Kenshi – Bonus Combat Experience

This is just a collection of quotes about combat experience and how it works.


Note: Credit goes to bunny de fluff

Exp rate multiplier scales from x0.1 at 25 levels above the opponent’s opposing skill, to x6.0 at 60 levels below the opponent’s opposing skill.

Opposing skills are based on what weapons are being used. When an attack is performed, the game will challenge the attacker’s offensive skill vs the defender’s defensive skill.

When wielding a weapon, your offensive skill is Melee Attack, and your defensive skill is Melee Defense.

When unarmed, your offensive skill is Martial Arts, and your defensive skill is Martial Arts. (Note: this is only for the purpose of exp calculation, Dodge is still the skill used for dodging, it just oddly doesn’t affect the exp multiplier)

Penalties from equipment do have an effect, as it is challenging the two effective levels against each other, not the base levels. Though that only applies to the bonus exp. You still need the same amount of experience as your base level requires, you’ll just earn it faster or slower depending on the bonus.

  • Blocks mode bonuses does NOT affect combat experience.
  • Backpack penalties do.
  • Weather does.
  • Armour does.
  • Weapon modifiers do.
  • Indoor modifiers do.
  • Encumbrance penalties do (for MA and Dodge).

So it seems that for some reason only the blocks mode bonus is ignored. It’s very strange. I can’t think of any other sources of penalty/bonus to check, though given that literally every other penalty/bonus source works fine, I’d expect they would too.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I did come across something I had wrong in the initial post. Namely the MA being used as the defensive skill for exp calculations. It is true that it is used to calculate the attackers exp gain when the opponent is unarmed, but the defender’s exp gain does actually look at their Dodge skill like you’d expect normally.

So in every possible scenario it would be like this:


  • Weapon vs Weapon: Your Attack vs their Defense
  • Weapon vs MA: Your Attack vs their MA
  • MA vs Weapon: Your MA vs their Defense
  • MA vs MA: Your MA vs their MA


  • Weapon vs Weapon: Your Defense vs their Attack
  • Weapon vs MA: Your Defense vs their MA
  • MA vs Weapon: Your Dodge vs their Attack
  • MA vs MA: Your Dodge vs their MA
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3203 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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