Power in Destiny 2

In Destiny 2 there are three different types of power leveling. These are your Season Pass Ranks, your Bonus Power, and your Gear Power. Essetially, all of these powers combined contribute to your total power level, allowing your character to advance and progress further in higher-level content like Raids and Master Nightfalls. So now, lets explain all three levels in details to help you level up fast and hit the max power level cap this season, but just briefly so you are aware, your Season Ranks are earned by EXP, and after reaching a certain amount of EXP you will gain a bonus power level. These powers do not effect your gear level drops regardless of how  many bonus power levels you have.
So now lets dive into the first section of Season Pass Ranks. Season Pass Ranks are temporary levels earned during a Season. They reset when a new Season starts, roughly every 3 months, or 12-15 weeks, depending how long the season is, but your standard season is usually 3 months. Wether or not you are Season Pass holder, you will earn ranks through XP as you play the game, and the number of these ranks you can earn for rewards is 100 levels, but the number is unlimited, so you can rank up to 2000 if you want, but there is not much reward for achiving a level greater than 100. You will get a bright engram every 4 season levels beyond rank 100 though. One Season rank is 100,000 XP and the XP you get is increased for the first few levels with the “well rested” buff at each weekly reset on Tuesdays. Earning XP will award you with those Season Pass rewards as well as contributing to a new bonus power level which is also seen as the Seasonal Artifact Power. This power along your season level will reset at the start of a new Season, so if you are level 67 on the Season Pass in Season 15, and then Season 16 starts, you will be back to 0 with a completely new Season Pass and set of rewards, losing out on the previous seasonal items, as well as losing all your bonus power levels. To not lose out on any rewards, you should get to rank 100 before the end of the current season, every season.

Now let’s quickly go through Bonus Power. When you earn XP, you’re essentially working towards a new level of bonus power. Much like the Season Pass ranks, bonus power levels are also not limited and you can earn as many as you want and again, these also reset with each new season, however with each new bonus power unlocked, the XP required to unlock the next one, greatly increases. It may seem like your flying through ranks early on in the season, but the more you progress, the slower it becomes, simply because the XP required is more demanding with almost 2 million XP just to unlock 1 bonus power after +20 with it continuing to increase after each power unlocked. Anyhow, this bonus power along with your gear power will combine together to create your max power level. We’ll get to that shortly, but you should know, that bonus power is sometimes disabled in competitive activities such as the Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris, as those modes specifically rely on your gear power to be your max power. But Bonus power is extreamly useful in harder and end-game content such as Grandmaster Nightfalls, which also requires you to be a certain level in order to just start the activity. When you earn XP for bonus power and Seasonal Ranks, you will start to unlock new mods for the new seasonal artifact. The amount of mods you can buy using those artifact points are 12 and you can reset these at any time for a little cost. These mods are useful to help you create nw crazy end-game class builds for your characters. Now there’s nothing else to add for Bonus Power and Seasonal Ranks except that the more you rank up, the more power you’ll dain, but the power doesn’t make an impactful difference to the performance of the game other than those grandmaster activities that require you to be at minimum level. Regardless, the more XP you earn, the better really. Usually, most players in the game will get between 15 and 25 bonus power levels by the end of a normal season, but again it is all down to how much time you put into grinding XP. The majority of XP earned comes from Seasonal Challenges, but doing quests, bounties and just playing the game in general all contribute to XP gains. Using a Ghost Shell with Blinding Light is strongly recommended when power leveling and should always be equiped when handing in bounties and challenges.

Now, the last type of Power Level is your Gear Power, which is the most important figure in the game and this can be complicated for new and returning players as it’s not explained very well in detail, so let’s take a look. In season 15, all weapons and armor have a capped power level which is essential to playing all types of activities in the game. This is again, limited, unlike bonus power levels and that max gear power level increases each season by 10. In season 14, the max power Level was 1320, in Season 15, it’s now 1330. The gear power you are should never be lower or go down as long as you don’t remove all your gear with the highest power level. Now there are 3 stages of power levels and with each of these stages your gear will drop to a certain max power. So you can might be wondering why your gear is dropping at 1270 and not any higher when the max power is 1330, this is because you’ve hit the cap of that stage and need to work on the next stage as gear will cap out at certain level, depending on where you’re getting that gear from. These 3 stages are known as The Soft Cap (1270 power), The Hard Cap (1320 power) and The Pinniacle Cap (1330 power). Since Season 13, Gear Power has been growing by +10 each season, which makes it a lot easier to power level and play end-game content earlier as previously in Season 13 and before, it used to be +50. Now in simple terms, to increase your gear power level, you need to go certain activities for gear to drop at a higher level, but that gear will drop at a specific max poower level depending on where you get that gear from. For example, if you are 1320 max power from season 14, the only way to go beyond this level is to earn pinniacle gear. Now we’ll check out each power stage and where you can get gear from, to drop at a higher level soon, but you should know that gear drops are calculated by your max gear power level on your account and not your max total level with bonus power. Bonus power is a completely seperate level, so it doesn’t matter, if you are 1400 power being 1320 gear and +80 bonus, gear will still drop based on your 1320 gear power or whatever gear level is currently, when obtained rewards. Now gear power is a little confusing, 1 Full Gear Power level is essentially 8 small power, these are broken down from 3 weapons and 5 armor slots, each of these slots are 1 small power, and the 3 weapon power levels and the 5 armor power levels total to your 8 power levels, which then creates your 1 full gear power level. It sounds complicated, but once you have the hang of it, it’s actually pretty simple. So in simple terms, you need 8 small power levels to make 1 full power. These don’t need to all be 1 power from each slot, so you can mix them up and have more power in one slot and less in anothe, for example, have a weapon have 5 power, and an armor slot have 3 power, then that will total to 8 and give you a gear power. Bare in mind, that your numbers are going to be all over the place, so either use simple math to figure out, how much power you need for 1 power, or use a Destiny 2 power calculator. As long as you have 8 small power from any slots combined as a total, you will make 1 full gear power. Anyway, let’s dive deeper into the main sources.

Starting with Stage 1 – The Soft Cap. In Season 15 it is 1270 Power, which means you can’t earn gear higher than this level from certain activities, but to get this soft cap of 1270 to begin with, you need to earn gear from any source such as strikes, cricuble matches, random world drops, and pretty much anything that drops in the game, but your most common drops will be activity rewards and legendary engrams. Once you overall gear power in 1270, all of these rewards will start to drop at a cap being no higher than your 1270 power, so to get beyond this level, you need to start working towards the hard cap, or powerful cap.
Now, the Hard Cap in Season of the Lost is 1320 power and unlike the soft cap, this has a limit on the amount of potential rewards you can earn in a given week, these rewards along with pinnacle rewards will reset on Tuesday’s weekly resets each week. So to get from 1270 to 1320 power, you need to earn those powerful rewards. These higher level drops come from powerful reward packages that you’ll see highlighted around the world from thingk like seasonal activities, tower challenges and so on. If in Season 14 you reached the max power level of 1320, then in season 15 now, powerful rewards will not benefit you than for min-maxing gear, we’ll get to that term shortly, but when you do reach that hatd cap of 1320, all powerful loot will then be capped at your max gear power level and not the hard cap of 1320. So for example if you are 1325 gear power and you get a powerful reward, this will drop at exactly  1325, no higher, no lower. A fast approach to power leveling without weekly limitations would be to grind out crucible competitive for powerful rank up packages. I should also mention, that when you are grinding gear for the hard cap, you can also get Prime Engrams which are essentially powerful rewards that drop randomly, you want to turn these engrams in as soon as you get. So now you’re 1320 max power, what next? Well, that brings us to the grindy pinnacle cap.
Now the final power stage in Destiny 2 is the pinnacle cap which is capped out at 1330 power and the only way to get from 1320 to 1330 is to do pinnacle rewards, these are found in harder activities like Nightfalls, Raids, Dungeons, events< Iron Banner and all those sort of harder end-game activities. All pinnacle rewards give a +2 higher power than your total gear level, but the Strikes, Crucible and Gambit challenges only offer a +1. Now 1330 is the highest gear level you can get to during Season 15, but using bonus power you can go hogher which is useful for harder content that has a power level requirement like grandmaster nightfalls. Your bonus power will reset though at the end of the season, but your gear poower won’t so at the start of Season 16, you will start from where you left of with your gear power level.

Now this season, how do we level up fast? To level up fast in Destiny 2 Season 15 for Seasonal ranks and bonus power, you want to do the seasonal challenges for chunks of XP and all weekly chakkenges and bounties each week. A good way to continue leceling up fast after you’ve done all challenges and weekly bounties, is to do daily and repeatable bounties from Gunsmith and the moon in moon lost sectors. But to be the most efficient with your gear power leveling, first get to the soft cap of 1270 by doing pretty much anything in the game like farming Strikes, then farm powerful rewards to get to 1320, then your pinnacles to get to 1330, and the finally repeat the same thing but on your second character, then your third and at the weekly reset, go backwards starting from your third, to your second and then finally back to the first, where you started off. Always start doing grinding power from your character that has the highest gear level. If your Titan is 1315 and your  Warlock is 1312 and you’ve done all the possible rewards for both, start with your 1315 titan, as gear will drop higher in which then you can transfer those higher level weapons to your other characters to boost the power of those chracters slightly too. But as mentioned before, each slot’s max power is 1330 with 1 full power level being earned every 8 small power combined in any of the slots, so you can have a lot of higher level weapons and low level armor, but your power level will be higher than the armor, but lower than the weapons. Now, the term i mentioned earlier “min-maxing” is where you are above the powerful cap between 1320 and 1330, and you have 1 or multiple slots holding your power back, where you may just need 1 small power out of the 8 to reach the next full power level then you would be in a situation, where you should min-max gear to be effective with pinnacle gear drops. So if all your weapons or armor are either equal or very high in comparison to one of your slots being much lower, then you would need to min-max that slot by using a powerful reward to make your power level go up instead of using a pinnacle reward. Now this does sound complicated so, if your total gear power is 1305 with most gear being around 1306 or 1307, but you have that one piece of gear holding you back at say 1303 or 1304, then doing a powerful reward will give you a 1305 item, which could potentially give you that +1 power and if that +1 power was all your missing for a full power level and that makes you then 1306, that means your pinnacles will now drop 1307 and 1308 instead of 1306 and 1307. So keep your powerful rewards handy, when doing pinnacle rewards and keep calculating your total gear power. This method is known as min-maxing.