How to farm runes in Diablo 2 Resurrected
Runes are the currency of Diablo 2. Higher Tier runes are amongst the rarest items to drop, and runewords are the most powerful items in the game. Runewords consisting of lower tier runes are often the best choice for leveling items, so make sure to check out our Best Ladder Starter Runewords guide and get ready to quickly level up your character. However if you want to find them yourself, this guide has some great tricks for you to use:
Runes drop from monster deaths and chests, although the likelihood of a rune drop from most monsters is very minute. Rune drop factors area level, monster level, and the number of players in the game (certain areas have higher chances of rune drops as we’ll outline below). Increasing your Magic Find % does not increase the chances of finding runes, as it only increases the chance of upgrading items to rare, magic, unique or set items from basic items. Runes are a separate category.
As players advance through the game, the possibility of obtaining higher level Runes increases. There are a few exceptions to this, but in general, the table below outlines the Runes that can begin to drop in each Act and difficulty level. Note that the list is cumulative, meaning that if Zod can drop, so can all other Runes (this also does not include terror zones which have increased monster ilvls during the period):
Act 1, Normal: No Runes
Act 2, Normal: El, Eld, Tir, Nef
Act 3, Normal: Eth, Ith, Tal, Ral
Act 4, Normal: Ort, Thul, Amn, Sol
Act 5, Normal: Shael, Dol
Act 1, Nightmare: Hel, Io
Act 2, Nightmare: Lum, Ko
Act 3, Nightmare: Fal, Lem
Act 4, Nightmare: Pul, Um
Act 5, Nightmare: Mal, Ist
Act 1, Hell: Gul, Vex
Act 2, Hell: Ohm, Lo
Act 3, Hell: Sur, Ber
Act 4, Hell: Jah, Cham
Act 5, Hell: Zod
These are the areas where any rune can drop (Hell only):
Act 1: The Mausoleum, The Pit (levels 1 and 2), The Secret Cow level
Act 2: The Maggot Lair (levels 1, 2, and 3), The Ancient Tunnels
Act 3: The Forgotten Temple, The Ruined Fane, The Disused Reliquary, The Sewers (level 2)
Act 4: The River of Flame, The Chaos Sanctuary
Act 5: The Worldstone Keep (levels 1, 2, and 3), The Throne of Destruction
Hellforge’s Quest is the second quest of Act4. The completion of the quests grants a rune reward, which allows players to get mid-tier runes early in the game. On Normal Difficulty up to Amn rune, on Nightmare Difficulty from Sol to Um rune, and on Hell Difficulty from Hel to Gul rune can be found by completing the quest. All runes provided by the quest have an equal chance of dropping.
The Countess is a demon Superunique monster, and can be found in Act1 at cellar level 5 of the Forgotten Tower, which is in Black Marsh. She is the only monster in the game with a uniquely high chance to drop runes. On normal difficulty Ral Rune, on nightmare Ko Rune, and on hell Lo rune is the highest she can drop. However, the very high drop rate only affects runes up to Io Rune at nightmare and Ist Rune at hell difficulty. As an example, on hell she has a 1:287 chance to drop an Ist rune, while the second highest drop chance of an Ist rune is 1:7789 by killing the Act2 Boss Duriel. By using the rune upgrading horadric cube recipes, The Countess is the best source even for high-tier runes up until Sur.
Rune Drop Mechanics:
The Countess's rune drops are calculated in a unique way. First, five rolls are made in her item drop table, each with a 19/67 chance to roll nothing. Next, three rolls are made from her rune drop table, each with a 1/4 chance to roll nothing. If a rune is rolled, it first rolls the highest rune for the corresponding difficulty. If it doesn't roll a rune, a guaranteed El or Eld rune is dropped.
Rune Drop Limits by Difficulty:
The Countess's special rune drop table can roll up to a Ral rune on Normal difficulty, an Io rune on Nightmare difficulty, and an Ist rune on Hell difficulty.
Super Chests, also known as special chests, offer an unparalleled opportunity to acquire high runes. Lower Kurast is a prime location for Super Chest farming due to its unique map layout and abundance of Super Chests. This guide will cover the basics of Super Chests, their item generation, and tips for optimizing your Lower Kurast rune farming.
Understanding Super Chests:
Super Chests differ from regular chests in their drop mechanics, boasting a significantly higher chance of dropping high runes. Super Chests are rarer than normal chests but are easier to find consistently in the lower Kurast. They also have a significantly higher rune drop rate than normal chests or monsters.
Why Lower Kurast?
Lower Kurast is an ideal Super Chest farming location because its map always spawns with a hutt containing three Super Chests. Occasionally, this can occur in two huts, offering six Super Chests in a small area. In addition to Super Chests, Lower Kurast also features numerous armor and weapon racks and poppable objects like logs and corpses which are great for finding runes.
Identifying Super Chest Locations in Lower Kurast:
Look for two rectangular buildings with a bonfire below them enclosed by two walls. This tile will contain the Super Chests.
Optimizing Lower Kurast Farming:
Focus on high survivability and mobility when farming Lower Kurast, as there is no need to kill monsters. Stick to higher difficulties (Players 7) for the best chances at obtaining high runes. Going to Players 8 will not increase the likelihood of rune drops when compared to Players 7.
The Secret Cow Level
To find Ber, Jah, Cham or Zod runes, doing a lot of grinding is inevitable. Bosses have 10-20x higher chance to drop these runes than regular monsters, from Duriel dropping Ber runes once every 42.945 kills, to Hephasto The Armorer dropping Zod runes once every 192.066 kills.
The best way of acquiring these high tier runes is by killing lots and lots of monsters. The best farming spot for that is the incredibly monster-dense Secret Cow Level, which you can access through a Red Portal by cubing together a Wirt’s Leg and a Tome of town portal in Act1.
Normal Cows (Hell Bovines) have an 1:730k chance to drop a Ber rune, and an 1:2560k chance to drop a Zod rune. Despite these low chances, such high runes are still the most likely to be found by farming cows, as about 350 to 450 Hell Bovines appear on the Secret Cow Level. To efficiently farm the Cow Level, your character build of choice should be one that deals a huge amount of area damage, allowing you to cut through Cows quickly. In addition to being the best source for high-tier runes, the Cow Level is also the best source for socketable base items. In conclusion, it is the go-to place if your aim is to acquire high-tier runewords.
The Travincal is a prime location for farming high runes up to a Cham rune, as well as uniques, jewelry, charms, and gold. In this guide, we'll provide an overview of the Travincal area, Council Members, strategies for overcoming them, and tips for maximizing your loot.
Council Members and Super Uniques:
There are a total of 11 Council Members in the Travincal, including 3 Super Unique Council Members. While all Council Members share the same drop table, the minions have a lower chance of dropping unique or set items. However, they are still valuable for farming runes.
Overcoming Council Members:
Council Members are formidable foes, boasting different immunities, high damage, and healing abilities. Super Uniques have natural Fire Immunity, with Geleb Flamefinger and Toorc Icefist also immune to Lightning and Cold, respectively. Minions will be immune to either Lightning or Fire. Break immunities with the Infinity rune word, or opt for a melee or magic-based build. Be cautious of Toorc Icefist's Holy Freeze aura, which cannot be negated by ‘Cannot be Frozen’.
Due to the prevalence of fire damage in the Travincal, make sure to stack your Fire Resistance and Fire Absorb to protect your character.
Farming Player Difficulty
The player difficulty affects the nodrop chance of Council Members. It is recommended to farm on p3 difficulty, as the difference between p3 and p5 or p7 is minimal, and p3 offers a good balance between increased drops and manageable difficulty.
Combining Runes is a great way to get rid of excess runes, or accumulate mid to high runes from the bottom up. Here are the recipes to combine runes in the Horadric cube to form higher runes. Use this table to help you craft the runes you need:
|3 El||1 Eld|
|3 Eld||1 Tir|
|3 Tir||1 Nef|
|3 Nef||1 Eth|
|3 Eth||1 Ith|
|3 Ith||1 Tal|
|3 Tal||1 Ral|
|3 Ral||1 Ort|
|3 Ort||1 Thul|
|3 Thul + 1 Chipped Topaz||1 Amn|
|3 Amn + 1 Chipped Amethyst||1 Sol|
|3 Sol + 1 Chipped Sapphire||1 Shael|
|3 Shael + 1 Chipped Ruby||1 Dol|
|3 Dol + 1 Chipped Emerald||1 Hel|
|3 Hel + 1 Chipped Diamond||1 Io|
|3 Io + 1 Flawed Topaz||1 Lum|
|3 Lum + 1 Flawed Amethyst||1 Ko|
|3 Ko + 1 Flawed Sapphire||1 Fal|
|3 Fal + 1 Flawed Ruby||1 Lem|
|3 Lem + 1 Flawed Emerald||1 Pul|
|2 Pul + 1 Flawed Diamond||1 Um|
|2 Um + 1 Topaz||1 Mal|
|2 Mal + 1 Amethyst||1 Ist|
|2 Ist + 1 Sapphire||1 Gul|
|2 Gul + 1 Ruby||1 Vex|
|2 Vex + 1 Emerald||1 Ohm|
|2 Ohm + 1 Diamond||1 Lo|
|2 Lo + 1 Flawless Topaz||1 Sur|
|2 Sur + 1 Flawless Amethyst||1 Ber|
|2 Ber + 1 Flawless Sapphire||1 Jah|
|2 Jah + 1 Flawless Ruby||1 Cham|
|2 Cham + 1 Flawless Emerald||1 Zod|
If you’re looking for some runes in a hurry, check out our store. For other ways to accumulate wealth for the upcoming ladder, or for general farming purposes, you may like to check out our gambling guide!