Check out our Destiny 2 Leviathan Raid Guide.
The Red War campaign in Destiny 2 is fairly easy to follow, taking you through each of the worlds and leveling you up to 20. Once the credits have rolled though, there’s still a lot to do and it can be intimidating trying to figure out what to tackle next. Our Destiny 2 endgame guide is here to help you navigate the post-campaign content.
Destiny 2 Endgame Guide
Understanding Power Level
Power level is an aggregate number that takes into account your armor and weapons. The goal is to get this number as high as possible by earning new gear. Fortunately you don’t need to have your highest level gear equipped to earn more powerful gear. Destiny 2 smartly accounts for what your highest possible power level is. Up until about 260, this progression is going to be a smooth ride, earned from doing almost anything in the game.
Your goal after 260 is going to be going after legendary and exotic gear. Any milestone that cites rewards as “powerful gear” is going to be a target for increasing your power level beyond this soft cap, which I will detail within each of the activities below.
If you have a weapon or a piece of armor that you really like, you can infuse more powerful gear into it to increase its power level. Infusion costs legendary shards, which can be obtained by breaking down legendary and exotic gear. Infusing the same quality of gear into another (legendary to legendary, exotic to exotic) only costs one shard. Infusing lower quality gear into higher quality items will cost four. Infusing an exotic into a legendary is free.
Armor infusion is limited to same items for the same class (Hunter boots must be infused into Hunter boots, Titan helmets must be infused into Titan helmets, etc.). Weapon infusion must be done by a weapon of the same type (Scout rifle into scout rifle, etc.), but can be done across the energy and kinetic weapon slots. Be careful when doing this, as infusing your highest power weapon into a different slot could pull your potential power level down.
New to Destiny 2 are mods that can be placed on armor and weapons. None of these are game changers, but they can make enough subtle adjustments to tweak the way in which you play. You won’t want to waste these until you get past 265, as they are consumable. Mods can be earned from gunsmith packages and Bright Engrams. Explore your options with different mods and pay attention to legendary mods, which will increase the power level of your gear by 5. Some earned gear can come with a legendary mod already attached.
Vendor Rank Up
As you play Destiny 2, various activities will give you tokens that can be turned in to different NPCs for reputation gains. When you level up their reputation, you will get a gear package containing legendary items and a chance at exotics. It’s best to save these tokens for after you reach 260. Other activities will get you to this level easily, and turning in tokens can help boost you past it.
If you pull up your map and hold L2, you will find a list of tasks you can complete and their rewards. Complete these tasks as early as you can, but don’t pick up the rewards listed as “powerful gear” until later in the grind. These items will drop at a high level and are crucial to increasing your character’s power level. I would recommend not picking up these items until after you reach 265 through patrolling the worlds.
Free roaming the patrol zones is the best way to get up to 265 after the story. Pick a single patrol zone and complete public events, triggering the heroic public events if possible. These will give you better rewards and more experience for Bright Engrams (more on those later). Flashpoints are missions from Cayde that reset weekly, asking players to undertake public events on a specific planet. The Flashpoint rewards powerful gear upon completion.
Venture into the Lost Sectors to kill high level enemies and loot chests for additional rewards. All of these things will help to get you right around that 265 mark where the grind starts to get a little tougher. Collect the tokens for the zone you are in, but don’t turn them in until after you reach 265 to get the best value out of them.
Cayde’s treasure maps will also hide a bunch of chests around patrol areas that can drop endgame level gear, including legendaries and exotics.
Adventures are side missions that grant a variety of rewards, marked by the orange icons on each world’s map. These are great ways to gain additional rewards, not to mention how to get deeper into the lore of Destiny 2. Keep an eye on what rewards the adventures say they give you. Save ones that say “powerful gear” for later, as these can really help to boost your power level when you are stuck. Once you complete all adventures on a planet, a rotating selection of them will be available to replay from the faction vendor.
Destiny 2 Endgame Guide - What to Do After the Campaign
Don’t worry about saving engrams for later levels. If you have an engram, it is worth decrypting right away. Power level of an engram is determined at the time it is dropped, so it’s no use hoarding those purple and yellow engrams for later. Decrypt the exotics and legendaries right away to get the most use out of them, and have them count towards your possible power level.
Destiny 2’s PVP has a few ways to advance your character. Every match has the potential of dropping high level rewards at the end, and you will be earning tokens to turn in to Shaxx (see Vendor Rep above). There are two playlists, one featuring more traditional modes and the other being highly competitive modes. It doesn’t matter which one you play for earning rewards.
Trials of the Nine
Trials is an endgame PVP mode that is highly competitive. It arrives every Friday and is available until reset on Tuesday morning. As Trials won’t be arriving until September 15 for the first time in Destiny 2, details are scarce right now on how exactly Trials of the Nine will play out. If it’s like the first game, Trials will require you to find your own fireteam and will be one of the most difficult competitive challenges in the game.
Strikes are tough missions that will matchmake you with two other players. Normally a strike is a series of encounters leading to a final boss encounter. Completing consistent strikes in the strike playlist will grant increased rewards, and sometimes have a chance for dropping an exotic engram.
Every week, a rotating strike becomes the Nightfall, a challenging strike that rewards players with endgame gear. This strike is not matchmade, so you’ll want to grab a couple of friends to run it, keeping each week’s modifiers in mind.
Replay the Story
If you want to replay the campaign, Ikora Rey has you covered. Visit her to collect a meditation and play a story mission. Once you complete the mission, you will earn tokens that can be turned in to her to increase reputation and earn rewards. These tokens can also be collected by completing the challenges offered daily in each activity (pull up your Ghost using the touch pad to view them).
Join a Clan
Destiny 2 clans now allow teams to work together to earn exclusive rewards. Join a clan, grab a banner from Hawthorne, and work together with the rest of your group to level up. Clans reward powerful gear and bonuses like increasing drops from enemies and activities, so it’s worth joining one if you plan on playing a lot.
Do the Raid
The raid is Destiny 2’s ultimate endgame activity, requiring six players to have teamwork and communication for completion. Raids are experiences that anyone playing Destiny 2 shouldn’t miss. We’ll have a complete Destiny 2 raid guide after it releases later this week.
While not technically a part of leveling up your power, Bright Engrams are the loot boxes of Destiny 2. After level 20, your experience bar will continue to fill. Each time you fill it, you will earn a Bright Engram. These loot boxes contain cosmetic rewards like consumable shaders, emotes, ships, sparrows, and transmat effects. They can also contain mods. Each week, you will get an experience boost bonus for the first three levels earned per character, and doing any activity in the game will earn experience towards getting Bright Engrams.
Do you have any other tips or hints for Destiny 2 players as they make their way beyond the story? Make sure to check out our guide on how to trigger all of the Destiny 2 heroic public events to get the most out of patrolling each planet.