Combat for Diablo 2 focuses on the basic and advanced combat mechanics of the game. From indicating the usage of the various Weapons that can be equipped, battle movements, player and Enemy combat details, and many more. 


Combat in Diablo 2

Basic information


Health determines the amount of Hit Points your character has and is the amount of damage he or she can endure before being killed. It is directly related to the Vitality stat. 

When health reaches zero, the player dies and respawn at the last visited town. You equipment will be dropped at the location of your death and should be picked up in order to re-equip it. 

To prevent dying, the player can use Potions to restore missing health.


Stamina determines your character fatigue and energy. You spend Stamina by running around and it will replenish if you stop for a second. You can also fill your Stamina meter by consuming a Stamina Potion. You won't be able to run anymore once the Stamina meter is depleted. The amount of Stamina a character has is determined by his or her Vitality.


Mana is the energy source your character uses in order to use Skills. This can be replenished by consuming a Mana Potion. When your Mana pool, reaches 0, you can't cast any Skill that requires Mana in order to be executed.

Mana regeneration is in charge of the automatic regeneration of this resource, up to its maximum. Some items or Skills such as Warmth, give a permament passive boost to mana regeneration.


Killing monsters grant you experience that allow you to level up your character. Once you level up, you earn 5 points that can be allocated in the four main attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality and Energy; and also earn 1 Skill point to acquire a new Skill or upgrade one you already heave. 

If there's a small level difference between you and the monster (5 levels or less), you receive 100% of that monster's experience points upon killing it. As the level difference increases, you will receive less experience points.  


If your health points reach 0, you will inevitably die. Dying has several effects on your character. First and foremost, your corpse will stay where you died and you will spawn in the latest town you have visited, without any equipment. You will also lose a percentage of the gold you were carrying. 

Dying in Nightmare or Hell difficulties causes you to lose experience each time you die. This, however, will never lead you to lose a level. Your experience loss is 5% in Nightmare and 10% in Hell per death. If the final blow that kills your character comes from a Hostile player, you won't lose any experience.


To recover the items and equipment you character had before dying, you must reach your character's corpse back to the location where your character died and loot it back. If your character dies before reaching out their corpse, they will leave a new corpse, but the old one will remain. Your character can die many times leaving out multiple corpses around. If the player restarts the game, the most recent corpse will appear in the town level, but the rest of the corpses will disappear, and all the items stored in them will be lost. If you are playing online and get suddenly disconnected right after your character died, you will be able to find your corpse in the same place in the next server you connect. You don't necesarely have to enter the same server to recover your equipment. 

Hardcore Mode

In Hardcore Mode death is permanent, the character dies and it cannot respawn. The player won't be able to play with that same character ever again.

In Hardcore Mode players have the option to allow Corpse Looting meaning that if the die, other Hardcore players (Only Hardcore Players) will be able to loot the corpse of the Hardcore player that allowed Corpse Looting and steal their equipment. Otherwise, if a Hardcore player's character dies, the equipment will be lost forever.

Offensive stats

Attack Rating

Attack rating can be found on the Character Screen and it shows the percentage chance that you will hit the targeted monster. If you Attack Rating is too low, your attacks will more often than not, miss. You can increase your attack rating by increasing your Dexterity or by equipping magic items that provide bonuses to it.

The chance to hit formula is as follows:

Chance To Hit = 200% * {Attacker's Attack Rating / (Attacker's Attack Rating + Defender's Defense Rating)} * {Attacker's level / (Attacker's level + Defender's level)}

Note that this same formula can be applied to all three attack scenarios. Player vs Player, Player vs. Monster and Monster vs. Player. The chance to hit is capped in a way that it can not be lower than 5% or higher than 95%.


Blind is a combat mechanic that appears as a Chance on Hit mod on several items as well as Runes. The game will roll for the chance for Crushing Blow to ocurr on every eligible melee or ranged attack. If the effect does occur, it deals an effect similiar than that of the Necromancer's Dim Vision, reducing the range at which mosnters will attack you. This formula is the one that the game does everytime you are about to inflict Blind:

Chance To Blind = 50 + 5 * (Attacker Level + ((Bonus - 1) * 4)) - Defender Level)

Bonus is the total level chance to blind granted by your items. Unless you have an item with the bonus, this value is 0.

Keep in mind that the total chance to blind is divided by 3 in ranged attacks and, this stat does not affect Unique Monsters, Hirelings, other players anda Act-end bosses.

Crushing Blow

Crushing Blow is a combat mechanic that appears as a Chance on Hit mod on several items. The game will roll for the chance for Crushing Blow to ocurr on every eligible melee or ranged attack. If the effect does occur, it reduces the attack's target health by a measured percentage. 

Crushing Blow reduces the current remaining Life of the target by 1/4 for melee attacks and 1/8 for ranged attacks on common Enemies. This varies according to the target.
On player or Hirelings, melee attacks deal 1/10 and ranged attacks deal 1/20
On Champion, Unique or Bosses, melee attacks deal 1/8 and ranged attacks deal 1/16.

Crushing Blow is most effective when the target is at high life, and becomes less and less useful as the target's health starts to decrease. It is imporatnt to note that, Crushing Blow is not limited to a maximum of 50% health reduction in Hell difficulty. 

Crushing Blow is less effective when there are more players in the game. For example if there are four players the monster's health is multiplied by 4, but the melee attack will only remove 1/16 of the health. 

It is possible to get up to 100% chance for a Crushing Blow. You get one chance on each swing, and your chances from your individual items are added together.

Amplify Damage and Decrepify do not affect Crushing Blow, beyond reducing the Enemies physical resistance to zero.

Deadly Strike

Deadly Strike is a combat mechanic that appears as a Chance on Hit mod on several items. The game will roll for the chance for Deadly Strike to ocurr on every eligible melee or ranged attack. If the effect does occur, your character deals double damage with that attack.

Critical Strike and Deadly Strike have the same mechanics, but only  one of them can be triggered on any given attack. Skills that convert Physical damage to a different type of damage. Like BerserkLightning Bolt or Fists of Fire, do so after Deadly Strike or Critical Strike are applied, so the converted damage is doubled.

Sources of Deadly Strike stack, except from a Weapon which is not used to inflict that particular blow. This only applies to duel-wielding Assassins or Barbarians

Ignore Defense

Ignore target's defense is an Item mod that alters the chance to hit formula by removing the target's defense from it. This makes the level difference between the attacker and defender as the only impact on your chance to hit.

Chance To Hit = 200% * {Attacker's Level / (Attacker's Level+ Defender's level)}

As is the case with blind, this stat does not affect other players, Hirelings, Unique monsters and Act-end Bosses.

Life Steal

Life steal is a combat mechanic in which you gain Life on each succesful attack based on a percenteage modifier and the damage you deal. It is governed by the following formula:

Total Leech = Total Physical Damage * (Leech%) * (Penalty) * (Drain Effectiveness)

Your Leech % is thr summed total of all your "Percent Life stolen" mods either from gear or Skills. The penalty is a percent modifier solely based on difficulty. Drain effectiveness is a multiplier stat that each monster type has, and is also based on difficulty. 

Open Wounds

Open Wounds is a combat mechanic that appears as a Chance on Hit mod on several items. The game will roll for the chance for Open Wounds to ocurr on every eligible melee or ranged attack. If the effect does occur, it causes the monster to bleed, causing them to lose health for 8 seconds. Item modifiers for Open Wounds tend to stack, unless a character is wielding two Weapons. The chances do not corss betweeen them.

The amount of health the monster loses is scaled with the player's level. It does about 800 damage over 8 seconds at level 50. If Open Wounds is triggered by a ranged attack, the bleed damage is divided by 2.
If it is targeted  on a player, the bleed damage is divided by 4 for a melee attack and by 8 for a ranged attack.
If it is targeted on Unique or Bosses, the bleed damage is divided by 2 for melee attacks and by 4 for a ranged attack.

Once Open Wounds has been inflicted upon an Enemy, said monster can't regenerate health while the effect of Open Wounds is active.

Slows Target

Slows target is a combat mechanic that appears as an item mod on some Unique, Set or Runewords items. It also appears on the Skills Clay GolemDecrepify and Holy Freeze. Every successful attack will slow the target's attack and run/walk speed by the announced percentage for a fixed duration. It is similar to the effect of cold damage.

This effect works on all monsters, but it is capped between 50% and 85% on some of them. On players, this effect caps at 50%.

Defensive Stats


Absorption is a combat mechanic that may appear as an item mod  on some Unique, Set or Runewords items. There are three types of absorption, one for each of the related direct damage element types. (Cold, Fire and Lightning). The effect will stop the listed percentage  or fixed damage, then after that, heal you for the amount absorbed.

Note that absorption is a two-stage effect. First absorb, then heal. So if an attack were to reduce your health below zero after the absorb BUT before the heal part, you will still die. 

Keep in mind that damage absorption takes places after Resistances are applied. That's the only interaction between absorption and resistances. 

Finally, absorption can be found in two different forms: Fixed value or percentage based. The latter is much more rare and arguably most valuable against high-damage attacks.

Block Rating

Block rating is the combat mechanic that determines the chance to fully block an attack, mitigating all damage from that attack.


Your Defense Rating determines your chances of being hit by an attacking enemy. The higher this parameter, the less likely that an enemy will be able to land an attack succesfully. Note that this will NOT protect against magical attacks, which will always hit, assuming they make contact with your character. 

All types of Armor contribute to your total defense rating. There is also a level difference effect in determining chance to be hit. Monsters whose level is higher than yours will have an increased chance to hit you compared to thosee at your current level.


There are four main elemental attacks in Diablo 2: Cold, Fire, Lightning and Poison. Each Class can resist, or reduce damage from them by using items or Skills. Bone-based attacks and Curses are not considered elemental attacks, so these resistances don't apply against them.

For melee characters, such as the Barbarian or the Paladin, it is imperative to wear resistance-providing equipment all the time, as they are the least likely to avoid elemental attacks.

Your base resistance levels are determined by the game's difficulty:
Normal Difficulty: 0
Nightmare Difficulty: -40
Hell Difficulty: -100

-100 is the minimum resistance value and can not be lowered further. On the other hand, the default maximum resistance is 75%, although with certain items you can raise that number as high as 95%. Keep in mind that you can never become totally immune to elemental attacks with Resistances alone.

Lightning Resistance

Lightning resistance comes in handy against Lightning-Enchanted Unique Enemies. Each time you hit one of these Enemies, a Charged Bolt is released to each of the four corners of the screen. The more you hit the moster, the more amount of Charged Bolt it releases. Lightning enchanted monsters tend to be incredibly deadly, specially if they pair this ability with another immunity.

Fire Resistance

Fire resistance can be considered the most "common" of the elemental resistances, as many Enemies durinf the course of the game employ fire attacks.

Poison Resistance

When you are poisoned, both your character and your life orb turn green. During that time, the poison drains your hit points away. If you consume an Antidote Potion you will be cured from Poison immediately. Some magical items can reduce how long you are poisoned or how much damage Poison attacks deal to you. Since melee characters are in the fray of battle, they are more susceptible to Poison Attacks than ranged ones. 

Cold Resistance

Cold-Enchanted unique Enemies deal Cold Damage, as well as other monsters during certain acts. These attacks may chill your character, causing it move and attack much more slowly. You can use  Thawing Potion to remove the effects of Cold, allowing you to move again.

When they die, certain Cold-Enchanted monsters trigger and explosive Frost Nova.

The magical ability Half freeze duration, halves chill length. Keep in mind that this reduction is only applied once, so having multiple items with this ability equipped, will not lower chill length further. Cannot be frozen, is the best protection against chill, setting the duration to 0.

Magic Resistance

Even though Magic Resistance, is not displayed on the Character Screen, each character has a Magic Resistance. The base is 0 for normal, Nightmare and Hell difficulties. The only item that can adjust this resistance is a Crafted Safety Shield with 5% - 10% Magic Resistance. The Rune word Oath, can also modify the amount of damage taken through absorption.

Physical Resistance

This resistance lowers the damage received by Physical attacks. It is also not displayed on the Character Screen. It is displayed on items as "Damage taken reduced by x%", and Amplify Damage lowers this by 100%, Decrepify by 50%.

How does Absorption work?

After Straight Magical Damage Reduce and Resistances modified the damage done, Absorb first heals a player/hireling, then reduces the damage done. Since it heals first, the double reduction rule only counts when a player or hireling is not at full life. 

The complete list of all damage modifiations are calculated in this order:

  • Energy Shield
  • Bone Armor and Cyclone Armor
  • Damage Reduction and Magic Damage Reduction
  • Resitances
  • % Absorb
  • Direct Absorb


By entering in a open game, you can play in multiplayer with other players. By default, players cannot attack each other, but a player can decide to become hostile against another player by clicking on the two swords icon. Players in hostility can attack each other and engage into PVP (Player vs Player). PVP mechanics work generally the same as fighting against a monster, but there are a changes in how abilities work.

Abilities Changes

These changes are considered by players that are interested in making a Build for PVP.

  • For detailed information about Player vs Player rules and mechanics, visit PVP.
  • If you are interested in making a Build for PVP, visit Builds

Gameplay Changes (Patch 2.4)

  • Hit Block cannot be applied while your character is at a skill pre-cast animation but Block will still trigger at the post cast animation.
  • Attack Speed for duel-wielding weapons is determined differently now. Swapping weapons between hands will no longer result in different attack speeds.
  • Hit Recovery will now have diminishing returns when being hit by another player.


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