Destiny: A Guide to Life After 20

Confused about what to do after reaching level 20? Check out this guide to answer all your questions!

So you just hit level 20 in Destiny, now what? A lot, that’s what! This game is structured like an MMO. For those that don’t have experience with that genre, it basically means that once you hit max level, the real game begins.

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You ever notice that legendary level 20 gear when shopping at a vendor? Well, now you ca get it, sort of. I’ll explain everything you need to know about what to focus on after reaching level 20.

For more tips and guides, check out my Destiny Quick and Dirty Beginner’s guide.

This guide will cover Destiny after level 20 including:

  • Level 20 Legendary Gear – What it is and how to get it.
  • Vanguard, Crucible, and Faction Gear – Specifics on getting each type.
  • Marks and Reputation – What they are and how to get them.
  • Materials – How materials are important to you at level 20.

Level 20 Legendary Gear

The first thing you should do after getting 20, and even before, is look at all the gear vendors. There 7 vendors that sell legendary level 20 gear:

  • Vanguard Quartermaster – Sells weapons only
  • Class-specific Vanguard – Sells armor only
  • Crucible Quartermaster – Sells weapons only
  • Crucible Handler – Sells armor only
  • Dead Orbit – Sells weapons and armor
  • Future War Cult – Sells weapons and armor
  • New Monarchy – Sells weapons and armor

Each vendor sells gear with different stats on them, that’s why you want to look at all of them. Whichever vendor sells gear with the stats you want, that’s where you want to focus getting reputation with.

Also, you’ll notice that you have a Light level. Gear after level 20 will have “Light” on it. This number increases your Light level, effectively pushing you past level 20. Some things in the game require you have a higher Light level. For example, the weekly heroic strike is listed as level 22.

Upgrading the defense of a piece of armor also increases your Light level, so be sure to save those materials.

Vanguard Gear

The Vanguard Quartermaster and Vanguard for your class require Vanguard and marks and rep to buy. Armor requires rank 2 in rep and several Vanguard marks. Weapons require rank 3.

When at a vendor, you can check how much rep you have and how much you need to reach the next rank. This only applies to the vendor you’re at.

You can get Vanguard marks by:

  • Completing Strikes using the Strike playlist. The level 20 and higher playlists all give Vanguard marks
  • Completing the daily heroic story missions
  • Completing the weekly heroic strike missions

You can only get a total of 100 Vanguard marks per week, so be sure to get them all before the weekly reset.

Every day there is a new heroic story mission. When you complete it, you get 5 Vanguard marks.

Every week there is a heroic strike mission. When you complete it, you get 3 Vanguard marks, 150 rep, and 3 Strange Coins. The coins are used to buy from a Black Market vendor, but I’ll cover that later. The heroic strikes reset every Tuesday.

You also gain Vanguard rep in several ways:

  • Completing patrol missions
  • Completing Vanguard bounties
  • Completing Strikes from the Strike playlist
  • Completing weekly heroic strike missions

You can’t buy that great gear until you have a high enough rep rank and Vanguard marks. 

Crucible Gear

The Crucible Quartermaster and Crucible Handler require Crucible rep and marks. Armor requires rank 2 in rep and weapons require rank 3.

You can only get Crucible marks by completing Crucible matches. Just like Vanguard marks, you can only get 100 Crucible marks per week.

You can get Crucible rep by completing Crucible matches or completing Crucible bounties.

Faction Gear

There are 3 factions in Destiny: Dead Orbit, Future War Cult, and New Monarchy.

Each faction has their own rep, but all require Crucible marks. You have to buy a class item from the faction’s vendor and equip it to gain rep with them.

When you do this, everything that gives rep in the game will go towards that faction, even if you turn in bounties. In order to get normal Vanguard and Crucible rep, unequip the Factions class item.

Materials

Now that you’re level 20, those materials you’ve been picking up have a use. every planet has a specific material unique to them. For example, Earth has spinmetal. You need these materials to upgrade Legendary and Exotic gear, so always pick them up when you see them.

You can also collect 50 of these and turn them into either the Crucible quartermaster or the Vanguard quartermaster for glimmer and either rep or marks. It is random whether you get marks or rep. Be sure to turn it into the vendor you are focusing on getting gear from.

Ascendent Energy and Ascendent Shards are used to upgrade the last 3 spots of Legendary and Exotic gear. They are rare drops from Crucible, Decoding rare and above engrams, and public events. You can also do the daily heroic story on level 24 for 1 guaranteed Ascendant material, or level 28 for 2.

Strange Coins are used for the Agent of the Nine vendor. The vendor only appears on the weekends and sells Exotic gear and other rare items.

Each piece of armor requires at 13 Strange Coins, so be sure to hold on to them and always complete the weekly heroic strikes. There will be one piece of armor for each class and they give an upgrade to one of your abilities.

He also sells an Exotic weapon and engram for 23 coins, items that speed up weapon progressions for 30 minutes for 1 coin, and sparrow upgrades for 13 coins.

You can only have one piece of Exotic armor and one Exotic weapon equipped at a time, so keep your Legendary gear in case you get a new Exotic piece you want more.

This guy looks strangely familiar…

That’s it for what to do in Destiny after reaching level 20. Don’t forget, you still gain experience for your class skills after 20, so you’ll have plenty to do to unlock everything.

Please visit my Quick and Dirty Beginner’s guide if you need help with anything else related to Destiny. If you have any other questions, or see something I missed, feel free to let me know in the comments.

 

Check out our sister site, Guild Launch to Create a Free Destiny Clan Site or Find a Destiny Clan and keep your fire teams strong!

 


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After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2F97BrR) and Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/synzergaming).