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XP distribution question

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After getting thoroughly sick of the grindfest that was my previous few "get all children and have them complete the second half of the game" playthroughs on lunatic, I've decided to mix it up and play a file on hard mode, no DLC or skirmish grinding at all, and see how that turns out.

But I was wondering if anybody could tell me whether there's a significant difference between paired-up and separate in terms of XP gain overall, and which direction that difference leans in. Basically, for optimal XP gain, how do I want my units to be set up?

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It's actually really hard to say since it depends on a few factors. The advantage of pairing up for EXP is that the back unit can get 'free' EXP for hitting enemies equivalent to half or 100% of the EXP you'd normally get for hitting enemies, at no cost to the front units EXP. The disadvantage is you kill enemies in fewer hits, which means less hit EXP.

Overall, the answer is generally going to be that there's no significant difference. But if you want a rough rule of thumb: If pairing up generally lets you ORKO enemies you would be 2RKOing, don't pair up. If you generally ORKO anyway, pair up and get that extra EXP.

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