Most skills are powered by your class resource, a limited reserve of strength, like your Life, that depletes as you use your most powerful attacks and abilities. You can keep your eye on that resource—and, by extension, how much power you have left to use your abilities—by glancing at the colored globe opposite your Life on your screen.

All classes possess their own unique resource. You can find out more about them on the appropriate class pages.

Fury (Barbarian), Wrath (Crusader), Hatred/Discipline (Demon Hunter), Spirit (Monk), Essence (Necromancer), Mana (Witch Doctor), and Arcane Power (Wizard).

Fury (Barbarian), Wrath (Crusader), Hatred/Discipline (Demon Hunter), Spirit (Monk), Essence (Necromancer), Mana (Witch Doctor), and Arcane Power (Wizard).

Using Your Skills

Use the proper skill to slay your foes.

To get the most use out of your skills, you should place them in your action bar. On PC, open your Skills menu (default key: "S”); on Consoles, open the Character menu (Xbox 360 and Xbox One: BACK; PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®4: SELECT) and navigate to the skills pane. Depending on your platform, your skills will be automatically assigned to a number key on your keyboard or a button on your mouse or controller.

Not pictured: Khazra orphans.

You can use any skill in your action bar by clicking on the icon or by pressing the corresponding number key or button. To target a monster with an attack skill, make sure the monster is highlighted, then press the key or button that corresponds to the skill you want to use.

If you’re successful, the foe you’ve set your sights on should melt away into a ruin of smoking flesh and burnt blood. Well done.

Dealing Damage

Use an offensive skill repeatedly on your foes, and you’ll notice it won’t always deal the same amount of damage. Every time you use an offensive skill, it randomly draws a number from your equipped weapon’s Damage range, which is then modified by your skill’s damage multiplier. For instance, if your weapon’s damage range is 1–10 and you use an ability that deals 200% weapon damage, you’ll deal anywhere from 2–20 damage.

The Attacks per Second value on a weapon shows how fast it can attack. The majority of your skills will resolve faster when used with speedier weapons, such as daggers. Slower weapons, like two-handed axes, typically have higher damage ranges.

A weapon’s Damage per Second value represents its overall potential, taking into account both damage and speed. Experiment with various weapon and skill combinations to discover your preferred combat style!

Damage Types

An active damage skill always delivers its payload using a single damage type, and many rune variants can change the resulting type completely. When you select a skill, you can see what kind of damage it deals. Keep this in mind if you come across ítems that increase the effectiveness of a particular element. Regardless of the element on your equipped weapon, the skills you choose will determine the damage types you’ll unleash on the minions of the Burning Hells.

Fire, Cold, Lightning, Poison, Arcane, Holy

Fire, Cold, Lightning, Poison, Arcane, Holy

  • Physical: A myriad of skills that harm enemies in conventional ways, such as the Barbarian’s Bash or the Demon Hunter’s Impale, are classified as Physical. As you grow in power, several of your Physical abilities will gain new runes that change their damage type while providing added effects. Abilities and runes that don’t actively deal damage (such as the Crusader’s Laws of Justice and its variations) are also classified as Physical, but their effects are not increased by added Physical damage on your equipment.
  • Fire: Skills that deal Fire damage typically offer up unrivaled offense at the cost of utility. Massive offensive bonuses, additional damage over time, and increased resource generation fuel the searing destruction of your enemies.
  • Cold: Many Cold damage skills slow or freeze your enemies; others leave them vulnerable to additional damage while they are chilled or frozen.
  • Lightning: The Lightning damage variants of some abilities can stun targets, increase the number of enemies affected, or reduce resource costs and cooldowns for greater efficiency in combat.
  • Poison: Vile afflictions dealt by Poison type abilities weaken enemies, damaging them over time and reducing their effectiveness in combat. Many of the Witch Doctor’s offensive skills fall under this damage type.
  • Arcane: Abilities that rapidly disintegrate enemies with raw magical power and elemental forces of nature fit this damage type. Several of the Wizard’s offensive skills deal Arcane damage.
  • Holy: On top of dealing damage, the offensive powers of holy magic employed in battle by Crusaders and Monks can disrupt enemy behavior or provide defensive bonuses.

Experience and Leveling

When you gain a level, you'll know it.

As you kill monsters and complete quests, you’ll gain experience, a numerical representation of your increasing power. Reaching a new experience threshold (for example, going from level one to level two) is called “gaining levels.” Often, you’ll unlock one or more new skills when you gain a level. New skills you’ve unlocked appear on your screen; you can view them at any time on your Skills pane.

You unlock more space for skills on your action bar at levels 2, 4, 9, 14, and 19, up to a maximum of 6 active skills, so you’ll grow in versatility as well as power.

Kill Streaks (PC)

Action Combat (Ultimate Evil Edition)

You’ll receive bonus experience by killing multiple monsters and objects at a steady pace or all at once:

  • Massacre: Score multiple monster kills while managing to damage an enemy every two seconds. If you score enough kills this way, you’ll receive more experience and Nephalem Glory bonuses.
  • Destruction: Breaking multiple destructible objects within a short time will grant you a movement speed bonus. The more objects you destroy the longer the bonus.
  • Trap Kill: Killing multiple monsters using the environment will grant you a resource regeneration bonus. The more monsters you kill, the longer the bonus.

Paragon Levels

Once you reach Diablo III’s “level cap,” you’ll stop gaining standard levels, and the experience you gain from that point on won’t unlock more skills or runes. But you can still go further.

Paragon levels, which you’ll begin earning experience toward after reaching maximum level, are similar to normal levels in a few respects. With each Paragon level, you will gain points that may be used to increase your power, and experience bonuses (like those from item affixes and shrines) will apply to your rate of Paragon experience gain.

One major difference: there's no limit to the number of Paragon levels you can accumulate, and each one confers a point that you can allocate to one of several potent abilities (like increasing your offensive and defensive powers, movement speed, the size of your resource pool, and more. These bonuses are innate; they’re not tied to any gear you’re wearing. Your current Paragon level is the sum of all your Diablo III characters in a mode (“normal” or hardcore), so even new characters you make will be able to spend Paragon points.

Lastly, you’ll unlock striking new additions to your character portrait as you increase your Paragon level. Your updated portrait will be visible to you at all times, and, in cooperative games, it’ll serve as constant evidence of your progress.

Passive Skills

Select passives on the Skills menu.

As you reach levels 10, 20 and 30 (and 70 with Reaper of Souls), you’ll unlock a passive skill slot. Passive skills don’t appear on your action bar and aren’t used by clicking on them or hitting buttons. Instead, they grant bonuses that enhance you at all times. For example, they might make you harder to hit or make your defensive spells last longer.

Changing Your Skills

Click on skills to change them.

You’ll increase your repertoire of monster-slaying skills quickly, and you’ll soon find yourself with more options than you can place on your action bar.

Changing the skills at your disposal can be done from your skills menu: simply choose the skills you’d like to use. If you want to assign your skills in a non-standard configuration (for example, choosing four defensive skills), first open your game menu, choose “options,” then “gameplay,” and check the “elective mode” box. Though you can swap your active skills instantly outside of combat, if you try to swap passive skills while you’re roaming the wilderness or crawling through a dank dungeon, they'll be unavailable for a brief recharge time (a "cooldown").

Skill Runes

Skill runes are a means to customize your skills beyond their basic powers. Beginning at level 6, you’ll start unlocking runes for your skills, allowing you to drastically modify their functions. For example, you might increase the range or duration of a particular skill or change it so that it sends enemies flying away (where previously it only did damage). A skill that you once had to carefully aim at a group of foes might now seek them automatically.

Choose runes from the Skills menu.

You can access your skill runes in the Skills menu. After selecting the skill you’d like to use, you’ll see a list of the runes below it: just choose an unlocked skill rune you’d like to apply. You can only apply one rune to a skill at a time.

To experiment with the full list of Diablo III’s skills and runes, try out the PC
Skill Calculator.

Power Globes and Nephalem Glory

Power globes will embolden you.

As you slay Diablo III's monsters, they may leave behind power globes—golden-colored infusions of energy— that you can pick up by moving nearby.

Picking up a power globe triggers a burst of energy that strikes nearby enemies for a percentage of your damage, and also grants you and nearby allies the Nephalem Glory buff. Nephalem Glory lasts 60 seconds, after which a secondary damaging energy burst will also be triggered.

Picking up additional power globes while Nephalem Glory is active will level up the power of this energy burst by up to three times; it will also reset the duration of the buff to 60 seconds. Picking up health globes will extend the duration of Nephalem Glory by 5 seconds, and every five health globes will also level up the power of the effect by 1 (again, up to a maximum of three increases).

Enemies wither in the light of your glory.

  • Nephalem Glory – Level 1 - While Nephalem Glory is active, heroes will deal bonus damage with every attack.
  • Nephalem Glory – Level 2 - With two levels of Nephalem Glory, heroes will will deal bonus damage that also carries over to nearby enemies with every attack. Additionally, heroes gain 10% bonus movement speed.
  • Nephalem Glory – Level 3 - With three levels of Nephalem Glory, heroes will deal bonus damage with every attack that also carries over to nearby enemies. Each hit you land while the buff is active has a chance of creating a damaging explosion.


While you make every effort to dispatch and dismember your foes, they’ll be doing the same to you. If a monster hits you, your Life (represented in the red globe on your screen) will be reduced.

Your Vitality attribute (in conjunction with any passive skills or vitality-boosting gear you're using) dictates how much Life you have. You can recover lost Life quickly by snatching up health globes dropped by slain monsters.

Health globes restore your Life.

Walk over a health globe and you (along with any nearby allies) will receive a small portion of healing. More dangerous foes will drop more potent, larger health globes. There are other ways to recover Life: some equipment and skills increase your regeneration rate, and certain friendly characters and allies can restore you to full Life both in and out of combat, but health globes are by far the most common way to heal yourself.

When your Life gets dangerously low, you’ll see a red halo encompass your screen: that’s a sign that you need to escape from battle, heal, or both. When the red globe is empty, you’re dead.

Health Globes

The chance of health globes dropping–and precisely when they’ll drop during a battle–is tied to the type of monster you’re fighting. The triangles in monsters’ health bars represent points where they might drop a globe, so keep your eyes peeled to predict when you’re likely to get a lifesaving infusion of health.

  • Normal monsters: chance to drop a health globe on death varies by monster type.
  • Champion monsters: 60% chance to drop a health globe at 50% life and on death.
  • Rare monsters: 100% chance to drop a health globe at 50% life and on death.


You will die.

Death isn’t the end in Diablo III, but neither is it something to be taken lightly. When you die, you have the option to reappear at the place where you died (unless you’re fighting a boss), in town, or at your last checkpoint. Checkpoints are invisible spots on the map that track your progress through the game.

You’ll return to life with full health, but any consumables you’ve used will be gone permanently, and any items you have equipped will suffer a small amount of damage (10%) to their durability. Damage to your items’ durability will cost gold to repair. More information about item durability can be found in the Equipment section of this guide.