Marvel Contest of Champions has almost 150 playable heroes and each one can be upgraded. The leveling and upgrade process involves quite complex mechanics, which may be confusing especially for beginners: They require different processes and different resources. We’ve prepared this guide to help you find out how you can empower your heroes and do it in the most efficient way.

Levels, Ranks, and Tiers: What Is The Difference?

There are many things that determine the power level of your heroes. Below, you can see a list of them and their details:

Level: Completed missions and events allow you to earn XP points. Using these points, you can level up each hero in the game. Heroes can be upgraded to level 10 at the beginning. After that, you need to upgrade their rank to continue leveling. With each level, the basic stats of the heroes increase. This process requires you to spend “ISO-8” and gold each time.

Rank: The rank system is slightly different from the leveling system. You can raise each hero’s rank and this process further increases their stats and level limits. By upgrading their ranks, you can level up each hero to 50, which is the last level. There are 5 ranks in total but not every hero can be upgraded to this rank. In the following table, you can see how the ranking system works by tiers:

2 3 + 4 catalysts
3 4 + 5 catalysts
4 5 + 10 catalysts
5 5 + 25 catalysts
6 5 + Unknown

For the rank up process, you need a special material called a “catalyst”. You can collect these materials from the in-game activities. A different type of catalyst is required for each hero class. You only need to spend gold for this process, but the amount is much higher than the leveling.

Tier: You can upgrade a hero’s level and rank, but you can’t change their tier levels. Tier is determined by the number of stars the heroes have. In total there are 6 tiers, i.e. 6 stars (*). The more stars a hero has, the stronger it is. The 6-star heroes are the rarest ones and their special attacks come with a mini-game: If you complete this game successfully, the attack becomes much more effective.

(*) You can see how many stars the heroes have under their portraits.

In short, you need to complete leveling and rank up operations to make your heroes stronger. Note that you cannot change Tier levels. Therefore, we recommend that you spend your limited resources only for top-tier heroes. For example, it’s pointless to try to make a 2-star hero stronger: You’ll eventually get a higher-tier hero and you should store your resources for the same reason. As mentioned in our other guides, we recommend that you do not use any resources for heroes that have less than 3 stars.

How To Level Up Faster

The higher your level, the more missions and activities you get access to. For the same reason, you can collect more resources and get more heroes. Therefore, you should level up as quickly as possible. There are some ways you can do this, but don’t forget that you cannot create “miracles”. This is because you have a limited number of energy points: Marvel Contest of Champions have various time-locks. Even if you want to continue to play, you have a limited number of energy points that you can use every day – so leveling takes time anyway. Below, you will find our recommendations for a faster and more efficient leveling experience.

Complete Daily Quick Match PvP Events

As we also mentioned in our Tips & Tricks guide, we recommend that you complete the Versus PvP missions every day. In these missions, you are fighting against the heroes of other players. The good news is that you don’t need to use energy points to do that: Versus matches are available for gold.

As a result of these matches, you earn crystals, which give you the chance to summon a 2-star hero. This means you’ll get a steady flow of resources.

We mentioned that 2-star heroes are nearly useless. Then, why is it important to get them on a regular basis? This is because you can get the ISO-8s and other resources required for leveling by selling these useless heroes.

In other words, you don’t have to complete long quest chains to collect ISO-8. You can also get this material with short Versus matches. Moreover, your PvP rank will increase too.

Use XP Boosts

XP boosts give you at least 40% more experience points for the missions and other activities you complete. You can use them before each mission and event, even in Versus matches. You can open the boost window by pressing the green button in the top right corner of the hero selection screen.

The only problem with this method is that you have quite a limited number of resources required to purchase XP boosts. So, you can’t keep using them constantly. Therefore, we recommend that you save them until you find the best “grinding” point. Below, you can find a tip about where this point is.

Reach Act 4 and Start Grinding

After reaching Act 4 in the main story quests, you will find the perfect grinding point. Almost every Marvel Contest of Champions player thinks that this is the best place to earn faster XP points – we agree with them too. In particular, Chapter 1 – Quest 4 seems to give the most XP points. So, save your XP boosts for use in Act 4 and grind (replay) every quest in this Act until you reach the desired level.

If you know about another speed leveling method, do not forget to share with us in the comments section. Marvel Contest of Champions is not a game where you can unlock everything in a few days, but if you use the tips we recommend, you can speed things up a bit more. Don’t forget to read our other Marvel Contest of Champions guides. In particular, we recommend reading our Class Bonuses guide – in this guide, you will find many tactics that will help you win fights more easily. Now, you learn how to strengthen your heroes: Go back saving the galaxy without losing time!