Diablo 4 Barbarian build and class guide

Diablo 4 Barbarian character
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

With the right Diablo 4 Barbarian build, you can use the class to soak up lots of damage and dish out even more with an array of melee weapons and skills. Barbarian is the only class in Diablo 4 that is able to use up to four melee weapons, and you’ll be able to apply all sorts of status ailments to your foes and yourself, from Slowed and Vulnerable to Berserking and Unstoppable. Below, you’ll find a basic explanation of how the Barbarian works in Diablo 4, as well as two builds that revolve around some great Skills, including Whirlwind. Here are two solid Diablo 4 Barbarian builds for you to try out.

Diablo 4 Barbarian guide

Diablo 4 Barbarian class overview text box

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

The Barbarian class in Diablo 4 uses up to four melee weapons to deal a lot of physical damage up close, whether it’s through wide area attacks, single-target strikes, or extra effects such as Bleed and Vulnerable. Barbarians are also the main ‘tank’ class and are very resilient, allowing them to soak up damage and protect their allies while staying on the frontlines. Here’s a quick rundown of how the Barbarian class functions:

  • Role: Aggressive, Melee fighter, tank
  • Skill Resource: Fury
  • Class mechanic: Arsenal System – Barbarians can hold up to four weapons and choose which ones they use for particular Skills. Using certain weapon types also builds Expertise which improves those weapons even further with buffs.
  • Barbarian weapons: Two-Handed Axes, Two-Handed Maces, Two-Handed Swords, Axes, Maces, Swords
  • Statistic effects for Barbarians: Strength affects a Barbarian’s damage with Skills, Dexterity increases Critical Strike chances, and Willpower increases Fury generation.
  • Damage types: Physical (+ Bleed)
  • Status Ailments for Barbarians: Barrier, Berserking, Fortify, Knocked Back, Overpower, Slowed, Stunned, Unstoppable, Vulnerable

Diablo 4 Barbarian builds

The Diablo 4 Barbarian Skill Tree is packed with all sorts of attacks, buffs, and defensive abilities that allow the Barbarian to perform it’s tanky, melee fighter role superbly well. There’s also a surprising amount of variety when it comes to builds too, allowing Barbarians to fulfil their role in different ways. I’ve listed some skills below that act as a framework for some lethal Barbarian builds that focus on the sweeping Whirlwind attack for slicing multiple demons in a wide area and Bleed effects for deadly damage over time:

Diablo 4 Barbarian Whirlwind build

Diablo 4 Barbarian skill tree whirlwind core skill

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Using the Barbarian’s Whirlwind Core Skill, players can deal lots of damage in a wide area, clearing out clusters of demonic foes with ease. Building around that, you can maintain good mobility and still tank a lot of damage, but you’ll need to use other Skills to generate a lot of Fury to keep the Whirlwind going. Here are the Skills that you should prioritize for a solid Whirlwind build for your Diablo 4 Barbarian:

  • Lunging Strike: Lunge forward and strike an enemy. Also generates 9 Fury.
  • Enhanced Lunging Strike: Lunging Strike deals 30% increased damage and Heals you for 2% Maximum Life when it damages a Healthy enemy.
  • Whirlwind: Rapidly attack surrounding enemies dealing low damage. Costs 20 Fury per second.
  • Enhanced Whirlwind: Gain 1 Fury each time Whirlwind deals direct damage to an enemy, or 3 Fury against Elite enemies.
  • Violent Whirlwind: After using Whirlwind for 2 seconds, Whirlwind deals 30% increased damage until it is cancelled.
  • Pressure Point: Lucky Hit: Your Core skills have up to a 10% chance to make enemies Vulnerable for 2 seconds.
  • Endless Fury: Basic Skills generate 5% more Fury when using Two-Handed weapons.
  • Rallying Cry: Bellow a rallying cry, increasing your Movement Speed by 30% and Fury generation by 50% for 6 seconds, and Nearby allies for 3.0 seconds. Also generates 10 Fury.
  • Enhanced Rallying Cry: Become Unstoppable while Rallying Cry is active.
  • Tactical Rallying Cry: Rallying Cry generates 25 Fury and grants you an additional 50% Resource Generation.
  • War Cry: Bellow a mighty war cry, increasing your damage dealt by 15% for 8 seconds, and Nearby allies for 4 seconds.
  • Enhanced War Cry: War Cry grants you Berserking for 4 seconds.             
  • Booming Voice: Your Shout Skill effect durations are increased by 10%.
  • Death Blow: Attempt a killing strike, dealing high damage to enemies in front of you.
  • If this kills an enemy, its cooldown is reset.
  • Enhanced Death Blow: Death Blow deals 100% increased damage to Bosses.
  • Fighter's Death Blow: If Death Blow damages at least one enemy, gain 20 Fury.
  • Thick Skin: Each time you take direct damage, gain 0.4% Base Life as Fortify.
  • Tempered Fury: Increase your Maximum Fury by 3.
  • Invigorating Fury: Heal for 3% of your Maximum Life for each 100 Fury spent.
  • Unbridled Rage: Core Skills deal 135% increased damage, but also cost 100% more Fury to use.

Diablo 4 Barbarian Bleed build

Diablo 4 Barbarian skill tree flay basic skill

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

The Barbarian character has quite a few Skills that apply the Bleed effect to enemies which deals a good amount of damage over time. However, a lot of these Bleeding-based Skills also require slashing weapons, so you need to make sure you’ve got a good Two-Handed Slashing weapon and ideally two slashing weapons for your main and off-hands. Here are the main Skills that I recommend for crafting a great Bleed Berserker build for Diablo 4:

  • Flay: Flay the enemy, dealing low physical damage and much higher Bleeding damage over 5 seconds. Also generate 9 Fury.
  • Enhanced Flay: Flay has a 10% chance to make the enemy Vulnerable for 2 seconds. This chance is doubled when using a Two-Handed weapon.
  • Combat Flay: When Flay deals direct damage to an enemy, you gain 3% Damage Reduction and 4 Thorns for 3 seconds. This stacks up to 4 times.
  • Rend: Cleave enemies in front of you, dealing low physical damage and inflicting significant Bleeding damage over 5 seconds.
  • Enhanced Rend: Dealing direct damage with Rend extends the duration of Vulnerable on enemies by 2 seconds.
  • Violent Rend: Rend deals 12% increased damage to Vulnerable enemies.
  • Pressure Point: Lucky Hit: Your Core skills have up to a 10% chance to make enemies Vulnerable for 2 seconds.
  • Challenging Shout: Taunt Nearby enemies and gain 40% Damage Reduction for 8 seconds.
  • Enhanced Challenging Shout: While Challenging Shout is active, gain 20% bonus Maximum Life.
  • Strategic Challenging Shout: While Challenging Shout is active, gain Thorns equal to 50% of your Maximum Life.
  • Outburst: Gain 2 Thorns. Also gain 2 Thorns for each 2 bonus Maximum Life you have.
  • Tough as Nails: Increase your Thorns by 20%. When enemies hit you, they take an additional 1% of your Thorns as Bleeding damage over 5 seconds.
  • Charge: Become Unstoppable and rush forward, pushing enemies with you then swinging through them dealing low damage and Knocking them Back.
  • Enhanced Charge: Enemies who are Knocked Back into terrain by Charge take a small amount of extra damage and are Stunned for 3 seconds.
  • Mighty Charge: Damaging enemies with Charge makes them Vulnerable for 2 seconds.
  • Swiftness: Movement Speed is increased by 4%.
  • Rupture: Skewer enemies in front of you, dealing low damage, then rip your weapon out, damaging enemies for their total Bleeding amount and removing all Bleeding damage from them.
  • Enhanced Rupture: Ripping your weapon out of enemies during Rupture causes an explosion that deals low Bleeding damage over 5 seconds.
  • Fighter's Rupture: Hitting at least one enemy with Rupture heals you for 15% of your Maximum Life.
  • Hamstring: Your Bleeding effects Slow enemies by 10%.
  • Cut to the Bone: Your Bleeding effects deal 6% increased damage to Vulnerable enemies.
  • Gushing Wounds: When applying Bleed to an enemy, you have a chance equal to your Critical Strike Chance to increase the Bleed amount by 100% of your Critical Strike Damage bonus. Overpowering a Bleeding enemy creates an explosion that inflicts low Bleeding damage over 5 seconds.

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Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.