How to use emotes in Diablo 4 to complete the Secret of the Spring quest, pet dogs, and more
You may not think much about using emotes in a video game, but they play a surprisingly big role in Diablo 4. The Sanctuary in D4 is a persistent, shared setting, where you’ll be meet players out in the world doing their own thing. This is new territory for Diablo, where you previously only ever saw other players when you were grouped with them, and it makes having easy ways to communicate even more important. Emotes fill that role with small, pre-defined animations and voice lines you can access with a quick click. They make it easier to team up and face the dangers of the world (or just say hello in passing). They’re also a great way to overcome language barriers, so it’s easy to group up with anyone.
But Diablo 4 doesn’t just use its emotes for communication: they’re also a way to interact with the world around you, and sometimes using the right emote is the only way to complete a quest. (Using emotes is also the only way to pet dogs and cats in the game.) That means you need to be able to use emotes if you want to play — and the control scheme isn’t entirely obvious.
Let’s look at how emotes work in Diablo 4, as well as how and when you might want to use them.
How to access emotes in Diablo 4
The emote menu is invoked by pressing the “E” key if on the PC or the up arrow if using a controller. It triggers a series of three flywheel menus, each of which contain eight actions for a total of 24 additional actions beyond the game’s basic control scheme. Once you access the action wheel, you move between menus by scrolling up or down to move left or right.
This is where you’ll find emotes as well as a number of other actions. There’s default loadout of actions, but you can choose to rearrange things as you see fit. Possible actions include:
- Emotes are a short animation with a voice line that allows your character to communicate with other player characters or NPCs.
- Consumables allow you to map potions that you find or craft.
- Misc. is a series of actions like “Leave Dungeon,” “Zoom,” etc.
- Social allows you to invite another player character to group with you, to trade with them or other interactions.
The emote configuration window has four tabs listing the possible actions — note that the emote menu has a scroll bar and many more options than are visible when opening the window.
How to rebind emotes to complete quests and communicate with other players
The most obvious reason you would want to use the emote menu is to communicate with other players, but even if you’re a solo player there will be reasons to access emotes: quests. Early on in Kyovashad — the first major town you reach in Diablo 4 — you get a quest to cheer some soldiers to boost morale. The quest marker leads you to a group of soldiers standing on a cold rampart, but is no extra action button or other obvious way to cheer them on: instead you must use the Cheer emote to motivate them. Cheer is not in your menu by default, so you’ll need to use the configuration window to find the command and add it to the action wheel. Using the Cheer emote grants you quest completion and the guards are happy.
You’ll find little vignettes scattered throughout Sanctuary that will react when you emote to them. Generally there will be a note, inscribed stone, or NPC dialog giving you a hint as to which emote you need, but there are a few notable quests in the Diablo 4 beta that require you to use emotes:
- Secret of the Spring: Find patience and use the Wait emote at the edge of the spring.
- Raising Spirits: Motivate the soldiers with the Cheer emote.
- Traveler’s Prayer: Use the Thanks emote at the Shrine, which will reward you with a chest appropriate to your level.
- Faded Plaques scattered all around Sanctuary have different messages, but the key word will be in all caps. If you use the correct emote, you will be rewarded.
How to pet dogs (and cats!) in Diablo 4
The most important use of the emote action wheel is to pet the kitties and the good boy doggos. This was something we were told we could do in the game, but how to do it isn’t obvious — and it takes a little practice to do it properly, because you need to be closer to the animal you want to pet than you are to any other NPC or PC.
To pet dogs or cats in Diablo 4, approach them and use the Hello emote. For a dog, you will bend down and give the dog scritches on its head with both your hands while its tail wags — it will then follow you for a short while until it loses interest. For a cat, the first time you say Hello it will stretch its back out happily. The second time you use the emote, it will roll on its back and expose its belly for scratches. You may be wearing armor, but your character is too smart to fall for that trap.
And that’s what you need to know to use emotes in Diablo 4. Good luck out in Sanctuary!
Originally published March 24, 2023. Updated July 27, 2023.
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