D2R Solo Levelling guide

02.06.2022 - 05:56:33
D2R Gameplay Guides , Diablo 2: Resurrected , Game Guides

D2R Solo Levelling guide


This guide will provide you tips to solo level, either in single player, or in battlenet solo instances. We will provide an experience breakdown overview which will include team analytics to enhance your understanding of the benefits of leveling in parties, should you wish to take that route on battlenet. Given it is not possible to adjust player settings on battlenet, the only way to attain higher player settings would be to farm in higher playcount games (highly beneficial to advancing at all levels). You may wish to do this with the party, or on your own, either partied or unpartied. This will provide information on how to level from 1-99, including useful tips and tricks.

Take your time and enjoy the game, especially if you're a first-time player. D2R is a fantastic experience that preserves the gameplay and feel of the original, have some fun and use this guide to get through sticking points. If you're a seasoned veteran racing to the top of the ladder, then this guide should help you optimize your climb.

Basic Tips and Tricks:

  • Keep an eye out for XP shrines, which grant a +50% XP boost for a limited time.
  • Don't let your character get cursed while an XP shrine buff is active, as the curse will remove the buff.
  • Avoid dying, especially on Nightmare and Hell difficulties, as there's an XP penalty upon death.
  • Farm in areas where you can clear monsters efficiently. Speed is very important.
Buy the Best D2R Items

Leveling Zones in Diablo 2: Resurrected:

Selecting the right leveling areas and targeting specific elite monsters can significantly increase your XP gains. Here are the best zones to level up in D2R:


Tightly packed area with good density of boss mobs and super unique monster Griswold. First repeatable farming area in Act 1.

Halls of the Dead:

3 levels of high Undead density monsters, great for leveling prior to accessing Tal Rasha's tomb. A useful intermediary leveling spot if you are not strong enough to efficiently tackle the tombs. 

Maggot Lair:

A very narrow area good for some builds and not others. Straight line nuke builds which pierce are the best for this level (Bone Spear, Lightning etc). Wider AoE abilities like Hammerdin Hammers will struggle with the narrow channels. 

Tal Rasha's Tomb:

A popular spot for power leveling up until you're ready for your Ancient's way quest in normal. Typically Tal Rasha runs are used after Tristram runs. 


A spot typically reserved for gold or magic finding, however the Travincal has the highest boss density in the game, particularly useful for farming for higher levels and one of the best terror zones for late-game leveling (95+).

River of Flame Chaos Sanctuary:

S-Tier farming location in all difficulties. The Chaos sanctuary in particular, provides 8+ boss mobs and has a consistent layout meaning it is very quick to teleport or run to if you should decide to skip the River of Flame. 

Frigid Highlands:

Another magic finding area suitable for leveling, given Shenk and Eldritch is consistently located with large accompanying packs very close to the way point. Usually an addition rather than the core part of your leveling cycle. 

Halls of Anguish (Nihlathak):

A difficult area that can be more rewarding at higher levels. Nihlathak is one of 3 ilvl 95+ bosses (with Diablo and Baal being the other 2). This means that Nihlathak runs prior to the introduction of terror zones were commonly used for 95+ leveling. 

Worldstone Keep & Throne of Destruction:

The most popular farming area on all difficulties, typically used in normal until 40-45, nightmare until 70-75, and Hell up to 95 or 96. While more challenging, it is one of the highest ilvl areas in the game decreasing exp losses at higher levels. Additionally the guaranteed wave summons by Baal guarantee a solid amount of exp per run. Consider skipping baal until you can kill him quickly as the waves alone will provide most of the exp (this switches at 95 where killing Baal is your main exp source with baal summons being heavily penalized). 


Ubers are a high difficulty, and more difficult to get to area requiring some investment in key farming. The baseline items required for uber running is also higher than any other area given the difficulty, as such we recommend you follow one of our Uber builds (Uber Smiter Guide). These are rewarding areas with three capped level superbosses and accompanying minions, making it a powerful choice for end-game leveling. With the introduction of terror zones displacing most or all areas for late game leveling, this has been less widely used. 

Terror Zones

Terror Zones (TZ's) have displaced other forms of late-game leveling due to the nature of adjusted ilvl monsters meaning penalties are greatly reduced or eliminated. This means you can now farm whole areas on your way from 95-99, instead of focussing on Diablo or Baal kills only.

Leveling Gear in Diablo 2: Resurrected:

Equipping the right gear can significantly boost your XP gains and farming efficiency. Here are some essential gear items for fast leveling:

  • Stamina potions are essential for optimizing early leveling by ensuring you stay running.
  • Staff of Teleportation (for mobility) - Before you farm Enigma
  • Wand of Lower Resist (to break monster immunities) in Nightmare and Hell difficulty for elemental based characters
  • Annihilus Charm gives between 5-10% extra EXP as useful stats and resists
  • Ondals provides additional 5% EXP but requires you to wield the two-handed staff (this is more commonly used for leeching exp in parties given the tradeoff from core gear.

Additionally, collect valuable sets during your farming sessions to use as temps until you can farm your core build. You can also use the Horadric Cube to upgrade your set items now, check out our Upgrading guide here.

Some useful item sets to look for are:

  • Death's Disguise (Gloves, Sash)
  • Angelic Raiment (Amulet, Ring)
  • Arctic Gear (Full Set)
  • Sigon's Set (Full Set)
  • Cow King's Leathers (Full Set)
  • Tal Rasha's (Full set or partial)
  • Trang Oul's (Full Set or Partial)
  • Griswold's (Full Set)
  • M'avina's (Full Set)
  • Immortal Kings (Full Set)
  • Aldurs (Full Set)
  • Natalyas (Full Set)

Using Runewords to enhance your gear and items can yield powerful magical items that boost your combat efficiency. Runewords can only be equipped on non magical items. These Runewords have a character level (cLvl) requirement of under 30, making them suitable for early to mid-game progression. They offer a range of benefits for various classes and builds, ensuring a smooth leveling experience. Let's dive into the top Runewords for each gear type.

Armor Runewords:

Stealth (Armor)

Best for casters and Dexterity-focused classes. Offers faster movement, casting, and hit recovery, along with poison resistance and mana regeneration

Peace (Armor)

Designed for Physical DPS classes, particularly Amazons. Grants bonus Amazon skill levels, faster hit recovery, and unique auto-cast abilities

Helm Runeword

Lore (Helm)

Suitable for all classes. Provides +1 to all skill levels, lightning resistance, and bonus energy and mana

Shield Runewords:

Ancient's Pledge (Shield)

Ideal for all shield-using classes. Offers high resistances and defense, making it a great choice for all difficulty levels

Rhyme (Shield)

Perfect for casters. Grants "Cannot Be Frozen" property, resistances, mana regeneration, and magic find bonuses

Spirit (Shield)

Available only for Paladins in Paladin only shields, or any class with Monarchs. Gives +2 to all skills, faster cast rate, resistances, and vitality and mana bonuses

Weapon Runewords:

Steel (Axe, Mace, Sword)

For melee classes. Enhances damage, attack rating, and attack speed, and has a chance to inflict open wounds

Leaf (Staff)

Aimed at Fire Sorceresses and Fire Druids. Boosts fire damage and fire skills, along with mana bonuses and cold resistance

Zephyr (Missile Weapon)

For ranged weapon users. Increases damage, attack rating, and attack speed, and adds lightning damage and movement speed

Edge (Missile Weapons)

Suitable for everyone, including non-ranged classes. Reduces vendor prices, increases damage and life steal, and provides a Thorns aura

Spirit (Sword)

Designed for casters and great for early use, particularly as the Spirit Shield is harder to obtain early due to the high ilvl of the Monarch base and its lack of obtainability until late in Nightmare.

Buy Cheap D2R Runes

Best Leveling Characters

Solo assumes no rush, or any party tactic used to allow yourself to be quickly leveled by others. As such we will not discuss strategies to optimize team exp running or the benefits of having larger parties. As such the best solo leveling characters are self-sufficient farmers who do not require optimized gear to succeed, or have powerful mid-game builds they can rely on until they switch to their core build once sufficiently optimized. If you're playing Single-player, remember you can adjust player number in options, just remember that clear speed is important and to ensure you can still quickly clear areas before increasing difficulty. Here is a tierlist of solo play characters including build information:

We have ranked the classes based on factors such as ease of gameplay, minimal time spent farming gear, and their ability to clear content effectively.

Necromancer: The Undisputed Solo Champion

The Necromancer class has the lowest item requirements for a successful Hell solo completion. Famous for their summoning abilities, Necromancers can complete the game with minimal gear, making them an ideal choice for beginners. With strong summoner skills and Corpse Explosion, the Summonmancer or build is highly effective for solo play. Alternatively, a bone build based on Bone Spear and Bone Prison is viable and beginner-friendly.

The Sorceress class offers flexibility in elemental build paths and is not significantly item-dependent. Teleport allows for easy navigation, while the Meteorb build (utilizing Meteor, Fireball, and Frozen Orb) offers dual element strength. Other hybrid builds, such as Firewall and Blizzard or off-meta lightning/cold or lightning/fire options, are also possible. However, avoid pure element builds due to their high item requirements.

The Paladin is an excellent solo character with a straightforward playstyle, making it one of the best PvM classes in Diablo 2. The Hammerdin build, which focuses on Blessed Hammer and Holy Shield, is a popular choice. While other builds like Smiter or Zealot require more specific gear, the Paladin's supporting skills make it less grind-intensive than other classes.

The Assassin class is a capable fighter with minimal item farming requirements. The Trapsin build, focusing on lightning traps and defensive powers of Cloak of Shadows (CoS) and Mind Blast (MB), provides a safe and effective solo playstyle. However, other builds may require more planning, game knowledge, and skill, making the Assassin less beginner-friendly.

The Amazon class struggles to reach maximum potential without significant item investment. The Lightning Javazon build, paired with Freezing or Exploding Arrow on weapon swap, is an effective choice for solo play. Strafe or Multishot builds are also possible but require a decent bow, making them less viable for solo adventures.

The Druid class offers a limited number of viable builds for solo play, with the Wind or Windy variant being the best choice. Other builds like Fireclaws Werebear and Fury Werewolf require luck with weapon farming and a significant time investment to reach their full potential.

The Barbarian class requires significant item farming and understanding of hidden mechanics, making it a less beginner-friendly choice for solo play. Builds like Whirlwind (WW), Frenzy, and Concentrate (Conc) are available but require serious item investment to achieve a solo Hell playthrough.

Best Path to 99 (Solo Power Level strategy)

Level 1-15:

During this phase, you should simply progress through Act1 and kill whatever comes in your way. To reach level15, the quickest way is to do Tristram runs until around 12-15 and proceed to the catacombs. 

Level 15-24:

You can also get started in Act2, and in similar fashion to Act1, simply kill monsters while doing the necessary quests. At the end of Act2 you should do Tomb runs (use the Canyon of the Magi waypoints, and enter plus clear each Tomb). This can quickly get you to level24, Tombs are the best farming area for characters in this level range.

Level 24-40:

You should rush through Act3, as the areas don't give you too much XP. You can simply ignore monsters, and focus on completing the essential quests. At level 24 you should do the Rite of Passage quest (killing the Ancients at Arreat Summit - can only be completed from lvl20), which will provide you with a lot of experience and a quick gain of 1 character level. The quest is also necessary to be able to proceed towards Baal. Chaos runs are the best way to gap fill any exp needed, and provide good exp if you are able to clear them effectively (rather than Tal Rasha's Tombs).

From level 25 onwards, the best way to gain XP is by doing Baal runs. Enter the Worldstone Keep Level 2 waypoint, run to the Throne of Destruction, and kill the five waves and Baal himself. You will be able to gain a level at almost each run. At level 40, proceed to Nightmare difficulty.

Level 41-60:

On Nightmare, you should only do the essential quests, as there is no better XP farming spot than Normal Baal. The level requirement to complete the Ancients quest is lvl40, so by the time you arrive to Arreat Summit, you will definitely be able to complete the quest. After that, you should do Baal Runs in the same way as you did on Normal difficulty, until you reach level 60-70, at which point you should proceed to Hell. 

Level 61-95:

You should rush through most of the difficulty, however Hell will be much more difficult than Nightmare. When needed, do Tristram or Tomb runs to collect XP and gear. The best XP Farming spots are Chaos Sanctuary and Baal's waves, your aim should be to farm these areas. Hell Ancients have a level requirement of 60, so you can complete this quest and gain 1 additional level anytime (or receive a significant bump at higher levels), plus you will be able to proceed to Baal.

Level 96-99:

Traditionally at this point, your character will receive absolutely no XP from any monster other than LvL99 ones. Baal, Diablo, and Ubers will be the only enemies to provide a significant amount of XP, and allow you to gain additional levels. However you should be prepared, level 98-99 takes about 5000 Baal kills, so you should take out a month from work if your goal is to reach 99. However, the introduction of Terror Zones mean that higher level characters can now effectively farm with no exp penalties given the ilvl of monsters are adjusted to the level of the game creator. This means that the 99 grind has now significantly changed, with Terror Runs taking over from purely Baal/Diablo/Uber boss killing. From 96, your exp penalties are so high in non-terrorized zones that it would be highly inefficient to farm these and would increase your leveling time exponentially. 


This guide should provide you with everything you need to know to level successfully and efficiently up to your desired level without a party. Consistency when grinding high levels is key, and remember to be patient and not get disheartened! Check out our leveling or rushing services if you want to level up in a hurry!

Related Guides

Ultimate Mercenary Guide | D2R Rune Farming Guide | 4 Socket Monarch Farming Guide

Relevant Products

Share this content:

You must be logged in to add a comment

Click here to log in

Add a comment