Here’s a general leveling path if you’re leveling up from scratch! Useful for any class!

PLEASE BE ADVISED – This guide is meant to be used
alongside the class leveling guides.

If you’re leveling up, open these pages alongside this one:
Leveling: Barb | Crus | DH | Monk | NecroWD | Wiz

To Grind or not to Grind?

Okay… since the dawn of Massacre Bonus, grinding has become a thing. Grinding is defined as “repeating the same few high density maps, getting as many and as high a massacre bonus as you can get”. The question is, is grinding really worth it? Grinding pros and cons?

Grinding PROS
  • It’s the fastest method.

That’s it. It’s roughly 2.x hours faster, on average.

Grinding CONS
  • You need to KNOW what you’re doing, inside out.
  • It depends on your class – a WD will grind much better than a Wizard, etc.
  • RNG with density, frustration with dropping massacre.
  • Looting and gold which actually has a use early game = breaks massacre.
  • Extremely repetitive.
  • No important early game resources – crafting mats for early rerolls.
  • If you mess up repeatedly, you can LOSE time.

So there you have it! These are my observations, by all means try it. I’ve tried both methods, the little time gained from grinding doesn’t outweigh the “cons”.

My stance on grinding is firm: I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT exclusively, but I acknowledge its speed. Does it matter though, since free sets require Season Journey chapters??

Keep in mind you don’t have to EXCLUSIVELY grind! You can try it every few levels! I mean the leveling process is fluid and each method has its ups and downs! In the end, Grinding is viable at any point in the game, so feel free to try it every now and then!

Don’t wanna grind exclusively? Read on.

The Million Ways of Level

Here we will talk about the value moves you can do in the various phases of leveling!

The early levels

I just spawned! In adventure mode, I hope! Steal the Templar’s weapon. It sounds like a tiny boost but it actually matters quite a bit.

Out of the gate BONUS: Start out in adventure mode and check if any of the “easy to get to” bosses are on bounty. If so, rush to and kill ’em for an easy chest with yellows. You can proceed to clear every other bounty in this ACT for the seasonal journey entry.

To LEORIC or not to LEORIC?

This step details if you want to try for your sure drop Leoric’s Crown. Personally, I like getting the crown – BUT NOT RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE.

Some people say to rush to Leoric ASAP as the first step in the game. I’m not agreeable to this. You can do the above first, even clear 1 ACT of bounties before killing Leoric -WHY? The argument people use is “The earlier, the better”. Hmm but is it really true?

YOU LIKELY DO NOT HAVE A MOVEMENT SKILL for the majority of your journey to Leoric. That’s gonna bite into your time quite a bit…

NO GEMS BUDDY What use is your L5 Leoric’s crown with no gems? You can’t be sure you’ll get a gem goblin early on.

Multiplayer value: It’s better when you have a partner. Have that person go to Leoric so he or she can zone you in, then return to YOUR game where enemies level are higher!

It’s always nice to have a Leoric’s Crown since seasonal journey now requires cubing a legendary, the crown will definitely help you clear GR20 if your 4-piece sucks.

Wait a sec, I’m new – how do you get the sure drop Leoric’s Crown? Kill him in CAMPAIGN MODE, when you’re at least level 5. The minimum level has yet to be truly confirmed but I would say 5 to be safe… not like you should be there at L5….

Crafted Weapons – Always bet on AXE: Crafted 2H axes are your best friend for leveling up. This starts at Level 8, and every few levels thereafter. For this reason ALWAYS UPGRADE your blacksmith as you go along! No money? You grinded didn’t you…

Whenever you’re catchin’ a breather, always check on the Blacksmith for a new 2H axe!

Hey! Help the site out by going to Patreon!

Gaining Value while leveling

Ok so while you’re technically in the early game, there’s a lot of value moves you can do to have a more impactful leveling phase. How? The Season Journey.

Kill boss? Go there WHILE massacre bonusing! Value gained! Chapter 1 has two of these, and Chapter 2 has another pair of these which require L60… so why wait till 70!?

You can also go to Ruins of Sescheron ACT III to unlock Kanai’s Cube. It’s a high density map! Massacre bonus it up while you’re on your way! why wait till 70!?


Nephs: Why I like ’em, and the ‘Neph Breakpoint’

My personal recommendation past the “early phase”? Nephalem Rifts. Why?

  • HIGHER Legendary chance, better loot overall.
  • Materials! Gems! Money! Rift guardians!
  • Conduit? Power? Speed? Channeling? FREE LEVELS
  • I dare say, personally, “more fun”.

PYLONS are an underestimated quality of nephs. Those pylons (with the exception of shield) will give you at least 1 level in the aftermath! VALUE. I once got 2 levels off a Conduit!

Even with zero luck, the very fact you have crafting mats will make re-rolling and setting up your Fresh 70 character much easier than just going in raw. If you happen to bag 1 or 2 useful powers to cube? You gucci, son.

The Neph Breakpoint: Every class has a “neph breakpoint” usually at L21+ when they unlock their second or third passive slot. Nephing past this point is a lot safer and easier simply because you can kill elites and RG’s a lot easier. All the builds posted in the links above are easily capable of ripping nephs apart.

So just man up, do nephs and adjust difficulty as needed. It’s smooth sailing from here!

Bounties 🙁

Everyone needs to do bounties each season. Whether it’s for RoRG or Avarice, we all gotta bounty at some point. Do people like it? Probably not.

During the leveling process – bounties are notably poor. The chance for low density maps, and extremely tough purple bosses are enough of a turn off to go this route.

Fresh 70 Onward

Well, I guess you’re going to need some Fresh 70 guides for each class, and getting the free set. Note that any GR20 notes we have are as bare bones as possible, and I’ve rarely seen any guide attempt to cobble up a build together that will clear GR20 literally ASAP.

Fresh Level 70: Barb | Crus | DH | Monk | Necro | WD | Wiz

The above guides have info for characters WITH or WITHOUT the free set.

Good luck leveling up and always remember this for the seasons to come! Hopefully you learned something about the D3 leveling process! Head on to our D3 Directory Guide for other related info.

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  1. I love this guide and have been using the it for the past several seasons, it had really helped getting levels faster!
    Thanks for bringing the guide to the rest of us 🙂

  2. Hi, you should had the challeng rift bag to this guide too, it helps a lot when a new season arrive 🙂

    4 millions gold to level up your blacsmith and enchantress; and the shards to gamble low level legendary, and mat to cube one :), very helpful.

    • for me, Hard mode is my baseline when I level up to 70. I just increase my difficulty to Expert if “it’s too easy” too kill enemies. But some classes, namely Barb and Witch Doctor, you can increase difficulty as you see fit. After hitting 70, the difficulty is usually determined by a neph. If it takes you more than 10 minutes to beat a neph – that’s a good indicator to lessen difficulty

  3. Just started seasons on console which is always confusing compared to the pc regarding interface and controls so found the mink Leveling guide super super useful face rolling the game cheers man


    I’ve read through several guides on leveling up and didn’t find a clear list of common tips everyone should use. Regardless of the character you’re playing or the types of runs you like, there are a couple of tips you should try. I’ve done this a couple of times and find my leveling from first spawn to Level 70 Paragon 120+ in this new Season 10 went much quicker. In fact, I often advance 2 and sometimes 3 levels on each bounty quest or rift run.

    First, before anyone complains about wrong numbers, I admit they are not specifically precise. I am trying to explain a concept here.

    1. The Leoric’s Crown legendary buff is “Increase the effect of any gem socketed intro this item by 94%”. This is usually picked up early in the game. As soon as I get this I insert the highest level Ruby gem I can for the increased experience percentage. Up to level 70 a Flawless Royal Ruby gives an additional 41% experience. That’s 41% x 94% = 79.5%. If you can’t start with the highest gem, start lower and replace it as you can. At level 70 it drops to 4.1%.Until then I keep this regardless of other options. I may not have the strongest, best helm, but I get a tremendous experience boost.

    2. Yellow pools give a constant 25% bonus, not for a given time, but for a given number of points. In fact, the experience tracking line(thin line above the skills bar) will show you how many extra experience points you’ll receive, what they will take you to until it’s expired, and change the line to yellow instead of the normal blue through multiple runs. Only if you get killed before it ends does it stop working.

    3. Massacres grant a bonus experience based on how many enemy you kill AFTER you reach 15 killed. The more you kill, the higher the bonus. At 15 killed it’s 1x or 100% bonus. At 140 it’s up to about 4x or 400% (please, don’t hold me to this. I’ve done it a couple of times and it’s based on failing memory). Along with this, try to have at least one ranged weapon you can shoot from a distance. It can keep your total running.

    So, let me give you a scenario. Do your run, and run past all smaller groups regardless of the kind or level of them. A single yellow boss is bad. It takes lots of time and gives very little for the effort. When you run into minions (love the little spiders) in a greater horde, stop and kill as many as you can. I like to run just a little past and see if there are more lurking nearby. When you get a good number, stop, backtrack a little, and begin your killing spree. As you get to the last few enemies, begin using your range weapon to shoot intermittently and from a further distance as you try to move toward more enemy nearby. Rack up as many kills as you can. Only engage the enemy when it’s worth the time to do so.

    Here’s how the results work out. Look for close horde pack of 20+ with lots of surrounding enemies. Begin killing and stretch it out near the last enemy so you can move to increase the number with nearby enemies. End up with 80 kills and a base of 10,000 points (fictitious number for calculations only). Add massacre bonus of 2.75 (275%), add the yellow pool bonus of 25%, add the Leoric’s Crown bonus of 79.5%, and you end up with 379.5% minimal increase for a grand total of 37,950 + 10,000 = 47,950 experience points.

    On any basic run you should be able to find 3 or 4 of these without much difficulty. With a little personal experience you’ll begin to recognize quickly when the setting is right. So a single bounty run can easily net you an extra 200,000 which isn’t bad at lower levels. But, wait, there’s more! These are percentage increases so they increase with your level increases.

    Grinding out these runs can actually be more fun! Try it.

  5. Hi,
    a nice summary!

    Between lvl10 and lvl20 I’m usually doing Bounties until I got the Plans for Born (lvl21) and Cane (lvl23) sets.

  6. Great guide. Thank you.
    Should mention Whimsyshire has been buffed. You can get imperial gems and death breaths from drops here. Hit the clouds also.
    Definately worth the side trip!

    • Here’s the weirdest part on this – we actually got a Whimsyshire during our S11 leveling evening. I was level 45 at the time, and actually got 4 Death Breaths from the first cloud I hit. None of the others got any, and sadly I didn’t get any level 70 weapon with enough reduced level requirement to use – which otherwise would’ve been just pure awesome 🙂 (Tried rerolling etc but ran out of mats, so just kept on leveling until I could finally use it.) It sure was a thrill and annoying as h*ll at the same time 🙂

  7. Ignore my previously submitted comment… I read the class specific and it says right there what difficulty to start this on…

    Thank you!

  8. I love the simplicity of this! This is my first time participating in a Season so have been looking up all I can to do this right. Some have very specific recommendations for difficulty. It was only mentioned once here to adjust as needed. Is that the recommendation overall? Just adjust and do as high as you can handle?

  9. I didn’t get a Leoric’s crown at 21 from the skeleton king. I’d like to know why this is ‘supposedly’ a guaranteed drop?

    • Slower weapons do much more damage per hit, which means you use less Spirit when you use your skills. This is really value since resource management can be an issue while leveling up.

      • Very informative and easliy interactive guide.
        Thank it was perfect.
        The taking of templar weapon.
        Very slick.
        Reminded me of selling all my gear to buy weapon .


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