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How to farm XP in Diablo 4

Level up fast to survive Sanctuary’s horrors

A Barbarian stands in an event arena in Diablo 4 Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

Diablo 4 features an extensive endgame full of dungeons, World Events, and World Bosses. However, to truly participate in some of this tougher content, you’ll need to level up your character(s). Thankfully, there are quite a few ways to efficiently and effectively farm XP in Diablo 4, as the game itself provides a slew of avenues to maximize the amount of time spent in its dungeons, World Events, and main scenario.

In this Diablo 4 guide, we’ll tell you the best ways to farm XP for your character — and how to get a semi-permanent XP boost.

Play on World Tier 1 for the campaign

A Barbarian battles an army of demons during an event in Diablo 4 Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

For your first time through Diablo 4, getting from level 1 to level 50 should mostly be spent inside the campaign. The final boss of the story is level 45, as is the final area. If you’re sprinting through on World Tier 1 (as you should), you’ll likely be late 30s or early 40s by the time you reach the end of the campaign. Sprinkling in some side quests and side adventuring can help you get closer to level 50.

Once you finish the campaign, you can bump up the difficulty to Nightmare and move straight to grinding Nightmare dungeons.

Pivot between World Tier 1 and 2 in seasons

On runs where you skip the campaign — like you will every season — your route through levels 1 to 50 will be a bit different.

When you’re playing through a season, you’ll need to be a little more proactive in your World Tier switching. Start on Adventurer like normal. But as you’re leveling up, pay attention to how easy of a time you’re having killing enemies. If you’re one-shotting everything, bump it up to Veteran (the second world tier).

However, if you’re taking too long to kill enemies on Veteran, bump it back down. As with your campaign playthrough, you should swap to Nightmare as early as possible during your seasonal runs, as the XP boost is substantial.

Farm Renown while farming XP

Since you won’t be able to unlock World Tier 3 (Nightmare) until around level 50, and therefore won’t be able to do Nightmare dungeons or the Helltide activity, you have two avenues that you can and should pursue: Renown farming and The Tree of Whispers.

Renown Farming is going to be the most important thing you do while leveling, even if it’s not the fastest way to earn XP.

Because you’re unable to do the fastest leveling strategies in the game — Nightmare Dungeons — between levels 1 and 50, you want to spend your time doing your seasonal homework while your XP options are still limited.

Think of it this way: Do you want to do your homework in study hall, while you’re still stuck at school? Or do you want to wait until you get home, where you have Diablo you can play? The answer is study hall, and so that’s why you should focus on Renown first.

Basically, what you want to do is run around the map completing all the dungeons, side quests, and Strongholds in each area. If you’ve already collected the Altars of Lilith and uncovered your entire map in the non-seasonal game, you should carry that progress over to your seasonal character. Once you’ve fully completed a region and gotten your bonus Paragon points, move on to the next one.

Run Tree of Whispers Favors

In order to get a bounty box (and the big XP dump that comes with it) from the Tree of Whispers, you’ll need to earn 10 points of Favor by doing dungeons or other various things in the open world. You’ll already be doing at least one of those things, so ideally you’ll be clearing out dungeons for Renown that are also highlighted for the Tree’s Favor. Keep in mind that this is much easier to do at the start, as the Tree will have no choice but to pick dungeons you haven’t done yet. Once it starts asking you to complete dungeons you’ve already gotten Renown for, prioritize completing the Renown farm first and using the Tree second.

Grind Nightmare dungeons

A look at the in-game menu for World Tiers in Diablo 4 Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

You should aim to unlock World Tier 3 around level 45 or 50. If you’re not there by the time you’ve maxed your Renown, run Tree of Whispers dungeon Favors until you’re ready for Nightmare.

Once you’ve unlocked Nightmare, your strategy should shift — kind of. At World Tier 3, you have one goal: Get to World Tier 4 (Torment) as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that you can’t really equip the amazing Ancestral gear you get from Torment until level 60. So while you want to have the option for Torment ASAP, it’s going to be very tough on you until you can wear Ancient gear.

To get to level 60, run as many Nightmare dungeons as you can. Helltides also offer some decent XP, so it’s not out of the question to run some if you need some well-rolled Legendary items. But in terms of maximizing how much XP you can earn per hour, you’ll definitely want to prioritize Nightmare dungeons.

Once you hit level 60 and are on Torment, the rest of your time leveling to 100 will look very similar. Run Nightmare dungeons constantly. These are extremely XP-efficient activities, and Blizzard buffed them shortly after launch to be even better.

Pretty much everything you do in Diablo 4 will give you experience, and that’s doubly true on World Tier 4 with its incredible XP bonuses. So don’t be afraid to do World Events, World Bosses, Helltide, and other activities as needed. But if you’re just looking to hit 100 as fast as possible: Nightmare dungeons..

Group up with other players

Another way to increase your general XP gain in Diablo 4 is to group up with other players. Having up to four players in your party will grant a 10% XP increase gain, which will make leveling easier as you tackle hordes of demons and other monstrosities. You will even receive a 5% XP gain when participating in World Events outside of quests if there are other players in your general vicinity.

Make sure to use an Elixir

Diablo 4 has consumable Elixirs that you can find around the world or craft. These give bonuses range from decreased Resource cost to a percentage damage reduction from a specific element. But you don’t care about those things while you’re leveling. What you do care about is the 5% bonus XP you earn while you have an Elixir active. 5% might not sound like a lot, but if it takes you 50 hours to reach level 100, a 5% boost will save you over two hours of grinding.

Update (July 20): We’ve expanded this guide to note how to earn XP fast in the wake of Diablo 4 season 1.