Reach your Guardian's potential with this Destiny 2: Beyond Light leveling guide

Destiny 2 beyond light leveling guide
(Image credit: Bungie)

Looking for a Destiny 2: Beyond Light leveling guide to help you hit the soft cap in an hour, like these players have done? It's no secret that Destiny 2 is all about flexing your Big Number in front of onlooking Guardians. Your Power Level acts as a gate to certain activities and an almighty flex on your peers. But there are so many ways to boost your Power Level that it can be confusing. Ensuring you maximise your efficiency when grinding to get the most out of every level is hard. So here are some top tips on how to boost that Power Level as high as it can go. 

What is your Power Level in Destiny 2? 

Power Level is Destiny 2's fancy way of representing your level. Previously the game had character levels that were separate from Power Levels, but they were removed. Only Power Level remains as the defining attribute governing which activities you can participate in. 

Each piece of armour and the weapons you equip have their own individual level. Your overall level is based on the average of everything you have equipped. This means you can only increase your power level by pursuing new equipment. This new equipment can either replace older equipment wholesale, or be combined with materials and infused into existing pieces of equipment to increase their level. 

What are the caps and how do they work? 

There are three tiers of loot drop Power Level caps in Destiny 2. These are soft cap, hard cap, and pinnacle cap. The soft cap can be achieved with any gear found in the world and from any activity. Every gear drop and vendor package you receive, regardless of its classification, will drop at a higher power level than your current average until you reach the soft cap.

After you hit the soft cap, you'll be faced with the hard cap. When you try to increase your level beyond this threshold, you'll need to complete activities that reward Powerful Gear until you hit the pinnacle cap. Powerful Gear can be acquired through most weekly challenges, the season pass, and some exotic quests. 

The final cap, the pinnacle cap, has traditionally offered 10 power levels beyond the hard cap and is a much smaller gain over the previous two. Equipment for this cap can only be earned through the hardest activities in the game, such as dungeons, raids, Trials of Osiris, and Nightfall: The Ordeal. While it's the smallest Power Level bracket, opportunities to earn this equipment are few.

(Image credit: Bungie)

For the Season of the Hunt the power caps are as follows:

  • Soft Cap: 1,200
  • Hard Cap: 1,250
  • Pinnacle Cap: 1,260

Bungie also announced that all players' equipment will now be set to a Power Level of 1050 on November 10— catching up relapsed guardians with the new content to prevent exclusion. 

What types of gear drops are available? And what do they do?

By and large, there are three core types of loot available in Destiny. The first is world drops. World drops can be both rare (blue) and Legendary (purple). This type of drop does not offer any incremental boosts to your Power Level after the soft cap, but will offer large initial gains. Outside of finding a random 'god roll' of specific weapons, you'll often find yourself dismantling them for materials.

After world drops come Powerful Gear drops. These offer specific rewards for completing particular activities in Destiny 2. Powerful Gear has often been categorised in tiers, with lower tiers offering lower power level gains. Following the release of Beyond Light, tiers seem to have been phased out in favour of clear categorisation of loot, although Bungie has not confirmed their exclusion. Powerful Gear can appear as legendary (purple) and exotic (gold) drops. 

The final type of gear drop is the Pinnacle drop. Pinnacles are only rewarded from the hardest activities in Destiny 2. These should be the final drops you pick up on a weekly basis. They are exclusively legendary (purple) drops.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 fast leveling tips: What are the most efficient ways to level up?

To start, you want three different classes of Guardian (Warlock, Titan, and Hunter). From those three, you should select the Guardian you are least likely to take into high level activities, such as the raid. 

With this Guardian you should pick up the seasonal artifact, complete the story campaign, farm public events, empty lost sectors and complete activities that do not reward Pinnacle or Powerful Gear. Any and every drop should contribute to an overall increase in your Power Level until you hit you the soft cap. It could take a while, but you'll rack up a significant amount of experience. As gains are rapid and frequent until the soft cap, infusing new equipment into your favourite gear is not recommended. 

After you've finished your first Guardian, transfer your most powerful weapons to your next Guardian and repeat. Then do it again for your third. For additional Power Level gains, you can visit Xur prior to switching character and purchase whatever armour Xur has available for your next intended character. This can provide a small boost every time you switch. 

After you hit the soft cap, you gain the ability to earn two prime engrams per day. Here, you should start to complete activities that offer Powerful Gear. Repeat the same Guardian switching process as outlined earlier. Start with those activities that reward tier one gear, then work your way through until you have finished all of the tier three gear rewards. 

At this point, it is also possible to double down on the playlist of your choosing to earn additional Powerful Gear. Bungie has recently confirmed that all playlist-based content will have a chance to drop Powerful Gear. Additionally, you can also pull rewards from your season pass after you hit the Soft Cap for an additional boost if you are in a tight spot, which is a handy feature because you can specifically pull the piece of gear you need.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Finally, the last portion of maximising your Power Level grind is to complete Pinnacle activities. There's no way to micromanage efficient gains in this portion of Power Level ascension beyond identifying the right activity to pursue at the right time. This means you'll need to track what equipment you need and complete activities based on their loot tables—which vary with every season and its associated activities. Like the previous two caps, you'll want to migrate your most powerful weapons and see if Xur can offer any additional gear to boost your level before repeating the activities on your second and third characters.

Note that if you're unable to reach the hard cap within the first week, you should still collect these Pinnacle rewards on all characters as they will reward significant boosts in your Power Level.

The Destiny 2 Seasonal Artifact and bonus power 

The Seasonal Artifact is a curious item in Destiny 2. By gaining experience you can gain new mods, but more importantly, this experience grants temporary Power Levels. As the name infers, this Power Level gain is only related to the season you find the Artifact in. However, that is offset by the ability to go beyond the Pinnacle cap for a brief period. These levels are added on top of your current Power Level, but may be disabled during some activities, like the Trials of Osiris and Iron Banner.

Regardless of your approach, getting to the highest Power Level is not an overnight affair, but those that pursue it will gain access to Destiny 2's most challenging activities and find others that much easier.