A new season of Destiny 2 usually brings with it a slight downgrade in character power, as the seasonal artifact for the previous three months is retired and replaced with a new one. If you’d maximized your overall power level in Season of the Haunted, then you’ll likely be starting Season of Plunder back at a power level of 1560. As of now, players can start working to the soft cap of 1570 and grind high-level events to reach the hard cap of 1580.
The soft cap, which can quickly be reached by earning new armor and weapons from seasonal and Vanguard activities, will have you reach the 1570 power level quickly and easily enough. As a reminder, that means that each one of your three main weapons and five armor pieces will need equipment rated at 1570 for you to achieve that overall average (unless you exceed that number in certain slots).
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Random loot drops and Powerful Engrams will help boost your numbers, but to reach the 1580 hard cap, you’ll need to do some real grinding to earn Pinnacle Engrams. These will help push your Guardian up to 1580–albeit slowly–and can be earned from high-level activities. The following activities will reward you with Pinnacle Engrams that will help you get those last few numbers necessary to reach the hard cap:
Completing Iron Banner bounties (Iron Banner is held twice per season now)Raid completionsDungeon completionsLegacy Raid and Dungeon completionsA Flawless run (seven wins) in Trials of OsirisCompleting Nightfall: The Ordeal with a score of 100,000 points or moreCompleting weekly Crucible, Strike, and Gambit playlist challengesCompleting the Ketchcrash activity on Master difficultyCompleting the Preservation mission (Unlocked after finishing the Witch Queen campaign)
Solo players will most reliably be able to earn Pinnacles from completing the various playlist challenges, like playing enough Crucible/Gambit matches or using the correct subclass in Vanguard playlists. Those reset weekly, but to really reach the hard cap, you’ll want to find other players to take part in activities like the weekly raid or dungeon. Grinding for Pinnacle Engram drops in a Raid can be time-consuming, but this is generally where you’ll find the best material to equip or sacrifice to upgrade your existing gear.
Trials and Iron Banner generally ignore your Artifact power level, so competitive players can focus on those PvP activities to earn their Pinnacle Engrams. Your seasonal artifact–the Skeleton Key for Season of Plunder–also boosts your overall power level, so you can grind out XP and slowly increase the levels on that item. You’ll be able to power up slowly with that method, but as noted above, you’ll lose those precious numbers when the season comes to an end.
Each season generally increases the power level caps by 10 when they go live, so your hard work will follow you into each new period of activity for Destiny 2.
To help you get started you can check out several Season of Plunder guides. For some swashbuckling gear, click through for how to play Ketchcrash, invest in a buggy grenade launcher right now before their firepower is dialed back, and search the reef for Map Fragments that can be used to find new loot in Expeditions.
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