This guide covers the basics of getting higher level gear in Destiny 2!
Your Power Level
The most essential part of understanding how to level up is understanding what the level’s number means itself.
Your power level is used to determine how much damage you can take and give to enemies.
Your power level is determined by the average of your gear’s number level. so for example having one piece of gear much higher than the rest will not automatically raise your overall power level by much. so if you have all pieces of gear be the same level than your overall power level will be the same.
You should also keep in mind that you do not need the higher level item equipped to get higher level gear, it must simply be in your inventory.
In some activities, like crucible, your power level does not matter except in some modes like Trails of Osiris and the Iron banner, these activities will have the “light level enabled” tag.
To level up you must first understand the 3 level caps, and how they affect how you spend your time leveling up.
- Soft Cap
- Hard Cap
- Pinnacle Cap
Please keep in mind that these values change every season.
Each level cap stops your gear from going higher in power unless you obtain it in a specific way.
The Soft Cap:
- The soft cap is the easiest level cap to reach, as any gear you obtain can raise your power level until the soft cap is reached it also covers the most levels.
The Hard Cap:
- The hard cap is harder to reach, and it is reachable by doing activities that award powerful gear.
The Pinnacle Cap:
- The pinnacle cap is hardest to reach and is the highest level during a season but from the hard cap to pinnacle caps there are usually only 10 levels, it is reachable by doing one of the few activities that award pinnacle gear
Also keep in mind that you can obtain gear of a higher power for all slots without doing pinnacle and powerful activities as all of your gear drops will try to catch up the power level of your highest level piece of gear.
When you reach the soft cap you will notice that your progress leveling up will dramatically slow down. This is because now you need to earn powerful gear.
How do you earn Powerful gear?
- Powerful gear is obtainable from certain activities. Most of these activities tell you you can earn them by doing something specific
- But these activities can show two things, Tier 1 or Tier 2. Whats the difference? Well tier 1 gives you gear of a higher level, but tier 2 can give you gear by an even higher number
- What should you do when you are out of powerful activities? Well playing any playlist activity (strikes, crucible, gambit) has a chance of giving you powerful gear. But don’t worry all these activities return on the weekly reset on Tuesday.
When you reach the Hard you will notice that your progress leveling up will dramatically slow down again. This is because now you need to earn pinnacle gear.
How do you earn Pinnacle gear?
- Like powerful gear, pinnacle gear is obtained by doing activities that reward you with pinnacle gear.
- Keep in mind that there are fewer pinnacle activities than there were powerful activities, so plan out when you get pinnacle gear to not waste a pinnacle activity for a week.
Upgrading your owned pieces of gear is also important when leveling up. To upgrade gear you need upgrade modules, which are obtainable though the season pass and the gunsmith.
Another thing you need to know relating to upgrading gear is the level caps. Each legendary and piece of gear can be upgraded to a higher level but every legendary has a general level cap, in which it cannot go above, and a seasonal cap which is what the highest possible level a piece of gear can be in the current season. Exotics do not have level caps but still have the seasonal cap.
The seasonal artifact is also an important tool to level up, as it can give you power levels, though these power levels have no effect on the gear you earn.
It has no power cap so technically you can reach any level if you level the artifact enough.
The seasonal artifact changes every season aswell.