Basically does increasing the level difficulty and adding modifiers to a mission increase the volume of engram drops OR the quality of drops?

I know higher difficulties will spawn more enemies, so there are more kills and therefore more chances for drops, but is that the only benefit?

  • You can get legendary engrams from level 1 mobs. Good farming spots are places with lots of easy to kill enemies. Applying the heroic modifier increases the number of mobs, but other than that increasing difficulty does not help.
    – turbo
    Sep 16, 2014 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


Mission rewards at the end are based on the level of the mission. Increasing the level/difficulty of the mission will increase the level of the reward.

You can only get items with light stat from missions that are level 20+, strike playlist, raids, and the crucible. They will not appear in regular strikes or missions under level 20.

You are correct about the more enemies meaning more chances for engram drops, but you could also just farm explore/patrol mode for engrams instead of missions.

I'm pretty certain the highest rarity non-level 20 items only go up to blue quality, and blue engrams drop consistently from level 1 to level 20.

  • For some clarification here, I've got blue engrams that ended up having Light from regular missions / patrols. I have had a purple engram (which turned into a blue fusion rifle, boooo) drop doing a low level mission. However, I haven't gained any level 20 gear from anything other than Strike playlists and pvp
    – Eben
    Sep 16, 2014 at 19:59
  • Yes, Engrams are different from end mission rewards. They match your level and whatever the Cryptarch decides to give you.
    – Rapitor
    Sep 16, 2014 at 20:09

In my experience the drop rate does not seem to be connected to mission difficulty although it does seem to be connected to your level. The higher level you are the more stuff you get is how I found it although maybe its just luck.

I have gotten legendary stuff from farming earth patrols while none of the legendary or rare engrams that I have recieved doing level 24 missions strikes etc have given me anything better than rare. Factors that might increase the drop rate are headshots or major / ultra enemies.

Ive also heard that your cryptarch rank influences the outcome of engrams that you do find although it hasn't had much of an affect with only 1 of the 12 or so legendary engrams turning out to the legendary. His rank is only level 5 though and maybe its just RNG.

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