Exp Share is a game mechanic found in many RPGs, where all party members gain experience points regardless of whether they are in battle or not. Although it may seem like a minor feature, its presence or absence can significantly impact a game, causing players to play differently than they otherwise would. Exp Share started as an item in Pokemon that you could give to an individual Pokemon to gain experience, and it eventually turned into a default mechanic in the game. Many RPGs have since adopted the mechanic, including Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and One Piece Odyssey.
Impact on Gameplay
Exp Share can make RPGs more enjoyable by allowing players to experiment with different characters without having to worry about grinding levels for characters not in the main party. For example, Persona 4 lacks Exp Share, and players must revisit dungeons more often to level up party members. This can be less than ideal, but it is still a way to level up characters. Fire Emblem, on the other hand, doesn’t use Exp Share, but the limited number of side quests per chapter forces players to carefully choose which characters to level up.
Exp Share has become increasingly common in RPGs, and it is no wonder why. The mechanic frees up hours of time by lessening the monotonous grinding that turn-based RPGs were notorious for. Its absence or limited implementation, especially in older games, is noticeable and can significantly impact gameplay. Developers have recognized the benefits of the mechanic and have incorporated it into newer RPGs to make experimenting with different characters a more streamlined experience.