Destiny is a numbers-driven game, and no number is more important for Guardians than their light level. As the months fly by and Bungie continues to release new Destiny content — like September’s Rise of Iron — maxing out your light level to prepare for the new endgame gets more and more confusing. Here’s how to get above 365 in Destiny and get yourself ready to destroy Aksis, Archon Prime in the latest raid, “Wrath of the Machine.”
First you need to understand how light level works. If you’re a veteran player or already get it, skip ahead, or scroll further down if you’re looking specifically for ghost shells and artifacts.
How light level works in Destiny: Rise of Iron
Your Guardian’s light level is a weighted average of the light level from your equipped gear, including weapons, armor, class item, artifact, and ghost shell. Your Guardian’s base level, which goes up to 40, isn’t really all that important, even though it’s the number that other players see out in the world (that’s just a weird design choice by Bungie). Being level 40 simply allows you to equip gear with the highest light level, increasing your Guardian’s light level in turn. Most gear you obtain will drop either at or just above your current level, which can make raising your light level a gradual process at best.
The base light level for Rise of Iron, the current Destiny expansion, is 350. That’s the light level of all the gear you can easily buy from vendors in Destiny’s social spaces, such as the Tower and Iron Temple. If you haven’t reached 350 yet, do everything you can to earn legendary marks — such as the daily featured crucible and story missions, and public events in patrol zones — and buy all the vendor gear you can.
The grind really starts once your Guardian’s light level reaches 350, although it’s still relatively forgiving. The most straightforward path from there is to play strike missions from the heroic SIVA crisis strikes playlist and pick up the items the boss of each strike drops, which will almost always be above your current level. Many other activities will grant you gear from light level 350 to 365. It’s once you hit light level 365 that you’ll inevitably hit a wall and the real grind begins.