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How Diablo 4 Nightmare Dungeons Work

Diablo 4 Nightmare Dungeons Guide

In Diablo 3 we had Greater Rifts as the premier endgame content – in Diablo 4, we have Nightmare Dungeons.

Nightmare Dungeons remix the mechanics of the game with Dungeon Affixes to offer additional challenges.

With new challenges, naturally come new rewards!

In this Nightmare Dungeons guide, we’ll cover how they work, how to enter, and more.

What are Nightmare Dungeons?

Nightmare Dungeons shake up the usual rinse-and-repeat formula we’re accustomed to and offers players a way to spice things up. Beyond increasing enemy levels to scale up the difficulty, Nightmare Dungeons actually change the rules and mechanics of the game! Each dungeon has an amount of “Dungeon Affixes” applied to it.

These affixes can increase specific stats or attributes for all the monsters in the dungeon. They could be resilient against a certain element type, have faster attack speed, apply lifesteal to every attack, and much more.

Additionally, you’ll have to embrace one of two more challenging feats. There’s the Empowered Elites affix which modifies elites to deal damage of a particular element type. Alternatively, you may need to deal with a special affix of which various forms of chaos can ensue throughout the dungeon. I’ll let you experience those for yourself. 😉

Thankfully you’ll know beforehand which affixes will be applied, allowing you to plan accordingly, and avoid dungeons that heavily counter your build.

Season 1 Nightmare Dungeons:

The Nightmare Dungeon lineup will rotate each season to freshen up the experience. There are a total of 30 Nightmare Dungeons; six for each of the five regions. Here’s what Season 1 has to offer.

  • Akkhan’s Grasp
  • Ancient Reservoir
  • Bastion of Faith
  • Betrayer’s Row
  • Charnel House
  • Collapsed Vault
  • Dead Man’s Dredge
  • Domhainne Tunnels
  • Faceless Shrine
  • Forgotten Ruins
  • Garan Hold
  • Halls of the Damned
  • Heretic’s Asylum
  • Hoarfrost Demise
  • Immortal Emanation
  • Iron Hold
  • Komdor Temple
  • Kor Valar Ramparts
  • Lost Keep
  • Mariner’s Refuge
  • Mercy’s Reach
  • Nostrava Deepwood
  • Pallid Delve
  • Path of the Blind
  • Sarat’s Lair
  • Shifting City
  • Stockades
  • Tomb of the Saints
  • Twisted Hollow
  • Uldur’s Cave

How can I enter a Nightmare Dungeon?

In order to unlock Nightmare Dungeons you must have access to World Tier III. As with most other endgame content, this requires that you’ve adventured through the entire campaign, and then completed the Cathedral of Light Capstone Dungeon on Veteran difficulty. After that you’ll need to farm 10 Grim Favors and turn them in at the Tree of Whispers. Upon completion you’ll be awarded with a Tier 1 Nightmare Sigil; the key to beginning your first Nightmare Dungeon!

Additional sigils can be found by completing events, world bosses, whispers, and most commonly in the Nightmare Dungeons themselves. Players will also be able to salvage and craft sigils after completing a Tier 3 Nightmare Dungeon.

Diablo 4 nightmare sigils

How do Nightmare Sigils work?

Nightmare Sigils are essentially the keys to the Nightmare Dungeon, and each one has its own unique properties. Hovering over the sigil will display its tier, the name of the corresponding dungeon, and the affixes that modify the gameplay experience. The tier directly affects the level of the monsters, increasing their overall health and damage. However, it’s the Dungeon Affixes that can add a real challenge!

Once you’ve acquired a sigil, you can select it from your consumables tab to use it. Doing so will prompt you to teleport to the entrance of the dungeon so that you can immediately jump right into action!

Diablo 4 nightmare sigil

Nightmare Sigils exist in two varieties; Sacred Sigils and Ancestral Sigils. Sacred Sigils are accessible in World Tier III and range from tiers 1-20, while Ancestral Sigils require World Tier IV and range from tiers 21-100. Nightmare Dungeons are designed to be challenging. Unlike regular dungeons, there’s a set amount of times you can revive before failing entirely. Die too many times and you’ll be forced to exit and the sigil will be lost.

Monster levels scale depending on the tier, as do the amount of revives and affixes. Each dungeon will always include one positive affix and 2-4 negative affixes. Here’s a breakdown of the different tiers.

Sacred Sigil Tiers 1-10:

  • Monster Levels 54-63
  • 2 Negative Affixes
  • 12 Revives

Sacred Sigil Tiers 11-20:

  • Monster Levels 64-73
  • 3 Negative Affixes
  • 12 Revives

Ancestral Sigil Tiers 21-100:

  • Monster Levels 74-154
  • 4 Negative Affixes
  • 4 Revives

What are the rewards for completing a Nightmare Dungeon?

Nightmare Dungeons offer a plethora of rewards upon completion. For starters, defeating higher level enemies will naturally award more experience, making Nightmare Dungeons the most efficient way to level up in the late game. Players will also receive four items at the end of the run; with at least one of them being a guaranteed legendary or unique.

While gear and exp is always welcome, the most important reason to farm Nightmare Dungeons is to acquire and level up Glyphs. Just like Greater Rifts in Diablo 3, reaching the end of a Nightmare Dungeon allows you to allocate a set amount of experience towards your chosen Glyph. The exact amount of exp will vary depending on the tier of dungeon. In short, the higher and more challenging the tier, the greater the reward.

Diablo 4 upgrade glyph

Glyphs are a key part of the Paragon Board, and you’ll need to power them up in order to reach your full potential. There’s a ton of depth here, so be sure to check out our Build Planner if you want to theory-craft and explore your potential!

As you progress through the tiers you’ll level up, obtain better gear, and continue to grow stronger. Nightmare Dungeons are a key part of that journey, but also offer some insane challenges that will put you to the true test. Ancestral Sigil Tier 100 is Diablo 4’s greatest challenge, so if you’re looking to reach the top, here’s the mountain you’ll need to climb!