Destiny 2: From 100 to 300 - The best and fastest ways to level up
Leveling in Destiny 2 is separated into three categories.
Early game leveling involves sprinting to level 20, completing the campaign, and in general getting familiar with the game’s basic mechanics.
Mid-game leveling involves a much more grind-heavy run to Power level 260-270, and includes getting used to weekly events, stockpiling tokens, and diving into strikes.
Finally, late-game leveling in Destiny 2 is where things get a bit of a boost, but also get significantly slower pace. Since you’re now about Power 260, you’re considered raid-ready, but you’ll also find that the speed your Power level increases is now much, much slower, and you’ll need to rely almost exclusively on raids, factions, and quests if you want to progress, all of which generally only reward the high-level gear you need on a weekly basis.
Of course, the best way to cut the grind away early is to begin preparing from the second you get rolling in the game, carefully stockpiling tokens and focusing your efforts on certain portions of the game will almost guarantee that at least the early and mid-game grind will go a lot faster, and will inevitably get you into some of the more enjoyable events like strikes and raids much faster.
So, let’s talk about the best strategies for leveling in Destiny 2.
Early Game Leveling, get to level 20, complete the Campaign
Surprisingly, the fastest way to his level 20 in Destiny 2 is to actively pursue the story. This is sad news for players that were hoping to blast through levels playing in the Crucible like in the original Destiny, but good news for everyone else. Out of all the ways to level in Destiny 2, completing the campaign, along with every quest along the way is undoubtedly the best way to get sheer raw experience.
Do it solo, do it with friends, do it however you prefer, but be sure to take off your power-questing blinders as often as you can. As you progress through the story you’ll find a lot of smaller activities to keep you occupied along the way, which if you complete will help you a lot when you’re trying to boost your Power level in mid-game leveling.
So, if you see an event nearby, you should always try and tackle it, especially if there are already players hanging around waiting for it start. These events are great ways to get extra experience, and can start filling out your early game gear with some tougher pieces of loot that can be broken down for weapon parts as you out-level them later on in the game. To maximize your loot, be sure to check out our guide on how to trigger the heroic variant of each of these events. Doing so will net you additional loot, and often more experience as bigger, tougher enemies join the fight.
Additionally, keep a close eye out for lost sectors, and nearby hidden chests, which are marked with special symbols on your map. Tackling these mini dungeons will net you extra loot and tokens for a very small time investment that pays off in a big way later on in the game, and will also net you plenty of glimmer and experience along the way.
All of these side activities will net you planet specific tokens that can be traded in at specific characters on each planet, Devrim Kay on Earth, Asher Mir on Io, etc. and although it’s possible to trade these tokens in immediately, it’s better to stockpile them during your early game adventures so you can whip them out once you hit level 20 to maximize your bang for your buck in the mid-game grind.
Focus on doing these events and tasks when convenient, and when fun, but your primary objective should be to finish the campaign. Which will land you at or very close to being level 20, and 200 Power by the time you reach the Tower, which is where the mid-game leveling begins.
Mid-Game Leveling, getting to Power 260
Once you’ve hit level 20, all the fun things that you’ve bypassed in the past open up, along with a few new activities that are worth spending some time on. At this point you’ll be able to start focusing on getting gear your way, and if doing quests and events is the kind of thing that makes your brain melt, then feel free to switch back to the Crucible or follow Zavala’s end game questline to unlock Strikes and Nightfalls. Both are viable options, but not necessarily the fastest method overall.
Technically focusing on farming tokens should be your main objective. Hitting public events, buying maps from Cayde-6 to loot high-tier gear from his hidden caches and completing the adventures unlocked by completing the campaign will net you quite a few tokens for a minimal investment in time.
Your goal is to find and get your hands on planet tokens as fast as possible, because this is easily the most efficient path to boosting your light level from 200-240 and later from 240 to 260. If you have any tokens stockpiled at this point from your adventures in the campaign, now’s the time to cash them in and start raking in the loot.
Just make sure that you loot and decrypt any engrams you find out on your adventures before you cash in your tokens. Engrams receive their Power rating as soon as you acquire them, rather than at the moment of decryption like in the original Destiny. In contrast, gear you get from turning in tokens is based on the power level of the moment you accept your prize. This means that you’ll want to make sure you’ve maxed out your Power level using every other easily attainable means before you ever cash in your tokens from an NPC to maximize your reward.
You should also be checking the mod slots of any pieces of Legendary (purple) gear you find, if it has a +5 damage mod equipped in any capacity you’re going to want to save it so that you can infuse more powerful gear into it in the future. For more information on how this works and how it can help you massively boost your Power rating, check out our full breakdown on Destiny 2’s gear.
Once you hit light level 230, you’ll unlock Strikes, which are more than worth doing as part of the weekly challenges to get an extra boost in gear. Weekly, and daily challenges, should be a secondary focus, but if you can complete them while farming tokens, then they’re more than worth doing.
For example, if all the daily challenges on your roster want you to head to Io, you should shift your focus from farming in the EDZ to farming on Io. You’ll likely find more players there who are likewise trying to complete the daily events, which also means you’ll be able to complete heroic public events that much faster, and at the end of the day you can turn in the daily challenges for bonus gear.
Of course, your personal sanity should also be a key factor when leveling your gear, so be sure to take the occasional break from endless questing, token farming, and in general grinding, to go do some of the more off the wall weekly and daily events to break up the monotony. If you’re not having fun, you’re much more likely to burn out before you’re raid ready, so throw in as much variety as necessary to keep things upbeat and entertaining.
If you’re lucky, and have a lot of time to kill, you can usually jump from 200 light level to 260 using these methods in about 10-16 hours. Either a serious weekend marathon, or a week of 2-3 hour days.
End-Game 260-300+ Power
With your shiny new 260 Power level in hand, you’re now all set to dive into the weekly grind for loot. At this point it’s highly advised that you find a friendly clan to play with, generally if you check your roster regularly you’ll find a few invites hanging out from clans looking for new members. Stay friendly, use the dance emote a lot, and occasionally join a fireteam to chat or try and find out if they have a discord or other chat service and you should fit right in.
Raids are difficult encounters that involve a lot of heavy duty boss mechanics, so a clan is generally the best method to tackle these encounters because you’ll usually be around other players familiar with the mechanics that’ll guide you through the adventure. But if raiding isn’t your thing, just being a part of a clan will net you bonus loot as you and your clanmates complete actions within the game.
Feel free to also tackle the raid with friends, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and Reddit demonstrating the mechanics that you can use as a guide even if you and your pals have never run the raid before.
Raids are a weekly event, and you’ll usually get a decent amount of loot for every run, but at this point how you boost your power is entirely up to you. Play through the daily and weekly events, hit up Zavala to turn in Strike tokens, and tackle the Nightfall whenever you have a good group together to get it done.
We advise that you also check out the local exotic quests on each planet at this point as well. These quests, which we feature in our Exotic guide, are generally a long, and grindy affair. But they also net you a guaranteed piece of Exotic gear, which are usually a tier above and beyond your current power level. For example, when I finished the quest on Titan to get the STURM exotic hand cannon, it dropped at Power 288 for me, despite the fact that I was barely over 270 Power at the time.
Additionally, continue to push weekly events with, “powerful,” gear rewards, hit up the Nightfall as often as possible as well, and don’t be afraid to join a faction and keep farming world token gear. There are some sources that claim that world vendors are capped at a certain gear level, but the community has evidence to show that each vendor is simply on a revolving schedule. Meaning that a vendor might be capped at 270 one week, but the next will have a chance of dropping a 300 level piece of equipment if your own light level is high enough to unlock it.
At this point, leveling your Power level becomes a practice in patience, you’ll still find the rare piece of powerful gear as you play every night, but your weekly events like Raids and Nightfalls are where you’re most likely to net the gear you need to break 300.