Your Guide to Virtue XP in LOTRO

LOTRO Virtues Guide | How to Get Virtue Experience / VXP

Virtues in LOTRO are a great way to customise your combat stats and adjust them to your playing style. As with real life, they reflect positive character traits that become stronger the more you work at improving them. But getting your head around the system can be tricky, especially for newer players. So let’s take a look at it, how to get Virtue XP and how you can make the whole kaboodle work for you.

What Are Virtues (in LOTRO)?

These are twenty-one different attributes of your character that change how they perform in combat. That might seem like a lot, but if we look up the definition of the word, the qualities you can choose from make a lot of sense.

…a good moral quality in a person, or the general quality of being morally good.
Cambridge.comExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)

So, in The Lord of the Rings Online, you’re deciding the characteristics that make your character good. This is because, apart from PvMP and Session Play, you’re always on the side of the Free Peoples.

Okay, let’s see this at work.

This is quite long guide. If you want to keep the section menu scrolling with you, hit the button below.

The Virtues Panel

Once you’re logged into the game, fire up the Trait Panel (default keybind: J) and hit the “Virtue” tab.

There you’ll find a total of 21 Virtues, or character traits (hence them being in the traits panel). These are:

  • Charity
  • Compassion
  • Confidence
  • Determination
  • Discipline
  • Empathy
  • Fidelity
  • Fortitude
  • Honesty
  • Honour
  • Idealism
  • Innocence
  • Justice
  • Loyalty
  • Mercy
  • Patience
  • Tolerance
  • Valour
  • Wisdom
  • Wit
  • Zeal

Offensive vs Defensive Traits

Each individual virtue has an additional icon – either a red sword or a cyan shield. These indicate:

  • Defensive Trait Defensive Trait
  • Offensive Trait Offensive Trait

This is a good “overview” icon as to the general impact of that virtue on your combat performance. Just be aware that some combat stats can work in both ways – e.g. Agility could impact your Critical Rating (offensive) or improve your evade rating (defensive).

See Your Progress

In this panel you can see your progress on all virtues, which ones are active and which setup you’re trying. The tabs in the top right enable you to try different combinations, in the same way as you can for Class Traits.

What Role Do They Play?

Each of these has a different effect on how your character performs in combat. You can choose up to five active virtues at any one time and which one you’re currently trying to level. We’ll dig deeper into that a bit later on.

You can have different reasons as to what you want to work on, too.

But, to make it work for you, regardless of what that means, you must be intentional and in control of the Virtues you want to level. With each level increase the statistics they boost increase more in strength. So you don’t want to be levelling a Virtue you’re unlikely to use.

How Do You Level Up Your Virtues?

The short answer is to get Virtue XP Virtue XP (VXP). As there are different routes to earning or acquiring VXP, we’ll unravel that as we go through.

So, let’s get into some of the detail, and see how to make the LOTRO Virtue Traits fit your gameplay style!

Skip to Earning VXP ↓

Control Your Stats

LOTRO has various ways for you to customise your stats to your gaming style.

  • Which ‘tree’ (or ‘line’) of your class you have chosen
  • Spending Trait Points in other ‘trees’
  • Crafting weapons and gear
  • Gear and weapons available at Skirmish Camps, or reputation vendors.
  • Essences
  • Legendary Items
  • Racial Traits
  • Virtue traits
  • Foods and Potions for temporary buffs.

In your character panel, you can see which stats are “Very Important” and “Important” for your class. But you have a lot of freedom to make your own judgement calls, too. While my main character is a guardian, I’ve purposefully used various systems to balance defence and offence, given I am a solo player.

Virtue Panel Basics

Despite how busy the UI looks, there are really only three things you’ll regularly need to look at:

  • The epic grid of traits you can choose from
  • Which one is currently “earning”, and
  • The Virtues you have ‘slotted’ (active)

Unlocking Virtue Slots

The first thing to say is, while there are five trait slots in total, they’re not all available straight away. Instead, you unlock them gradually as your character levels up. By Level 23, you will have all five slots available. So you don’t have to wait very long at all before they’re all available.

  1. Level 7
  2. Level 9
  3. Level 11
  4. Level 17
  5. Level 23

Virtue Level Caps

You can see your current maximum Virtue level (also called a 'cap') on each trait.

The level each trait can reach is dependent upon your character’s level. I guess this is done to not make you even more overpowered than you likely already are!

I wasn’t sure how the level cap calculation worked, however, but thankfully the Wiki did.

If a character is not max level, their Virtues will be capped at a rank of the character’s level divided by 2 (rounded down, up to character level 110), or the character’s level minus 55 (for characters above level 110), up to a maximum of 86. (RefExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab))

Choosing an “Earning” Virtue

Choosing a Virtue to begin working on is done simply by right-clicking the relevant trait in the grid. Note:

  • You can work on more traits than you are able to slot.
  • You are able to progress virtues you do not have slotted.
  • If you don’t have one progressed, when you earn Virtue XP VXP, it may not go where you want it to. That is why choosing which to progress is important.

What If You Don’t Have an ‘Earning’ Virtue?

This was the last fiddly bit I needed to reference the Wiki for. And I am glad I did. If you have not selected an earning virtue, when you next get VXP, it will go:

  • From left-to-right in your slotted virtues, where they are not at cap, or
  • The lowest-ranked virtue, in alphabetical order.

Complicated, but once you’re further into the game, VXP going to your lowest-ranked virtue is likely wasted. This is because you’ll have chosen other ones to focus on. An example is my Guardian (primary stats are Might and Vitality) having VXP applied to Wisdom (that buffs Will).

Choosing Your Active Traits

As I mentioned, you can slot up to five virtues at once, assuming you’re Level 23 and over. Here’s the basics on how to do that.

Which Virtues Affect Which Stats?

I put this little tool together to help you. The first drop-down lets you choose a virtue and the nearby tooltip will update. This will show the main stats it buffs and also what its “Passive Bonus” is.

Bugs/Ideas/Feedback? Message me on Social Media. Use PM/DM if it’s available to you, just so I don’t lose it. Thanks.

General Tools

Here are some general, "information-viewing" tools. Check/Uncheck the options to show/hide the tool.

If you have used this tool or visited this page recently, please do a "hard refresh" of the page to get the latest version of all the files.

Patreon Crew should see the relevant post for access to WIP tools.

For early access to most new blog posts and sneak peaks at upcoming features to tools like this, please consider joining my Patreon CrewExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab).

Check/Uncheck a Tool:

Specific Virtue

View Specific Virtue

Virtues by Stats

Find Relevant Virtues By Stats

Choose a combat stat below and it'll tell you which virtues you could work on. You can then click on the Virtues and load my tooltip summary on the right (or below, depending on screensize).

* Stats marked with an asterisks are the virtue's "focus". Non-starred stats are "minor" in comparison.



    Virtue ...

    Loading...Please Wait...

    • Loading...Please Wait...

    Passive Bonus:

    • Loading...Please Wait...

    Advisory Tools

    Virtues by Class

    Get Virtue Suggestions for Your Class

    In this tool, you can select your class and it will generate a list of virtues that you could focus on. This is based predominantly on the stats that your class lists as "Very Important" and "Important".

    v1.1: Bug fixed that prevented all virtues being scanned. Agility-based classes should see a full list of recommendations.

    With all that said, let's give this a whirl.

    Select a class to begin...

    10 Ways to Earn Virtue XP

    Summary answer: Virtue XP (or VXP for short) is earned by completing certain deeds, finishing specific quests or using Virtue XP consumables. Some racial traits also boost a Virtue’s level while the trait is slotted and active.

    1. Virtue Packs

    These are consumable items that immediately grant VXP when you “use” them.

    They can come in the form of a “potion” with this icon Virtue XP Potion, the same as the free 20/40VXP items you get from Hobbit Gifts.

    You can normally only acquire these through purchases of other bundles in the LOTRO store.

    I’ll cover that in more detail further down.

    2. VXP Accelerators

    As with Large Reputation Acceleration Tome Reputation Acceleration TomesExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab), the VXP ones have a certain “amount” of fast-track progress they grant. So one of these Virtue XP Acceleration Tome 2,000 VXP tomes means that the next Virtue XP 2,000 VXP you earn becomes Virtue XP 4,000 VXP.

    While there are a few ways of obtaining these, you can get them from the LOTRO Store.

    • Virtue XP Acceleration Tome 2,000 Virtue Acceleration Tome
      Price: LOTRO Points 250 LOTRO Points
    • Virtue XP Acceleration Tome 2,000 Virtue Acceleration Tome × 5
      Price: LOTRO Points 1,000 LOTRO Points
      This is effectively buying 5 for the price of 4 individual ones.

    3. Deeds

    Many LOTRO Deeds grant VXP alongside the other rewards for completing them.

    The one here is for the Sites of the Wildwood Deed. But the inclusion of Virtue Experience still applies to newer content, say, in Before the Shadow.

    The Treasure of Cardolan Deed, for example, grants Virtue XP 3,000!

    4. Festival Wrappers

    For most major LOTRO Festivals in the Events Calendar, you can earn Virtue XP VXP by completing the so-called “wrapper” quests. These relate to completing the Daily version a number of times and often come in stages.

    For each stage, you can expect to get Virtue XP 1,000 VXP. This means, for some, you can bag Virtue XP 4,000 VXP purely by playing festivals. Yes, you can become stronger in combat by “training” during a party! If only that translated well to real life…

    Wrappers that Give VXP

    5. Festival Quests

    There are a few quests within festivals that, themselves, give you VXP. Not exactly loads, but given you get your +20 for free every day (and an addditional +20 weekly for VIPs), little bits matter.

    Missions: Wrappers

    LOTRO Missions come with their own wrappers that grant Virtue XP, for example:

    • On a Mission (Weekly)External Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)
    • On a Continuing Mission (Weekly)External Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)

    How the VXP for these is delivered will change after Update 37:

    For the weekly mission quests, “On A Mission (Weekly)” and “On A Continuing Mission (Weekly)”, the “1,000 Virtue XP” consumable item reward has been replaced by a direct 1,500 virtue xp grant when you complete the quest. You can still choose a “1,000 Virtue XP” consumable item from the “Missions: Bonus Character Boosts” package selectable reward offered by these quests. (Bullroarer ThreadExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab))

    7. Missions: Delvings

    If you’re doing Missions with Delvings (i.e. making them harder for yourself for greater rewards), then the Delving Weekly (Delve DeeperExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)) quest also has +1,000 VXP up for grabs.

    The other related wrappers (Delve Deepest and Delve into the Darkness) also boost your Virtue XP.

    My Guardian against two Drakes during a LOTRO Mission

    As I’ve never been at the current level cap, I wasn’t aware that running Featured Instances and Challenges granted VXP. But, apparently they do.

    It seems the VXP awarded differs, depending on whether you’re at the level cap or not. That makes sense.

    There are also Featured Challenges for tackling Instances at Tier 2. One of the rewards for this is a small amount of VXP.

    This appears to be +150 VXP.

    10. Hobbit Gifts

    As well as the default drop of 20VXP, Hobbit Gifts can also reward you with Virtue XP as your actual reward:

    Other Quests

    There are way more VXP-granting quests than are worth me listing. You can also earn VXP by completing some Epic quests, so you don’t have to seek them out.

    The Wiki has a list of all quests that grant VXP for you to peruse.

    Click/tap hereExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab) to see the complete list.

    LOTRO’s “Feeling Virtuous” Buff

    One of the “events” in LOTRO is a period of time when VXP earned is buffed. This results in the Feeling Virtuous tooltip.

    While that is up, any VXP you earn is increased by 10%. This is a good time to clear those LOTRO Deeds you’ve been putting off!

    VXP in LOTRO Store Bundles

    Middle Earth Essentials

    The Middle-Earth Essentials Pack contains 5×Virtue XP Potion worth Virtue XP 5,000 total.

    Price: LOTRO Points 1,000 LOTRO Points (one time purchase)

    Gift of the Valar

    This is the Level 50 “level boost”.

    It grants: “4 Ranks of each Virtue”, achieved by granting you:

    • Virtue XP (Points Grant) 10 × Virtues of the Valar
      (10,000 VXP/each)
    • Virtue XP (Points Grant) 5 × Greater Virtues of the Valar
      (20,000 VXP/each)

    Price: LOTRO Points 3,995 LOTRO Points

    Blessing of the Valar

    This is the Level 95 boost.

    It grants: 4 Ranks of each Virtue, achieved by granting:

    • Virtue XP (Points Grant) 20 × Greater Virtues of the Valar
      (20,000 VXP/each)

    Price: LOTRO Points 5,995 LOTRO Points

    Aria of the Valar

    This is the Level 105 boost.

    It grants: 4 Ranks of each Virtue, achieved by granting:

    • Virtue XP (Points Grant) 15 × Greater Virtues of the Valar
      (20,000 VXP/each)
    • Virtue XP (Points Grant) 5 × Extraordinary Virtues of the Valar
      (20,000 VXP/each)

    Price: LOTRO Points 6,995 LOTRO Points

    Valar Level Boost – 130

    LOTRO maybe ran out of nouns to precede of the Valar for the L120 boost!

    It grants:

    • Virtue XP (Points Grant) 25 × Greater Virtue of the Valar
      (20,000 VXP/each)
    • Virtue XP (Points Grant) 5 × Extraordinary Virtue of the Valar
      (70,000 VXP/each)

    Price: LOTRO Points 6,995 LOTRO Points

    Before You Use Your Purchased Virtue XP

    Even the tooltip warns you to select an earning virtue. Make sure you do! And, when you hit your current cap/virtue, change your Earning Virtue to a different one.

    Virtue XP Optimisation Strategies

    So we’ve covered a lot of ground, from choosing your virtues, and finding various ways of increasing your VXP. But how can you earn VXP in an efficient way? Here are some tips – and I’ll also try to get some from the LOTRO Community around the time I publish this.

    1. Use the Acceleration Tomes

    If you have Virtue XP Acceleration Tome Virtue Experience Acceleration Tomes then use them. They don’t have a timer and will only be wasted if you’ve maxed all possible virtues!

    Tip: before clearing deeds, doing weeklies or running festival quests, make sure you’ve activated the VXP Acceleration Tomes you have.

    My memory is a bit hazy on this but I think they are occasionally in the Weekly Freebie Code.

    Keep your eye out on the LOTRO Forums. People also ask/share the code in World Chat in-game, so feel free to ask people what the weekly code is.

    2. Open Virtue Coffers on the Right Character!

    Read the warning labels! Often coffers like the Virtue ones, and definitely the Valar packages are Bound to Account until you open them. Then they become Bound to Character. Don’t lose the possibility of quicker VXP by opening your coffers on a character you rarely play.

    3. Clear Starter Region Deeds

    Generally, the LOTRO Deeds in the original starting LOTRO zones are fairly quick to complete.

    LOTRO Shire Deeds Guide and Overview

    Bonus Tip: if you’re after “quick” and “efficient”, avoid the Spoilt Pies and Quickpost Deeds. Ironically, the Quickpost Deed takes a long time to clear.

    LOTRO Deeds of Bree-land Guides - clear all Bree Deeds

    The zones in Before the Shadow are fairly quick, except for the exploration deeds. But you can see my Deeds of Swanfleet and Deeds of Cardolan to help make those less painful.

    4. Do Quicker Deeds

    Once you’ve cleared the deeds in the starter zones (and Yondershire, if you own that), focus on the deeds that take less time.

    Often these are exploration deeds, though ones entitled “Treasure of…” or “Treasure-hunter of…” are not quick.

    Tip: in some regions, there are certain enemies in the Slayer Deeds that require fewer than others. If you are “deeding” – i.e. trying to quickly clear deeds, then aim for the quicker slayer deeds first.

    5. Take Part in Festivals & Events

    You only need to do the bare minimum for the daily to maximise the Virtue XP Virtue Experience and Figments of Splendor Figments of Splendour you earn through it.

    I normally say relax and enjoy festivals. But I also know some people may just want to get rewards and get out. There are a lot of things to do in The Lord of the Rings Online.

    With that in mind, if you’re not normally a festival-goer, you could just attend those with quicker dailies. Festivals and events that spring to mind as being quick to hit the daily wrappers are:

    LOTRO Farmers Faire Festival Event Guide
    LOTRO Fall Festival Guide | LOTRO Harvestmath
    LOTRO Yule Festival Guide | Mounts, Outfits, Pets and more from the Winter Festival!

    6. Earn Your Race’s Virtue Trait

    Every single race available in LOTRO has a Virtue Racial Trait you can earn, or acquire.

    What these do is +1 for the listed Virtues while the trait is slotted. While this won’t necessarily suit your class by default, it could be helpful if you just need a boost for something.

    Here are the tooltip for the different races. My apologies to Stout-Axes: I forgot to get your tooltip when I was taking screenshots for the guide! I’ll try to remember to add it later.

    I have scaled up these tooltips for better display on larger screens. This means they're not exactly like those you see in-game, but the information is correct.

    • Item: Award of Elven VirtueExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)
    • Cost: Silver Coin×60, Imlad Gelair, Rivendell
    • Minimum Level: 35
    • Reputation Required: Reputation Friend standing with the Elves of Rivendell
    High Elf
    • Item: Virtuous High ElfExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)
    • Cost: None
    • Reputation Required: Reputation Friend standing with the Galadhrim
    • Item: Award of Hobbit VirtueExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)
    • Cost: Silver Coin ×60 (Mathom-house)
    • Reputation Required: Reputation Friend standing with the Mathom Society



    Make Virtues Work for Your Play Style

    How you choose your virtues will depend greatly on how you play LOTRO. It may also depend on whether you do group content and what that looks like.

    Below, I’ve looked for possible guides others have made in terms of “Virtue Builds” that work for fellowship and raids. I cannot pretend to know anything about those.

    But I can offer three general ideas to get you started.


    Glinmaethor and Eowyn in LOTRO

    I mean this in the literal sense. Think about your character as a person and not a quest-grinding machine. What character traits would they have?

    The Lord of the Rings is made up of so many wonderful people and they don’t all fit into one Tank/DPS/Heals role.

    • Aragorn: A wise, compassionate, strong warrior. Oh and a healer.
    • Gimli: A witty, axe-swinging, orc-slaying machine, with a soft spot for a certain Elven Lady.
    • Eowyn: Gentle, servant-hearted, head-strong, fierce defender of her family and skilled with a blade.

    Bonuses, Not Necessities

    For casual, landscape content, you could just see your virtues as added bonuses. I think that’s better than worrying about what the “best virtue” is for the easier solo quests.

    Just bear this in mind though: You may need to be more practical for challenging instances and skirmishes.

    Increase Your Damage/Support Your Combat Method

    My Guardian fights two Orcs in Mordor.

    What kind of fighter are you? Or, perhaps, what kind of combat are you most comfortable with? If you answer this, you can figure out the best virtues for your game.

    What I Prefer

    I play Guardians, or the equivalents of them, LOTRO and in other games. This is because I prefer a slower battle where I endure the longest and can go steady. And I really like to use DoTs because it reduces how many keys and clicks I need in a battle.

    You might prefer the “glass cannon” approach – it’s do or die.

    How This Applies to Virtues

    In this case, going for the Virtues that align with the Important and Very Important stats in your character panel. These are designed to maximise the purpose of your base class.

    But, if it’s about damage, then as well as your base stat, you should look at Physical Mastery and Tactical Mastery, depending on what kind of class yours is. Or maybe add in some Agility or Fate to affect your Critical Rate or Magnitude.

    Shore Up Your Weaknesses

    I’m using “weaknesses” loosely here. I don’t mean your weakest stats, but where you feel you’re lacking in combat.

    Being a Guardian player, wonderfully protected by heavy armour but also a solo player, I’m always balancing defence and offense. While I have Might and Physical Mastery, I may need to switch some Mastery for Mitigations.

    In the past, I’ve even tried to buff Agility, because it impacts my evade rating. And because I can fly in face-first into most battles because of my armour, I don’t have great defences against Magical or other non-Physical attacks. So I’ve built in some Tactical Mitigations too.

    It takes some thought, but your Virtues are one way you can build your stats according to your gameplay preferences. You’re not funnelled into one “mould”.

    Fighting a Tomb-robber Leader in Evendim

    Virtue Advice from the LOTRO Community

    While most of my “methods” are suck-it-and-see, there are those who do combat parses, know the best rotations for tough content and what each virtue “should” be.

    There’s always advice on the “best builds”. Remember, though, this is usually in reference to group content – fellowship instances, raids etc. But they may help you decide which five of the twenty to level initially.

    What these seem to do is tell you which one or two virtues to focus on. Be aware, you’ll still need to decide on the others too.

    Helpful Vids (Hopefully)

    I find reading about things better for my learning. Others prefer videos. So, here are two

    • Virtues for Levelling and DPS by Louis7 on YouTubeExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)
      Louis7 is really well known, and has an engaging tone of voice, which matters to short-attention-span me.
    • The Best Virtue for Your Class, by Ghynghyn on YouTubeExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)
      This video is very detailed and man, I struggle to concentrate with the guy’s voice. But what he says is still interesting..

    Should I Think About Virtues from Level 1?

    My Hobbit Lore-master using the /think Emote in LOTRO.

    No, enjoy playing! If you’ve just started playing, don’t worry about it.

    Sure, set an “Earning Virtue” then forget about it for a while.

    Once you’ve gained some VXP, then initially either boost your “Very Important” and “Important” stats for your class, or to improve defences as already mentioned.

    TL;DR Work on your Virtues in LOTRO, But Make Them Work for You

    Even if you do not buy any VXP tomes, any time you complete a deed or finish a wrapper that grants VXP you’re improving your stats. You could even slot some virtues early on and, so long as one of them was “earning” then you would be passively improving your combat performance.

    The Virtue system makes customising your character’s capabilities pretty easy. And, as you can change them whenever you want to, you can adapt your setup to whatever your next challenge is. In short, there’s no good reason not to make VXP work for you. So get out there and be virtuous – you get rewarded for doing good deeds, hurrah!

    Enjoy your time in Middle-Earth!

    These other guides may be helpful for further reading. Hopefully.

    About the Author

    Fibro Jedi
    Fibro Jedi

    I have been playing MMOs for about ten years and began writing guides to The Lord of the Rings Online in 2017. I've only been creating content about Final Fantasy XIV since 2022, but I am glad for the mix. My current games include LOTRO, FFXIV and the occasional Palia session too.

    LOTRO Posts | FFXIV Posts | Please support me on Ko-Fi Donate Coffee | Author Page

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