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Tips for Playing Diablo 4 on Hardcore Mode

Diablo 4

So, you’re playing Diablo 4 and fancy switching things up or introducing more of a challenge. Maybe you also want to get all of its achievements or trophies. For that reason, you’ve decided to create a new character and play on Hardcore mode, where death is permanent.

We mean that, too; no matter how much time you’ve put in, once a Hardcore character is dead, they’re gone for good – there’s no bringing them back or even making use of them via the Eternal Realm. With that in mind, we’ve put together some tips to help you in Diablo 4’s Hardcore mode.

Take on board our tips and you might just find yourself surviving for a decent amount of time. You might even defeat Lilith and find yourself engaging with endgame content. Don’t get too upset if you do eventually die, though; Diablo 4 is a learning experience after all. It’s also unpredictable. And look on the plus side – if your character manages to reach level 10 before they die, they at least get remembered in the Hall of Fallen Heroes.

1. Carefully select your character

One of the best tips we can offer when it comes to playing Diablo 4 on Hardcore mode is to carefully consider your character. After all, while all character classes can be used in Hardcore mode with success, some certainly have benefits that are worth considering.

With their flat 10% damage reduction bonus, Barbarians are a good choice from the start, for example. Being reliant on close range attacks, however, playing as them can be dangerous later on as they’re generally forced to get into the thick of the action.

The Sorcerer is actually one of the best classes to use in Hardcore mode, as not only do they have access to ranged attacks, but they also have a powerful skill called Fire Shield which can be used to cheat death. Assign it as an enchantment and it will even trigger automatically once every couple of minutes.

2. Stick to World Tier 1 up to level 50

World Tier 2 is a trap. It may seem attractive, offering more experience and gold for the enemies you defeat, but it’s simply not worth it considering how much hardier it makes the enemies you’re up against. It’s even less attractive when it comes to Hardcore mode – stepping up to it is basically asking for trouble.

Until you reach level 50, where you basically have to move up to World Tier 2 to tackle the Capstone Dungeon and unlock World Tier 3, don’t even think about it. It’s just not worth it, especially if you’re only playing Hardcore mode for the associated achievement/trophy.

3. Take things slow and steady

When it comes to tips to conquer Hardcore mode in Diablo 4, taking things slow and steady is the first thing that comes to our minds. As they say, fools rush in. While it’s fun getting into the thick of the action, it can be very dangerous. Approach all encounters with care, especially those that seem on the large side.

All it takes it one powerful elite with a tricky combination of effects and skills to ruin your day. Basically, try not to get surrounded. It can be hard, especially when taking part in events, but being on the periphery of any group gives you an exit if things turn bad, and allows you to pick off your foes.

4. Look for skills that offer damage reduction/immunity

Playing on Hardcore mode requires you to look at each character’s skill tree in a different light. Where you might have looked for ways to maximise your damage, instead you’ll probably be looking for ways to maximise your survivability. With that in mind, look at your character’s skill tree and look if there are any skills or passives that grant things like damage reduction or a barrier when used. They can be great for keeping you alive.

Of course, other skills and passives are useful too, like those that Fortify you or replenish your health. It’s ones that offer immunity that are the best, though: these skills will allow you to escape a bad situation when used, perhaps breaking you out of being stunned or frozen just before big attack lands that would finish you off. Make use of them. Diablo 4 is all about balance, and while you can tip the scale a bit more towards offense when playing with a standard character, when it comes to Hardcore it’s better to play things safe.

5. Complete dungeons offering defensive aspects

Aspects offer powerful effects and bonuses in Diablo 4, and can be unlocked by completing dungeons spread across the world. While it’s important to boost your attack power, allowing you to kill enemies faster, in Hardcore mode it pays to first prioritise your defence. So, seek out dungeons that offer defensive aspects and imprint them on your gear via an Enchanter where possible.

Of course, better versions of the aspects, and more of them, can be found on Legendary items, so make use of them or extract their powerful aspects to put on other gear. In any case, improve your survivability by improving your armour, mitigating damage and negating status effects at all costs.

6. Craft an Elixir of Death Evasion

You might have made use of elixirs or potions before in Diablo 4, but did you know there’s a special elixir available in Hardcore mode that can save you from death? It’s called the Elixir of Death Evasion, and you’ll want to make sure you’re always carrying one where possible. The trouble is, you need to find the recipe for it first.

Thankfully, it isn’t too rare. Once you’re past level 10 you should find the recipe soon dropping for you. Once you have it, visit an Alchemist to craft as many Elixirs of Death Evasion as you can. Each one requires 1 Angelbreath, 4 Crushed Beast Bones, 4 Demon’s Heart, 4 Grave Dust, 4 Paletongue and 1,000 gold, but it’s worth it.

Pop of one these elixirs and if you die within the next 30 minutes you’ll escape your fate, instead becoming immune for two seconds while you flee to safety. Just be aware that you then can’t use another Elixir of Death Evasion for another five minutes.

7. Loot Scrolls of Escape

It isn’t just powerful monsters you need to watch out for when playing Diablo 4 on Hardcore mode: disconnects can be deadly, too. Whether it’s your because your internet provider is on the blink or Blizzard’s servers are having some trouble, lag or being disconnected from the server outright can be disastrous when playing Diablo 4 in Hardcore mode. For seconds, your character persists in the world but is out of your control.

Making sure you have a good internet connection when playing is a must, then. And when you’re above level 20, you’ll also want to loot as many Scrolls of Escape as you can. These are fairly rare, and when used they instantly teleport you to safety. Even better, if you have any in your possession when being rudely disconnected from the server, one will be used to ensure your character doesn’t meet an untimely demise.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!