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Diablo > Diablo 4Oct 17, 2023 4:00 pm CT

How to increase your leveling speed in Diablo 4 to zoom through Season 2 (and any other content)

Leveling in Diablo 4 can be slow, especially at the higher levels, so you might be interested in knowing how to level your character faster. There are many things you can do to that end, which vary depending on the difficulty level, including which activities you should tackle.

So read on to learn some important tips to speed up your gameplay at every leveling range in the game.

Start leveling at World Tier 1

Play on World Tier 1 – Adventurer at first. On World Tier 2 – Veteran, enemies give 20% more XP, but they have 100% more health — so on average, they take twice as long to kill. Which means that unless your character is very powerful and able to completely obliterate those minions, this difference slowly adds up, and only tends to increase as you gain levels and mobs scale up.

How to level if you play through the campaign

Do side activities as you work through the campaign. Most of those activities give you Renown — and Renown rewards give XP too. In addition to that, you’ll also unlock extra skill points and increase your potion capacity with Renown, and those things will help you kill enemies faster and have a higher chance of survival.

However, don’t go out of your way for side content. Focus on your main campaign quests, while doing any side stuff that comes across your path naturally. Take side quests when you see them, and if they’re nearby, consider going for them if you’re headed in that general direction anyway. If you stumble across any active events or cellars give them a try, but don’t chase a side quest on the other side of the map as the XP benefit from that is likely not worth the detour.

How to level if you skip the campaign

If you skip the campaign, do Whispers steadily. If you’re playing in Season 2, watch for Whispers in Blood Harvest zones for extra rewards. They’ll be your main activity, providing you with a nice pace for leveling and gear acquisition. Also do any dungeons that have Aspects your class can use, especially if those dungeons have quests or Whispers.

Do Legion Events if you see them — it’s often worth it to go out of your way for those. You get a bonus from being around other players, they’re quick to complete, and can get you some nice gear in the end. World Bosses can be a challenge at lower levels, though, so they might not be worth your time if your goal is to level fast.

Should I clear Strongholds while leveling?

If this is your very first character, you should also try to tackle any Strongholds you see, since you’ll need to earn that Renown and potentially unlock dungeons or waypoints inside. On future characters, however, I don’t recommend going for them while leveling — unless you’re certain you can take them on quickly and without dying. They give very good XP if completed, but they’re always two levels above your current level, so they’re probably slower leveling than most other activities.

Do consider, however, making an exception for those Strongholds that unlock Waypoints or Dungeons — especially if those Dungeons will be part of the Nightmare Dungeon rotation for the current Season (if you’re playing a Seasonal character). And if you’re a Druid, you’ll want to make a beeline to Túr Dúlra in western Scosglen: you need to clear it to unlock Spirit Boons at level 15, which will give you a sizable power boost. Don’t skip it!

Advance to World Tier 3 around level 50

Do the first capstone dungeon, the Cathedral of Light, at (or near) level 50 to unlock World Tier 3. This dungeon is always level 50, no matter your character level. World Tier 3 starts at level 53, so it’s not recommended to unlock it if you’re too below that level, though some classes and specs are capable of jumping in early.

One you unlock World Tier 3, do a few Helltides to gear up fast. You’ll die a lot at first, since Helltides are always at your character level plus two (just like Strongholds), but stick with it (unless you’re having a very hard time). Focus on finding the hidden Mystery Chests, which cost 250 Aberrant Cinders to open, but offer the best rewards.

Increasing your item level is your main focus at first. Replace your gear with whatever items drop with a higher item level, especially if they’re Sacred — don’t worry about their effects, just upgrade them. The raw stats are worth more than your specific affixes and Aspects, and you’ll get to re-learn those in time.

As soon as you’re able to start doing Nightmare Dungeons, focus on those — they’re the fastest way to level. But do continue doing some Whispers on the side, since they can be a steady source of gear as well.

Nightmare Dungeons are always at level 53 plus the tier of the key — so if you’re running a level 1 Nightmare Dungeon, enemies will be level 54; for a level 2 Nightmare Dungeon, they’ll be level 55, and so on. Run Nightmare Dungeons at the highest level you can easily clear them.

At this level you can also start fighting some of the new endgame bosses coming with patch 1.2: both Grigoire the Galvanic Saint, and Echo of Varshan can be summoned on World Tier 3. These two drop a selection of Unqiues as well as materials to summon even more difficult bosses in World Tier 4.

It’s also worth checking out World Bosses when they spawn, and it’s still a good idea to do Legion Events whenever you can. Both offer good XP and good rewards.

Advance to World Tier 4 around level 70

Do the second capstone dungeon, the Fallen Temple, at (or near) level 70 to unlock World Tier 4. Like the previous capstone, this dungeon has a fixed level of 70, no matter your character level. World Tier 4 starts at level 73, so make sure you don’t unlock it if your level is too low for it!

Again, replace all your gear as fast as you can with those higher item level pieces — especially Ancestral items. Go back to the Helltide and Legion Events, and start gathering materials to summon more endgame bosses to collect specific uniques to help flesh out your spec. You can keep fighting Varshan and Grigoire, and can now summon The Beast in the Ice, Dark Master, and Echo of Duriel. Uber Duriel drops some Unique gear you won’t find anywhere else, but it will take some work to summon him, so start working on it to have the best gear possible.

At this point, to keep leveling fast, you really want to be strike a balance between how challenging the content you’re doing is and how quickly you can clear it. It doesn’t help you if you’re able to clear a Nightmare Dungeon where the mobs are 10 levels above you if it takes you an hour to do so. At the same time, it’s not very good XP to clear dungeons so easy that they don’t pose a challenge at all.

You need to go as high as you can while still making sure you’re comfortable enough to clear it reasonably quickly — if it takes you more than 20-25 minutes to finish a Nightmare Dungeon, it’s probably too high for you at the moment, so you’d better dial it down a bit if you want to keep leveling fast.

Be absolutely certain to hit any World Bosses or Legion Events at this level. You’ll most likely be grouped with some very high level, very well-optimized players who will make that content a breeze for you — it’s almost like getting free gear and experience!

Use items while leveling

Use elixirs. Every single elixir gives a 5% XP bonus in addition to whatever its main effect is. You’ll find some elixirs as you play through the game normally, but those aren’t enough, so you should know that you can craft more elixirs at the Alchemist (the same NPC that upgrades your healing potions) in every major city.

Give all of those herbs you’ve been collecting a use! There’s really no reason not to have an Elixir buff on yourself at all times, especially while leveling.

Starting with season 2, Incenses provide an experience bonus as well, so make sure to use them. Also with this patch, most experience bonus now scale multiplicatively with your World Tier bonus. This includes both Elixirs and Incenses, as well as Seasonal Blessings and the bonus you get from playing in a party or just being near other players — more on that below.

Consider playing in a group, or being around other players

Group up with other players if you can (and want to). Being near other players you’re grouped with gives you an XP bonus, so that will make things faster naturally. However, we do understand that not everyone wants to play with other people in a game like Diablo.

If you don’t feel like grouping up with anyone consider at least joining up with other players when you see them doing events out in the world. This includes regular events (which will be marked in orange on your map and mini-map), as well as the bigger, special Legion Events that show up every once in a while. Even if you’re not grouped with them, simply being near other players gives you a small XP buff as well — not to mention that enemies in those events will die much faster with multiple people working on them — which means you’ll get the XP from those events much faster.

We hope these tips will help you blast through Sanctuary at a satisfactory pace. But remember that far more important than leveling fast is having fun while you do it. So try to find the ideal balance for yourself!

Originally posted June 5, 2023. Updated October 16, 2023.

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