Couch Co-Op Powerleveing Method (Hardcore)

Hi everyone. I haven’t made a thread in a long time, but wanted to post this in case it helps others. I figured out a way to Powerlevel another player in couch co-op, which is impossible to do the way we would in multiplayer (T6 rift, level 1 player sits at the entrance or similar methods), as the screen is shared and the level 1 player would get dragged around and one-shot.

I got the idea from a video by Raxxanterax, where he ran around the Eternal Woods without killing a mob and snap-shotted the whole map at level 1 (T1). It was meant for solo-leveling at the start of a season, but it gave me an idea.

When I play with my kids (19 and 22, not really kids) on console, we play Hardcore, so every once in a while, one of us will lose a character. My daughter’s Barb died and without a leveled Gem of Ease, she spent an afternoon getting her new Barb back up to 70. She died again, as she forgot to gear enough DR switching from the Earth set to the IK set.

I felt bad, as I didn’t catch it in time. I wondered if there was anything we could do to speed things up. Obviously, playing HC, we can’t just drag her along. I wondered if we could also snapshot the map at level 1 like Raxx did, and have the other 2 (level 70, geared for T16+) join the game with XP gear and rip through the map.

I’m happy to report this method works like a charm!


  1. Start a new character at Level 1, Torment 1 (or higher if you’re brave, lower to play it safe but will take longer), and create a solo game in Adventure Mode.

  2. If you have gold, buy defensive gear from vendors and boots with Movement Speed. If you have paragon, put points into Movement Speed, Vitality, Armor, All Resist, etc. You won’t need damage as you won’t be killing anything.

  3. Go to The Eternal Woods (or your zone of choice - Weeping Hollow is good too) and run around the entire map, kiting mobs until the entire map is exposed and all the mobs are spawned. They will all be stuck at Level 1/T1 difficulty and cannot one-shot a level 1 character. With a little defense, they’ll barely hurt the level 1 character.

I tested using a Barb with 338 paragon, nothing in the cube, and blue level 1 gear, putting paragon points into Movement Speed, Armor, All Res, and Vit. Mobs couldn’t touch me, but a fresh level 1 with no gold might not have it so easy.

  1. TP back to town.

  2. Have your couch co-op buddies join your game with their XP gear and GoEs, and blast the map, trying to string along as many Massacre bonuses as you can.

  3. (edit) TP back to town and Exit the game. Rinse and repeat with the new character snap-shotting a new map in a solo game. All the monsters stay at the level they spawned at and do not scale.

The trick is to have the new character spawn the entire map solo, so that newly spawned mobs cannot kill the character as they scale up in difficulty. If you start the game as a multi-player group, the game will load at the highest character level in the party, which is what we don’t want.

We got her to level 34 on the first run, in less than 10 minutes. We tried a few other zones, but Eternal Woods seems ideal for it. Anywhere with high monster density should work, though. I’m thinking Halls of Agony might be good. Note: on the 2nd run, the monsters were level 34, of course, as she was level 34.

Here’s the video by Raxx demonstrating the snapshot (on PC) if you’re not sure what I mean:

I realize this method isn’t useful for everyone as few play Hardcore regularly, and it’s easier to get a Powerlevel online, or level yourself with a Gem of Ease, but hopefully someone finds this useful. Snap-shotting isn’t a new concept, of course, and perhaps there are players who have already figured this out (game is 10 years old after all), but I have never seen a post about it anywhere, so I thought I’d share.

If you try it out, post here and let us know how you do and what zones you used. I can always make a video if requested. Thanks!

It very well could not work as often a great level difference will cause the lower one to be entered into ‘apprentice mode’ which does buff them but also snapshots the enemies at the level of the higher.

My lady and I have tried this sort of thing numerous times and, if I am, say L70 P600 and she a new character (maybe with 5 paragon total but L1 otherwise), she will die from any direct hit.

So, really, nothing special… we go to T6 and run a GR. She’ll usually emerge at level 50+.

[Edit] – GR should be Nephalem Rift.

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I was afraid of apprentice mode as well, which is why I never tried something like this before. But, it does indeed work. She never went into “apprentice mode” and never came close to dying. The monsters were stuck at level 1, and didn’t scale.

Your reply made me think of something I need to add to this post. Once the map is cleared, you TP to town and exit the game. The new character needs to open a new solo game and snap-shot another map before their teammates join.


First, apprentice mode only applies to softcore. It does not apply to hardcore on the console. But, in hardcore, enemies get scaled to the level of the highest leveled character in the game.

Whereas on the PC, if a Level 1 player hosts the game, and a Level 70 character joins, all the enemies will still be at Level 1. (On the PC, they don’t host, but the game is tailored to the leader, which is similar to a host).

On the console, if a Level 1 player hosts a game, and a Level 70 character joins, all the enemies will thus become Level 70. But snapshotted enemies will stay whatever level they were when they spawned.

Second, did you try it just to 34, or try it to 70 as well? Because I believe you might be sadly mistaken about how effective it really is. The problem here, is that, while at Level 1, snapshotted enemies will give her experience, as she gains levels, the snapshotted enemies will give less and less experience to the point that they won’t give any experience at all, after about 6 levels. Unfortunately, what you’re really seeing, is just the experience you get from any +XP gear that you have, as well as the Gem of Ease. Remember, the total experience you’ve collected will also be multiplied by the difficulty as well, in this case, T1 giving a 3x multiplier.

It takes 1,953,080 experience to go from Level 1-34. Let’s say you had a Level 25 Gem of Ease, which gives 1750 experience, or 5250 experience on T1. You kill roughly 370 snapshotted enemies with a Level 25 GoE, and you’d get to 34, and it would appear to work.

Here’s the issue though. Level 70 takes 576,516,080 experience. At that rate, you’d need to kill roughly 110,000 snapshotted enemies. (A little less, for when you’re actually within the 5 level range to actually gain monster XP).

The problem is,

A) Maps don’t have that many enemies.
B) Even if they did have that many enemies, it would take forever to snapshot them.

I’m guessing it would probably appear to work really well until about Level 48 or so. That’s when the real experience bump starts to kick in.

You’re right about Apprentice Mode-I didn’t know it didn’t apply to HC. We’re always the same level running together, but I have a nephew I mess around with on SC and I’ve seen it there.

Exactly, so as long as you don’t go into a new zone and spawn new monsters, you’re good. This is why I added #6 on an edit, to ensure I specified that as soon as the run is done, close the game, and have the new character snapshot them again in a new solo game.

We got her to 56 before she called it quits (we had been playing for a while at that point). While the leveling rate slowed down, it was still good. Also, we tried a few other zones which weren’t as good, but still yielded levels. We tried Desolate Sands, and Southern and Northern Highlands (long run to the manor), for more spacious maps, but neither has the density of Eternal Woods. I think Weeping Hollow is a good bet, and Halls of Agony, or Temple of the Firstborn, but haven’t tested. So yes, you need maps with good density.

I understand monsters are only giving XP based on their snap-shotted level and it will diminish, but the XP per kill is good enough and like you said, with the Torment multiplier and party bonus, it helps. With higher level GoEs, it would go faster. We just happened to have ours at 25.

Also, when we started the 2nd game, the monsters were level 34, T1, yielding more XP per monster. Ideally, you’d want to create a new game and load a new map once the first run was complete. I’ll post back with approximately how long it takes to get her from 56-70, which will be starting from a level 56, T1 game.

Sure, it takes a little time to run around and spawn everything, but in a map like The Eternal Woods, it doesn’t take as long as you think unless you’ve got zero movement speed. 5 mins tops (edit - may be too generous, we didn’t use a timer) and less than that to clear.

All in all, I’d say we spent maybe an hour to get to 56 and that’s with a break in there and us talking about it. Still way faster than when she leveled herself without a Gem of Ease. If we mess around with this some more, I’ll try to get some times down.

Overall, I thought it could be a good option for some people. It’s not better than other methods, but it’s not bad at all IMO. Mostly useful for HC players, but I would imagine having to stop every minute to res your buddy while dragging him across the screen in SC is painful.

OMG. Rax doesn’t know anything about console.

Best PL method on coop console is and will ever going to be:

  1. level 70 Player1 starts T16 game
  2. level 1 Player2 joins game and clicks on “create new character”. Game will allow this “new character” to be created in the T16 game and it will allow it to enter T16 game.
  3. Start T16 rift and P2 stands by the door. 45 seconds later P2 is level 70.

Yes, it’s faster than EN and you can even open a cow level to ensure density.

I’m not saying Rax is an idiot, I’m saying he knows as much about console as any incompetent moron out there.

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I realize Rax doesn’t play console, I just happened to watch the video and wanted to see for myself if it worked (I play both). I only included the video as that’s where I got the idea from, as credit.

Also, I specified 'Couch co-op" or in other words, not an online multiplayer game. You can’t have someone stand at the door in couch co-op because it’s a shared screen and you will drag the new player with you.

Edit: I re-read your post. Does it really take 45 seconds? I’m going to go try this myself. You’re telling me you can get that much XP from a just a few mobs without dragging the other player?

Experience level chart - Diablo Wiki

Here’s a graph of the experience, so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about visually.

As I mentioned above, the first 5 levels of each snapshot will still give you monster XP, so even getting to 56 might appear feasible. But it’s going to really slow you down.

Let’s take a skeleton as an example. At Level 1, a skeleton gives 22 experience. At Level 69, a skeleton gives 15680 experience. Even at T1 with a Level 25 GoE, that’s going to take 1600 monsters, or roughly running Eternal Woods 4x for that last level.

Granted, at that point, they should be able to survive T1. At Level 61, with all 61 yellow gear, they should be fine to just follow you on T1.

As far as what GreenLobstar stated, I believe that only works with joining external players, not local co-op. But yes, that does take about a minute, give or take to get the player to 70.

But, if you want a far faster way, that’s 100% safe in HC, works in co-op, and will take 20 minutes:

Just run Set Dungeons on T6.

You start the game with your real character on T6. Clear to, and around the Set Dungeon. They join you. Now, you just run the Set Dungeon over and over. Don’t worry about mastering it. Just kill the enemies. Monsters give the XP of the difficulty you play on, while having fixed difficulty. Plus, you can’t permanently die in Set Dungeons. If they die, the Set Dungeon just ends early. UE Set Dungeon tends to be perfect for this.

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To be fair, he caters towards a PC crowd.

But the snapshot method he mentioned is actually from a post I made a while ago. And I categorized it as PC only, and advanced leveling. There are quite a few errors in his video about how to run it properly.

As well as the post, I also had posted it in the Twitch chats before with Saluter, Rax, and Wudijo. To his credit, Saluter, actually went ahead and tried it. And I know he made a video of it where more people started to learn about it. But some things about the hows and whys were lost. I guess that’s to be expected through a game of telephone.

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I like the set dungeon idea. Never thought the XP was that good for leveling, but it makes sense.

Yeah, once they’re 61, they’ll be fine with some gear. That was my thought too.

As far as joining the game with a fresh level 1 seasonal, they cannot join a difficulty they haven’t unlocked. I just tried it and it wouldn’t let player 2 in the game with this specific message. Her previous character that died played on T16 in this season, so it should be “unlocked.”

Just keep respawning. It’s T16 XP level. It’s fast and P2 doesn’t have to stay alive 100%.

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Ah, you missed where I said we were playing Hardcore. No respawns. I’ll edit the title to include HC to be more specific.

Also, player 2 wasn’t able to join a level 70, T16 game as level 1. “Difficulty not unlocked”. She doesn’t have an alt, but was running T16 in groups, but I don’t think she did it solo.

Yes, you cannot join. You can, however, Create New Character in the T16 lobby and enter T16 game in a coop game.

Step by step:
P1 creates new T16 game and waits in town. P2 presses A button and selects his/her profile, this brings up list of characters, hit Y (I think it’s Y) to create new character, finish character creation menu and accept. P2 new character spawns in town in T16 game P1 created.

Yeah, I missed HC mode. So yeah, respawning isn’t an option. The method is still works because T16 XP but P2 needs to be very careful.

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Editing my last post as I can’t reply to the thread until someone else does:

I tried the Set Dungeon with a fresh alt on her account and after 4 runs through the Delseres Set Dungeon on T6, she was 54. We didn’t bother crafting Cains or Borns or swapping in a gem, so it likely would have gone faster. My Wiz was wearing a 35 Gem of Ease, max Ruby in helm, and a Leorics. No other boosts.

I never thought of trying this. You know how they always say “difficulty doesn’t affect the dungeon?” I just figured they would have nerfed XP in these as well. I don’t frequent the forums like I used to back in the day, so I guess I was out of touch.

We took her level 56 Barb, who we were actually power-leveling, and ran through it with all three of us and got her to 70 in 2 runs. The last one was only 3 levels and we quit once she hit 70 so more like 1-1/2.

As far as opening a T16 game, a new character under 70 can’t access T7 or above. She didn’t have an alt this season, so it had her locked to T6 and under on a fresh character. It’s been a while since I encountered this myself as I never get powerleveled, and deaths are rare-unless I’m farting around-like running a group 111 without a death passive :slight_smile:

Maybe there’s an exploit (saw a post about this elsewhere), but I’m not able to create a new character in the lobby of a party either for anything higher than T6. Maybe it was patched, or perhaps it only works on some consoles, but not PS4.

Interesting discussion, though, and I learned a new trick! if the situation fits, I still think this is a decent method, but I will do a few test runs to see how long it will actually take to get to 70. The set dungeon was faster to 54, but we got to 56 using the snap-shot in a pretty good time as well. Thanks for all the replies!

This is the key part.

The game has to exist before the higher level joins it. We’ve only done that a few times (and mostly because she wants to do her own thing for a while,) as we generally just start the game together and that will negatively impact a lower-level character making it much harder on them.

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