If you’re thinking about grinding your way through Destiny power levels, you might be turned off by how long it’ll take to get from 1050 to 1060. Without properly ordering your pinnacle drops, it could take you months to reach this season’s hard cap. I’ll be looking at pinnacle activity difficulty, +1 and +2 pinnacle drops, and strategy to level up quickly. Pinnacle drops refresh weekly on each Guardian profile, so you can repeat pinnacle activities on each of your three character profiles.
+1 Pinnacle Gear
Pinnacle gear appears as a +1 drop from some of the more common activities in Destiny 2. +1 pinnacle gear will drop at one level higher than your current effective power level (disregarding any seasonal pass bonus) up to 1060.
The following activities earn pinnacle gear at the +1 level. Once per week per guardian:
- Play 4 Crucible matches in any of the core playlists (Rumble, Control, Elimination, or Survival).
- Complete 3 Playlist Strikes with the same subclass as the current weekly elemental burn (the burn can be found by clicking on playlist strikes and mousing over the circles above “Vanguard Strikes”)
- Complete 3 Gambit matches (Gambit Prime is included)
These activities drop totally random gear. Any legendary or exotic that would normally come from these activities can drop as pinnacle gear. The gear also drops immediately after completing the requirement. If you play four crucible matches as your hunter class guardian, you will pop that +1 drop. So, on a Tuesday, be careful if you’re looking level up quickly. If you have a 0/8 power level (meaning you have just reached the threshold to level up), then go right ahead and pop it. This is the best time for it. But if your armor and guns are filling up with those +1 and +2 drops, you’ll probably want to wait. I’ll explain why in the next section.
+2 Pinnacle Gear
The more intensive activities seem to be the ones that land +2 each week. These will drop two levels higher than your current effective power level (ignoring seasonal pass bonuses) up to 1060.
These activities earn pinnacle gear at the +2 level. Once per week per guardian. Note: I have listed these in order of increasing difficulty.
- Means to an End Quest
- Any one Nightmare Hunt on Master Difficulty
- Pit of Heresy Dungeon
- Prophecy Dungeon
- A score of over 100,000 on the week’s Nightfall: The Ordeal
- Garden of Salvation Raid
- Seven wins on a single Trials of Osiris ticket
Destiny 2 pinnacle gear can be daunting. You should note that most of the strategy here is specifically for those between levels 1050 and 1058. If you are below 1050, you’ll need to farm powerful engrams, complete activities, and reclaim armor until you get to 1050. If you are 1059, there’s no difference between a +1 or +2 pinnacle drop.
Another thing to consider is the gear beneath your average power level. If that gear is low enough that the difference would give you a level up, you should level up without wasting any pinnacles. The preferred way to do this is to run the Contact Public Event on IO or Titan. Farm Umbral Engrams. Then, focus the engrams so they will land in a slot you need.
Do the Pit of Heresy Dungeon every week on every guardian. You will always get a +2 armor piece from completing the Pit Dungeon. If your weapons are a higher power level than your armor, I suggest doing this immediately. It greatly increases your odds of getting a specific armor piece from 1:8 to 1:5. If you run Pit early in the week, you’ll get your +2 armor drop and hopefully level up. Then, you’ll be able to get a higher level weapon from your more random drops. That extra leveling on a weapon means you can move it to another guardian on your account, and get the extra bonus for that character’s power level too. Oh, did I mention that the armor is Masterwork? That means even if the stats are poor, you can dismantle the armor for six enhancement prisms.
If this all feels overwhelming, here’s a flow chart to decide which pinnacle activity you should go for. Make sure you check DIM to see how close you are to the next light level.
First, Means to an End is the obvious choice if you need an easy +2 anything. You can complete the quest completely on your own. Any other +2 activity and you’ll need to recruit some friends. If the Iron Banner is around, the bounties from that also earn you pinnacle gear, so make sure you grab some bounties from Lord Saladin and complete them for easy (but long) drops. Saladin comes to town for one week every month.
The Dungeons and the Master Nightmare Hunts can be easy at some times and difficult at others. You’ll need two friends to do them with you. The Dungeons are much longer, though you can save checkpoints, meaning each character can save a spot before the final boss. You can do this on all three characters and basically farm the checkpoint with your friends.
Then, for the 100,000 Nightfall score, you’ll need to coordinate pretty well as a team. You should run on the legend level and kill every enemy as quickly as possible.
I listed Trials of Osiris as the hardest way to get pinnacle gear. You have to farm for good weapons and really just get good at the game. Otherwise, there’s no “trick” to beat Trials.
Again, all of this is very situational. There are also some weird exceptions. For example, Hawthorne appears to give you +1 gear every week. Pinnacle gear can be weird like that. Some of these things are just totally unclear. The above suggestions are best practices and reliable. If you want to get to 1060 as fast as possible, pay attention to your drops and your power level and get cranking on those weekly challenges! If you’re not having fun, just play some fun game modes with your friends and maybe ignore the grind for a few days.