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The aim of this guide is to explore the various ways you can continue to advance through Destiny, gaining Light levels after you reach character level 20. This is important because the real challenges in the game are the raids, and you should aim to be as high level as possible before stepping into a raid.

Light is the metric the game uses to determine your level after your character reaches level 20. As you amass light through gear, your level will increase. These increases are not permanent, and will drop if you change gear to a setup that has less overall light.
Click HERE to see how much light is required per level.


After level 20, gear will begin to have a light stat along with it’s usual stats. The better quality gear it is, the higher light it will potentially have. The word potentially is used because while a piece of gear will start with one amount of light, it will increase as you level and upgrade the piece. It’s important to watch how much light a piece will give you, as a lesser piece may have more light after it’s leveled up than a newer acquired piece, the new piece may net you a higher light score overall when upgraded. Only gear of rare quality and higher will have light.


There are various ways to obtain gear with light. In this section we will examine the most effective ways.
The first, and easiest, way to begin acquiring gear with light is to do Strike Playlists. These are continuous random strikes that have been upgraded to a particular level. While the enemies are more difficult than normally running the strike by selecting it on the planet, the rewards are also upgraded. It’s important to note that just selecting the strike you want from the planet is not guaranteed to get you any gear you need, thus Strike Playlists are a more viable option. As you go up in level, you can do increasingly more difficult Strike Playlists for better rewards.
Crucible – Fighting in the Crucible is pretty straight forward. Queue up for the Crucible and fight in the match. Rewards are given at the end of the match, including Crucible reputation and Crucible marks. There is also a chance to obtain a piece of gear or engram as an additional reward. These rewards are given at random and are not affected by your performance in the match.
There are five static factions in the game which you can use to gain better gear; Vanguard, Crucible, Dead Orbit, New Monarchy, and Future War Cult. There are also Iron Banner and Queen’s Envoy, but those are events that happen from time to time, and are not always in the game. Crota’s Bane, headed by Eris Morn, is also a faction, but the only piece of gear you can acquire from her are gauntlets through a quest.
Note: While the Cryptarch ranks up like other factions by identifying engrams, he does not sell anything. He will, however, reward you with a care package like other factions when ranked up, which may contain rare or legendary engrams.

Getting reputation with the factions allows you to purchase legendary quality gear from those vendors for either Vanguard Marks or Crucible Marks, obtained through various activities and bounties. Certain pieces of gear also require either a Crucible or Vanguard Commendation, which is awarded after leveling up your reputation with a faction. Additionally, leveling your reputation with a faction past rank 3 rewards you with a care package from that faction, which may contain any piece of gear that faction sells.
While it isn’t likely that you will be able to do the Nightfall, you can still do the weekly strike. These strikes are balanced to a higher level and often come with additional modifiers that can help or hinder your performance. The weekly strike rewards strange coins, increasing the amount at different difficulty levels, and a good chance at a rare or legendary engram.
Every day there will be a different mission to accomplish. Like the weekly strike and nightfall, these missions may have modifiers and be upgraded to your chosen level. Completing these missions reward ascendant materials, required to upgrade legendary gear. They also have a higher than normal chance at rewarding a legendary engram.
Xur is a vendor who arrives in the tower on friday morning and leaves sunday morning. He accepts strange coins in exchange for exotic items. He will have a piece of gear for every class, and an exotic weapon. You are allowed to equip one piece of exotic gear, and one exotic weapon. Exotic gear grants 36 light when completely upgraded, but requires an exotic shard for the final upgrade, so keep that in mind.
You can acquire rare or legendary engrams from random drops off mobs you kill anywhere in the game. Don’t worry about always watching for them. Should you miss an engram that drops, it will be sent to you by mail when you return to the tower.


Light Needed per Level –
Various Guides –