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Barbarian Leveling Guide

Introduction

The Barbarian Leveling Guide provides you with all the necessary information to get your favorite Character started!
Not every Skill is suitable to be used during early leveling for three reasons:

  • Only a number of Skills work well without any previously farmed gear.
  • A lot of builds lack damage during the leveling phase. It can become a big struggle or even straight up impossible to progress, starting with an end game build.
  • Some builds have a hard time transitioning into hell due to Immunities.

We provide you with step by step Skill trees and easily accessible items that help you in your play through. Additionally, you get tips and insights on how to deal with Immunities and the more difficult fights.

Gear used in this guide
Double Swing
War Cry
Battle Cry
Teleport

At the end of this guide you'll have a Level 75 Barbarian that used 1 out of the 3 respecs the game provides. You can use these to transition into your build of choice.

If you like the build at the end of this guide, check out the War Cry Barbarian Guide, which continues it to the end game.


Progression

Act 1 N<br>(Up to Level 15)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 2: Bash
Level 3-4: Mace Mastery
Den of Evil: Bash
Level 5: Save Skill Point
Level 6: Double Swing + Leap
Level 7-11: Double Swing
Level 12-15: Bash

Attribute Allocation

Level 2-7: All into Vitality
Level 8-10: All into Dexterity
Level 11-12: All into Strength
Level 13: 1 into Strength, 4 into Vitality
Level 14-15: All into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • Clear out the Den of Evil and pick up items to sell, like Rings, Amulets, Charms, etc.
  • Return to town, sell the items to Akara and purchase a Scepter, some Stamina Potions, and if possible, both the Tome of Town Portal, and the Tome of Identify.
  • From this point onwards, Elite Groups are your primary focus when it comes to killing monsters. Don't waste your time with individual monsters. They grant far less Experience!
    Until Level 6, use regular Attacks to destroy your enemies. Against tanky monsters and Elite Groups, use Bash for increased damage output.
  • Get the Waypoint in Stony Fields, go through the Underground Passage and find the Scroll of Inifuss. Return to town and have Akara identify the scroll before you're returning to the Stony Field. Find the Cairn Stones if you haven't yet, they are close to the path that connects the Cold Plains with the Underground Passage. Right-click the Scroll of Inifuss and click the stones in the shown order. Enter Tristram, kill any Elite Group you come across, and save Deckard Cain from his cage in the middle of the map. Head to the Western corner to also pick up Wirt's Leg. You'll need this a while later.
  • Fight your way to the Black Marsh. Find the Waypoint and start farming The Countess inside the Forgotten Tower for the below listed Runes. Put the Runes into your Stash for storage.
    Check Charsi for the 2 Socketed Body Armor, and a 2 Socket Helmet at the start of each run.
  • Double Swing becomes available at Level 6. At this point you need to have 2 Scepters equipped. Place Strangling Gas Potion into your Weapon-Swap. Throw them at Elite Groups before engaging them with Double Swing.
  • After acquiring all Runes, make your way to the Catacombs Level 4, where you face the first Act boss, Andariel - Maiden of Anguish.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
2 SceptersShop at Akara
after the Den of Evil
Tip: If you get them with Sockets, put in any Chipped Gem that provides additional damage.
Strangling Gas Potions:Drop from monsters / chestsTip: Their Quantity can be restored to maximum by selling and repurchasing them from a Vendor.
Choking Gas PotionsDrop from Poison ShrineTip: Open your Inventory to place the Potions as individual stacks. You can restore each stack to maximum quantity by selling and repurchasing them from a Vendor. This gives you more stacks, in case you run out by accident.
Any
2 Socketed Helmet
Shop at Charsi
or drop from monsters
This Helmet is used to either put 2 Ral Runes, or the Runeword Nadir into.
Make sure that it is NOT a Magic Item for the latter.
Any
2 Socketed Body Armor
Shop at Charsi
or drop from monsters
This Body Armor is used for the Runeword Stealth later on. Make sure that it is NOT a Magic Item.
Mandatory:
3-4 Tal Runes
2 Eth Runes
1 Ith Rune
1 El Rune
Farm at The CountessThese Runes are used later for:
- Stealth
- Malice Flail
- Gemmed Flail
Optional:
1-2 Ral Runes
1-2 Nef Runes
1 Tir Rune
Additional Ral Runes
Farm at The CountessIf acquired, these Runes are used for:
- Gemmed Helmet
- Nadir
- Viper Grip Heavy Gloves
- Gemmed Hunter's Bow

Create Nadir Stash / Inventory Create Nadir into a 2 Socketed Helmet you acquired in Act 1.
Act 2 N<br>(Up to Level 20)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Radament: Howl
Level 16: Taunt
Level 17: Save Skill Point
Level 18: Leap Attack + Battle Cry
Level 19: Mace Mastery
Level 20: Increased Stamina

Attribute Allocation

Level 13: 1 into Strength, 4 into Vitality
Level 14-20: All into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • After purchasing a Belt, and, if you are Level 14, 2 flails.
  • Immediately create Malice Flail when you hit Level 15.
  • Start using Choking Gas Potions at Level 16 for Area of Effect damage. They become your main way of dealing with pockets of monster density. You can continue using strangling Gas Potions until you find these.
  • At Level 17, create and equip Stealth, and the Gemmed Flail. In combination with Malice Flail, you'll use this for the foreseeable future.
  • Starting at Level 18, use leap attack as your main mobility skill instead of running.
  • When you hit Level 19, equip a Gemmed Cap. This Helmet can be a lifesaver in Act 3 and 4!

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
2 FlailsShop at Farah
Level 14 Required to Shop!
Used to create:
- Malice Flail
- Gemmed Flail
Choking Gas PotionsDrop from monsters / chests
Drop from Poison Shrine
Tip: Their Quantity can be restored to maximum by selling and repurchasing them from a Vendor.
Create Malice FlailStash / InventoryCreate Malice into one of the Flails.
Create Gemmed FlailStash / Inventory Put 3 Tal Runes into the second Flail.
Stealth Stash / Inventory Create Stealth into the 2 Socketed Body Armor.
Gemmed CapStash / InventoryPut the 2 Ral Runes into the 2 Socketed Helmet.
Bone ShieldShop at DrognanThis Shield is used for the Runeword Rhyme in Nightmare.
Act 3-4 N<br>(Until Level 25)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 17: Save Skill Point
Level 18: Leap Attack + Battle Cry
Level 19: Mace Mastery
Level 20: Increased Stamina
Level 21: Shout
Level 22: Double Throw
Level 23: Save Skill Point
Level 24: Frenzy + Battle Orders
Level 25: Battle Orders + Frenzy

Attribute Allocation

Level 17-25: All into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • Throughout Act 3, aim Choking Gas Potions at the weak Flayers running around. These Potions are your only Area of Effect clear option.
  • In melee combat, use Battle Cry to lower their Defense and then Double Swing to apply Open Wounds / Poison Damage.
  • Equip your Gemmed Helmet to guard yourself against the devastating inferno of Flayer Shamans.
  • Progress through Act 3, but stop at Travincal! Complete the creation of Khalim's Will but DON’T smash the Compelling Orb! We replace our Gemmed Flail with Khalim's Will and use it to Level-Up in Flayer Jungle or Travincal. Target Level is ~24.7.
  • While Leveling, and between Level 19 and 23, check Ormus for a Staff of Teleportation.
  • At Level 24, start using Frenzy to increase your movement speed and Attack Speed. After getting Frenzy-Charges, use Double Swing to deal your damage.
  • Hire a Level 19 Act 1 Fire Mercenary, available at Level 20+, and equip her with a Gemmed Hunter's Bow. She supplements your damage nicely while Leveling. It can be tricky to keep her alive!
  • At Level 24.7 you'll have to replace the Khalim's Will with Gemmed Flail to continue your progression. Kill Mephisto and continue to Act 4.
  • Make your way towards Chaos Sanctuary, kill Izual and complete the Hellforge Quest along the way. If any quality of ruby drops from the latter, take your time to farm some Gem Shrines to upgrade them to a perfect ruby. This is used to create the Crafted Gloves.
  • Start using Battle Orders and keep this buff up at all times.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
Staff of TeleportationShop at Ormus
A minimum of Level 19 is required to shop it!
Tip: Shop the Staff between Level 19 and 23.
Khalim's WillQuest-progression in Act 3Before using Khalim's Will to open the Durance of Hate, use it instead of the Gemmed Flail while leveling.
Perfect Ruby or
Flawless Ruby
Act 4 Quest 2If you are lucky, you get a Perfect Ruby or Flawless Ruby. Find a Gem Shrine if you get a Flawless Ruby.

Then craft Heavy Gloves:
Heavy Gloves + Perfect Ruby + Nef Rune + Jewel in Horadric Cube
Heavy GlovesShop at Act 1 or 2 Vendor
JewelFound between Act1 and 3
Act 5 N<br>(Up to Level 31)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 26-28: Bash
Level 29: Save Skill Point
Level 30: War Cry + Battle Command
Level 31: War Cry

Attribute Allocation

Level 26-31: All into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • Make your way to the Frigid Highlands Waypoint and kill Shenk the Overseer along the way.
  • Now it's time to farm Eldritch the Rectifier until Level 29. This is the easiest place to farm for the Barbarian. Make use of the Act 1 Fire Mercenary. She speeds this process up significantly.
    Tip: You can go ahead and save Anya from her icy prison and use Pindleskin as an additional stop for this leveling portion.
  • At Level 29, put the Staff of Teleportation into your secondary Weapon Slot to increase your mobility.
  • Make your way towards Mount Arreat and kill off the Ancients.
  • Continue your way down to the Throne of Destruction, kill off waves 1-4. Wave 5 is very hard to kill. Kite them out of the big room and try to lose them. When returning to the big room, Baal should move into the Worldstone Chamber. Kill him - This might take a minute...
  • Equip a combination of Wyrm's Wand of the Magus, and Sounding Javelin, shoppable from Malah, to hit the highest possible damage and Cast Rate at this moment.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
Wyrm's Wand of the MagusShop at MalahCheck Malah while farming Eldritch the Rectifier.
Priorities:
Mana > Faster Cast Rate
Sounding JavelinShop at Malah Check Malah while farming Eldritch the Rectifier. +1 to Warcries (Barbarian Only) can be on any Throwing Weapon she sells, so check them all.
Rancid Gas PotionsDrops from monstersUse these while farming Eldritch the Rectifier to increase your damage output.
The Secret Cow Level <br>(Respec + Level 3)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Respec

Combat Skills (1 Skill Point each)

Leap
Leap Attack
Concentrate
Whirlwind

Combat Masteries (1 Skill Point each)

Mace Mastery
Increased Speed
Natural Resistance

Warcries

Battle Cry - 9 Skill Points
Battle Orders - 8 Skill Points
Battle Command - 1 Skill Point
War Cry - 2 Skill Points

Attribute Allocation

Strength: 13 Stat Points
Dexterity: 40 Stat Points
Vitality: Remaining Stat Points


Playstyle & Progression

  • From now on we are using War Cry for Area of Effect Damage. This Skill not only deals Physical Damage, it also incapacitates your enemies with a Stun.
  • Make sure to keep the buffs of Battle Command and Battle Orders are up at all times.
  • The only goal of this section is to get 2 Crystal Swords from The Secret Cow Level. Open the Red Portal by putting a Wirt's Leg and Tome of Town Portal into your Horadric Cube. Do as many runs as it takes.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
Malice FlailPut into StashThe base is used for the Runeword Black later.
2 Crystal SwordThe Secret Cow LevelFarm The Secret Cow Level until you have 2 Crystal Swords. Use the Socket reward from Larzuk in Act 5, Quest 1 on one of them. Save the other in your Stash to do the same in Nightmare Act 5.

Note: If a 4 Socketed Crystal Sword is found during Nightmare progression you'll save a Socket Quest.
Act 1 NM<br>(Up to Level 40)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 32: War Cry
Den of Evil: Battle Cry
Level 33-40: War Cry

Attribute Allocation

Level 32-40: 10 into Dexterity, Rest into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • Start Nightmare by shopping for a Belt and Boots with Resistances / Faster Run/Walk.
  • Continue to use War Cry for Area of Effect Damage.
  • Make sure to keep the buffs of Battle Command and Battle Orders are up at all times.
  • Clear out the Den of Evil to get the additional Skill Point.
  • The main priority in this Act is farming The Countess for a number of Runewords (listed below). Kill any Elite Group that you encounter along the way.
  • After farming all the Runewords, make your way down to Andariel. Use Whirlwind in combination with Black and Rhyme Bone Shield to bring her down to low Life. Switch back to theSpirit Crystal Sword + Sounding Javelin setup to finish her off with War Cry.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
Coral Demonhide SashShop at Charsi or GheedShop for a 4-row Belt with Resistances.
Lightning Resist and Fire Resist are the main priorities.
Garnet Heavy Boots of HasteShop at Charsi or GheedShop for Boots that give Faster Run/Walk and Resistances.
Lightning Resist and Fire Resist are the main priorities.
Garnet Heavy Gloves Shop at Charsi or Gheed Shop for Gloves that give Resistances.
Lightning Resist and Fire Resist are the main priorities.
Mandatory Runes:
2x Tal Rune
3x Thul Rune
3x Ort Rune
2x Amn Rune
Io Rune
Nef Rune
Sol Rune
Shael Rune
Eth Rune
Farm at The CountessLet's break the Runes down:
- Create the first Spirit Crystal Sword right away. Put the Runes for the second into your Stash until you have a second base.
- Create Lore Cap
- Create Black Flail and Rhyme Bone Shield and put them into your Stash.
Optional Runes:
1x Amn Rune
1x Tir Rune
Farm at The Countess If you don't get lucky with the Io Rune you can instead create a Strength Scimitar for yourself.
Act 2 NM - Act 5 H <br>(Up to Level 75)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Max out your Skills in the following order:
War Cry
Battle Cry
Taunt
Howl

Attribute Allocation

Level 40-75: Enough Dexterity to keep 50% Chance to Block, Rest into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • Make sure to keep Battle Orders and Battle Command up at all times.
  • Use War Cry to kill off Elite Groups and make your way through the campaign.
  • In Act 5 Nightmare, create your second Spirit Crystal Sword, using the Socket Quest and the stashed Runes.
  • Against Act Bosses and the Ancients, use the Crushing Blow setup with Blood Crafted Gloves, Black Flail, and Rhyme Bone Shield to bring them to low Life before finishing them off with your War Cry setup.
  • In Act 5 Nightmare, make some Baal-Runs to gain some Levels before you continue to Hell. Only kill the Waves in the Throne of Destruction, Baal himself is a waste of your time.
  • After you have leveled up a bit, you can progress through Hell difficulty and use the same strategy for killing Act Bosses.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
Second Spirit Crystal SwordCreate in Act 5 NightmareUse the Socket Quest in Act 5 Nightmare and create the Spirit Crystal Sword from the Runes you put into your Stash.


Essentials

Hardcore

All of our Leveling Guides are viable for Hardcore.
Changes to consider:

  • Over Level before you enter Nightmare / Hell. Suggested Target Levels are ~38-40 for Nightmare and 65+ for Hell.
  • Make sure to have your Cold, Fire, and Lightning Resistances capped at 75% when you enter Nightmare and Hell. The easy way to check this is to enter the difficulty you want to play and open your Character screen.
    • We recommend farming Flayer Jungle or The Secret Cow Level in Nightmare for Charms. They make it easy to cap your Resistances.

Gear Options

With a shared stash now available and the fact that this might not be your first Character we want to give you some gear options that can improve your Leveling experience a lot!

Until Level 31

  • Death's Hand + Death's Guard provides you with 30% Increased Attack Speed, All Resistances +15%, and Cannot be Frozen. These are incredible Stats for melee builds.
  • Bloodfist is a great option for the entire leveling process, providing +40 to Life, +10% Increased Attack Speed, and +30% Faster Hit Recovery.

After Level 31 respec

  • Skin of the Vipermagi is the best Body Armor you can equip on any caster for Leveling.
  • Magefist gives you 20% Faster Cast Rate which helps to improve your Cast Rate for War Cry.
  • A rare Amulet with +x to Barbarian Skills or +x to Warcries (Barbarian Only) is very powerful. Unique options for the Amulet are The Eye of Etlich and later a Maras Kaleidoscope.
  • Hsarus' Iron Heel and Sander's Riprap are strong options for the Boots slot. Both provide you with Faster Run/Walk and are very common drops.
  • The Stone of Jordan provides you with +1 to All Skills, which scales our damage up significantly. It's a rather expensive option, but if you have one, put it on!
  • Arreat's Face is an incredible Helmet providing +2 to Barbarian Skills, All Resistances, and % Attack Rating which helps in boss fights.

Farming Spots at Level 75+

The areas below are efficient farming locations that make use of the build’s strengths. Other farming spots might not be as effective due to immunities or bad layouts.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the Starter Variant.

Act 1

AreaRewards
The CountessRunes
Key of Terror
The PitAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
AndarielUniques
Sets
Jewelry

Act 3

AreaRewards
TravincalGearing
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Gold

Act 5

AreaRewards
Eldritch the RectifierGearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the OverseerGearing
Gold
Leveling
PindleskinGearing
Gold
Leveling

Video


Summary

  • Use Double Swing early on as your best damage option. Add Strangling Gas Potions to increase your damage output, and AoE clear.
  • Buy a Staff of Teleportation before Level 24.
  • After respecing, keep your buffs up at all times:
    • Battle Command
    • Battle Orders
  • War Cry is your main damage Skill after the respec.
  • Take your time to farm all the Runes from The Countess in Nightmare. It's worth it!
  • Switch to Crushing Blow gear to fight Act Bosses and the Ancients before shouting them to death.

We hope the Barbarian Leveling Guide helps you to get to your endgame build of choice. The Barbarian arguably has the hardest time leveling up by himself. This guide gives you the best options to get there.


Credits

Written by Teo1904
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi


Changelog

Sep 19th 2022
Fixed formatting issues

Feb 2nd 2022
Overhauled and Updated to Patch 2.4