So, you've made it past our class overview and build guides! It's safe to assume we did a decent job as you continued to click through various links that led you here, nonetheless we're excited that you want to know all about the Monster Families!
Unlike previous Diablo games, most monsters belong to a family archetype that each have their own distinct personalities and backstories. This also means they have their own combat styles and niches, so fighting them can be tricky and sometimes downright frustrating.
It's worthwhile to understand how to dispatch of them efficiently, as each Monster Family has a higher chance of dropping specific item types! Cool right? In this guide, we teach you everything you need to know about each of these families!
Mostly found in Kehjistan and Dry Stepps, they're always up to no good, bullying innocent humans and stealing whatever they can. While they're not technically monsters, they are enough of a threat and have a wide presence across the lands. They even get into fights with other monsters!
This family has 3 members. The scrapper which is a bruiser with a mace, The Throat-splitter wields a small dagger, and The Marksman, a ranger with the crossbow. While these guys don't have any special abilities to watch out for, they can be annoying, especially when they attempt to ambush from underground.
Common Item Drops: Daggers, Maces
Lore has it that the Cannibals were a former tribe of Barbarians that were banished from Arreat. No one knows why they were exiled, but they are now known for their cannibalism. They like to hang out in the Dry Steppes, often chomping on a corpse as you're adventuring by.
Since they were previously Barbarians, you can assume they're very dangerous. In this family, there are 4 members, 2 of which are the more typical melee types. One wields a two-handed greatsword which delivers a slow, sweeping frontal attack; and the other uses a lightweight halberd and likes to leap at players from a far distance. The Gorger is the biggest of them all, wielding a 2 spiked clubs that can knock you off your feet, while the swarmers (The Maniac and The Cleaver) are the little guys dual wielding axes that run at you swiftly in hoards looking to make quick work of you.
They do not have a ranged archetype. None of them decided to spec into weapon throw, which is a good thing.
Common Item Drops: Helms, Axes
Easily spotted by their red hoods and skull mask, they're usually sacrificing humans for a ritual. This is done by using 3 humans tied to a post while one performs the ritual that can summon brute creatures from other Monster Families, such as The Fallen and The Nangari. Not much is known about their history, but they tend to like to hang out around Hawezar and Kehjistan in small groups.
The Cultist have 3 members: Mother Disciples are the staff wielding mages that likes to throw fireballs, while the Mother Chosen wield a dagger while running straight at you. Mother Heralds are the bigger dudes and look tough, but they are the ones responsible for completing the ritual, so often times they ignore you while it's happening.
Common Item Drops: Helms, Staves
There wouldn't be a Diablo game without Demons. The Demon Family is by far the biggest family in the game, consisting of multiple variations of what appears to be similar archetypes. We have The Annihilator, The Soul burner, The Barlog, The Sin Eater, The Hellion, The Pitlord, The Succubus, The Vile One, and The Inferno Sisters. Lilith was not playing around this time, and they all want to kill you, swiftly.
Common Item Drops: Inconclusive
The Drowned are undead creatures that have crawled onto the shores of every area except Fractured Peaks, as it isn't connected to a sea. There's an obsession for reasons unknown with statues and bells (The brute likes to hit them with a log for what appears to be for fun). They're led by Merinth, also known as the Drowned Witch.
This Monster Family has 4 members. One's a brute called Man-O-War that wields a tree log that creates a flood of water when slammed into the ground. Wretch are mages that lob water bombs, while the other 2 are smaller melee mobs (Tide Walker and Deckhand). The former wields a small "glow in the dark" club while the latter wield hooks. They seem to have no strategy when approaching and aren't usually aggressive if you don't tread to close to the shores.
Common Item Drops: Pants, Scythes
Everyone's favorite Monster Family is back! They've made the cut from the previous games and I'm sure they paid a few devs off to return in Diablo 4 and they're just as annoying as you remember. The Fallen reside mostly in the Fractured Peaks and Kehjistan.
This Monster Family has 4 members. Overseers are the brutes and are generally hard to kill, while the regular fallen tend to just be cannon fodder. Lunatics explode themselves themselves near you, dealing lots of damage in an area. The most annoying are the Shamans. They are mages that can throw fireballs, though mostly infamous for their ability to resurrect the regular fallen that have "died" in battle over and over. This process will happen until you kill the Shaman itself.
Generally their strategy revolves around them staying near their Idom of the Imp, which makes them stronger. Destroy it to make them weaker. If they're not hanging around the Idom, expect an ambush underground.
Common Item Drops: Axes, Staves, gloves
Not much is known about these ghosts, but they are all over Sanctuary. Seemingly bitter, they attack with standard weapons like bows swords. The red ghosts are called Phantoms and their green counterparts are called Vengeful spirits. They mostly reside in Fractured Peaks but can be found anywhere.
Both types have a ranged mage in which the smaller minions tend to protect as they throw spirit-projectiles. These guys are not very dangerous, rather they're eerie and you almost feel sorry for them.
Common Item Drops: Bows, Wands
Much like the Fallen, this Monster Family has been a staple in the Diablo series. They are one of the most aggressive Monster Families available and they can take quite the beating, making disposing of them quite a challenge. Often found in the Dry Steppes chopping up a random helpless human, they are easy to spot.
This Monster Family has 4 members. Marauders are the smallest of them, quick to swarm you with their axes. The Mauler has a much bigger great axe. Getting hit by an overhead attack from one of these knocks you down. Impalers are the ranged members that throw spears with aim assist on, while The Shaman buffs the other 3 members, making them even more difficult to deal with. If you see a Shaman, always kill them first.
Common Item Drops: Axes, Staves, Totems
The Knight Family are massive in size and have a few members. The Knight Penitent can either be spear wielders or a bigger variant that carries a giant mace that swings 3 times horizontally that can knock you down. The Inquisitor are mostly mages that cast spells from a distance, and The Adherent has a small mace that seems to only have it to not feel left out from the rest of the family.
Common Item Drops: Chest, Shields, Swords
The Skeleton Family are the OG's of Diablo monsters. Their weaponry are the run of the mill bows, rapiers and axes. These guys hang out in the Fractured Peaks and Kehjistan more than anywhere else, but they can be found wandering across all parts of the world.
While this Monster Family has the typical melee and ranged members, the most interesting is the Turret. This thing has incredible range and hits hard. Due to its range, they're often hard to see in battle. If you can, take them out first.
We tend to pick on them due to their molasses-speed movement and attacks, but they are clever ambushers, often setting up beneath the ground and trapping you in a bone prison when you walk over. Skeletons can even be enchanted with fire, letting them dealing fire damage! Got to give it to them, they're getting better with each Diablo installment.
Common Item Drops: Crossbows, Shields, Swords
Snakes, or the Nangari are human/serpent hybrids that reside in the swamp areas of Hawezar.
This Monster Family has 3 members. The Spitter fires Poison at you and is the only one that looks like a snake. They can be difficult spot at times due to their slender "physique". The Oracle is considered a mage, and is capable of firing multiple acid bombs. It can even plant an "eyeball" Sentry that can target you from afar. These Sentries are really hard to spot can be frustrating. The Longfang is a melee based brute with huge fangs, it loves using them in close combat.
Common Item Drops: Polearms, daggers
The creepy crawlers are back and with a few modifications. They can now throw webs which restricts all movement. Even if they miss, the webs on the ground linger and will stop you if you walk over them. When there's a lot of spiders, this can lead to a very dangerous scenario of being chain webbed where you can't move if you don't have a way to rid yourself of crowd control.
There's 3 members in this Monster Family: Big spider, Spiderlings and the parasitic Spider Host inhabiting a human. Killing the host spawns more spiders, which is weak to skills that scale well with density, and is ideal for experience farming.
These guys are pretty rare to find in the world, but you can spot them sometimes in the Dry Steppes, though they prefer dungeons.
Common Item Drops: Gloves
The Vampire Family consist of 3 members. The Revenant brute wielding a 2H Sword, the swarming Ghouls, and Vampires which change forms from bat to blood-spell casting mage. Vampires often shift back to bat form to avoid damage or death outright. Out of all of the Monster Families, Vampires typically have the biggest swarm waves and can easily overwhelm you if you're not careful as Ghouls are insanely fast.
They typically reside in the Fractured Peaks, though they are usually found lurking in dungeons.
Common Item Drops: Chests, Wands
This Monster Family can be found in Scosglen and Fractured Peaks and come with some cool abilities. The Firewalker from the werewolves have 2 unique abilities. The first ability is a fire lunge in which they dash through you, leaving a trail of fire behind. Stealth is the second ability, allowing them to turn invisible (with a slight shimmer) to ambush you at the right time. The differences between The Firewalker and the other two are distinct, which makes you wonder where were the other members at when it was time to learn these super cool abilities.
As wolves naturally do, Werewolves can smell you from far away and often times they're already chasing you before they entered your field of view. You don't "aggro" them, they "aggro" you.
Common Item Drops: Chests, Crossbows
This is a large Monster Family consisting of bears, thorned beasts that shoot pine needles, tuscan chargers, and wildwood (trees that can attack). They hang out in Scosglen, but some are known to venture out towards Fractured Peaks.
None of the Wildlife Family have any special abilities, they are just naturally dangerous and deal lots of damage each hit. Wildlife does not play around.
Common Item Drops: Chests, Crossbows
If there ever was a plain jane of Monster Families, this is it. You have the Bloated Corps-fiend, which likes to charge you head on without a care in the world (this charge actually does a lot of damage, so be careful), and Shambling corpse. The former can explode upon death, dealing massive damage while the latter acts like a typical Zombie, doing what you'd expect it to do. Pretty harmless.
Common Item Drops: Pants, Swords
How to target farm items
Most of the items that commonly drop from each Monster Family are items they're actually using before you killed them. The best way to target farm these are in dungeons, as elite mobs have a better chance of dropping an item and are found more often in dungeons. You can use the map and hover over specific dungeons in these regions to see which Monster Family will likely show up in it.
As the game matures, so will this guide. Happy adventuring!
Drops from these Monster Families can vary by variations, dungeons, as well as which part of the family spawned as an elite in any given run etc. What's above is a very good indicator of what drops from who after many hours of testing, however a true loot table can only be accomplished through a datamine. We will continue to update as more is discovered.
Written by DiEoxidE
Reviewed by Chewingnom, Echohack