Diablo 4: Do New Players Need to Play Previous Diablo Games?

The 27 year-old Diablo franchise may seem daunting to get into, but its accessibility for newcomers may surprise you.

With the release of Diablo 4 on the horizon, there’s no doubt the title is on the radar for a lot of gamers who have never experienced a Diablo game. The franchise is almost 27 years old at this point, and the age of gamers skews to the younger side, so it’s safe to say a lot of gamers weren’t even born when Diablo 1 or Diablo 2 were originally released. 

Do you need to play previous Diablo games for Diablo 4?

The consensus from the Blizzard team working on Diablo 4 seems to be that you do not need any previous Diablo experience to enjoy and get into Diablo 4.

Rod Fergusson explains in a Diablo IV Open Beta Live Q&A on Twitter Spaces that you do not need to play previous entries in the almost 27-year-old Diablo franchise to enjoy Diablo 4. 

There are about 40 years between Diablo 3 and Diablo 4, a big enough separation that you can come into the Diablo series without any previous knowledge. Everything is clearly laid out with new characters, and the origins of Sanctuary are explained to you throughout the game. 

Since it’s been 11 years since Diablo 3’s release and 23 since Diablo 2’s, there has been lots of time to polish systems and improve on things lacking from the previous entries.

Overall, Diablo 4 is an easy game to get into without any previous Diablo experience. According to Fergusson, “Diablo 4 feels great to play, and it’s an easy game to onboard with, and so I really hope that people come to it even if they’ve never played a Diablo game before.”

However, there’s plenty to enjoy for diehard fans of the Diablo series who have played through every installment of the franchise. Diablo 4 takes place decades after the defeat of the Prime Evil and Malthael. Denizens of the Sanctuary are seeing life return to normal, but a new threat is stirring. Lilith, daughter of Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, has resurfaced and spread darkness upon the lands. Players pursue Lilith across Sanctuary, though little else is known about how the story unfolds until the release of Diablo 4.

As a lifelong fan of Diablo games, I’d say that even though new players can hop right into Diablo 4, you might highly enjoy playing through the Diablo II: Resurrected campaign. Diablo 4 is a throwback to the slower-paced gameplay and dark aesthetics from Diablo 2 rather than the vibrant and fast-paced Diablo 3.