Destiny is simple when it comes to statistics, but they greatly impact your combat ability. As far as I’ve seen in the game, there isn’t a good explanation of how to be the very best and utilize these traits to your advantage, beyond some rudimentary information on the character screen. Most players, even high level players, only care about the bonuses, but it’s important not to forget about something that can reduce the cooldown of your various skills.

WARNING: Most of this information means nothing in the Crucible, where everyone’s stats are normalized. The only thing that would matter is light, which should affect the gear you receive.

Primary Stats

Primary statistics affect the cooldown of your various skills. There are three stats and they each affect a single ability. Really, each stat is just an “ability buff” for one specific skill:

  • Strength: Affects the cooldown of your melee ability. The default cooldown is 60 seconds and at the Strength cap you will have a cooldown of about 20 seconds.
  • Discipline: This affects your grenade cooldown, again, 60 seconds to 20 seconds.
  • Intellect: This affects your super, it takes it from 5:30 to about 4:00. It also increases the amount of super you earn per kill.

The suggested cap for each skill is 170 points at level 20. The cap at level 30 is suggested to be 270 points. I’m not using specifics because it’s roughly around there, give or take a few points.


At level 20, you’ve pretty much have ran into the end of the line with leveling up, but the more light you equip, the higher your level, which drastically increases the damage you do, but it will lower the effectiveness of your gear by increasing the cap (which is where you get 100% of the bonus from your other statistics).

You can see this article on why you shouldn’t rush to the cap, but at the same time, I think it’s great to stack light because it makes you above the level of some of the content you face which just I don’t know helps a lot for me. Anyway.

Here is the guide on how Light works or this guide, including the numbers, but needless to say you need 120 Light to reach level 30. The current available legendary armor in the faction stores, plus the legendary weapon, can only take you to level 29. You have to find one or two pieces on your own to reach level 30, hence the heroic effort for the world’s first level 30.

It’s kind of awesome that level 20 isn’t the last level, there is still a grind after that.

Secondary Stats

There are a few secondary stats to be aware of. They are armor, recovery, and agility. Pretty self explanatory stats, but let’s run through them really quick:

  • Armor: Take less damage.
  • Recovery: Faster recovery time.
  • Agility: Faster movement speed and jump height.

I don’t have any research on how these affect specifically, but they follow the general theme of what they do. For armor vs. recovery, I’m not sure which is better. I use both and I can tell the difference as my armor stat increases that I’m less squishy, but it could also be psychosomatic.

For agility, Bungie has been buffing in some of the recent pages. So it’s definitely worthwhile for avoiding the thick of things.

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Last Updated: Mar 18, 2016

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.