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How does experience work in groups of heroes with different levels?

I know that, if you're playing with a character who's significantly higher level than you, you receive a penalty to XP gained from killing monsters. But how big does the difference need to be to kick in?

I've seen 5 levels kicked around, but I haven't been able to find any credible source for the information.

Here's a question from a developer Q&A mentioning the penalty, but no specifics:

Guest-236: If i am higher level then my freinds and want to play with them, will there be any kind of handicap? for example will they get less exp

JasonBender: To Guest-236 There is an XP penalty for killing monsters too high/low in level relative to your character. It scales based on your level, so at lower levels you can fight a broader range of creatures. This is good because player levels tend to be farther apart earlier in the game.

  • Not sure why that question would be a duplicate of this, as it doesn't not mention the XP penalty for having a party member of much higher level at all.
    – adamjford
    May 20, 2012 at 2:00
  • If this is just a question about the penalty for killing monsters of lower level, it should be reworded. As is, it sounds like a duplicate. It mentions co-op in the title.
    – EBongo
    May 20, 2012 at 2:48

1 Answer 1


The lower level player gets full exp from my experience.

Blizzard devs have touched on this briefly:


More discussion Here:


  • I think your answer is correct, could you move it to the question linked as a duplicate so it isn't lost when this question gets closed?
    – bwarner
    May 18, 2012 at 20:06
  • The penalty definitely exists; please see my edit.
    – adamjford
    May 20, 2012 at 1:59

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