This FAQ combines an older SP FAQ from Diabloii.net and the current FAQ from the very busy Diii.net Single Player Forum. Additions and improvements are welcome.
This FAQ covers questions often asked about Single Player mode, and some differences between it and how the game works on the Realms. This FAQ isn't for general game info, or to cover topics that are the same in SP and MP; check the rest of this wiki for that.
What are the main differences between Diablo II Multiplayer and Single Player?
There aren't a lot of differences. The characters, skills, quests, monsters, and all other basic game features are identical. Unlike in Diablo I, there are no single player characters in Diablo II; the characters and the game are the same, and single player characters in D2 are more accurately described as "offline" or "non-realm" characters. They're just like characters on the realms, except they're stored on your computer, rather than the Battle.net realms. Single Player characters can be played with other players, via TCP/IP or DCC or Open Battle.net
The biggest difference for Single Player D2 is the addition of the players x command in v1.09, which allows solo players to simulate larger games. This provides a greater challenge and more items. Some items can only be found on the realms, not in SP (or non-ladder online play).
What items can't be found in Single Player?
It depends on which version you are playing. Blizzard has added new uniques and runewords several times in patches, usually making them available only on the realms, or only for ladder characters after a ladder reset. These new runewords and uniques are generally made available for all characters in the next patch, when new exclusive ones are added in. A very details write up of what's available (and not) in v1.10 and v1.11 can be seen here.
How do I back up my character and why should I?
In your Diablo II folder, there is a "save" subfolder. Don't delete it! In this you'll find files with your character names, several files per character. Their extensions are .d2s, .ma, and .key. The .d2s one is the important one, that's your character and all of their equipment. The .key is your custom key settings, and the .ma ones are maps. Any time you aren't actually playing a character, you can copy the charname.d2s one and that's your back up. Rename it slightly, or store it in another folder, and you just need to copy it back into the save folder at any time. Be careful not to overwrite a newer version of your character.
Making regular back ups is a good idea, just in case. Save them to a floppy disk if you are worried about a system crash or hard drive failure. Do this especially if you are playing Open Battle.net, since some other players will have hacks they can use steal your equipment, or corrupt your character, making them unplayable. There are no hack-protections on Open Bnet, so be sure you have a back up.
What is "Players X", how do I use it, and what are the benefits?
"Players X" is a way to simulate more players in the game, upping the monster difficulty, but also increasing their item drops. This command was added in v1.09 D2X, and it works on Single Player characters in any play mode; solo, TCP/IP, or Open Battle.net. It does not work on the MP chars or on the Battle.net Realms.
- See the players x page for full details.
How can I trade items I find playing SP?
Check the Diii.net SP Trading Forum. You can also discuss items and trades in the Single Player Forum.
Be aware that all single player items are easily duped or hacked, so play legit and try to be sure the person you are trading with is on the level, so you don't trade or trade for dupes.
How do I mule items?
There are several ways to stash away useful items for later, or give them to your other characters.
Using two computers is easy, with or without a friend to help. Just run Diablo II on both of them and sort the items to mules or new characters as you see fit.
One quick way to self-mule, if you don't have time to set up a muling game session is to simply create a copy of your character, by copying their .d2s file. You can continue playing that character, and when you have time to mule, back up your character, restore the old version, offload the item, and then copy the most recent version of your character back in.
Most SP players use ATMA or GoMule, two handy muling applications that allow items to be stored on your hard drive without taking up character space, and without creating mule characters. This thread in the SPF has links and instructions.
Where can I find other Single Player Diablo II fans?
The [Diii.net Single Player Forum is a busy and tight-knit community of gamers who predominantely pay SP. Check out the SP FAQ and links thread there for an absolute wealth of links, tips, game challenges, utilities, and much more.
What is a mod? Where can I get mods? Can I use my current characters with a mod?
A mod is basically a more involve, player-created patch. Mod makers alter the game by tweaking values and settings in the spreadsheets that run the game. Most mods change item names and stats, skill names and stats, drop rates, monster stats, and much more, usually in some thematic fashion. More involved mods make larger changes, including adding new graphics, creating new themes (like turning every monster into something from Lord of the Rings), changing how spells work, and more.
The main Diablo II mods site is The Phrozen Keep. You can find more info about mod-making and tutorials in an article by Apocalypse Demon.
What is the deal with Magic Find? Is it better to have more Magic Find?
Magic Find gives the items you find a better chance to be higher quality; rare, set, or unique. See the Magic Find page for more details.
What character should I play with? Which is the most powerful?
These questions have no fixed answers. Which character to play is largely a personal choice. The point of the game is to have fun, after all, so pick a character you like. Eventually you'll probably try them all, and come to your own favorite. The most powerful character varies from patch to patch, as skills are tweaked and nerfed, and new items added that some characters can make better use of.
Is there any way to change my stats or skills once they are used?
No, Diablo II does not allow any type of respecing. (Though Diablo III will.) To try a new build in Diablo II, you need to make the character anew, from scratch.
What’s the best mercenary? How do I know which mercenary type I am getting?
Different mercenaries have different strengths, but most players prefer the Act 2 mers, for their ability to cast auras. See the Mercernaries page for more details.
What is the Secret Cow Level?
A fun bonus area in D2 and D2X. I Read more about it here.
Do some Runewords work only on the realms?
Yes. See the Runewords page for a full list of Runewords, and their functional status.
What is an "SoJ"? A Stone of Jordan, a unique ring. It was the most useful unique ring in D2C, and remains fairly useful for spell casters in D2X. Through the vagueries of game economy, this item became the basic unit of currency during D2C, and was heavily duped. Selling SoJs can trigger the World Event in D2X, v1.10 and later.