Game Guides

Destiny: The Taken King Guide To Increase Light Level

by William Schwartz


Levels don’t matter as much as they used to in Destiny.  In year one of Bungie’s shooter, you had to be a certain level to access many different types of content like Nightfall Strikes or Raids.  Levels were tied to the light of specific gear and earning said gear was the only way to reach the level cap of 34.  That cap has been changed to 40 for the recent expansion, but even being a level 40 doesn’t matter all that much anymore.

You can level up in Destiny by doing just about anything with The Taken King.  You no longer have to go on raids or do the weekly events (though I’m sure they’ll help with XP boosts on a time/reward basis) — there are missions, quest-lines, bounties, strikes that will all earn you XP that will help you reach the Level Cap of 40 and you can do it pretty quickly.  Just do the aforementioned things and you’ll get there.

The fact of life with Destiny:  The Taken King is that Light matters more than levels now.  Light determines how powerful your character is, not level.  Light is still tied to gear, and it’s the factor that is going to determine how powerful or able you are to tackle the different challenges of Destiny:  The Taken King.

Increase Light Level in Destiny

So how do you increase light level in The Taken King?  Light is tied specifically to the gear that you wear and weapons that you use.  It’s an average of your attack and defense values across all of your currently equipped gear.  The better the gear you have on your character, the higher your light level. You can start earning more light almost instantly in The Taken King.  Just about any new item that you find that has The Taken King emblem is going to net you more light that you start out with.  Even a lowly green weapon or piece of armor will give you more light than weapons and armor from Destiny year one.


So simply put, to start earning light you need to start trading in your gear.  Though in The Taken King, just about everything will increase your light level and not just guns and armor.  Your Ghost will increase your light level, as will the Mark you wear.  To increase your light level you need to get better gear, legendaries, exotics, high tier weapons and armor are the things that will allow you to tackle things like the upcoming King’s Fall Raid.  The game isn’t over when you reach level 40, in fact, with The Taken King it’s just beginning.  It’s kind of easy to hit level 40 in the expansion, much easier than it was in previous games.  The real challenge is now finding or earning this high-level gear that will increase light.

There’s a number of ways to earn high-end gear in Destiny: The Taken King and increase your light level.  Upgrading year one exotics to their year two form is one way to do it.  Getting new ones, presumably from Xur, or through RNG is another.  You can grind Legendary Marks which is the new currency used to purchase Legendary gear from vendors in the Tower. The Cryptarch will sell Legendary engrams as well.  New gear can even be crafted by the player by combining two different pieces.  All of these new The Taken King weapons and armor will go towards boosting your Light Level.  There’s really no tricks or gimmicks about getting your character to a more powerful state, it’s all simply tied to how powerful your gear is, there’s just more ways to do it in Destiny:  The Taken King.  Once you finish the campaign missions for the game, you’ll be given a bunch of different quests to go on.  The ones that will give you the best chance of increasing your light level are the ones that reward you with Legendary Marks, which can be used to purchase high light gear from the Vanguard or Crucible vendors.

Where do you get Legendary Marks?

First and foremost you need to be at least level 40 to start earning the currency, but you can earn them by doing the Daily Heroic Story.  Do the Daily on level 41 with the recommended 240 Light Level and you’ll earn 15 Legendary Marks for your time.  Unfortunately, you can’t do it once for each character.  You can only do the Daily once per day and earn the 15 Legendary Marks once.  If you do the daily Crucible challenge you’ll also earn 15 marks — this is also account bound and can only be done once.  You can earn up to 30 Legendary Marks from doing the Weekly Heroic Strike with three different characters.  The Aforementioned Quests can also net you Legendary Marks, so you’ll want to stay busy on the new Quest Tracker to see which quests will reward you with them.  Finally, if you really want to dismantle year two Legendary Weapons you can also earn Legendary Marks.  3 Legendary Marks will be netted for a weapon that has not been leveled, while between 4 and 5 marks for an item that has been leveled.

Can you farm Legendary Marks in the Taken King? Eventhough there is no cap on how many Legendary Marks you can earn every week, right now it doesn’t seem like it.  The Destiny community is hard at work looking for ways to get high light level gear as the launch of the King’s Fall Raid approaches, and no one has found a concrete way to farm them efficiently.  The good news is that Legendary Loot drop rates have been increased across all activities, so dismantling year two Legendary items seems like the way to go — as well as the activities that were mentioned above.

So how much Light are you going to need for something like The King’s Fall Raid or the Nightfall Strikes?  It’s unclear whether Bungie is going to gate players by level or by light.  Light seems like the hurdle they’ll be using considering that the higher variants of regular missions are gated by light level now.  Either way, it’s one thing to be able to get into the Raid or Strike, it’s another to be able to survive, and those with insufficient light levels are going to have a tough time with this end game content.  Right now, missions in the story ask for 240 Light for more difficult variants. It’s probably safe to assume that Raids and Nightfalls will be much higher.  You’ve got a little time to earn the light though.  The King’s Fall Raid for The Taken King isn’t slated to arrive until Friday, September 18th, but rest assured you’re going to need more light.

- This article was updated on:February 21st, 2018

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