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What is ‘Overpower’ in Diablo 4 and how does it work?

Is Overpower damage worth increasing in Diablo 4?

A Werebear roars at the screen 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.

Overpower is one of a few new effects added to Diablo 4. And much like Fortify — which actually aids Overpower damage for Barbarians, Druids, and Necromancers — it’s a little complex and a little hard to fully understand.

But unlike Fortify, Overpower is a relatively weak effect in the later parts of the game (although it can still do quite a bit of damage while you’re leveling). Still, Diablo 4 is a living, breathing game, and it’s important to understand what these in-game terms mean. After all, we’re just one patch or seasonal update away from Overpower being the most powerful effect in the game.

In this Diablo 4 guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Overpower, and explain why you should care about it.

What is Overpower?

A Barbarian tooltip showing the Violent Hammer of the Ancients upgrade in Diablo 4 Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

Overpower is, essentially, another form of critical hit effect in Diablo 4. Much like actual critical hits, there is a small percent chance on each skill cast that the skill will deal bonus damage. But Overpowers do work a bit differently than crits, as they scale off of health and Fortify, rather than crit damage modifiers.

Overpower only has a 3% chance of happening on each skill cast, and it doesn’t work with passives, damage over time effects like bleed, or channeled effects like Whirlwind. However there are some skills — like the Provocation passive for Druids — that can guarantee your next skill cast will be an Overpower.

Overpowers start at +50% bonus damage on the skill while also scaling off of your current health level and any Fortify you have applied to your health bar. In theory, this is essentially a critical hit that’s designed for tanks with a ton of health and Fortify — allowing them to deal a huge amount of damage in a single hit if they’re healthy. You can increase Overpower’s damage with a variety of effects on your weapons and armor (it also stacks with the Willpower stat).

You’ll know you’ve scored an Overpower when you see bright blue numbers flash on our screen. Delightfully, Overpower hits can also critically strike, and those numbers look dark orange.

Should I put Overpower in my builds?

A Werebear slams the ground, dealing Overpower damage to a nearby bird Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

Unfortunately, Overpower is pretty undertuned at the moment, and isn’t very useful in many endgame builds. As a rule, it’s best to avoid Overpower and invest further in effects like Vulnerable. Fortify, on the other hand, is very strong, so if Blizzard eventually adjusts how Overpower scales with Fortify, it could make a major difference.

One major caveat here is that the Druid’s Werebear Pulverize build does actually rely on Overpower a bit, as the class has multiple ways to force an Overpower every few seconds. However, even for this build, Overpower is rated relatively low on the stat priority lists of items.

For Barbarians and Necromancers — the other two classes who use Fortify — Overpower is essentially a worthless stat.

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