Secret Cow Level Farming Guide in Diablo 2

Last updated on Sep 23, 2021 at 10:01 by MrLlamaSC 2 comments

The Secret Cow Level is a special area in the game unlocked by defeating Baal in that same difficulty. It contains a large sum of Cows and the Cow King who has a high chance to drop Cow King Set Items.

In this guide we will cover what a Cow Run is, what the requirements are, what loot you can expect to receive, and how to best defeat the Cows and their King.


What Is a Cow Run

A Cow run is opening a secret portal to the Secret Cow Level and killing all of the Hell Bovines and The Cow King. First, you will need to Kill Baal in the mode that you are wanting to do the Cow level in. By using Wirt's Leg Wirt's Leg found in the Stony Field and a Tome of Town Portal Tome of Town Portal transmuted in the Horadric Cube Horadric Cube, a red Portal will open up to The Secret Cow Level. Cow runs are used in a lot of ways. Some examples are for magic finding, finding Runes and Bases, or gaining experience.


Cow Levels and Life Per Difficulty

Difficulty Level Health
Normal 28 159-342
Nightmare 64 3256-3996
Hell 81 12588-15449

Cow Resistances Per Difficulty

Difficulty Fire Resist Cold Resist Poison Resist Light Resist Magical Resist Physical Resist
Normal 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Nightmare 25% 25% 25% 25% 15% 33%
Hell 50% 50% 50% 33% 33% 50%

From this table you can see all of the things that the Hell Bovines might be weak against. Fair warning, this is tough to do for under-geared or under-leveled characters.


Can I Do a Cow Run?

The best way to test if your undergeared/underleveled for this is to try doing a run for yourself.

  • After completing Baal in Normal you should be around level 25. With some decent gear you should be able to handle Normal Cows.
  • After completing Baal in Nightmare, you should be around level 38-41. With some better gear you should be able to farm Nightmare Cows.
  • After completing Baal in Hell, you should be around level 64-71. I would recommend getting to at least 75+ before trying to do Hell Cows, being that they are level 81.

If you are having trouble doing Cow runs in higher difficulties, you can do them in Normal Difficulty and still find very nice Runeword Bases, Gems, Jewelry, and more.


What Other Reasons Would I do Cow Runs?

The Secret Cow Level is actually very good for gaining experience at certain points in the game! Here is the recommended levels you should do cows.

  • Level 21-35 — Normal
  • Level 35-50 — Nightmare

What Do the Cows Drop?

The cows drop a variety of items but they are not typically used for magic finding the best rare's and uniques. In fact, it is sometimes better to run LESS magic find. That is because they drop a lot of bases for runewords to be made so finding them Normal or Socketed quality is best! Runewords for most characters can literally change the quality of life in a drastically positive way so finding a nice piece of armor or a nice superior weapon is a big deal.

The Secret Cow Level is quite a decent place for Runes to drop as well. In Hell difficulty, the Hell Bovines can drop runes all the way up to Zod Rune Zod Rune!

If you are playing Solo Self-Found through the game, this is your best opportunity to find Superior Bases for your Runewords. I do not recommend magic finding this area for other items. Although the monster level in Hell difficulty is level 81, there are better places to find better items. Listed below are some of the high-tier items that can drop in both difficulties


Some Nightmare Cows Best Drops


Some Hell Cows Best Drops


Tips for Killing Cows?

the best way to go about doing Cow Runs are to do them in groups if possible. If you're playing solos, try to use abilities that have a lot of Area of Affect damage. There are a LOT of Hell Bovines in the level and they like to crowd around you and try to trap you. Frozen Orb Frozen Orb (Meteorb Sorceress), Blessed Hammer Blessed Hammer (Hammerdin), Lightning Fury Lightning Fury (Javazon), Poison Nova Poison Nova (Poison Necromancer), and more abilities like those can do wonders against the Hell Bovines.



  • 23 Sep. 2021: Guide added.
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