Best Places To Grind & Level Up in Final Fantasy IX

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Final Fantasy IX, while still comparatively easier than some other games in the series, can still be a challenging game with plenty of difficult moments.

To help with this, you might need to spend some time grinding. But where?

Well this list was made to take into account some of the harder fights I’ve mentioned in other lists, so this doesn’t necessarily mean the best grind spots for endgame.

I’m also taking into account the weapon skills which require AP to learn instead of EXP.

With all that out of the way, let’s get into it:


5. Popos Heights

Popos Heights in Final Fantasy IX

Ripping off the bandaid with this one aren’t we?

My reasoning for putting this one so low despite being possibly the legendary grind for this game, is the amount of work you have to put in for it to be safe.

Yes, you can level up alarmingly fast if you get a kill in on a grand dragon.

But realistically, you need Limit Glove and Quina needs to have 1HP. And even then it’s a gamble, as the dragons have an unholy amount of HP – 10,000+.

With that said, it’s accessible in disc 1 right outside of Gizamaluke’s Grotto.

And if you can get kills on the Grand Dragons out here, you can pretty well ignore the rest of these entries.


4. Outside Daguerreo

Outside Daguerreo Level Grinding in FF9

Same enemies, Grand Dragons, but this time you’re likely much more well-prepared for them. So you won’t have to put so much effort into just surviving an encounter.

It’s also a little less arduous here, since if you need items you can run right back into Dag and shop. You’ll net a good profit from dragon murdering.

An interesting component of this area is the other potential enemies – Gimme Cats.

Gimme Cats will pretend to be a friendly enemy, but the normal battle music should tip you off.

Slaying them nets you 5000 gil per kill though, so they’re a walking get-rich-quick scheme for your team!


3. Memoria

Memoria FFIX Level Grinding

This is more for convenience if you don’t care to backtrack out, but the Chimeras in Memoria can inflict Virus on your team.

Normally Virus is a bad thing, as it stops that party member from receiving EXP.

However, we can use this to our advantage.

EXP is divided across the whole party, meaning each member actually receives 1/4 of what the monster drops.

If members are incapacitated or just can’t receive EXP, then it’s distributed to the remaining members.

This effectively means your non-virused member could get 4x the EXP from each fight if everyone else has the ailment, letting them rocket well above everyone else with levels, and making the overall grind easier for everyone else.

You’ll have a supersoldier on your team for all that it matters.


2. World Map

World Map in FF9

Now this is kind of a technicality, but you’ll learn skills with AP blindingly fast with this strategy.

Hunt down the Friendly Monsters and give them their requested Ore.

If you do this for all of them, you can conceivable learn just about any skills you could ever want, without too much repetitive work.

Friendly monsters are all over the place. And if you fulfill their sidequest, you can rack up not only insane AP, but you can also access Ozma with melee attacks.

And Ozma is one of the last reasons to grind for most people (or at least for most people I’d imagine reading this).


1. Vile Island

Vile Island in Final Fantasy IX

Hoooooo this is a tough one to recommend, but it is pretty bonkers.

Vile Island in Disk 4 is home to the Yans.

Yans are ridiculously powerful, but they also net a boatload of EXP.

If you can counter their attacks, you’ll be leveling up maniacally fast.

What’s more noteworthy than the Yans themselves, are the Friendly Yan.

You could give him the item he asks for… or you could fight him straight.

He won’t run away, the Friendly Yan fights back. And beating him can net 50AP per kill.

Friendly Yan also drops the Rosetta Ring. Plus, fighting him can be done repeatedly.

The best trick to Yan hunting is to make sure everyone has a solid method of dealing 9,999 damage. This way the Yan will die in two hits.

Just be warned that the friendly Yan boasts 65,535 HP, so…

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