Diablo 3 has come a long way since its initial release on PC in 2012.
From the scrapping of the game’s auction house on PC to the introduction of Paragon Levels and Nephalem Rifts, it has been a wild ride for Diablo fans. And while there are still many who think the game pales in comparison to Diablo 2, it’s still a great game in its own right.
Now available on Nintendo Switch, there are more ways to enjoy Diablo 3 than ever. In fact, we reckon that the Switch version will attract many players who have never played a Diablo game before. With that in mind, we’ve assembled some handy tips and advice for those taking their first foray into the world of Diablo 3. Hopefully they’ll prove to be helpful on your adventures.
Push the difficulty as high as you can
When you first start Diablo 3, you’re likely to find the game laughably easy on its ‘normal’ difficulty level. Our advice is to crank it up to max whenever you can; not only will the game be more fun, but you’ll also earn more experience and gold while playing, and you’ll find better items, too. You might eventually reach a point where the highest difficulty level available to you feels a little too challenging; just find a balance that allows you to have fun, and eventually you’ll get the items required to increase the difficulty again. Eventually you’ll start unlocking Inferno difficulty levels, and that’s where your character builds will really be tested.
Find the right character for you
With seven character classes available, your time spent playing Diablo 3 can be dramatically different depending on which one you choose. If you’re playing the game for the first time, consider reaching level 10 with each character class to see which one most suits your play style. Ultimately you’ll probably want to raise them all to level 70, but you’re likely to have one character that you’ll return to time and time again.
Race to level 70
Diablo 3 is like a game of two halves: before you reach level 70, and after you reach level 70. Before you reach level 70, you’ll probably want to play through the game’s story. And while you’re doing that, don’t bother about getting attached to any items you find or skills you unlock. Everything up to level 70 is basically just warming you up. Once you reach level 70, Diablo 3‘s endgame content begins. The items are the best they can be, you start to earn Paragon Levels which allow you to boost your stats, and you’ll start running Rifts to obtain and upgrade powerful gems. Beyond level 70, Diablo 3 is all about optimising your build to increase your damage and survivability; a task that becomes incredibly addictive.
Unlocked right at the outset in the Switch version of the game, Diablo 3‘s Adventure Mode allows you to complete challenges called Bounties. In each act there’ll be a number of tasks for you to perform, such as killing a certain enemy or completing an event, and upon completion of them all you’ll be able to pick up a Bounty Cache from Tyrael. You’ll get all sorts of goodies from Bounty Caches, especially at higher levels. And completing Bounties is also a great way to earn experience.
Stack vitality and your main stat
If you’re playing Diablo 3 for the first time, you might be of the belief that you need to balance your stats to make an effective character. Throw that thought out of the window: to succeed in Diablo 3, you need to stack vitality and your primary stat, and that’s it. Strength is the primary stat for Barbarians and Crusaders, dexterity for Monks and Demon Hunters, and intelligence for Necromancers, Witch Doctors and Wizards. Basically, you want as many items as possible to have vitality and your primary stat on them. Do that, and you’re on your way to success.
Don’t ignore elemental resistances
While you’ll be able to play a huge chunk of Diablo 3 without worrying about your resistances, you reach a point where they become absolutely vital. Playing as most character classes, you’ll eventually want nearly all of your items to have have Resist All on them. You might even want to socket some diamonds into your armour to further boost your elemental resistances. If you’re playing as a character whose primary stat is intelligence, however, having Resist All on your equipment is much less important. The intelligence stat automatically raises your elemental resistance, meaning you’re likely to already have enough protection. Just stack more intelligence to further increase your damage and elemental resistance if you can.
Save any Puzzle Rings that you find
If you find any legendary rings called Puzzle Rings, don’t destroy or sell them even if they’re rubbish. When you get the Kanai’s Cube, you can use them to open a portal to The Vault; a magical place where you can drastically increase your riches, as well as obtain a huge number of gems and other goodies. Trust us, you’ll really want to visit The Vault as often as you can, so hang on to those Puzzle Rings!
Experiment with character builds
The real fun of Diablo 3 is trying new combinations of items and skills. If you find yourself struggling against enemies or a little bit bored with the game, experiment with your character build. Track down a powerful item set or totally change up your skills. You might just find yourself mowing down hordes of monsters like never before and become utterly in love with the game again. You really do get out of Diablo 3 what you put into it.
Make use of Kanai’s Cube
Once you’ve completed the game’s story and gained access to the Ruins of Sescheron in Act 3, you can obtain Kanai’s Cube, a powerful artefact that you’ll definitely want to gain use of. With Kanai’s Cube you can create new items, modify ones you already own, and extract unique powers from legendary items. Needless to say, it proves to be very useful in acquiring powerful items and improving your character late in the game.
Rift, Rift and then Rift again!
Once you’ve completed Diablo 3‘s story and have no real reason to explore, you’ll spend a hell of a lot of time completing Rift. Nephalem Rifts can be started within any town and simply open up a portal to a randomised environment. After killing a large number of monsters a Rift Guardian will appear, dropping you loads of lovely loot and maybe even a Greater Rift Keystone or two. You’ll want Greater Rift Keystones as they allow you to enter Greater Rifts; timed dungeons that work in a similar way to Nephalem Rifts but offer greater rewards. Greater Rifts are also where you’ll obtain and power up special unique gems.
Create Seasonal characters
Diablo 3 seasons are great. They allow you to create a new character and play through the game with additional challenges to beat. And as you beat tiers of challenges, you’re rewarded with powerful set items. Once a season is over, the character you’ve created becomes a standard one, and any items in their stash get mailed to you, so you don’t lose anything. Even the Paragon Levels you’ve earned are taken into consideration. The only caveat is that you can only play with other seasonal characters, but it’s a small price to pay.
Increase the number of Blood Shards you can carry
Once you progress so far in Diablo 3‘s story, you’ll meet Kadala, a lady who allows you to exchange Blood Shards for random items. You’ll obtain Blood Shard through various means, but initially you won’t be able to carry too many of them. To increase the number of Blood Shards you can carry, simply complete Greater Rifts on your own. The highest Greater Rift level you’ve ever completed will determine your Blood Shard limit, so try to do harder Greater Rifts when you feel your character is up to it.
Level up the artisans
As you play through Diablo 3 you’ll gain access to a number of artisans who’ll offer you their services in town. Level them up when you can. Initially you’ll just need gold to do so, but eventually you’ll start needing items such as Death Breaths too. Levelling up the blacksmith, for instance, will allow you to craft higher level items, while levelling up the Gem-obsessed Covetous Shen will allow you to upgrade your gems to a higher level.
Increase your stash
You’re going to pick up more useful items than you’re ever going to have room to carry in Diablo 3. Thankfully, you have somewhere to stash those items that you just can’t part with in town, and it’s shared between all of your characters. To get the most out of your stash, increase its size by buying upgrades. Take time out once in a while to get rid of any items that are no longer needed though, as eventually you will fill it.
Get the Royal Ring of Grandeur
The further you get into Diablo 3, the more you’ll realise that set items are some of the best in the game. And there’s an easy way to get even more benefit from them. The Royal Ring of Grandeur is a legendary ring that you can obtain from Act 1 Bounty Caches. When equipped, it reduces the number of set items you need to receive their bonuses. For example, you’ll receive the bonuses for having five items equipped from a set when you only have four. Needless to say, the Royal Ring of Grandeur is one of the best rings you can get, allowing you to equip multiple sets at once or simply allow more flexibilty around one set. If you don’t want to equip a Royal Ring of Grandeur, you can extract its power via Kanai’s Cube and use it from there also.