In DA:O, is there any reason that I need to level up all of my characters to near the same level? I.e. are there any quests that require a certain character be in the party, and which will be extremely difficult if that character hasn't been leveled?

I ask because I'm finding some of the party members to be of very marginal utility, esp. Morrigan (who is redundant with my mage Warden) and Sten (who is inferior to Dog for melee/tank).

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    I'm confused by this question. I seem to recall that in DA:O party members continue to earn XP, even when not in the active group, and you can just level them up to par whenever you do bring them in? – LessPop_MoreFizz Jan 17 '11 at 16:40
  • Yes the game will auto lvl everyone to -1 lvl below the main char, if you switch them out. But you don't have to lvl them and give them stats etc... Some people do have auto lvling turned on hmm so ya it'd auto lvl them. – Viper_Sb Jan 17 '11 at 16:42
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    @LessPop, I didn't know about that, and it basically allays all my concerns. From now on I won't worry about it, and I'll just use my preferred self+Alistair+Leliana+Grrr (Dog). – JSBձոգչ Jan 17 '11 at 16:47
  • @viper Yeah, but even with auto level turned off, just means you need to manually assign stats. Which isn't exactly a big deal either. – LessPop_MoreFizz Jan 17 '11 at 16:52
  • I like your dog's name :) – Vincent Robert Jan 17 '11 at 21:16

Your party members gain experience automatically, you don't need to take them with you. Even if they are just sitting around in camp, they still get the experience. So for the most part you can just take whoever you like.

There are some quests where you have no choice and are forced to take a certain party member. But as they are automatically leveled it does not really matter much. I would recommend to keep all your party members outfitted with some reasonable equipment for that reason.


As mentioned in the comments, members not in your current active party will automatically earn XP up to 1 level below whatever your PC is at currently, even when not in use. This ensures that you can freely switch members in and out of your party at will as the game progresses.

As to whether any party members are 'mandatory' at any point in the game - if nothing else, they will all have a role to play in the final battle at the end of the game. While it is possible to get through the game without equipping or assigning stats for any of them ever, all you're doing is making those moments when you will want to have them available more difficult. But no, you don't need to drag them around to ensure they're up to speed. Just take a few minutes at camp every level or so to assign stats, and give them your old gear rather than just selling it all back to the vendor so that they stay somewhat up to date on equipment.

Off the top of my head, the only party members you're required to bring with you once you get past their initial recruitment, and assuming you aren't interested in doing their own unique side quests are Morrigan and Alistair. Of course, if you want to pursue, for instance, Leilana's unique side quest, you'll need to bring her with you to a few places. Same, for instance, with Shale.


Nope you don't "have" to level them. You don't even have to use them, much less collect them in your party. They are only required if doing there personal quests (which aren't mandatory).

In my multiple playthroughs I've always skipped certain members just because they aren't the greatest. But then I got the reskill mods, which allow resetting of there skills/attributes. And then you can make any of your party members into something more useful.

  • Right, but as long as I have Sten in my party, am I going to be horked at some point down the road if he's still at level 6 or whatever? – JSBձոգչ Jan 17 '11 at 16:34
  • @JSBangs he'll die alot, but besides that no, you can leave him at lvl 6 for the rest of the game. – Viper_Sb Jan 17 '11 at 16:39

The game levels the enemies up with your PC (player character) so if you level up your PC, but none of the other characters, then the rest of your party will die frequently and easily.

As for stat building, here’s a basic premise, as even though there are several stats, only a few are even important enough to bother with. For mages don’t worry about any stat other than Magic. Willpower you can refill with mana potions and your spells take care of the rest. Rogues meet Strength and Cunning minimum requirements then pump everything into either Desterity or Cunning, or split them evenly, depending on whether you’re a dual wield dagger DPS kinda guy or an archer. Warriors focus on pumping Strength up to a minimum requirement then pump everything else into Dexterity. Don’t worry about Constitution as high Dexterity will make you dodge lots of attack and you still have potions/spells for health.

In my first play-through I didn’t realize the other stats per class are useless and filling them up only wastes points and takes them away from the important stats for each class. Do the mage tower ASAP to get permanent stat boosts, then the werewolf quests for the Juggernaut armour, then dwarf up to the mountains and unlock the dragon, kill it and get the ageless sword.

Again, these are just basic tips. Anyone with any DA:O experience already knows this, but it helps the first timers.

  • This does not really answer the question. – theUg Jul 14 '13 at 15:04

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