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D4 Barbarian Class Basics Guide | Should I Play Barbarian?

This guide has two main purposes! One: Learn all about the basics of the Diablo 4's Barbarian Class. Two: Help you answer, "Should I choose, or try out Barbarian" in D4. Hopefully by the end of this, you'll be more informed about the Barbarian class, as well as make a more informed decision if you wish to play one!

While this started out to be two separate guides, I ultimately combined them since they seemed served the same purpose...

Diablo 4 Barbarian Overview

Here, I TRY to describe Barbarian at a very high level. A summary of Barbarian in D4, in a nutshell...

Barbarians in Diablo 4. Let me tell you, whatever you're imagining - it's probably right. They've been there in D2, D3, and now in D4. Of all the classes, they are undoubtedly THE melee / bruiser / tanky class (with actually near zero build possibilities for ranged).

They mechanics of barb are, well.. dealing a bunch of direct damage being the central pillar of it... Fury, Arsenal, Berserk, and Bleeding. More on these later!

In comparison to other classes, Barb really is the melee 'specialist'. They are almost forced to be in close range. To counteract this, they are also supposedly the tankiest of the bunch, with lots of Damage Reduction and Fortify mechanics.

Again, whatever it is you imagined when the word "Barbarian" came to your mind - the class identity and mechanics aren't far off.

Barbarian Key Passives

Each class has a variety of Key Passives that somehow push you towards a certain build archetype. They are incredibly powerful passives for a single point, and can be build defining. Knowing about the Barbarian Key Passives might give you further info about the class, and if you should try the class out.

Increase Berserk's duration by 5s, and improve its damage bonus.

Walking Arsenal
Dealing damage with any of your three arsenal weapon types grants a stacking damage buff. If all three are active, gain additional bonus damage.

Unbridled Rage
Core skills dear 135% more damage, but cost 100% more Fury.

Gushing Wounds
Bleeds can now crit (equal to crit chance), and its severity is increased by your critical hit damage bonus. Overpowering a Bleeding enemy creates an explosion that deals an extra bleed over 5s.

Well, this is exactly as expected. There's a Bleed key passive, and three forms of "smash face" key passive. Thematically, these key passives still fit alongside the Barbarians mechanics - Fury, Arsenal, and, Berserk.

Barbarian Unique Class Systems

Each class has their own "thing". These Class Systems are unique to the Barbarian, and may help you gain more insights on wether you should play one.


Ah... a seemingly under the radar, but very important mechanic. Barbs use three different weapon sets (with four total weapon). Dual Wielded one-handers, Two-handed Slashing Weapon, Two-handed Bludgeoning Weapon.

Each Barb skill has restrictions. For example, "Two-handed weapon required" can be your 2h Blunt or Sharp one. Requiring "Slashing weapons", can be your 2h Sharp, or one of your dual wielded ones.

Interestingly, if more than one of your Arsenal groups can be used to cast a skill, you can manually choose which one.

Weapon Expertise

Each weapon type levels up as you use it. Each level grants a small passive bonus, and gets another unique bonus upon maxing out. Example, Each Weapon Expertise level of 1h Mace deals bonus damage to stunned enemies. At max 1h Mace Weapon Expertise, you have a chance to gain Berserking when hitting stunned enemies.

Weapon Technique

This wan't available in the BETA, but you could see that it was a subsystem and the quest was even there - just out of arms reach!


Is the D4 Barbarians unique buff. It pretty much does what you imagine. Increase your damage. However, it doesn't stop there. It's very entrenched in the Barb "ecosystem" if you will. You can improve Berserking in many ways, trigger and extend it in many ways, and benefit from being Berserk in many ways.

Other little mechanics

Shouts Support Barbs... rejoice? Shouts are back and they do buff teammates. Notably, they do buff yourself far more effectively. While I won't be discussing the viability of a pure support build here, you can definitely help your teammates out with your specced shouts.

Bleeding Bleeding is the flavor of Barbs DoT's this time around (which shouldn't rend as a surprise to many). There's a ton of bleed passives, skills, and aspects. Enough to have more than 1 archetypal bleed build, I'd imagine.

Outro & Summary

Well, that's all I can muster for an overview / summary of Diablo 4's Barbarian, for now at least!

Some important related links for D4 Barbarian:

Obviously, there's still a lot more to Barbarian, but I hope you gained some more knowledge here. I'll definitely add more as time goes by! And if you're here to answer if you should choose a Barbarian, with luck you've made your decision!

Some other related reading: