New to Destiny 2 are weapon mods, add-ons to gear that can customize weapon or armor to the player’s liking, such as adding elemental damage or buffs to ability recharge. On top of that, legendary mods come with a +5 power level stat, adding five additional levels of power to the weapon, thus impacting a character’s overall Power level.
But a question arose among Destiny 2 fans whether those additional five levels gained from those mods impact the power level of drops. The answer, according to Bungie, is no. Destiny 2 Rewards Designer Daniel Auchenpaugh says that mods do not factor into the level at which gear drops. The loot system is looking at a character’s base level before mods to determine the power level of a drop.
Obviously, the mods do affect a player’s effective power while in activities, but Auchenpaugh explains that, as an active boost, not something that the loot table looks at to determine the level of a drop:
Think of mods as adding a +5 combat bonus; the number without mods is your base power and that's what we use for drops. Does that help?
— Daniel Auchenpaugh (@danielOut) September 20, 2017
So while mods won’t affect the drops that players see, there is a smart way to go about using mods effectively to gain higher levels, detailed more in Game Rant’s guide about power leveling with mods.
Mods can be extremely useful in getting Power level up to the highest it can be, letting otherwise lower leveled gear become more powerful and thus bring up the overall level of a character. It’s sometimes hard to remember when gear all seems to be dropping at five levels lower than that of a character that it is because the mods are not being taken into account.
The best ways to level past 265 are the activities each week that award Powerful Gear (i.e. Luminous Engrams) like the Nightfall, Flashpoint, Clan XP rewards, Call to Arms milestone, the Leviathan raid, and Trials of the Nine. Those will be sources of loot that will boost well beyond players’ current Power levels.
Destiny 2 is available now for PS4 and Xbox One, and releases on October 24, 2017 for PC.