How to unlock Diablo 4 Helltide events

Diablo 4 Helltides - a sorcerer is standing next to a tortured chest during a Helltide event
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Diablo 4 Helltides are events that happen randomly across Sanctuary when you set the game to Nightmare World Tier difficulty or higher. These pop up every few hours and you can kill enemies and collect currency to exchange for gear and other goodies. Helltides are also the best place to look for Fiend Roses. If you're ready to learn more about these potentially lucrative events, here's everything you need to know about Diablo 4 Helltides. 

Diablo 4 Helltides: How to unlock the event 

Helltides can appear anywhere in Sanctuary. (Image credit: Blizzard)

First up, to even see Helltides on the map, you need to make sure you've switched the World Tier to Nightmare. To unlock anything beyond Veteran, you must finish the main campaign and complete the Priority quest that sends you to your first capstone dungeon, Cathedral of Light. You'll need to be around level 50 to complete it and, depending on your class, it can be pretty tough.

Once you've completed the dungeon and switched the difficulty, you might need to wait for a Helltide to spawn. They are only active for an hour, so don't worry if you don't see one immediately. It's obvious when one spawns though as the area on the map will go red, and you'll get an on-screen message, alerting you that a Helltide has started.

Earn Aberrant Cinders to open Tortured Chests 

Once you arrive in the area where the Helltide is active, you'll see that Aberrant Cinders, a type of currency, drop whenever you kill enemies. You can keep track of how many you've collected by checking the icon near your minimap, and you'll need these to open any Tortured Chests you find.

Tortured Chests are visible on the map, though they won't spawn right away, so keep checking if you don't see any. Each chest offers different rewards, similar to the Whispers of the Dead caches, and you'll need to spend your Aberrant Cinders to open them. Each chest can only be opened once, so choose wisely unless you have a bunch of cinders or aren't targeting a specific gear slot. If you're feeling lucky, there are also Mystery Chests in each Helltide where you can get random items, though you'll have to track these down since they don't appear on the map unless you're close.

Each chests contain several pieces of gear, resources—including the chance of a Fiend Rose—and gold. Bear in mind that you've got a good chance of getting a Sacred Item from these chests, too, as well as anywhere else whenever you kill enemies on Nightmare difficulty. The same goes for Ancestral gear during Torment Helltides, too. It's worth noting that if you die you lose a portion of your Aberrant Cinders, so be careful out there, or bring friends.

Helltide spawn times

Each Helltide lasts for one hour (Image credit: Blizzard)

The Helltide event occurs every two hours and fifteen minutes and lasts for one hour total. This means you've got limited time to grab your Aberrant Cinders and spend them at chests before they disappear. When the Helltide finishes, you'll have to wait approximately an hour and fifteen minutes before the next. Still, at least it's not quite as bad as the world bosses who only spawn every six hours. If you're wondering when the next Helltide is, this useful Helltide timer from reddit-user KeyRisk8509 has a live countdown.


Diablo 4 guide: Everything you need
Diablo 4 mount: Race across the map
Diablo 4 level unlocks: New vendors
Diablo 4 Altars of Lilith: Stat boosts and XP
Diablo 4 Murmuring Obols: Get Legendary gear

Sarah James
Guides Writer

Sarah started as a freelance writer in 2018, writing for PCGamesN, TechRadar, GamingBible, Red Bull Gaming and more. In 2021, she was offered a full-time position on the PC Gamer team where she takes every possible opportunity to talk about World of Warcraft and Elden Ring. When not writing guides, most of her spare time is spent in Azeroth—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.

With contributions from