With every new expansion comes to an increase in power level, and Witch Queen is no exception to that rule. Today I’m going to have a look at power levels, what the new power level caps are for Witch Queen, plus some tips on how to level up quickly, so you can get stuck into the endgame as soon as possible.
Power level is all-important in Destiny 2, as this determines how much damage you dish out to enemies as well as how much damage you receive. If you are under power level then going into more difficult content is going to be near impossible, so you’ll want to put in some hours to raise your overall power level in the game, to make sure you can get to the endgame content, which is going to give you the best rewards the game has to offer.
What is power level
To check out your power level in the game, you can head on over to your character screen. There are 8 gear slots in total that matter to your overall power level and that includes your weapons and armor – artifact power does matter, but I’ll cover that specifically later in the guide.
Your overall power level is calculated from your average gear score, so you want to have the highest power level item equipped in each slot to raise your overall power level. For example, on my Guardian here I have all gear including weapons and armor powered up to 1330, giving me an average of 1330 overall. Your objective is to run through content like the campaign, playlist activities, nightfalls, Trials, Iron Banner and Gambit – everything the game has to offer, and collect loot to raise your overall power level.
Some activities in Destiny 2 have different power level requirements. For example, regular strikes are going to be much easier than Nightfalls, because the power level requirements are lower for Strikes. The trade-off is you are going to get better rewards from the harder content, meaning you’ll be able to level up faster. Ideally you should aim to be as close as possible of the entry-level requirements of an activity to allow you take on the enemies. If your power level is too low, then damaging the enemies is going to be tough, and you’ll end up frustrated.
Next, let’s have a look at the power level caps.
Power level caps
In the Witch Queen the power levels have been updated, and when you log in after 22nd February to Destiny 2, everything is going to be updated. There are a few terms here we should discuss, that includes the soft cap, hard cap, and pinnacle cap.
Power Minimum – First, all gear is going to be raised to 1350, which is at least 20 power levels above anything we have right now. This is going to be the new minimum score for everything, that includes all the gear you have now, including everything in your vault.
Soft Cap – This is going to be 1500. As you journey from 1350 to 1500, everything you collect is going to raise your power level. That includes loot from rare and legendary engrams. You’ll be able to reach the soft cap by playing any activity in the game including the campaign, strikes, crucible, gambit and seasonal activities too. You will hit a point where you won’t be able to level up anymore, and that’s going to be the soft cap.
Hard Cap – Once you have reached the soft cap, you’ll want to push through that by earning powerful rewards and start working your way towards the Hard Cap of 1550. You can see powerful rewards on the director as you inspect various activities. Going from 1500 to 1550 is going to take a little bit of time. Have a look around The Tower and also the planets, inspect the activities and you can see the level of rewards your are getting. On your way to 1550 focus on powerful reward sources.
Pinnacle Cap – When you reach 1550 then you have to do Pinnacle activities, indicated by the yellow circle icon on the director, and you’ll be able to push through the hard cap towards the pinnacle cap of 1560. Pinnacle rewards can be found by running endgame activities like Raids, Nightfalls, plus also seasonal content. Bungie is likely to introduce some new activities for pinnacle sources, so keep an eye on your director and look out for those yellow circle icons. For example, once per week per character you can get pinnacle drops from doing three strikes with the right subclass, completing three crucible matches, and complete three gambit matches too.
Another element of your overall power level is your artifact power. Each Season we get an item from a vendor called the Artifact. This is important because leveling up our artifact not only gives us useful mods, which can be attached to our weapons, but also by gathering XP we can raise the artifact power score which effects our overall power level score for our Guardian. This can be much more powerful than our gear, because we are not taking an average score here, we’re simply gathering XP to level up as we go. This is why you see Guardians with a higher power level than the pinnacle cap in the game.
For example, my Guardian has an overall power level of 1350. 1330 of that comes from my gear score, and then an additional 20 power levels come from the artifact.
To level up the artifact you have to be completing bounties and other activities in the game. Each vendor around the planets and the moons will give out bounties, normally weekly, daily and additional bounties. The weekly bounties are going to offer up more XP. Plus you’ll get XP by completing the campaign, and other activities in the game too.
How to level up fast
Let’s have a look at a few tips and tricks for levelling up quickly.
Get to 1500 Soft Cap
Start on main character first. If you are only leveling up one guardian, then this doesn’t matter too much. However, if you are planning on levelling up three Guardians then order does matter. In the first week of the expansion releasing, you want to start with your main Guardian.
Next, you’ll want to run through the campaign. You can start on normal mode if you are running solo, and it’s likely you’ll end up somewhere near the soft cap when you finish the campaign. If you aren’t near 1500 at the end of the campaign, you can top up your power through strikes, crucible and gambit, plus lost sectors and public events. If you have a team together, or you want a real challenge, then you could always run the Legendary Campaign. This is going to give you more loot, XP, Throneworld armor, plus extra exclusive Bungie rewards which are going to be announced later on. Doing the Legendary Campaign is going to help you level up quickly towards the soft cap.
If you have been saving bounties, then you can turn them in, but make sure you have a ghost mod on.
- Guiding Light: Increase XP gains by 10%.
- Blinding Light: Increase XP gains by 12% (Fragile Mod)
Plus try and be in a fireteam as you’ll get extra XP. That’s going to help you level up your artifact and get more power levels.
Getting to the Soft Cap will open up powerful and pinnacle rewards. Plus the Prime Attunement, allowing you to get Prime Engrams as random drops, further boosting the power levels.
If you are only levelling up one Guardian, then you can move onto the Powerful rewards and the climb to 1550. However, if you want to level up multiple guardians, then repeat the process and get everyone to 1500 and you open up those powerful and pinnacle reward sources.
Get to 1550 Hard Cap
Start on the main character.
Look for powerful rewards. There are different tiers of powerful rewards. For example, tier-one powerful rewards give you a plus three reward related to your current power level, tier two gives plus four and tier three gives plus 5. Run some powerful activities, then even out your gear as you go. A great way to do this is through competitive PVP, as you’ll get plenty of powerful rewards at the end of competitive crucible matches.
Use Destiny Optimizer, it shows you your overall power level, plus gives you tips on how to level up, plus the sources of the rewards. This is a great tool to use, as you can visualise where you need to even out gear, or which gear piece you’re going to need to level up further. There’s also a great checklist here of which powerful rewards are available that week, where they are and how many chances you have. Competitive PVP is a great way to even out gear, so if you are stuck and need some legs or arms to even out, then I recommend going into competitive PVP and getting those drops at the end of matches.
Repeat the process on other characters you want to level up until the end of the first week.
Get to 1560 Pinnacle Cap
Work through pinnacle sources that are available to you, check the map for the yellow circle icons.
If you are only doing a single character, and you’re not going for the raid, then keep levelling up through powerful and pinnacle sources. until you reach the pinnacle cap.
If you are running three characters then at the end of the first week switch to your 3rd character, and level them up first, and you want to end up with your main Guardian levelled up last as you work towards the raid. This ensures you can swap gear over to your main Guardian, to be the highest level possible in time for the raid on Saturday 5th Feb.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the power levelling guide, and if you have any tips to share, then let us know in the comments.
That’s it for this guide on how to level up to 1560 fast in Witch Queen. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out This Week In Video Games on YouTube and subscribe today.