Wondering how to identify items in Diablo 2? You'll find plenty of items while exploring the world of Sanctuary, but you'll notice pretty quickly that most of the gear you find is 'unidentified'. That means you're unable to equip it immediately.
There's a lot to get used to if you're jumping into Diablo 2 for the first time—or even if you played the original. While the visuals have had a significant overhaul, most of the systems remain intact, so it feels pretty different to many modern games. Luckily, we have a Diablo 2 class guide (opens in new tab) to get you started on the right track.
In the meantime, here's how to identify items in Diablo 2, both early on and after you've found Deckard Cain.
How to identify items with scrolls in Diablo 2
The system is similar to the way legendary items work in Diablo 3. But instead of simply right-clicking or using the Book of Cain to identify them, Diablo 2 requires a Scroll of Identify to use basic gear—at the start of the game, at least.
If you have a Scroll of Identify handy, simply right-click on it, and your cursor will change from the default hand to a question mark. Now click on the item you want to identify, and it's done—though the scroll is consumed in the process. You can now equip that item, providing you meet the level and stat requirements.
Scrolls of Identify drop randomly from enemies, or you can buy them from vendors, such as Akara at the Rogue Encampment, for 80 gold. As each scroll takes up one inventory slot, buy a Tome of Identify: it stores up to 20 Scrolls of Identify while only taking up two inventory spaces.
How to identify items for free using Deckard Cain
Once you've completed the Act 1 quest, Search for Cain, you'll have Deckard Cain show up at the Rogue Encampment. From now on, you can talk to him to have all the unidentified items in your inventory become useable. And the good news is, it doesn't cost a thing.
While it might seem that unlocking Deckard Cain nullifies the use of Scrolls of Identify, unless you have a never-ending supply of town portal scrolls, you're still going to be stuck with unidentified items while you're out and about. While this is probably fine in many cases, it might be handy to keep a Tome of Identify on you so you can identify individual items on the fly.