Destiny 2: How to level up fast in the Season of Arrivals

The beginning of a new Destiny 2 season is always an interesting time, mainly because virtually every player is scrambling to figure out the most efficient methods for reaching the newly-raised power level caps. This is especially true for the recently launched Season of Arrivals since many players were turned off by the previous Season of the Worthy’s egregious amount of grinding and likely didn’t bother to advance too far while it was live.

Thankfully, bumping up your power level in the Season of Arrivals is a much less tedious endeavor, especially if your only goal is to reach the new “soft” power level cap of 1,050 (the new hard cap is 1,060). In this guide, we’ll explain how you can quickly boost your power level into the lower 1,000’s and, once you reach that milestone, how you can efficiently climb towards the 1,050 soft cap, and perhaps even higher.

Reaching Power Level 1,000

The newly-raised power level thresholds mean that getting your character up to power level 1,000 is pretty easy and can be done just by playing casually. If you’re still below power level 1,000 (as you likely are if you checked out of Season of the Worthy early), you’ll notice that rare (blue) armor and weapon drops will be scaled above your current power level average.

Our recommendation is that you hang onto these higher-power rare items but that you don’t infuse them into your existing gear just yet. Merely having them in your inventory will cause even *higher* power rare items to drop, and once you start finding items that are at 1,000 power or higher, you can start infusing them into your existing legendary and exotic gear.

If you want to really fast-track your climb to 1,000, feel free to participate in activities that award guaranteed Powerful Engram drops such as Crucible Rotator playlist matches, the Luna’s Calling weekly quest, and the weekly Flashpoint. Pinnacle Engram drops are worth pursuing as well, but you’re better off waiting to earn those until after you’ve crossed the 1,000 power level threshold. For reference, here are some additional methods for earning both Powerful and Pinnacle Engrams:

Powerful Engrams

  • Finish a total of eight bounties (weekly and/or daily) given by Zavala, Lord Shaxx, The Drifter, or Banshee-44 during a given weekly reset period
  • Complete three Nightmare Hunts on the Moon (any difficulty)
  • Complete three runs of the weekly Nightfall Ordeal strike
  • Rank up your Crucible Valor, Crucible Glory, or Gambit Infamy level
  • Decrypt Prime Engrams

Pinnacle Engrams

  • Complete three strikes while using the elemental subclass (Arc, Solar, or Void) that matches the weekly strike singe modifier
  • Complete three Gambit matches (both regular and Gambit Prime matches count)
  • Complete the new ‘Interference’ weekly quest
  • Finish a run of the weekly Nightfall Ordeal with 100,000 score or more
  • Complete four matches in the Crucible Core playlist
  • Finish a Nightmare Hunt on Master difficulty

A Bountiful Endeavor

Whatever your opinion on Destiny 2’s bounty system, it’s an undeniably great way to keep yourself flush with essential resources and XP (the latter of which helps to advance both your seasonal rewards pass and seasonal artifact). You don’t have to drive yourself crazy doing every single bounty, though, just grab the ones you enjoy doing and/or the ones that already align with your preferred playstyle.

One series of bounties you absolutely should not ignore is Banshee-44’s weapon bounties. Once completed, these bounties award a guaranteed Upgrade Module (for weekly bounties) or Enhancement Core (for daily bounties). Banshee-44 can also convert Enhancement Cores into Upgrade Modules for a small fee of Legendary Shards, Glimmer, and planetary materials, and the reason why you want a large reserve of Upgrade Modules is because they’re required for gear infusion.

Crucible and Vanguard bounties are worth doing as well not only because of their XP rewards but also because you can earn reward packages from their respective vendors (Shaxx and Zavala). The legendary gear granted through these reward packages can drop well above your power level if you’re still sub-1,000, and even after you cross the 1,000 threshold they can still help you slowly climb up to 1,050.

Lastly, there’s a new series of bounties you can pick up from the Prismatic Recaster that’s been set up near The Drifter in The Tower. The Prismatic Recaster and its bounties tie into the new Umbral Engrams system which we’ll cover in a moment, but for now, we’ll say the bounties are worth doing since they grant a key new resource: Altered Element.

Ends Justify the Means

The Season of Arrivals includes a new opening questline featuring Eris Morn and some mysterious new Pyramid Ships which have landed on Io. This opening questline, called ‘Means to an End,’ involves completing a small number of solo missions and activity-based sub-tasks, and it culminates in a final mission called ‘Interference’ which can actually be repeated every week for a Pinnacle Engram drop.

As you play through the Means to an End questline, you’ll become acquainted with the Prismatic Recaster and how it can “focus” the new Umbral Engram drops you find into specific types of gear. Once focused, these Umbral Engrams are then decrypted using The Drifter’s unique ‘Umbral Decoder’ decryption device, and as with most other sources these decrypted gear drops can help you rocket up the power level chain.

The first three Umbral Engrams you earn each week can be focused for free (this number of free focuses can be increased by purchasing the ‘Free-Focus Lens’ Prismatic Recaster upgrade) and decrypt at Powerful Engram power levels. After that, additional focuses will require the spending of Altered Element. A second resource, Twisted Energy, is needed to rank up the Prismatic Caster and unlock upgrades. Both Twisted Energy and Altered Element have a chance of dropping as rewards from other activities, but the most consistent way to get them is via the Prismatic Caster’s weekly and daily bounties.

All this stuff about the Prismatic Caster, Umbral Engrams, and focusing is admittedly a lot to take in, but as with many other Destiny 2 systems you don’t have to engage with it any more than you want to. Understanding and utilizing the Prismatic Caster and Umbral Engrams can definitely help you push onward past power level 1,000 and towards 1,050 (or even towards 1,060), but if you’d rather just play your favorite playlist activities like Crucible or Gambit, that’s totally fine too.

A Note on Gear Sunsetting

The gear sunsetting which Bungie has talked about before is starting to roll out alongside the Season of Arrivals, but you’d be forgiven for not immediately noticing. If you look at your current legendary and exotic gear, you’ll see it has a maximum power cap of 1,060. However, once you start picking up newer gear pieces, you’ll see their power cap is an eye-opening 1,360. That’s the gear sunsetting mechanic in action.

As Destiny 2 continues to evolve and new seasons and expansions continue to come out, much of the game’s current gear will eventually become obsolete since its power level cannot be raised above 1,060. The overall intention is for players to eventually swap out their gear for newer 1,360 power level cap pieces.

Infusing a piece of 1,360 gear into 1,060 gear sadly doesn’t raise the latter’s total power cap, even if the two gear pieces are identical. This slow phasing out of gear relevance isn’t something you need to immediately concern yourself with, but if you’re trying to at least somewhat keep up with the current power level curve, you might want to start hanging on to any 1,360 gear you fancy.

No matter how you go about pushing your Destiny 2 Guardian’s power level ever upward, just remember that you don’t need to reach the soft power cap in a day. The Season of Arrivals is still barely a week old, so there’s plenty of time to work through the season’s new content at your leisure (especially if you also have alt characters you want to level). Just go at your own pace, do what you enjoy, and the power level upgrades will come.