I know you‘re eager to slash your way through hordes of demons, but aren‘t sure if you want to pay full price for Diablo 3. Well, the good news is you have some great options to play a ton of Diablo for free! Let me walk you through everything you can access without spending a dime.
Play through Act 1 with the Starter Edition
The best way to begin your free Diablo 3 journey is to download the Starter Edition directly from Blizzard. This gives you free access to Act 1, including the full first chapter up to defeating the Skeleton King.
With the Starter Edition, you can:
- Play as the powerful Barbarian class
- Fight through the epic Cathedral and Caverns areas
- Matchmake with other Starter players
- Level your Barbarian up to 13
Basically, you get to experience the core slice of Diablo 3‘s gameplay loop and visceral combat for zero cost. Hacking down mobs of quill fiends and khazra with gorging cleaves never gets old!
While your adventure ends after Act 1, defeating the Skeleton King provides an exciting climax and great intro to the world of Sanctuary.
Dive into a free Diablo 3 weekend
Every so often, Blizzard runs free weekends for Diablo 3. This lifts all restrictions so you can play as if you owned the full game!
During these events you can:
- Play all 5 acts straight through
- Level up any class without limits
- Jump into Adventure Mode and Nephalem Rifts
- Matchmake with friends who own the game
- Try a Seasonal character and explore Sanctuary
Free weekends let you experience the satisfying progression and stellar endgame that normally requires purchase. They usually last 3-4 days giving you enough time to sample the sweet loot grind.
I recommend using the free weekends to try out the classes you didn‘t in the Starter Edition. My top picks are Monk for rapid attacks, Demon Hunter for sniping from range, or Wizard for flashy arcane destruction.
Sadly, all progress resets when the free weekend ends. But you‘ll gain a much deeper understanding of Diablo 3‘s gameplay to inform your purchase decision.
Grab free game keys when possible
While not guaranteed, you can occasionally score a full free game key through giveaways and promotions.
Some places to watch for free Diablo 3 keys:
- Blizzard‘s official Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
- Major gaming websites like IGN, GameSpot, PC Gamer
- Graphics card bundles with Diablo 3 included
- Retailer deals like Newegg Shuffle or Amazon promos
With some luck and persistence, you may snag a free key. Just make sure to redeem it on your Battle.net account so you permanently own Diablo 3.
With a key in hand, you can continue your adventure with no restrictions and keep all your progression and loot!
Consider playing Diablo 3: Immortal
If you want to play a version of Diablo 3 for free on your phone or PC, check out Diablo Immortal.
As a free-to-play game, Immortal lets you:
- Experience Diablo‘s combat and loot hunt
- Play all 8 classes like Barbarian, Monk and Wizard
- Journey across Sanctuary and Westmarch
- Take on story missions and side quests
- Battle other players in PvP Zones
- Join Clans and Hidden Lairs for social play
Just keep in mind Immortal is designed around monetization with cash shops for gear, crests, cosmetics and XP boosts. But if you can resist spending, nothing is locked behind a paywall.
Overall, Immortal captures the core Diablo gameplay loop for free and serves as a nice on-the-go option. But Diablo 3 offers a more complete and satisfying experience.
Check for limited-time free trials
On occasion, Blizzard runs free trials for Diablo 3 timed around new season launches or big content patches.
These trials function similar to free weekends, allowing full temporary access. But they tend to last longer, around 4-7 days.
Free trials give you enough time to seriously dive in and sample the endgame. Leveling a seasonal character to max level is very achievable if you no-life it!
As a nice bonus, any progress you make during a free trial carries over if you decide to buy Diablo 3 afterwards.
So keep an eye out for free trials to enjoy Diablo 3 risk-free for almost a full week. Just be ready to grind hard to experience as much as possible!
What content is limited in the free options?
While the free versions give you a great Diablo 3 sampling, some restrictions apply:
- Only Barbarian playable in Starter Edition
- Level caps around 13 in Starter and 20 in Immortal
- Can‘t access later acts, Adventure Mode, or Seasons
- All progress resets after free weekends/trials
- Restricted loot drops and difficulty options
- Limited social features and multiplayer
Essentially, the free options let you experience the core gameplay, but reaching max level, farming endgame loot, and playing expanded content requires owning the full game.
If you really get into it via the free routes and want to keep progressing without limits, purchasing Diablo 3 is highly recommended.
What are the purchase options?
Once you‘re hooked on the gameplay and hungry for more loot, here are your purchase options for the full Diablo 3:
- Base Game – $20 digitally – includes Acts 1-4 and Reaper of Souls expansion
- Eternal Collection – $40 digitally – Base game + Necromancer class pack
- Battle Chest – $30 digitally – Base game only
- Upgrade to Eternal – $20 digitally – Upgrade if you own base Diablo 3already
- Necromancer Pack – $15 add-on digitally – New class only
The best overall value is the Eternal Collection when it‘s on sale for $20-30. This nets you the core Diablo 3 experience plus the wicked Necromancer class.
I recommend waiting for a discounted price during seasonal sales. Diablo 3 goes on sale multiple times per year, up to 75% off.
Upfront cost vs F2P differences
One key difference between Diablo 3 and the free-to-play Immortal – Diablo 3 is a fixed upfront cost. You pay once to unlock everything, with no microtransactions or cash shops.
Many ARPG fans prefer this traditional model. You buy the game, then enjoy the full experience with no strings attached.
Is Diablo 3 still worth playing?
If you‘re worried Diablo 3 may be past its prime in 2022, rest assured it‘s still amazing and very much worth playing today:
- Active playerbase – Millions still log in daily. Easy to find public games.
- Years of polished content – 7+ years of patches, seasons, gear, and quality-of-life improvements.
- Perfects the Diablo formula – Blizzard nailed the combat, controls, and loot chase.
- Prepares you for Diablo 4 – Jumps you into the world so you‘re ready for the sequel.
- Lower PC requirements – Runs smoothly on lower spec machines compared to upcoming D4.
With new seasons still rolling out and millions of passionate players, Diablo 3 has never been better. It remains one of the pinnacles of the action RPG genre.
And with Diablo 4 slated for 2023, now is the perfect time to experience this modern classic. You don‘t want to miss out!
Let‘s recap the stellar free options so you can enjoy Diablo 3‘s demon-slaying action:
- Play through Act 1 and defeat the Skeleton King in the Starter Edition
- Level any class to max, play Adventure Mode, during periodic Free Weekends
- Luck into a full free key through giveaways and contests
- Grind gear and level up in the mobile/PC game Diablo Immortal
- Experience the endgame during limited-time Free Trials
Once you‘re hooked, grab the full Diablo 3 game on sale to enjoy this masterpiece ARPG without limits. With fluid combat, mountains of loot, and near infinite replayability, you really can‘t go wrong with Diablo 3.
See you in Sanctuary, my friend! Adventure awaits.