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A Deep Dive into Augments

Last Updated: September 14th 2023

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Content of this article:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Basics
  3. F.A.Q.
  4. Video Guide
  5. Summary


Augments are a vital part of your success in Diablo 3. They provide a massive damage and toughness boost unlike any other in the game, and can be completed very early in a Season. They're also one of the most misunderstood topics by newcomers and veterans alike, which is where we come in. This guide will go over everything you need to know about augments, allowing you to make the strongest characters you've ever had! Let's dive in so you can get back to blasting.

A 110 Dexterity Augment

The Basics of Augments

In Kanai's Cube, the final recipe is called Caldesann's Despair which applies an augment to an item. It requires the following materials:

  • An Ancient (or Primal) version of the item you want to augment
  • A leveled up Legendary Gem (more on this under FAQ)
  • 3x of whichever gem you'd like to augment
    • Flawless Royal Amethysts augment Vitality
    • Flawless Royal Emeralds augment Dexterity
    • Flawless Royal Rubys augment Strength
    • Flawless Royal Topazes augment Intelligence
    • Flawless Royal Diamonds cannot be augmented

After throwing all of this in the cube, the Legendary Gem is destroyed and it adds it's level * 5 worth of main stat permanently to your item. This means that every augment level you gain on your items is equivalent to gaining a Paragon level beyond 800, as they also award +5 main stat.

Example: If you throw an Ancient Bracer into the cube with a level 110 Legendary Gem and 3 Flawless Royal Emeralds, the bracers will gain 110 * 5 = 550 Dexterity permanently (and the Legendary Gem and Flawless Royal Emeralds will be lost).

By reading the recipe we understand 3 critical things to focus on while building our characters:

  1. We need Ancient items, or we cannot apply augments to our gear.
  2. We need to level up many Legendary Gems.
  3. We need to gather as many Regular Gems as possible.
Caldesann's Despair Recipe

F.A.Q. on Augments

The first thing to do is level up your Main Gems (aka the gems your character uses for Greater Rifts). In addition you can quickly level up gems like Boon of the Hoarder and Wreath of Lightning for T16 farming. Once you've done that, its time to start blasting up gems for augments. From here many Frequently Asked Questions arise on many different augmenting topics. Let's dive into them with our answers:

Q: What level should I get my main and augment gems to?

A: You should get them as high as you "comfortably" can, meaning to whatever Greater Rift Tier you can clear in under 5 minutes. We recommend getting them to around 100 for your first set of augments, but if that's too high than you can start as low as 80. Do not waste the materials augmenting below level 80.

Q: How do I decide which piece to augment first?

A: Always augment your best Ancients first. These are the items that have the best affixes & Legendary Power rolls that you're looking for. The reasoning is these pieces are the hardest to replace, making it more likely your augment retains its value. If we look at it from the opposite side, if you augment your WORST ancient first, the very next ancient version you find will likely be better and you'll have to re-augment it. Bummer! Keep in mind that jewelry can often be shared amongst multiple classes, so they are a great candidate to augment early on!

Q: Which Character should I augment first?

A: Augment whichever Character you're going to use to speed farm Greater Rifts. This gives you more XP per hour, more Blood Shards, more Legendaries, and of course... more augment gems!

Q: How do I know which stat to augment on my character?

A: If you're a DPS, you augment with whatever your main stat is. That would be:

  • Dexterity for Demon Hunters and Monks
  • Intelligence for Necromancers, Witch Doctors and Wizards
  • Strength for Barbarians and Crusaders

Support Characters often don't need to augment their gear as they are tanky enough to survive on their own and don't deal any damage. When they do augment, it's purely for a toughness boost. Below 3000 Paragon you would augment Vitality on all classes, but above that point it's actually better to augment the opposite toughness stat from your Character's Paragon points. Here's how that breaks down:

  • Paragon < 3000: Augment Vitality.
  • Paragon > 3000: Support Barbarians, Crusaders, Demon Hunters, and Monks should augment with Intelligence, because their main Paragon stats give armor. Intelligence grants all resistance, which gives them a big toughness boost.
  • Paragon > 4000: Support Necromancers, Witch Doctors and Wizards should augment with either Dexterity or Strength as those grant armor, while their main Paragon stat gives them all resist.

Q: How do you get the Regular Gems to make all of those augments?

A: Put a Broken Crown on your follower and spam T16 Nephalem Rifts and Puzzle Rings. Make sure when you find a Gem Hoarder to slowly kill them as it will result in far more gems dropping!

Q: How do you convert Regular Gems to the ones you need for augmenting?

A: Go to Squirt in Act 2 and buy the essences of the gem you need. Then use Recipe 6 in Kanai's Cube to convert them.

Squirt's Got What You Need

Q: How can I get multiple copies of a Legendary Gem?

A: Trade it to another character or drop it on the ground, then run a Greater Rift. The game will think you don't have the gem, and will give you another one. Trade/drop it again, and run another Greater Rift. Repeat this until you've got all the Legendary Gems you want!

Q: Can you re-augment a piece of gear?

A: Yes. It erases the old one and replaces it with the new.

Q: When should I re-augment a piece of gear?

A: We recommend re-augmenting if you would gain AT LEAST 20 levels on the aug. Try to only re-aug 1 time per item.

Q: Can you put multiple augments on a piece of gear?

A: No. It will erase your old one and replace it with the new.

Q: I have this really bad ancient item and I don't want to waste an augment on it, do I have to augment it?

A: Yes. If you've augmented all your other pieces, augment that last crappy ancient. It's about 500 main stat, it's a huge boost. Remember - it's not that hard to level it back up doing speed Greater Rifts.

Q: What Legendary Gems should I use to augment my characters?

A: Any gem that can level up to 150. Here are the gems you should NOT use:

  • Boon of the Hoarder and Iceblink which are capped at level 50.
  • Legacy of Dreams which is capped at level 99.
  • Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard which are capped at 100.
  • Gem of Ease because if you forget to add the Regular Gems, you use a different Kanai's Cube recipe.

Q: Do any of these augment rules change for Hardcore?

A: No, every answer is the same. Just be careful to not use augmented pieces in activities you don't need them in, like T16 key farming. This will preserve your augmented gear for pushing if you die.

Q: Do augments really matter as much as you say they do?

A: Yes, they really do. If you are just starting out with very bad gear, augments can give you a 3+ Greater Rift tier boost. This gives you about 15% more XP and higher survivability. Remember like in all things Diablo, the first augments will be more valuable than the last. So the first augment may give you +6% damage and +3% toughness, while the final one may only grant +2.5% damage and +1% toughness.

Before and After Augmenting

Video Guide


  • Level your main gems first, then immediately go for augments around level 100.
  • Augment your speed Greater Rifting character first.
  • Farm Regular Gems with a Broken Crown on your follower.
  • Re-augment your characters later on if you can gain at least 20 levels per item.
  • Enjoy being more powerful than all your friends who didn't augment!

TOWN IS LAVA! ...and so is NOT augmenting your characters!


Written by Raxxanterax.

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