Light is back and more important than ever. Here’s how to claw your way up to badassitude.
Destiny: The Taken King – how to get more Light quickly
So you’ve hit the new XP level cap of 40, but you’re still locked out of a bunch of activities. According to your character menu your Light level is something like 120, but Hard Mode on even the earliest The Taken King missions is in the 200s.
None of your gear has any Light on it, and nor does anything you find. This is as confusing as hitting the level 20 cap way back in September 2014! How do you scale those lofty heights? Gather round, Guardian, and I will explain everything; I powered through to 320 Light in a 14 hour preview, and you can, too.
Light goes up automatically as you get stronger
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to make equipment choices based on an attribute any more. Light is derived not from an arbitrary selection of equipment that supports it, but from everything you equip – all weapons, armour and accessories.
Every time you trade out a gun for a slightly better one, your Light goes up. Whenever you choose a more powerful bit of armour, your Light goes up. All you have to do to make your Light go up is find and equip better gear. And you’re doing that anyway, aren’t you? In The Taken King loot rains down like monsoon season on Candy Mountain, and every single piece is worth a look:
Every drop could make you stronger
Quality no longer tracks rarity as closely as it once did. Do not junk those Uncommon (green) and Rare (blue) engrams and gear without looking at them carefully! Even the most humble package in The Taken King is likely to be better than the end-game gear you brought with you from vanilla Destiny, The Dark Below and House of Wolves.
Check out every single gun and item you find – and boy, you’ll find a lot – in case it has a higher attack or defence bonus – and even if those base numbers look the same as what you’ve got on, check out the attributes and the perks, because you may be sitting on a little goldmine that boosts your power considerably, even if it doesn’t make your Light go up. On that note:
Don’t throw away your favourite stuff for measly Light boosts
In vanilla Destiny, the difference between a level 29 and a level 30 was significant. In The Taken King, the difference between Light 120 and 121 is negligible. When you pick up new gear, check to see how much it boosts your Light; if it’s only a few points, you may prefer to stick to what you’re using and wait for a jump of five or ten Light instead.
For example, if you pick up an auto rifle with five more damage than your current hand cannon, equipping it may boost your Light. But you may then find the auto rifle very difficult to use, with less interesting perks, thereby lowering your overall effectiveness. That’s not worth the trade off, because your quest for more Light relies on you being the best player you can be. Why? Well:
The best gear drops in the hardest activities
You will find some pretty decent level-adjusted Uncommon and Rare drops just tooling around in Patrol in the Cosmodrome, if that’s your thing, but if you want to boost your Light stat quickly, you’ll want to be collecting the best possible drops – and you’ll get them by completing tougher challenges. Need some guidance? Clear your quest log to unlock more missions and be directed to activities.
Until your Light is high enough to tackle the Daily and Weekly activities, and to turn the difficulty up on The Taken King missions, you’ll find the best loot drops by rapidly completing Strike Playlists, quest and story missions; every boss will vomit out a couple of engrams as they drop. You’ll find Legendaries this way, but it’s worth noting that even the Uncommon and Rare drops you get at level 40 doing a later story mission may be more powerful than Legendaries acquired just a few hours before.
Don’t think of this in the same light as the fruitless grinding of vanilla Destiny’s Strike Playlists: on day one and two, an hour or two on Strikes will see your Light level climb a couple of dozen ranks.
Make sure you equip an Artifact, Ghost Shell and Class Item
It’s important to remember that your vanity slots now contribute to your Light level. Ghost Shells, Class Items and Artifacts all add Defence to your character’s stats, thereby increasing your Light, as well as providing various perks and bonuses.
Artifacts in particular can be very powerful; they don’t unlock till level 40, and drop with less frequency than other items, so keep a sharp eye out for them.
To summarise: challenge yourself with high-level missions and Strikes, look over your drops carefully and remember to upgrade all your gear and you’ll be brushing 300 Light on day one. Good luck, Guardian.