One of Destiny 2’s most important stats is the Power Level. Reaching power level 300 is recommended for playing Nightfalls on Prestige difficulty.
At the time of Destiny 2’s release the vendors only give rewards up to 265 power. After that you either have to rely on powerful gear from weekly tasks, doing the nightfall strike & raid, or doing the exotic quests. This guide shows how to reach a power level of 300 and greater. The current cap is at 305 power.
Things Not To Do:
Before we start, there are a few things to keep in mind to be successful in the endgame:
- Do NOT do the Weekly Flashpoint / Nightfall / Clan Reward until you are 265 Power! They give Powerful Gear that scales with your level. You can complete the Flashpoint if you want the trophy / achievement for it, but you should not pick up the reward yet! After power level 265 they are pretty much the only good way to rank up your power. So do not waste them or you’ll have to start a new character or wait for another week!!!
- Do NOT complete the 3 Exotic Quests for the MIDA Multi-Tool, Rat King, Sturm until hitting 265+ power! These quests are only accessible after beating the story, so you needn’t worry about this until post-game. These too scale to your power level, so only pick them up once there’s no other way to find better gear anymore.
Power Level 1-200
The first step is to beat the story and get to character level 20. Simply rush through the story and do the post-story quest that automatically puts you at level 20. See this guide: Fastest Way to Reach Level 20 in Destiny 2
At character level 20 you should be at around 200 power levels. You can also buy power 200 gear from vendors, so this is an easy target to reach.
Power Level 201-265
Your next goal is to get to power level 265 by finding better gear. To achieve that, you have to do the following things:
- Most important: When you find a new gear piece with greater power level, be sure to equip it immediately! Even if it’s an item you don’t like, always equip the ones with the highest power. It will ONLY drop you stuff with higher power if your overall power level increases. Usually, you find stuff that is +3 power levels above your own. If you keep running around with the same gear you won’t find anything that is significantly better. Even if you have to exchange your 260 auto rifle for a 261 handgun, do it! Otherwise, you’ll never make any progress. Every point counts.
- Strikes: Complete strikes in your strike playlist. Only recommended if you complete them quickly with a decent fireteam, as they can take up to 30 minutes to complete and don’t guarantee you a legendary engram.
- Heroic Public Events: Complete public events and make sure to turn them heroic for a greater chance of better loot.
- Lost Sectors: Defeat the champions in all the different lost sectors and loot their caches (mostly blue gear).
- Crucible: win some crucible matches (optional). If you don’t like PvP you can stick to PVE instead. However, winning lots of PvP matches has a good chance of dropping purple and even exotic loot.
- Faction Rewards: Level up your vendors. You can get the respective tokens to level them up from the activities listed above or from looting normal or Golden Chests on the respective planet. IO Tokens on IO, Arcology Tokens on Titan, EDZ Tokens on earth, Nessus Tokens on Nessus. The Golden Chests are extremely quick to collect and will give you 16 legendary (purple) gear pieces! With those you’ll blast through the levels quickly.
- Infusions: Always infuse your exotics! The exotics have a +5 purple mod pre-installed. What this does is that during infusions the +5 from the mod are added to the item level after infusion. Best of all, the mod isn’t destroyed so the trick can be used again and again. For example: infusing a 260 power exotic chest piece with a 260 power rare (blue) chest piece will put your exotic at 275! The +5 from the mod get added during each infusion. If you find a purple mod you can install it into your purple gear. Then the gear will gain the same +5 benefit during infusions as exotics. To infuse an item, press / on it in the inventory and scroll to the bottom left to select an item you want to sacrifice. It will transfer the power level to an item of your choice. Note: infusions only work between items of the same armor type / weapon type. For example, a 260 chest piece can only be infused into another chest piece, or a 265 assault rifle can only be infused into another assault rilfe. Infusing a chest piece into a helmet wouldn’t work, neither would infusing an assault rifle into a submachine gun.
Power Level 265-280:
Power 265+ is where things get grindy. The reason is that faction vendors only give rewards up to 265 power (that’s for the day one version, the cap may be increased in the future).
There are only a handful of ways to increase power levels after 265.
- Luminous Planetary Engrams (Powerful Gear): It is now time to complete all the milestones / quests that will grant you luminous planetary engrams (they are referred to as “Powerful Gear” in the game and they will drop at a higher power level than your own). Below you can find the 4 activities that grant powerful gear. Do note that all of these reset weekly for each of your characters!
- Decrypting RANDOM Exotic Engram Drops: You’ll have to get really lucky to get random exotic engrams. They are extremely rare and completely luck dependent. The best way to farm them is from Heroic Public Events where they have roughly a 10% chance to drop from the chest after the event. One exotic per hour is realistic. Just make sure you do complete the requirements to turn the event heroic as it increases the drop rate. Decrypt the exotic engrams at the tower. If you don’t like what it dropped, use it to infuse another item of yours (thus increasing the power level of said item). The random exotic engrams will be a few power levels higher than your current power level. The normal gear drops will cap out at 265, so drops from the activities mentioned in the 201-265 section are no longer viable.
- Exotic Quests: Complete the current 3 exotic weapon quests (click the link for more info). This means the MIDA Multi-Tool, Rat King and Sturm should now drop at a power level of 280+. However, do note these are one time quests per character. Unlike weekly events they cannot be repeated. Either use these exotic weapons in your loadout, or infuse them into your preferred weapons (to transfer their high power level to your other gear).
- Raid: The raid is meant for power level 270+. It drops gear well above 270 power. Playing the raid is great for increasing your power level quickly. Check out the Leviathan Raid Guide for more help.
If after all of this you still get stuck in the 265-280 range, continue reading the infinite power farming exploit at the bottom of the page. Basically, what you can do is make a new character of the same class. With the old character put all your powerful gear in the vault, then retrieve it with the new character, play through the story again and get the exotic weapon quests + exotic engram from final story quest with that char. Rinse and repeat until you break through the 280 barrier. (Note: it used to work that you could repeat weekly milestones for powerful gear with a second char of the same class, but this exploit appears to have been fixed, as it no longer drops higher-power gear for duplicate chars of the same class).
Power Level 280-285:
- Purple Mods (280+ Power): Upon reaching 280 power you can trade blue mods for purple ones with Banshee-44 in the tower! The purple mods will increase your gear and weapons by 5 points each. This will very easily put you from 280 to 285 power.
Power Level 285-300:
The obvious thing to do is doing the raid. It drops high power gear. Feel free to replay it a second and third time. When you are close to 300 power you can also do the nightfall strike on prestige difficulty which drops gear with 300 power and better.
Alternatively, here is a little exploit you can also use:
Make a second character of the SAME CLASS. For example, if you’re playing a Hunter create a new Hunter. This will let you use all existing gear, but you can repeat exotic quests with the second character (inlcuding the random exotic engram you get for doing the final story quest). So this time, hold off from doing the final story quest by Suraya Hawthorne as it gives an exotic engram that scale to your level.
With your primary character, put all the high power gear in the vault. Then retrieve it with the new character (once you’ve completed the story and reached 20 — you’ll need to be level 20 to equip everything).
With the new character and old stuff equipped, repeat the exotic weapon quests once more. Because your overall power has been transferred from the old gear, the exotics will drop at a much higher power level. If you don’t plan on using the exotic weapons, infuse them into other weapons!
Also keep in mind there’s an exotic engram for completing the post-story mission and Shaxx’s Call to Arms has a very high chance to drop one. You will want to hold off from completing these on your second and third character until hitting level 20 and equipping your high power gear! I repeat: only do the post story-mission (the one given by Suraya Hawthorne) & Call to Arms after hitting level 20! The reason is that the exotic engram scales to your power level. If you complete the quest before equipping your powerful gear (reminder: requires you to be level 20), it will just give you a low power exotic. But after equipping your high power gear it will give a higher power exotic that you can either equip or infuse into existing gear!
Now rinse and repeat the whole procedure with a third character (of the same class again) or try your luck with the raid and prestige nightfall strike.
Power Level 300+:
Completing the Nightfall Strike on Prestige difficulty is your best bet. However, you need a team of 3 players with everyone at around 300 power. Even attempting this with under 300 power is not doable at all. The Prestige Nightfall can drop 300+ gear.
Eventually, there will also be a prestige difficulty for the raid but it’s not yet released. So completing the raid on prestige will also be a good source of gear in the future. Currently, 305 power is the cap at launch. The cap will be increased through DLC in the future.
Infinite Power Level Farming Exploit (Reach the Limit):
Long Story short: you can keep making a char of the same class, reach level 20 (but don’t complete the post-story quest yet to save the exotic engram), transfer the high power gear via the vault and equip it, now complete the post-story quest for an exotic engram & exotic weapon quests with your new char to get better gear. Also do Shaxx’s Call to Arms for a chance to get an exotic engram. Repeat over and over again. You can probably speedrun the story in 4 hours with a fireteam if you do it often enough. (Note: it used to work that you could repeat weekly milestones for powerful gear with a second char of the same class, but this exploit appears to have been fixed, as it no longer drops higher-power gear for duplicate chars of the same class).
Note: These power leveling strategies apply to Destiny 2 at the time of its release.
Last update: October 04, 2017
Contributors: Jeanmi96, PowerPyx