Destiny 2 Witch Queen Leveling Guide: Soft Cap, Hard Cap, And How To Level Up To 1560

Here's how you can quickly take your Guardian from the soft cap of 1500 to the impressive power level of 1560 in Destiny 2's new expansion.


While it's arguably been deemphasized over the years, your power level still matters in Destiny 2, and there's a new grind to begin once again now that The Witch Queen is here. With the release of the new DLC expansion and accompanying season, the soft cap, Powerful cap, and hard cap have all changed, getting a sizable increase.

Luckily, everyone has been boosted to 1350 to ensure you're ready to begin playing the new content, but you'll need to work your way up from there in order to reach the power levels required for the new Lost Sectors, Nightfall strikes, and upcoming raid, among other things. Here's a look at how the power level system works in The Witch Queen.

How to increase your Power Level

So, you started a Nightfall at power level 1350?
So, you started a Nightfall at power level 1350?

Destiny 2's system for gauging your Guardian's overall power is focused on the sum total of your weapons and gear, each piece having a numerical value and various stats that help define your character. While your Gear total isn't the only factor that'll help you survive against Savathun's Lucent Brood--don't count out skill and luck--it is a solid indicator of which activities you're properly prepared for. Trust us, you don't want to go into a Raid when you're only rocking blue-tier armor that can barely soak up a single bolt of Hive Wizard magic.

Increasing your Guardian's power comes down to constantly equipping new gear and weapons, but if you've fallen in love with some of your items, you can bring them up to speed by infusing them with a more powerful item that exists in the same category. You'll need an Upgrade Module to do so, and this handy equipment can be found in the field when using a certain consumable, from treasure chests occasionally, and by purchasing them from Banshee-44 in the Tower.

What's the soft cap?

For this expansion, the first wall you'll hit is when your power level reaches 1500. This is known as the soft cap, and you'll reach it as you play through Destiny 2's campaign and activities. Any drops you earn, no matter where they come from, will be able to increase you toward this limit.

What's the Powerful cap?

Once you've reached 1500, the way to make your way toward the Powerful cap of 1550 is to increase your power level with Powerful Engrams. These rewards are handed out for completing activities--Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit are some examples--and can be decrypted by Master Rahool in the Tower. Other sources of Powerful gear include tackling the campaign on its Legendary difficulty mode, turning in bounties, and seasonal activities. From the Director, you can hover over certain activities and vendors to see which sources provide Powerful Engrams. The Legendary version of the Witch Queen campaign is also a nice way to increase your Power level, as noted below.

What makes this grind more challenging is that each Powerful Engram contains either a random weapon or piece of armor, with the overall process being a lengthy climb to the top of the Guardian food chain.

What's the hard cap?

The top-tier seasonal gear looks great.
The top-tier seasonal gear looks great.

The highest level you can reach right now is 1560. If you're eager to take part in Destiny 2's most challenging content such as Raids, Dungeons, or completing a Nightfall Strike with an impressive score, then you can start earning Pinnacle Engrams. These are the lone way to bridge the cap between the Powerful cap of 1550 and the hard cap of 1560.

Can the Seasonal Artifact make me stronger?

Absolutely! Like previous seasons, you'll unlock a Seasonal Artifact that provides a boost in power. The catch here is that by the end of Season of the Risen, the artifact will be removed from your inventory, alongside any power gains. Beyond helping to inflate your power level, the Seasonal Artifact also provides a tailored experience in the perks department. You'll be able to choose from a range of beneficial boosts to your favorite weapons and armor mods, further fine-tuning your Guardian to suit your playstyle for the season.

You'll need a substantial amount of experience points to max out the Seasonal Artifact, but that won't be a problem as you play through Destiny 2 and constantly feed it by completing various activities.

How do I level up quickly?

Get ready to grind for that power.
Get ready to grind for that power.

Simply put, you'll need a combination of active play and the right mods to reach the current level caps in Destiny 2. Reaching the 1500 power level can easily be done just through The Witch Queen campaign alone. If you're capable of tackling the campaign on Legendary difficulty, this will reward you with a full set of gear that has a 1520 power level.

From this point, it's all about completing every activity that hands out Powerful and Pinnacle Engrams as you slowly but surely grow your Guardian's stats. The premium season pass also hands out several experience-points boosters, which in turn can be used to fuel your Seasonal Artifact and pump your numbers up further. If you can, resist grabbing the seasonal armor on the season pass, as it scales with your growth. When you know you've reached the hard cap, that's a great time to unlock those rewards.

On the positive side, taking the steady path with one Guardian makes the process easier for your other Guardians. They can take advantage of the high-level weapons you've collected and season pass boosts that you've unlocked, helping them power up more quickly. The Bungie Rewards page also has several helpful items, so don't forget to sign in and look around.

For more Witch Queen guides, check out five things you should do first in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, how to get the Exotic Catalyst for Grand Overture, and where to find Faction Chests.

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