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DiabloSep 20, 2021 4:00 pm CT

How to level fast in Diablo 2: Resurrected (and why you shouldn’t)

You can level up fast in Diablo 2: Resurrected by playing Diablo 2: Resurrected.

I know that may sound like a flip response and that if you’re here, you’re likely looking for ways to speed up the process. But please understand, not only is Diablo 2 not like modern ARPGs, but even if you were to play the game with bots — something Blizzard frowns upon — it will take a long time to reach level 99, the max level in the game. The amount of experience you need to reach max level in Diablo 2 —  specifically, 3,520,485,254 XP — will mean that you can try and come up with optimized routes all the ding dang day, and you’re still looking at a lot of time and effort.

Now, I’m not here to discourage you from trying to go faster. I’m sure some of you are already calculating a path to achieve that, and I do have suggestions for how to do that. But please, at least consider just playing the game from start to finish your first time playing it, especially if you’ve never played Diablo 2 before. Diablo 2: Resurrected is a rare thing, a visual update that preserves the gameplay and feel of the original, and the original was a game that changed the face of its genre. I feel like you owe yourself a first run through this game that isn’t spending all of your time making the game into a math problem so you can hit level 99 a week or two earlier.

Now that I’ve said that, here’s how to ignore me completely and try and optimize your journey to level 99.

Things to know before you get started

There are some things to watch out for. First up, look out for XP shrines, as they add +50% XP for their duration, which is very nice. Don’t die if you can possibly avoid it, especially on higher difficulty levels like Nightmare and Hell, as there’s an XP penalty when you die on those difficulty levels. There’s no XP penalty for dying on Normal, which is why you should do a lot of your early leveling in Normal mode. Don’t get cursed by any mobs if you have a shrine XP buff, because the curse will take it right off of you.

That covers the basics. Sorceress players, don’t forget to enchant your weapons, and your mercenaries as well. It can really help.

Now, repeatedly kill the same stuff

Essentially, the fastest way I’ve personally discovered to level grind in Diablo 2 is to go through Act 1 repeatedly until you’re around level 20. You start the game, kill everything and do all the quests until you reach and finish off Andariel at the end of Act 1. Then, quit the game and start over, taking the same character through the exact same content again. Do this until you’re level 20. At level 20, go ahead and complete the game — after starting over so that you begin Act 1 at level 20 — and go all the way to Baal in Lord of Destruction which will then unlock Nightmare difficulty.

You should now be at least level 40. If you are not, go ahead and repeat Act 4 and 5 on Normal until you are. Then do Act 1 to Act 5 once on Nightmare before farming Act 5 until you hit level 60. At level 60, you can start farming Act 1 on Hell difficulty until roughly level 70, then basically blitz to Act 5 and repeatedly farm that until you’re level 99.

Other people will suggest different routes and I’m not saying this one is the only or even the best way to do it, but it is a system that will get you there with very little trouble. Some people prefer to just farm Arcane Sanctum from 20 to 40, you can try that if you feel like it’s a better flow and more sustainable XP.

Your method isn’t much different in multiplayer, but there’s more XP for everyone if your group is all around the same level. If you have a higher level character boosting you, there’s an XP penalty depending on how high level they are, but that can sometimes still be worth doing if the speed of the run makes up for it.

So have fun, please consider doing a complete playthrough on Normal if you haven’t ever played Diablo 2 before, and otherwise kill everything and take all of their loot. Repeatedly.

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