This General Leveling Guide gives you the best methods of getting your Characters to a high Level as quickly as possible. While "manual" Leveling is the only option in Solo Play, Multiplayer opens up a range of methods to level your Character.
In Solo Play, you rely on the strength of your Character to Level-Up. Without previously farmed gear, only a few builds are viable for the Leveling process. The individual Character Leveling Guides give you the easiest Skill builds to get through the full Diablo 2: Resurrected campaign:
- Amazon Leveling Guide
- Assassin Leveling Guide
- Barbarian Leveling Guide
- Druid Leveling Guide
- Necromancer Leveling Guide
- Paladin Leveling Guide
- Sorceress Leveling Guide
In Solo Play, you can use the same Leveling areas used in Multiplayer (see below). In Single Player you can even increase the efficiency in these areas by using the /players command to increase the Experience gain. Adjust this setting in accordance to your Characters power, as it increases a monsters' Life and damage as well.
In Multiplayer there are many ways of Leveling your Character which are not available in Single Player. From combining the power of your Characters in a group, to the "leeching" of Experience, Multiplayer has more to offer.
Level 1 to ~5
After creating your Character, the Den of Evil (Act 1, Quest 1) should be your first objective. In a full 8-Person Party this quest can get you to level 3-5. After this Quest is complete, you have 2 choices for your next spot to Level-Up in.
Level 5 to ~13-15
Option 1) Tristram-Runs (Common public games):
Requirement: Deckard Cain needs to be saved by the person that opens the games!
The concept of Tristram-Runs is simple - Open a game, enter the Stony Fields Waypoint and look for the red Portal that leads to Tristram. The Cairn Stones are always found close to the road that runs through the Area. Kill Rakanishu at the entrance and enter Tristram to kill the Champion Group to the Top Left of Deckard Cain's cage and the Unique Group that is located straight below the Champion Group. Additional Elite Groups can spawn to the top right of the Red Portal, but not always.
Option 2) Countess-Runs (Private Games, can be combined with Tristram-Runs):
Requirement: Black Marsh Waypoint on 1 Character in the game.
Open a game, enter the Black Marsh Waypoint and look for the Forgotten Tower. Each floor of the Tower typically spawn with at least 1 Elite Group. If the floor generates in certain ways you could have up to 2 Elite Groups. On floor 5, there is usually an extra Elite Group in the middle room, or any of the 4 side rooms. Kill all Elite Groups in all 5 floors, including The Countess.
Added benefit: Rune drops from The Countess.
Level 13+ to ~20
Requirement: Canyon of the Magi Waypoint and ideally Quest 5, Act 2 completed.
The concept of Tomb-Runs is to clear out all Tal Rasha's Tombs in a full party. There are a total of 7 Tombs layed out in a triangle going from West to North to East of the Waypoint "Canyon of the Magi". Usually you start on the far right or far left Tomb with the symbols O or O). Clear the monsters in the tomb and proceed to the next. For very efficient groups you want to travel to the Chest room as quickly as possible, since it always has 1 of your 1-3 Elite Groups in the Tomb. To find the Chest room, you travel in the left-most direction, according to Map Reading terminology. After this you could leave the Tomb unless there are a lot of Death Beetle monsters, which are worth the best Experience from an efficiency standpoint.
Level 20 to 24/25
The next Level-target is Level 25. There are 3 options on how to reach this.
Option 1) Tomb-Runs (least efficient)
You can continue to do Tomb-Runs until Level ~23.5 and then progress all the way to the Ancients in Act 5. Until you reach the Ancients you should easily reach Level 24, giving you Level 25 from killing them.
Option 2) Travincal-Runs
Requirement: Travincal Waypoint
In Travincal-Runs you simply open games and enter Travincal through the Waypoint. Run to the temple to the east and kill the High Council. Rince and repeat. Aim for Level ~23.75 here before you continue your progress through the campaign.
Option 3) Cow-Runs (Highly recommended, but can be tough with bad party composition)
Requirement: 1 Player can open The Secret Cow Level
There are 2 ways to go about here. Either a higher Level Character clears out The Secret Cow Level, or your party composition is capable of doing so as a group.
Added benefit: Hell bovines drop Crystal Swords and Broadswords that guaranteed gain 4 Sockets from Larzuk in Act 5 to make the Runeword Spirit..
Level 25 to 40
At Level 25+ you start gaining Experience from the Waves in the Throne of Destruction. This is the next step, and you can go all the way to Level 40.
Generally, one Sorceress should be in a Baal-Run to [d2planer-skill]Teleport[/d2planner-skill] to the Throne of Destruction. The party then clears out the room in front of Baal and kill the Waves, before joining a new game. In a full party, Baal does give some Experience, but the main reason to kill him are drops.
Note: You can leave for Nightmare a lot earlier than Level 40, but every Level makes you stronger, and we recommend it for beginners.
After reaching your target Level, continue to progress through Nightmare, all the way to the next Leveling spot.
Level 41 to 60
Rince and Repeat Baal-Runs until you reach Level 60+.
Generally, one Sorceress should be in a Baal-Run to Teleport to the Throne of Destruction. The party then clears out the room in front of Baal and kill the Waves, before joining a new game. In a full party, Baal does give some Experience, but the main reason to kill him are drops.
Note: You can leave for Hell a lot earlier than Level 60, but every Level makes you stronger, and we recommend it for beginners.
After reaching your target Level, continue to progress through Hell, all the way to the next Leveling spot.
Level 60 to 97
Playing through the Hell difficulty, you gain some Levels. Reaching Act 4/5, the following areas are great for Leveling:
Chaos Sanctuary in Hell is a max Level area. We recommend staying here until Level 75+. This allows you to build up strength for Baal-Runs, which is your final spot to Level-Up.
You can also start joining Baal-Runs in Hell right away. The Waves in the Throne of Destruction give decent Experience all the way to Level 97/98. At these high Levels, only 3 Bosses remain to grant decent Experience.
Frequently used for leveling are so-called "C-Baal-Runs". These are a combination of Chaos Sanctuary and a regular Baal-Run. While 1 player is teleporting to the Throne of Destruction, the remaining players clear out the 3 Seal-Bosses in Chaos Sanctuary. This is done to bridge the downtime created by teleporting.
Boss-Kills (Level 97-99)
At Level 97+, the only remaining significant Experience comes from the 3 bosses Diablo, Nihlathak, and Baal. The goal is to kill all 3 of them with an Experience Shrine. Check our META guide on these final 2 Levels for a detailed explanation.
Chaos Sanctuary Leeching
The Chaos Sanctuary in Hell difficulty is a great place to Level up new Characters. This requires your Character to be Rushed and other players that are killing monsters in Chaos Sanctuary for you. We call the fresh Character the "Leecher" and the players killing monsters "Carry".
The Leecher only needs to worry about staying alive and in Experience range (around 2 screens) from the monsters that are being killed. Enter the Town Portal the Carry provides after clearing the area around it and stay in the save corner. In the course of a Chaos-Run you need to move from Leech-Spot to Leech-Spot.
Top Left Seal (Grand Vizier of Chaos)
When the Carry moves towards the top-left Seal boss, move a little closer by hugging the wall until you hit a corner at the top. Stay in this corner until the Carry moves on, then return to the initial Town Portal.
Top Right Seal (Lord De Seis)
The Carry moves towards the Top-Right seal. Wait until they clear out the large area, then move straight east until you hit the corner there. This is your next Leech-Spot, stay here until the Carry has killed Lord De Seis.
Bottom Right Seal (Infector of Souls)
Now the Carry moves towards the final Seal. Hug the wall until you hit the next corner (East of the pentagram) and wait until the Carry has cleared the area to your South. Now move straight South until you hit the corner and leech the Experience from the final Seal Boss from there.
After the final Seal has been activated, quickly run to the initial Town Portal spot and gain the Experience from Diablo.
Repeat this process until you reach 60-75. Starting at Level 60+ you can also start Leeching in Baal-Runs after killing the Ancients in Act 5.
A very frequently used method of Leveling evolves around Enchant. A well geared Enchant Sorceress buffs your Character with Enchant, allowing you to literally one-shot anything you come across. Having access to a Raven Claw increases the efficiency of this Leveling Strategy quite a bit.
This Strategy allows you to not use any of your Skill Points at all. Check out the Character Leveling Guides and use the Skill trees used there. You can transition into them easily when Enchant falls off due to Resistances and low amounts of Area of Effect (AoE):
- Amazon: She probably benefits the longest from Enchantress Leveling does it until she hits level 30 in Baal-Runs. Use Exploding Arrow starting at Level 12 and transition into Lightning Fury and Charged Strike.
- Assassin: She gains access to Wake of Fire at Level 12, which is an extremely strong AoE skill.
- Barbarian: He benefits a lot from Enchant as he naturally doesn't deal damage, without good gear.
- Druid: He gains access to Fissure at Level 12, arguably the most powerful skill in this Level-range.
- Necromancer: You can use Corpse Explosion to supplement your damage starting at Level 6. Around Level 20, we recommend going straight into the recommended Bone Spear Leveling spec.
- Paladin: Another Character that benefits a lot from Enchantress-Leveling, as he naturally has some Melee attack skills. However, around Level 19-20 you want to switch to Blessed Hammer.
- Sorceress: At Level 12 you get the option of Fireball or Nova. Both are really strong and are potentially better than continuing with the Enchant strategy. You can make use Enchantress-Leveling for a long time due to her Static Field and Teleport abilities.
Written by Teo1904 and MacroBioBoi
Reviewed by Teo1904 and MacroBioBoi
Fixed formatting issues