Greetings, Guardians! In addition to new armor, new weapons, and new activities to obtain, every new season of Destiny 2 is increasing the Guardian’s Power Level limit (alternatively, the community calls it the Power Level Cap, or simply the cap).
What is the Power Level?
Power Level is an average level of your equipment — 3 weapons and 5 armor pieces.
In Destiny 2, some activities — like the Nightfalls or Raids — requires a certain Power Level of your Guardian. If your Power Level is higher or equal to the requirement – you are able to play the activity like it was intended by the developers. But if your Power Level is lesser than required, you will suffer the following penalties: your damage output will be lowered, the damage you get will be amplified, and than lower your Power Level is, than higher damage penalties are, e.g. if your Power Level is lesser than required for 100 points or more, your Guardian can die from a single shot or attack. So, if you want to play the endgame activities comfortably, you should work on increasing your Power Level.
How to increase a Power Level
Generally, power leveling in Destiny 2 is divided into three stages that we will describe in detail, but it is important to note that the Seasonal Artifact Power Level bonus does not affect the Power Level caps described below in any way.
Stage 1 – Soft Cap (1110-1250)
The Soft Cap is the easiest stage of the leveling. Your Power Level grows literally with every new item. Each item you receive for campaign missions, patrols, playlist activities (strikes, crucible, gambit, seasonal events) will increase your Power Level, so you don’t have to play something specific, just do what you enjoy the most in the game. It is not necessary to equip a newly-acquired gear to continue your leveling, just keep your highest-power items in the inventory or in the vault.
Stage 2 – Hard Cap (1250-1300)
Once you reach the 1250 Power Level, you will unlock the Weekly Milestones (yellow glowing circles in the Director menu) — a set of PvE and PvP activities that rewards you with the Powerful and Pinnacle gear upon completion. The next 50 levels can be gained with only Powerful Gear rewards, Pinnacle Gear rewards, and Prime Engrams you can occasionally loot from the fallen enemies. Also, if you’re playing playlist activities a lot, you can randomly receive the Powerful Gear reward, so if you get a legendary item — don’t forget to check out its Power.
Stage 3 – Pinnacle Cap (1300-1310)
Pinnacle Cap is a nightmare of each Guardian — you will grind these 10 levels longer than you did with the previous 190. According to its name, it is not difficult to guess that only the Pinnacle Gear rewards will grant you an upgrade. Powerful Gear rewards will give you the gear with a level equal to the average of your highest-powered items.
Where to get the Powerful Gear rewards?
Here is a list of the Weekly Milestones we mentioned above. Completing them will reward you with the Powerful Gear.
- Vanguard Service — Complete 8 Vanguard Bounties. Visit Commander Zavala in the Tower to pick up the Bounties and visit him one more time when the 8s are done to receive your reward
- Spare Parts — Complete 8 Gunsmith’s Banshee-44 Bounties. His bounties can be done while playing the Strikes or Gambit, so you can do several bounties from different vendors at once and save some time.
- Live-Fire Exercises — Complete 8 Crucible Bounties from Lord Shaxx. Don’t forget to visit him to collect your Powerful Gear reward once you complete the Bounties.
- Shady Schemes — Complete 8 Gambit Bounties from the Drifter.
- Clan Rewards — If you’re a member of the Clan who does various things in the game and contributes an XP for your Clan, you should visit Suraya Hawthorne once you earned 5000 XP and claim your Powerful Gear reward. Also, you as well as other Clan members can earn up to 4 Powerful Gear engrams for the whole Clan by playing activities, if at least a half of the team relates to your Clan: one for the completion of the Crucible match, one for the Gambit match, one for the Nightfall, and one for the Raid.
- Europa Challenge — Complete 8 Bounties from Variks the Loyal. Rules are the same as they were for the Tower Vendors.
- Exo Stranger Challenge — Defeat 100 combatants with or affected by Stasis off of Europa and visit Exo Stranger in Beyond on Europa to claim your reward.
- Exo Challenge — Complete Exo Challenge on Europa.
- Empire Hunts — Purchasing Europa Challenges II upgrade from Variks the Loyal allows you to receive a weekly Powerful Gear reward for completing the Empire Hunts.
- Glory-Ranked playlist — Win 7 rounds in Survival play mode in the Crucible
- Trials of Osiris — Win 3 matches on a single ticket in Trials of Osiris to earn a Powerful Gear engram, win 5 to earn one more.
- Nightfall: The Ordeal — Complete Nightfall: The Ordeal activities. Higher difficulties grant the most efficient progress
- Battlegrounds — Complete Battleground playlist activities. You can earn up to 3 Powerful Gear rewards for every 3 Battlegrounds finished.
Other sources of Powerful Gear
- Season Pass rewards — If you own the Season Pass, do not hesitate to look at the rewards it includes.
- Prime Engrams — Sometimes, defeated enemies can drop shiny purple engrams, visit Master Rahool to decode them.
- Exotic Engrams — Well, it is always good to get Exotics, especially if it increases your Power Level.
- Exotic Quest completions — Exotics received through quests — Like Lament, Xenophage, or Divinity — are considered the Powerful Gear.
Where to get the Pinnacle Gear rewards?
If you’re close to the Pinnacle Cap, we recommend you to complete the Weekly Milestones with Pinnacle Gear reward only after you complete the Powerful Gear Milestones. But if you just hit the Hard Cap or you are sure that you won’t reach the Pinnacle Cap this week, feel free to do them. Here is a list of Weekly Milestones that reward you with the Pinnacle Gear.
- Prophecy — Gather your friends and defeat the Kell Echo in a glorious dungeon of Prophecy to receive the Pinnacle Gear reward.
- The Harbinger — If you’re a proud owner of the Hawkmoon, you can receive a Pinnacle Gear reward every week for completing The Harbinger mission. If you still don’t have Hawkmoon, we recommend you to complete the quest and acquire it: this Hand Cannon and its story are time-worthy.
- The Presage: once per week you can claim the Pinnacle Gear reward in addition to the Dead Man’s Tale by completing The Presage mission. If you have no access to this mission, we have a guide for you!
- Exo Challenge — If you purchased the European Explorer III upgrade from Variks the Loyal, completing the Exo Challenge will reward you with the Pinnacle Gear instead of the Powerful Gear.
- Empire Hunts — Purchasing the Europa Challenges III upgrade from Variks the Loyal allows you to receive a weekly Pinnacle Gear reward for completing the Empire Hunts.
- Deep Stone Crypt — In this beautiful Raid you can earn up to 4 Pinnacle Gear rewards (One for each stage of the Raid respectively). The Deep Stone Crypt is the richest source of the high-quality Pinnacle Gear, so be sure to visit it.
- Crucible — Complete 3 matches in any Crucible playlist to get the Pinnacle Gear reward.
- Gambit — Complete 3 matches of Gambit to get the Pinnacle Gear reward. While doing this, you can do the Drifter’s Bounties
- Strikes — Complete 3 Vanguard Strikes using the same subclass element as the currently active elemental burn to receive the Pinnacle Gear. You can check the currently active elemental burn at the bottom left with the playlist menu opened
- Nightfall: The Ordeal — Complete Nightfall: The Ordeal with team score of 100000 points above to claim a Pinnacle Gear. Usually, it requires the Legend difficulty to reach 100000 points.
- Trials of Osiris — Win 7 matches on a single ticket in Trials of Osiris to earn the Pinnacle Gear reward, you can earn an additional Pinnacle Gear reward for winning 7 matches on a single ticket without losing one.
- Iron Banner — Lord Saladin arrives at the Tower for a week once a month and brings us 4 difficult Bounties. Each Bounty rewards you with Pinnacle gear.
In Destiny 2, Holidays like Christmas or Halloween are celebrated as well as special events like Dawning or Festival of the Lost and generally, you can get a lot of rewards for participating in them. This spring’s following special event is the Guardian Games, so don’t miss it!
Have a good time, Guardian!