Destiny 2 Guide: Level & Light Leveling

Destiny 2 Guide: Level & Light Leveling

Last updated on August 2nd, 2018

In this article I will be taking up at the most efficient way to play Destiny 2. Bungie’s Destiny 2  is far from the super grindy Destiny  that was released back in 2014. Even though the latest game has been extremely simplified to cater to a wider audience, some seem to be playing the game wrong. By wrong, I mean highly inefficient, and let’s be honest, time is always of the essence. So, let us move faster than light towards the level cap.

Destiny 2 | Level & Light Leveling Guide

Table of Contents

  • Base Story
  • Subclass
  • Power Level x to 280
  • 280 – Access to Mods
  • 280 – 335
  • 335-360
  • Properly farming Powerful Gear
  • Balancing Gear

Base Story

Speedrun (move quickly) through the story as player’s level and power level will be increased as they go along. Each new planet forces players to be at a certain level to be able to access it. Just make sure to do a few public events if under the required level to progress the story. I suggest duo-ing with a friend to move with even more speed.


Players will obtain their additional subclasses from chests once they are the appropriate level. Once players obtained “class relic” they will have to awaken their dormant powers then head to the Traveler’s Shard in the EDZ.

  • Level 7 for the first subclass
  • Level 13 for second subclass
  • Do heroic public events to quicken this process

Power Level x to 280

By now players have beaten the story and will embark on getting their power level higher. Now any activity that rewards blue gear (weapons and armor) will continue scale up as they drop. Meaning if player Y is 240, a blue can drop higher that 240. This will continue to happen until players hit 265; after that, everything will drop LOWER than your power level, generally -10 points lower. During this phase, any and all extra glimmer should be invested in mods.

Activities to do

  • Crucible – Since the Curse of Osiris this activity drops roughly 3 blues per match.
  • Normal/Heroic* Strikes
  • Public Events – Since the update this is the worst way to gather items; avoid unless you need xp to level up.

Things to avoid

  • Using tokens unless you’re trying to balance out your gear. See balancing gear.
  • Doing any “powerful gear” milestones unless you will lose them.
  • If powerful gear milestones must be done, stagger them out in order to maximize light gains. See powerful gear.


  • Players should save/equip purple (legendary gear) found during activities as they can be infuse to be higher.

*DLC required

280 – Access to Mods

Remember when I said to stock up as much as you can on mods? Well this is why: mods come in 2 forms, blue or purple. It takes 3 of the same blue mod to be converted to a single purple mod. This process can be done once a player is power level 280. A purple mod will add an extra 5 points into whatever it is put onto. For example: a 280 weapon will now become a 285 weapon. In addition to the extra 5 points, mods have special benefits that they provide. For more info see Mods.

280 – 335

The grind from 280 to max light is exactly the same from 265 to 280. A steady systematic approach will quickly get you to max light. This is around the time to start those blue missions on EDZ and Titan for exotic weapons. For those who have the Curse of Osiris DLC, start the campaign as that will drop powerful gear as it progresses. After the DLC campaign is done, head over to Brother Vance and start the Mercury Adventures. Once the regular adventures are done, do 1 of the Heroic Adventures and check back with Brother Vance. He will offer you Prophecy Tablets that players will have to obtain select items which enables them to convert the tablet into a weapon that scales with their light level. Doing everything up to this point will exhaust all avenues to get higher except for Powerful Gear weekly milestones.

335 – 345

With the release of Warmind, the second DLC of Destiny 2, players can now reach power level 385. There will be 2 softcaps on the road to max light with 345 being the first. Players should head to their favorite planet and grind out public events to bolster their player level. Doing this allows players hit reach max player level as well as obtaining 331-339 armor and weapons (336-344 with mods).

After players have reach about 339/340 power level head to Benedict 99-40 (sweeper bot) and cash in all those raid tokens. Since Bungie updated the raid armor to have Leviathan specific mods on them, obtaining an engram from Benedict 99-40 at this point will provide 340 weapon and a 345 armor. This allows players to quickly reach 345 even on 3 characters not moving weapons around.

345 – 385

At this point, players have reach the softcap and nothing but powerful engrams will make your power go higher. I suggest doing the raid and raid lair first then do the other milestones. After comparing raid+raid lair first vs last the difference is ±2 power. At this point getting to max light is just simply playing the game long enough. It can be done as little as 3 weeks if players are very methodical with their engrams.

Properly farming Powerful Gear

Every week players will have 6 milestones that they can complete to get higher BUT most players do it wrong. Allow me to explain how I do my milestones.

  1. Leviathan Raid: Players can run the raid 1 time per class a week.
    • Normal mode
    • Prestige mode
  2. Eater of Worlds Raid Lair: Players can run the raid 1 time per class a week.
    • Normal mode
    • Prestige mode – Not available at the moment but will be releasing soon.
  3. Spire of Stars Raid Lair
    • Normal Mode
  4. Heroic Strikes
  5. Nightfall: Like strikes; can be done on both difficulty setting for extra loot.
    • Normal Mode
    • Prestige Mode
  6. Call to Arms: Must do the PVP questline by Lord Shaxx to unlock this milestone.
  7. Clan XP: This engram only drops at 340 despite being higher; unsure if its a bug or intended at this point.
  8. Flashpoint: Head to the planet of the week and successfully complete public events. Killing additional boss enemies as they spawn in during some publice events will also count towards the progression of this milestone.

Balancing Gear

This is the final part of a proper way to get max light. As players stagger out their milestones they may have a loadout like this:


Screenshot provided by Nvalkyrja

As one can see in the picture that not all weapons and armor are the same number value. To properly balance all items equipped make sure all weapons and armors have a purple mod attached to them as it will bring them 5 points higher. Use the formula:

  • Balance = (Power Level – 10) + 5

Make sure to start with your lowest numbered gear first then move on towards the next piece of gear. When players get to the moment no gear can go any higher, it is time for a powerful engram milestone. Alternate these milestones with this method and you’ll see your Light become blinding.

If you liked this article then you may want to check out the Destiny 2 review article or the Destiny 2 Guide: Forge Weapons & materials article.


PrimeraEspada91, or simply Primera, is a poet, writer, and youtuber. Primera loves reading Tite Kubo's Bleach and Albert Camus' works. Primera is an avid fan of Childish Gambino, Lana Del Rey, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

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