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Every new season in Destiny 2 raises the Power level cap by a certain amount. Most seasons will raise the Power cap by 10, but seasons tied to expansions raise this cap by much more. Season of the Plunder follows this trend by increasing Destiny 2's Power level maximum up to 1,810 Power.

Related: Destiny 2: Season Of The Deep - Salvage Activity And Rewards Guide

In essence, this rather low increase in Power maximums allows you to focus less on grinding Pinnacles and more time playing content you enjoy. With that said, players that skipped a season or two will still have some catching up to do. We'll go over how Power level works, the Power increases you can expect from each activity, and some strategies you can use to level your main and alternate characters quickly.

Updated May 23, 2023, by Charles Burgar: Season of the Deep is out and has kept the Power caps the same as last season. This means that those who reached the Pinnacle cap last season remain at the Pinnacle cap for Season of the Deep. While this means leveling isn't as important for long-time players, this change has caused Bungie to tweak a few Pinnacle reward sources this season. This update covers all of those reward changes to ensure that those still leveling will have accurate sources to draw from.

How Does Power Level Work?

Destiny 2 Inventory Menu Listed Power Level

If you're a seasoned Destiny 2 player, you can skip this section.

Power level determines two key things in Destiny 2:

  • How much damage you deal
  • How much damage you can take

The higher your level is, the greater both of these bonuses are. If your Power level is lower than the activity's recommended level, you will be taking substantially more damage from enemies and deal less to combatants.

To increase your Power level, you must obtain new weapons and armor with a higher Power level rating. All non-sunset loot you obtain will increase your Power level until you reach the "soft cap." This cap changes each season. For Season of the Deep, the soft cap is 1,750 Power.

Once you reach the soft cap, you will need to obtain Powerful Gear rewards from weekly milestones and activities to obtain gear with a higher level. Your Director will list every activity that grants Powerful Gear. We'll list all of these activities later in the guide.

If you reach a Power level of 1,800, you have hit the "hard cap" for your character's level. While this sounds counterintuitive, that is not the actual cap; you can further increase your Power by obtaining Pinnacle Gear from Destiny 2's most demanding content (raids, Trials of Osiris, et cetera). This is called the "pinnacle cap" and is currently set to 1,810.

The only means of increasing your Power level past 1,810 is by leveling your Seasonal Artifact. Artifact leveling occurs passively as you earn XP in Destiny 2.

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Related: Destiny 2: How To Farm Weapon XP Fast

Season Of The Deep Power Level Bands

Destiny 2 Season of the Deep Activity Armor Sets

Season of the Deep's Power level bands are the following:

  • Soft Cap: 1,750
  • Hard Cap: 1,800
  • Pinnacle Cap: 1,810

Soft Cap

The soft cap can be reached by obtaining any non-sunset gear. This includes:

  • Rares
  • Legendaries (non-sunset)
  • Exotics

Obtaining vendor packages is a reliable way to reach the soft cap in a short period of time.

Hard Cap

Powerful Gear rewards from activities are the main method of reaching the Hard Cap. Prime Engrams can also assist you in achieving this cap.

Pinnacle Cap

Pinnacle Gear rewards are the only way of increasing your gear's Power past 1,800.

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Related: Destiny 2: Every New Weapon In Season Of The Deep

All Power Level Sources

Destiny 2 Lightfall Director Power Level Sources

You can find every source of Powerful and Pinnacle Gear below. These activities are listed by the reward type. Note that these activities are character-bound. If you have more than one character, you can level your second and third characters to increase your Power level even faster.

General Power Source

Destiny 2 Season Of The Deep Artifact Featured-1
  • Seasonal Artifact: This grants Power level based on how much XP you've earned.
    • Artifact Power is disabled in contest mode raids and Trials of Osiris.
  • World Drops (Soft Cap Only): If you aren't at the soft cap, any items you find will increase your Power level.

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Powerful Gear Sources

Destiny 2 Shaxx

The sources listed below will grant +3 to +5 Power. Most of these sources are weeklies found on your Director.

Some of these activities are tied to the Witch Queen Expansion, Lightfall, Season of Defiance, Deep, or the Bungie 30th Anniversary.



Power Boost

Legendary Campaign (Lightfall)

Complete the entire Lightfall campaign mission on Legendary difficulty.

Gives a full set of 1,770 Power gear

Prime Engrams

Decrypt Prime Engrams (rarely drops from slain enemies, and certain vendors can give them as part of their respective reward tracks)


Vendor Weeklies

Complete 8 bounties for a given vendor—Zavala, Shaxx, Drifter, and Banshee-44


Core Playlists

Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit can drop powerful gear on completion


Vanguard Ops (Exotic Engram)

Complete 5 Vanguard Ops missions with a subclass that matches the current elemental surges.


Crucible Matches (Exotic Engram)

Complete 3 Crucible matches in any non-Competitive playlist.


Crucible Labs

Complete 3 Crucible matches in the Crucible Labs playlist.


Gambit Matches (Exotic Engram)

Complete 3 Gambit matches.


Competitive PvP

Complete 3 Survival games


Glory Rank Ups

Increase your Glory division or subdivision rank


Nimbus' Challenge

Gain reputation with Nimbus


Quinn's Challenge

Complete activities on Neomuna


Dares of Eternity

Complete 3 Dares of Eternity runs. Legend difficulty grants additional progress


Weekly Campaign Mission

Complete the weekly campaign mission on any difficulty


Defiant Battlegrounds

Complete 3 Defiant Battlegrounds in the Defiant Battlegrounds playlist


Aquatic Operations

Complete 8 bounties for the Aquatic Operations vendor aboard the H.E.L.M.


Trials of Osiris

Win 3 Trials matches on the same card


Trials of Osiris

Win 5 Trials matches on the same card


Deep Dive

Complete 3 encounters in the Deep Dive activity


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Pinnacle Gear Sources

Destiny 2 Lightfall Root of Nightmares Raid Banner

These sources drop +6 levels higher than your current Power. If you hit the hard cap, these sources will grant gear +2 higher than your current Power, up to the pinnacle cap.

Some of these activities are tied to the Witch Queen Expansion, Lightfall, Season of Defiance, Deep, or the Bungie 30th Anniversary.



Power Boost


Give 20 Commendations to other players at the end of activities


Nightfall Playlist

Clear a Nightfall with a score of 100,000


Trials of Osiris

Win 7 games on the same card


Trials of Osiris

Win 7 games with no losses on a Trials Passage


Trials of Osiris

Win 50 rounds


Iron Banner

Complete Iron Banner daily challenges


Avalon Exotic Mission

Complete the //node.ovrd.avalon// Exotic mission


Weekly Campaign Mission

Get a team score of 100,000 or better


Partition Mission

Complete the weekly Partition mission after completing Nimbus' weekly bounty.


Dares of Eternity

Complete Dares of Eternity with a score of 250,000 or higher


Ghosts of the Deep

Complete encounters in the Ghosts of the Deep dungeon


Root of Nightmares

Complete encounters in the Root of Nightmares raid


Weekly Raid

Complete the weekly rotating raid (Last Wish, Garden, Deep Stone Crypt, or Vault of Glass)


Weekly Dungeon

Complete the weekly rotating dungeon (Shattered Throne, Pit of Heresy, Prophecy, Grasp of Avarice, Duality, or Spire)


*Despite being listed as Powerful T2, this actually gives Pinnacle Gear.

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Activity Sources

Destiny 2 Dungeon 4 - via Bungie
via Bungie

If you haven't played Destiny 2 in a bit or don't own all the game's DLCs, you might be confused about where some of these activities originate from. We've listed the season or DLC tied to each activity in the tables below.

Active DLC


Season of the Deep

  • Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit
  • Nightfalls
  • Competitive PvP
  • Hawthorne Vendor
  • Dares of Eternity
  • Vault of Glass
  • King's Fall

  • Salvage
  • Deep Dive
  • Aquatic Operations Vendor
  • Ghosts of the Deep Dungeon (requires dungeon key DLC)

Season of Defiance


  • Defiant Battlegrounds
  • //node.ovrd.avalon//

  • Neomuna Weeklies
  • Lightfall Campaign
  • Terminal Override
  • Partition Weeklies
  • Root of Nightmares

The Witch Queen

30th Anniversary Pack

  • Altar of Reflection
  • The Wellspring
  • Witch Queen Campaign
  • Vow Of The Disciple
  • Duality (requires dungeon key DLC)
  • Spire of the Watcher (requires dungeon key DLC)

  • Grasp of Avarice Dungeon


Forsaken Pack

  • Garden of Salvation
  • Pit of Heresy

  • Last Wish
  • Shattered Throne

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General Leveling Tips

Destiny 2 Lightfall Cloudstrider

Complete The Lightfall Legendary Campaign

The Lightfall campaign has a Legendary difficulty variant you can start up at any time from Neomuna. Completing the Lightfall campaign on Legendary grants a full set of gear at 1,770 Power. This bypasses a moderate part of the Power grind. If you own the Lightfall expansion and have the skill and/or friends to clear the campaign on Legendary, we highly encourage you to do so.

Additional Tips

Complete Pinnacle Gear challenges whenever your items have a similar Power level. This will grant a major boost to one slot, making Powerful Gear rewards "even out" your other slots. Be sure to complete bounties while completing weeklies, as the XP they provide can greatly accelerate your Artifact's progression. The more XP you earn, the more Power level you'll receive.

If you have more than one character, it is best to level the character you play/like the least. When you're done leveling them, transfer your guns to your second character. Level that character, transfer your weapons once more to your main character, then complete every weekly milestone. This will nearly ensure that you reach the hard cap in the first week of a given season.

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Reaching 1,800 Power Quickly

Destiny 2 The Farm Defiance Gear

Reaching the soft cap in Destiny 2 can be a painful process, but understanding how to mix-max your Powerful drops can make this grind much faster. If you're new to Destiny 2, you'll need to do some serious grinding to reach the hard cap this season.

Destiny 2 Crucible

Before you obtain any Powerful Gear, make sure that you hit the soft cap first. Clearing the Lightfall campaign on Legendary difficulty is the fastest way of doing so, as you'll receive a full set of gear at 1,770 Power when the campaign is finished.

For leveling quickly, you'll want to obtain Powerful Gear rewards that offer the largest Power level jump. If you haven't played the season at all, completing one or two Pinnacle Gear sources isn't a bad idea, as these will give you a +6 item.

From there, you'll want to complete weeklies that grant minor Power level increases. These items will almost always drop in your other gear slots and "even out" the Power level distribution on your gear. When obtaining a +3 item becomes less impactful, complete another challenge that grants a massive boost.

The leveling process should look something like this:

  • Claim a Pinnacle Gear reward.
  • Complete three or four Powerful Gear weeklies.
  • Claim a Powerful Gear (+4 or +5) reward.
  • Complete three to four Powerful Gear weeklies.
  • Claim a Powerful Gear (+4 or +5) reward.
  • Complete three or four Powerful Gear weeklies.
  • Play the Competitive Crucible Playlist to even out your gear.
    • If you dislike Comp, complete seasonal activity and vendor challenges at the H.E.L.M.

If you're really far behind on the Power level scale, consider replacing the T2 and T3 Powerful Gear rewards with Pinnacle sources instead.

You can complete whatever content you prefer for the Pinnacle and Powerful rewards, but you should complete them in that order. Obtain a reward that grants a massive Power jump, then level your Crucible Glory rank or complete seasonal weeklies to even out your gear quickly. If you do this right, you can reach the hard cap one or two weeks into a season.

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Reaching 1,810 Power Quickly

Destiny 2 Season of the Deep Season Pass Armor Ornaments

Reaching 1,810 Power will boil down to RNG. If you are lucky enough to get drops in the slots you need, you can reach the Pinnacle cap three weeks into a season.

For Season of the Deep, there isn't any particular order you need to complete these weeklies. With that said, we do have a few suggestions:

  • Level alts first: Alternate characters should be your priority if you're rushing towards this cap. Level your third, least-played character before transferring your weapons to your second character. Complete their Pinnacle weeklies, transfer the guns to your main character, then run every Pinnacle source one more time.
  • Complete Seasonal Challenges: Seasonal Challenges grant an absurd amount of XP. That XP directly contributes to your Artifact's Power level, allowing you to reach the Pinnacle Cap and beyond without grinding for weeks on end. This won't assist with Trials of Osiris, but those chasing max Power to complete Master Nightfalls or Master Lost Sectors should keep this in mind.
  • Complete Pinnacle Dungeons: Each encounter in the current Pinnacle dungeon drops +2 Power upgrades. Get a fireteam before trying this.
  • Clear Root of Nightmares: Root of Nightmares is the current Pinnacle raid of Destiny 2, dropping Pinnacle gear per encounter. That's four different +2 upgrades per run. You can do this once per character every week.

Next: Destiny 2: Season of The Deep - Fishing Guide