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Exploring the world of Sanctuary and interacting with its inhabitants and environments is at the core of the Diablo III experience.
Adventuring will allow you to discover new areas, quests, allies, enemies, and powerful items as well as lore and information about the world.
To move, point your mouse cursor at the spot you’d like to go to, left-click, and your character will walk there, avoiding obstacles on the way. You can also hold your mouse button down to move, dragging your mouse to change direction. To see if you can use an object, move your mouse cursor over it. If it becomes highlighted, then you can click on it to interact with it.
That’s it. You’ll interact with objects like doors, gates, and treasure chests this way. You can also pick up items by clicking on them. If you find someone you want to talk to, clicking on them will let you speak to them and hear what they have to say. Click. Click. Click.
Use your controller’s left stick to move your hero around the environment. Tilting the stick slightly will cause your hero to walk, while tilting the stick completely will make your hero run. Keep this in mind when venturing into new areas—running at full speed into unexplored territory might make retreating more difficult.
On your adventures you’ll meet the people of Sanctuary as well as find items and objects that you will want to interact with. To initiate conversation with a character, pick up an item, or use an object, walk up to one and press the “A” button (Xbox 360) or “X” button (PlayStation®3).
Combat is the thumping heart of Diablo III. As you venture through haunted graveyards, blistering deserts, and other dangerous locations on your journey, you'll be pursued by monsters that rear up in the shadows, dash towards you in swarms, and burrow through the ground beneath you. Sometimes you’ll hear them in the darkness before they attack you. Most will chase you if you run.
Attack a monster, and by default, your hero will swing or shoot at it, depending on whether you have a melee or ranged weapon equipped. To attack, move your mouse over the monster and click on it (PC) or press the attack button when the monster is in range (Console).
If you hit the monster, you’ll do damage to it based on the weapons you have equipped. You can check the average damage you’ll do in the Inventory pane accessible with the “I” key (PC) or through the character menu on Consoles (Xbox 360: BACK; PlayStation®3: SELECT).
While you’re attacking a monster, you’ll see a red bar with its name at the top of your screen: this is the monster’s health, a visual depiction of how much damage it can take before exploding violently or collapsing in a crimson puddle at your feet. When you reduce the bar from its filled state (red) to empty (black), the monster dies. (If you see the upper half of its torso crawling towards you, clawed hands still reaching for your throat, it’s not dead.)
Additional combat mechanics designed to enhance gameplay on consoles are available to you in Diablo III. For example, you can spotlight yourself to show where you’d like to lead your comrades to, or that you're in need of aid, by pressing the right stick. Below you will find details on activating Target Lock, assigning skills, and evading.
On Consoles, you can use the Target Lock function to hold still and focus on a specific monster - an arrow will appear over the target you’ve locked onto. This makes it easier to focus your efforts on a specific monster in order to empty its health bar quicker.
As your hero gains levels, new skills will become available for use in battle. You can deploy a maximum of six skills at once by going to your character menu and assigning them to your controller buttons. Once your skills have been assigned, pressing the corresponding buttons will allow you to unleash several combinations of offensive and defensive strategies using your various skills in unison.
The more powerful enemies you’ll encounter in Sanctuary can deliver devastating blows. Thankfully, Nephalem heroes in Diablo III for Consoles are able to use a special evade command to weave between attacks.
The action bar is a visual representation of your hero’s health, active skills, class resource, and other vital information.
On your screen, you’ll see a bar made up of small icons. This is your action bar. The action bar contains your active skills, class-specific powers that help you slay demons faster or stay alive longer. It also displays powerful limited-use items; specifically, healing potions. Using these abilities and items carefully can mean the difference between life and death in tough battles. During multiplayer games, additional action bars will show up on your screen so that you can monitor the status of your allies.
Each hero in Diablo III possesses immense power—incredible muscle, speed, sturdiness, or brilliance—that allows them to defy darkness. These core qualities are called attributes, numbers that represent just how potent a particular hero is in their areas of expertise. Here’s a brief overview of heroic attributes in Diablo III:
Each class has each one of these attributes, but depending on your preferred play style, you might be more interested in some attributes more than others.
For example, if you find yourself darting in and out of combat to deliver quick strikes instead of going toe-to-toe with enemies, you might be more concerned with your Damage, and less concerned with Vitality. It's less valuable to increase your health if you’re rarely hit.
Attributes are raised automatically as your level increases. You’ll grow more powerful as you destroy your enemies and progress through the game. In addition, many pieces of equipment that you’ll find are enchanted to confer specific bonuses to attributes when they’re equipped; select your gear to bolster the attributes you care about most.
You can review your current attributes at any time from the Inventory page (PC: “I” Key; Xbox 360: BACK; PlayStation®3: SELECT).
Diablo III is not over when you finish its final Act. After completing Diablo III on Normal difficulty, you’ll unlock a new difficulty level with which you can continue the game: Nightmare. If you survive the increased difficulty and complete the game on Nightmare, you’ll unlock the even more challenging Hell level. And, if you’re able to best Hell…Inferno awaits.
You will carry your existing character (and all of that character’s levels, skills, powers, and equipment) over to the new difficulty level – but that doesn’t mean you’ll be free to squash helpless demons. Using your existing character on a new difficulty level is necessary. You’ll need every advantage you can get just to stay alive.
In Nightmare and Hell mode (and beyond), you’ll continue to gain levels and skill runes, but you will also find items, gems, potions, armor, and weapons only available in these difficulty levels. As you grow in power, so too will your enemies.
For more detailed information on difficulty levels, check the Game Difficulty section of this guide.
You can create a hardcore character from the character creation page after reaching level 10 with any Diablo III hero. Hardcore characters begin playing Diablo III at Normal difficulty and advance through subsequent difficulties just like normal characters. They differ from normal characters in one crucial area, though:
IF YOUR HARDCORE CHARACTER DIES, THAT CHARACTER IS PERMANENTLY DEAD. They will never be playable again. There is only one way to successfully play a hardcore character: don’t die.
PC Hardcore characters have access to the hardcore-specific gold auction house, but are unable to purchase items from or sell items to non-hardcore characters. They cannot use the PC real money auction house. Hardcore characters can only share the items in their stash with your other hardcore characters.
Hardcore characters are not recommended for the faint of heart.