Destiny 2 changes the formula, removing Light and replacing that system with Power Levels. Like Light, Power Level is (basically) a general summation of your current power, and becomes very important after hitting the Level 20 cap. For instance, it’s recommended you don’t start attempting Nightfall Strikes until you’ve hit Power Level 260 — just like Light, you’ll know which Raids, Strikes, and other challenges your Guardian can handle depending on that little Power Level.
Like Light, Power Level provides small boosts to your stats. Power Levels are determined by the gear you equip, and a higher Power Level provides increased weapon damage, armor, and mobility. This isn’t an old, pre-expansion Light Level situation, where Light was some statistic on your gear — that system got an overhaul in Destiny 1, and it’s getting an overhaul here. The better your gear, the more your Power Level will increase.
While fighting to reach Level 20 and completing the campaign, just about everything will increase your Power Level. Gaining levels, equipping better gear, finishing Strikes and playing in the Crucible — it’s all an easy path toward improving your Power Level. The real challenge doesn’t start until you hit Power Level 260. That’s when all those awesome activities in Destiny 2 stop giving you improved stuff, and your Light Level just stops going up.
Here, we’ll explain how to keep gaining levels past Power Level 260.
More Destiny 2 guides on Gameranx:
- Destiny 2: 10 Things You Should Know Before Starting | Beginner’s Guide
- Destiny 2: Soccer Balls, Lava Skins & Bonus Keys | New Social Easter Eggs
- Destiny 2: What Role Is Best For You? | Titan, Warlock & Hunter Class Guide
- Destiny 2: How To Get Legendary Shards | Exotic Currency Guide
- Destiny 2: How To Earn (Or Buy) A Sparrow | Mount Unlock Guide
- Destiny 2: How To Get All New Subclasses | Artifact Unlock Guide
- Destiny 2: How To Unlock The Crucible | PVP Guide
- Destiny 2: How To Get The Scout Commander Aura | Farm Secrets Guide
- Destiny 2: How To Get Every Exotic Weapon | All Exotics List
- Destiny 2: How To Get Exotic Engrams | Farming Method Guide
How End-Game Power Levels Work | 260+ PL Guide
Power Levels, as stated above, are a weighted aggregate of all your gear — weapons, armor, and your subclass abilities. Mods included. Your Power Level increases as you equip better and better gear. From common, to uncommon, to rare, to legendary, and finally exotic.
Your Power Level and your Guardian Level are two very different things. Guardian Levels are capped at Level 20. You earn XP from killing enemies, completing missions, and doing just about anything in the game. Power Level only increases when you equip better and better gear — and is really only important for end-game activities.
Obviously, the goal is to collect Legendary / Exotic items. There are a few ways to do this — getting Engrams, completing Exotic Quests, beating Raids, but that’s not enough to get your Power Level above 260. Power Level is capped at 300; those last 40 points are the hardest Power Levels to earn in Destiny 2.
Getting to 260+ is the real challenge, and normal methods won’t work. Equipped gear just stops providing Power Level bonuses.
- Power Level 260+ | Milestones
- Milestones are the best way to gain Power Level post-260+. Completing milestones, even early Milestones, will help push your Power Level slightly higher. If you’re really hardcore, I recommend avoiding completing Milestones until after you’ve reach Power Level 260.
- Milestones are weekly events and challenges you can check from the Director layer. Milestones include:
- Completing missions or adventures.
- Completing a certain number of strikes.
- Participating in a certain number of Crucible Matches.
- Completing a certain number of Public Events in specific zones.
Completing a Milestone guarantees you a gear reward with SLIGHTLY HIGHER Power Levels. Weapons will be slightly stronger, and armor just slightly better. Equipping one Milestone loot reward might not increase your Power Level by one point, but it will get you closer to increasing.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you complete Milestones with the highest possible Power Level. Don’t complete a milestone when you’re below your max Power Level — if you do, you WILL NOT get gear with a higher Power Level. All Milestone rewards are slightly higher than your current Power Level at the time of completion.
So, here’s the basics. Complete the campaign, play the Crucible, unlock Engrams and get legendary loot until you reach the maximum Power Level of 260. After that, it’s all about the Milestones. Continue to play and complete Milestones to get better and better gear until your Power Level increases incrementally. It’s a slow, slow process, but Bungie naturally wants Destiny 2 fans to keep playing for a very long time.