Destiny: The Taken King – levelling guide

By Patrick Garratt, Thursday, 17 September 2015 20:29 GMT

It’s all about the numbers. Here’s how to make them bigger.


The Taken has done more for Destiny than just add new content. The Light levelling system from the original game has been completely overhauled, and what it is and how to increase it isn’t immediately obvious to the new player.

The first thing you’ll do when starting to play is to aim for the level cap. Yep, there are two different levels: your level (a largely arbitrary figure based solely on XP: it’s locked at 40 in The Taken King) and your Light level. The latter is the important one, as it denotes the overall toughness of your Guardian. An average of the Defense and Attack values of your armour, weapons, class item and Ghost.

Tougher challenges in The Taken King, such as the Nightfall and Heroic Strikes, grant the greatest rewards, and have recommended Light levels attached. Want to hit the Nightfall? You’re looking at a recommended Light level of 280. When you first complete the game’s main story quest you’re going to be at around 190, so you’ve got a long way to go.

Fear not, Guardian. We have your back. He’s how to get to level 40 and then boost your Light and ascend to the ranks of legend.

How to get to level 40

  • Play The Taken King quest – You need to do this before anything else. Finishing this quest will not only furnish you with Vanguard rewards, but should also get you close to hitting level 40. You’re only able to start earning Legendary Marks – the currency vendors now use to sell their gear – once you’re beyond the level cap.
  • How to get to level 40 on the first day of play – Yes, it’s possible to hit the level cap on the first day you start playing. Here, Brenna takes you through all the steps you need to follow to get this quick grind out of the way and start the proper build to The Taken King’s end-game.

How to raise your Light level

  • How to get more Light – This brief overview of the concept of the Light level and how to raise it serves as a good primer. Start here.
  • How to raise your Light level – This is a more in-depth look at the various methods for increasing your Light level, including Faction material exchanges, Legendary Marks and the Infusion system.
  • The Blue Engram Trick – You should absolutely check this out if you feel as though you’re following all thew advice but everything’s happening too slowly. This simple method of cashing in blue engrams with the Crytarch will have you smashing the Nightfall in no time.

Head back to our complete guide to The Taken King.

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