Diablo 4 release date, beta, trailers, gameplay, and features
Want to know the Diablo 4 release date and all the latest news? The upcoming entry in the demon-slaying action RPG series has many teasers and trailers. They showcase the various classes we can use to take on the hordes of monsters that block the way between the horned lord of the underworld and, well, us.
The roster of playable Diablo 4 classes includes transforming druids, spell-flinging wizards, and somersaulting rogues. Each class has unique combat skills to weave through every shambling zombie, skittering demon, and colossal terror that awaits you in these dank, hallowed halls. So far, so familiar, but that’s hardly going to upset the series’ devoted fans. One thing is for certain; when the RPG does release, it’s bound to be making a push for our best PC games list.
Join us as we break the seal and delve deeper into the deepest dungeons of Diablo 4. We’ll be fishing through every chest to salvage everything we know, from the Diablo 4 release date and its story so far to new gameplay systems and other details unearthed along the way.
Diablo 4 release date
The official Diablo 4 release date is June 6, 2023. However, you can play the game four days early, on June 2, if you preorder the ultimate or digital deluxe editions.
The release date’s announcement came during The Game Awards 2022, and also confirmed that players will get access to the beta if they preorder the game. However, we first saw the RPG game announced during Blizzcon 2019, where we witnessed the resurrection of Lilith, the new big bad demon of the series.
Diablo 4 beta dates
The open Diablo 4 beta ran from 24 – 26 March. The closed beta is now over and was only available to those who have pre-purchased Diablo 4, while the open beta weekend was open to everybody. Players were widely running into one of the many Diablo 4 error codes during its early hours but eventually got a chance to play as the Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue, and Sorcerer.
Activision Blizzard has since announced some open beta sweepstakes, offering lucky winners the chance to have their faces immortalised within the Diablo mural displayed in the Chapelle de Jésuites cathedral in Cambrai, France. All you have to do is opt-in and reach level 25 in the beta to be entered into the Cathedral of Diablo sweepstakes, held between March 6 to 26.
The open beta follows after a series of closed beta tests in the past, with the previous Diablo 4 betas apparently happening in November 2022. Fans who attended an event to get a “free Diablo flash tattoo” also received a card which granted them access to an upcoming beta and a free copy of the final game. It’s currently unclear if this promotion will continue to hand out these cards for the rest of the tour.
Additionally, we also know an internal beta test has already happened. Some leaks sparked discussions on smart loot and trading between players, as well as showing off some more of the gameplay. We also saw the Diablo 4 beta installation appear in the Battle.net launcher.
This wouldn’t be the first time we got an early look at a new Diablo game before release. The Diablo Immortal PC open beta went live in June 2022, while the Diablo 2 Resurrected open beta was the last in a string of test builds in 2021. Given that Diablo 4 is a fully open-world game, multiple beta tests to ensure multiplayer works as intended seem likely. In addition to the beta, there will also be a Diablo 4 endgame beta for players to test the post-campaign content.
Activision Blizzard has since confirmed that anyone who pre-orders Diablo 4 will gain early access to the open beta, regardless of which edition they choose. If you’re curious about what each edition of Diablo 4 contains, we’ve got the lowdown on the Diablo 4 pre-order bonuses, from cosmetics to an accelerated battle pass.
Diablo 4 microtransactions
A recent blog post from Activision Blizzard confirms that Diablo 4 will have microtransactions, explaining that the cosmetics will be “grounded within Diablo’s world”. Players can mix and match these cosmetic items with their “transmogs from armours acquired in-game for endless customisation options”. Some of these cosmetics are exclusive to specific classes, and others will appear in the seasonal Diablo 4 battle pass, celebrating the theme of that given season with similar looks across all classes.
Activision Blizzard also confirms that the “best-looking items” aren’t exclusive to the shop and that no items available via microtransactions have any bearing on gameplay. Regular expansions are also coming throughout the game’s lifespan. Oh, and in case you were worried, there is currently no confirmation that the auction house will return in Diablo 4. A survey was later sent by Activision Blizzard showing some potential microtransaction options.
Diablo 4 trailers
Along with the initial announcement, Activision Blizzard gave us a cinematic Diablo 4 trailer, showing a band of thieves trying to break into a sacred tomb while being chased by monsters. While three of the thieves narrowly make it into the inner chambers, someone is left behind, but it doesn’t take long for them to realise they shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately, everything goes south very quickly as a wicked conjurer uses the blood of the three to summon the ‘daughter of hatred’, Lilith, into the world.
A further Diablo 4 cinematic trailer aired during The Game Awards 2022, depicting Inarius, Archangel of the High Heavens, facing down Lilith and her encroaching army of demons with his own servile bulwark of Pale Knights. The trailer culminates with Inarius hurling his spear at Lilith, while proclaiming that he has returned to hell for her.
The entire opening cinematic was released during IGN Fan Fest, giving players a sneak peek at how the game begins, as well as showing off the fact that custom characters can be included in high-quality cutscenes.
A live-action trailer was released to celebrate the launch of the Diablo 4 closed beta, featuring a 160-foot mural painted on the ceiling of the deconsecrated Chapelle de Jésuites cathedral in Cambrai, France. According to the behind the scenes featurette, the mural comprises 20 canvas paintings that took a month for artist Adam Miller and his team to create.
Diablo 4 gameplay
PCGamesN recently had some hands-on time with the game, so you can check out the Diablo 4 gameplay preview to learn what to expect in the first few hours.
Instead of the usual chapter-based progression, Diablo 4 is open-world, so players will need to travel between hubs. Surprisingly, Activision Blizzard confirms no loading screens between dungeons and the overworld. Since everything will be far away, you can ride on horses and attack foes while mounted. You may also find shortcuts by jumping off ledges.
The open-world structure allows players to join each other at any time in the same world via co-op or PvP. As outlined in the Diablo 4 gameplay preview, the world of Sanctuary is split into five major regions, each based on a real location. Activision Blizzard also confirms that Diablo 4 will have cross-play support across all platforms so you can explore them together.
With the large open world comes the need to fill it with quests and hidden treasures. Diablo 4 Strongholds are settlements filled with enemies you must slay to capture the territory. Once you do, if you come back later in the game, you’ll find either a friendly town filled with helpful NPCs, a dungeon waiting for you to plunder its secrets or something else entirely. And yes, we can confirm that you can pet the dog.
Players can also participate in Diablo 4 public events without partying up. One of these events features a gargantuan monster holding a bulky chest bursting with treasure to unlock when you kill its holder. Speaking of Diablo 4 monsters, they now have families that may be visually different but have common themes, such as being a ranged fighter.
Activision Blizzard has extensive plans for Diablo 4 customisation. You can create your personalised character for the first time in the main series, as opposed to the pre-rendered characters of the past. You can also tinker with skill slots, taking advantage of the three new powers: angelic, demonic, and ancestral. Each of these new stats has its effect and is a prerequisite for item affixes.
Diablo 4 has five classes: Druid, Sorceress, Rogue, Barbarian, and Necromancer. In addition, classes now have multiple play styles, which should make for some diverse Diablo 4 builds. For example, the Rogue can excel as an assassin-like class or as a ranged crossbow user.
There are also many things to do during Diablo 4 endgame, with normal dungeons being converted for high-level play after you complete the last mission of the Diablo 4 campaign. On top of this, Activision Blizzard confirms that it plans to support Diablo 4 for several years with game updates, expansions, and ladders.
It wouldn’t be a Diablo game without an extensive Diablo 4 loot system with some hugely desirable Diablo 4 mythic items to seek out. Thankfully, Activision Blizzard has confirmed that the Diablo 4 damage numbers will be tempered somewhat, resulting in a cleaner UI that’s a bit easier on the eye at higher levels.
We’ve known about including multiplayer since the first official gameplay trailer. You can either play in co-op or turn on each other in Diablo 4 PvP to plunder treasure for yourself. Scattered worldwide, you enter The Plains of Hatred areas when you get a message proclaiming that your character is “overcome by Mephisto”. While it’s entirely optional whether you express this ‘hatred’ towards other player-controlled characters, your rewards for killing them, or the local monsters are shards you can refine to complete challenges. However, be careful, as unruly adventurers can pluck unrefined shards from you.
Diablo 4 skills
One system that’s getting a bit of an overhaul is the Diablo 4 skill tree. Activision Blizzard has said that “players will not be able to acquire every Skill Tree node,” and that they’re “currently aiming for 30~40% of the nodes filled in for endgame so that players can have very distinct and different ways they build out their character.”
So what’s the skill tree like in Diablo 4? Well, for starters, it’s an actual tree rather than an abstract approximation of one that most games have. Active skills branch out, while passive upgrades spread through the tree’s roots. You get separate skill points and passive points to spend in each section.
Classes have their unique mechanics. The sorceress currently has an enchantment system that lets you allocate active skills into the passive enchantment slots. An example of this is the meteor spell; when equipped as an enchantment, you periodically drop meteors on enemies automatically rather than actively casting the spell. We also now know that skills are tied to weapon damage.
The recently announced rogue class has access to multiple class specialisations, all of which require the completion of unique quests. These specialisations allow a rogue to gain one of three skills to augment their ranged or melee combat with special effects. For example, Shadow Realm creates a dark void in which the rogue can isolate and eliminate targets without their mates interrupting.
Diablo 4 design
Given that Diablo is a series about battering demons and a whole bunch of medieval Christian iconography, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that there is a heavy influence in Diablo 4’s art style by art from the medieval and Renaissance eras. In a recent interview with Diablo 4’s art director, John Mueller, he cites Frank Frazetta as one such inspiration as “his paintings reminded me of old European works – the subject matter was very different and visceral, but the technique and the way that surfaces were treated really did feel like those Old Masters paintings”.
That’s everything about the Diablo 4 release date. While we wait for the gates of hell to open once more, there’s still time to dive back into previous games in the series. Diablo 2 Resurrected is now available, and you can check out our Diablo 2 Resurrected beginner’s guide to help you get started. Finally, check out our explainer article if you want the latest information on the Activision Blizzard lawsuit.