With the release of the Ultimate Evil edition of Reaper of Souls earlier this week, many players may be exploring Diablo III for the first time or returning to the game after not playing since the core game’s PC release in 2012. With that in mind, we’ve gathered together some of the most important tips for leveling at an impressive pace.

We’re purposefully focusing here on smart practices for playing the game well, especially if you’re new to the game. If you’re looking for power-leveling exploits, many of which involve repeating certain tasks over and over, other online guides are likely to be a better resource.  Also, while our guide here is targeted towards players of the new console release, most of the strategies below work equally well on PC. 

Start A Hero, and Stick With It

One of the most enjoyable ways to play Diablo III is through exploring alternate characters and their powers. However, once you settle on a character class, play him or her all the way up to the end of the campaign before investing too much time in alts. While you’re at it, consider taking that initial main hero all the way to level 70. 

Why? There are lots of reasons. Higher difficulty settings don’t unlock until you’re partway through the main campaign, and you’ll want those higher difficulty options for some of our later tips. Adventure mode doesn’t unlock until at least one character has finished the campaign storyline. A level 70 hero allows you to start developing your paragon levels, which carry over to new alts, giving those new characters a boost from the start. Plus, level 70 characters have access to the best gems, which can be shared with your low-level alts as soon as they begin acquiring socketed items, which can make a big difference in speeding up progression.

Play Together

This somewhat obvious point bears mentioning if you’re new to the game. Diablo III can be fun on your own, but the fun is magnified with more players. In fact, Blizzard provides an XP boost that increases with each new player that joins the party. Beyond that simple boost, every aspect of the game is easier with more players, and you’ll simply move through the game faster. And have more fun.

The other big reason to play together (or at least be on other player’s friends list) involves the new social features of the Ultimate Evil Edition. Player mail lets you share items with other players; while that might not be common practice among strangers, good friends can send each other aid to support the leveling drive. More friends also adds up to more opportunities to get nemeses from your friend’s game (which drop good loot) and for that friend to receive a special gift targeted to your account, which they can then send to your mailbox. 

Capitalize On Apprentice Mode

The new, currently console-exclusive apprentice mode is a blast for a lot of reasons, but it’s also a ridiculously fast way to advance a hero. If playing with a group of friends, figure out which member of your party has the highest level hero, and request that they play that character while you’re grouped up. 

The other heroes in the group will see their stats boosted to an appropriate level to survive, even if the absence of higher level skills and gear won’t make them quite as powerful as the mentor character. The high level character helps assure the speedy dispatch of monsters, while the apprentices soak up the increased rate of XP and gear.

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