d4GuideSeason 1

How to Prepare for Diablo 4 Season 1

How to Prepare for Diablo 4's Season of the Malignant!




Updated: Posted:

Season Start Date and Time

Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One. Can be played cross-platform.

Note: Starting July 18th, you will be able to download the big patch that leads up to the season launch.

Season of the Malignant
July 20th, 2023 at
10:00 am PDT
13:00 / 1 pm EDT
18:00 / 6 pm BST
19:00 / 7 pm CEST
July 21st, 2023 at
03:00 am AEST

Season of the Malignant is the first season of Diablo 4, and it will introduce a new campaign, as well as new content and challenges for players to enjoy.

The Season of the Malignant will start on July 20th and will last for about three months. To participate in the season, players need to create a new character on the Seasonal Realm, which is separate from the Eternal Realm (the non-seasonal part of the game).

Season Compendium

Here are some tips and tricks on what to do before and during season start, and what to look out for in general.

Before Season Start

This is comprised of steps you should ideally complete on the Eternal Realm, before the season starts, allowing you to get directly to the seasonal content on the Seasonal Ream and/or save time.

  • Complete the campaign
    This is required to access the seasonal content. Completing the campaign on the Eternal Realm allows you to go directly to the seasonal content on the Seasonal Realm (otherwise you will have to first complete it there).
  • Unlock your horse
    This is a side quest that you can get from the campaign, and it will give you a fast way to travel around Sanctuary. Having a horse will save you a lot of time when leveling up and exploring the map.
  • Uncover the entire map
    This will carry over to your seasonal characters, and it will make your map more functional and useful. You will also get a lot of Renown from discovering new areas and completing events.
  • Discover all or as many Altars of Lilith as you can
    These are special statues that offer cool stat bonuses, and they will also carry over to your seasonal characters. There are 160 Altars in total, and they are scattered all over the map. You can use this guide to find them all.
  • Decide which class you want to play by testing classes to find the best one to suit you
    This is a personal preference, but you may want to consider the season theme, the patch notes, and your playstyle when choosing your class. Each class has its own strengths, weaknesses, and skills, so you may want to experiment with different builds and see what you like best.
  • Log onto your main Eternal Realm character from July 18 onwards
    To ensure that your Seasonal Realm character keeps your map and Altars of Lilith progress from the Eternal Realm, you must log onto your main Eternal Realm character at least once. If you miss this chance before the season start, you can still do it later, but it may be less convenient.
  • One thing to keep in mind is that Softcore and Hardcore gameplay do not overlap in Diablo 4. This means that if you played Hardcore during Diablo 4’s launch phase, and you are planning on playing Softcore mode for Season 1, you will have to discover everything (Altars, map discovery, etc.) again.

Note: Do not let your Hardcore characters die before the 18th if you want to keep your progress!

During Season

  • Download or update Diablo 4 on your PC or console
  • Create a new character on the Seasonal Realm 
    You can do this by selecting “Seasonal” when creating your character. You will start at level 1 with no gear or skills, but you will have access to your horse, your map progress, and your Altars of Lilith bonuses.
  • Remember to choose to Skip the Campaign” (unless you want to play through it again).
  • World Tier 1 vs 2 Choice
    You should always level up in World Tier 1. The difficulty can be changed at any time from the character select screen or in-game in Kyovashad at the World Tier Statue.
  • Enable Enhanced / Detailed tooltips to see the full range of stats on items
    To do so, go to the options menu and select the “Gameplay” tab. Then, turn on the “Advanced Tooltip Information” option.
  • Follow the seasonal campaign
    This is a new questline that will guide you through the seasonal content and reward you with exclusive items and achievements, as well as interesting new lore. 
  • Item Power is a good way to compare certain pieces of gear early on
  • Don’t forget to take advantage of Waypoints as you level up, since they will be visible from the beginning (assuming you discovered them on the Eternal Realm), and can easily be collected.
  • Remember you can respec for free until Level 15
  • Pay attention to your gear’s stats for the best items, depending on your class and build.
  • Use Elixirs
    They provide temporary buffs and a 5% XP boost for 30 minutes. Additionally, upgrade your Potions at Level 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 70, 80, and 90. You can craft Elixirs at the Alchemist in town or get them from quests.
  • Put Gems in your sockets
    You can also salvage items with Gems to get them back for free.
  • Stash Legendary items for later use
    Extract the Aspect for other builds, or to share between characters on the account. Only salvage Legendary items if you have no use for them at all.
  • Level up your character
    The faster you level up, the sooner you can access the endgame content and challenges. After the campaign, you can level up by completing side quests, events, dungeons, Whispers of the Dead bounties, and other activities.
  • Find out where your preferred Aspects come from by looking inside the Codex of Power.
    Weapons are usually changed more frequently due to scaling with skills, so it is more comfortable to apply Offensive Aspects to Armor (or the Amulet).
    Tip: Click on an Aspect within the Codex of Power to pin it on the map, showing the Dungeon where it can be unlocked.
  • Do the Capstone Dungeon around Level 50 to unlock World Tier 3
    Nightmare Difficulty (WT3) can be unlocked around Level 50, and Torment Difficulty (WT4) at Level 70, providing further challenges and better gear.
  • Complete your Season Journey
    Complete seasonal challenges in season journey chapters to earn XP and battle pass rewards. Some items are free and some are optional, but they are all bonuses for your characters.
  • Unlock Seasonal Blessings
    These Blessings are small bonuses that enhance various aspects of the gameplay experience, such as increased experience points, gold acquisition, elixir duration, and more.
  • Farm Malignant Hearts
    Farming Malignant Tunnels at a higher world tier in Season 1 will give you XP and Malignant Hearts. Look for Hearts with powers that match your build.
  • Have fun!
    This is the most important tip of all. Diablo 4 is a game that offers a lot of variety and replayability, so you can play it however you want. You can explore different regions, try different classes and builds, join clans, or just enjoy the story and atmosphere. The choice is yours!
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