Diablo 4: Everything we know about the new skill system

A cozy building in the snowy Fractured Peaks of Diablo IV
A cozy building in the snowy Fractured Peaks of Diablo IV (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 is the next major entry in the hack-and-slash isometric RPG series from Blizzard Entertainment. While it's still in active development, we know a decent bit about how the skill system will work and some changes compared to past titles. Blizzard is actively taking feedback on endgame progression and just how to balance experience systems for both casually interested players and those who will spend thousands of hours in-game. Here's everything we know about Diablo 4's skill system.

Diablo 4 skill system Skill Points

The first half of the progression mechanics in Diablo 4's skill system is in gathering Skill Points. Skill Points are acquired through one of two ways: leveling up or finding certain rare tomes in the game. Unlike Diablo III, which had separate trees for Passive Skills and Active Skills, it appears that in Diablo 4, each class simply has one skill tree. They are still unlocked with different points, however: the upper skill sections take Skill points, while the lower Passive sections take Passive points.

Players can save points up for later abilities or use them immediately upon earning them, when, where and what skills are spent on is always up to the player. Most of these are general boosts, such as making a Sorceress exchanging Skill Points to make an ice spell deal more damage. Blizzard Entertainment has shown an example of a nonfinal skill tree for the Sorceress class, which is a literal skill tree.

Source: Blizzard Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 skill system Talent Trees

Talent trees are the second half of the skill system in Diablo 4. Unlike Skill Points, these don't provide a general boost. Instead, it is based on specializing your character. Talents provide massive boosts to particular abilities but at the cost of giving up another, equally useful upgrade. For example, a Druid character might boost his werewolf form at the cost of not improving his werebear form. Talents seem to be aimed at truly customizing a character, allowing players to emphasize certain aspects of a particular playstyle.

Diablo 4 skill system Class Trees

So far, we have the skill trees for the Barbarian, Druid and Sorceress classes. Two more classes will be in the game but have not been revealed so far. When they are revealed, we'll be sure to add their skill trees here.

Preparing to fight evil

The Barbarian, Sorceress and Druid in Diablo IV

Source: Blizzard Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Blizzard Entertainment)

As Blizzard provides further details on the development of Diablo 4 and reveals more information on how skills and talents will work, we'll continue to update what we know, including providing full skill trees for the different classes. We're also keeping track of the Diablo 4 lore and story revealed so far.

Diablo 4 does not currently have a release date, but whenever it does become available, it's coming to Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4. It would be surprising if it did not have next-generation support on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PS5, but no support has been mentioned so far.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.