Diablo 4: World Tiers explained and how to change difficulty

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Windows Central)

Like previous games in Blizzard's beloved hack-and-slash ARPG series, Diablo 4 features multiple different difficulty options that players can switch between as they play. This time around, they're called World Tiers, and each one has a significant impact on both the difficulty of the enemies you'll face and the rewards that can drop when completing dungeons and cutting down hordes of hellspawn.

If you're hoping to learn everything there is to know about the game's World Tier difficulty system, you've come to the right place. Below, we've gone over the differences between each World Tier, some advice on which one to choose while playing, and how you can easily change your World Tier difficulty.

Diablo 4: World Tiers explained

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

World Tiers are essentially just difficulty options that tweak how tough enemies are and determine what kinds of loot and rewards you can get while playing. Diablo 4 has four different ones available to pick from: World Tier 1: Adventurer, World Tier 2: Veteran, World Tier 3: Nightmare, and World Tier 4: Torment. 

Adventurer and Veteran are available to select from the start of the game, but you won't get access to Nightmare or Torment until you finish the Campaign, reach level 50, and start making your way through Capstone Dungeon. Notably, this means that only Adventurer and Veteran are available for the main Diablo 4 campaign, while Nightmare and Torment are for the endgame experience.

In general, World Tiers with more difficult enemies will improve gameplay rewards when selected, including gear drops and both Experience and Gold gains. World Tier 3: Nightmare also enables advanced events and activities like Nightmare Dungeons and Helltides. In the table below, we've listed all the differences between all four of the Diablo 4 World Tiers, along with the requirements you need to meet to unlock Nightmare and Torment difficulty.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
World TierRequirementsRecommended PlayersNew FeaturesEnemy Details
1 (Adventurer)N/ALevel 1-50, new Diablo players or players that want a lighter challengeN/AEnemies are easy to defeat
2 (Veteran)N/ALevel 1-50, experienced Diablo players that want more challengeN/AEnemies are more challenging, monsters give 20% increased EXP and 15% more Gold
3 (Nightmare)Complete the Campaign and the Cathedral of Light Capstone Dungeon in Kyovashad on World Tier 2: VeteranLevel 50-70, very experienced Diablo players or players that want a significant challengeSacred and Unique items can drop, Nightmare Sigils that unlock Nightmare Dungeons can drop, Helltides can appear across Sanctuary, Champion monsters with resistance auras can appearEnemies are more formidable, monsters give 100% increased EXP, 15% more Gold, and overcome 20% Resistance
4 (Torment)Complete the Fallen Temple Capstone Dungeon in the northeastern Dry Steppes on World Tier 3: NightmareLevel 70+, extremely experienced and skilled players looking for maximum challengeAncestral items and new Unique items can dropEnemies are more fearsome, monsters give 200% increased EXP, 15% more Gold, and overcome 40% Resistance

Something important to note is that you can't play Diablo 4 with friends in multiplayer co-op unless everyone is on the same World Tier, so make sure your group decides on a difficulty before trying to party up. Also, changing your World Tier resets active Town Portals and Whisper bounty progress, so don't mess with your difficulty settings unless you're okay with that happening. 

Diablo 4: World Tier 1 or 2?

(Image credit: Windows Central)

While playing Diablo 4, players will need to make a choice between playing on World Tier 1: Adventurer or World Tier 2: Veteran. Our recommendation is that everyone, including new players, should try the game on Veteran difficulty first. This is because you get 20% more Experience and 15% more Gold when killing enemies, significantly improving how quickly you'll progress through the game and get a good amount of Gold for upgrades, elixirs, and other useful items.

For more details on how the leveling experience is different between World Tiers, check out our guide on deciding if you should level up on World Tier 1 or World Tier 2 in Diablo 4. Also, remember that you can switch between World Tiers at any time, though you'll need to load into a new instance each time you do. 

Diablo 4: How to change World Tier difficulty

(Image credit: Windows Central)

If you want to change your World Tier in Diablo 4, there are two ways to do so. First, you can change the World Tier from Diablo 4's main menu by selecting the Change World Tier button on the right side of the screen. This is the simplest way to change your difficulty, though you won't be able to do it while in-game.

The second way to change your World Tier is to visit a World Tier Statue in any major city (they're shaped like the rogue angel Inarius). By selecting it, you'll then be able to choose a new World Tier and will load into a new instance of Sanctuary once you do. You'll find Kyovashad's World Tier Statue in the northeastern corner of the city, just south of the Cathedral of Light.

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.