Maximize Your Rest XP Potential In SWTOR

Why would “Rest XP Bonus” be important to you and how does it work you say?
The answer is that any bonus help you can get in SWTOR to allow you to level faster is a good thing and the rest xp is a often overlooked help in that regard. This guide is designed for all user experience levels as this information pertains to all those that will play SWTOR.

The rest xp system is not a new mechanic to those who have played MMO’s before. It is a tried and true system used in many MMO’s designed to help you level faster by providing you a bonus to your xp gain rate for a limited amount of time based on how long your character stays in or is logged out in what is called a “Rest Zone” in SWTOR. An all around nice benefit to the person behind the keyboard.

*Note- there is a game tip that pops up on some loading screens which states that “you accrue rest xp while in or logged out in a rest zone.” It seemed to accrue at the same rate either way. The tool tip that pops up when you mouse over the xp bar states though “when you are logged off in a cantina” so there is a discrepancy here in the game material.

SWTOR rest xp

Vrock is a sad panda because he doesn't have any rest xp!

I waited until release day to test the time equation before publishing this because I wanted to make sure that this information was tested under that build so that it can be as accurate as I can make it at release. Understand that this figure wont be exact down to the second as predicting and timing how long it takes me to log off and back on within a certain time frame was very difficult on release day especially, but it should be close enough to give you a very good feel for what the rest xp system can do for you.

On your xp bar it is displayed as:
a amount of xp you have / out of a amount of xp required to reach next level

If you have rest xp built up the bar will turn from its normal gold-ish color to green and the amount of rest xp you have acquired is denoted in the pop up you get when you mouse over the bar, for example:

468/535 Experience Points (1 rested)
“you are in a rested state. While in a rested state you gain double XP. You can get into a rested state by logging out of the game in a cantina.”

swtor rest bonus

Heavy the Bounty Hunter is happy and bonused!

On my first time trial I logged off inside the “Poison Pit Cantina” on Hutta. The cantinas and a few other select locations in the game like your personal starship or the “Sith Academy” for example, are designated as “Rest Zones”.

Character entering rest zone

Character entering rest zone

The longer your character stays logged off inside a rest zone or in a rest zone, the more rest xp you accrue until you log back in or leave the rest zone on that character and then it stops building up. The amount of rest xp built up on a character stays with you until you use it by gaining xp once again and fully deplete the bonus. When you use your rest xp you gain experience at double the normal rate for certain activities that gives you xp.

The first set of times I recorded I logged off while setting a timer for 15 minutes and pared it down until I got to the point where I got a gain. Trying to judge as best I could about how long it would take me to log back in and trying to get it as close to the gain point as possible. I went into the log off with 0 rest xp built up.

After a few tests with a level 1 character in 12 minutes I had accrued 1 rest xp point. That means that as it seems to be working now that for every 12 minutes as a level 1 that you stay logged off in a rest zone you earn 1 rest xp point on average.

The second set of time trials went from how much rest xp was collected based on the 12 minute length while logged in and afk but still within the rest zone = @ 1 rest xp per 12 minutes so that seems the same.

So as far as I can tell, taking into account the variance in times when logging back in I feel pretty sure in saying that the rest xp rate acquired is about 1 point per 12 minutes as a level 1 character while logged off and it seemed to accrue the same while in the rest zone and still logged in.
From these shots you can see the bonus gain in xp as I fight the same mob without any and then again when I have rest xp bonus, I get double xp gain for the same mob type with xp bonus.

At this point I thought I had it figured out but I soon saw I was wrong in this thinking as I discovered something else. I logged on with a level 11 character and the rest xp gain was much, much faster. On the order of 1 rest xp point per 20 seconds as a level 11 character!

After this realization hit me I now understand that either the rest xp gain rate is increased as you level or possibly there is a character statistic that when raised increases the rest xp gain rate. At this time I am not sure which it is but it definitely does increase as you level, which when you think about it makes perfect sense due to the fact that as you level you will need ever increasing amounts of experience points to level up.

So what is the big deal about this system after seeing this you say?Well the short of it is, if you end all of your gaming sessions while inside a rest zone or try to spend your afk time while in a rest zone you will be able to double your exp gain for a limited time doing nothing other than making sure you practice this. Make it a normal gaming pattern just like hitting a vendor to sell your junk, make it just a thing you practice.
Always end your gaming sessions by logging off in a rest zone!

Bioware has admitted in the past that they are so proud of the work that they have put into the story of this game and that they fully intend for people to re-roll so that they can experience all the different story branches in the game. When presented with this type of game play you have to find and use every advantage given to you when it is obvious that you are going to want to make many characters and level them through the game.
This strategy in my mind is very do able and something I highly recommend if you want to find all the help you can to level in SWTOR!

Please be sure to leave any and all comments on this guide in the comments area below and be sure to follow me on Twitter for announcements as to updates to these guides or of new general game play or crew skills focused guides in the future.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

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30 Responses to Maximize Your Rest XP Potential In SWTOR

  1. Comment by Samn made on December 19, 2011 at 9:51 am

    would this work if i waited to turn in a mission?

    • Comment by JB made on December 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      Do we know if there is a cap on rested XP? Can you theoretically have 10+ levels of rested XP or is it capped at 1 or 2 levels?

      • Comment by CK made on February 18, 2012 at 7:00 am

        from watching my rested XP you can only have an amount of rested XP equal to the total XP needed for your current level. Say if you needed 215643 XP for your current Lv then you could have 215643 rested XP.

        • Comment by robert made on October 16, 2013 at 7:14 am

          I took a 4 month break from one of my chars. And it just so happened I logged him out in a cantina. When I went back to work on him, I gained 5 levels before the xp bar went back to a goldish colour. So theoretically if you stayed loged of long enough, yes you could get 10 levels worth.

  2. Comment by Kenneth made on December 20, 2011 at 1:04 am

    @Samn –

    No, mission xp is one of the ways of gaining xp that isn’t doubled. I’m not entirely sure why as the rested xp is static once you leave a rest zone. You’ll get 10k xp as rested, it shouldn’t matter.


    I do believe it is based off of percentages. I noticed, like yourself, that the rate of xp built up over time in a cantina/ship sped up as the levels got higher. It seemed when i logged off the the same amount of time each trial, however, thst it moved the same number of ‘bars’ forward. Each bar signifying 10% xp to the next level.

    I would theorize then, that if you are very near leveling up that you should do so, as each level will count for more xp in the next level.

    In other words, I’m at 99% to level 10 (i’m level 9) i log off in a cantina for a week. When i come back I’d likely have a full level built up, but as i did so in level 9 it counts for less experience to level 10, as level 10 requires more experience to get to 11 than 10 did from level 9.

    • Comment by Kenneth made on December 20, 2011 at 1:05 am

      I’m not sure about space mission experience but I believe that the kills in it are doubled with rested experience.

      (That or when i got around to testing it I had leveled past getting optimal experience).

    • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 20, 2011 at 9:17 am

      @Kenneth that is a very alert find you had there and brings up a great point, that the next level with its higher xp required to level amount would make the percentage go up in relation to time taken to accrue and then amount. Thank you very much for this thought!

      also about the space mission kill xp doubling I am not sure about that I will have to try it out. will have to go into a space mission and record the rested xp number built up and then see if it decreases after the mission letting me know some of it was used.

      • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 20, 2011 at 9:20 am

        @samn no from what i can tell mission xp is not doubled using this.

  3. Comment by Maire made on December 22, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Space Mission do not count for the rested XP as well as exploring new territories and mission XP.
    The rested XP-stack will only count the bonus XP. For example gaining 200 XP in rested mode will only count down 100 XP of the rested-XP-stack.

    • Comment by Maire made on December 22, 2011 at 4:20 am

      Also gaining XP for kodex entries by “using” objects like datapads, datacrons, “stones” etc. do not count

  4. Comment by Tholena made on December 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    From my couple of tests, it appears that you gain 5% of the experience needed for your current level every 8 hours. I’m not sure if this changes by act, level, etc. Most of my testing has been with various characters from 10 to 20.

    • Comment by Swtorcrafter made on December 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      excellent work, I had suspected this as well but really don’t have enough info built up at this point to come out and state a exact percentage of increase.

      I am thinking from what I have seen so far that you are right on the money though and I appreciate your feedback on this, thx 🙂

  5. Comment by D made on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I did not see anyone post specifically what the rested xp cap is, although I only skimmed through the comments. But here is the answer:

    RESTED XP CAP = 1 level (based on current level)
    For example, a level 12 character that has 10000/36435 XP can have a MAXIMUM of 36435 RESTED XP.

    My guess is that it takes a week, maybe 2, to hit the cap. Pretty much taken directly from WoW’s rested xp system.

    Anyways, happy leveling. May the Force be with you.

    • Comment by Tholena made on December 30, 2011 at 2:05 am

      It would take about a week, assuming we’re right that it’s 5% per 8 hours. (6 2/3 days actually)

      • Comment by CK made on February 18, 2012 at 7:03 am

        actually takes less than a week depending on how long your in the rested area. My Commando who I was only doing Space Dailies and stopping by the fleet only took about 3 to 4 days to acrue a full amount of rested XP (currently Lv 32)

  6. Comment by Chris made on January 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    If I had to guess, it isn’t a total # of XP points gained, it’s probably a certain % of XP gained.

    I’d redo the math and see if the % of total rested XP gained is accurate.

  7. Comment by Hampus Nyring made on January 18, 2012 at 1:19 am

    My lvl 19 has 31458/82640 exp and i have rested for a while and the max rest exp i have is 82640, so from zero -> the full exp bar is the most rested exp you can have, max for my lvl 19 is then 82640 in full

    • Comment by mike made on January 21, 2012 at 2:59 am

      The MAX rested exp you can gain is the total number of exp needed to get to go up a level. My level 22 sniper needs (from zero exp after gaining a lvl) 109700 exp to up a lvl, he has 109700 rested exp. My lvl 30 jedi knight needs 237000 and i have 205000 rested exp… I just cant leave him along long enough.

      Hope this helps.

      • Comment by Mivon made on January 27, 2012 at 4:25 am

        I have noticed with my level 20 that when I was in my space ship or in the republic fleet Cantina I was getting 1 xp per 7 seconds but when I was in the Coruscant Cantina I was gaining 1xp per 5 seconds. Does anyone else notice this differnce in cantinas?

        • Comment by moute3 made on February 1, 2012 at 5:32 am

          all the time it seems that you get more rested EXP while you are in your space ship but, a little less while in a cantina.

  8. Comment by kathryn parry made on January 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Hi I just wanted to say thank you for the time you have put into this about the bounas xp while rested it was very helpful to me as i did not unstand it proply once again thank you

    best whishes kathryn

    • Comment by swtorcrafter made on January 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      hey thanks i appreciate that! 🙂

  9. Comment by Andreas made on February 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm


    albeit my question may appear a little strange to many mmo-players, here it is: Is there some way to disable rested xp or absolutely minimize it? I am a traditional single player and I find the idea to get xp for doing nothing…well…strange. The thing is that I got 5 characters, additionally I don´t have that much time to play (due to many travels). I don´t want to log in every time with my character having half a level of rested xp.

    To get sth. right: I don´t care about advancing rapidly – things like end content or pvp don´t interest me. I bought the game to enjoy the story, the atmosphere etc. I like to go slowly and spend several days on a planet. But I also like a good challenge – and here rested xp represents a certain problem: I am already out-leveling the quests enormously, so I don´t need even more xp.

    So, in case anyone knows sth. how to disable rested xp (and, even better, xp for space battles) I´d be grateful.



    • Comment by CK made on February 18, 2012 at 7:07 am

      As far as I know there is no way to turn off rested XP. I never liked rested XP in WoW cause Inns where just a pain to make your way back to . But with the number of areas in TOR that are rested areas its easy to gain and Ive learned to like it.

    • Comment by Nick made on February 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      One way you could “disable” double xp is by doing the opposite of what was suggested in the article… that is, never log out while in a cantina or on your ship, and if you’re in the fleet make sure you go down to the Hangar area, which isn’t a rest zone.

  10. Comment by Jahw made on March 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Nice post you got here mate!

    I got a few things to add though. You were looking at the rested xp gaining rate from the wrong angle. You were looking at the actual xp you were gaining while in fact you should’ve looked at the % of the maximum xp required to lvl up. If you do that the equasion should be easier to solve and you can calculate how long it takes for you to get to max rested bonus and start playing your character again.

    From what I know, the maximum rested xp is 150% of the total xp required to lvl up. For example: if you need 100 xp to lvl up, the maximum rested bonus will be 150 xp. If you lvl up and the next lvl takes 150 xp, the maximum rested bonus will be 150×1.5=225 xp.

  11. Comment by Sam made on March 13, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Rest XP is typically done with the maximum a character can receive being a percentage of their level (150% is common in most games) and the rest xp gain rate increases as you level because the want the time to maximum rest to remain the same(again, typically 12 hours in most MMOs)

  12. Comment by TJ Leeland made on April 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    From what I can see, you get rested XP no matter where you log out. I started a few toons when I first bought the game, and not being a veteran MMO player, I didn’t think much about where I was at when logging in. Since reading this article I thought I would go back and move them into cantinas. Well, all six toons have rested XP despite being in the middle of the world.

    I suspect it accrues slower, but you still appear to get the bonus anywhere.

    • Comment by TJ Leeland made on April 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      OK, so I just logged back into another toon who wasn’t in a cantina, and one of the first messages I got was:

      You are leaving a rest area.

      I’m standing outside the Senate Tower. When I logged in these are the messages I got:

      Entering Coruscant Chat
      General Chat – Use /general / or /1 to send messages
      PvP Chat – Use /pvp or /2 to send messages
      Trade Chat – Use /trade or /3 to send messages
      You have new mail.
      You are leaving a rest zone.
      You have new mail.

  13. Comment by Rhokai made on November 4, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I was wondering what rest xp actually did and I thank you for the info! and I left my character in a cantina this past week. lvl 47. for the whole week pretty much. and I ended up with over 160k in rest xp. made me wonder what it does so I came here. now ill know in the future for new toons. 😀