I'm just getting back into D&D after many, many years of not playing. I am struggling a bit with XP for encounters; the way I remember it working, is that you'd give each player XP according to the enemies encountered, and maybe - MAYBE - a small bonus in addition at the end of the session. I'm seeing a lot of stuff around that implies that there is a more formulaic way of calculating total (or guideline) XP for an encounter or session.
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Those formulas are mainly for DMs to determine the difficulty of an encounter. Each creature has its own amount of XP earned, and using the formula (either with the encounter builder or the encounter instructions in the DMG) simply gives the DM a ball park estimate of how hard an encounter with characters of a certain level would be. You still add up all the XP earned from each creature slain in an encounter and divide it by how many characters there are to determine each player's share of the XP.
It bears noting that some groups don't use XP. By itself, it's meaningless. Take two identical 1st level characters and give one 500 Xp, and literally nothing has changed but that number. It's just a pacing mechanism; PCs should go through this much hell before leveling up. The use a milestone system (described in the DMG, I believe), or just do it based on story needs or whatever.