Destiny 2 Power Level and Game Mechanics Guide

Destiny 2 Power Level and Game Mechanics Guide by AristeiaGaming

Power & Drops

  • The power level of dropped items is governed by your Base Power (BP). This is different from your Actual Power (AP), and is calculated as the average power level of your highest power items, not including any legendary mods on those items. The easiest way to view your base item level is to use an app like Destiny Item Manager (DIM).
    • DIM is also very helpful for inventory management because it lets you transfer items between different characters and your vault, even when you are not at The Tower.
  • BP is affected by equippable items, regardless of whether they are on your character, in your vault, or on other characters. However, this does not include items that cannot be equipped because of class or level restrictions.
  • Dropped engrams do not change in power level after they drop.
  • Claimable engrams (such as mission rewards) can change in power level until they are actually claimed from an NPC.
  • Rare Items: Until BP 305, rare items will drop between BP -2 and BP +4. Beyond BP 305, rare items will drop at BP -5.
  • Legendary Items: Until BP 305, legendary items will drop between BP -2 and BP +4. Beyond BP 305, legendary items will drop at BP -5. However, some legendary items include legendary mods, which further increase their AP by 5.
    • “Powerful Gear” is excepted from the BP 305 soft cap. These items will drop at BP +4.
    • Some mission rewards are also excepted from the BP 305 soft cap, even though they are not labeled as “Powerful Gear.” These are typically rewards from story missions that can only be redeemed once per character.
    • In the Leviathan raid, the first weekly clear of The Castellum will reward a BP +4 item. The first weekly clear of Emperor Calus will reward one BP 330 item.
  • Exotic Items: Until BP 305, exotic items will drop at BP +4. Beyond BP 305, exotic items will drop at BP -5. Exotic weapons always include legendary mods, which further increase their AP by 5.
    • “Powerful Gear” rewards can sometimes yield exotic items. These exotics are excepted from the BP 305 soft cap and will drop at BP +4.


  • Infusion allows you to increase the power level of one rare/legendary/exotic item by destroying another rare/legendary/exotic of a higher base power level.
    • For example, infusing a base Power 260 weapon with a base Power 280 weapon will destroy the latter weapon and increase the former weapon to Power 280.
  • Infusion only considers an item’s base power level. This does not include legendary mods, which increase an item’s displayed power level by 5.
    • For example, infusing a base power 260 weapon with a base Power 280 weapon that has a +5 legendary mod (making it Power 285), will still only result in a base Power 280 weapon.
  • Infusion requires Legendary Shards. These are acquired by dismantling legendary and exotic items. Dismantling legendary items returns 3 Shards, while dismantling exotic items returns 5 shards.
  • The rarity of infusion fodder determines the cost of infusion. Infusing an item with rare gear costs 4 Legendary Shards, infusing it with legendary gear costs 1 Shard, and infusing it with an exotic is free.
  • Only items of the same type can be used as infusion fodder.
    • For example, only Hand Cannons can be used to infuse Hand Cannons, and only Helmets (for the same class) can be used to infuse Helmets. The only exception is the exotic weapon, Coldheart (Trace Rifle), which can be infused with an Auto Rifle because no other Trace Rifles exist.

Miscellaneous Mechanics

  • Ammo Drops: Ammo drops more frequently for the weapons that you are not currently using. Cycling between your Kinetic and Energy Weapons will help to keep your ammo reserves full.
  • Kinetic/Energy Damage: In PvE, Kinetic Weapons deal an extra 10% damage against health. Energy and Power Weapons deal an extra 200% damage against shields. Destroying a shield using elemental damage that matches its color will cause the shield to explode, staggering the target and damaging surrounding enemies.
    • PvP Damage: In PvP, both Kinetic Weapons and Energy Weapons deal 100% damage to players.
  • Precision Hits: Explosive weapons such as Rocket Launchers and Grenade Launchers cannot trigger precision hits. This is also true for most melee attacks and supers.
  • Rally Flags: Clicking the Rally Flag before a Public Event begins will instantly recharge all of your abilities and refill all of your ammo.
  • Cabal Weak Points: Many Cabal enemies have a second weak point. Shooting this weak point deals more damage than headshots. These weak points include jetpacks (ex., Legionaries, Centurions) and fuel canisters (ex., Incendiors).
  • Emperor Calus (Leviathan): Calus is immune to all debuffs. This includes abilities such as Shadowshot and Hammer Strike.
  • Shadowshot (Nightstalker): Tethering enemies with Shadowshot causes them to take 35% more damage from Kinetic and Energy Weapons, makes them unable to use abilities, slows them, and prevents them from moving out of range of the Void Anchor. Damaging one tethered enemy also damages all tethered enemies.
  • Invisibility (Nightstalker): In PvE, Invisibility causes all enemies to ignore the Nightstalker for its duration. In PvP, it cloaks the Nightstalker, making her difficult (but not impossible) to see. It does not remove the player from radar.
  • Smoke Bomb/Snare Bombs (Nightstalker): In PvP, both of these abilities also act as decoys, appearing as an enemy on enemy radar.
  • Rally Barricade (Titan): Standing behind a Rally Barricade grants a buff called Rally Barricade. While this buff is present, manually crouching and standing back up will instantly reload your weapons. This is a much more reliable reloading method than trying to use the Barricade’s built-in ADS feature.
    • Strafing: Do not strafe when using a Rally Barricade, since you may inadvertently walk in front of a teammate that is firing an explosive weapon, such as a Rocket Launcher. This can result in unnecessary team deaths.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.