Diablo 4 Barbarian Guide | Best Earlygame Skills

The Diablo 4 Barbarian uses a wide-range of melee-based attacks and weapons. We will give you some tips and show you the best skills to pick in the early game.

Diablo IV Barbarian
Diablo 4 Barbarian Guide | © Activision Blizzard/EarlyGame

Of the five classes in Diablo 4, three are available during the first beta weekend. One of them is the Barbarian, which I picked for my first character. In this article, I’ll share some general tips about the Barbarian as well as the best skills to pick early in the game.

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Diablo 4 Barbarian Guide – General Tips

The Barbarian uses fury as a resource and has three types of weapons equipped: Two-Handed Bludgeoning, Two-Handed Slashing and dual wield. Switching weapons in Diablo 4 works in a particular way, as skills are usually attached to a particular type of weapon. What’s most important to know: Have good equipment in every weapon class.

Diablo 4 Barbarian – Best Earlygame Skills

Basic Skills

The basic skills are your standard attacks. They don’t hit the hardest, but will always be useful to do damage and build up fury. Here are all basic skills:

  • Lunging Strike (any weapon): Lunge forward and hit a target
  • Bash (bludgeoning weapon): Bash a target with your weapon; your fourth Bash will stun the enemy (increased duration if using a two-handed weapon).
  • Frenzy (dual-wielded weapons): Unleash several blows that can also increase attack speed.
  • Flay (slashing weapon): Deal damage and inflict bleeding.

We recommend the Lunging Strike with the „Battle“ specialization. The Barbarian is slow, and this attack will make it easy to close distances and do good damage. “Battle” will also cause the attack to inflict bleeding damage, making Flay unnecessary.

We also love Frenzy. With this attack, you can really go in on some fools and do good damage in a short time. The “Battle” specialization is also recommended here, as it increases attack speed for your other skills.

If you want a third basic skill equipped, we recommend Bash. It can stun enemies, which is especially useful for stronger foes. I again went for “Battle” here, which increases Fury generation. And you’ll need plenty of Fury for your Core skills.

Core Skills

This is where things get really juicy. These are basically your special attacks, which consume fury and do the most damage. You can unlock Core skills as soon as you’ve spent two skill points.

  • Whirlwind (any weapon): Rapidly attack surrounding enemies; channeled ability.
  • Hammer of the Ancients (bludgeoning weapon): Slams down your hammer to deal AoE damage.
  • Upheaval (two-handed weapon): Strike the ground with your weapon and fling debris in a forward arc.
  • Double Swing (dual-wielding): Sweep your weapons from opposite directions; enemies caught in the center are damaged by both weapons.
  • Rend (slashing weapon): Does a frontal cleave that causes damage and bleeding.

Here I recommend Whirlwind, Hammer of the Ancients and Upheaval. Whirlwind is self-explanatory and one of the best abilities I’ve seen in the game so far. Going into a group of enemies and just whirling the shit out of them is extremely fun.

Hammer of the Ancients is one of the best skills to do tons of damage to a singular enemy or a smaller group of foes. Upheaval has a similar advantage to Lunging Strike, as you can close in distance to your enemies quite easily and use it as a sort of range attack.

I recommend “Enhanced” on all of these, but this might take a while to get to.

Diablo IV Barbarian Gameplay
The Barbarian in Diablo 4 can be super fun | © Activision Blizzard

Defensive Skills

The abilities in this tier mainly provide you with protection and crowd-control. The best thing is, that none of these skills require specific weapons to be triggered. You unlock the Defensive skills after spending six skill points.

  • Ground Stomp: Deals AoE damage and stuns enemies.
  • Rallying Cry: Increases the movement speed and resource generation of your character and allies.
  • Iron Skin: Gain a barrier that absorbs a portion of your missing life.
  • Challenging Shout: Taunts nearby enemies and grants damage reduction.

Here I recommend Rallying Cry and Iron Skin. I’ll always go for more movement speed, as the Barbarian really is super slow (have I mentioned that already?) and the small bonus can really get you out of a bind. Iron Skin is a great addition to health potions, as they can be quite limited and it takes a while to upgrade them.

Brawling Skills

Arguably the most fun set of skills, as these are all about getting in the muck of it and getting your hands dirty. Brawling skills become available after spending 11 skill points.

  • Kick (no weapon required): Kick and knock back enemies in front of you; those that hit terrain features will get stunned.
  • War Cry: Increases the damage you and your allies deal.
  • Charge (any weapon): Become unstoppable while rushing forward; pushes enemies and knocks them back.
  • Leap (any complete Arsenal weapon): Do a leap forward and slam down on the ground; knocks back enemies on impact.

A good kick is always fun, but War Cry is the most useful skill here. Doing more damage is always great and can really turn the tides during a fight.

That was all for our Diablo 4 Barbarian guide, with focus on earlygame skills. We will update this article as soon as we got deeper into the game to include our thoughts on Weapon Mastery skills and Ultimate skills.