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"Destiny 2": The Hunt for 305

James Robertson is an author and freelance writer who specializes in just about everything—and he loves writing about video games.


Can You Reach Power Level 305?

The progression system for Destiny over the last three years has taken many turns, but it is easy to see how progression is simple in the newest iteration of the series. Long gone are the days of constant grinding in only a few activities to achieve that one piece of gear to reach max power, now you can complete virtually any task to gain level. After playing 2 hours every night on weekdays and around 6 hours each day on the weekend, I reached max power level on all three characters in the first three weeks. What follows is a simple guide for those seeking the max power level of 305. I will keep it short and to the point.

  • *Disclaimer: It is easier to reach 305 if you play with multiple characters. Most of the weekly content can be completed in a few hours after reset (minus the raid or trials of the nine). If this is done each week on multiple characters, you will reach 305 in no time.
  • **Second Disclaimer: This is the method that I used to boost all three of my characters (all different classes) to 305 in the first three weeks with moderate amounts of gameplay.

The Basics

  • Before you begin the grind for 305, you should complete the campaign. Feel free to venture off on side-quests while you trudge through the quests but seeking max power level shouldn’t be on your mind until after the campaign.
  • You must reach level 20 before the game opens to “end game” content.
  • Before hitting Power Level 265 do not complete anything that rewards you with “Powerful Gear” in your Milestones (this includes Cade’s Stash). These rewards are given out weekly and can reward above 265 light while most other objectives do not.
  • Some gear you obtain through the game may have legendary mods attached to them that increase their power level by 5. These mods are the only way to reach 305, and you should always be aware of what mod a piece of armor has before deleting or merging. If a piece of armor has a legendary mod attached and you merge it, you lose that +5 power. Be aware before you delete or merge!
  • Don’t worry about attaching +5 armor mods to your gear until you’re at least 265 power level.
  • If it’s your first character just play the game, but don’t be afraid to use the fireteam medallion for a second and third character. Getting additional characters to level 20 is your primary goal and holding off on the medallion for later is not necessary (you will get more).
  • Don’t worry about buying things from Eververse. Everything she sells is purely cosmetic aside from the fireteam medallion, and you will receive enough bright engrams from normal gameplay to always have a medallion active. Just dismantle what she gives you and buy more medallions.
  • During the campaign buy gear from vendors. I heard some people say it is stupid to do this but honestly, I did it for all three characters and saw a great jump in power level. If the gear is a higher level, you should still buy it. The moment you are high enough to equip, the game will raise your “passive” power level. It doesn’t seem like much, but it helps. Don’t worry about glimmer either, I did it for all three characters, and I’m maxed out on glimmer right now with nothing to buy.
  • The game has a “passive” power level counter which means it always considers the highest power level you could be when awarding gear. This means that you don’t have to equip the highest gear possible while playing (or turning in engrams). If you choose to play with an AR that’s Power Level 180 because you enjoy it even though you could equip a 210 Hand Cannon that’s fine; the game will consider the Hand Cannon to be your highest weapon. This does apply to weapons in your vault.

Pre Level 20

Just beat the campaign! If you complete the campaign and you’re still not to level 20 either play some Crucible or roam around on planets. Anything you do will raise your level.

Up to Power Level 265

When you beat the campaign, you should be around power level 200. All the vendors sell gear at 200 power level which should easily boost you to 200 on any gear you are missing. After this, you can do almost anything you want. Gear (more specifically blue gear) dropped in almost all events goes up to 265 before reaching a soft cap.

If you’re looking purely for the most efficient way to grind, I recommend public events. If you cannot find a group, then run them solo, but fireteams are preferred. Always initiate the heroic versions if possible due to the increased gear drop.

Post Power Level 265

You will notice an interesting phenomenon after power level 265. Even though legendary gear continues to drop higher, blue gear will stay at 265. This is a mechanic Bungie implemented to slow your progression. As your power level goes up, the soft cap for blues will increase, but it will always remain lower than your current power level. For example, on my 305 characters, I receive blue engrams between 295 and 299.

Powerful Gear

The best way to raise your power level after 265 is through events that reward “Powerful Gear.” To keep it easy to read I’ve included all the events below in bullets.

  • It’s not an event that rewards powerful gear, but anytime you want to grind for better gear turn to heroic public events. Completion of the events can give you legendary and exotic engrams that decrypt higher than your current power level.
  • A second method not in your milestones is completing the exotic planetary quests. Each planet has an exotic weapon (minus Titan) quest that begins after the blue missions (with an upside-down crown symbol) end. I recommend waiting until you are at least 285 due to them dropping around 10 power levels higher. It is a great way to boost past 285.
  • Weekly Flashpoint. This event requires you to complete public events on a specific planet. The planet changes each week at the weekly reset.
  • Weekly Crucible (Call to Arms). Since a recent patch this requires you to play between 4 and 6 crucible matches (previously took about 10 matches). Kills and completion of matches push you closer to finishing the milestone.
  • Weekly Nightfall. The Destiny veterans will remember this event, but for new players, the Nightfall is a strike with special modifiers. Each week a different strike is selected and given special modifiers to increase the difficulty. The most important modifier you will notice is that it’s time-restricted. If the time runs out, you must start over.
  • Trials of the Nine. If you’re an avid fan of the crucible, you will enjoy Trials of the Nine (a reboot of D1 Trails of Osiris). This is a highly competitive game mode that I don’t recommend for casual players.
  • Leviathan Raid. The raids in Destiny are amazing experiences that everyone should try at some point. They are difficult to complete, but the rewards are worth it. I don’t recommend anyone attempting the raid unless you’re at least 280 power level. If you don’t have friends or a clan to run with, I would recommend you increase that to 285 before searching for a pug group on any LFG website.

Final Thoughts

Don’t waste your time on Crucible or Strikes if you’re looking to raise your power level quickly. The time invested in comparison to the rewards don’t equal out.

If you have the chance to play with someone else, it’s preferred (unless they’re on a different step). If you’re looking to boost up to 305, you both won’t be on the same page, and it’ll slow your progression. If you just want to have fun, play with them!

If I forgot anything, please be sure to comment below with what you recommend.

Be sure to remember, this is a game and if you aren’t having fun, why are you playing?!

"Destiny 2" Launch Trailer

© 2017 James Robertson

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