Do you need to play Diablo 3 before Diablo 4?

Do you need to play Diablo 3 before Diablo 4?
Images via Blizzard

Written by 

Joshua Boyles


24th May 2023 16:54


Diablo 4 is upon us, but fans of the series may be wondering if they need to play Diablo 3 again before the new release. Whether you’re a seasoned Diablo player or a newcomer to the series, the story of Diablo 4 is an exciting aspect of the game to dig into. Not only that, but there are plenty of gameplay mechanics that players might want to get used to before jumping into the new release.

But does the story directly follow from Diablo 3, and do you need to play the last game in the series before Diablo 4? Keep reading to find out.

Does Diablo 4 take place after 3?

Diablo 4 characters standing around a campfire
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In terms of the story, Diablo 4 takes place after the events of Diablo 3. However, there is a time gap of at least 30 years. This means that, while the effects of the Diablo 3 ending are felt in the world, the story in Diablo 4 is very fresh. There aren’t any returning characters that you’ll need to know about, nor does the plot follow on in a super meaningful way.

Diablo 4’s independency from Diablo 3 keeps with tradition from the franchise. When Diablo 3 was released, it was also playable independently from the first two Diablo games. While the newest addition to the franchise bears more similarities with Diablo 2, there’s no real need to play the recent remaster either.

Can you transfer a character from Diablo 3 to Diablo 4?

A barbarian in the character creation tool of Diablo 4
Click to enlarge

No, you can’t transfer a character that you created in Diablo 3 to Diablo 4. While we would absolutely love to take our heroes out on another adventure, the gameplay and class systems of Diablo 4 are vastly different to the ones in the game that precedes it.

As such, Blizzard wants everyone to have a clean reset when Diablo 4 launches. You’ll need to pick a new starting class from one of the five available at launch. Thankfully, the character customisation is extremely deep, so you should be able to create a character that’s similar to your old one anyway. Even so, don’t play Diablo 3 before Diablo 4 if you’re looking to port a character over.

How is Diablo 4 different from Diablo 3?

A rogue character in Diablo 4
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There are several huge differences between Diablo 4 and Diablo 3, most of which further indicate that you don’t need to play the last game before the new one.

Firstly, Diablo 4 is a much more slow-paced game. While movement and active skill cooldowns would reset almost instantaneously in Diablo 3, combat moves must now be used much more strategically in Diablo 4.

In addition, the art style of Diablo 4 is much gloomier this time around, with a muddy colour palette that differentiates itself from Diablo 3. This brings with it much more gory depictions of violence and a darker tone, so playing Diablo 3 before Diablo 4 might actually give players a bit of a shock.

Finally, Diablo 4 is much more like an MMO. Featuring an open world and always online features, Diablo 4 has plenty of new additions that will make playing with friends more enjoyable. While it was fun to go dungeon-delving in Diablo 3, Diablo 4 has a lot more on offer.

Should you play Diablo 3 before Diablo 4?

One of the major characters in Diablo 4 flaoting with light tendrils emnating from him
Click to enlarge

From what we know so far, there is absolutely no need to play Diablo 3 before playing Diablo 4. The two games feature a very different style of gameplay, and the stories don’t overlap. This means that if you were to jump into Diablo 4 without having played Diablo 3, you won’t be missing very much at all.

So, now you know that you don’t need to play Diablo 3 before Diablo 4. For more Diablo guides, keep reading GGRecon.

Joshua Boyles
About the author
Joshua Boyles
Joshua is the Guides Editor at GGRecon. After graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Broadcast Journalism, he previously wrote for publications such as FragHero and GameByte. You can often find him diving deep into fantasy RPGs such as Skyrim and The Witcher, or tearing it up in Call of Duty and Battlefield. He's also often spotted hiking in the wilderness, usually blasting Arctic Monkeys.
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