Diablo 3 Class Guide, Best Builds, Tips for Diablo 3 on Nintendo Switch

Diablo 3 Class Guide, Best Builds, Tips for Diablo 3 on Nintendo Switch

Need help picking and specializing your hero in Diablo 3? This guide features different builds per class to help inspire you, whether you're playing on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC or Nintendo Switch.

Diablo 3 might have only just arrived on Nintendo Switch near the end of 2018, but it's been knocking around on PS4 and Xbox One for a few years now. In this complete Diablo 3 guide, we'll be walking you through everything to know if you're only just heading into Blizzard's game for the very first time, including a Diablo 3 class guide, and much more.

If you were lucky enough to pick up Diablo 3 Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch you’ll want to redeem your exclusive Ganondorf armor. For details on getting the Diablo 3 Ganondorf armor on Nintendo Switch, head here.

Diablo 3 Tips

Diablo 3 is a game that’s simple to grasp at first but tricky to master. You’ll definitely want to make the most of your first few hours in Diablo 3, so keeping a few things in mind when starting out is definitely worth your time. Read on for some tips for Diablo 3 beginners, so you can jump into the game on Nintendo Switch and not be completely useless for the first few hours of play.

Check equipment stats: Diablo III's green and red arrows are useful short-hand for whether or not a weapon is an improvement, but it shouldn't always be taken as gospel. Some items offer excellent perks that go well beyond ordinary stats, such as huge bonuses to XP, life regeneration, and individual skills. Sometimes it's better to keep the weapon that improves your favorite skill by 10 percent than it is to take the one that improves one stat by five percent.

Pay attention to the stats for each class: Each class has a different preferred stat. Demon Hunters and Monks favor the Dexterity stat. Witch Doctors and Wizards favor the Intelligence stat. Barbarians and Crusaders favor the Strength stat. For best results, choose the weapons and armor that improve the stats that correspond to your chosen class.

Be smart about attack speed:

Attack Speed is no longer the be all, end all stat that it was in the vanilla version of Diablo III, but it's still a useful piece of information. Generally, you want higher attack speed for classes like Monk, who are more about repeatedly using resource-generating attacks. If your build relies on cooldown attacks or similar skills, then attack speed isn't as useful. Plan accordingly.

A party that stays together slays together:

If you're playing couch co-op, try to stay together as a group. The screen will zoom out to try to keep every player in view, but once it hits its maximum range, it's possible for players to go off-screen. The game will try to push you back into camera view, but this can result in your character being shunted into a dangerous position.

If you're playing online, everyone has their own view and can go their separate ways.

Match your class with your playstyle:

Diablo III offers a high degree of class flexibility, but even so, there are some distinct styles. Barbarian, Crusader and Monk are largely melee based, and tend to stay closer to the action. Wizard, Demon Hunter and Witch Doctor are ranged attackers, and prefer to keep their distance.

All classes have crowd control spells (cc), but Crusader and Wizard are the strongest in this respect. Crusader and Barbarian are capable of absorbing the most amount of damage. Wizard and Demon Hunter can put out high damage, but they are a little squishy. Monk, Crusader and Witch Doctor are good all-rounders, and have the additional bonus of healing capabilities. This makes them a very effective support class.

Diablo 3 Class Build and Playstyle Guide

There are seven classes to play around with in Diablo 3. Each offers a slightly different playstyle, so choosing the right one for you will take a look of trial and error and experimentation. To help you decide which Class Build to go for in Diablo 3, we’ve detailed each of the seven below:

Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Class and Build Guide

Some players feel that Demon Hunters are underpowered, but the thing is, this class needs to be played with a degree of patience and planning to be fully effective.

A real strength of the character is mobility, and it's possible to build out a highly mobile, crowd control Demon Hunter that's a blast to play if you like shooting things from afar. Use Entangling Shot and Frost Elemental Arrow to slow down the rampaging hordes, while Strafe cuts them all down. Vault and Smoke Screen can keep you out of trouble, and Evasive Fire is a two-for one evade-and-shoot deal.

The key to playing this character is staying mobile and looking for space to run into. Basically run, turn, walk backwards, let loose, and start running as the monsters begin to close in. Just make sure you keep your running in a tight area, as you don't want to aggro the next set of MOBs, wherever they are.

There's some excellent synergy to be found in Cluster Grenades, Cluster Arrows, Rapid Fire and Chakram. However, while Chakram can be devastating, to get the most out of it, you need very precise timing so you can nail several critters at once. For some people, that's just not fun, and if that's you, then Rapid Fire is the best alternative. Add Marked for Death to dial up the damage, and Sentry to add more firepower, and you'll have an extremely strong offensive-focused character. Caltrops is the sensible defensive option, but Shadow Power is recommended for the more aggressive player.

This is an easy build to play. Stay mobile, kite like crazy.

A decent all-round build can be created with Evasive Arrow, Spike Trap and Elemental Arrow. Smoke Screen and Vault are your kiting tools, and Preparation helps ensure they're ready to use almost anytime. This build starts out a little slowly, but as you level up and can finesse your spells to suit your playstyle, you'll find it grows in strength exponentially.

Like other Demon Hunter builds, it requires you to be mobile. Don't be afraid to use your evasion tools whenever you're in trouble, and get used to running, turning, firing and then evading when things get close. If you can plan your traps well and kite your enemies into them, this build is very satisfying to play.

Diablo 3 Monk Class and Build Guide

The Monk is a flexible class that offers some interesting options. If you like your Monk tough and tanky, Crippling Waves and Blinding Flashes are the right stuff. Dashing Strike and Cyclone Strike deliver some nice control on the battlefield, and Serenity is your clutch play spell. Mantra of Spirit or Mantra of Evasion are both useful, the former being effective for party play when you don't think you'll be in the thick of things, and the latter is the one to take if you're leading the charge.

This build, like all Monk builds, is really easy to play. Use your control spells intelligently to round up the MOBs into a group, and then deliver the beats with your AOE spells.

Monks make quite handy healers, and if you want to have a go at being everyone's friend, start with Fists of Thunder, and add Inner Sanctuary and Serenity. Breath of Heaven and Cyclone Strike further bolster your skills, and Mantra of Healing is your final, obvious choice. Don't forget to take Chant of Resonance. That will really help boost your healing powers.

The last build is for kung-fu fans. If you like your Monk to be leaping into battle, and giving it some with hands and fists, take Crippling Wave and Lashing Tail Kick. Mantra of Conviction gives you some nice oomph, while Seven-Sided Strike dials up your multi-MOB bashing capabilities. Serenity helps keep you alive while reflecting back some damage as an extra bonus, and Sweeping Wind rounds out the build to add even more AOE damage.

This is an offensive build, so be prepared to fight at the front line so you can maximize your spells.

Diablo 3 Wizard Class and Build Guide

When it comes to putting out enormous amounts of damage, the Wizard is hard to beat. And if you want to max it as best you can, take Meteor, Storm Armor and Electrocute. Disintegrate and Explosive Blast will also produce nice numbers, and Frost Nova will hold everything in place so you can drop your bombs. Arcade Dynamo is a mandatory passive for this build, helping boost your damage-dealing potential even more.

While you can certainly dish out the damage, this build can't take much of a beating, so make sure you stay well away from heavy hitters, and save your Frost Nova for when you need it. While it is possible to run solo with this character, it's far better with a group, and can be especially devastating when running with a tank or CC class.

An opposite build to this uses Spectral Blade, Arcade Torrent and Energy Twister as offensive spells, while Archon, Diamond Skin and Ice Armor toughen you up. The result is a surprisingly resilient caster that requires some getting used to – timing defensive spells is critical, but once mastered you'll find your Wizard is a capable all-rounder. Additional bonus is that it can still pull off some big one-shot hits too.

In a way, this build is counter-intuitive for a Wizard, but you can pop your defensive spells and get right into the thick of things without fear. Just don't dawdle too long, as you'll get mashed if your spells run out. This is where the timing comes in, but just pay attention to cooldowns, and this build will serve you well.

An interesting ice-themed build uses Ray of Frost, Blizzard and Shock Pulse as its arsenal, and Frost Nova , Diamond Skin and Storm Armor for defensive strength. It provides a lot of AOE output, and the defensive spells let you move in and really maximize them when you're faced with a swarm of enemies. If that swarm is too big to safely engage, Blizzard lets you sit back and bombard from afar. This is a straightforward build to play, and offers a nice degree of flexibility both solo, and in group play.

Diablo 3 Barbarian Class and Build Guide

If you like getting up close and personal with the things you're smashing in the face, then the Barbarian is the lady or gentleman for you.

Beefy of stature, and muscular of arm, the Barbarian is the front line assault weapon of choice. If being right up the front is your thing, you need a tank build. And a pretty mean one involves taking Frenzy, Rend, and Revenge. Those spells alone can keep you up while you're taking aggro from all and sundry. Add in Ignore Pain, War Cry to help your chums, and Wrath of the Berserker for those crap/fan situations, and you have a fine Tank that in the hands of a good player can weather almost any storm.

The trick is – like most things, but especially important here – is timing spells. You want to be constantly offsetting incoming damage with your self-healing spells, while keeping your clutch spells for critical moments.

If you've been perusing the Barbarian's spells, you'll notice a fair number of knockback-types. Stack them all together, and lo. Bodies will fly. Take Bash, Seismic Slam, Ground Stomp and Earthquake, runed to enhance their knockback effects. Furious Charge and Threatening Shout have very good synergy with the rest of your spells, but swap in anything you feel more comfortable using to ensure that this build matches your playstyle.

Playing this build is pretty easy. Get nose-to-nose with the enemy, and have at it. You'll want to keep your party behind you, while you break lines and send the enemies flying. Just make sure that if you're playing this build, you're not playing with other characters dependent on herding so they can utilize AOE effects, since you'll be working in opposition. What you need with this build are characters with focus fire. You wade in and smash heads, while they pick off anything you punt out of the crowd.

An entertaining hybrid build involves taking Weapon Throw, Hammer of the Ancients and Leap. That'll give you a nice ranged attack, a way of getting right into the thick of the action, and a powerful cone attack. Match those with Avalanche and Earthquake for some serious AOE damage, which you can further enhance with Battle Rage.

Basically, Leap into the action, and then start backing up. What you want to be doing here is trying to get enemies in front of you, so you can pulverize them with your cone and AOE attacks. Done right, you can absolutely flatten everything. Pair this with another AOE character, or one that fires projectiles that go through creatures, and you'll have a grin-inducing combo.

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Class and Build Guide

Witch Doctors are highly versatile, and bring a lot of different mechanics to the table.

If you like the idea of casting swarms of minions, and watching while they go to town on the enemy, then what you need is Plague of Toads, Locust Swarms, Fetish Army, and Zombie Dogs. They'll provide plenty of chums to keep you company, while Mass Confusion will persuade the enemies to fight for you, adding even more oomph to your personal army – albeit temporarily. The last slot is personal preference. Wall of Zombies or Piranhas can be a lot of fun if you really want to go to town on the theme of this build, while Zombie Charger gives you one additional powerful minion to work with. Acid Cloud is also useful if you want additional AOE power.

With this build, you want to keep your distance and let your minions do the work for you. In that sense, this build can sometimes feel a little boring, because you're not exactly the one doing the slaying, but as you level up, it becomes increasingly more entertaining.

A slightly odd build, but one that offers a different playstyle to most involves using Firebomb, Grasp of the Dead and Acid Cloud. That combination – especially at higher levels – causes AOE zones that can be deadly to the enemy. What else you take depends on how you like to play. But we recommend Zombie Dogs, Sacrifice and Gargantuan. Sacrifice gives you some good tricks up your sleeve, while the minions can mop up monsters that survive your AOE of doom.

This build is excellent, but be careful you don't get surrounded. Drop your AOE on the floor, and kite monsters through it repeatedly.

Finally, this build initially looks like a mish-mash of skills, but actually, there's a lot of synergy here that lets a player with good timing stack up damage boosters to lay down some fierce offense. Poison Dart, Spirit Barrage and Haunt kick things off, while Hex and Soul Harvest provide damage boosts. Big Bad Voodoo is what you want to take eventually, but probably not until level 44, when it really comes into its own. Until then, either of the other spells will suffice.

Timing is everything with this character, and you need to be constantly moving, because you have little in the way of control spells. Use Soul Harvest and Hex whenever they're up, and let rip. This build delivers very strong direct damage, so make sure you always stay focused on the biggest threats first, and then take out the smaller stuff.

Diablo 3 Crusader Class and Build Guide

The Crusader class is melee, but doesn't always feel like it with this build. Smite and Blessed Shield give your damage-dealing capabilities some range, and Condemn and Bombardment add additional options to the same end. Defensively, Shield Glare and Laws of Hope are good ones to take - the latter spell's continued healing effect is very useful.

This build involves more sitting back than most melee characters. Timing is key, and you want to be using your spells when MOBs begin to group up, so you can maximize your output.

If you want to try healing, this build is an odd one, but strangely effective. Slash and Sweep Attack work well together, and if you're in the thick of battle, you can effectively smash through enemy lines. Steed Charge and Falling Sword give you mobility, while also dishing out some quality damage. Finally, Consecration and Laws of Hope provide this build's healing aspect.

This is a highly mobile build, enabling you to charge around the battlefield dishing out impressive sweeping damage, while also looking after your party. This is not a tank build, even though it plays like one, so don't forget that you can use your mobility spells to get yourself out of trouble just as quickly as they got you into it.

The Crusader can also make an effective tank. Smite is where you need to start, and then add Shield Bash to give yourself battlefield mobility so you can get to MOBs before they get to anyone else. Iron Skin makes you a tougher target to take down - especially when you double down with Laws of Justice. Provoke is a classic tank taunt spell, while Akarat's Champion offers some utility - especially at later levels.

Play this build like a typical tank. Get right into the thick of things, and use your cooldowns on rotation to stay alive. Don't make the mistake of saving your damage-reduction spells until you're low on health. Use them when you're taking damage at high health, which will give you a lot more room to react if things start going wrong. You really don't want to be trying to get away from critters when you have just a sliver of health.

Diablo 3 Necromancer Class and Build Guide

The latest class to be added to Diablo 3 is the Necromancer. It’s a returning class from Diablo 2, and features a bunch of great AoE magic attacks. This is a build with a lot of reach, thanks to the Bone Spear that you can launch in any direction. The best, and most useful part of playing Necromancer is the crowd-control possibility. It can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed by large hordes in Diablo 3, so bringing a Necromancer along for the ride can really help turn the tables. A combination of skills make slowing enemies and hampering their attacks very easy indeed, something which can be a real winner if used at the right time.

The Necromancer Class is not the most mobile in the game, but thanks to a short teleport ability called Blood Rush, you can easily escape from large crowds. This ability, when used in conjunction with the Bone Spear projectiles, mean that Necromancers can move in for an attack, warp away, then reign down ranged attacks from a safe distance.

By far the most effective strategy to employ is the crowd-control style. The Necromancer has an ability called Decrepify, which slows all enemies and reduces their damage. Triggering this can give teammates the chance to take a breath and regroup, something which can mean the difference between success and failure. The Command Skeletons attack also makes for great fodder to distract enemies from your team.

In terms of a build, you’ll want to go in with Trag’Oul’s armor wherever you can, use the Jesseth Skullscythe and Skullshield, and make sure you’ve paired it all with The Compass Rose Ring to reduce damage while moving. To make the most of your Skills, apply Extended Servitude, Life from Death, Spreading Malediction, and Blood for Blood. This will boster the following Skills: Decrepify, Skeletal Mage, Command Skeletons, Siphon Blood, Bone Armor, and Devour. This build allows you to immediately trigger Decrepify when encountering a group of enemies, and as long as you’re constantly moving, you’ll receive 50% less damage. The Spreading Malediction buff is vital, as it adds 1% damage for every enemy you curse.

Given the wide variety of the Necromancer abilities, this class is very contextual, and players will need to be smart when using it. Being able to trigger huge AoE magic attacks, throw powerful projectiles, and teleport a short distance are all useful, but it’s the support spells that really steal the show. There’s very little in the way of focused, damage-dealing attacks, so you’ll definitely need a good team around you if you’re facing down a boss. But with an army of skeletons and the ability to slow down enemies, I’m sure they’ll want to return the favor.

Diablo 3 FAQ

Can I cheat with a Hardcore character and save it to USB, and then reload it from that source when it dies?

Yes you can. But just remember that all characters on that save will be overwritten, so if you're going to do this, only play your hardcore character during the session - and save frequently.

How Do I Socket Gems in Diablo 3?

It's easy to miss, but gems can be accessed by going to the item screen in the inventory (signified by the little bag at the bottom of the item wheel) and selecting the wheel of gems. You can then choose which gems you want to insert into your available armor and weapons.

How Do I Remove Gems in Diablo 3?

In Act II, you will find Covetous Shen. After you successfully complete his relatively brief quest, he will return to town and become the local Jeweler. Shen will remove gems from a piece of equipment for a nominal fee.

Is there a Trade function on the console version of Diablo 3?


What are the bonuses for Master level difficulty in Diablo 3?

Master I: +60% Magic Find, +60% Gold Find, +120% XP Bonus

Master II: +70% Magic Find, +70% Gold Find, +140% XP Bonus

Master III: +80% Magic Find, +80% Gold Find, +160% XP Bonus

Master IV: +90% Magic Find, +90% Gold Find, +180% XP Bonus

Master V: +100% Magic Find, +100% Gold Find, +200% XP Bonus

Can I pause Diablo 3?

Yes - but only in couch co-op mode. If you're playing online, you cannot pause the game.

Can I Take a New Character into Adventure Mode in Diablo 3?

Yes you can. Just back out of Campaign Mode once you've created your character, and select adventure mode. Then you can jump in and start wherever you want. Difficulty scales with your level, making this a very flexible way to level up.

How do I Transmog Gear in Diablo 3?

If you want to change the appearance of your gear, you'll need to head to the Mystic NPC and train your character. The higher the level you train, the more transmog options become available. Additional transmogs can be acquired by identifying items. For info on how to Transmog the Ganondorf Armor on Nintendo Switch, head over to our Diablo 3 Ganondorf Guide.

Can I transfer my characters and save from PC to Console in Diablo 3?

No. But you can transfer your save from PS3 to PS4, and from Xbox 360 to Xbox One.

Can I transfer my Diablo 3 save to Nintendo Switch?

There have been a few updates to Diablo 3 since launch, namely one that allows a cloud save function to move profiles between consoles. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Nintendo switch, so if you’re looking to transfer a save from PC, PS4 Xbox One, to Nintendo Switch—I’m afraid you’re out of luck. You can transfer your save between Switch consoles though, using the Nintendo Online Cloud save service.

How will town portals work in multiplayer?

If you're playing couch co-op, if someone ports back to town, everyone ports back to town as a group - so pay attention and make sure you communicate if anyone needs to go anywhere. If you're playing with someone online, you'll go back to town, but they'll stay where they are.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Jake Green

Guides Editor

Jake is a former freelance writer who now heads up guides for USG. He spends his days dreaming of an X-Files dating-sim and will play literally any game with monkeys in it. He has an unhealthy obsession with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and would pretty much trade a kidney for Skate 4 at this point.

Related articles

Tetris Effect: Connected's Co-op Has a Self-Revival Trick Everyone Needs to Learn

We're never gonna protect this trippy Tetris realm if you don't!

How to Make Your Money in Yakuza: Like a Dragon's Business Mode

Go from rags to riches with some proper management.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Is the First Thing You Should Buy on Your New Xbox Series X

We break down the reasons why Xbox Game Pass is an essential pickup now that the Xbox Series X is here.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.