How to Display Current EXP Relative to Current Level

This tutorial shows how you can change the way EXP is presented to your actors.

When you look at your status screen, the amount of EXP you current have is cumulative relative to level 0. Basically, whatever the value is right now is how much exp you have gained during the game.

Now, for some devs, this doesn’t work. Instead, they don’t care about all of the exp from previous levels; they just want to know how much EXP the actor has right now.


Suppose you have the following EXP table:

  • Level 1 –> Level 2 requires 100 EXP
  • Level 2 –> Level 3 requires 100 EXP

So basically, every level only requires 100 EXP. Now, this doesn’t mean that once you have 100 EXP, you will suddenly jump from level 1 to level 3.

By default, RPG Maker shows you this:


So basically, if you JUST REACHED level 2 with no extra EXP, you must have already gained 100 EXP in order to actually reach Level 2.

For those that don’t care about previous levels, you might want to show something like this:


This is pretty clear: Hime is currently level 2, she has no EXP at the moment, and she needs 100 EXP to level up.

What happens if you level down? Would the actor have negative EXP?

Let’s say Hime lost 10 EXP


Now, Hime drops down to level 1, and we can see that she needs 10 EXP to go back to level 2. This agrees with our EXP table.


The implementation itself is actually quite simple. You can see it here.

Basically, this is how the default status screen is written for displaying EXP:

class Window_Status < Window_Selectable
  def draw_exp_info(x, y)
    s1 = @actor.max_level? ? "-------" : @actor.exp
    s2 = @actor.max_level? ? "-------" : @actor.next_level_exp - @actor.exp
    s_next = sprintf(Vocab::ExpNext, Vocab::level)
    draw_text(x, y + line_height * 0, 180, line_height, Vocab::ExpTotal)
    draw_text(x, y + line_height * 2, 180, line_height, s_next)
    draw_text(x, y + line_height * 1, 180, line_height, s1, 2)
    draw_text(x, y + line_height * 3, 180, line_height, s2, 2)

Looks like a lot of code, but most of it should be pretty obvious judging from the name (changing colors, drawing text). And they are: well-designed code should do exactly what they advertise themselves to be.

The first line determines the EXP value to show.
The second line determines the amount of EXP required to level.

So what we’re interested in is changing the EXP value to show.

I simply have to change the first line to this

s1 = @actor.max_level? ? "-------" : @actor.exp - @actor.exp_for_level(@actor.level)

And we have effectively accomplished what we wanted to do.

The trick here is to realize that an actor’s EXP is stored as a cumulative total, and if you want to know how much EXP the actor has received for the current level, all you need to do is subtract the total amount of EXP required to reach the current level from the current EXP.

If you’re using the default status menu, simply insert this snippet in your project. If you’re using custom menus, just search for where EXP is displayed and add the subtraction.

An important thing to note here is that we have not changed the way we are storing our EXP. All we are doing is changing how it is presented.


Changing the way EXP is displayed in your game is fairly easy. It’s just a matter of knowing what to use.

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1 Response

  1. Arsist says:

    I like it when games mix it up, where it shows a mixture of cumulative, relative, and visual percentage-based bar exp-to-next-level progression.

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