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Every new season in Destiny 2 raises the Power level cap by a certain amount. Most seasons will raise the Power cap by 10, but seasons tied to expansions raise this cap by 50. Season of the Lost follows this trend by increasing Destiny 2's Power level maximums by another 10 points.

Related: Destiny 2: A Complete Guide To Armor 2.0

In essence, this rather low increase in Power maximums allows you to focus less on grinding Pinnacles and more time playing content you enjoy. With that said, players that skipped a season or two will still have some catching up to do. We'll go over how Power level works, the Power increases you can expect from each activity, and some strategies you can use to level your main and alternate characters quickly.

Updated August 24th, 2021, by Charles Burgar: Season of the Lost has arrived, increasing Destiny 2's Power bands by 10. New methods of earning Powerful and Pinnacle Gear has been added. Older methods have been altered or flat-out retired. We've updated this guide with up-to-date information on which activities drop Pinnacle and Powerful rewards, and we've updated the leveling bands listed in this guide.

How Does Power Level Work?

Destiny 2 Splicer Power Level

If you're a seasoned Destiny 2 player, you can skip this section.

Power level determines two key things in Destiny 2:

  • How much damage you deal
  • How much damage you can take

The higher your level is, the greater both of these bonuses are. If your Power level is lower than the activity's recommended level, you will be taking substantially more damage from enemies and deal less to combatants.

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To increase your Power level, you must obtain new weapons and armor with a higher Power level rating. All non-sunset loot you obtain will increase your Power level until you reach the "soft cap." This cap changes each season. For Season of the Lost, the soft cap is 1,270 Power.

Once you reach the soft cap, you will need to obtain Powerful Gear rewards from weekly milestones and activities to obtain gear with a higher level. Your Director will list every activity that grants Powerful Gear. We'll list all of these activities later in the guide.

Related: Destiny 2: Astral Alignment Guide

If you reach a Power level of 1,320, you have hit the "hard cap" for your character's level. While this sounds counterintuitive, that is not the actual cap; you can further increase your Power by obtaining Pinnacle Gear from Destiny 2's most demanding content (raids, Trials of Osiris, et cetera). This is called the "pinnacle cap" and is currently set to 1,330.

The only means of increasing your Power level past 1,330 is by leveling your Seasonal Artifact. Artifact leveling occurs passively as you earn XP in Destiny 2.

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Season Of The Lost Power Level Bands

Destiny 2 Season 15 Armor

Season of the Lost's Power level bands are the following:

  • Soft Cap: 1,270
  • Hard Cap: 1,320
  • Pinnacle Cap: 1,330

Soft Cap

The soft cap can be reached by obtaining any non-sunset gear. This includes:

  • Rares
  • Legendaries (non-sunset)
  • Exotics

Obtaining vendor packages is a reliable way to reach the soft cap in a short period of time.

Hard Cap

Powerful Gear rewards from activities are the main method of reaching the Hard Cap. Prime Engrams can also assist you in achieving this cap.

Pinnacle Cap

Pinnacle Gear rewards are the only way of increasing your gear's Power past 1,320.

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All Power Level Sources

Destiny 2 Season 15 Director

You can find every source of Powerful and Pinnacle Gear below. These activities are listed by the reward type. Note that these activities are character-bound. If you have more than one character, you can level your second and third characters to increase your Power level even faster.

Related: Destiny 2: Every Weapon In Season Of The Lost

General Power Sources

Destiny 2 Wayfinder's Compass Artifact
  • Seasonal Artifact: This grants Power level based on how much XP you've earned.
    • Artifact Power is disabled in contest mode raids, Trials of Osiris, and Iron Banner.
  • World Drops (Soft Cap Only): If you aren't at the soft cap, any items you find will increase your Power level.

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Powerful Gear Sources

Destiny 2 Shaxx

The sources listed below will grant +3 to +5 Power. Most of these sources are weeklies found on your Director.

Source Requirement Power Boost
Prime Engrams Decrypt Prime Engrams +3
Vendor Weeklies Complete 8 bounties for a given vendor +3
Core Playlists Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit can drop powerful gear on completion +3
Nightfall Playlist Clear 3 Nightfalls. Higher difficulties grant more progress +3
Competitive PvP Complete 3 Survival games +3
Glory Rank Ups Increase your Glory division or subdivision rank +3
Exo Stranger Defeat 100 enemies with Stasis not on Europa +3
Variks Complete 8 bounties for Variks +3
Empire Hunts Clear 3 Empire Hunts. Higher difficulties grant more progress +3
The Crow (Tangled Shore) Clear 3 Wrathborn Hunts +3
Battlegrounds Clear 3 Battlegrounds +3
Astral Alignment Open Wayfinder's Troves +3
Wayward Compass Complete 8 Bounties for the H.E.L.M.'s Wayward Compass +3
Trials of Osiris Win 3 Trials matches on the same card +4
Trials of Osiris Win 5 Trials matches on the same card +5
Override Complete 3 Override missions in the Override playlist +5
Note: Some of these activities are tied to the Beyond Light Expansion, Season of the Hunt, Chosen, Splicer, or Lost.

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Pinnacle Gear Sources

Destiny 2 Vault of Glass Atheon Arena Concept Art

These sources drop +6 levels higher than your current Power. If you hit the hard cap of 1,320, these sources will grant gear +1 or +2 higher than your current Power, up to the pinnacle cap of 1,330.

Source Requirement Power Boost

(Assuming Hard Cap)

Hawthorne Earn 5,000 Clan XP +1
Strike Playlist Complete 3 strikes using the same subclass as the weekly burn +1
Crucible Playlist Complete 3 games in any Valor Crucible playlist +1
Gambit Playlist Complete 3 Gambit matches +1
Override Open 3 Conflux Chests +1
Nightfall Playlist Clear a Nightfall with a score of 100,000 +2
Trials of Osiris Win 7 games on the same card +2
The Lighthouse Win 7 games with no losses on a Trials Passage +2
Iron Banner Complete Lord Saladin's Iron Banner weekly bounties +2
Exo Challenge Complete the Exo Challenge on Europa +2
Empire Hunts Clear an Empire Hunt on Master difficulty +2
Prophecy Clear the Prophecy dungeon +2
Vault of Glass Complete encounters in the Vault of Glass raid +2
Harbinger Clear the Harbinger mission +2
Presage Clear the Presage mission +2
Shattered Realm Defeat Champions in the Shattered Realm activity +2
Note: Some of these activities are tied to the Beyond Light Expansion, Season of the Hunt, Chosen, Splicer, or Lost.

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General Leveling Tips

Destiny 2 Beyond Light Europa Gear

Complete Pinnacle Gear challenges whenever your items have a similar Power level. This will grant a major boost to one slot, making Powerful Gear rewards "even out" your other slots. Be sure to complete bounties while completing weeklies, as the XP they provide can greatly accelerate your Artifact's progression. The more XP you earn, the more Power level you'll receive.

If you have more than one character, it is best to level the character you play/like the least. When you're done leveling them, transfer your guns to your second character. Level that character, transfer your weapons once more to your main character, then complete every weekly milestone. This will nearly ensure that you reach the hard cap in the first week of a given season.

Finally, if you want to rush to the hard cap as fast as possible, give the Glory Crucible playlist a shot. If you win most of your games, nearly every match will give you a subdivision or division rank up, granting Powerful Gear as a reward. A few hours of Competitive Crucible is enough to gain nearly a dozen Power.

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Reaching 1,320 Power Quickly

Destiny 2 Crucible

Before you obtain any Powerful Gear, make sure that you hit the soft cap of 1,270 first. If not, play any activity you enjoy until you obtain Rares at 1,270. It shouldn't take more than a few hours to reach the soft cap.

For leveling quickly, you'll want to obtain Powerful Gear rewards that offer the largest Power level jump. If you haven't played the season at all, completing one or two Pinnacle Gear sources isn't a bad idea, as these will give you a +6 item. Override is also a good place to obtain gear with a high Power level.

From there, you'll want to complete weeklies that grant minor Power level increases. These items will almost always drop in your other gear slots and "even out" the Power level distribution on your gear. When obtaining a +3 item becomes less impactful, complete another challenge that grants a massive boost.

The leveling process should look something like this:

  • Claim a Pinnacle Gear reward.
  • Complete three or four Powerful Gear weeklies.
  • Claim a Powerful Gear (+4 or +5) reward.
  • Complete three to four Powerful Gear weeklies.
  • Claim a Powerful Gear (+4 or +5) reward.
  • Complete three or four Powerful Gear weeklies.
  • Play Glory-enabled Crucible to even out your gear.

If you're really far behind on the Power level scale, consider replacing the T2 and T3 Powerful Gear rewards with Pinnacle sources instead.

You can complete whatever content you prefer for the Pinnacle and Powerful rewards, but you should complete them in that order. Obtain a reward that grants a massive Power jump, then level your Crucible Glory rank to even out your gear quickly. If you do this right, you can reach the hard cap one or two weeks into a season. You can obtain an absurd amount of Powerful rewards from the Vault of Glass raid. You'll receive a +6 drop from each encounter, making VoG a great way of kickstarting this strategy.

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Reaching 1,330 Power Quickly

Destiny 2 Beyond Light Stasis Subclasses
Via: Bungie

Reaching 1,330 Power will boil down to RNG. If you are lucky enough to get drops in the slots you need, you can reach the Pinnacle cap three weeks into a season.

For Season of the Lost, there isn't any particular order you need to complete these weeklies in. With that said, we do have a few suggestions:

  • Level alts first: Alternate characters should be your priority if you're rushing towards this cap. Level your third, least-played character before transferring your weapons to your second character. Complete their Pinnacle weeklies, transfer the guns to your main character, then run every Pinnacle source one more time.
  • Complete +2 rewards first: Certain Pinnacle sources drop at +2 Pinnacle instead of +1. These are the activities you should complete first, as they'll allow you to increase your Power level faster.
  • Run Vault of Glass: VoG has five encounters that each grant +2 Pinnacle Gear. This raid is the best means of increasing your Power level quickly.
  • Complete Seasonal Challenges: Seasonal Challenges grant an absurd amount of XP. That XP directly contributes to your Artifact's Power level, allowing you to reach 1,330 and beyond without grinding for weeks on end. This won't assist with Trials or Iron Banner, but those chasing 1,330 Power to complete Master Nightfalls or Master Lost Sectors should keep this in mind.

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