Solo Self-Found Mode Guide

Last updated on Sep 18, 2023 at 09:00 by Deadset

Solo Self-Found mode that is a special mode for Diablo 3 seasons that facilitates competitive play and pushes player knowledge of optimization and progression tactics to the limit. This guide goes over the specifics of this mode of play, and offers advice to improve your SSF experience.


Solo Self-Found Game Mode - Effects and Mechanics

Solo Self-Found mode is a permanent addition to the game and can be selected at character creation by ticking the newly added box right below the Hardcore and Seasonal selection checkboxes (bottom left corner of the hero creation screen). Solo Self-Found mode carries the following traits:

  • SSF characters can only be Seasonal; at the end of a Season, the SSF character will return to the regular non-seasonal, non-SSF pool of characters.
  • Previously created non-SSF characters can be rebirthed as SSF characters for the duration of a Season ('Rebirth Solo' - first option in the bottom right corner in character select).
  • Once chosen, the decision to go SSF on that character is irreversible for the duration of the Season.

With this mode selected, the character opts out of any group-related activities - most notably group Greater Rifts and group Bounties, which allow players with dedicated grinding parties to vastly out-scale solitary players with faster level-ups of Legendary Gems, more abundant materials and loot, and easy unlocks of high Greater Rift levels.


How to Approach Solo Self-Found Mode

Participating in Solo Self-Found mode will tax your ability and knowledge of Diablo 3 far more than the usual, forcing you to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of your character and style of play. The following general advice can be useful to stay competitive with the rest of the SSF playerbase:

  • Set up your farm: Don't neglect the construction of dedicated Nephalem Rift and Bounty farming setups. These might seem like slight alterations to your main GR build, but when set up correctly, will save you a ton of time when swapped to outside of GRs. This is especially important for SSF players, who can't rely on splitting duties with teammates. The combination of a well-rolled Goldwrap Goldwrap, an Avarice Band Avarice Band from A3 bounties, and a fully leveled up Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder form a omnipresent triumvirate of power for T16 farm. A nice Krelm's Buff Belt Krelm's Buff Belt, Rechel's Ring of Larceny Rechel's Ring of Larceny, and Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship (from Act 2 cache) can do wonders for Bounty farm.
  • Greater Rifts, Greater Rifts, and more Greater Rifts: Speed Greater Rifts in levels 90 and above (up to the highest you can demolish in about 3-5 minutes per run) yields the best rewards in terms of loot and Paragon points across any activity in Diablo 3, and are the only place you can find and level up Legendary Gems to use and augment gear with. In short, GRs should constitute the majority of your playtime. Spend as little time as you can in town, grind out standard Nephalem Rifts as fast as you can to get you back into a GR session, and only do Bounties when absolutely necessary. Since Bounties are a huge hurdle to SSF play, we have included some dedicated advice in the Bounty section below.
  • Deck out your follower: The only companionship an SSF character can hope for is the presence of a Templar, Enchantress, or a Scoundrel follower. Whichever you choose to accompany you (perhaps heeding the advice we've given for followers for your particular build!), should be geared out with the care and consideration you give the character under your direct control. Remember, followers are another 13 slots worth of items running around with you, with their own set of potent abilities, as well as a good number of legendary and set powers that "emanate", or spread their effect to your character even when worn by a follower. For more information, check out our dedicated follower guide.

Bounties in Solo Self-Found Mode

Due to the long in-game distances that need to be traversed to complete most bounty missions, as well as the requirement of bounty materials from all 5 acts for most endgame crafting recipes, Bounty Runs are a challenge for Solo Self-Found characters. The following considerations alleviate some of the burden of this activity:

  • Challenge Rifts: Do your Challenge Rift run for the week. For a 5-minute run you get a smattering of bounty and regular materials, gambling shards and gold. As an added bonus, you get to experience the absurd, clueless, barely functional builds that new or inexperienced players put together, curated by the Challenge Rift algorithm lottery, and get some cheap laughs.
  • Careful Planning: Plan out the 'why' and 'where' of doing Bounties. Extract or rerolling items in the Cube requires materials from all Acts, making full runs necessary. Crafting pieces of craftable sets such as Aughild's Authority, Captain Crimson's Trimmings, and Guardian's Jeopardy taxes individual pools of act-specific materials, so you can consult the recipe. Do note that set piece crafting recipes are somewhat balanced to tax all your material types for the completion of the full set, however. Finally, if you're simply looking for a bounty cache-specific legendary item (such as Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur from Act I, Illusory Boots Illusory Boots from Act II, Avarice Band Avarice Band from Act III), focus on doing only the specific Act where the item drops.
  • Dedicated Builds: Have a dedicated build, or even a dedicated character for Bounties. Doing Bounties is vastly different from doing Greater Rift pushing, GR90+ speeds, and even standard Nephalem Rift farming. The most important thing for builds to excel at Bounties is to be able to quickly cross great distances, preferably without spending resources or waiting on long cooldowns. Fitting items such as Krelm's Buff Belt Krelm's Buff Belt and Warzechian Armguards Warzechian Armguards in a Bounty build is heavily encouraged. Exceptional builds in the category include Barbarian's WW/Rend, Crusader's AoV Fist of Heavens, Demon Hunter's GoD Hungering Arrow and UE Multishot, Monks' LoD Wave of Light and Inna Mystic Ally, Necromancer's LoD Skeletal Mage, Witch Doctor's Mundunugu Spirit Barrage, and Wizard's Typhon Hydra.
  • S29: Visions of Enmity: For the duration of Season 29 (and perhaps beyond?), Visions of Enmity portals provide 2-3 runs worth of Bounty farming materials, and are always worth doing when encountered.

Alts in Solo Self-Found Mode

At a first glance, making alts in Solo Self-Found Mode is one of the bigger obstacles in Solo Self-Found, as you cannot take advantage of the usual boost-for-boost practices in standard play, where people level each other to 70 in the span of a few minutes. Thankfully, enough tools have been added over the lifespan of Diablo 3 to make self-powerleveling a possibility - with just a bit of preparation. The following steps are ordered by priority (from Mandatory to Advantageous), with the more helpful and/or easier to take measures listed first:

  • Mandatory: The legendary gem Gem of Ease Gem of Ease has been specifically added to the game for the purpose of power-leveling. It is uniquely slotted into weapon sockets. Level the gem to 25+ (the higher, the better) and slot it in a high damage, 2-handed level 70 weapon of your choice.
  • Mandatory: Since Paragon points farmed on your main character will also be available to your alts, allocate them asap for a massive boost to your character's capabilities.
  • Helpful: The legendary helm Leoric's Crown Leoric's Crown doubles the effectiveness of the gem slotted in its socket. For leveling, it should be socketed with the highest level Ruby you can afford (ideally, Flawless Royal Ruby Flawless Royal Ruby). Note that you can also use Leoric's Crown Leoric's Crown in the armor slot of Kanai's Cube, and use any socketed helm while enjoying the full power of Leoric's bonuses.
  • Helpful: The craftable Hellfire Ring of Strength Hellfire Ring of Strength grants 45% bonus experience when worn. The recipe for its creation can be purchased from the merchant 'Squirt the Peddler' in the Act II town hub. Make sure to buy the correct, 5 million gold recipe - the (identically named) cheaper one for 2 million gold will yield a similar, but weaker ring.
  • Helpful: The legendary ring Leoric's Signet Leoric's Signet can be randomly found or gambled. It provides additional experience when worn, and similarly to other EXP-boosting items, it offers the biggest effect while leveling 1-70.
  • Helpful: With Leoric's Crown & Signet and Hellfire Ring equipped, you can toss in a Legacy of Dreams Legacy of Dreams in a jewelry socket for a significant damage multiplier for every legendary item worn (and only growing stronger as you randomly find additional legendaries)! The 2-piece set bonus of the craftable Cain's Destiny set should also be mentioned here, since it provides another hefty XP bonus; it will, however, cost you the LoD gem effect, and for SSF characters it's better to out-damage higher difficulties than to out-experience lower ones. Thus, LoD takes priority.
  • Helpful: Additional level 25 Gem of Ease Gem of Eases can be used with the 5th recipe in Kanai's Cube, 'Work of Cathan', to remove the level requirement from other level 70 items of any slot. This can further improve your damage and utility during leveling (but can be quite overkill).
  • Advantageous: You can set aside any Bovine Bardiche Bovine Bardiches that you find (or gamble, or craft) with your main character for your future alts. The Cow Level is an open, densely packed area full of XP-heavy mobs and Pools of Reflection.
  • Advantageous: You can also set aside any Puzzle Ring Puzzle Rings that you find (or gamble, or craft) with your main character. Use them in Kanai's Cube with your newly leveled alt; these legendary rings open a portal to the realm of Treasure Goblins where (true to its name) you can quickly amass a bunch of loot and materials to boost the fresh 70 character. Even more importantly, Puzzle Ring Puzzle Rings of Ancient quality (golden border) open an improved version of the Treasure Goblin realm, with vastly more denizens and rewards!
  • Advantageous: You can save up Blood Shards on your main character, relog on your fresh level 70 alt, and spend them at the gambling vendor Kadala. This can quickly outfit your alt in an endgame build, especially for cheap gamble slots like armor pieces and off-hands.


The addition of a Solo Self-Found mode of play introduces a very even competitive field for players craving more of that aspect of Diablo 3, and poses a unique challenge to players of all interests and skill levels in the game. If you want to test your skills of self-optimization in D3 to their limits, don't hesitate to give SSF a try!



  • 18 Sep. 2023: Guide added.
Show more
Show less