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How to change World Tier difficulty in Diablo 4

No, you don’t need to quit out to the menu

Diablo 4 characters battle a giant troll on a grassy battlefield. Image: Blizzard/Activision

Diablo 4 might seem like an easy game, what with its core “push a button to make number go up” mechanic. But Blizzard’s isometric action-RPG can still pose a serious challenge. You might even find yourself wanting to change the difficulty level (called World Tiers in Diablo 4 parlance).

Here’s how to do that without jumping all the way back to the main menu.

What are the World Tier differences in Diablo 4?

Diablo 4 features four World Tiers (as of launch):

  1. World Tier 1 (Adventurer): It’s the lowest difficulty level, but not necessarily an easy mode. Enemies have the lowest health and damage values here, but can still pose a threat for certain classes.
  2. World Tier 2 (Veteran): What you’d colloquially describe as “normal” difficulty in most other games — although you may want to wait to play World Tier 2 until you’ve gathered some decent gear, regardless of your skill level. You’ll get a 20% boost to any earned XP and a 15% boost to any earned gold.
  3. World Tier 3 (Nightmare): Nightmare isn’t available to you until after you beat the campaign. To unlock it, you’ll need to complete a level 50 “Capstone” dungeon to prove your character is ready. Playing on this difficulty unlocks the Nightmare dungeon and Helltide endgame systems, as well as new item drops. Enemies are harder to kill and you’ll gain 100% more XP and 15% more gold.
  4. World Tier 4 (Torment): Torment difficulty is the hardest difficulty in the game. You’ll also need to complete a Capstone dungeon to prove your mettle and unlock this mode — albeit at a higher level than the Nightmare Capstone. Enemies are at their strongest here, and you’ll gain 200% bonus XP and 15% more gold. This is the only difficulty where Ancient (extremely powerful) items can drop.

How to change World Tier in Diablo 4

You can select which World Tier to play on when you’re loading into a game. You can’t adjust the difficulty from the settings or any other in-game menu, but you needn’t quit to the main menu to change it. You can also switch it on the fly at any World Tier Statue. For example, there’s one located in the northeast corner of Kyovashad, the first major city you reach.

A Diablo 4 map shows the location of the World Tier Statue in Kyovashad. Image: Blizzard/Activision via Polygon

What difficulty should you play Diablo 4 on?

There are two considerations when it comes to difficulty.

If you’re playing with a group, you may as well play on Veteran (World Tier 2). You’ll earn more XP and gold, and your allies will be able to help you contribute to some of the story boss’ beefy health bars. The exception here is if you’re playing in a group as a Barbarian or Druid, who start out very slowly and will have a tougher time than ranged characters on Veteran.

If you’re playing by yourself, though, you’re better off sticking to the Adventurer difficulty (World Tier 1) — even if you’re an experienced player. You won’t level up quite as fast, but you won’t need to spend as much time battling far beefier enemies. Keep in mind that 20% bonus experience isn’t actually valuable if you’re taking 20% longer to kill enemies, which is going to be the minimum increase in kill time until you get better gear. Also, you’re far less likely to die in some of the very long and, occasionally difficult, boss fights, which don’t have checkpoints.

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