Download Guide
Purchase Game

Diablo II: Resurrected

Difficulty Levels

By
Nathan Garvin

This page contains details about the three difficulty levels in Diablo 2 Resurrected - Normal, Nightmare and Hell difficulty.

There are three difficulty levels in Diablo 2 Resurrected, Normal, Nightmare and Hell. They must be completed sequentially to unlock the next difficulty - once you defeat Baal on Normal difficulty, you’ll unlock Nightmare difficulty. Defeat Baal again on Nightmare difficulty to unlock Hell difficulty.

You’ll progress through the same Acts in the same order between difficulties, and you can even complete all the same [quests] again, earning the same rewards (including +Skill Points, +Stat Points and +Resistances), which stack with those earned in previous difficulties. In addition, you’ll be facing off against higher-level monsters, who can drop superior loot, opening up entire new tiers of uniques, sets and runes to acquire. This isn’t just a boon, however, it’s a necessity, as in addition to facing strong enemies, several other changes have been made to increase the difficulty. You’ll need to acquire some of these new items to stand a chance against the foes you’ll face as you progress through the difficulties.

There are three difficulties in Diablo 2 Resurrected - Normal, Nightmare and Hell. They must be completed sequentially to unlock the next, higher difficulty.

Normal Difficulty

Everything is rosy. Sure, you don’t start out with any resistances, but at the outset most foes won’t bother with elemental damage. Stumbling across the odd Lightning Enchanted boss can be quite a shock, but damage spikes are rare, enemies generously fall over after some light prodding, and while the uniques are generally forgettable, the odd runeword (likely farmed from the [Countess] can really shift the odds absurdly in your favor.

By Act 5 you’re starting to see signs of things to come in Nightmare difficulty, but unique monsters are limited to one random property, map sizes are relatively small, unique enemy spawns are densely populated, death carries few penalties and monsters with immunities are almost unheard of. Even if you find the odd monster with immunity, there’s still a good chance you can just whack it with whatever you’ve got in your hand.

The Area Level (aLv) of areas (and hence, loosely, of enemies) in Normal difficulty will vary between 1 - 42.

(1 of 3) Unique enemies in Nightmare difficulty will spawn with two mods and may even possess an immunity.

Nightmare Difficulty

Act 1 Nightmare is a pretty smooth difficulty gradient from Act 5 Normal, although the Blood Moor can lull you into a false sense of security. You’ll find more unique packs loitering around the map - the sizes of which have increased to accommodate the higher enemy counts and generally make doing runs more complicated. In Nightmare mode you’ll find that your resistances (fire, cold, lightning and poison) have all been lowered by 40%, and unique monsters have two random properties, rather than just one. Combine this with the fact that monsters also have higher levels (and hence, stats) than in Normal difficulty and acquiring new gear may prove necessary.

A list of changes can be found below:

Nightmare Difficulty Changes
Monster levels are increased.
Monster resistances are increased.
Unique and Super Unique monsters now have two random modifiers.
Some maps are larger.
Player resistances are reduced by 40%.
Players lose 5% XP upon death (can be partially regained by recovering corpse).
Life/Mana leech effectiveness reduced by 50%.
Static Field cannot reduce monster health below 33%.
Debuff durations (freezing, curses, etc.) reduced by 50%.
Mercenaries now deal 35% normal damage to Act bosses (down from 50% in Normal).

(1 of 3) Almost every monster will posses an immunity in Hell difficulty, and unique monsters will have three random modifiers.


Almost every monster will posses an immunity in Hell difficulty, and unique monsters will have three random modifiers. (left), Many unique monsters will have two immunities! (right)

Hell Difficulty

Unlike the transition between Normal and Nightmare, the difficulty gradient is much harsher between Nightmare and Hell. After trudging through Nightmare you probably got used to higher enemy stats and compensated for your resistances being lowered, only to find that in Hell difficulty nearly every enemy in the game has some sort of immunity to some element or another while you’re hit with another 60% reduction to your resistances. In addition, monsters are even stronger, some maps are larger, and you’ll lose more XP when you die. On the plus side, you can now obtain some of the very best loot in the game, and numerous choice items from Nightmare difficulty still hold up remarkably well even for endgame builds.

Nightmare Difficulty Changes
Monster levels are greatly increased.
Monster resistances are greatly increased.
Most monsters have at least one immunity.
Unique and Super Unique monsters now have three random modifiers.
Some maps are even larger.
Player resistances are reduced by 100%.
Players lose 10% XP upon death (can be partially regained by recovering corpse).
Life/Mana leech effectiveness reduced by 66%.
Static Field cannot reduce monster health below 50%.
Debuff durations (freezing, curses, etc.) reduced by 50%.
Mercenaries now deal 25% normal damage to Act bosses (down from 50% in Normal).

Comments

User profile pic
0
Welcome Guest

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Activision Blizzard
  • Platforms
    PS4, PS5, Switch, XB One, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action RPG, Hack-n-slash
  • Guide Release
    20 September 2021
  • Last Updated
    6 October 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author

Share this free guide:

The guide for Diablo 2 Resurrected seeks to help new players find their footing in Sanctuary by providing build advice and information on gear and how to farm it.

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: