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Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: The Fastest Ways to Farm Exp. Points

You'll need to earn millions of Exp. Points to grow your Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Pokedex. I hope you're ready to kill lots of Chansey.

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Robert Rodriguez/CNET, Nintendo

Exp. Points are the most valuable resource in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, even moreso than actual in-game money. You may need a shot of Exp. Points to help level up your Pokemon to take on a gym leader, or to complete one of Scarlet and Violet's many post-game challenges. A quick way to farm Exp. Points is especially helpful if you're hoping to complete the Pokedex, which involves leveling up hundreds of Pokemon to spark evolutions. 

There are three key ways to farm Exp. Points in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. 

The first is the Chansey method, which becomes available fairly early in the game. The second is a passive method that opens up later on in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: It allows you to earn Exp. Points even if you're away from your Switch. And finally, there are Tera Raid battles. These are available throughout the game, but become invaluable for Exp. Point farming in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's post-game, when five- and six-star Tera Raids open up.

Below is what you need to know about farming Exp. Points, which level up your Pokemon, in the new games. Note: The first two methods are greatly enhanced if your lead Pokemon is holding a Lucky Egg, which you get after beating your fifth Gym Leader. Lucky Eggs boost Exp. Points earned by 50%. 

Read more: How to Catch Shiny Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet

The Chansey method

This one is simple. Chansey yield huge amounts of Exp. Points when you defeat them, and appear throughout Paldea, the region in which Scarlet and Violet take place. The downside is that they're rare: Though they can be found in many places, you probably won't find them often unless you go out of your way to do so.

So it's time to go out of your way.

The first part of Exp. Point farming via fighting Chansey Pokemon is crafting Ham Sandwiches. Go to an Artisan Bakery store -- they're in many Paldea towns, I went to the one in Levincia -- and purchase ham, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise for the inside of the sandwich. The next step is to go to one of Chansey's natural habitats. You can see said habitats below:

Where you can find Chansey in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. 

Nintendo/Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom

Chansey will appear at different levels depending on where you go. North and northeast are where they're strongest; southwest and west are where they spawn at lower levels. The Pokemon I wanted to level up was level 40, so I went north, near Team Star's Fairy Crew base. 

Set up a picnic table and assemble your Ham Sandwich. As you can see below, that will offer a few perks. The one we care about is Encounter Power: Normal. It means normal-type Pokemon are more likely to appear. Since Chansey is the only Normal-type Pokemon in several of its habitats, that means eating a Ham Sandwich can kick off a Chansey Party.

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Eating a Ham Sandwich causes normal-type Pokemon to spawn more for 30 minutes.

Nintendo/Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom
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Chansey are normally rare -- but not if you munch on a Ham Sandwich before going to their habitat. 

Nintendo/Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom

You have two options. You can throw a Pokeball at Chansey to start a traditional battle, which will yield thousands of Exp. Points if you're at a similar level. Or you can activate Let's Go mode by pressing ZR, which will cause your lead Pokemon to run at all the Chansey. This is easier and more passive, and you'll earn about 700 Exp. Points per Chansey downed. 

Note that if you're in the northern or northeast habitats, a Blissey may appear. These are Chansey's evolved form and earn you much more Exp. Points. Initiate an old-school battle if you see a Blissey to savor all that sweet, sweet Exp. The strongest Chansey can be found on the eastern tip of Paldea, east of Fury Falls, though you'll need the ability to climb, which you get by completing the Titan Pokemon quest, to get there. 

Each Ham Sandwich buffs you for 30 minutes. That's enough time to earn tens of thousands of Exp. Points. 

The Chansey at the eastern tip of Paldea's map are the strongest, spawning at around level 50. You'll need the ability to climb to get here though, which you get by completing the Titan Pokemon quest.

Nintendo/Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom

This method serves you well into the post-game. If your Pokemon are between levels 70 and 90, defeating these level 50 Chansey gets your main Pokemon about 3,000 Exp. Points and your team around 1,500 Exp. Points.

Nintendo/Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom

Passive Golduck Method

This opens up further into the story -- or rather, is in an area most will encounter relatively late in the game. If you've cleared Team Star's Fighting Crew base, this Exp. Point farming method is something you can take advantage of. All you need is a good crepe and a grass- or electric-type Pokemon.

Just like with the Chansey method, you want to eat something that boosts encounters with water-type Pokemon. There are a few sandwiches that achieve this, but it's much easier to just fly to Mesagoza and eat a Chocolate Banana Crepe. Next, go to the area shown on the map below. It's southeast of North Province (Area One) and northwest of South Province (Area Two).  

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Go to this crater near Fury Falls. It's near Team Star's Fighting Crew base. 

Nintendo/Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom
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These Golduck are around level 50, and keep respawning in this tight space. 

Nintendo/Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom

As the topography indicates, you'll find a water-filled crater. It's crawling with Golduck, and a few Dratini too. Unleash your Pokemon in Let's Go mode, then get on your mount and jump to the ledges that circle the crater. From there, you can watch as your Pokemon demolish the Golduck. Or you can, like, go do your washing or something.

This is a passive method, but it works best if you can keep an eye on your Switch. You may need to heal your Pokemon, and sometimes it'll withdraw to its Pokeball if it goes long enough without encountering another Pokemon. The Golduck are at around level 50, and will give you about 600 Exp. Points per Golduck defeated if your Pokemon is at a similar level. Over the course of 15 or 30 minutes, that ends up being a lot of Exp. Points. 

Caution before the next section: There are mild post-game spoilers.

Tera Raids

This is the simplest method, but takes the longest time to unlock. If you've played Pokemon Scarlet and Violet for any period of time, you've surely encountered a Tera Raid. They're initiated by approaching the chunks of crystal that glow into the sky like a searchlight. Upon entering the Raid, you'll fight a Pokemon that's Terastalized: superpowered and made of crystal.

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A Tera Raid battle against a five-star Eevee. I got an XL Candy from this, yielding 30,000 Exp. Points. 

Nintendo/Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom

Tera Raids are graded on a star scale of difficulty. Once you beat the Elite Four, you'll unlock five-star Tera Raids. After you beat the Elite Four, you're given a mission to beat Paldea's Gym Leaders again. Once you do that and go through more battles at your school, you'll get access to six-star Tera Raids.

Completing these Tera Raids can be tough. To succeed in five-star Tera Raids, you'll need a Pokemon between level 80 and 90 -- and a Pokemon at level 100 to take on the six-star Tera Raids. Make sure you equip your Pokemon of choice with damage-boosting items, like Choice Specs and the Choice Band. These Raids can be a hassle at first, but they're totally worth it. They yield huge amounts of Exp. Points.

When you complete a five- or six-star raid, you'll get an assortment of Exp. Candy, including XL Exp. Candy. Every XL Exp Candy, when used on a Pokemon, gives them 30,000 Exp. Points. That's on top of the L Exp. Candy and M Exp. Candy you earn, which are worth 10,000 and 3,000 Exp. Points each.

It's not a fancy trick, but doing circuits of five- and six-star Tera Raids ends up being the quickest way to get a Pokemon from level 1 to 100.