Diablo 4 Season 1: Everything you need to know

By Tom West,

Diablo IV: Season 1 — Season of the Malignant — starts later this month and Blizzard has detailed how it works, such as seasonal characters and the Battle Pass.

Blizzard has revealed Season of the Malignant, the first season for Diablo IV, which kicks off on July 20 on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. You'll need to have completed the campaign to join the Seasonal Realm, but other than that, everyone is welcome to start a seasonal character to begin working through the three-month-long Battle Pass. Here's everything you need to know about Diablo IV: Season of the Malignant.

Diablo IV: Season of the Malignant reveal trailer

"A deviant form of Lilith’s sinister machinations has given birth to a new threat, Malignant Monsters. These decaying abominations roam Sanctuary in a frenzy, mindlessly attacking anyone in range without hesitation. Wanderers will investigate this mysterious malady in a new Questline with the help of Cormond, a former priest of the Cathedral of Light, who also trains you to capture the Malignant Hearts fueling these foul beasts and convert them into build-altering powers. The malignancy that’s taken hold of the Burning Hells’ armies cannot remain unchecked — you must snuff it out at the source before all of Sanctuary becomes its thrall."

As revealed on the Diablo IV website, Season of the Malignant kicks off on July 20, offering everyone who has completed the main campaign on either the Eternal or Hardcore Realms the chance to create a seasonal character on the Seasonal Realm without the need to purchase a Battle Pass. You will need to make a new seasonal character to take part, but it will be given the option to skip the campaign entirely, can use its mount immediately, and carries over your already collected Altars of Lilith, discovered areas, and Renown. Once Season of the Malignant ends, your seasonal character will be transferred to the Eternal Realm, along with its progress, Seasonal Stash, and collected items. Only season-specific items like Malignant Hearts will be lost.

diablo 4 season one details blizzard xbox

Malignant Hearts are one of the new additions with Season of Malignant. There will be 32 to collect across four categories and they offer various new unique bonuses just for the season. The season's questline will give us a new item called the Cage of Binding, a tool we use to extract Malignant Hearts from the new Malignant Monsters, known as Partly Corrupted. Once a heart has been pulled from the Partly Corrupted it will be reborn as a more powerful Fully Corrupted monster, which, if beaten, will drop a version of the Malignant Heart you can insert into a special Infested socket in your jewelry in place of a regular gem. The addition of the "highly replayable dungeons," Malignant Tunnels, offers us the best place to find Malignant Hearts, as well as a chance to take down the newest boss, Varshan the Consumed.

"Seasons provide us with an opportunity to introduce innovative gameplay mechanics into Sanctuary for a limited time," Blizzard says. "Because Seasons reset, we can create crazy, fun Season themes in a vacuum without needing to worry about balancing it with the mechanics introduced in past or future Seasons — we start from a strong Eternal Realm baseline and build on top of it."

Diablo IV Season Journey and Battle Pass

diablo 4 season one details blizzard xbox

During Season of the Malignant you'll be able to work through the Season Journey, a collection of Chapters containing specific tasks to complete for lucrative rewards, such as a free skill and Paragon Board resetting Scroll of Amnesia, Legendary Aspects, and a Mastery Title. Alongside the Season Journey, everything you do on the Seasonal Realm will reward you with Favor, the resource needed to work through the 90-tier Battle Pass. 27 free Battle Pass tiers will reward Smoldering Ashes, a currency used to buy Season Blessings for bonuses to gold, experience, and Obol earnings, which will last until the end of the season. Players using the Premium or Accelerated Battle Passes will be able to unlock the free tiers as well as 63 premium tiers, which offer Platinum, Awoken Armor sets, a mount, and mount armor.

Owners of the Deluxe or Ultimate Editions of Diablo IV can redeem the premium Battle Pass via the activation button in the in-game shop. Tier skips will be available for 200 Platinum per skip, but you'll need to meet certain character levels to claim Smoldering Ashes. If you're playing the standard edition of Diablo IV, you can upgrade your free Battle Pass to the Premium Battle Pass for 1,000 Platinum (roughly $9.99) or the Accelerated Battle Pass for 2,800 Platinum (around $24.99). The Accelerated Battle Pass will include an additional 20 Tier skips and a special cosmetic item.

From July 20, the in-game shop will begin offering even more equipment, armor, mounts, mount armor, and more, so it could be worth keeping an eye on.

Will you be joining in with the seasonal fun? We were full of praise for the game in our Diablo IV impressions, so you can be sure to see me tearing out hearts in the new season later this month!
Tom West
Written by Tom West
Tom has been playing video games since he was old enough to hold a controller, experimenting with a number of systems until he eventually fell in love with Xbox. With a passion for the platform, he decided to make a career out of it, and now happily spends his days writing about that which he loves. If he’s not hunting for Xbox achievements, you’ll likely find him somewhere in The Elder Scrolls Online or fighting for survival in Battlefield.
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