How to Level Class Perks in Killing Floor 2

There are a number of ways in which the leveling system has changed since KF1. Here are some of the changes in playstyle you should keep in mind if you want to level up faster!

There are a number of ways in which the leveling system has changed since KF1. Here are some of the changes in playstyle you should keep in mind if you want to level up faster!

The leveling system in Killing Floor is an interesting one, and one in which I have always heartily approved of thanks to its allowance for off-perk leveling (that is, being able to level a certain perk while using a specific weapon, even if you aren’t currently using that perk).

Each class currently has 25 levels while in Early Access. Each time you gain a level, your stats are increased by a small percentage, and after each 5-level increment, you choose between two different level perks.

(see Class Guide: How to Play Berserker, Commando, Medic, Support for a look at the different perk rewards)

To level up your perk in a particular class in KF, you had to use one of the class’s corresponding weapons to do a certain amount of cumulative damage against enemy Zeds – and there would also be an additional requirement per class that you would also need to farm (e.g. door-welding, amount of healing done, etc.). These were mostly an annoyance, silliness done in between waves when you were just waiting for the seconds to tick down and the next wave to start.

In KF2, this process has been streamlined so that you receive XP from doing class-related things (e.g. healing), but it is not a requirement in order to level up. This is a huge relief for those of us unimpressed with the necessity of doing stupid things (e.g. weld the door, unweld the door, weld the door, unweld the door) and the scarcity of enemies we needed to kill a certain number of (e.g. Stalkers).

In fact, the fastest way to level up any perk is to simply focus on using perk weapons to kill Zeds

XP Required Per Level and Per Zed

Below is a list of XP required for each level, regardless of class. You gain XP in the perk associated with the weapon you are using, not with what class you currently are.

Level XP required Increased By Total
1 2640   2640
2 2917 277 5557
3 3224 307 8781
4 3562 338 12343
5 3936 374 16279
6 4349 413 20628
7 4806 457 25434
8 5311 505 30745
9 5868 557 36613
10 6484 616 43097
11 7165 681 50262
12 7918 753 58180
13 8749 831 66929
14 9667 918 76596
15 10683 1016 87279
16 11804 1121 99083
17 13044 1240 112127
18 14413 1369 126540
19 15927 1514 142467
20 17599 1672 160066
21 19447 1848 179513
22 21489 2042 201002
23 23745 2256 224747
24 26238 2493 250985
25 28993 2755 279978

Note: XP is not cumulative, so after you have gained 2640 XP to get to Level 1, you then need to gain 2917 XP to get to level 2, not 277.

When you do perk-specific actions, you gain extra XP. This chart below shows how much XP you get on top of the base XP reward for killing a particular Zed:

Perk / Difficulty Normal Hard Suicidal HOE
Berserker 6xp 8xp 10xp 14xp
Commando 3xp 5xp 6xp 9xp
Support 6xp 8xp 10xp 14xp
Field Medic 2xp 2xp 3xp 4xp
Berserker getting XP within 2 meters of teammate.
Support getting XP for each 510 door HP welded.
Medic getting XP for each 20 HP restored.

Each Zed rewards the player with a different amount of XP. Currently, all players who shoot a Zed even once will be rewarded with full XP gain for that Zed. 

Note: The amount of Dosh you receive is dependant on the amount of damage you did to that particular Zed. 

Below is a chart of the amount of XP per Zed, including the Early Access boss, Hans Volter:

Normal Hard Suicidal HOE
Clots (all) 8 11 11 11
Bloat 17 22 30 34
Crawler 8 10 10 10
Gorefast 11 14 14 14
Stalker 8 10 10 10
Husk 15 20 27 31
Siren 11 15 15 15
Scrake 34 45 60 69
Fleshpound 35 47 63 72
Hans Volter 423 564 762 874

As you can see, you are likely to gain more XP by doing a Normal campaign and beating Hans in Normal than you would by playing through a Hard mode and failing partway through.

(Spreadsheets source)

Leveling Tips for Each Class

  • Make sure you’re using a Berserker weapon! The Katana is now an off-perk weapon which means you have 0 XP gain while using it. (Each of the main classes will be broken into two distinct paths – the Katana is now one of the weapons for the future melee Dragon class). 
  • It is faster and easier to rack up Berserker kills by running around with melee weapons rather than killing them from a distance with the Nail Gun.
  • I highly suggest getting to Level 10 and choosing the perk that keeps Clots from grabbing onto you, which will make diving into mobs much safer for you. 
  • Shoot everything. Commandos have a large number of bullets at their disposal and they have a faster reload than other classes. Even if you don’t take their heads off immediately, you will be able to fire a bullet into the next body probably faster than anybody else. 
  • Single-fire will still get you further than fully auto. Your guns are very accurate and you benefit from a targeting sight where others rely solely on iron sights. Don’t waste more bullets than you need to trying to up your XP gain. 
  • The more HP other players have lost, the more XP you gain from healing them. Letting them get closer to death may not make you the best medic, but it will allow you to get the most XP out of doing your job.
  • Try to shoot everything at least once. You are able to carry a number of different weapons, many of them with a huge supply of bullets. You only need one for each.
  • Remember to use your extra penetration with shotguns to full effect and shoot where you have more than one target. This has the double bonus of being exactly what you should do as a good support specialist, and also what will get you the most XP as well. 
  • Even when not a Support, an AA-12 is a beautiful weapon that deals high damage in a very short period of time. You can carry this weapon as any other class to help you get out of a tight spot, and it will level up your Support perk when you do so.

Please note that many of the above strategies are listed because they will get you the highest XP gain the fastest – not what will make you a better player. Some of these should be considered only when you are playing on your own. Don’t be a jerk.

For other helpful articles and guides for playing Killing Floor 2:

About the author

Stephanie Tang

Avid PC gamer, long-time console lover. I enjoy shooting things in the face and am dangerously addicted to pretty. I'm also a cat.