Diablo 4 Nightmare Dungeons: The ultimate guide

By William Davis


Jul 11, 2023

Reading time: 11 min

Prepare to delve into the darkness like never before in Diablo 4’s Nightmare Dungeons. Players eagerly await the chilling challenges in this end-game activity — but what should they expect? 

Nightmare Dungeons promise to push the boundaries of fear, testing the skills and grit of even the most potent builds & characters. In this article, we will explore the haunting depths of Diablo 4’s Nightmare Dungeons, uncovering the twisted horrors that lie within and the rewards that await those brave enough to face them.

These are unique, demanding, and bountiful variations of the standard Dungeons in Diablo 4. For those facing obstacles navigating through Nightmare Dungeons, consider seeking a D4 boost to enhance your game performance.

Why should you play Nightmare Dungeons in D4?

You can open Nightmare Dungeons through special keys corresponding to a specific Sanctuary location. The focus would be to level up your Glyphs that can be used in your Paragon Board to enhance your character’s capabilities further.

Nightmare dungeons have additional difficulty scaling and extra afflictions that make them harder to finish, but the layout, monsters & objectives will be the same.

How to unlock Nightmare Dungeons in Diablo IV

Types of Dungeons in Diablo 4

Dungeons in Diablo 4 are separated into multiple types of activity. Depending on the World Tier played, you can unlock multiple types of instances that influence your playthrough, such as:

  • Campaign Dungeons
  • Quest Dungeons
  • Capstone Dungeons
  • Nightmare Dungeons

After you finish your Main Campaign, you can explore new types of activity named Capstone Dungeons & Nightmare Dungeons. You can find Nightmare Sigils & access these dungeons only after you complete the Cathedral of Light & Fallen Temple Capstone Dungeons.

Diablo 4 Capstone Dungeons

Source: Blizzard - Diablo 4
Source: Blizzard – Diablo 4

To gain access to World Tier 3 difficulty in Diablo 4, you must visit the Cathedral of Light Dungeon & defeat the High Council & Curator. For World Tier 4, you must complete the Fallen Temple Capstone Dungeon on World Tier 3.The higher the World Tier is, the more bonuses it provides, such as:

  • World Tier 1 – Enemies are Easy to defeat
  • World Tier 2 – Enemies are more challenging, but they provide 20% increased experience and 15% more gold
  • World Tier 3 – Enemies are way stronger, but they provide 100% more experience & loot. Sacred, Unique Items and Nightmare Sigils can now drop & Helltide events appear across Sanctuary
  • World Tier 4 – Monsters overcome 40% of your resistance; they are fearsome, but you gain 200% increased experience & 15% more gold. Ancestral and new Unique items can drop

Nightmare Dungeons Requirements

Nightmare Dungeons represent one of the main end-game activities in Diablo 4. A nightmare dungeon scales from tier 1 all the way up to tier 100, increasing in difficulty and rewards as you reach a higher tier.

Any endgame activity requires a strong build and knowledge of the content. In Nightmare Dungeons, you must keep in mind that you have limited revives, and there are certain affixes (good and bad) that make it more challenging:

  • Tier 1-10: 12 Revives & 3 Affixes (A positive one + Two Negatives)
  • Tier 11-20:12 Revives & 4 Affixes (A positive one + Three Negatives)
  • Tier 21+:12 Revives & 5 Affixes (A positive one + Four Negatives)

There’s no requirement or a perfect level when going for a specific Tier of a Dungeon. Still, we recommend going for a Nightmare Dungeon, which is maximum +3 levels higher than your current level, for the 25% increased experience.

Nightmare Dungeons Difficulty Scaling

Blog post image
Source: Blizzard – Diablo 4

In Nightmare Dungeons, monsters scale up by 1 level per Tier, starting from level 55 at Tier 1. Significantly higher-level monsters have more life, damage, and additional penalties against your damage.

Are Nightmare Dungeons Hard to Beat?

Completing a Tier 3 Nightmare Dungeon allows you to enhance your Paragon Board with upgraded Glyphs and increased stats. However, completing a higher Tier Dungeon without upgrading your gear, your legendary aspects, gems, or paragon could be the hardest achievement in the game.

Can you play Solo Nightmare Dungeons?

Any Nightmare Dungeon can be beaten solo if your build is strong enough to handle the fast-paced situations within the activity. A High-DPS class could handle everything with ease, while a more tanky version of a character would struggle to clear the adds, but excel in dealing with the damage taken. 

However, if you’re finding it challenging to solo Nightmare Dungeons at the level you desire, there’s no need to fret. Consider opting for a Nightmare Dungeon carry service. This service can assist you in surmounting difficulties and guide you toward achieving your gaming goals.

Dungeon objectives

Nightmare Dungeons in Diablo 4 have different mechanics and objectives that must be completed. We prepared a list with all the objectives found in the current state of the game:

  • Destroy Structures
  • Kill All Enemies
  • Kill Elites
  • Gather Animus
  • Return Stones
  • Activate Controls
  • Free Prisoners
  • Find Keys
  • Kill Boss

There are 115 Dungeons in Diablo 4, with different types of monsters and objectives that must be completed to achieve the final reward.

Nightmare Dungeons contain certain bonuses you can get while defeating the enemies within:

  • Shrines – Two shrines are found in every Dungeon to help you maximize your clearing time.
  • Side Quests – Some side missions can be found and completed inside dungeons.
  • Events: Cursed Chests, Health Wells, Broken Shrine, and The Butcher

Nightmare Dungeon Tiers

A nightmare dungeon is an end-game activity separated into two tiers:

  • Nightmare Tier(Sacred)
    Source: Blizzard - Diablo 4
  • Torment Tier(Ancestral)
    Source: Blizzard - Diablo 4

Nightmare Dungeon Scaling in D4

Monsters in Diablo 4 scale with your current level while traveling in the open world. Nightmare dungeons have their own version of scaling, making it the most unique & rewarding activity in the game.

As previously mentioned, inside the Nightmare Dungeons, monsters scale up by +1 per tier, starting from level 55 at Tier 1 and up to 154 at Tier 100.

Nightmare Dungeon Affixes & Modifiers

Source: Blizzard - Diablo 4

In Diablo 4, Nightmare Dungeons have different tiers and rarity of Affixes that can provide you with stronger buffs/debuffs:

Types of Affixes in Nightmare Dungeons


  • Quick Killer: Killing a monster grants 1.0% attack and Movement Speed. Stacking up to 10%
  • Reduce Cooldowns on Kill: Killing a monster reduces your cooldowns by .15 seconds
  • Battle Hardened: Gain 4% damage reduction for every 10% Health you are missing
  • Poisonous Evade: Using Evade leaves a pool of Poison behind that damages enemies
  • Nudging Evade: Using Evade pushes enemies back
  • Fire Damage: You deal 5% more Fire damage
  • Frost Damage: You deal 5% more Frost damage
  • Lightning Damage: You deal 5% more Lightning damage
  • Poison Damage: You deal 5% more Poison damage
  • Shadow Damage: You deal 5% more Shadow damage
  • Physical Damage: You deal 5% more Physical damage
  • Gold Find: You find 10% more gold
  • Increased Critical Strike: Your Critical Strike chance is increased by 3%
  • Increased Healing: Your Healing Received is increased by 5%
  • Magic Find: You find more items from enemies
  • Lightning Caller: You occasionally call down lightning strikes that damage nearby enemies
  • Control Impaired Explosions: Being hit by Control Impairing Effects creates an explosion around you
  • Thorns: Your Thorns are increased by 112


  • Avenger: Killing a monster enrages monsters near it, making them deal more damage
  • Blood Blister: Killing a monster has a chance to spawn a Blood Blister. After a short time, it explodes, dealing heavy area damage
  • Death Pulse: Killing a monster releases a deadly lightning pulse after a short delay.
  • Drifting Shade: Upon reaching them, it explodes for heavy damage, creating a Nightmare Field that Dazes victims
  • Empowered Elites (Shock Lance): Elites always have the “Electric Lance” affix
  • Empowered Elites (Cold Enchanted): Elites always have the “Cold Enchanted” affix
  • Empowered Elites (Poison Enchanted): Elites always have the “Poison Enchanted” affix
  • Empowered Elites (Shadow Enchanted): Elites always have the “Shadow Enchanted” affix
  • Empowered Elites (Suppressor): Elites always have the “Suppressor” affix
  • Empowered Elites (Teleporter): Elites always have the “Teleporter” affix
  • Lightning Storm: Lightning gathers above the player. Get into the protection dome to avoid severe outcomes
  • Nightmare Portal: While in combat, Nightmare Portals open randomly near players, pouring out dangerous monsters
  • Stormbane’s Wrath: Stormbane’s Wrath chases players around, releasing deadly pulses when reaching a player
  • Volcanic: While in combat, gouts of flame periodically erupt near players
  • Monster Crowd Control Resist: Crowd Control duration vs. monsters is reduced by 20%
  • Monster Critical Resist: Monsters take 30% less damage from Critical Strike
  • Monster Overpower Resist: Monsters take 30% less damage from Overpower
  • Monster Vulnerable Resist: Duration of Vulnerable Effects vs monsters is reduced by 30%
  • Backstabbers: Monsters near the player deal 50% more damage when attacking from behind
  • Monster Attack Speed: Monsters attack 15% faster
  • Monster Barrier: Monsters gain 20% of their Maximum Life as a Barrier
  • Barrier Breakers: Monsters deal 50% more damage to Barriers
  • Slowing Projectiles: Monster attacks from a distance have a 30% chance to slow targets
  • Resource Burn: Monster attacks from a distance burn 8% of your Primary Resource
  • Monster Damage: Monsters deal an additional x% of their damage dealt over 5 seconds
  • Monster Life: Monsters gain 20% extra life
  • Monster Regen: Non-boss monsters regen 1.5% Maximum Life per second
  • Monster Resist: Monsters take x% less Elemental/Poison/Shadow/Physical damage
  • Monster Life Steal: Non-boss monsters gain 10% Life Steal
  • Dodge Breakers: Monster attacks from a distance reduce dodge chance by 8% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 40%
  • Potion Breakers: Monster attacks from a distance have 20% chance to disable the healing potion for 2 seconds
  • Resistance Breakers: Monster attacks from a distance reduce resistance by 6% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 30%
  • Monster Thorns: Monsters reflect 4% of Non-Physical damage
  • Armor Breakers: Monster attacks from a distance reduce your Armor by 5% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 25%
  • Unstoppable Monsters: Monsters become Unstoppable when life drops below 15%

Nightmare Dungeon Rewards

There are many reasons to run a Nightmare Dungeon and constantly farm this type of activity: glyphs, XP, loot, more nightmare sigils & increased chances to get legendary and unique items.


Glyphs are powerful items that can be socketed into your Paragon Boards to enhance your build & character. These can be leveled up when you finish a Nightmare Dungeon to increase their potency and radius to cover a bigger area, making them one of the main reasons to run Nightmare Dungeons.


As we recommended before, running a Nightmare Dungeon which is +3 levels higher than your current level, would be best to receive the +25% bonus experience while slaying the monsters.


Loot is another reason why you should run a Nightmare Dungeon. When you complete the activity, you will receive higher-rarity loot and chances for Legendary or Uniques.

What are Nightmare Dungeon Sigils?

A sigil is the key to transforming specific dungeons into Nightmare Dungeons.

How to get Dungeon Sigils in Diablo 4?

There are three ways to acquire Sigils currently in the game:

  • Completing Whispers of the Dead
  • Finding them during your Nightmare Dungeon Runs by slaying enemies/completing events
  • Crafting them at the Occultist for Gold and Sigil Powder (acquired from salvaging unwanted Sigils)

Types of Nightmare Dungeon Sigils

There are two types of Dungeon Sigils currently in the game: The Sacred and the Ancestral sigils.

A Sacred Sigil is a World Tier 3 Nightmare Dungeon with a maximum of Tier 20 sigil, while Ancestral takes place in World Tier 4 with a minimum Tier 21 and a maximum Tier 100 Dungeon.

How to craft Nightmare Dungeon Sigils

Whether you find a Nightmare Sigil that you hate running, or a lower-tier one, you can salvage these items for Sigil Powder, which can be later used to craft specific tiers of Sacred or Ancestral Sigils. By visiting the Occultist in any location in the Sanctuary, you can salvage the desired Sigils to receive a small amount of Sigil Powder.

Nightmare Sigils Crafting Cost

Nightmare Sigils (Sacred)

  • Tier 1-5 – Sigil Powder x3 + 4,000 Gold
  • Tier 6-10 – Sigil Powder x6 + 6,000 Gold
  • Tier 11-15 – Sigil Powder x11 + 8,000 Gold
  • Tier 16-20 – Sigil Powder x20 + 10,000 Gold

Torment Sigils (Ancestral)

  • Tier 21-25 – Sigil Powder x50 + 13,000 Gold
  • Tier 26-30 – Sigil Powder x80 + 16,000 Gold
  • Tier 31-35 – Sigil Powder x125 + 19,000 Gold
  • Tier 36-40 – Sigil Powder x190 + 22,000 Gold
  • Tier 41-50 – Sigil Powder x275 + 26,000 Gold
  • Tier 51-60 – Sigil Powder x350 + 30,000 Gold
  • Tier 61-70 – Sigil Powder x375 + 35,000 Gold
  • Tier 71-80 – Sigil Powder x400 + 40,000 Gold
  • Tier 81-90 – Sigil Powder x425 + 45,000 Gold
  • Tier 91-100 – Sigil Powder x450 + 50,000 Gold

How to reset Nightmare Dungeons

The first step to endlessly farm a Nightmare Dungeon is to find a Nightmare Sigil with the desired afflictions or layout. Use the Nightmare Sigil and enter the activity. Complete the first objective, open your map, and press the “leave dungeon” button.

This will teleport you out of the dungeon at the dungeon’s entrance. Wait for a couple of minutes, and the Nightmare Dungeon will reset. Go back in, and you will see that the enemies have respawned. Clear the dungeon again, then leave. Repeat as many times as you wish.

Note: Please keep in mind that the Nightmare Dungeon reset strategy only works when playing solo.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for a real challenge, then the Nightmare Dungeons are definitely worth checking out. Be prepared!