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Destiny 2 Acquiring Power and Power Caps Guide

Destiny 2 is one of the hardest games as a beginner or returning player to understand, so we created Destiny 2 Acquiring Power and Power Caps Guide to help you understand how levelling works in the game. The user interface and lack of tutorials and guidance can lead to frustration, boredom and a lot of questions. Where do I go? What do I do? What should I focus on? And most importantly, how do I get powerful quickly? If that’s you then this Destiny 2 Beginner Guide 2023 is for you!

Acquiring Power & Power Caps

Firstly, before setting out on your super overpowered journey, you need to know: How to acquire power, more powerful gear? Also what power level or power caps means in Destiny 2? Your power level is essentially your gear score. Gear score determines some of the content you can access, along with how much damage you deal and how much damage you take. The higher the level, the better your character will be.

Each season, there are different caps on power. The maximum power level will change by roughly 10 per season and a larger amount per expansion.

Destiny 2 Power Level D2


Power cap in season 18

Destiny 2 will see a new season in December of 2022 and a new expansion, Lightfall in February of 2023, I’ll be referencing the season 18 power level. The caps are, soft, hard and pinnacle.

Season 18 Power Caps

Soft Cap

Hard Cap Pinnacle Cap
1520 1570


The soft cap currently is power level 1520 meaning, you can complete nearly any task, weekly milestones or activities and obtain better gear even at blue quality to reach this level quickly.

After that, the hard cap is 1570, which requires you to complete specific content to obtain what is called a powerful drop which has a random chance to be any of your weapon or armor slots thus increasing your power on that specific slot.

To reach 1580, you’ll need to complete pinnacle activities with your gear being a maximum of 1580.

Destiny 2 Vanguard Pinnacle

What usually happens until you reach 1580 is, you’ll have one or more pieces of gear lagging behind, which keeps you at a lower light level until mother RNG blesses you with that missing helm, boot or power weapon.

Destiny 2 Light level Missing

At 1580, gear doesn’t go any higher, you’ve reached the cap. You can still earn pinnacle drops even at 1580. Pinnacle activities are still worth doing at the cap to bring up different weapons or gear sets, specifically exotic armor and weapons.

Destiny 2 artifact

However, you have another form of progression in your artifact. This artifact can increase power pushing your character beyond 1580 by earning experience points through bounties and seasonal challenges and this can go on indefinitely.

Destiny 2 Season Rank and Seasonal challenges

This artifact will also reset seasonally, requiring you to re-level every season. But don’t worry, if you miss a season, it’s not detrimental. Think of the artifact as not only important for your overall power level but quintessential for mods in harder content.

Destiny 2 Artifact Rank

As you earn experience and gain more available points, you’ll get access to weapon mods that break shields for champions, overload, barrier and unstoppable. Without these mods equipped via your arms, champions will be very difficult or impossible to kill at higher-level content.

Destiny 2 Overload Champion

The picture above shows an overload champion, the icon represents its type of shield along with its name and my weapon is an overload shield breaking via the symbol on it, once I break the shield it stuns the champion which will be vulnerable without generating a shield or refilling their health for a limited time.

The Artifact is not only important for your power level but also important at the end game to take down the hardest and most annoying champions in the game. The end goal for PvE is to reach at least 1595 which is the minimum threshold for Grand Masters, the hardest and most lucrative content for 3-player PvE in the game. Trials of Osiris weekend PvP event, also factor in your power level, whereas crucible PvP matches do not.

So even PvP’ers want to reach a high power level. Power levelling your gear goes quickly nowadays in Destiny 2, I returned to the game and reached 1570 within a week, and 1595 within a month playing off and on a few hours a week.


And there you have it, probably about 100 tips for beginner and returning players. I hope the Destiny 2 Acquiring Power and Power Caps Guide will help you and you’ll enjoy the game as much as I do. Also, consider watching me live at, and checking out the website for more guides (click), Destiny 2 Beginner Builds (click) and End-game PvE Builds (click).

Thanks for reading!

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