How to prepare for Diablo 4 Season 1: What to do before Season of the Malignant

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Diablo 4's first season, Season of the Malignant, is scheduled to go live in just a few short days. When it does, all existing characters will transfer to the Eternal Realm, and players will be encouraged to make a new character on the Seasonal Realm so that they can engage with the season's new quests, its Malignant enemies and loot, and its Battle Pass offerings. 

There's no getting around this reset if you want to enjoy the season's content, but there are some things you can do before its release that will carry over and make your life easier in Diablo 4 Season 1. Here's an overview of everything you should do to prepare for Season of the Malignant ahead of its arrival at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET on July 20.

Beat the campaign and get a mount

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Above all else, you should prioritize finishing Diablo 4's campaign before Season 1 goes live. This is because you won't be able to access any Season of the Malignant quests or encounter its unique monsters and loot drops unless you've completed it at least once before (though XP from campaign progress will still count towards the Battle Pass). By rolling the credits now, you'll unlock the option to skip the 30-hour long campaign on your new seasonal character and jump right into the season's content.

If you're not able to beat the full campaign before July 20, you should at least reach Act 4 and get a Diablo 4 mount. The Donan's Favor side quest you can complete at this point in the story will permanently unlock a steed that any characters attached to your account can use, and doing so will speed up your travels through Sanctuary during seasonal playthroughs.

Find every Altar of Lilith and map area

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Secondly, we strongly recommend hunting down all 160 Altars of Lilith and unlocking to all of Diablo 4's map locations. The former are statues of the Blessed Mother that glow red and can be activated — make sure you follow our guide on Altar of Lilith locations, maps, and routes for help — while the latter are smaller areas within the five major regions that you can discover by walking into them. Both Altars of Lilith and map areas give a small number of Renown points when found, with Altars also providing a minor stat boost to every character on your account.

Blizzard has announced that the Renown and stat improvements from Altars and unlocked map locations will carry over to your seasonal character when Season 1 begins, allowing you to start the season with the following bonuses:

  • 3,135 Renown
    • +5 Skill Points
    • +5 Potion Charges
  • +68 Strength
  • +68 Intelligence
  • +68 Willpower
  • +68 Dexterity
  • +100 Murmuring Obols capacity
  • +4 Paragon Points

Note that you'll need to log into the game with the character you've made the most progress with before Season 1 starts to carry over all of your map progression, so make sure you don't forget!

Note Codex of Power Aspect locations

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

While Altar of Lilith and map progression progress will carry over to Diablo 4 Season 1, nothing else will — and that includes completed dungeons and unlocked Legendary Aspects in the Codex of Power. Because of this, you should take note of the dungeons your favorite Legendary Aspects are obtained from so that you can reacquire those Aspects as soon as possible with your seasonal character. To do this, you can use our guide on every Diablo 4 Legendary Aspect and where to find them for reference.

Keep in mind that many Legendary Aspects can't be added to the Codex of Power, and are acquired exclusively from random drops. To get these Aspects again in Season 1, you'll simply need to grind gear and get lucky.

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

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 (

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.