Gear Score in Anthem is how the game displays the strength of the abilities, weapons, and equipment you currently have equipped.
It's an important one, even if the game only uses recommendations for Gear Score at later levels, rather than hard requirements, so here on this page we explain the Anthem loot system and loot farming for getting that Gear Score up, as well as generally how it works and plays into your Pilot Level - something we also explain in more depth in our dedicated Anthem Pilot Level and XP guide.
Note that for high-level loot specifically, our guide on how to get Anthem Masterwork and Legendary gear, weapons, and Masterwork farming is the place to head!
On this page:
Anthem Gear Score, Gear Score tiers and Anthem's loot system explained
Your Gear Score in Anthem is worked out much more simply than similar cocepts in similar games (cough-Destiny-cough): Gear Score is the total of all the scores of your equipped items - weapons, abilities, gear of all kinds - in your current loadout. So if you have one gun that's rated 20 and another rated 21, switching from your 20-rated gun to your 21-rated one will put your total Gear Score up by one. It's not to be confused with your Pilot Level, which is something else entirely. Simple enough!
You'll also notice your Javelin might be referred to as a specific tier, like an Uncommon Colossus or a Rare Storm. That's impacted by the threshold of total Gear Score that the Javelin is currently within. The Uncommon Javelin threshold is 84 Gear Score, for instance, so if you were at 83 Gear Score with that 20-rated gun equipped, your Javelin would be rated as Common - equip that 21-rated gun and your Gear Score will jump one point to 84, and your Javelin will be rated Uncommon, because it's just ticked over into the Uncommon bracket.
There aren't any hard gates in Anthem where a certain Gear Score is required to play a certain mode - unlike that other game (cough-Destiny-cough) where it plays a key role in what you can and can't access. Instead Gear Score just has one, obvious affect: it makes you better or worse at killing enemies and better or worse at surviving against them.
How Gear Score affects Difficulty
We talk about how Gear Score, Pilot Level and Difficutly all dovetail together in a lot more detail in our Anthem Pilot Level and XP guide, as Level really has more of an impact on it than Gear Score - but it's still worth explaining briefly here, for the sake of clarity.
In essence, there are two things which affect your enemies' attack and health stats in the game: Pilot Level and Difficult setting. The higher your Pilot Level the stronger they'll be, and likewise the higher the Difficulty setting the stronger they'll get too.
The impact of Gear Score is on you, the player, instead. The higher your Gear Score the stronger you'll be. In other words, if you're at the level cap of 30 but for some reason decide to equip all your super low-level Gear from the start of the game, you'll really struggle: because the enemies have levelled up alongside your Pilot Level, but you've got rubbish guns and abilities. Simple enough!
Loot rarity tiers explained
Your Gear Score is affected by your Gear, of course - and your Gear is earned in two ways: from crafting, and from loot.
All, the Gear you get has a rarity tier assigned to it. In ascending order from worst to best, that's: Common (White), Uncommon (Green), Rare (Blue), Epic (Purple), Masterwork (Orange) and Legendary (Yellow).
The rarity of the loot that can drop out in the game - from chests, slain enemies, and completing missions in general - is dictated by your Pilot Level. Again, more on that in our guide on XP and how to level up fast in Anthem, but here are those tiers:
- Pilot Level 1 - 9: up to Uncommon (Green) loot
- Pilot Level 10 - 19: up to Rare (Blue) loot
- Pilot Level 20 - 29: up to Epic (Purple) loot
- Pilot Level 30+: up to Masterwork (Orange) loot, which a chance of Masterworks instead dropping as the top-tier Legendary (Yellow) loot. A small amount of Masterwork weapons will also start appearing from Level 25 upwards.
Regardless of the difficulty you play on, these are the maximum tier of loot rarity you can earn at the given Pilot Levels. Higher Difficulties give you higher probabilities of that top tier of loot that's available dropping - playing on Hard at Level 18, for instance, will still only give you a maximum tier of Rare (blue) loot, it's just there's a higher chance of the loot that drops being Rare over Common or Uncommon.
Earning gear through crafting
The other way to get better gear is to craft it yourself, rather than to wait for some good luck grinding out in the wild.
We'll be explaining the crafting system in more detail very soon, but in brief, to craft something you'll need two things: the blueprint for the item you're crafting, and the actual materials required to craft it.
Most of the materials are pretty abundant - you earn things like parts and the basic bits and bobs from harvesting plants, minerals, chests, and spare parts lying around out in the world (both on missions and in freeplay) - but the thing that'll hold you back is Embers. We've dived deeper into those in our Anthem Ember locations and Ember Pieces explained page, but they're gated by the same Pilot Level rules as loot drops are, so see that bullet-point list above for when better ones of those become available.
The one exception is Masterwork Embers - they're actually available to be earned from day one, for completing Monthly Challenges (viewed in the Challenges tab of your menu). These usually ask you to complete a certain number of Daily and Weekly Challenges (viewed in the same place) by the monthly reset deadline. There are three tiers, and you'll earn 25, then 50, then 100 Masterwork Ember Pieces for each tier that you manage to reach, so grinding out those Challenges is a great way to get materials for top-tier loot!
The one catch is, you can't just go crafting yourself a Masterwork-tier piece of gear or weaponry just because you have the resources required. Crafting is gated too, but by something else: you have to unlock each tier of rarity for that specific item by completing certain tasks with that item. The community's already been hard at work figuring that out, so here are the requirements for each tier of crafting - for weapons and for gear - according to redditor Mephanic:
Gun Crafting rarity requirements:
- Uncommon: Kill 50 enemies using this weapon.
- Rare: Kill 25 Elite enemies using this weapon.
- Epic: Kill 10 Legendary enemies using this weapon.
- Masterwork: Kill 10 Legendary enemies with a masterwork version of this weapon.
Gear Crafting rarity requirements:
- Uncommon: Complete 4 missions or world events.
- Rare: Complete 8 missions or world events.
- Epic: Complete 12 missions or world events.
- Masterwork: To be confirmed - likely Complete 16 missions or world events, but we'll update this page once we've reached it ourselves!
Note that for kills to count, you have to get the 'last hit' - as in, the actual killing blow - on that enemy that dies, like you're playing a MOBA.
Looking for more Anthem explainers like this? Our Anthem tips page is a great place to start, or our Anthem guide and walkthrough mission list hub, which has all our Anthem pages in one place, including in-depth looks at Anthem Javelin classes, how to unlock Javelins and some Colossus, Storm, Interceptor and Ranger builds, another in-depth look at Combos, Primers and Detonators and Elemental Effects and debuffs explained, or specific advice on how to Deactivate the Barrier for the Triple Threat puzzle solution. Here's where to find Anthem Collectibles, Anthem Ember Pieces and Anthem Treasure Chests, and how to get your Anthem Legion of Dawn armour and other pre-order bonuses, how the Anthem Alliance system works too. Finally, for levelling and grinding, here's an explainer of Anthem Pilot Level, XP and how to level fast, Anthem loot, gear, and the loot system explained and finally a deep-dive on Anthem Masterwork and Legendary gear explained, a Masterwork list and how to farm them.
How to farm loot and rare Gear in Anthem
Knowing what we now do about how the loot and gear system actually works, here's the general best practise for grinding out better and better gear.
- Reach Pilot Level 30 - the higher Level you are, the higher tier of loot is available, so hitting Level 30 is your priority. Again, our guide on how to get XP and level up fast in Anthem has the lowdown on doing this efficiently.
- Play on the highest Difficulty setting you feel comfortable with - the higher difficulty you're on, the higher chance there is of the top tier of available loot dropping. So if you're Level 30 then playing in Grandmaster 1 has a higher chance of Masterwork and Legendary loot dropping than on Hard, Grandmaster 2 more than 1, and so on.
- As you get better loot, up the Difficulty again - the better loot you have, the higher tier of Grandmaster you'll be able to successfully play on. The in-game recommendations are 400+ Gear Score, 450+ Gear Score and 475+ Gear Score for each, for reference, but to be clear these aren't hard requirements, just guidlines. More detail on how to farm Masterwork and Legendary loot and a full Masterwork list in our dedicated guide to it!
- Pick the best activities for handing out loot - Quickplay, the option that puts you into a random mission with strangers with a spare slot in their squad, offers bonus loot on completion as an incentive for you to hop into squads witha spare slot after someone's quit and help them out (Note: this is heavily bugged at the time of writing - people tend to only have a spare slot in their squad if someone's quit, and people only tend to quit if the mission's bugged out and people have got stuck, so in our experience every quickplay game is a bugged out mission - so avoid it for now maybe!).
- Opt for Strongholds - continuing on from the above really, aside from Quickplay, the most loot you get for your time is to grind Strongholds, which are Anthem's version of Destiny's strikes, taking about 20-30 minutes to complete. They give out lots of loot and XP for completion, and in our experience are the most fun of the game's replayable missions. In the ideal world you'd load into a Stronghold using quickplay and get the best of both, but if you want to take chance out of it, head straight into Strongholds on the highest Difficulty you can manage!
- Farm crafting materials - our Anthem Embers page details this, but basically, harvest every plant, mineral, clump of spare parts, or treasure chest that you see. Plants, Minerals and Chests in particular have a good chance of dropping top-tier Embers, and those are what dictate the rarity (and thus quality) of what you're crafting. Combine that with the big clump of Masterwork Embers earned from monthly challenges, and you can fill gaps in your loadout with top-tier gear by crafting!
- Buy crafting materials - thankfully, when we say "buy" we mean with in-game currency, Coin, which is earned by completing challenges and contracts in-game. Check the various Challenges and Journal sub-menus for active tasks that reward you with coin, and then you can spend that on Embers in the in-game storefronts, if you're finding it a little hard to find those materials out in the wild for whatever reason.
- Again, it's worth highlighting our dedicated Anthem Masterwork and Legendary gear and weapons guide, which explains how to farm that top-tier of loot - and why it's worth doing - in much more specific detail once you've worked your way through the other tiers!