Kingdom Hearts is a deeply story-driven RPG series, but one aspect of these games has been set in stone since the PS2 original: a bit of player agency in terms of where to go and when. This is much the same as the beginning 'what do you desire' choices between buffs like Wisdom, Vitality and Balance - it doesn't have an enormous impact on the game, but is a fun choice to make nevertheless.
In Kingdom Hearts 3, worlds are gradually unlocked a few at a time, though every time you reach a major milestone in the game's story you'll always have a choice between a couple of different worlds to fly your Gummi Ship to in order to meet or revisit friendly faces from the lands of Disney.
World order will also determine some other things. It impacts the order you acquire some keyblades, as many weapons are rewarded for completing worlds as detailed in our keyblades list and guide. Certain worlds also contain certain materials for workship synthesis and KH3's new cooking mechanic, while others have side quests with powerful rewards, like the Golden Hercules Statue side quest on Olympus.
On this page, we're going to detail the most natural World Order in KH3 for progression - as in what order matches up to character levels most correctly. This, naturally, means there will be Spoilers for the worlds and when they unlock. Scroll on past the image of the Gummi Ship in flight at your peril.
[No, seriously. All the worlds and their order are revealed below.]
Kingdom Hearts 3 World Order: what levels to tackle first
Before we get started, it's worth noting that, as with many choices in Kingdom Hearts, your choice here isn't all that earth-shattering in terms of the difference it'll make to the game. KH3 doesn't scale the difficulty of its content, meaning that each world has a recommended level you can go in that.
That does mean that if you want, you can make things a little harder by tackling higher level worlds earlier - but the flip side of that is that you'll eventually have to return to the lower-level world, and at that point you'll be an even higher level.
The world map in KH3 is split into three areas: Starlight Way, Misty Stream and finally The Eclipse. Once one has seen all its worlds completed, the next will unlock. Here's the optimum, level-appropriate order for each area:
Starlight Way World Order
- Olympus - Hercules (automatically your first world)
- Twilight Town (automatically your second world)
- Toy Box - Toy Story (easier of the two unlocks)
- Kingdom of Corona - Tangled (harder of the two unlocks)
As the above suggests, there isn't as much choice in this first act of the game. You'll go to Olympus automatically, then Twilight Town. Finally, you hit the choice between the Toy Box and Kingdom of Corona. The Toy Box is designed a more typical introductary, first truly open level of the game. It has a lower battle difficulty, too.
Remember that once you've beaten Olympus in its relatively simple, guided format you can return to the world in your Gummi Ship to explore. There's things to see and do including the Golden Hercules Statue quest, which has a great, useful reward. Backtracking pays!
Also, don't forget the 100 Acre Wood (from Winnie the Pooh). This world doesn't have any combat, and can be visited via Twilight Town. Visit Merlin in front of the Little Chef's Bistro in Twilight Town once Pooh has reappeared and you'll be able to visit his home. This is an optional chunk of the game, and is entirely separate from everything else.
Misty Stream World Order
- Monstropolis - Monsters, Inc.
- Arendelle - Frozen
- The Carribean - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- San Fransokyo - Big Hero 6
Once you reach Misty Stream, it's fair to say you're in Kingdom Hearts 3 proper. These four worlds don't unlock all at once, however: first, Monstropolis and Arendelle unlock once you've completed all of Starlight Way. We suggest you tackle them in that order due to the battle level considerations.
Once you've tackled the worlds of Monsters, Inc an d Frozen, The Caribbean and San Fransokyo will also unlock. Again, the ideal order based on battle level is above. Once that's done, the final area of the map unlocks...
The Eclipse World Order
Well... that header is a bit of a lie, actually, because there is no world order in The Eclipse. In here is one final world to visit that leads you towards the finale of Kingdom Hearts 3 and the KH trilogy in general. We're not going to name that world to help preserve some of the surprise, though hardcore series fans can surely guess.
Though the galaxy only has one world, The Eclipse can be explored for puzzle and loot as well, and we suggest you do that - there's some good loot scattered about.