Destiny 2: Beyond Light — Leveling guide to 1260 power level

Destiny 2 Beyond Light Leveling Guide 1200 Pl Soft Cap 1260 Pl Cap Feat

Destiny 2: Beyond Light has increased the power level (PL). It’s time for another grind. Here’s our guide to help you reach 1260 PL.

Note: For more information, check out our Destiny 2: Beyond Light guides and features hub.


Destiny 2: Beyond Light – Leveling to reach the 1260 PL cap

As mentioned above, the highest possible power level you can reach in Destiny 2: Beyond Light/Season of the Hunt is 1260 PL. Here’s how leveling works:

  • Base power level/base PL – This is your actual power level without the bonus from your Fang of Xivu Arath artifact. Every subsequent drop you get will be based on this value.
  • Soft cap: 1200 PL – World drops such as rares/blues and legendaries/purples will continue to drop up to this point.
  • Hard cap: 1250 PL – From 1200 PL, you’ll need to do playlist and weekly activities via the director since these drop powerful engrams. It’s also possible to continue earning powerful drops as you do these activities.
  • Pinnacle cap (the maximum power you can reach): 1260 PL – From 1250 PL, you can only reach this point by completing activities that reward pinnacle drops.

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Important changes: From Shadowkeep to Beyond Light

Other than old Shadowkeep-specific content no longer dropping powerful or pinnacle gear, the biggest change in Destiny 2: Beyond Light is how vendors and collections work:

  • All items in your collections tab remain stuck at 1050 PL, so they’re completely useless.
  • As for vendors, don’t bother wasting your tokens while hoping to increase your power level. The items you get from vendor engrams will be 20 PL below your base PL i.e., at the 1200 PL soft cap, the engrams from Zavala, Banshee, and others will be 1080 PL only.

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Reaching the 1200 soft cap/hump

The grind from your power level in the previous season to 1250 PL might seem like a tedious slog, most especially if you’re trying to do the campaign. However, there’s a ridiculously fast and easy method. This was shared by Reddit user and YouTuber Schnedzie (whose video can be seen below).

The idea is to simply farm drops on the Moon. No, not Europa, but Luna, the Earth’s moon. Just head to the Hellmouth and do the following:

  • Kill the Powerful Nightmare – This boss has a fast spawn rate.
  • Kill the Trove Guardian and jump on the platforms to get the chest – You’ll probably get one of these for every two Powerful Nightmares that pop up.
  • Do the Hellmouth public events – These take a long time to spawn, but, hey, if the two above aren’t around, then go ahead and complete these as well.
  • High-value targets – These can spawn from time to time, so take them out.

The idea is to continue farming drops until you reach 1200 PL. Because of the frequency of spawns and lots of chests, you’ll likely get done in a couple of hours.

Note: Likewise, you might notice that Variks gives you legendary gear whenever you complete Destiny 2: Beyond Light‘s campaign missions on Europa. Well, these cap at 1200 PL only.

Destiny 2 Beyond Light Leveling Guide 1

Powerful drops and pinnacle rewards

From 1200 to 1250 PL, blues and random legendaries can be “on-level” drops (equal to your base PL). Anyway, it’s time to check out the sources of powerful and pinnacle drops. I’ve listed these below:

Powerful (Tier 1) – Base PL +3:

  • 8x Vanguard bounties
  • 8x Crucible bounties
  • 8x Gunsmith bounties
  • 8x Gambit bounties
  • 8x Variks bounties
  • 2x Empire Hunts weekly challenge – You’ll need to finish the “Europa Challenges II” bounty from Variks. Then, you’ll have to redo the mission objectives for two more Empire Hunts to get this powerful drop.
  • 7x rounds won in Crucible Glory playlists
  • Nightfall: Ordeal runs (100% progress)
  • Prime Engrams – Will drop rarely once you hit 1200 PL.
  • Exotic world drops – These are, technically, just Prime Engrams that turned out to be exotics. They’re still +3 PL.
  • Crucible Valor reset.
  • Unconfirmed: Crucible Valor rank-ups.
  • Unconfirmed: Crucible Glory rank-ups.
  • Unconfirmed: Gambit Infamy rank-ups
  • Week 2 update: The Exo Stranger’s challenge – Defeat 100 enemies with or affected by Stasis.
  • Week 2 update: The Crow’s Wrathborn Hunts – You have the opportunity to get two powerful drops via the Cryptolith Lure. Once you’ve obtained the “Power Hunter” upgrade (reputation rank 4), you can get four powerful drops.
  • Salvation’s Grip is a powerful drop. Unfortunately, you can only get it once per account (doing the exotic quest on alts doesn’t give you anything). As for No Time to Explain, it only matches your base PL.

Powerful (Tier 2) – Base PL +4:

  • Hawthorne Clan XP (100% progress)
  • Adored sniper rifle – You don’t need to pick this up until much later when you need a boost for the energy slot.

Powerful (Tier 3) – Base PL +5:

Note: As cited earlier, it’s possible to get tier 1 powerful drops from playlist activities. However, the frequency can be fairly low and dependent on RNG.

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Pinnacle rewards:

  • 3x Vanguard strikes completed; must match weekly elemental burn
  • Nightfall: Ordeal (100,000 score)
  • 3x Gambit matches completed
  • 3x Crucible Valor playlist matches completed (i.e., Control, Clash, Rumble, Elimination)

Update (new pinnacle sources):

Note 1: Regarding the weekly Empire Hunt/Exo challenges, you can check our Variks Sabotage quests guide for more info since the pinnacle versions of these are unlocked via that panel.

Note 2: The weekly playlist completion rewards (i.e., Vanguard, Crucible, and Gambit) only give +1 PL once you’re above 1250. Likewise, Hawthorne’s weekly clan XP completion manages to give you +1 PL drops from 1250 to 1260.

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Week 4 update (new pinnacle sources):

  • Iron Banner – Four weekly bounties provide pinnacle rewards. If you need armor pieces, you need to do the questline first.
  • Prophecy dungeon – A well-designed dungeon from the Season of Arrivals returns. Only the final boss (Kell Echo) drops a pinnacle reward. The other encounters only give you powerful items.

Destiny 2 Beyond Light Prophecy Iron Banner Guide 2

These are the powerful and pinnacle sources that I’m aware of. I’ll add more as I continue to progress in Destiny 2: Beyond Light. If you’ve discovered others, let me know.

Lastly, don’t forget to switch your weapons from your main to your alts. The items should give them a huge bump to their power level before you farm the Hellmouth for blues and purples. In my case, I finished the first week of Destiny 2: Beyond Light with my Hunter at 1232 PL (1243 with the artifact). I wasn’t running extra playlist activities for the random powerful drops (I found that the drops were too infrequent and relying on RNG was time-consuming). With any luck, I should be able to reach the 1250 PL hard cap prior to the release of the Deep Stone Crypt raid on November 21.

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Destiny 2: Beyond Light is available via Steam. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.

Jason Rodriguez
About The Author
Jason Rodriguez is a guides writer. Most of his work can be found on PC Invasion (around 3,400+ published articles). He's also written for IGN, GameSpot, Polygon, TechRaptor, Gameskinny, and more. He's also one of only five games journalists from the Philippines. Just kidding. There are definitely more around, but he doesn't know anyone. Mabuhay!