Diablo 4 Nightmare Dungeons: How to do, Sigils, Tiers, affixes, and rewards

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Even though Diablo 4's story campaign is dense and filled with plenty of great side content, it ultimately just represents the beginning of your adventure in Sanctuary. Once you complete it, you'll be able to engage with all of the various endgame activities in Blizzard's latest hack-and-slash ARPG, including the fearsome (and rewarding) Nightmare Dungeons.

Grinding Nightmare Dungeons for their rewards is something you should do often in Diablo 4's endgame, so it's important that you learn everything there is to know about them. In this guide, we'll help you do just that with a full overview of what Nightmare Dungeons are, how to unlock them, what their rewards are, and more.

Diablo 4: What are Nightmare Dungeons?

Entrances to Nightmare Dungeons have a distinct red haze. (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Nightmare Dungeons are harder versions of the regular dungeons that you can find and enter while playing through the Diablo 4 campaign. Every dungeon in the game can become a Nightmare Dungeon, and while their core objectives won't change, players will have to contend with lots of extra Elite monsters. Additionally, Nightmare Dungeons also ramp up the difficulty with various affixes that empower enemies with unique modifiers and stat buffs.

You won't be able to challenge Nightmare Dungeons until after you complete the story, so don't worry about them until after you finish the main quest. Full details on how you can unlock Nightmare Dungeons as you enter the endgame can be found in the section below.

Diablo 4: How to do and unlock Nightmare Dungeons

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

To unlock Nightmare Dungeons after you beat the campaign, you'll first need to get access to World Tier 3: Nightmare, the third Diablo 4 World Tier difficulty. To do this, swap to World Tier 2: Veteran if you weren't already playing on it and complete the Level 50 Cathedral of Light Capstone Dungeon in Kyovashad. This dungeon is pretty difficult and has several bosses, so make sure that you're Level 50 and are geared up with your best items. Many enemies in it deal Lightning damage, so having some form of Lightning Resistance on hand will be helpful.

After finishing the dungeon, move to World Tier 3: Nightmare and begin completing Whispers of the Dead objectives — easily identified on the map by their distinctive red and pink icons — for the Tree of Whispers in The Writhing Mire, Hawezar. Each of these will reward you with Grim Favors, and once you have 10 of them, you can trade them to the Tree of Whispers for loot caches.

Give Grim Favors to the Tree of Whispers and open caches until one of them drops a Nightmare Sigil consumable, and use it to unlock your first Nightmare Dungeon. These items transform one of Diablo 4's dungeons into a Nightmare Dungeon, and after you use it, the Nightmare Dungeon's location will be marked on your map.

Diablo 4: How to get and craft Nightmare Sigils

Eventually, you can craft Nightmare Sigils at Occultist vendors. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Getting a basic Tier 1 Nightmare Sigil from the Tree of Whispers is the only way to get started with Nightmare Dungeons, but there are additional ways to obtain Sigils that become available to you after you do this.

For a while, your main source of Sigils will be Nightmare Dungeons themselves. Enemies and bosses within Nightmare Dungeons have a fairly high chance to drop a Sigil for a different dungeon, and in somewhat rare cases, that Sigil will be a Tier higher than the one of the Nightmare Dungeon you got it from. For example, a boss in a Tier 1 Nightmare Dungeon could drop a Tier 2 Nightmare Sigil, allowing you to slowly make progress towards challenging harder dungeons. 

Once you complete a Tier 3 Nightmare Dungeon, you'll get a new Priority Quest that allows you to craft Nightmare Sigils at Occultists when completed. Sigils can be crafted for a Gold cost and Sigil Powder, with the latter obtained by salvaging Sigils at the Occultist like you'd normally salvage gear and items at the Blacksmith. Sigils with higher Tiers give you more Sigil Powder when salvaged, and also cost more Gold and Sigil Powder to craft. In the table below, we've listed the crafting costs for each range of Nightmare Sigil Tiers.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sigil TierCost
Tier 1-53 Sigil Powder, 4,000 Gold
Tier 6-106 Sigil Powder, 6,000 Gold
Tier 11-1511 Sigil Powder, 8,000 Gold
Tier 16-2020 Sigil Powder, 10,000 Gold
Tier 21-2550 Sigil Powder, 13,000 Gold
Tier 26-3080 Sigil Powder, 16,000 Gold
Tier 31-35125 Sigil Powder, 19,000 Gold
Tier 36-40190 Sigil Powder, 22,000 Gold
Tier 41-50275 Sigil Powder, 26,000 Gold
Tier 51-60350 Sigil Powder, 30,000 Gold
Tier 61-70375 Sigil Powder, 35,000 Gold
Tier 71-80400 Sigil Powder, 40,000 Gold
Tier 81-90425 Sigil Powder, 45,000 Gold
Tier 91-100450 Sigil Powder, 50,000 Gold

Can I upgrade Nightmare Sigils?

With Nightmare Sigil progression so heavily centered around crafting, many players have wondered if an alternative that allows you to upgrade existing Nightmare Sigils to raise their Tier exists. At the moment, though, it's not possible to upgrade your Nightmare Sigils. With that said, Blizzard could add this functionality in the future, and if it does, we'll update this article with the details.

Diablo 4: Nightmare Dungeon Tiers

As you climb through the Nightmare Dungeon Tiers, you'll face tougher high-level enemies. (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Diablo 4 Nightmare Dungeons can have a difficulty Tier between 1 and 100, with the Nightmare Sigil used to spawn the dungeon dictating what its Tier will be. Though all Nightmare Dungeons have affixes and lots of Elite monsters, the number of affixes and the level of the foes present goes up as you attempt to clear higher Tiers. On top of this, you'll also have fewer revives to use before you fail the dungeon at Tier 21 and above. As a result, Nightmare Dungeons with higher Tiers are much harder to complete, though they also give increased rewards.

Something to keep in mind is that you can only take on Tier 1-20 Nightmare Dungeons while playing on World Tier 3: Nightmare. If you want to craft Tier 21-100 Sigils and challenge even harder Nightmare Dungeons, you'll need to play on World Tier 4: Torment, which is unlocked by completing the Fallen Temple Capstone Dungeon in the northeastern Dry Steppes on World Tier 3.

This table shows how many affixes Nightmare Dungeons will have at each Tier, as well as the number of revives you'll have available.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
TierAffixesRevivesWorld Tier
Tier 1-103 (1 positive, 2 negative)123
Tier 11-204 (1 positive, 3 negative)123
Tier 21-1005 (1 positive, 4 negative)44

Diablo 4: List of all Nightmare Dungeon affixes

Nightmare Portal is an affix that periodically spawns in extra monsters for you to deal with. (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

There are a wide variety of different affixes, both positive and negative, that can appear on your Nightmare Sigils and affect the conditions of your Nightmare Dungeons. While there will never be more than one positive affix active, there can be 2-4 negative ones depending on what your Nightmare Dungeon's Tier is. If possible, you should try and tweak your build a bit to take advantage of your positive affixes — they're pretty much the only bone that Diablo 4 throws you.

To give you an idea of what to expect from Nightmare Dungeon affixes, we've listed all of them in the table below. This includes both positive and negative affixes.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Poison DamageYou deal 10% more Poison Damage.Positive
Shadow DamageYou deal 10% more Shadow Damage.Positive
Frost DamageYou deal 10% more Frost Damage.Positive
Fire DamageYou deal 10% more Fire Damage.Positive
Lightning DamageYou deal 10% more Lightning Damage.Positive
Physical DamageYou deal 10% more Physical Damage.Positive
Control Impaired ExplosionsBeing hit by Control Impairing Effects creates an explosion around you.Positive
Increased Critical StrikeYour Critical Strike chance is increased by 6%.Positive
Poisonous EvadeUsing Evade leaves a pool of poison behind that damages enemies.Positive
Increased HealingYour Healing Received is increased by 10%.Positive
Lightning CallerYou occasionally call down lightning strikes that damage nearby enemies.Positive
ThornsYour Thorns are increased by 249.Positive
Empowered Elites (Cold Enchanted)Elites always have the "Cold Enchanted" affix.Negative
Empowered Elites (Poison Enchanted)Elites always have the "Poison Enchanted" affix.Negative
Empowered Elites (Shock Lance)Elites always have the "Electric Lance" affix.Negative
Empowered Elites (Suppressor)Elites always have the "Suppressor" affix.Negative
Monster Shadow Damage over TimeMonsters deal an additional 22% of their physical damage dealt as Shadow over 5 seconds.Negative
Monster Cold DamageMonsters deal an additional 15% of their Physical damage dealt as Cold.Negative
Monster Lightning DamageMonsters deal an additional 15% of their Physical damage dealt as Lightning.Negative
Monster Bleeding DamageMonsters deal an additional 22% of their Physical damage dealt as Bleeding over 5 seconds.Negative
Monster Burning DamageMonsters deal an additional 22% of their Physical damage dealt as Burning over 5 seconds.Negative
Monster Shadow DamageMonsters deal an additional 15% of their Physical damage dealt as Shadow.Negative
Monster Poison DamageMonsters deal an additional 22% of their Physical damage dealt as Poison over 5 seconds.Negative
Monster Fire DamageMonsters deal an additional 15% of their Physical damage as dealt as Fire.Negative
Monster Vulnerable ResistDuration of Vulnerable Effects vs monsters is reduced by 45%.Negative
Death PulseKilling a monster releases a deadly lightning pulse after a short delay.Negative
Drifting ShadeDrifting Shade chases players. Upon reaching them, it explodes for heavy damage and creates a Nightmare Field that Dazes victims.Negative
Nightmare PortalWhile in combat, Nightmare Portals open randomly near players, pouring out dangerous monsters.Negative
VolcanicWhile in combat, gouts of flame periodically erupt near players.Negative
Lightning StormLightning gathers above the player. Get into the protection dome to avoid severe outcomes.Negative

Diablo 4 Nightmare Dungeon rewards: Glyphs, Legendary items, and more

The Glyph XP obtained from Nightmare Dungeons is very important for endgame progression. (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

There wouldn't really be a reason to run Nightmare Dungeons if they weren't rewarding, but thankfully, they're one of the most lucrative endgame activities in all of Diablo 4. While battling through their enemies and bosses, you can get a wide variety of valuable drops and items that include the following:

  • Glyphs for the Paragon Board that strengthen your character
  • Nightmare Sigils (including Sigils one Tier higher)
  • Standard and Sacred (and Ancestral on World Tier 4) Legendary items
  • Standard and Sacred (and Ancestral on World Tier 4) Unique items
  • Lots of low-rarity item drops
  • Tons of Gold

Additionally, successful Nightmare Dungeon completions are also the sole source of Glyph XP, a resource that you can use to upgrade your Paragon Board's socketed Glyphs to improve their bonuses and/or unlock new ones. The higher the Nightmare Dungeon's Tier is, the more Glyph XP you'll get at the end.

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:  <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=kXQk6%2AivFEQ&mid=24542&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.xbox.com%2Fen-US%2Fgames%2Fdiablo-IV" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"">Xbox | <a href="https://us.shop.battle.net/en-us/product/diablo-iv" data-link-merchant="us.shop.battle.net"" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"">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.