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Diablo 4 Helltide timer and loot

Plus, how to spend Aberrant Cinders

Demons get spawned into a Helltide in Diablo 4 Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Helltides are one of the coolest new endgame features in Diablo 4, giving you a reason to explore the areas of Diablo 4 you’ve already visited many times before — such as The Fractured Peaks or Scosglen. Even better, Helltides are an excellent source for loot, and you can spend special currencies for a chance at items in a specific armor or weapon slot.

In this Diablo 4 guide, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about Helltides, including when Helltides spawn and what loot you can get.

How long do Helltides last?

Once you reach World Tier 3, Nightmare, you’ll start to see Helltides pop up on the map every hour. Each Helltide lasts for a limited time: an hour after it spawns.

How to find Helltides?

If you open the map, Helltides are relatively easy to find, as an entire section of a region will turn blood red, like so:

A map in Fractured Peaks showing the currently active Helltide location in Diablo 4 Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

Inside this zone, you’ll find a bunch of higher level monsters and even some new resource nodes, like Fiend Roses. When you kill enemies in a Helltide, or complete events, or do basically anything, you’ll earn Aberrant Cinders. These little red shards are extremely valuable, as you can spend them to get better loot.

The catch here is that Aberrant Cinder chests are expensive, and you lose half of your current Aberrant Cinders every time you die. The good news is that if you leave the Helltide area and come back while it’s still active, you’ll still have all your Cinders. Cinders only expire when the Helltide you received them from goes away

How to spend your Aberrant Cinders

A Barbarian stands in front of a Tortured Gift of Amulets in Diablo 4 Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

As you’re adventuring through the Helltide — and if you just look at your map — you’ll see a variety of chests. Some of these are marked as weapon chests, while others are “protection” armor chests. If you go up to these chests, you’ll see a symbol floating above them, indicating what type of item (helmet, chest armor, one-handed weapons, etc.) will drop from the chest.

Each type of chest costs a different amount of Aberrant Cinders:

  • Tortured Gift of Protection (armor) — 75 Aberrant Cinders
  • Tortured Gift of Jewelry (rings and amulets) — 125 Aberrant Cinders
  • Tortured Gift of Weaponry (one handed and two-handed weapons) — 150 Aberrant Cinders
  • Tortured Gift of Mysteries (various items) — 250 Aberrant Cinders

Each chest purchased drops multiple pieces of gear, and there’s a decent chance you’ll get more than one Legendary when you open one. This is a great way to specifically improve one piece of armor that you're struggling to replace by running dungeons or completing other activities.

You may have noticed that one of these chests is not like the other. The Tortured Gift of Mysteries (also sometimes just called the “mystery chest” by the community) is actually the most worthwhile purchase during every Helltide. Our Tortured Gift of Mysteries guide can show you where to find them.

Season 1 Helltide changes

Helltides operate a bit differently in season 1. changes. Patch 1.1 for Season of the Malignant changed several things about Helltide, including the cost of its most beneficial chest. Here’s a brief summary of the changes here:

  • All Helltide monsters are now higher level, sitting at 3 levels above you rather than 2.
  • The Tortured Gift of Mysteries now costs 250 Aberrant Cinders, a massive increase from 175.
  • All interactable objects in Helltide have a chance to drop Aberrant Cinders.
  • Helltide elite monsters have an increased chance to drop gear.

Update (July 19): Updated this guide to reflect changes to the Helltide activity as part of season 1.

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