Does every Diablo 4 season require new characters? Blizzard says yes

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Since Diablo 4's launch, many fans have been asking Blizzard whether Diablo 4's seasons would require the creation of a new character or not.
  • Diablo General Manager Rod Fergusson has confirmed on Twitter that players will need to make a new seasonal character if they want to access and progress through seasonal Battle Passes, content drops, and more.
  • This is how seasons worked in previous Diablo games, with the idea being that players can replay the game with each season's new gameplay offerings instead of jumping in with a character that's already maxed out.
  • Characters from the "preseason" or past seasons will be moved to the Eternal Realm, an instance of the game that doesn't have content from the latest season in it.

Since Diablo 4's launch and ahead of the start of the game's first season that's scheduled to start mid-to-late July, many players have been asking whether or not each of Diablo 4's seasons will require the creation of a new seasonal character to access them. The answer has been unclear for a while now, but thanks to a statement from Blizzard on Twitter, fans finally have an answer.

"To take part in the seasonal questline, mechanics, season journey and battle pass, you will need to create a new seasonal character," wrote Rod Fergusson, General Manager of Diablo at Blizzard. "Playing campaign with [a] seasonal character (if you so desire or need to finish) will also progress the season journey and battle pass."

This requirement may come as a surprise to newer fans of Blizzard's hack-and-slash ARPG, but it's one that many series veterans were actually expecting. This is because seasons in previous Diablo games were structured in the exact same way. The idea behind the design is to allow players the opportunity to play with each season's new progression systems and content from the start so they can experience the feeling of getting stronger over time again, instead of jumping in with a character that's already maxed out.

When Diablo 4 Season 1 kicks off next month, everyone's existing character from the "preseason" will move to the Eternal Realm, an instance of the base game experience. To engage with Season 1, players will need to create a brand new character and play on the Seasonal Realm that will be available, which is where XP earned will count towards the Diablo 4 Battle Pass and the season's new questlines, progression options, and more will be accessible. Then, once Season 1 ends, Season 1 characters (along with, presumably, some of Season 1's content) will shift to the Eternal Realm, and players will be required to make a new character for Season 2, and so on and so forth.

Notably, Blizzard has confirmed that while you'll need to make fresh characters every season, only some of your Renown — points acquired by exploring Diablo 4's map and completing its activities that unlock bonuses like extra skill points — will reset. You'll still need to recomplete dungeons, strongholds, and side quests each season to max out your Renown, but you won't need to discover every area on the map or hunt down all 160 Altars of Lilith again.

Mercifully, Diablo 4 gives players the ability to skip the lengthy campaign on alt characters once they've completed it at least once. This should make the leveling process quicker since you'll be able to access and complete activities that reward high amounts of XP like dungeons, side quests, and Tree of Whispers missions faster. With that said, playing the campaign on a Seasonal Realm will progress Battle Passes and Season Journey challenges, so the option is there if you want it (it's also the only options for players that start playing after Season 1 begins).

So far, the community's reaction to this news has been mixed overall. Many are excited to have a reason to repeatedly experience the Diablo 4 grind every season, but some players are concerned about how long that grind will be, with several community members pointing out that leveling in Diablo 4 is much slower than it was in Diablo 3. Diablo 4 seasons will have Season Boost XP bonuses everyone can earn, though, so I'm waiting to see how impactful those are before deciding how I feel about Blizzard's approach.

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

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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.