Destiny 2 Power Level Guide, Cap, All Power Sources, and Pinnacle

Leveling up your gear and increasing your power level is an important part of destiny 2and it is one of the most confusing.

This page details everything you should know about increasing your power level after the release of lightfall — an expansion that increases the level cap and requirements for various high-level activities such as Nightfalls or raids.

How power level and gear dips work

power level in destiny 2 is a numerical value that determines how much damage you take and deal to your enemies – where the higher the level, the more damage you deal and the less you take. In addition to dealing damage, be aware that in-game activities will have a set power level, and you’ll be most effective when you’re close to or exceeding that level.

Players and enemies each have a power level and are compared to each other. Your the overall power level comes from the average power level of your equipment, plus any additional levels of your seasonal artifact.

When it comes to gear, destiny 2 scales your progress with different power level caps: the soft cap, the powerful cap, and the pinnacle cap. Each of these thresholds represents a point at which certain types of drops will no longer increase your power level, and so you should change your priorities each week to keep increasing your level – something this guide can help you with.

Bungie via Polygon

Additionally, a seasonal artifact level is added to your equipment’s average power level. This is how you manage to reach a level higher than the Pinnacle or the cap. You gain artifact levels by playing through a season and earn XP, which resets at the end of the season. If you’re looking to gain XP quickly, it’s best to farm bounties, as they provide some of the fastest and easiest XP in the game.

Level caps in Destiny 2

There are three level limits in destiny 2, the Soft Cap, the Mighty Cap and the Pinnacle Cap. For lightfallthese limits are:

  • soft lid: 1750
  • Powerful lid: 1800
  • Pinnacle Cover: 1810

We will detail each limit below.

How to reach soft cap in Destiny 2

The soft cover for destination 2 it is 1750. What does “soft cap” mean? This means that until you reach 1750 power level, pretty much anything and everything can give you a power level boost. This can be blue drops from the ground or rewards from activities; anything that drops to you will have a little Power above your current Power level. Once you hit the flex cap, you will no longer get blue drops.

The best way to reach the soft cap is to simply play the game, as no matter what the activity, you will be getting gear up to that power level on a regular basis.

Purple, Gold, and Green Engrams in Destiny 2

Image: Bungie

If you want to get over the soft cap quickly and you are just getting started lightfall, it’s worth considering playing the Legendary campaign, which will give you flat gear at 20 Power above the soft cap upon completion (1770). This is a challenge, however, especially for new players – so consider playing other activities as you familiarize yourself with the game.

How to reach the Mighty Gear Cap in Destiny 2

The powerful cover for destiny 2 is 1800, which means that between 1750 and 1800, the only way to increase your power level is to get a reward of activities that grant Mighty or Spire equipment.

Activities and sources with drops of powerful equipment known so far in lightfall include:

  • Completing eight vendor contracts: Gambit, Vanguard, Crucible, and Banshee (+1 Power)
  • Dusk weekly challenge (+1 power)
  • Gambit, Vanguard, Crucible, and Banshee rank rewards (+1 Power)
  • Three runs of Dares of Eternity (+2 Power)
  • Primordial and Exotic Engrams that drop randomly (Power value to be confirmed)

An image showing a powerful reward.

Image: Bungie via Polygon

If you’re trying to be as optimized as possible – possibly for a raid day – you’ll want to save all of your mighty bounties until you hit 1800. Powerful loot drops are limited per weekso you don’t want to waste powerful drops or pinnacle when you can still get levels of unrestricted rewards.

How to reach the Pinnacle/Max Power cap in Destiny 2

The Pinnacle cap for destiny 2 It is 1810meaning that between 1800 and 1810, the only way to increase your power level is to get Pinnacle rewards. Similar to Power Bounties, if you’re trying to maximize the effectiveness of Pinnacle Bounties, you won’t want to collect them until you reach Power 1800, as these loot drops are capped per week.

Activities with Pinnacle equipment drops known so far in lightfall include:

  • Hawthorne (Clan Vendor) Bounties and Rewards (+1 Power)
  • Three Crucible matches (+1 Power)
  • Three games of Gambit (+1 Power)
  • Three Vanguard Strikes combining weekly elemental scorch (+1 Power)
  • Last Strike, The Root of Nightmares (Available from 3/10/23 on reset) (+2 Power)
  • Last dungeon, Spire of the Watcher (+2 Power)
  • 100,000 nightfall score (+2 power)
  • 250,000 points in Dares of Eternity (+2 Power)
  • Iron Banner Challenges (when event is active) (+2 Power)
  • Final raid and dungeon encounter highlighted in weekly rotation (power value to be confirmed)

An image showing a Pinnacle reward.

Image: Bungie via Polygon

It’s worth mentioning that there’s no point in saving Pinnacles if you’re not going to reach 1800 on that character by the end of the week. We recommend just doing all the Power Bounties on one character first, and then tackling Pinnacle’s activities.

What is the best time to open engrams in Destiny 2?

Until you reach the Mighty cap, you must hand over Prime Engrams immediately after picking them up. These are considered +1 mighty bounties when they drop, meaning your power doesn’t increase as your power level does. If you keep leveling up without handing over the Prime Engram, you’ll basically waste it. If you’re fighting on the offense and you get a Prime Engram, it’s always worth pausing in the Tower to decrypt it.

A stock image of Destiny 2's Purple Legendary Engrams

Image: Bungie

Destiny 2 also uses a slot leveling system, meaning gear drops per slot and is based on your current average power level. A critical point of this system is that some of your equipment slots can be left behind. Your overall level might be 1725, while your Hunter’s Cloak might be stuck at 1720 and your helmet is in the stratosphere at 1728.

To make the most of your Mighty and Pinnacle drops, try to keep your items within a few Power levels of each other, which can be done by collecting items that drop “on Power”. “On power” means the gear drops to its current average power level, which can help catch up on some lagging pieces (increasing your cape to 1725 and increasing your overall average without using a weekly mighty reward drop or pinnacle). This can increase your overall power level and make those mighty ones and spiers more impactful.

If you don’t level your armor, a Pinnacle or Powerful can drop a +2 power helmet, which would be a waste as it’s already your best slot. Many playlist activities – Strikes, Gambit, Crucible – will leave items “on Power”, so keep an eye out for any equipment that is lagging.

How to reach the Pinnacle cap quickly in Destiny 2

If you are not looking to min-max your energy level just play the game and enjoy. But for those looking to level up as quickly as possible – for offense or other endgame activities – there are some best practices to consider.

If you are going to a conclusion of the first day of the new attack in lightfall, the recommended power level is estimated at 1780. To achieve this, simply run the legendary campaign and work your way up to these power levels over the first few weeks. Compared to previous attacks, this should be similar to the witch queen who had relatively easy power level grinding compared to the others.

Invasion Emblem for Destiny 2

Image: Bungie

If you have three Destiny classes, you might want to level up faster than the others. You can play in a specific order to make this easier, as the last character you play in a week will almost always be the tallest of your three characters.

If you intend to play raid on day one, or just trying to maximize your main character’s power level, the best way to do this is to use a serpentine order. First, sort your characters in an order you feel you want to focus on, where your main character is main and last character is least played. For example, the order in which I want to play the new lightfall raid for my characters will Warlock, Titan, Hunter; the first week you’ll want to play your characters in that rank order, getting the character above 1750 (ideally by beating the Legendary campaign) and then completing all of the Powerful and Pinnacle activities before moving on to the next character.

So for me, I would start on my main (Warlock), move on to my second character (Titan) and finally my third (Hunter). In the second week, I want to reverse this order, playing my third character (Hunter) at the beginning of the week before I finish with my main (Warlock). This should result in my Warlock having the highest power level out of my three characters.

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