Playing Diablo 4 on hardcore is an entirely different game with high stakes – things can turn bad momentarily, and you can lose tens, if not hundreds, of hours of character progression forever with a permanent character death. As much as it’s dangerous to play HC, it’s just as satisfying to overcome the difficulties, push yourself forward, and build a stronger character. These tips can help you conquer the hardcore realm and make it through the journey alive.
Do Not Overestimate Your Power
You must pay more attention to each engagement with the enemies. Compared to Normal gameplay, a usual fight with the Elite pack can quickly turn into a battle for life, or if you make the mistake of trying to zerg the boss without learning the mechanics, which can quickly send you back to square zero and leveling from the start. Approach the fights with plan B in mind, and beware of the CC abilities that can trap you and cut the escape route if things go south. Try to kite the enemies into tighter groups and spaces, making it much easier to land your CC and AoE abilities.
Hope for the Best, and Be Ready for the Worst
Before we continue with our list, I would like to remind you that behind all the complications and hours of effort you put into the characters, it is just a game, and try to enjoy the run you’re having as much as possible – don’t stress yourself over things, and play to the best of your ability. You can always try again! If things don’t go as planned and you need a quick do-over, you may want to skip some of the leveling with Diablo 4 boost and jump back to the level you’ve been at before. Considering how cheap you can get the powerleveling done these days, it is much more optimal for hardcore.
You can take all the upgrades you can to power up your characters. But most of all, focus on the ones that can save your life and acquire them as fast as possible. The best consumables that each Hardcore player must have on them are:
- Elixir of Death Evasion. This unique HC elixir can prevent your character’s death once in five minutes, avoiding fatal damage and making you immune for two seconds. The overall duration of the elixir is 30 minutes, so make sure to stock them up and always have one active on you, as you never know when things can get ugly. Make sure to put the Elixir on the Emote Wheel and assign the key bind for quick access.
- Scroll of Escape. Another consumable that is unique to hardcore realms, and this one can only be acquired with a random chance from all the enemies, so keep them for emergencies only. When used, it will instantly teleport the player to a safe zone. Make sure to bring this for a complicated boss fight, and ALWAYS have a spare scroll on you to save you from death to disconnect. Starting with Season 2, the scroll will be automatically consumed if you disconnect in combat, teleporting you to a safe location and saving you from a very frustrating experience.
Unwise To Lower Your Defences
Your build mustn’t be too focused solely on damage. While it’s important, surviving is the primary objective in hardcore, and your goal is to stay alive when the enemies do not. Build your character with defensives in mind – utilize abilities in the talent tree, invest points in crowd control and resistance to one. Always remember that you won’t deal much damage if you die! Armor will play a massive role in surviving some challenging encounters and is generally considered more important than elemental resists, given that it provides a much more versatile damage reduction. It’s also worth using a few defensive options when choosing the Legendary Aspects for the build.
Best Defensive Legendaries
- Aspect of Disobedience. Speaking of the armor, this is one of the most powerful aspects that can massively boost your Armor stat by up to 50% if you keep up the high stacks by dealing the damage.
- Protecting Aspect. It will summon a protective bubble when hit at low HP, saving you from possible death with up to 5 seconds of Immunity once in 1.5 minutes.
- Aspect of Might. Provides a great 20% Damage Reduction from the use of Basic Skills, making it simple to use and keep up at all times in combat.
- Aspect of the Protector. Activates a powerful Barrier when you hit an Elite enemy. It lasts 10 seconds, and with only 30 seconds of cooldown, this aspect holds great survivability value.
Avoid CC With Unstoppable
Being hit by the enemy CC at the wrong time can quickly end your hardcore journey – being prepared for that situation will save you many times, so prepare at least one way to activate Unstoppable, break free of control, and escape the danger. Go through your abilities kit and utilize immunities like Blood Mist, Deep Freeze, or the on-demand unstoppable from the Rallying Cry.
Collect and use the legendary aspects that provide you with the extra source of activating Unstoppable, such as:
- Eluding Aspect – breaks you free if you hit low HP while under control effects;
- Iron Warrior and Snowveiled Aspect – class-specific aspects for Barb and Sorc that grant unstoppable when you activate certain damage reduction abilities.
Beware of the Butcher!
And lastly, make sure to be careful when you run dungeons, and be mindful of the surroundings. The Butcher can jump out of nowhere and quickly work you over before you even realize what’s happening. Sounds will give you many clues on when to run – you will hear him stomping around and making noise with his chains. Some players have noted that even the music changes when approaching the Butcher in the dungeon. And lastly, you will hear his famous «Fresh Meat!» war cry, which is a definitive clue to use the Scroll of Escape and avoid being butchered.