Every new season comes with a new XP grind, be it to earn your Season Pass rewards or unlock your seasonal Artifact and Mods.
The system has its flaws and Bungie already promised changes. But in the meantime, you’ll want as much XP as possible and there is only one efficient way to earn it quickly: Bounty farming.
If you’re new to Destiny 2, the next section will explain how XP works and why it matters. But if you’re a more experienced player, you can jump to the next sections where we go through the best bounties in the game and come up with the most efficient XP farming method available.
In Destiny 2, XP is needed for only 2 things:
- Unlock your Season Pass rewards
- Upgrade your Seasonal Artifact to unlock Mods and bonus Power Levels
This part is simple. Getting the XP is another story though.
Season Pass Rewards
Destiny 2’s Season Pass works in the same way as in any other online shooter. The pass has 2 different tracks, a free track and a track reserved for Season Pass owners only, and each track has 100 levels to unlock:
The premium track obviously offers more rewards but it’s important to know this: the best rewards are part of the Free track. This includes one of the new Exotic weapons, the new Legendary weapons, the Exotic cipher, and more.
Even if you don’t purchase Season of Arrivals, you still want to grind XP and get all the rewards the Free track has to offer. They are well worth it.
Seasonal Artifact and Mods
The seasonal Artifact plays an important role in Destiny 2. Not only does it grant extra Power Levels, but it also includes several Seasonal Mods.
The extra Power Levels are useful for high-end content and will help you along with your Max Power Level grind. The Seasonal Mods, on the other hand, are mandatory. These include the Anti-barrier, Overload, and Unstoppable mods needed to deal with Champions, on top of extremely powerful mods such as Oppressive Darkness.
Needless to say, even if you don’t care about Season Pass bonuses, XP plays an essential part in preparing you for the most difficult end-game content in the game. Plus, the exotics and legendary weapons are also good to have.
The fastest and most efficient way to earn XP in Destiny 2 still revolves around bounties.
The community has complained a lot about “bounty farming” and with reason. But if you’re looking to efficiently get XP, you don’t really have a choice but to grab the best bounties (highlighted below) and work on them simultaneously:
|Source||Bounty||Type||Base XP||Cost (glimmer)|
|Moon||Eris Morn Daily (x4)||Daily||6000||250|
|Moon||Eris Morn Weekly (x2)||Weekly||12000||1000|
|Tower||Prismatic Recaster Daily (x4)||Daily||6000||250|
|Tower||Prismatic Recaster Weekly (x2)||Weekly||12000||1000|
|Tower||Gunsmith Daily (x4)||Daily||6000||250|
|Tower||Gunsmith Weekly (x2)||Weekly||12000||1000|
|Tower||Strikes Weekly (x2)||Weekly||12000||1000|
|Tower||Crucible Weekly (x2)||Weekly||12000||1000|
|Tower||Iron Banner (x4)||Montly||12000||1000|
|Tower||Gambit Daily (x4)||Daily||6000||250|
|Tower||Gambit Weekly (x2)||Weekly||12000||1000|
|Tower||Gambit Prime Daily (x4)||Daily||3000||250|
|Tower||Gambit Prime Helmet||Weekly||9000||1000|
|Tower||Gambit Prime Weekly||Weekly||6000||1000|
|Tower||Ada-1 Weekly (x2)||Weekly||6000||1000|
|Moon||Lectern of Enchantment||Repeatable||4000||3000|
|Moon||Lectern of Enchantment Daily (x4)||Daily||6000||250|
|Moon||Lectern of Enchantment Weekly (x2)||Weekly||12000||Fragments|
|Destinations||EDZ, Titan, Nessus, Io, Mercury, Mars Daily (x3)||Daily||6000||250|
|Destinations||Spider and Petra Daily||Daily||1000||250|
|Dreaming City||Petra's Challenges Daily (x4)||Daily||1000||500|
|Dreaming City||Petra's Dungeon Daily||Daily||2000||1000|
|Dreaming City||Petra Ascending Challenge||Weekly||3000||1500|
|Dreaming City||Petra Gateway Challenge||Weekly||3000||Fragments|
|Tangled Shore||Spider Wanted (x14)||Weekly||3000||Fragments|
|Werner 99-40||Imperial Chests - Weekly (x4)||Weekly||3000||1000|
A lot of the information came from this massive Google Doc. If you want to dive deeper into the different bounties in the game, that Google Doc is a must-read.
Now that we have a good understanding of what bounties give the more XP, it’s time to combine them and get them done as quickly as possible. Now, there are two disclaimers:
Farming XP as fast as possible requires you to grind XP on all three of your characters!
But if you too have limited time to play Destiny 2 and prefer to play on only one character, everything is not lost.
I’m far from having the most Seasonal ranks unlocked so far. Hell, many of my clanmates are already close to 100. But it’s still possible to play Destiny 2 at a reasonable pace, enjoy it, and farm enough XP to be way ahead of most casual players.
My XP farming method
This is the XP farming method I recommend to have good results while having fun:
- Head to the Tower and grab all the Weekly bounties (Crucible, Strikes, Gambit, and Prismatic Recaster): These grant a lot of XP and Bright Dust and can be worked on the background as you tackle the Weekly Challenges.
- Grab all the Gunsmith and Prismatic Recaster Daily bounties
- Head to the Moon and grab all the Weekly and Daily bounties from Eris Morn
- Go to Altars of Sorrow: Get all your Moon-specific bounties done (and work on the other bounties)
- If you enjoy Altars of Sorrow, you can stay there to get all your kills and bounties done
- If not, head to IO and grab all the planetary bounties from Asher Mir
- Do the Contact public event to get your bounties completed
At this point, most of your “general” daily and weekly bounties should be done. Instead of grinding repeatable bounties over and over again, I recommend you start tackling the core activities. Example:
- Grab all the Strikes bounties
- Run Strikes until they are done (including the weekly bounties or any other general bounty still left)
- When all Strikes bounties are completed, you can tackle Gambit, then Crucible, etc.
This will allow you to get your Weekly bounties done (and earn a lot of XP and some Bright Dust!) and work towards your Pinnacle gear challenges. At this point, if you still have the time and energy, you can start all over on a different character.
If you prefer a video version of how to optimize XP grinding in Destiny 2, you can check this great video from Jarv.
These are the best practices and principles you should always follow to maximize XP:
Always have a Ghost with the Guiding Light Perk equipped
Guiding Light grants +10% XP on everything you do, including bounties. This quickly adds up so always make sure you have one equipped. If you don’t have one in your inventory, check your Collections page. You probably have one from previous seasons.
Turn in your bounties only when in a Fireteam
The Season Pass grants bonus XP called Shared Wisdom when you’re part of a Fireteam. Therefore, you ideally want to always be in a Fireteam when turning in bounties.
|Season Pass level||XP Fireteam Boost|
These bonuses are part of the Premium track of the Season Pass.
If you’re a solo player, you can do what I often do:
- Head over to IO near the new Contact public event
- Join a random guardian’s Fireteam (open your Director, head over to Roster and join someone with an open Fireteam)
- Tell them you’re there to help with the event
- Turn all your bounties
- Help with the event
- Leave the Fireteam
This is somewhat tedious so I only do it at the end of a very long session when my inventory is full of completed bounties to turn it.
Purchase the Season Pass if you’re serious about XP
The Season Pass grants a +20% XP bonus at Rank 1 (i.e. immediately at the start of the Season). This percentage steadily increases as you earn more Seasonal Ranks, making it a huge XP bonus.
|Season Pass level||XP Boost|
These bonuses are part of the Premium track of the Season Pass.
Use the Ghost Overlay if you’re on PC
Stay away from repeatable bounties
Repeatable bounties can help speed the process but they are very expensive and sometimes longer to complete than the average daily bounty. The Moon’s repeatable bounties are somewhat better and I recommend going for those if you must grind repeatable bounties all day. But I prefer to switch activities once all the dailies are done.
For example, after completing all the Moon bounties, I head over to IO, then focus on Crucible bounties, etc.
Now you know everything there is to know about maximizing your XP farming in Destiny 2.
Did I miss any other important tips? Come over to our Discord server and let me know!