How Diablo 4's World Tiers work and where to change them

Diablo 4 Rogue standing in a dungeon
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)
Survive Sanctuary with these Diablo 4 guides

Diablo 4's Lilith

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

Diablo 4 guide: Everything you need
Diablo 4 mount: Race across the map
Diablo 4 waypoints: How to fast travel
Diablo 4 level unlocks: New vendors

Diablo 4 World Tiers offer different levels of difficulty, with higher tiers rewarding you with more gold and increased item drop rates. In past Diablo games you could change the difficulty fairly easily, but in Diablo 4, there's a lot more to it.

Every Diablo 4 player will start with two World Tier options: World Tier 1 (Adventurer) and World Tier 2 (Veteran). The options for World Tier 3 (Nightmare) and World Tier 4 (Torment) aren't available until you've completed the campaign.

For your first playthrough of Diablo 4, I'd recommend bumping it up to World Tier 2. Compared to the lower World Tier, Veteran adds a satisfying amount of friction to your first 50 levels. Enemies will attack you a little more and boss attacks will threaten you enough that you can't stand in place the entire time. As long as you pay attention to your skills and practice evading attacks, World Tier 2 won't be significantly harder than World Tier 1 and will be a lot more engaging, too.

If you want to race to level 50 and start the endgame, choose World Tier 1 for the speed. You lose the small XP and gold bonus but easy monsters and bosses more than make up for it. It's simply the most efficient way to get through the campaign. But World Tier 1 is also a solid choice if you're completely new to action RPGs.

And remember: You can change your World Tier at any time on the character selection screen before you log in or at the statue of Inarius in Kyovashad.

Here's a breakdown of the exact differences between each of the World Tiers.

World Tier 1 (Adventurer) explained

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

World Tier 1 is the easiest difficulty option for Diablo 4.

Tier 1 is designed for people who want to cruise through the RPG. Enemies don't attack you all that much and the campaign bosses are much easier to kill, making the pain of playing a class without a lot of damage output or sustainability much more manageable.

World Tier 2 (Veteran) explained

(Image credit: Blizzard)

World Tier 2 is basically "hard" difficulty for Diablo 4.

Enemies are a challenge, but they give you 20% increased XP and drop 15% more gold. The campaign bosses are much more difficult, too. World Tier 2 is largely a challenge because it's designed for level 1 through 50 when you don't yet have too many skills unlocked.

  • 20% XP bonus
  • 15% gold bonus from monsters
  • Increased enemy difficulty

World Tier 3 (Nightmare) explained

Diablo 4 Rogue standing in dungeon

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

World Tier 3 is designed for characters at levels 50 through 70 and is where Diablo 4's endgame properly begins.

To unlock World Tier 3, you need to have finished every act in the campaign and you need to complete the Cathedral of Light Capstone dungeon in Kyovashad.

In World Tier 3, Diablo 4's demons can now drop Sacred and Unique items, which are both more powerful than Legendary items. You also can find Nightmare Sigils to unlock Nightmare dungeons for powerful loot. Helltides start spawning around the world and feature high-level monsters to defeat for rare items. This is also where monsters start to gain resistances to certain elements, too.

  • 100% XP bonus
  • Non-physical resistances reduced by 20% for the player
  • Increased enemy difficulty
  • Champion monsters can spawn
  • Sacred and Unique items can drop
  • Nightmare Sigils can drop

World Tier 4 (Torment) explained

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

World Tier 4 is currently Diablo 4's hardest difficulty option.

To unlock Tier 4, you have to complete the Fallen Temple Capstone dungeon on World Tier 3, which means you can't skip straight to this tier.

This World Tier is designed for characters at level 70 or higher. Enemies carry forward all the previous changes and start to drop Ancestral items, as well as new Unique items.

  • 200% XP bonus
  • Non-physical resistances reduced by 40% for the player
  • Increased enemy difficulty
  • Ancestral items and new Unique items can drop
Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.