The experience elicited by MDMA depends on the dose, setting, and user. The variability of the induced altered state by MDMA is lower compared to other psychedelics. For example, MDMA used at parties is associated with high motor activity, reduced sense of self-identity as well as poor awareness of the background surroundings. Use of MDMA individually or in a small groups in a quiet environment and when concentrating, is associated with increased lucidity, capability of concentration, sensitivity of aesthetic aspects of the background and emotions, as well as greater capability of communication with others. In psychotherapeutic settings MDMA effects have been described by infantile ideas, alternating phases of mood, sometimes memories and moods connected with childhood experiences.

Sometimes MDMA is labelled as an “empathogenic” drug, because of its empathy-producing effects. Results of different studies show its effects of powerful empathy with others. When testing the MDMA for medium and high dosage ranges it showed increase on hedonic as well as arousal continuum. The effect of MDMA increasing sociability is consistent, however effects on empathy have been more mixed