Destiny New Player’s Leveling Guide

Destiny New Player’s Leveling Guide by GotProof

Level 1-4

  • This is self-explanatory necessary leveling through the story. You will be level 2 or 3 when you reach the “tower” and 4 or 5 soon after that. The game will introduce you to shooting, jumping, and using your sparrow (jet-ski thing). The game will also make you do your rounds around the tower and introduce you to the Speaker, Gunsmith, Cryptarch, Vanguard, and Mailman (pay attention to all of these guys, you will visit them a lot in the future). The most important one for now is the bounty guy. He is your new best friend through this entire guide I have written up.

Levels 5-10 (you can get here in about 2-3 hours from the start of the game)

  • Get vanguard bounties (avoid crucible this early, its a lot slower than vanguard) and check for new ones daily, especially the ones that go along with the story missions.
  • Try to avoid picking up bounties on planets you have not unlocked yet, they will take up room (you can only carry 5 at a time) and ones you can complete now are vital. Strikes will also be difficult at these levels. So avoid them.
  • The mailman will also provide you with bounty leads this early in the game. Be sure to only take the “vanguard” ones for now and grab them when you see them. They will often be easy and on the planet you are about to go to.
  • Always pick the “hard mode” on story missions for huge point bonuses. You will regret it if you do it on normal. If you are following my bounty formula, you should almost always be the same level as hard mode or higher.
  • Get in the habit of always pick up spinmetal/helium/etc and opening chests (which appear in random places and make a “twinkle” sound when you are close). Keep you volume up and pay attention to this.
  • Note: If you are not yet at the level or higher of hard mode, go back for more bounties, even if they are on a mission you have already done – do those first.

Levels 11-20

  • Depending on where you are in the story, once you have most/all of the planet locations open, its time to start focusing on bounties only. Bounties are now your #1 priority. This will get you to level 20 FAST. Only do story missions that you have not already done if you have run out of bounties or if one of the bounties calls for it. Again, don’t do it unless you can do it on hard. Forget about finishing the game unless a bounty calls for it or you are bored. There’s a [spoiler] cool gun that is level 16 waiting for you when you beat the game. I was level 19 when I first beat the game, but the gun was still better than anything else I had at that level. This guide will get you to level 25 before you beat the game, so this end-game gun doesnt matter that much.
  • Start of habit of once a day going to and find a public event to complete then roll in just in time to get a gold tier rating. You will get vanguard marks for doing this (important later). Also as a bonus strange coins or ascendant materials will be waiting for you at the mailman for your first one each day. Note: public events will not show up if you are the only person on the map. It helps to bring a friend or show up 10 minutes early so the map starts to populate.

Level 20

  • Once you hit level 20 it will say you have reached the “max level”. This is only true for point-leveling your character, your gear is what will get you past level 20.
  • In Destiny there is a system called “light”, which is noted on every piece of blue (rare), purple (legendary), and gold (exotic) gear. This is somewhat rage inducing, but equip everything with the most “light”. Even if you have a piece of armor that you really like because it gives you auto gun ammo switch it to the ones that have more light. None of this gear will matter later as all legendary gear will have the same amount of light, so you can get picky later.

Level 21-25 (the hunt for purple)

  • To buy legendary items focus on getting your vanguard rank up to 2 at a minimum then start accumulating vanguard marks with public events and strike playlists (bounties do not get you marks, only rank)
  • You can view your vanguard rank by talking to your vanguard guy in the tower (the guy who gives you free armor earlier in the game). Buying gear will give you the option of selecting the attributes you want, rather than relying on a random drop and investing time in leveling it up.
  • Continue doing vanguard bounties and planet patrols for rank. These will net you 50-100 rank points per bounty and are usually pretty easy You will need about 1500 to get to level one, and more for level 2. If you have been doing bounties since level 4, you might already be there or close.
  • The blue circle around the vanguard strike playlist (in orbit) is an indication of how many of the 100 marks you have gotten that week. Do not do anymore if this circle is filled.
  • Marks will buy you armor (for about 65 marks each), random drops are a bonus not a goal.
  • Helmets cost the most (120), buy that last. Chest, Arms, Legs all cost 65 marks.

Level 25 note:

  • You have now unlocked level 28 challenges. Get some level 27+ buddies together to sherpa your weakling body through level 28 weekly strikes and the nightfall. You will get exotic and legendary gear for this or strange coins to buy exotics (weekends only). Just hide in the back and let them do the work, but dont be a dick and do this to randoms without their permission.
  • Completing the nightfall will give you point bonuses for the rest of the week. Do this on Tuesday when it resets so you have a full 7 days of bonuses.

Level 26-27 (leveling up your purple)

  • You will now be close to fully-purpled out. Continue working on your bounties to unlock the abilities/protection on your gear. If everything on your gear is unlocked, switch your gear before turning into the bounty board and level your spare gear up.
  • The reason its important to keep “spare gear” in your innovatory: a fully unlocked weapon or armor can be broken down for more rewards than an unleveled one. This is very important for getting valuable ascendant shards later, as leveled legendaries give more shards when broken down fully unlocked.
  • Strange Coins: This is your golden ticket to exotic armor. 13 strange coins gets you 1 piece of armor and 23 gets you a primary gun or 17 for a secondary. These will only be available to purchase on Fri-Sat in a random location in the tower, so save up. You will only be able to equip 1 exotic weapon and 1 exotic armor at a time. If you have the option, get a helmet. Helmets are the only armor you cant get from doing the Vault of Glass [on normal], and Vault gear is the best gear. The helmet is only available in the Vault’s level 30 hard mode.

Level 28 (almost there)

  • To get here you will need to spend rare “ascendant materials” to upgrade your armor. The more defense your purple armor has, the more “light” it gets. Light is what makes you a level 20+ BTW. Once almost all of your armor is upgraded you are ready for the next big challenge. You can get these materials from doing your first daily public event, weekly strikes, and crucible. Focus on those 3 in that order.
  • The vault of mother-f-ing Glass. Requires 6 people and a fucking study session on tactics to go into. Its hard on level 27, should be easier on level 28. Do no play with anyone lower than level 27, or your damage output will be reduced significantly. I suggest finding people on for backup.

Level 29-30

  • Technically you can be 29 without the vault of glass. I would not recommend this, because you can get better gear in the vault of glass (more light, defense, and better ammo capacity stats). Save the ascendant materials for those instead of filling out all of your current “normal” legendary gear.
  • You are now a seasoned “vault of glass” veteran. There’s no way to get past level 28 without it. To be level 30 you have to have “raid gear”, which provides more defense and light than any other armor. Equip everything you get from the vault and level it up. If you didnt get raid gear (like me) then wait until the next week and try again. You can only get the rewards once a week.

Level 30. Wtf do I do now?

  • Go play the Vault of Glass on hard, why am I even telling you this? Clearly if you are level 30 you’re addicted. You should probably seek help or try to get back together with your now x-girlfriend, x-wife, estranged children. Also you can get the Raid helmet and Vex Mythoclast (weapon) from playing on Hard. This helmet is not available on normal difficulty.

Why didnt I mention crucible?

  • Personally not my play style. Also crucible is slow to get bounties and I’m describing how to level up. If at any point you want to do crucible go for it.
  • As one commenter pointed out, crucible bounties are good for when you run out of vanguard bounties. I personally like leveling up my secondary and tertiary characters when I run out of bounties. Having 3 characters means more strange coins when the weekend rolls around. Also you can pass your favorite weapons over to your other characters to level them up quickly with bounties.
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