Confused by Diablo 4’s Fortify and Barrier systems? This tool makes them… less confusing

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably spent a fair number of hours already playing Diablo 4 since its release. But whether or not you’re a grind fiend who’s going for the six rarest items, or just a casual player who’s yet to even finish the campaign, Diablo 4 is full of systems that aren’t very well explained.

Case in point: Barrier, and Fortified. Both can be plainly described as bonuses to your health, but each of them works differently, and the benefits from having one or both active also vary. That lack of clarity has actually been a common point of discussion among hardcore players experimenting with builds.

To make it a little more simple to understand Barrier, and Fortified, it helps to see a side-by-side visual representation outside of the chaos of the game. This is what Reddit user d4fuQQ created. Their design breaks down how your health globe looks with various stages of Barrier, and whether you’re also Fortified or not.

Diablo 4: Health Bar explained (Barrier & Fortify visualized)
by u/d4fuQQ in diablo4

While this is obviously a good starting point, it’s not ideal. Part of that is the game’s loose (and sometimes misleading) explanation of the mechanics. Helpful Reddit user Zaxlor tried to simplify it further for players who look at that graph and still feel confused.

The dark shade of red is Fortify. When it covers your entire health globe, you get the chunky black ring around it. This means Fortify is at 100%, which happens when the stat is equal to or greater than your actual (current) HP. When you’re fully Fortified, you get a 10% damage reduction – but only when the ring appears. But while you work your way towards 100% Fortify, you will gain an Overpower bonus to your damage.

Barrier – the blue hue – is effectively an over-shield, so it’s kind of free health on top of your existing HP. When you take damage, Barrier is consumed first before your actual HP. Barrier is always a certain percentage of your base HP, so if it’s at 20%, you basically have 20% extra HP.

You can, of course, have one without the other (depending on your build), which is what makes this image a little more confusing than it needs to be. Nevertheless, it’s helpful to see it all laid out like that.

Diablo 4’s first season – Season of the Malignant – was recently revealed. It kicks off July 20, bringing a new story arc, the Malignancy mechanic, new gear, and more. Hit the link for our full breakdown, and this one for everything you need to do before the season starts.

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