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DiabloSep 15, 2021 2:00 pm CT

How to gear up in Diablo 2: Resurrected

Gearing up in Diablo 2: Resurrected is at once much easier in concept than in more modern ARPGs, while also being somewhat complicated in terms of discussing the finer points. Essentially, you gear up by playing the game — there are no Real Money Auction Houses or microtransactions here. You kill things, they drop gear, sometimes it’s an upgrade and you keep it. Simple.

However, once you’re at a certain gear level you can kick the difficulty of the game up a notch. Let’s say you have completed the game on Normal difficulty, and gathered gear as you went — the game’s default expectation is that you should now be ready to begin playing on Nightmare difficulty, and that by the time you clear it on Nightmare, you will be geared enough to begin on Hell difficulty. But beyond that simple progression, there are more details and nuance to consider. You might want to do some Normal mode farming before switching it over to Nightmare, for example. And then there’s Magic Find, a gear statistic that increases the drop rate for the various magical items that drop in Diablo 2.

So let’s talk about gearing up in Diablo 2 — how to do it, and when to do it in earnest.


Magic Find is your potentially fatal friend

For starters, begin building a Magic Find set as soon as you can, but don’t equip it immediately. You most likely want to wait until you’ve at least finished the game on Normal, because you get better gear on each difficulty, and specific mobs and bosses have better gear they can potentially drop than others. If you want a detailed breakdown of how Magic Find works and what the Treasure Class of specific mobs is, there’s one from the old Diablo 2 forums still preserved online that goes into detail that we can’t match here, but the gist of it is simple enough — Magic Find gear trades away stats like offensive power and various resistances for the ability to increase how much gear of green and better quality drops.

At 100% Magic Find, you have essentially doubled your chances of having gear that’s magical drop. While there are diminishing returns and tiers that each individual mob adheres to, going up to 500% Magic Find is possible and will increase the chances of magical loot dropping. Say a mob usually drops a magical item 1 out of 100 kills. With 100% MF, that goes up to 2 out of 100, and by 500% MF you’re basically up to 5 out of 100.  These are just examples, but again, if you’re really interested in the nuts and bolts of all of this, including how Magic Find affects the quality of gear that drops, you can read up on that here.

Just keep in mind that Magic Find gives and takes away — it gives you a better chance at better quality items dropping, but it costs you in stats you’ll need to survive, especially on higher difficulty levels. You may be comfortable farming Nightmare mode Act 1 for loot, but starting Hell in your full MF set might end up with you splattered across Blood Raven’s feet.

Kill those demons over and over again

So, with that aside, here are some tips for getting geared up:

  • Complete both Normal and Nightmare difficulty as quickly as possible so that you can start farming bosses on those difficulty modes. Getting done with Normal unlocks Nightmare, allowing you to farm bosses like Mephisto, Diablo or Baal on Normal difficulty for a better shot at gear you’ll want for Nightmare, for instance.
  • Farming bosses just means killing them over and over again until they drop the items you want. You can do this by starting a new game, going to the waypoint closest to the boss, fighting to it and killing it, and then starting a new game if that item you wanted didn’t drop.
  • Keep picking up gear with Magic Find, especially as you progress and get better quality gear. In Normal, building a MF set is important, and you may want to run Act 1 farming on minibosses like the Countess, who drops runes.
  • There are specific locations you’ll want to engage in farming runs on a regular basis. Act 2 has the tombs, Act 3 has lower Kurast, and after those you’ll likely focus your attention on the Council, Mephisto and Diablo before moving on to farm Baal. You’ll likely farm all of these on Nightmare to get ready for Hell, as farming them on Normal has a diminished chance of getting the gear you want.
  • You also want to complete Normal and Nightmare as fast as you can because you need to complete a difficulty level before you can go to the Secret Cow Level on that difficulty, and it’s a solid place to farm for drops and runes. Don’t kill the Cow King just in case when farming the Secret Cow Level.

And that’s basically it for how to gear up in Diablo 2. Kill things, don’t die (at least try not to) and wear the clothes with as much MF as you can survive in while farming.

Have fun stomping on demons!

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