Destiny 2: How To Reach 1320 Power Level Quickly

Every new season in Destiny 2 raises the Power level cap by a certain amount. Most seasons will raise the Power cap by 50, but seasons tied to expansions raise this cap by 200. Season of the Splicer is unique in that it only raised the Power level cap by 10.

In essence, you can spend less time completing weekly challenges and more time farming 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 May 11th, 2021 by Charles Burgar: Breaking the Power-increasing cycle somewhat, Season of the Splicer has only raised the Power cap by 10 instead of 50. This has made leveling significantly faster for most players, especially veteran Destiny players. Better yet, there are new ways of obtaining Powerful Gear! We’ve added these new sources of Powerful Gear to our leveling guide.

How Does Power Level Work?

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.

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 Splicer, the soft cap is 1,310 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.

If you reach a Power level of 1,310, 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 1,320.

The only means of increasing your Power level past 1,320 is by leveling your Seasonal Artifact. Artifact leveling occurs passively as you earn XP in Destiny 2.

Season Of The Splicer Power Level Bands

Season of the Splicer’s Power level bands are the following:

  • Soft Cap: 1,260
  • Hard Cap: 1,310
  • Pinnacle Cap: 1,320

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 1,310.

All Power Level Sources

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.

General Power Sources

  • 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.

Powerful Gear (Tier 1) Sources

These sources drop +3 levels higher than your current Power.

  • Prime Engrams: These drop at +3 above your current Power.
  • Zavala: Turn in eight Vanguard bounties to Zavala.
  • Lord Shaxx: Turn in eight Crucible bounties to Shaxx.
  • The Drifter: Turn in eight Gambit bounties to the Drifter.
  • Banshee-44: Turn in eight Gunsmith bounties to Banshee-44.
  • Core Playlist Completions: Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit games all have a small chance of granting a Powerful Gear reward when completed.
  • Nightfall Playlist Completions: Complete three Nightfalls. Higher difficulty completions grant more progress.
  • Competitive PvP Completions: Finish three Glory-enabled PvP games.
  • Glory Rank Ups: Increase your subdivision or division Glory rank.
  • Trials of Osiris: Win Trials of Osiris matches.
  • Exo Stranger: Defeat 100 combatants with Stasis not on Europa.
  • Variks: Turn in eight Europa bounties to Variks
  • Empire Hunt Completions: Complete three Empire Hunts on Europa. Higher difficulty completions grant more progress.
  • The Crow (Tangled Shore): Complete three Wrathborn Hunts. If you don’t own Season of the Hunt, this is unavailable.
  • Battleground Completions: Complete three Battlegrounds in the Battleground playlist. If you don’t own Season of the Chosen, this is unavailable.
  • H.E.L.M. Turn in eight bounties from the War Table.
  • Battleground Completions: Complete three Battlegrounds in the Battleground playlist.

Powerful Gear (Tier 3) Sources

These sources drop +6 levels higher than your current Power.

  • Override Completions: Complete three Override missions in the Override playlist.

Pinnacle Gear Sources

These sources drop +6 levels higher than your current Power. If you hit the hard cap of 1,310, these sources will grant gear +1 or +2 higher than your current Power, up to the pinnacle cap of 1,320.

  • Hawthorne: Earn 5,000 Clan XP.
  • Override: Open three Conflux Chests in the Override playlist.
  • Splicer Servitor: Complete eight bounties from the H.E.L.M.’s Splicer Servitor.
  • Vanguard Strike Completions: Complete three playlist strikes as the same subclass element as the current burn.
  • 100,000 Score Nightfall: Earn 100,000 score in a Nightfall run.
  • Valor PvP Completions: Complete three Valor Crucible games (Control, Rumble, et cetera).
  • Iron Banner Bounties: Four bounties are sold by Lord Saladin when Iron Banner is active, each granting one piece of Pinnacle Gear.
  • Flawless Trials of Osiris: Win seven consecutive games in Trials of Osiris.
  • Gambit Matches: Complete three Gambit matches.
  • Exo Challenge: Complete the Europa Exo Challenge.
  • Master Empire Hunt: Beat a Master Empire Hunt.
  • Deep Stone Crypt Raid: Finish encounters in the Deep Stone Crypt raid. Each encounter grants Pinnacle Gear, so it grants four sources per character per week.
  • Prophecy Dungeon: Finish every encounter in the Prophecy dungeon for one +2 Pinnacle Gear drop.
  • Harbinger Mission: Finish the Harbinger mission on the EDZ. Note that this requires Season of the Hunt ownership. The Pinnacle Gear reward will always be Hawkmoon, a Kinetic weapon.
  • Presage Mission: Finish the Presage mission on the Tangled Shore. Note that this requires Season of the Chosen ownership. The Pinnacle Gear reward will always be Dead Man’s Tale, a Kinetic weapon. Note: this mission is account-bound.

General Leveling Tips

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.

Reaching 1,310 Power Quickly

Before you obtain any Powerful Gear, make sure that you hit the soft cap of 1,250 first. If not, play any activity you enjoy until you obtain Rares at 1,250. 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. Battlegrounds 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 Pinnacle Gear reward.
  • Complete three to four Powerful Gear weeklies.
  • Claim a Pinnacle Gear reward.
  • Complete three or four Powerful Gear weeklies.
  • Play the Deep Stone Crypt raid.
  • Play Glory-enabled Crucible to even out your gear.

You can complete whatever content you prefer for the Pinnacle and Powerful rewards, but you should complete them in that order. Complete the raid when most of your Powerful Gear sources are expended, 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.

Reaching 1,320 Power Quickly

Reaching 1,320 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 Splicer, there isn’t any particular order you need to complete these weeklies in. With that said, we do have a few suggestions:

  • Even out your gear: When you increase your Power level by one, complete Powerful Gear weeklies to even out your gear, reducing the number of Pinnacle Gear rewards you need to increase your Power level again.
  • Play the raid every week: The Deep Stone Crypt gives four Pinnacle Gear drops every week. It is easily the best way of obtaining Pinnacle Gear in Destiny 2 currently, excluding Iron Banner.
  • Claim Hawthorne’s Engram Last: Her Engram is only a +1 Pinnacle Gear drop, not the +2 most drops are. Claim it when the rest of your Pinnacle sources are depleted.

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