Destiny: The Taken King – how to hit level 40 on day one

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 10:00 GMT

Level 40 is the new level 34. Here’s how to hit that cap on launch day.


Destiny: The Taken King – how to hit level 40 on day one

You don’t need to scrounge gear or go on Raids to hit the new level cap introduced with Destiny: The Taken King. In fact, the whole question of “level” now means very little – it’s your Light that measures how powerful your character can become, and as yet we don’t know the upper limits of that measure.

Nevertheless it’s worthwhile getting to the cap as soon as possible; there are plenty of opportunities, from quests and missions to equipment, that won’t be available to you until you manage it. To maximise your earnings, you’ll want to get there on day one.

Don’t worry; it’s easy. Here’s what we did:

1: Be prepared
There’s no going back on this one if you haven’t already, but if possible, make sure all your characters have a set of level 34 gear, so they kick off on day one at level 34. If you’re a few levels below it’s no big deal – you’ll catch up really quickly – but every bit counts if you’re in a hurry to get to endgame.

If you’re a newbie, you need to complete the first story mission of vanilla Destiny, then visit the postmaster on the tower to receive a Spark of Light. Use this item in your inventory to be elevated to level 25 and score some sweet level-appropriate gear.

Note that we’re not saying “do the Nightfall”. Not only is the Nightfall out of your reach for many hours yet, it no longer provides an XP boost. Boo!

destiny_the_taken_king_bannerfal_etc_gamescom (47)

2: Pick up Bounties
I know you want to rush straight into the new content, but make a stop at the Tower or the Reef before you go anywhere and grab some Bounties from the robotic vendor. It’s well worth the time.

There are many new Bounties to pick from but you can now hold absolutely loads of them, so just grab everything you can find. You can turn your Bounties in right from the Quests tab of your menu, by the way; do so as soon as they’re finished for a quick XP boost for you and your gear.

3: Track your bounties
Open your menu and navigate to the Quest tab. You can now cursor over to your Bounties and check up on them; if you press X (PlayStation) or A (Xbox) you can pick a few to track.

Out in the wild you can bring up your Ghost to quickly check on the Bounties you have elected to track. This is a really quick way to figure out whether you should hang out in a combat zone and get a few more kills, or push on. You’d be surprised how much more efficient this is.

destiny_the_taken_king_bannerfal_etc_gamescom (30)

4: Do the story campaign
Completing “Storyx” – the main story campaign of The Taken King – is only the beginning of your adventures in Destiny, but it’s the best place to kick off your XP grind. Storyx not only provides plenty of enemies to murder for XP and opportunities to fulfil Bounties, each mission rewards you with a big slab of XP as a completion reward. Also, it’s rad. Spoilers!

Most returning players should hit level 40 at the end of Storyx if they complete all available PvE Bounties on the way. If so, gratz! If not, continue onwards.

5. Do some quests
If Storyx isn’t enough to push you up to level 40, do some quests. You should find several of these just by chatting to people on the Tower and Reef.

Many quests include story missions not discoverable anywhere else, and each of these comes with an XP reward. Turning in Quest stages and completed Quests also throws XP at you.

destiny_the_taken_king_bannerfal_etc_gamescom (45)

6. Don’t forget Crucible Bounties
Still not there? Okay. Grab some Crucible Bounties and get in there. Bounties are a really excellent source of XP, after all.

Remember that your teammates’ kills and achievements count towards your Bounties, so if possible grab some buddies and go in as a crew to maximise your efficiency.

7. Kill things
If you’ve done all the story missions, Bounties and Quests available on day one and you’re still not level 40, something is terribly wrong. But if this worst case scenario applies to you, just go and murder things. You’ll notice that the XP progress bar is back, and a popup will show you how much each kill adds to your tally. Fire up a Strike playlist or go on Patrol, and just unleash hell on the forces of the Darkness. The Dreadnaught is a fun place to commit murder en masse, but go somewhere easier if you’re looking to relax a little as you grind.

Back to Destiny: The Taken King guide and walkthrough.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.