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Diablo 4: Here's everything you need to do before Season of the Malignant starts

A new Diablo 4 season is upon us! Season of the Malignant brings a lot of new content, so here's the best way to prepare yourself for its start.

Image credit: Blizzard

We finally have a release date for Season 1 of Diablo 4. Dubbed Season of the Malignant, the new season kicks off Thursday, July 20. It brings with it the game's first battle pass, a new questline, new Malignant Hearts and their associated mechanics, new gear for everybody, and a lot more.

Whether you've been playing Diablo 4 since launch, or you're taking a break until the launch of Season 1, we wanted to put together a few pointers about the things you should do before the start of Season of the Malignant.

None of those are mandatory, of course, you can simply start playing without worrying too much about it. However, you can speed up your seasonal character journey significantly by targetting certain objectives now while you wait.

Blizzard has clarified what bonuses you enjoy now that are going to affect your seasonal characters when the season begins. So, as a checklist of everything you need to do before the kick off, here's all the information we've got so far.

Finish the Diablo 4 campaign

This might seem like a no-brainer, because why wouldn't you want to see the Diablo 4 story to its conclusion? But finishing the campaign on a single character on your account also offers several unique benefits for all future characters you create - including seasonal characters.

For one, about halfway through the campaign you unlock a mount, which is immediately unlocked for all future characters from the beginning. Finishing the campaign on a single character also lets you skip it and get straight to the grind on any future character.

The new Malignant Monsters won't show up until the campaign is done (because it would otherwise spoil the story), so there's an even bigger incentive to skip it on your new seasonal character - so you can experience the new questline and mechanics immediately.

The campaign is well worth playing for its narrative and production quality, too, so it's not all about the numbers. You might even come away from your time with it agreeing with a certain villain.

Find all Altars of Lilith

The Altars of Lilith are those statues hidden around the vast Diablo 4 open world. Finding and activating each one grants permanent boosts to all characters in the realm. There are 160 Altars of Lilith to find and activate, and we have a detailed guide on all Altars of Lilith locations across all of Diablo 4's regions.

While you can certainly take your time and wait until you stumble upon them organically, you may want to consider all the bonuses future characters will be missing out on. Finding and activating all Altars becomes much easier once you unlock the horse, which comes halfway through the campaign.

The bonuses you get from activating every Altar of Lilith will be available to future seasonal characters, too, so you won't need to track them down all over again. The benefits the Altars of Lilith grant are well worth it; from inventory upgrades, to bonus attribute points, gold, XP and much more.

Clear all the fog of war and find every Waypoint

Another thing you can spend time doing is visiting every possible corner of Diablo 4's massive open world. That not only unlocks Waypoints that make it easier to fast travel everywhere, it also grants discovery XP bonuses.

But the even more relevant detail here is that you only need to clear the fog on one of your current characters to begin the new season with all of it cleared. Clearing the fog is also a great way to spot Altars of Lilith, which feeds into your discovery completion percentage for each region.

The higher your discovery rating, the more Renown that will carry over to your seasonal characters. All the rewards Renown has already unlocked also carry over, meaning things like extra skill points, Paragon Points, maximum Potion/Obol capacity upgrades and so on.

Log into your highest character before starting a seasonal character

The character with the highest progress across Diablo 4's world; that includes Altars of Lilith, region discovery, and fog of war cleaning is the one you want to inform your first seasonal character. For that work to carry over to the seasonal realm, you'll need to first log into that character before creating a season character.

This can be done at any point from July 18 - which is when the Season 1 patch will be released - two days before the season kicks off proper. You're free to do this at any point in the future, so long as it's done before you start your seasonal journey.

Even if you discovered more of one region on one character, and more of a different region on another character - logging into them both will propagate each of their discoveries across your account.

Finally, you should definitely try one of the best Diablo 4 builds for all classes to make this journey easier. We're not far off from Season 1's start, so you definitely want to be efficient.

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