(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
Like every game in the series before it, Diablo 4 features multiple distinct classes for players to pick from when building their character. The latest installment in Blizzard's hack-and-slash ARPG franchise as five, with each one sporting unique strengths, weaknesses, mechanics, and capabilities.
Every class in Diablo 4 is powerful and can enjoy great success on the battlefield, but some are a bit stronger than others overall. Also, depending on how you like to play, you might enjoy some classes more than others. To help you choose one to play during the May 12-14 Server Slam, we've broken down everything you need to know about each one. This includes a tier list of the best classes, an overview of each class, and some class suggestions for beginners and solo players.
Diablo 4 beta: Best class tier list
As we said before, Diablo 4 has been balanced so that all of its playable classes are effective. There is no "bad class," and ultimately, you shouldn't worry about the metagame at all and should simply choose the class that sounds the most fun to play.
With that said, some classes are slightly better than others, and players comfortable with all playstyles will likely want to opt for the best overall class. With that in mind, we've ranked each class in the tier list below.
|A||Sorcerer, Rogue, Druid|
Don't feel discouraged if the class you want to play as isn't in the highest tier. Even the Barbarian, the class that's generally considered the weakest, is very capable — especially since Blizzard gave it a flat 10% base damage resistance buff before the Diablo 4 Server Slam beta went live that makes them quite resilient.
Diablo 4 beta: Which class should you play?
Here, we'll go over the ins and outs of each class to give you an idea of what to expect while using them.
- Strengths: Lots of health, mobile, forgiving to play
- Weaknesses: Short range, not as deadly as other classes
The Barbarian is Diablo 4's tanky and straightforward melee class, capable of dishing out good close-range damage and staying on top of foes with high movement speed. They can deal damage-over-time with Bleed status effects and also have plenty of health and 10% damage resistance, making them easier to play than other classes in most situations. Their unique class mechanic is the Arsenal system, which allows you to equip multiple weapons and assign them to individual skills for unique stat bonuses. The resource Barbarians use for their most powerful skills is Fury, which is rapidly gained while attacking with basic attacks and slowly lost when out of combat.
Barbarians will struggle more than other classes when facing enemies at a distance, as the Barbarian skill tree doesn't feature effective ranged options. Their damage output, while good, is also a bit lower than what some other classes are capable of.
- Strengths: Versatile, high crit damage, lots of status effects
- Weaknesses: Not very resilient, challenging to play
Rogues are one of the most versatile classes in Diablo 4, as they can attack enemies from afar with bows or up close with daggers. They're capable of dealing huge critical damage, and can also imbue their weapons with magic or lay deadly traps to inflict various status effects. Rogue's can begin choosing class-exclusive Specializations once they reach level 15, too, which are essentially bonus mechanics that change how your skills interact with one another. For example, the Combo Points Specialization lets you build up combo points as you repeatedly hit an enemy with your basic attacks, which are then spent when you use a core skill like Flurry or Barrage.
Rogues use Energy as their primary resource, which is slowly regenerated over time. However, certain abilities and talents on the Rogue skill tree improve its regeneration rate or give you a certain amount of Energy points back when used, increasing your uptime with powerful abilities that require it.
Rogues are fairly difficult to play compared to other classes, so you may want to start with an easier class like the Barbarian first if you're new to Diablo. This is because they don't have a ton of health, and also because managing your skills and Energy efficiently is very important as a Rogue.
- Strengths: High damage, long range, lots of status effects
- Weaknesses: Low health, less effective up close
Sorcerers (or Sorceresses) are essentially the opposite of a Barbarian, as they have low health, but are capable of very high ranged magic damage. Even though they can't take much punishment, they're a great class for careful solo players since they can crowd control groups of enemies very effectively with their spells. Frost spells are particularly effective for this since they Chill whatever they hit, slowing targets down considerably. Fire spells are fantastic for area-of-effect damage and inflicting the damage-over-time Burn effect, while Lightning spells deal tons of damage when you get critical hits with them.
The Sorcerer's class-specific resource is Mana, which is similar to Rogue Energy in that it comes back over time and can be regenerated faster by using certain skills and talents. Careful Mana management is crucial for Sorcerers, as using too much too quickly could leave you unable to use the best spells from the Sorcerer skill tree when you need them.
Notably, Sorcerers are one of the best additions to co-op teams since frontline classes like Barbarians and melee-focused Rogues can absorb punishment or draw aggro away from them. This significantly mitigates the Sorcerer's only weakness, making it easy for them to nuke targets from a distance.
- Strengths: Balanced playstyle, armies of minions
- Weaknesses: Not as specialized as other classes
The Necromancer has historically been an S-tier class since it's incredibly versatile and doesn't have significant drawbacks. They're capable of both ranged and melee combat, can summon armies of undead minions that draw aggro, and even wield Bone, Shadow, and Blood magic that can be used to crowd control groups and convert damage into health.
Thanks to the wide array of diverse abilities on the Necromancer skill tree, it's the most adaptable class in the game by design. This makes them strong in any situation, including both single and multiplayer. Note that Necromancers are arguably the best class for solo play since they don't have any major weaknesses.
The only real downside of the Necromancer class is that it's not as specialized as something like the Barbarian or Sorcerer. Ultimately, this class trades maximum potential for versatility, and that tradeoff will be worth it in most situations.
- Strengths: Versatile, fairly resilient, good at crowd control
- Weaknesses: Limited ranged options
The Druid is similar to the Barbarian in that the class' focus is, for the most part, melee damage. Druids can shapeshift into (or between) Werewolf and Werebear forms, with the former boasting high attack speed and crit damage and the latter offering more area-of-effect options and a larger health pool. Druids are also a bit more resilient than some of the other classes in general, and while they're generally not quite as tanky as a Barbarian, you can still soak up a ton of damage with a build centered around your Werebear form.
There are limited options for ranged combat in the Druid skill tree, but the class can call upon the powers of nature to damage and crowd control foes with Earth, Wind, and Lightning magic. Even so, don't expect to be able to snipe or nuke enemies quite as effectively as Rogues and Sorcerers can.
Overall, the Druid's shapeshifting abilities and nature magic make them a fairly versatile class, especially in close-quarters combat. They're a little tougher to play than a Barbarian since there's more to their gameplay loop than simply slashing at everything in sight, but they're arguably more effective thanks to their diverse array of skills.
Diablo 4 beta: Best class for solo play
If you're playing through the Diablo 4 beta alone, we recommend choosing the Necromancer, the Sorcerer, or the Barbarian. Since Necromancers have access to powerful ranged and melee abilities and can spawn squads of allied undead soldiers, they'll perform excellently as a solo play class. Alternatively, if you're comfortable with carefully managing your health and positioning, you'll be able to obliterate your foes from afar with the Sorcerer's incredibly powerful magic attacks.
Barbarians are worth considering as well, as they have good defenses and can take a lot of punishment thanks to their high health pool. This helps offset the numbers disadvantage solo players have to contend with. Druids are a solid pick for solo play, too, as some of their skills allow them to call upon wolves and other creatures as battle companions.
Diablo 4 beta: Best class for beginners
If you're new to Diablo and games like it, you should start out as a Barbarian. While other classes do have some better damage options, they also have less health and will go down faster than a Barbarian will. Additionally, Barbarians also take 10% less damage than other classes, potentially allowing you to survive in situations that you'd die in otherwise. While you're learning the ropes, it's a very good idea to opt for the simplest and most forgiving class of the bunch.
The Druid is a good beginner class as well. Compared to Barbarians, they trade some tankiness for shapeshifting and some ranged crowd control magic, though they're still fairly resilient. If you want good defenses but don't want to be locked into the melee-only playstyle, consider picking Druid.
There's also a case to be made for choosing the Necromancer. While they're a bit squishier than Barbarians and Druids and will be a bit harder to play as a result, they can equip a shield, and the ability to summon armies of undead minions has always been incredibly powerful in the Diablo series. This is because your summons can help take pressure off of you as you learn how to play.
Diablo 4 is slated to fully launch on June 6, 2023, with the Server Slam scheduled to run from May 12-14. It has the potential to be one of the best Xbox games for fans of dungeon crawlers and hack-and-slash combat, and we can't wait to jump into the full experience.