This value is also used to classify various game content relative to the intended user group; see "quests" below.
Grey 9 or more levels below Green 6-8 levels below Turquoise 3-5 levels below Blue 1-2 levels below White Same level as yourself Yellow 1-2 levels above Orange 3-4 levels above Red 5-7 levels above Purple 8 levels above
Characters earn levels through gameplay, as they grow. A new character begins at level 1 but has "levelled" to at least 5 before the Starter Area is completed. The current maximum level, or "level cap", is 130. The level cap has not always been the same. For a history of level cap changes, see Expansion.
As the level is increased, various Character Stats will improve, such as inherent resistance and health. In general, each level grants higher Morale and Power, and many levels unlock new Skills that are automatically bestowed (in the past, you had to purchase these at a Class Trainer). Starting at level 7, every other level bestows a Class Trait Point. Some levels also unlock slots for Virtues.
Some locations and game-content, such as certain deeds, have requirements on minimum or maximum level.
Quests are categorized by level. Their level indicates what character level they were designed for. Quest level should be interpreted as a recommended minimum rather than a requirement; a character may successfully complete a quest a couple of levels higher than their own or may even struggle to complete a quest intended for lower level characters. Various factors, such as design flaws, character gear and player skill level, contribute to the questing experience.
Similarly to quests, Creatures (including Mobs) have levels that indicate their toughness against a character. Difficulty indicators display the relative toughness against a character's level. A too large 'mismatch' is either fatal in the upper end, or it yields neither XP nor challenge in the lower end.
Within an Area, the creatures and mobs are usually contained within a narrow level range, such as 22 - 26. The width of the range may vary from 1 to 10 (the latter is rare, if ever) but is often 3 to 5 notches wide. Some areas may also have quests and creatures way outside the main levels; then they are always contained in certain, narrow locations (e.g. Ost Alagos in Bree-land). Almost always the quest and creature levels match very well. Hence characters may search for best suitable area to explore using this feature:
Note that attempting to enter a "Red Zone" will result in a warning pop-up. Should you enter such an area, ALL MOBS will agro on you from great distances away and will usually manage to "single-shot" your character.
While not exactly about levels, resources for crafting usually follow the main level of an area quite well. For example, Light Hide is looted from creatures of levels 1 to 13, Medium Hide from levels 13 - 25, and so forth. Resource nodes use to follow a similar but not identical pattern that is more loosely bound to the levels of creatures; the variance between levels and node tiers is more unpredictable and is subject to the mood of the developers at Turbine.