through the tutorial you will be given the option to lock in the character you played as your first wayfinder (you get to unlock the others in game to play as well) or you can choose to try out another. Once you have chosen your starting wayfinder the tutorial ends and you can begin leveling your chosen character.

Like with most any traditional MMO you level up your character by doing quests. Mos of these quests will involve you either doing a dungeon (known as an expedition) or doing a boss fight (known as a hunt). You can do these solo, with friends, or with randos. You can also fight enemies in the overworld. But if you want to level up you primarily want to stick with main story quests which means procedurally generated dungeons as well as boss fights. It is also worth noting here that wayfinders currently maxes out at level 30, and you have to level each wayfinder separately.

But what do you get for leveling up your wayfinder? The first thing that you get by leveling is an increase to your overall power rating. When entering an expedition or hunt you will be given a recommended power rating compared to your current power rating in order to show (roughly) how difficult it will be for you. This is because your power rating will affect the base values of your stats. These stats are:

  • Max Health
  • Resilience
  • Weapon Power
  • Ability Power
  • Crit Rating
  • Crit Power
  • Break Power
  • Physical Defense
  • Magic Defense

When playing the tutorial you will have four different abilities on the lower right-hand side of your screen in a little wheel (or diamond) shape. These consist of three normal abilities and one ultimate ability you need to charge up to activate. As your go through the tutorial you will unlock these abilities and be prompted to try them out in turn. However once you exit the tutorial you will no longer have access to these abilities. However, by leveling up your wayfinder you will unlock these four abilities. It is worth noting that you can unlock them in any order you wish, though it is still probably a good idea to leave your ultimate ability for last since it cannot be used as frequently as the other three.

In addition to unlocking your abilities you will begin to unlock upgrades for them as you continue to level your wayfinder. Like with the abilities themselves, these upgrade points can be allocated as you wish. Each one of your abilities has three upgrades available, so you can decide if you want to spread your upgrades around or focus on maxing out one ability at a time.

Leveling Up Your Affinity in Wayfinder

(Digital Extremes via Joel Stadler)

Once you complete the quest Instinct, Discipline, Focus you will then unlock the affinity system. And as you level up your character you will gain affinity points. The three affinities are (unsurprisingly) instinct, discipline, and focus. In order to level up an affinity you will need a certain number of affinity points, a certain amount of gold, and a certain number of gray, blue, or orange gloomstones.

Each of the three affinities maxes out at level 15. However you will only every get a max of 29 affinity points per wayfinder, so you will only be able to max out one affinity, with 14 points to spread between the other two (or however you want to distribute said points).

But what does leveling up your affinities actually do? Each affinity will grant you bonuses based on what equipment you have in your loadout. Each affinity will have certain stats they grant bonuses to, and if you have items equipped that also have those same bonuses, then your affinity will boost them. Leveling up an affinity will also grant you affinity perks. These are passive bonuses that are unique to each wayfinder. So for instance, a Windgrave with max focus will have different affinity perks than a Niss with max focus. Remember, like with everything, your affinity is leveled up separately for each wayfinder.      

Leveling Up Your Weapons in Wayfinder

The next thing you can level up is your weapons. Each wayfinder starts with a specific weapon that belongs to a specific weapon type as well as a specific weapon mastery group (which we will get into later). For example, the wayfinder Niss starts out with the dual daggers Slicer and Dicer. However, there are other craftable dual daggers in the game that are more powerful. And Niss isn’t limited to only wielding the duel daggers. Any wayfinder can equip any weapon. Because of this system, each individual weapon in the game levels up separately, not just the weapon types. So leveling up Slice and Dicer for example will not effect Venom, even though they are both duel daggers. And just like wayfinders, weapons max out at level 30. However once you hit level 30 with a weapon you can visit the weapon master to reinforce your chosen weapon, upgrading it further.

(Digital Extremes via Joel Stadler)

Each weapon in Wayfinder will offer bonuses to some of the stats listed above in the character leveling section. Unsurprisingly leveling up your weapon will increase these bonuses. Once you hit certain level cwith a weapon, your weapon will be able to be tempered. Tempering a weapon requires a certain amount of gold as well as a certain number of gloomstones. Tempering a weapon will further increase its stats, as well as unlock additional echo slots. Echoes are items dropped by enemies that can be equipped to your character, your weapon, and your accessories to further boost your stats.

Your weapon also has affinity upgrades, just like your wayfinder. Each weapon affinity boosts a certain number of stats. Each weapon affinity can be upgraded a maximum of ten times.

Weapon Mastery in Wayfinder

Finally we have weapon mastery. Each weapon type belongs to one of four groups (as of the current version of the game. More groups might be added later on). The first group is Guardian Melee (which consists of the Sword and Shield). The second group is Executioner Melee (which consists of two-handed axes, two-handed maces, two-handed scythes, and two-handed swords). The third group is Marksman Ranged (which consists of rifles). And the final group is Twin Striker Melee (which consists of dual daggers).

Weapon Mastery experience bars in Wayfinder
(Digital Extremes via Joel Stadler)

By fighting with a weapon you will earn exp to level up the weapon mastery of that weapon’s group. So by fighting and questing with Slicer and Dicer equipped, you will earn exp to level up your Twin Striker Melee mastery. Each weapon mastery in the game will grant you three different trees that each have three upgrades. Following Wayfinder’s theme, this lets you chose which type of bonuses you want to really customize your character. However the three trees you are offered will vary from archetype to archetype.

For example, a Windgrave with Slicer and Dicer equipped will unlock different Twin Striker Melee mastery options than a Niss with Slicer and Dicer equipped will. But your weapon mastery isn’t tracked with each individual weapon, rather each weapon group. So if you play Niss and level up your Twin Striker Melee weapon mastery with Slicer and Dicer, then switch to Venom, you will keep all those mastery upgrades.

Join the High Ground

There you have an in depth look at all the ways you level up in Wayfinder. And don’t worry if it sounds like a lot, the game will notify you any time you have available upgrades so you never miss them.

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Have fun fighting the gloom, Wayfinder!


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