Diablo 3 Barbarian tips - Templar, gems, levelling, Torment, Paragon points

How to level up a Barbarian, gear the class for Torment, get the most out of your Paragon point pool, and socket the right gems into your items.

If your idea of a good night in is grinding through the undead with an axe-wielding lunatic, then look no further than the Barbarian class. The most directly brutal of Diablo 3's melee characters, the Barbarian is a simple creature: put an axe - or two - in his hands, point him at the enemies, then send him in swinging - and no doubt screaming. Here's a quick guide to getting started with this blunt but effective character.

How to level up a Barbarian

Your primary stat as a Barbarian is Strength, so look for a good dollop of it on every piece of armour you equip. As a close-quarters melee character, it's important to keep an eye on your health as well, so Vitality is also key.

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If your goal is to reach the end-game as quickly as possible, get a Helm with a socket in it so you can load in a Ruby and get a little boost to your XP gains by doing so. If you have socketable weapons to hand, insert Rubies during the levelling process - these will give your damage output a very helpful boost.

An area-of-effect build that lets you tear through multiple enemies at once is also a good idea as - boss fights aside - Diablo 3 favours strength in numbers when it comes to throwing opponents at you. You don't really need to worry about efficiency until you reach the level cap, so you should experiment with the skills available to find a build you enjoy for its own sake. If you do want a shortcut, consider having a rummage through Noxxic's excellent round-up of levelling builds.

Unless you're playing on Hardcore mode, and so need to play things a little more cautiously, ramp up the difficulty setting until you can rip through enemies without things taking too much longer than they would on the next difficulty down. You get more XP and better rewards for playing on harder difficulty settings, so always turn things up a notch or two if you start to find the pace becoming too gentle.

The best Follower for a Barbarian

Our Follower philosophy for every class in this guide is to choose the character who most favours the primary stat that your actual hero favours. By doing so, you can give your Follower your - previously - best armour, as you yourself find upgrades and switch out your gear. This approach makes the Templar a good choice for both Softcore and Hardcore Barbarian players.

Gearing up a Barbarian for Torment

When you hit Level 70, you should start farming Bounties and Rifts for shards that you can exchange with the Gambler for shiny new gear. You should have no trouble picking out a good selection of Rare items through killing and gambling, and you might even get a few good Legendary items while you're at it.

All of your items should have as high a Strength rating as possible, of course, and you want a Chest item with three sockets on it, as well as a Legs item with two sockets. As for your weapons, you want the highest damage rating you can find, and make sure you re-roll something useless into a socket if your weapon doesn't already have one. If you were levelling up with Rubies in your weapons, switch over to Emeralds when you hit Level 70.

In your Ring, Amulet and Head slots, you want to find plenty of bonus Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage. Try to keep these two important stats in a ratio of 1:10 with one another for maximum effect. You can tweak your other pieces of armour to suit your current build, of course, but try to get some Resist All boosts from at least a couple of the remaining slots - you're going to be spending a lot of time taking an awful lot of damage, after all.

As subtle as... well, an axe to the face I suppose.

The best Barbarian gems

During the levelling process you want to socket Rubies into your weapons, but switch over to Emeralds when you hit Level 70. For those Chest and Legs items, socket the best Rubies you have, but don't be afraid to replace one or two with Diamonds if you're struggling to stay alive. As your defensive stats increase overall, you'll be able to switch back to Rubies eventually. If you find yourself with a socket in your Head slot, it's not a bad idea to pop an Amethyst in there for a bit of extra life.

If you happen to have sockets on any other items, you can always put a Ruby in there for extra Strength. Depending on your build and overall stats though, you might want to roll the socket into something more useful at the Mystic - unless there's a truly terrible stat that you'd rather re-roll instead.

Need more Diablo 3 help? Learn how to unlock Zelda outfits like Ganondorf in Diablo 3 Switch, get some Diablo 3 boss strategies, and learn how use the Mystic, Blacksmith, Gambling and Horadric Caches. We also have advice for every class, from the Barbarian to the Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard.

Great Barbarian gear to aim for

Just like every class, the Barbarian really benefits from wearing the Stone of Jordan and the Ring of Royal Grandeur. Get lucky with your drops to find the former, and get ready to grind out Act 1 Bounties to find the latter. The Grandeur ring allows you to benefit from armour set bonuses with one less piece of each set equipped - an extremely potent end-game advantage.

An easily-crafted Reaper's Wraps makes for a great Bracer item for the Barbarian, and you should aim to pick up three pieces of the Might of the Earth set, as well as two pieces of the Immortal King's collection. Make sure, of course, that your character build is set up to take advantage of any set bonuses you acquire.

Your dream weapon? Likely a Thunderfury main-hand sword, or the mighty Maximus if you want to go in swinging with a two-handed piece of steel. It goes without saying, of course, that your build and equipment must synergise with each other as much as possible.

How to allocate a Barbarian's Paragon points

Whether the Barbarian's your first character and you've just started collecting Paragon points, or you have a massive account-wide pool of them to get started with, you'll need to decide how best to allocate them.

In the Core category we always like to invest heavily into Movement Speed so that we can clear content more quickly. After that, Maximum Fury will help you keep dishing out the pain over longer periods of time. In the Offense category, use the Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage options to keep your overall balance of these two stats in a 1:10 ratio with one another.

In Defense, Life Regeneration will serve you extremely well, as will Resist All. Put simply, spend your points to suit your current level of survivability! Finally, the Utility section should be used to give your Barbarian plenty of Life On Hit, followed by Area Damage for combat splash bonuses. Once you've topped those out, look to invest in Resource Cost Reduction.

You can find the rest of our Ultimate Evil guide via the index page of this article.

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John Bedford

John Bedford


John is a freelance writer based in West Sussex.


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