Destiny Gear and Light Quick Guide

Destiny Gear and Light Quick Guide by Master_Broshi

Once hitting level 20 the path to 30 may seem a bit confusing. You know you need light, but you may not know how much or how to get more. The light progress bar offers some guidance. It tells you how much you have, but not how much you need to get to the next level. The armor you wear tells you the base light stat it carries, but not the maximum amount you can obtain through upgrades (or even inform you that upgrades will increase your light for that matter).

Finding this information online can be a bit tedious, and there is little guidance on these matters in game. I have compiled here a short list of what I have learned in order to hopefully explain the very basics of light, levels, and the armor that helps you get there.


  • You need 21 light to reach level 21
  • Each additional level requires 11 additional light.
  • The maximum amount of light you can currently obtain is 120, which will bring you to level 30.
Level Light
To get to level 21 You will need 21 light
22 32
23 43
24 54
25 65
26 76
27 87
28 98
29 109
30 120


  • You only receive light from armor, not weapons.
  • Light on a piece of gear increases as you upgrade its defensive perks.

Rare Gear

  • Rare (blue) gear carries a random amount of light. The best rare gear, once fully upgraded, can carry a maximum of +15 light.
  • Not all rare gear is upgradable to +15 light, some pieces are junk.
  • With a full set (4 pieces) of quality, fully upgraded rare gear the highest level you can achieve is 24 (+60 light).

Legendary Vendor Gear

  • Vendor legendary (purple) gear has a base light of +18. Each fully upgraded vendor piece maxes out at +27.
  • Legendary gear requires materials (relic iron, etc.) alone to upgrade to reach +22 light, which are relatively easy to obtain by farming.
  • After the first 4 light you add, you will need legendary materials (ascendant shards) to fully upgrade to +27 light, which are much more difficult to come by.
  • With a partially upgraded set of vendor legendary gear (+22 light per piece) the highest level you can achieve is 27 (+88 light).
  • With a set of fully upgraded vendor legendary gear the highest level you can achieve is 28 (+108 light).
  • ADVICE! Do some research on which legendary pieces you choose to max out. You can achieve level 27 without spending all your legendary materials or 28 by wasting them all. These take a while to save up. Once you get a piece of gear that will take you higher in level, you will drop back down in level as you level the new piece anyway. You don’t want to waste them on a piece of gear you will replace in a week. You are better off saving them for your raid gear or exotics!

Legendary Raid/Exotic Gear

  • Legendary raid drops and exotic (yellow) gear carry a maximum light of +30 once fully upgraded.
  • You may only equip one exotic piece of armor and one exotic weapon at a time.
  • With a set of fully upgraded raid/exotic gear the highest level you can achieve is 30 (120 light).

“The max level you can achieve without raid gear is 29 at 111 Light.” … “That’s 3 pieces of standard Legendary armor and one Exotic.”

“If you fully upgrade 1 exotic armor piece and upgrade one of your legendary armor pieces twice you will reach 28. Don’t bother upgrading anything else until you get raid gear.” This is a pretty good compromise which puts you in good shape to stay right at that level 28 border as soon as you start raiding.

More on Gear:

  • The statistics and perks on vendor gear are static.
  • You are able to find drops of the same gear vendors sell elsewhere in the game.
  • These items may carry different perks than those that the vendors sell.
  • You do not need any reputation to find these rewards.
  • You receive better drops as your level/light grow higher (so get that light up!).
  • Once achieving rank 3 with a faction you will receive 1 or 2 legendary items. You will also receive this gift for each additional rank you obtain.
  • you may recieve engrams as supposed to items. Still a nice perk though.
  • Xur sells exotic weapons and armor for strange coin, as well as exotic engrams for motes of light from Friday to Sunday every week. Take advantage of this.

Some of this info may sound novice. But it took me a while to learn some of this and not every player has reached the end game yet. The internet is not a great resource for this game yet, and the lack of in game communication hinders us from learning from each other. The databases and wikis provide partial, misleading, and inaccurate information that confused me more than helped.

However, I love the mystery and being able to learn about the game instead of having everything spoon fed to me as so many games do now-a-days.

I hope you find my guide helpful, please comment and add anything I may have missed.

Add me in game on Xbox One if you ever want to play – MasterBroshi9

“TL;DR: only use shards on exotic and raid gear.”

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