Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (2023)

Each new Destiny 2 expansion and season brings with it a higher Destiny 2 Power level cap to work towards.

Season of Plunder and Destiny 2's fifth year is no different. The good news is, as of The Witch Queen, everyone now starts at the same base gear level, regardless of when you started playing - and as before, from there, there are multiple level caps and many Gear sources from which to get there.

Learning where to find Powerful Gear and Pinnacle Gear sources is a key aspect of Destiny 2 levelling - and in short, means at points you'll have to change your focus to certain activities to keep levelling, all to help you access and survive end-game content.

It's a slightly overwhelming system to get your head around at first, and this page will explain how to navigate each step of the way.

To help, this season players have been gifted a free Power level boost - known as Gift of the Thunder Gods - to level 1540 to help you get a leg up this season.

On this page:

  • How gear levels work in Destiny 2 and the max level cap explained
  • How to get to 1540 for free with Gift of the Thunder Gods
  • How to get to Legendary Gear to get to the 1520 Power Soft Cap in Destiny 2
  • Powerful Gear Tier sources to get to the 1570 cap in Destiny 2
  • Pinnacle Gear Tier sources to get to the 1580 cap in Destiny 2

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(Video) Destiny 2 | How to POWER LEVEL to 1570 in Season 17 (Over-Simplifed Guide)

How gear levels work in Destiny 2 and the max level cap explained

Destiny 2's levelling system operates with three different caps to work towards, each requiring different sources of gear to level up past. Here's what they are at a glance for Season 18:

  • Base Gear level - 1350 Power Level
  • Soft / Legendary Gear cap - 1520 Power Level
  • Powerful Gear cap - 1570 Power Level
  • Pinnacle Gear cap - 1580 Power Level
Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (1)

How to reach these caps, and what to do to reach the next one, is outlined on the rest of this levelling guide.

It's worth noting that, technically, the Destiny 2 max level cap goes beyond 1580, thanks to the seasonal artefact. Every new season will give you this item, and by levelling it up with XP, you'll receive a series of bonuses - including temporary additional levels that adds to your Power, allowing you to go beyond the level cap. (Or, if you're not there yet, a slight nudge towards it.)

You can see your current level, and what the artefact is contributing, on the main gear screen:

Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (2)

The end of each season, however, sees many things in Destiny 2 reset and change. This includes the artefact, which will start over, so you have to level up the power level bonus with XP once more. As well as this, the gear cap itself will increase - usually 10 per season.

How to get to 1540 for free with Gift of the Thunder Gods

During Season of Plunder, all players get a free Power Level gift to help them get closer to the maximum cap.

This is called Gift of the Thunder Gods, and includes a full set of 1540 Power weapons and armour, plus two Exotics - the Thunderlord machine gun, and a class-specific armour piece.

This chest can be found in the H.E.L.M. social space:

(Video) How to Power Level up to 1560 Fast | Destiny 2 The Witch Queen

Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (3)
Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (4)

If you are above this power level, then you aren't left out - instead, you'll receive gear that is around three levels above where you are currently, up until the Powerful Gear cap of 1570.

This giveaway applies to all characters, so log into your alts before you start using them, with the gift being around until the end of Season 18.

If you are returning to Destiny for the first time in a while to sample King's Fall and making use of this gift, then know the 1540 set is 20 levels below the recommended Power to complete all encounters. In which case, it's time to start levelling to the Powerful Gear cap - which we'll explain how to do effectively in a later section.

How to get to Legendary Gear to get to the 1520 Power Soft Cap in Destiny 2

Learning which sources give what Power loot is key to fast and effective levelling. The vast majority of activities in Destiny 2 will drop loot up to the 'soft' Legendary cap of 1520, meaning when you start Destiny 2 or a major new expansion, you simply play the game how you want to level up.

Here's an idea of what this includes:

  • Blue and Purple drops from enemies
  • Decrypting Blue and Purple Engrams
  • Completing activities (such as Public Events, Lost Sectors, Strikes, Crucible) and opening Loot Chests
  • Individual Clan Bounties
  • Legacy Raids (such as Last Wish, Garden of Salvation) not highlighted in the weekly rotation
  • Legacy Dungeons (such as The Shattered Throne, Pit of Heresy) not highlighted in the weekly rotation
  • Regular Nightfall playlist
  • Drops from opening Paraversal Hauls from Xur in the 30th Anniversary expansion

You are also welcome to complete Powerful Gear and Pinnacle Gear activities, which will benefit you too - though the drops will be in line with your current level than leapfrogging you past that.

Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (5)

We'd also suggest you avoid infusing - which enables you to change the Power of a certain piece of Gear by 'consuming' another one - until you at least hit the Powerful Gear stage, since until then be getting gear so regularly it'll be outstripped by something else very quickly.

In summary, to get to 1520, it's simple a case of playing any activities you like. If you want to speed this up and have completed all story missions, then Crucible matches and Public Events are among the fastest way to do it.

That said, there are methods to get to the soft cap quickly...

(Video) Destiny 2: How To Power Level to 1580! (Season of Plunder)

Powerful Gear Tier sources to get to the 1570 cap in Destiny 2

Legendary Engrams and standard loot will stop at 1520, and so you must seek out 'Powerful Gear'. This means you have to switch and work on specific activities to increase your level.

This is where the grind gets a little more involved. Instead of having each individual activity likely to drop something which can increase your Power level, you now need to focus on completing Weekly Challenges.

These include:

  • Strike, Gambit, Crucible playlist activity completions *
  • Rewards from each of the six Vanguard (Strike), Crucible and Gambit ranks **
  • Completing eight Bounties for a vendor
  • Season pass drops
  • Trials of Osiris (third win)
  • Prime Engrams (drops at random; essentially a permanent Three of Coins buff in-all-but-name)
  • Exotic Engrams
  • There are also a handful of 'one-time' sources of Powerful Gear, such as Exotic quest rewards

* A welcome change from Year 4 onwards is all playlist activities have a chance to drop Powerful Gear after each completion, even if you have completed their respective weekly challenge.

** From Season 13 onwards, you have to return to these activity vendors in the Tower to get a Powerful engram after you rank up. You can bank these if you so choose, so visit when ready.

Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (6)

Our recommendation? Focus on the eight Bounties for each vendor. Though many of these are area or activity specific, some such as Banshee in the Tower can be completed while doing any activity. Bounties should be a priority anyway to get you XP to level your artefact and level your season pass for additional drops.

Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (7)

Also, remember you can also earn Pinnacle Gear to boost your level, such as from the Raid, which you should now be strong enough to play.

As well as the above, it's worth knowing completing the Legendary campaign will give you a gear set at 1520. This is some way below the Powerful Gear cap, but if you're just starting out, might be a good step up if you fancy the challenge.

The Season of Plunder is here! New additions include the Sails of the Shipstealer quest and Quicksilver Storm. Meanwhile, there's the arrival of King's Fall.Before then, the Season of the Haunted continues. Get up to speed with our levelling guide ahead of tackling the Duality dungeon, and learn how to collect Calus Bobblehead locations, Calus Automaton locations and find all Opulent Key chests.For The Witch Queen, learn how to get Exotics including Dead Messenger and Parasite.Late last year, we saw the Bungie 30th Anniversary, which introduced the Grasp of Avarice dungeon, Strange Coins and new Exotics, including the Gjallarhorn and Forerunner.

(Video) Destiny 2 | How to POWER LEVEL to 1580 FAST in Season 18 (Over-Simplifed Guide)

Pinnacle Gear Tier sources to get to the 1580 cap in Destiny 2

Once you have reached the Powerful Gear cap, you then have to switch to Pinnacle Gear to give you the last 10 levels you need to reach the absolute Gear cap.

These are amongst the most challenging or time-consuming activities in Destiny 2. Not only that, there are fewer of them, ramping up the grind.

Here are all the current Pinnacle Gear sources:

  • Weekly playlist challenges for certain activities, such as Crucible, Strike and Gambit
  • Earning Clan XP for Tower vendor
  • Latest Raid (King's Fall) encounter completions
  • Latest Dungeon (Duality) completion
  • Completing legacy Raids or Dungeons highlighted in the latest weekly rotation *
  • Preservation completion (post-campaign The Witch Queen mission)
  • Trials of Osiris (seven wins, flawless)
  • Nightfall: The Ordeal reward for scoring 100,000 points or more
  • Iron Banner Bounties

* Unlike the most recent Raid or Dungeon, Pinnacles will drop on completion only - not for each individual encounter.

The bread and butter here for solo players is focusing on weekly playlists, which can give you a straightforward source of Pinnacle Gear. If you combine this with chasing Triumphs, Seals or Pinnacle Weapons, then you are essentially preparing your character for various end game activities in both level and loot.

However, the best source of Pinnacle gear will always remain the latest raid, if you are high enough level and can find others to join you. When taking into account each encounter, a full raid playthrough should earn you four Pinnacle drops, giving you a solid levelling boost. Though challenging, a raid playthrough can be achieved in an evening's play with practice. Dungeon completions, meanwhile, are also useful to practice, as they can be reliable fast Pinnacle sources when you know what to do.

Destiny 2 levelling guide: How to get to max level cap (8)

It's worth adding that seasonal events - such as Festival of the Lost during Halloween, or Solstice - can offer max level weapons or armour upon completing certain requirements, regardless of your current power level. If you're behind, these are well worth completing to raise your average level quickly.

Ultimately, know getting Pinnacle Gear is a grind. But as mentioned earlier, your seasonal artefact can boost your Gear's Power level as well, so if you're struggling with the above multiplayer-centric activities, then simply playing and getting XP will gradually see your Power level increase.

Though it can be a lot of work, it's worth remembering the Power Level increases by 10 across all caps every three months when a new season arrives, giving you a leg up for the next raise each time.

(Video) Destiny 2: How To Power Level to 1570! (Season of the Haunted)

No matter your goals when it comes to levelling, we wish you the best of luck!

FAQs

How do you get past the level cap in Destiny 2? ›

Once you have reached the Powerful Gear cap, you then have to switch to Pinnacle Gear to give you the last 10 levels you need to reach the absolute Gear cap.

How can I get 1560 Fast? ›

How to Reach Power Level 1560 (Hard Cap)
  1. Complete 3 Vanguard Ops (With same subclass element as the current burn)
  2. Complete a Nightfall Strike with a score over 100,000.
  3. Complete 3 Crucible matches in any Playlist.
  4. Complete 3 Gambit matches in either Playlist.
  5. Complete a Dares of Eternity run with a score over 250,000.
6 Mar 2022

How do you pass level 1330? ›

Just run vault of glass. Seriously run vault of glass. As it should drop you some very nice pinnacle

How do you get past level 1570 in Destiny 2? ›

Pinnacle Gear rewards are the only way of increasing your gear's Power past 1,570.

What is the highest power level in Destiny 2 right now? ›

The soft cap of 1520 can be achieved by playing through any of the content in the game. This includes rare items, legendary and exotic. The hard cap of 1570 is achieved through obtaining Powerful gear.

What is the Destiny 2 soft cap? ›

As of now, players can start working to the soft cap of 1570 and grind high-level events to reach the hard cap of 1580. The soft cap, which can quickly be reached by earning new armor and weapons from seasonal and Vanguard activities, will have you reach the 1570 power level quickly and easily enough.

Where do I get 1520 gear after legendary campaign? ›

After completing the Legendary campaign Ikora will give players a package with blue Rare armor that will be at 1520 Power. It will appear in a "Prepare for Battle" text screen as a reward from Ikora. UPDATE: Players should ensure that their character has completed each Legendary campaign mission.

What do you get for beating witch queen on legendary? ›

As a reward for completing the whole campaign on Legendary, you will receive: A full set of 1520 Power level gear. Eight Upgrade Modules. The Triumph required to complete the Throne World's seal.

What is the hard cap for witch queen? ›

The hard cap - the light level where you can no longer find upgrades - is 1560. To reach this tier, you'll have to go on the search for pinnacle engrams which only drop from certain weekly missions and difficult content.

How do I get to 1570 light fast? ›

Destiny 2 | How to POWER LEVEL to 1570 in Season 17 (Over-Simplifed ...

How long does it take to get max level in Destiny 2? ›

For most, a measured pace of pumping in PvE. The duration of the season in the game is three months, so there is enough time to reach the maximum level, even playing 2-3 hours several times a week.

How do you get gear above 1510? ›

1,510 is the cap for all regular loot. To progress to 1,560 you need to look for sources of 'Powerful' or 'Pinnacle' loot, Prime Engrams are powerfuls so those help. At 1,560 only the Pinnacle loot can take you further to the seasonal hard cap of 1,570.

Who is the number 1 Destiny 2 player? ›

All Platforms Glory Rating Leaderboard
RankPlayerGlory Rating
1lShaxm5,500
2tyypa5,500
3DeviIzh5,500
4Honoured5,500
96 more rows

What is the max power level in Destiny 2 without DLC? ›

Destiny 2 base game – Level 20. Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris – Level 25. Destiny 2: Warmind – Level 30. Destiny 2: Forsaken – Level 50.

Is Destiny 2 still worth Playing 2022? ›

Destiny 2 is absolutely worth playing, if you can love it for the beautiful mess of systems and overlapping expansions. While it is free, and I'd encourage anyone to try it, you'll undoubtedly get more out of its systems, story, and setting by picking up the expansions.

What is the powerful gear cap Destiny 2? ›

Every new season comes with a new Power Level cap. With Season of Plunder (Season 18), the max Power level was increased by 10 points. All Guardians start with 1350 Power Level, the Soft cap is 1520, the Powerful cap is 1570, and the Pinnacle cap, i.e, the Max Light Level, is 1580.

What is the level cap in Destiny 2? ›

The last time “levels” were involved was the release of Destiny 2: Forsaken, which saw the level cap raised to 50. Since then, the level system has been scrapped, meaning players only need to focus on Power. The new max Power is 1570 (1580 with Pinnacle gear) as of Season of Plunder.

How do you get to 1585 power? ›

How to Reach 1585+ Power FAST for Grandmaster Nightfalls & Master ...

What is the current hard cap in Destiny 2? ›

The hard cap - the light level where you can no longer find upgrades - is 1560. To reach this tier, you'll have to go on the search for pinnacle engrams which only drop from certain weekly missions and difficult content.

How long does it take to get to max level in Destiny 2? ›

With an optimized game and playing 5-8 hours a day, you can reach the maximum Pinnacle (1570+) in a week. Most players spend more than a month. Accelerating the process is possible only with a certain level of luck, a significant expenditure of effort, and daily participation in-game events.

What is powerful cap? ›

Powerful cap (1,520 to 1,570)

After reaching 1,520, players will have a narrower pool of options to choose from if they want to level. The most notable change is that blues and regular world drops won't boost their Light level past 1,520 (or whatever their maximum equipable level is).

What is witch queen power cap? ›

The Witch Queen Power level caps

Most players will find themselves closing in on 1500 by the time they finish the Witch Queen campaign on Classic difficulty. The new Power level cap is 1550.

Is Destiny 2 still worth Playing 2022? ›

Destiny 2 is absolutely worth playing, if you can love it for the beautiful mess of systems and overlapping expansions. While it is free, and I'd encourage anyone to try it, you'll undoubtedly get more out of its systems, story, and setting by picking up the expansions.

What is the easiest Grandmaster nightfall? ›

Perhaps the easiest Grandmaster Nightfall in all of Destiny 2, The Arms Dealer is a Cabal Strike with a few sprinklings of Fallen. You will need Anti-Barrier (Sidearm/Pulse Rifle) and Unstoppable (Scout Rifle/Glaive) for this Strike. Once you get it down, this Strike is very easy.

What level should I be for master nightfall? ›

Set at 1,610 power level, players will need to be at least 1,585 power to start a Grandmaster Nightfalls. Each Nightfall will challenge fireteams to complete versions of beloved Strikes with more enemies, more Champions, and limited revives.

Is Grandmaster nightfall hard? ›

Grandmaster Nightfalls are the very end of the endgame. They are the pinnacle PVE challenge for the most dedicated Destiny players. They're unbelievably challenging and completely inaccessible until you've reached a power level that far exceeds the requirements for any other activity, including raids.

What do you get for completing witch queen on legendary? ›

As a reward for completing the whole campaign on Legendary, you will receive: A full set of 1520 Power level gear. Eight Upgrade Modules. The Triumph required to complete the Throne World's seal.

How do you get gear above 1510? ›

1,510 is the cap for all regular loot. To progress to 1,560 you need to look for sources of 'Powerful' or 'Pinnacle' loot, Prime Engrams are powerfuls so those help. At 1,560 only the Pinnacle loot can take you further to the seasonal hard cap of 1,570.

Is The Witch Queen worth buying? ›

Witch Queen's story is genuinely good, with a strong central mystery and an antagonist who manages to be intimidating yet understandable when we delve into her past and true motivations. There are some story revelations here that are just wonderfully well done, most of them which I was not expecting.

Does deep stone crypt drop powerful gear? ›

If you've been grinding for gear in Destiny 2, you might've heard that you can get powerful loot drops from running Deep Stone Crypt. (If not, now you know.) Players have been trying to figure out whether or not that's intended functionality, and Bungie has now confirmed that it's not supposed to be happening.

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1. Destiny 2: How to LEVEL UP FAST in the Witch Queen! - (Leveling Guide)
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2. The BEST Leveling method is BACK - Disgraced Artifact Leveling Guide
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3. How to LEVEL UP FAST in Season of the Haunted - Easy 1570 Max Power Level Guide - Destiny 2
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4. HOW TO LEVEL UP TO 1570 FAST IN SEASON OF THE HAUNTED! FAST & EASY POWER LEVEL GUIDE [DESTINY 2]
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5. Destiny 2: Power Leveling Explained! (1350-1560) | Easy Guide for New Players | Witch Queen
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6. Destiny 2: How to Level to 1560 Fast in The Witch Queen
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