Destiny 2 Max Power level guide

All Powerful and Pinnacle gear sources

By Ric Molina | Jun 10, 2020

Every new season comes with a new Power Level cap.

With today’s launch of Season 11, called Season of Arrivals, the Power level cap for weapons and armor has been increased by 50 points. This means you’ll need Powerful sources to reach 1050 Power and Pinnacle sources to reach the new max power level at 1060.

Bungie gave us an additional reason to worry about our Power Level: the surprise announcement of a new Dungeon available for free to all players.

If you’re interested in tackling that new dungeon or worried about preparing for Trials of Osiris or any other high-end activity, you’ll want to level up fast.

Before we get started, here are 2 things you need to remember:

  1. Your Power Level (formerly known as Light Level) is 100% connected to the power level of your gear.
  2. There are different level caps that require gear from different sources to progress.

This little chart summarizes what gear will be needed to increase your Power Level until reaching that elusive Max Power Level, currently set at 1060.

Destiny 2 Powerful and Pinnacle chart

This post will only focus on how to increase your Base Power Level. You can also gain extra Power Levels with your seasonal Artifact. You can read all about it here.


Powerful and Pinnacle gear source in Destiny 2

These are all the Powerful and Pinnacle gear sources in the game:

TypeLocationSourcePower increaseFrequencyFireteam needed?Difficulty
PowerfulCrucibleValor Full Rank Up3Repeatable

No

Easy

PowerfulCrucibleGlory Rank Up3Repeatable

No

Easy

PowerfulGambitInfamy Rank Up3Repeatable

No

Easy

PowerfulWorld dropsExotic Engrams3Repeatable

No

Easy

PowerfulWorld dropsPrime Engrams3Repeatable

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerGunsmith bounties (8 total)3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerVanguard bounties (8 total)3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerCrucible bounties (8 total)3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerGambit bounties (8 total)3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerPrismatic Recaster 3? (TBC)Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulDestinationFlashpoint - Complete activities3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulCrucibleRotator Matches (4 matches)3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulMoonNightmare Hunts (3 runs)3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulMoonReplayable Story Mission3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulMoon"Memory" quest3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulMoonNightmares defeated in Sorrow's Harbor3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerClan Crucible Engram3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerClan Nightfall Engram3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerClan Raid Engram3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulTowerClan Gambit Engram3Weekly

No

Easy

PowerfulStrikesNightfall: The Ordeals (3 runs)3Weekly

Yes

Easy

PowerfulMoonPit of Heresy dungeon (first 2 encounters)6Weekly

Yes

Average

PowerfulTowerProphecy dungeon (first encounter)3Weekly

Yes

Hard

PowerfulCrucibleTrials of Osiris - 3 wins4-5Weekly

Yes

Hard

PowerfulCrucibleTrials of Osiris - 5 wins6Weekly

Yes

Hard

PinnacleTowerClan Weekly XP1Weekly

No

Easy

PinnacleStrikesVanguard Strikes (3 strikes)1Weekly

No

Easy

PinnacleGambitGambit Matches (3 matches)1Weekly

No

Easy

PinnacleCrucibleCrucible Core Matches (4 matches)1Weekly

No

Easy

PinnacleCrucibleLegend Glory rank2Season

No

Hard

PinnacleMoonMaster Nightmare Hunt2Season

Yes

Hard

PinnacleStrikesNightfall: The Ordeal (100,000 points)2Weekly

Yes

Hard

PinnacleMoonPit of Heresy dungeon2Weekly

Yes

Hard

PinnacleTowerProphecy dungeon2Weekly

Yes

Hard

PinnacleTowerPrismatic Recaster questTBCWeeklyTBCTBC
PinnacleCrucibleTrials of Osiris - 7 wins2Weekly

Yes

Hard

PinnacleCrucibleIron Banner bounties (4 total)8Monthly

No

Average

PinnacleMoonGarden of Salvation10Weekly

Yes

Hard

This table includes all Powerful and Pinnacle sources in Destiny 2. Depending on where you are in your road to Max Power Level, you can filter the table accordingly. For example, you can filter sources to only see:

  • Powerful sources
  • Pinnacle sources
  • Sources requiring a Fireteam (without Matchmaking)
  • Sources considered hard (or easy)

If you’re somewhat lost and still wonder what exactly needs to be done to reach the Power Level Cap, the next section is for you.


How to reach Max Light in Destiny 2

You’re probably familiar with the struggle that is chasing Pinnacle gear to eventually reach the Max Power level (and the frustration of getting everything but the one item you need for 3 weeks in a row).

But in case you’re new to Destiny 2 or are coming back to the game after a long break, this is basically how leveling works in Destiny 2:

1. Your Power Level is the average of the Power Level of your gear

2. Before reaching the soft cap (1000), drops from any source can help you increase your Power Level:

  •  You won’t be able to see Powerful and Pinnacle gear challenges in your directory until you hit the soft cap

3. When you reach the soft cap, focus on Powerful sources:

  • Only Powerful and Pinnacle gear will increase your average Power Level
  • Activities that reward Powerful gear are highlighted in the Directory:

Destiny 2 Pinnacle sources

  • Powerful gear will be at least 2 levels higher than your Power Level average
  • Every piece of your gear needs to keep up with your average. if one slot starts to lag behind, it can stall your progress.

4. When you reach the Powerful cap (1050), focus on Pinnacle sources:

  • Only Pinnacle gear can increase your current average
  • You can use Powerful gear to bring to equalize your equipment closer to the average:
    • Example: All your gear is 1055 except your Heavy weapon, a Powerful source could help you bring that slot to 1055 too

And this is, in a nutshell, how leveling works in Destiny 2. The Level Cap is increased every season, but we could see a revamp with this Fall’s expansion.


The fastest way to level up in Destiny 2

Reaching the Max Power level as fast as possible requires you to play and level up all 3 of your characters. That’s a huge time investment that most of us cannot afford.

If you can only invest your time on one character (I know I do), we’ll go through the most efficient method to level up in Destiny 2 and reach the Power Cap sooner rather than later.

Kudos to Fallout Plays for the inspiration. His video on How to Power Level to 1010 from Season 10 is still a great watch if you’re interested in leveling up fast.

Again, as a reminder:

Destiny 2 Powerful and Pinnacle chart

Reaching the soft cap in Season 11: 1000 Power

This part is simple. Basically anything in the game can drop reward you with gear that will help you increase your Power Level at this stage.

Warning: Do not tackle Powerful nor Pinnacle rewards before hitting the soft cap.

If you want to optimize this part, you can:

  • Grind Lost Sectors: Go to your favorite Lost Sector and complete it as fast as possible, over and over again.
  • Grind the new Contact public event: This can also drop tons of gear and engrams, and will also help you with your Season 11 progress

Again, everything works at this stage. All you need to do is grind and play a lot.

Reaching the Powerful cap in Season 11: 1050 Power

Now that you’ve reached the soft cap, you need to focus solely on Powerful rewards.

Warning: Do not tackle Pinnacle rewards before hitting the Powerful cap.

Powerful rewards are highlighted in the Directory and in the table above. But these tips will help speed the process:

  • The Competitive Playlist in PVP can generate a lot of Powerful rewards (provided you’re at least somewhat good in PVP).
  • Every Valor and Glory rank up will reward you with a Powerful reward, therefore the Comp playlist will help you with both.
  • Bonus: You can work on your Crucible, Strikes, and Gambit Challenges while doing the weekly bounties to earn Bright Dust to spend in the Eververse store.

Reaching the Pinnacle cap in Season 11: 1060 Power

This section is easy: Only Pinnacle rewards will help so you have no other option than tackling those:

  • Check the table below for the complete list of Pinnacle gear sources
  • Most of these activities are not matchmade, which means you’ll have to find a Fireteam beforehand. Discord is a great place to LFG.
  • Bungie made the Pinnacle climb slightly easier in Season 10: Some Powerful gear sources were turned into Pinnacle sources providing +1 Power.

Prime Engrams

Prime Engrams are a technically unlimited source of Powerful gear (as long as you play the game a lot and RNG stays on your side). Just remember: The Power Level of the Engram will remain at the level it was when found, not when opened.

Therefore, there’s no point in saving Prime Engrams for later!

Grinding 2 or 3 characters?

If you’re prepared to level up your 3 characters (or 2), you can follow the same steps described above. You just need to start with your least important character and finish with your most important character.

As soon as you’re done with the first character, transfer its highest Power Level weapons to the next character. Rinse and repeat.

Easy Pinnacle sources in Destiny 2

Powerful sources are fairly common and not particularly challenging (with the exception of those connected to the dungeons).

Pinnacle sources are a different story. It makes sense they’re difficult. They are, after all, supposed to be part of the end-game activities, but they can be particularly challenging when you don’t have a pre-existing group of friends to play with.

These are, in my opinion, the easiest Pinnacle sources in the game (trust me, I’ve done them weekly just by using LFG tools):

  • Pit of Heresy dungeon: Most people know how to run it. Finding a capable group in LFG is very easy.
  • 100,000 in Nightfall: The Ordeal: Same as above, most people know how to run them and how to deal with champions.
  • Master Nightmare Hunt: This one is a little more challenging at the start of the season, but as soon as you are close to the Powerful cap, running this is doable with an LFG team.

Your turn

Now you know everything there is to know about reaching the Max Power level fast. So what’s the plan? Will you grind all 3 characters or just your main?