Here is the fastest way to reach level 20 in Destiny 2:
Simply beat the story. You then unlock a new hub area with one more main mission marked on the map. It’s a very quick quest that requires you to talk to some NPCs in the hub area. Upon completing it you will reach level 20 automatically! It doesn’t matter what level you are before then. Even if you’re just level 15 it will instantly put you at level 20.
Here’s the location of the post-story quest that puts you at level 20. You’ll go to this new hub area automatically after the final boss, it cannot be missed.
More leveling tips:
- Focus on only the story missions and ignore all other activities.
- Don’t bother with the enemies in missions. Run past them, they don’t give a lot of XP. You earn XP much more quickly from just the mission completion. Sometimes you’ll have to fight enemies but you can skip around 80% by running past them. The best gear is also from mission rewards (even exotics) and you can buy better things from NPCs.
- Playing in a 3-player team is faster than going at it solo.
- Between main missions you’ll have to level up (reach level 6 / 11 / 15 to access new planets and missions). The fastest way to bridge the gap is by completing heroic public events. They take 3-5 minutes each and give 30-40% to the next level up with a decent chance for exotic gear. That’s one level per 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can also play the adventures (side quests) marked on the map, they give nice completion bonuses.
- The Crucible also gives XP! The more kills you do in PVP the more XP you earn. It’s not the quickest way, but you can combine it with Shaxx’s Call to Arms quest which also unlocks a gold trophy and earns you crucible tokens to increase reputation with him (this quest is started from the Farm area by talking to Shaxx in the hangar).
- Don’t waste time by over-optimizing your loadout. The game is really easy even with underleveled gear. Besides, your gear will be obsolete once you hit level 20. Before then it would be inefficient to farm anything.
To sum it up: do only story missions and heroic public events, run past all enemies, ignore all other activities. Once the story is done you get a quest that bumps you to level 20 instantly.
Reaching level 20 in Destiny 2 takes roughly 10 hours on the first attempt. It can be done even quicker with the second and third character. Level 20 is the highest level. After that you can only become stronger by increasing your power level. The power level is increased by putting on better gear.
Increasing Power Level (after level 20)
After hitting level 20 the only stat that matters is your power level. You need to equip two exotic (yellow) gear pieces and the other slots should all be legendary (purple) pieces. At power level 210 you’ll still see level 16-17 legendaries drop. As your power level increases to 250 or above you’ll see level 20 items dropping more frequently. With each piece of improved gear you will gradually increase the power level bit by bit. Always equip the pieces with the highest power value to ensure better items can drop.
A great way to farm for better gear is from heroic public events. They have a good chance to drop an exotic or legendary gear piece. You also get a chest from every event with a token. The tokens can be turned in at the vendor of the respective region to increase reputation with them. Once the reputation bar hits the maximum you earn a legendary (purple) engram from the vendor. At power level 230 you get access to Nightfall Strikes which also have a good chance to drop better gear. Also do weekly flashpoints for legendary item rewards.
Continue with the in-depth Power Leveling Guide: Getting to 300+ Power and Beyond for advanced reading.
How long did it take you to reach level 20? Let us know in the comments below.