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Marvel's Avengers gear and levelling explained: Max level cap, how gear sources and boosting work

How to upgrade your gear and character levels.

Marvel's Avengers gear allows you to increase the power of your Avenger.

You'll be picking up a lot of it on the way - so making your sense of what is worth equipping beyond the power number attached to it can be confusing - especially with so many variations and a pretty complex nest of menus to contend with.

As well as a gear level and max gear cap to work towards, there is your hero level, which has a different cap and different use.

On this page:

How Hero Levels and Gear Power works, and max level cap in Marvel's Avengers explained

Marvel's Avengers is a little like Destiny 2's gear system, in that it offers two types of levels to rank: the level of your hero - which we'll call Hero Level - and the level of your gear, or Gear Power.

Hero level in Marvel's Avengers explained

Hero Level is the level of your individual superhero, and gives you Skill Points for every level you reach.

This is increased by doing missions, assignments, opening chests, and generally just playing the game, and yes, you will have to upgrade every Avenger separately, I'm afraid.

At launch, the Marvel's Avengers Hero Level cap is 50.

Gear Power in Marvel's Avengers explained

Gear Power is calculated by the average rating of your gear. It's recommended that you try to keep all gear items and artifacts as evenly balanced as possible to boost your overall Gear Power.

This ensures you'll always get loot drops at the highest level you can.

Confusingly, there are multiple Gear Power caps in Marvel's Avengers.

At launch, the max Gear Power is 130, and you can boost high-level gear an additional ten power points to get to 140. You can then reach the full Gear Power cap of 150 with powerful Artifacts.

We'll explain more on how to achieve this later in the page.

How gear rarity and branding works in Marvel's Avengers

The gear you collect can be equipped into one of four slots - Melee, Ranged, Defence, and Heroic - and they come in a variety of flavours not dissimilar to many RPGs and looter shooters like Diablo 3 or The Division 2:

  • Common (white)
  • Uncommon (green)
  • Rare (blue)
  • Epic (purple)
  • Legendary (gold)
  • Exotic (orange)

Epic, Legendary and Exotic are particularly important at high levels, as they can be boosted up to 10 times, allowing you to reach the max Gear Power cap.

You can also equip up to three additional artifacts to help boost your perks and level, too. As you work through the Avengers campaign you'll unlock slots to equip one major artifact, and two minor artifacts.

Branded gear - which hails from Hammer Industries, Pym Technologies, Shield, and Stark Industries - come with predetermined attributes. Attributes increase the strength of certain combat abilities and can "significantly affect the effectiveness of gear perks and skills".

You can tell if you're rocking branded gear by checking the top right-hand corner next to the item's name on the inventory screen. If it's branded, there'll be a little icon there.

Don't forget, the gear you collect has no bearing on the appearance of your hero. That can only be tweaked by cosmetic outfits that can be bought or unlocked along the way.

How the gear stats work in Marvel's Avengers

On the character inventory screen, you'll see four ratings at the top beside your nameplate. These are:

  • Melee rating: the amount of base damage dealt, based on gear, passive skills, and associated stats
  • Ranged rating: the amount of base damage dealt, based on gear, passive skills, and associated stats
  • Defense rating: the amount of damage a hero can take based on gear, passive skills, and stats
  • Heroic rating: the amount of damage a hero's heroic abilities determined by gear, passive skills, and stats

This means every item you equip - or unequip! - will positively or negatively affect these four ratings. Depending upon your preferred style of play, you might like to massage these stats to better reflect your game style.

For instance, if you prefer to hang back a little, concentrate on buffing your Ranged rating, but if you particularly enjoy kicking robot butt with your special abilities, you'll find it helpful to improve your Heroic rating.

If you really like to get under the hood, you can get even more granular than that, too! In the top corner of your gear pop-up screen in the inventory, you'll find two attributes from this list of seven possibilities: Intensity, Might, Precision, Proficiency, Resilience, Resolve, and Valor.

Here's what each of those attributes does:

  • Intensity: stun/status meter damage and status resistance
  • Might: melee attack damage
  • Precision: ranged attack damage
  • Proficiency: Critical Chance and Gear Perk
  • Resilience: armour
  • Resolve: Increases willpower (life) and willpower recovery time
  • Valor: heroic effectiveness and critical damage

Gear Boosting in Marvel's Avengers explained

At launch, the max Gear Power is 130, and you can boost high-level gear an additional ten power points to get to 140. You can then reach the full Gear Power cap of 150 with powerful Artifacts.

You can use the resources you collect along the way to boost all four pieces of your 130 gear to gain an additional 10 power points, getting you to level 140.

This is why it's important to keep hold of Epic, Legendary and Exotic gear over the more common items; only the fancy stuff can be boosted 10 times.

To get to the very top cap of 150, you need to further grind the resources Uru and Polychoron to level up your Minor and Major Artifacts.

The fancy gear - that's Rare, Epic, Legendary and Exotic items - come with perks.

One is usually unlocked straight from the off, but you'll need to invest resources to unlock - or boost - the other perks. This means that you might occasionally have to choose between a higher-level common or uncommon item - which can't be upgraded much, if at all - and a lower-level legendary or exotic item, which can be boosted several times, adding +1 every time.

That said, during the Avengers campaign, we wouldn't recommend you do much boosting at all if you can help it. There's so much gear around, you'll usually find something better just around the corner.

Given some resources are really hard to get hold of, it's best only to invest them in really strong gear, or an item you really, really like.

The best gear is rewarded at the end of missions or hidden away in chests. Listen to JARVIS as you move through a mission as he'll often indicate when there's particularly good loot nearby. You can also use your waypoint to highlight interesting areas, so make sure you investigate any place with a "?".

For everything else? Dismantle it! There's nine spots for each gear-type in your inventory, as well as wardrobe space on the Chimera for you to store your favourites, but for the most part, you're better off dismantling anything you're not wearing and turning it into those precious resources instead.

Oh, and a word of warning: if you're a Destiny regular, remember it's triangle to dismantle gear in Marvel's Avengers, not square! Square boosts it, so be careful you don't waste valuable resources accidentally pressing the wrong button!

How to level your Hero and Gear fast in Marvel's Avengers

If you're looking for a way to quickly level up in Marvel's Avengers and hit that 150 cap, we recommend regularly completing Drop Zone missions and Threat Sector missions.

These offer 'performance rewards' that drop in line with your current gear level, as well as offering rare or better gear that will be aligned with your current loadout.

Unlike games like Destiny 2 that only gift you the good stuff once each week, these can be farmed multiple times and high-level drops will continue to fall at the end of each mission, regardless of if you've already played it once, twice, or three hundred times that week.

We also suggest that - where possible - you hold back from completing missions that offer guaranteed legendary gear, too.

The later in the game you can complete these, the better the higher the loot you'll get, and this will become particularly important as you draw closer to the cap.

Raiding the chests Vaults will possibly be worth your while, too, and pay regular visits to your Vendors and faction leaders - you never know when they might be offering something special.

As for levelling up your hero as fast as possible? You'll find that your superhero will be promoted fairly regularly as you naturally progress through the campaign and war table missions, unlocking skill points along the way. But if you're in a rush, there is a way to farm XP quickly and easily.

We've found that the fastest way to farm XP is by completing HARM challenges upon the Hellicarrier. As XP isn't connected to difficulty you can make things easier for yourself by dropping the difficulty right down and then replay the HARM challenges as much as you need to, hoovering up all that lovely XP.

Finally, to level up your Artifacts, you need to find - and covet - the resources Uru and Polychron as much as possible.

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About the Author
Vikki Blake avatar

Vikki Blake


When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.

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