Diablo 4: How to switch weapons and use Barbarian Arsenal selection

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Windows Central)

Several of Diablo 4's classes are capable of using multiple weapons in battle, as many skills depend on or perform best when paired with specific weapon types. Therefore, knowing how to swap weapons is important, especially if you're playing through the game as a Barbarian and can take advantage of their Arsenal system.

In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about weapon swaps in Diablo 4. This includes how to make sure you're able to switch weapons in the middle of combat, as well as how you can assign individual weapons to specific skills as a Barbarian.

How to swap weapons in Diablo 4

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

We've got good news: if you're not playing as a Barbarian, weapon swapping in Diablo 4 is something that you barely even have to think about. This is because your character will switch between your various arms automatically as you use skills that depend on them. For example, if your character is a Rogue and some of your chosen skills require the use of a dagger or sword while others are dependent on a bow or crossbow, you'll automatically swap to the weapon you need for each skill.

Note that this only works if you remember to equip all of your weapons in the inventory screen. If you forget to do this, you won't be able to use certain weapon-specific skills, so never go into battle without a full loadout.

The process of changing weapons while playing as a Barbarian is completely different due to the special properties of the class' Arsenal system. We'll go over how the Arsenal mechanic works and how Barbarians can swap weapons in the section below.

Diablo 4: Barbarian Arsenal system explained

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Weapon swapping with a Barbarian is unique thanks to the Arsenal system that you unlock at Level 5. It gives players the ability to equip four different weapons — a two-handed slashing weapon, a two-handed bludgeoning weapons, and two dual-wielded one-handed weapons — and manually assign each of them to specific skills. 

To do this, open your Skill Menu and select the skill you want to assign a weapon to, then press the Middle Mouse Button (PC), X (Xbox), or Square (PlayStation) to cycle through and assign your Dual-Wield, Slashing, or Bludgeoning weapon to that skill. Note that some skills require the use of specific weapon classes; for instance, the Flay skill can't be used with Bludgeoning weapons.

Different weapon types offer unique bonuses that synergize with many Barbarian talents, giving players ample opportunities to maximize the effectiveness of their Diablo 4 builds. These bonuses can be increased as you use these weapons and rank up the Barbarian's Weapon Expertise with them, and at Level 10, you'll get an additional effect when wielding them. We've listed each weapon's bonus below.

  • 1H Axe: Increased Critical Strike Chance against injured enemies. Double this amount when using two Axes. At Level 10, Critical Strikes have a chance to grant increased Attack Speed for 2 seconds. Double the Attack Speed bonus when using two Axes.
  • 1H Mace: Increased damage to Stunned enemies. Double this amount when using two Maces. At Level 10, gain a chance to gain Berserking for 1.5 seconds when you hit a Stunned enemy. Double this chance when using two Maces.
  • 1H Sword: Get a chance to gain 5 Fury when hitting a Crowd Controlled enemy. Double this chance when using two Swords. At Level 10, killing a Crowd Controlled enemy grants increased Attack Speed for 3 seconds. Double this amount for kills with two Swords.
  • 2H Axe: Deal increased damage to Vulnerable enemies. At Level 10, gain an increased Critical Strike Chance against Vulnerable enemies.
  • 2H Mace: Gain a chance to gain 2 Fury when hitting an enemy. Double the mount of Fury gained while Berserking. At Level 10, you deal increased Critical Strike Damage to Stunned and Vulnerable enemies while Berserking.
  • 2H Sword: 20% of direct damage you deal is inflicted as Bleeding damage over 5 seconds. At Level 10, You deal increased Bleeding damage for 5 seconds after killing an enemy.
  • 2H Polearm: Gain an increased Lucky Hit Chance. At Level 10, You deal increased damage while Healthy.

Diablo 4 is out now and is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows PC, PS5, and PS4. It's one of the best Xbox games for fans of dungeon crawlers and hack-and-slash combat, and we've been having an absolute blast with it.


Diablo 4: Ultimate Edition

The Ultimate Sacrifice from your wallet to our Blessed Mother, the Ultimate Edition of Diablo 4 comes with a bunch of cosmetics, the Premium Battle Pass and 20 tier skips for you to enjoy.

Buy on:  Xbox | PC (Battle.net)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.