Destiny 2 is handling the Power climb a bit differently with the release of Shadowkeep and Season 8, with a soft cap of 900, then a climb with powerful rewards to a cap of 950. After that, players can level up to 960 using new pinnacle reward sources that drop from high-end activities like the raid and Iron Banner.
The other factor in play is Destiny 2's new seasonal artifact, which adds an additional power boost onto players. When players scroll over their level in the character screen, they can see their base gear level and then the additional power they are receiving from leveling up the seasonal artifact via XP. But for those who want to try to reach the gear level max of 960, there is a specific (and very limited path) to do so.
How leveling past 950 works
To start leveling past 950, players must first have every at least one of every piece of gear in each slot be 950 (this does not need to be equipped as the game calculates players' highest possible score for drops whether that gear is equipped or not). Then players need to play activities that grant pinnacle rewards. Pinnacle rewards will drop one level higher than the player's current level. So starting at 950, all pinnacle rewards will drop at 951.
Then, players need to get 951 gear in every weapon and armor slot to bring their level up to 951. After that, 952 level gear will start dropping. Once again, players need a full loadout of 952 gear before 953 gear will drop. And so on.
Pinnacle Reward sources
Currently, there are only a few sources of pinnacle rewards in the game:
- Garden of Salvation raid
- Scoring 100,000+ in the Nightfall
- Iron Banner
There could be more sources coming later in the season with some players theorizing that the dungeon releasing October 29th or the raid challenges could provide additional sources for pinnacle rewards, but that is unconfirmed at this point. Either way, there are not many opportunities for players to climb past 950.
Is it possible to reach 960?
Many players are complaining about the power crawl beyond 950, and with the currently limited sources of pinnacle rewards, it might very well be impossible to reach 960. Players have figured out that to reach 960, players need 80 perfect drops without any duplicates to reach 960 on one character. Considering the fact that there are only five drops per week (four from the raid and one from completing the 100,000 score Nightfall) plus another twelve from Iron Banner (four per event with three events in a season), that means there are only 62 possible drops within a ten-week season.
Plus, with drops requiring players to first level up to 950 and how many weeks have already passed, there are only seven full weeks left. That means there are 35 weekly drops and 8 more Iron Banner drops left in the game for a total of 43. And considering that no one's RNG is perfect and duplicate drops will diminish those drops, it is currently impossible to reach 960.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.