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Potions are not essential for survival in Diablo II since most characters have hit point regeneration equipment and/or mana and life leech, but they are definitely needed in emergencies and against tougher monsters.

Drinking potions is easy due to how the belt works. Only four slots display, but you can have 8, 12, or 16 slots in a belt, with the other layers stacked up out of sight unless/until you hover your pointer over the belt. When you drink a potion any layers up above it will drop down, like a vending machine, keeping the bottom row full as long as possible. Picking up potions restocks the belt as well, stacking like potions up so you have columns or red, blue, or purple.

Besides the healing, mana, and rejuvenation potions, there are others for specialty uses such as thawing, poison cure, and refreshing stamina. There are even throwing potions that you most certainly wouldn't want to drink, even if you were allowed to do so.

Potion Fill Rate

All mana and healing and mana potions fill over time, taking around 5.12 seconds for all mana potions, and different values for healing potions. The amount of points you gain is averaged over the time, so if you drink a 200 point potion, you'll gain around 40 points per second for around 5 seconds.

If you drink two (or more) potions in a row, the total point fill is averaged over the total time, which adds up. Drinking a 50 and a 200 point potion at the same time will give you 250 points over 10 seconds, or around 25 per second. For this reason you do not want to drink greater with minor potions, since you'll fill up more slowly than you would with just the greater potion. This can be bad if you are in an emergency and out of rejuvenation potions.

The same addition and averaging works any time you have one potion filling and drink another one, though the second one is just added to however much you had left to go on the first one.

Double Fill Potions

Sometimes when you drink a red or blue potion you will get double the listed points from it, over the normal 5.12 seconds time. This is a game feature that's not well known, but quite beneficial. This is determined by the following process[1]:

  1. Pick a random integer, A, between 0 and your (Vitality/Energy - 1) (inclusive).
  2. Pick a random integer, B, between 0 and 99 (inclusive).
  3. If A is larger than B, congratulations! You gain double health/mana.

The chance to receive double healing is:

If Vit is odd:
    % chance = (Vit - 1) ^ 2 / (Vit * 4)
If Vit is even:
    % chance = (Vit - 2) / 4

This can be approximated to (Vit/4 = % double heal). To figure your odds for Mana Potions, just substitute your Energy for Vitality in the equation, they are exactly the same in other respects. Simplified, this is .25% chance per stat point, or 1% per 4 stat points, or 5% per 20 stat points.

This holds true up to 200 points in Energy or Vitality. Above 200 your % chance is affected by diminishing returns, to the tune of this formula:

% chance = 100 - (10100 / Vit)

Check the stats in the table below for a few sample values.

Energy or VitalityChance of doublingEnergy or VitalityChance of doublingEnergy or VitalityChance of doubling

Healing Potions

Drinking a healing potion fills a certain number of points every time, depending on the potion type and which class your character is. These figures are the same for D2 or D2X.

PotionAmazonBarbarianNecromancerPaladinSorceressAssassinDruidFill Rate
Minor Healing PotionHealth1.gif456030453045307.68 seconds
Light Healing PotionHealth2.gif9012060906090606.4 seconds
Healing PotionHealth3.gif1502001001501001501006.84 seconds
Greater Healing PotionHealth4.gif2703601802701802701807.68 seconds
Super Healing PotionHealth-super.gif48064032048032048032010.24 seconds

Mana Potions

Mana regenerates and can be leeched back in D2 and D2X, so most warrior characters never add a point to their Energy, and get enough mana from leech and +mana items. Drinking a mana potion fills a certain number of points every time, depending on the potion type and which class your character is. The original five Diablo II characters have steady rates that are unchanged in the Expansion, while the Assassin and Druid have more irregular stats.

PotionAmazonBarbarianNecromancerPaladinSorceressAssassinDruidFill Rate
Minor Mana PotionMana1.gif302040304030405.12 seconds
Light Mana PotionMana2.gif60408060806080
Mana PotionMana3.gif12080160120160120160
Greater Mana PotionPo-mana-greater.gif225150300225300225300
Super Mana PotionMana4.gif375250500375500375500

Other Drinkable Potions

ImagePotion TypeEffect
AntidotePo-cure-poison.gifCures poison instantly.
Rejuvenation PotionPo-rejuv-35.gifRefills 35% of mana and health instantly. *
Full Rejuvenation PotionPo-full-rejuv.gifRefills 100% of mana and health instantly. *
Stamina PotionPo-stamina.gifRefills Stamina instantly.
Thawing PotionPo-thawing.gifThaws a frozen or chilled character instantly.
(Does not work against the Holy Freeze Paladin Aura.)

* Neither type of Rejuvenation Potion is subject to the doubling that all mana and health potions can do, as described at the top of the page. You'll always get 35% and 100% regardless of your Clvl, stats, etc. Note that partial rejuves will do a lot more than even super healing/mana potions once your character has very high mana or hit points.

Throwing Potions

To throw a potion equip the stack in your weapon slot, select throw to the left or right click, and go for it. Barbarians can dual wield two stacks of potions, or a potion and a weapon in the other hand. In the Expansion you can use your weapon switch slot to hold a throwing potion and switch back and forth.

All characters throw potions at the same rate, have the same range (anywhere on the screen you can target with a direct line of sight) and all potions travel at the same rate of speed in the air. Potions are thrown in an arc, so it takes a potion several seconds to reach the target.

Exploding potions have a radius; any targets in the radius will take the full damage. Poison potions create a gas cloud that lasts for a varying amount of time; any targets that pass through the cloud while it lasts will turn green and take the full damage. Poison potion damage doesn't stack, if you hit a monster while it's still green, the damage over time is simply reset.

Exploding potions deal fire and physical damage. Monsters may resist or be immune to one or both of these. Total damage assumes no resistances.

  • Item Level: Monsters must be this level or greater to drop this item.
  • All throwing potions stack up to 10 in D2 and 25 in D2X. They are sold and dropped individually in D2. In the Expansion they can not be purchased, only found, and monsters drop them in stacks of 3.
  • There are no Exceptional or Elite throwing potions, what you see here are the only ones in game. This of course makes them too weak to be of much use on the higher difficulty levels; their primary use is as crowd control on Normal.
  • Throwing potions yield a fair bit of gold when sold. Though nigh-meaningless to veteran characters, low-level characters may appreciate this.

ItemD2 PropertiesD2X Properties*
Fulminating PotionPo-o-fulminating.gifRadius: 2
3-5 Fire Damage
Radius: 6
5-15 Damage
Clvl Req: None
Exploding PotionPo-o-exploding.gifRadius: 3
6-8 Fire Damage
Radius: 3
16-30 Damage
Clvl Req: 12
Oil PotionPo-o-oil.gifRadius: 6
9-10 Fire Damage
Radius: 2
26-64 Damage
Clvl Req: 20
Strangling Gas PotionPo-strangling.gifCreates a poisonous cloud.
Poison Damage: 28
Poison Damage: 24
Clvl Req: None
Choking Gas PotionPo-g-choking.gifCreates a poisonous cloud.
Poison Damage: 75
Poison Damage: 72
Clvl Req: 16
Rancid Gas PotionPo-g-rancid.gifCreates a poisonous cloud.
Poison Damage: 168
Poison Damage: 96
Clvl Req: 24

* Properties seen in the game for D2X throwing potions do not at all match up with the stats listed in the game files.

Quest Potions

Both quest potions are used briefly, and are mostly decorative.

Potion of LifePotion-of-life.gifAct Three, quest reward from Alkor.
"Right Click to permanently add 20 to life"
Potion of ThawingPotion-of-life.gifAct Five, quest item from Malah to free Anya from Prison of Ice
"Use potion to thaw Anya"