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Diablo > Diablo 4May 30, 2023 6:00 pm CT

What are World Tiers in Diablo 4? What tier should I choose for leveling?

Since the earliest incarnations of Diablo, the game has had some kind of difficulty level that the player can select to increase the challenge of the game, and in Diablo 4, you set your difficulty by selecting a World Tier. And as you progress, you’ll have to start playing on higher World Tiers because — just like Diablo games that came before — some features and loot are locked behind those higher difficulties.

In Diablo 3, one of the main ways of demonstrating proficiency in the game and often linked to the Season Journey was playing the game on higher Torment levels. Diablo 4 is no different, and at launch the game has four difficulty levels:

  • Adventurer (World Tier 1)
  • Veteran (World Tier 2)
  • Nightmare (World Tier 3)
  • Torment (World Tier 4)

It’s unclear whether higher levels will become available later, perhaps in Seasonal play, but for now there are four difficulties.

When you first log in you will be able to chose either Adventurer or Veteran from character creation, though higher levels are locked. The choice of which to play is entirely in your hands from minute one, and you can freely switch between them as you go.


How do I change World Tier level difficulty?

There are two ways to change World Tier difficulty:

  • The first place is in the character selection screen: when you choose the character you’re playing, you can also select the difficulty.
  • If you’re already in game, you can also change your World Tier level by going to Kyovashad and heading to the World Statue, at the northern end of the map as you approach the Cathedral. Interacting with the statue will bring up a menu that allows you to change difficulty and explains the difference between them.

You can always check what your current difficulty is by looking below the map in the top right corner of your screen.

While you can see Nightmare and Torment difficulties from launch, you have to unlock them through gameplay on your first character. To unlock them, you’ll first have to clear the campaign and then defeat a Capstone Dungeon at the highest tier you’ve unlocked:

  • To unlock Nightmare difficulty you need to beat the Capstone Dungeon located in The Cathedral of Light in Kyovashad on Veteran difficulty level, which has a recommended character level of around 50, but depending on your skill level you may be able to do it earlier.
  • To unlock Torment difficulty you need to beat the Capstone Dungeon located in the Fallen Temple in Dry Steppes on Nightmare difficulty level. This one recommends a character level of 70.

If you play Hardcore Mode, I strongly recommended playing through the Capstone Dungeons on standard play mode first, as it they’re quite challenging and you could easily die learning the boss encounters. Capstone Dungeons are both a skill and gear check.

What are the differences between the different World Tiers?

As a general rule of thumb, the higher the difficulty level you play at, the more health enemy mobs have and the more damage they do. On the plus side, overcoming the challenges of higher World Tiers rewards more XP, more gold, and better loot.

Here are the details on each of the World Tiers:

World Tier 1 — Adventurer

Recommended for:

    • Players who are new to Diablo or want a light challenge
    • Levels 1-50

Enemy Details:

    • Enemies are easy to defeat

World Tier 2 — Veteran

Recommended for:

    • Players who desire more challenge
    • Levels 1-50

Enemy Details:

    • Enemies are more challenging
    • Monsters give 20% increased experience
    • Monsters drop 15% more gold

World Tier 3 — Nightmare

Unlocked by completing the Campaign and Cathedral of Light Capstone Dungeon in Kyovashad, World Tier 2: Veteran.

Recommended for:

    • Levels 50-70


    • Sacred items and Unique items can drop
    • Nightmare Sigils can drop that unseal Nightmare Dungeons
    • Hilltides can appear across Sanctuary
    • Champion monsters with damage resistance auras can appear.

Enemy Details:

    • Enemies are more formidable
    • Monsters give 100% increased experience
    • Monsters drop 15% more gold
    • Monsters overcome 20% Resistance

World Tier 4 — Torment

Unlocked by completing the Fallen Temple Capstone Dungeon in northeastern Dry Steppes, World Tier 3: Nightmare.

Recommended for:

    • Levels 70+


    • Ancestral items and new Unique items can drop

Enemy Details:

    • Enemies are more fearsome
    • Monsters give 200% increased experience
    • Monsters drop 15% more gold
    • Monsters overcome 40% Resistance

Which World Tier level should I choose?

The short answer is that you should pick whichever difficulty you find most fun. If you’re dying a lot in World Tier 2 and not enjoying yourself, go down to World Tier 1 to level up, get more gear, or just play through the story without stress.

Ultimately you will need to switch to Veteran level to complete the Capstone to unlock Nightmare, etc. However, while doing the initial campaign you should note that quests give exactly the same rewards in terms of gold or XP, and the same loot pool in available in both of the first two difficulties. While you do get more XP and gold from killing creatures in Veteran, you will probably kill them faster in Adventurer mode. You can also get a +5% XP bonus from using elixirs while leveling, and you also get bonus XP from being in a group.

For your first time through the game, you’ll find it faster — and possibly more fun — to play at Adventurer level. If want more challenge, you can dial it up to Veteran level at any time.

Remember that as you play, you’ll earn Renown and unlock Altars of Lilith, giving you bonus stats, skill points, and potion slots. That will make subsequent playthroughs easier, so you may want to increase the difficulty level then You’ll also have access to loot and gold from your first character when leveling your second, so you’ll have access to better gear and more upgrades immediately. Having those benefits can make playing on Veteran — and eventually even higher World Tiers — a lot easier.

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