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Diablo 4 World Tiers and difficulty levels explained

D4 World Tiers settings can be the difference between heaven and Hell

Diablo 4 art showing Ashava, a world boss that you can fight in the open beta.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

What are the Diablo 4 World Tier settings? Diablo 4 has several different difficulty settings that dictate your Diablo 4 experience. Whether you're a total newcomer or a seasoned vet, there's an option to match your skills, playstyle, and experience.

But, the greater the risk, the greater the reward, and playing on a harder difficulty setting grants you the chance to earn more XP, more gold, and better loot drops. So, if the thought of playing on Torment mode scares you, just think about all those sweet Ancestral Legendary items you can earn if you're willing to play a higher-stakes game.

If you're trying to decide which World Tier is right for you in Diablo 4, which is out now on Xbox Game Pass, then here's what you need to know.

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What are Diablo 4 World Tiers?

As an ARPG with MMO elements, Diablo 4's difficulty is defined by the server you are on. That means the various difficulty settings are consistent for all players on the server so that someone playing on an easier difficulty can't effortlessly knock out a boss that another player playing on a higher setting has to work hard to defeat. This is why choosing an appropriate World Tier is essential, as playing on different tiers can affect the Diablo 4 difficulty levels and your overall gameplay experience.

If you choose a World Tier and decide it's not right for you, you can always change it. Note that there will only be two World Tier settings available when you begin the game, as you must unlock the subsequent ones through specific activities.

Also, if you're playing with a group, all players must be on the same World Tier setting because World Tiers are server-based. Therefore, you may not want to choose too high a difficulty if you're playing alongside those who are new to the Diablo universe.

Diablo 4 World Tier guide: A demonic entity prepares to attack.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

What are the four Diablo 4 World Tiers?

The four Diablo 4 World Tiers, in order of difficulty, are Adventurer, Veteran, Nightmare, and Torment. Each tier has several different rule settings that impact various gameplay elements to make them more or less difficult than the other tiers. On your play through you'll only be able to access the first two worlds, so if you're wondering if you should choose World 1 or World 2, we've got you covered. But essentially, if you've never played an action RPG before, or not familiar with Diablo, we'd recommend choosing World 1, but for a bit more of a challenge, and some extra experience, we'd recommend World 2.

World Tier 1: Adventurer

If you're looking to sail through the campaign or are new to this game style, Adventurer difficulty suits you. This World Tier is appropriate for players from levels 1 through 50. You'll find that enemies will be easier overall, even though it may be too easy for some players with experience with the Diablo franchise. Players gain no difficulty bonuses to experience and gold beyond those granted by items they find in the world.

World Tier 2: Veteran

As the name implies, this World Tier is for players with Diablo game experience. Those playing on this setting know the basics of combat, character builds, and how to play the game. Some may consider this the standard setting, as those who play on Adventurer may quickly become comfortable and opt for a more significant challenge. Those who choose this setting can expect a 20% increase in experience and 15% more gold from enemies they defeat relative to the previous tier.

World Tier 3: Nightmare

To progress to this World Tier, you must complete the Diablo 4 campaign and defeat the Cathedral of Light Capstone Dungeon in Kyovashad on World Tier 2. The game recommends you attempt this task at level 50 and recommends Nightmare difficulty for players at levels 50 to 70. At Nightmare difficulty, your resistance will decrease by 20%, and some monsters will be Champions and have resistance auras, making things even more challenging as you make your way through Sanctuary. However, playing at this tier will earn 100% more experience above the stardard World Tier 1 gains, along with 15% more gold.

At this World Tier, you'll also see Helltide events throughout your game experience. You can complete these to earn Cinders, which you can use to create Legendary items. Nightmare Sigils you can earn starting at this tier will unlock Nightmare dungeons, and you'll also gain the chance to earn Sacred and Unique loot drops at this difficulty.

World Tier 4: Torment

As the name implies, this is the game's most hellish difficulty. If you choose this difficulty, be prepared for a challenging experience. You'll unlock it upon defeating the Fallen Temple Capstone Dungeon in Dry Steppes on World Tier 3. The game recommends completing this at level 70, and Torment difficulty is recommended for level 70 and higher. Torment grants a baseline of 200% bonus experience. Monsters overcome 40% more character resistance but provide 15% more gold and 200% more experience.

You'll also have the chance to loot Ancestral items and earn more Uniques. Ancestral items are higher-powered versions of your ordinary gear, with higher levels and base stats. However, they're incredibly rare, so even on Torment mode, don't expect them often.

It's worth noting that Blizzard has previously shared that there would be five World Tiers. However, the betas contained only four tiers, so it's unclear what the company plans to do about difficulty settings. If there is a fifth tier, it's called Hell and will presumably be between Nightmare and Torment. Should the game's World Tier info change, we'll update this guide accordingly. The game may introduce a new World Tier as part of its Diablo 4 seasons, which will launch in mid-to-late July.

Diablo 4 World Tier guide: A shadow casts upon Lilth.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

How to change Diablo 4 World Tiers

If you'd like to change your World Tier setting, there are two ways to do it. You can change it in your character selection screen as you log into the game, or, if you're already playing, you can change it by visiting the World Statue near the Cathedral.

Diablo 4 World Tier guide: Lilith's silhouette in a red backdrop.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

What World Tier is right for me?

Ultimately, the proper World Tier depends on your playstyle and experience. If you prefer a challenge, starting on Veteran may be the way to go. The added experience makes it worthwhile, but note that you may be able to defeat more enemies faster on Adventurer, which means you'll gain experience at a comparable pace.

You'll earn Altars of Lilith and Renown as you play, granting bonuses to stats, skill points, and potion slots. So, it may make sense to play on Adventurer and then upgrade to Veteran for a second playthrough on a new character, as you'll be able to keep gold and some other items you earn from your first playthrough and use them in your second.

Regardless, remember you can easily change your difficulty setting, so there's no reason to get hung up on your choice until you feel out what works best for you.

That's everything we know about Diablo 4 World Tiers. If you're planning to go all out to play through on Tormenter, you'll want to check out our guides to the best Diablo 4 Barbarian build, the best Diablo 4 Rogue build, and the best Diablo 4 Necromancer build to help make sure you're leveling as efficiently as possible. If you need a hand exploring Sanctuary then we've also got an interactive Diablo 4 map to help you out.

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