You can imbue items in Diablo 2, creating magic gear out of normal items.
Unlike the mechanic to identify items, you want be using this specific one that often. That being said, it's a vital one that can turn things around at different stages of your leveling process, depending on what you'd like to explore with your build.
This page explains how to imbue items in Diablo 2 as well as when to imbue so you can know whether or not it's wise to save the action for later.
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How to imbue items in Diablo 2
The action to imbue items in Diablo 2 becomes available fairly early in the game. During Act I, one of the six quests you're able to take on will grant you this mechanic as a reward.
Specifically, we're referring to Tools of the Trade, which is picked up from the blacksmith Charsi after you've completed The Forgotten Tower quest (or if you're at least level 8 and Deckard Cain is in the camp).
For this, you'll have to track down the Monastery Barracks location.
Once you've retrieved the Horadric Malus hammer from The Smith, take it back to Charsi to complete the mission. As a reward, she will gift you one free imbue.
Imbuing turns a normal item into a magical one (as long as they're not already magic, socketed, rare, unique, part of a set or jewelry). In addition, this is dependent to your current level - the higher the level you are, the more attributes will be added on the item after imbuing it.
All you have to do is talk to Charsi at any time and select the dialogue option to imbue an item - select the one you'll like to imbue and she will do it for you.
While the process is fairly simple, the biggest question mark is the perfect timing to do this, as it's a rare opportunity.
Looking for more help? We have pages on the best Diablo 2 class, best Diablo 2 builds and runewords, Diablo 2 leveling, how to import saves, how to reset your skills, how to identify items, when and how to imbue items, where to find monastery locations and the underground passage, and finally, how to access the secret cow level.
When to imbue items in Diablo 2
Of course, you're able to keep the imbue of all difficulties for a total of three (one for each, these being Normal, Nightmare and Hell). It's recommended that you either wait until you're high level, or if you really want to take your chances earlier than that, it's best to use this mechanic with a class item.
Since you never know which attributes you'll obtain, there is a risk/reward element in play. All the previous attributes from an item will be replaced as well, so keep that in mind.
As for what to imbue in Diablo 2, both Exceptional and Elite items are both great options. In addition, imbuing Diadems in Diablo 2 is also a good option - these are a specific type of helmets that are excellent at providing attributes.
When paired up with Charsi's imbue option, you can get some decent results. Of course, luck will have to be on your side. But the more patient you can be, the better.