In this guide, we'll tell you where to find all 15 Diablo IV Strongholds, how they work, and how to beat these unique challenges in Sanctuary's overworld.
Quicklinks: What Are Strongholds? | Strongholds Map
Fractured Peaks: Nostrava | Malnok | Kor Dragan
Scosglen: Moordaine Lodge | Hope's Light | Tur Dulra
Dry Steppes: The Onyx Watchtower | Temple of Rot | Qara Yisu
Hawezar: Crusaders' Monument | Eriman's Pyre | Vyeresz
Kehjistan: Alcarnus | Altar of Ruin | Omath's Redoubt
One of the most notable additions in Diablo IV is Strongholds -- these can be found in their own dedicated zones on the Map. You can start exploring these challenges right after you've completed the starter quest, but you may want to wait -- these fortresses of evil are home to some of the toughest enemies in the overworld. In this guide, we'll tell you everything you need to know about each of the game's 15's Strongholds!
What Are Strongholds in Diablo IV?
Diablo IV Strongholds are special locations that are somewhat like open-world Dungeons. Typically, they'll have some kind of puzzle to solve, a few mini-boss fights, and a final fight against a proper boss. Completing the boss fight and lighting the Wanderer's Shrine will "conquer" the Stronghold and either turn it into a regular overworld location or a small town.
Some Strongholds will automatically reveal a new Waypoint once conquered. Others may reveal one or more Dungeons that could not be accessed prior to conquering the Stronghold. Progressing Strongholds is a key part of unlocking bonuses for a Region as well as unlocking new Waypoints, making it just a little bit easier to make your way around the Map.
Additionally, every Stronghold has at least 1 Altar of Lilith that can typically only be accessed once you've completed the Stronghold or some of its objectives. Rarely, you'll be able to access a Stronghold's Altar of Lilith without completing any objectives at all.
Finally, and most importantly: our experience shows that Strongholds will typically have enemies that are 2 to 3 Levels higher than you. Some Strongholds appear to have a minimum Level requirement, too; for example, the Strongholds in Kehjistan appear to have a minimum of Level 40 enemies. Read on to see how to conquer all of the Strongholds in Diablo IV!
Diablo IV Strongholds Map
There are a total of 15 Strongholds in Diablo IV. There are three Strongholds per Region. Pay attention to the Strongholds
Fractured Peaks Strongholds
Fractured Peaks is the first Region of Diablo IV and it will likely be your introduction to Strongholds in general. That doesn't mean that they'll be any less challenging, though!
Nostrava appears to be a normal town at first; you'll find what looks like a relatively normal group of people in a church. Speaking with the Priestess, however, reveals that they're cultists and you'll have to survive a fight against all of them.
Once you finish that initial fight, you'll have to go into the houses and destroy a total of Demonic Entities in each of the homes. You'll also find the Stronghold's Altar of Lilith within one of these houses.
Your final major objective will be the boss fight -- an unusual three-way battle against the Succubi Kozira, Nagala, and Torvara, along with the occasional trash mobs. It's best to focus on one at a time so that you'll have to deal with fewer attackers, but keep in mind that they can respawn -- you'll spend most of the fight battling multiple tough enemies at any one time.
After you've managed to defeat the Succubi, your final objective will be to rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine. This will conquer the Stronghold and automatically reveal a permanent Waypoint.
Malnok is a town that is experiencing an unusual ice storm that has practically frozen everything solid. Go into the center of the Stronghold and you'll find a massive goatman in the center surrounded by ice. Three beams of ice energy are going into this big goat; you'll have to follow each of those to your next objective.
The source of those three beams is an Ice Clan Stormcaller. Attempting to attack them will spawn a Ritual Guardian, a protective shield around the Ice Clan Stormcaller, and several more Ice Clan goatmen. Keeping the number of enemies down is important here, but your ultimate objective is to kill the Ritual Guardian as fast as possible. Once that's done, you'll have to kill the Ritual Guardian. This process will have to be repeated for each of the three Ice Clean Stormcallers.
As expected, your final battle will be against the massive goatman in the center of town. You'll be trapped within a circle of ice during this fight, so you'll have to do your best to keep your distance or otherwise avoid its attacks.
Once you've won the fight, you can rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine to conquer this Stronghold. You can find Malnok's Altar of Lilith in the southwest of the Stronghold.
Kor Dragan is infected with some kind of vampiric corruption and it's up to you to remove it. Don't waste too much time killing any of the enemies -- Vampiric Incubators will keep spawning them until they're destroyed, and these Vampiric Incubators are invulnerable until you manage to remove the magic protecting them.
First, you'll have to destroy Vampiric Corruption Nodes near each of the Vampiric Incubators. Destroying the Vampiric Corruption Nodes will allow you to destroy the Vampiric Incubators. As you might expect, you'll have to slash your way through hordes of enemies to get this done.
Once all three of the Vampiric Incubators are destroyed, you'll have to destroy the Vampiric Abberation. That's not the end of the fight, though -- you'll then have to head down into the archives and fight Nilcar, Forgotten Bishop.
The fight against Nilcar is by no means an easy one. Nilcar spawns other creatures to assist him and these creatures can revive, so it will be like a tougher version of the fight against the Succubi in Nostrava. I recommend focusing on doing damage to Nilcar and killing him as fast as possible rather than trying to keep his adds contained.
As always, finishing the fight will give you the ability to rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine and conquer the Stronghold. You'll be able to find Kor Dragan's Altar of Lilith in the southern area of the Stronghold.
Scosglen is the home of the Druids, and that's why two of the Strongholds within this area are heavily tied into their culture. I hope you like fighting werewolves and bears!
Moordaine Lodge is an ancient hunting lodge used by the Druid Clans. Unfortunately, it seems like whatever they were hunting got the drop on them, leaving you a bit of a murder mystery on your hands.
Go to the Hunting Lodge in the center of the Stronghold and you'll be prompted to find the three missing hunters. Interacting with the first two hunters will simply spawn an Elite enemy. Interacting with the third and final hunter will spawn The Beast of Morbaine, a deadly werewolf.
This fight doesn't go like most other boss fights -- The Beast of Morbaine will actually retreat once its health gets too low. Continue your pursuit and start fighting it again. Once it's damaged sufficiently, The Beast will reveal itself as Fionnir, The Mad Druid. Fionnir will shift to using elemental attacks for this portion of the fight, and he'll occasionally summon other enemies to assist him in the fight. When you get down to the third Potion arrow, Fionnir will transform into a bear.
Defeating Fionnir will give you the ability to rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine. As always, make sure to grab this Stronghold's Altar of Lilith -- you can find it to the west.
Hope's Light is a little less straightforward than some of the previous Strongholds you may have encountered -- it's not exactly on stable ground. A number of wrecked ships populate the area and you can't even go in through the front door.
You'll have to run to the left and work your way through the cliffs until you find a winch. Activating this winch will spawn enemies, so be prepared for a fight. Activating the winch will move a yardarm that you can climb over.
Once you're on the other side, you'll have to go down to the bottom right and grab the winch. Then head to the top right and attach the winch to its mount. As before, this will spawn enemies. This second winch will open up a new path. Travel along it and head up into the lighthouse.
The lighthouse is home to Tidewitch Ne'Gana. She'll spawn adds throughout the fight -- kill them to keep the fight manageable. Once she's defeated, you can rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine. You'll be able to find the Hope's Light Altar of Lilith to the far right.
Tur Dulra is another Stronghold that has strong ties to the Druids, so much so that it's required to clear it out to complete the Druid Class Quest. First, you'll have to walk to the right and loop around the cliffs to actually get inside Tur Dulra.
The centerpiece of Tur Dulra is the Great Oak, a massive tree that is sacred to the Druids. Approach it and you'll be able to interact with the ghost of Brighde, Druid of Tur Dulra. You'll have to find the 3 Druid Spirits throughout Tur Dulra. Interacting with each of the Druid spirits will spawn a miniboss and some enemies to fight.
After you've found all 3 Druid Spirits, you'll be instructed to return to the Great Oak; you'll have to fight and kill a massive demon. Once it's dead, you'll be able to rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine. Don't forget to grab the Altar of Lilith across the gap to the east! Tur Dulra will also transform into a settlement with its own Waypoint once it's been conquered.
Dry Steppes Strongholds
The Dry Steppes is the third Region you'll visit if you're following the campaign. The land is rife with bandits and that's reflected in some of the Strongholds.
The Onyx Watchtower
The Onyx Watchtower may once have been a proud fortress of the forces of light, but it has since been taken over by bandits. As such, one of your first objectives will be to simply kill bandits and destroy the encampment. You don't have to kill all of the enemies or destroy all of the structures; you only have to keep doing it until you complete these objectives.
You'll then have to slay the Captain's 3 lieutenants. Two of the lieutenants are easily accessed, but the third is located in a storeroom. You'll need to kill enemies to get the Storeroom Key and get to the third lieutenant.
After you've finished killing the lieutenants, you'll be able to find Captain Ezmin in the Watchtower. Defeat him and you'll be able to light the Wanderer's Shrine and conquer the Stronghold. You can find The Onyx Watchtower's Altar of Lilith in a southeastern cave. A Waypoint will appear after conquering this Stronghold, too.
Temple of Rot
The Temple of Rot is infested with cannibals. Your first challenge will be to get into the Stronghold; enter the door to the southeast. You'll have to find and kill the Cannibal Champions. You'll also find Bound Prisoners throughout the Stronghold. Make an effort to free them -- they'll drop Potion Charges and possibly some loot, too.
Your next step after killing the Cannibal Champions will be to find Molqarth's Lair. As you get closer to it, additional Champions will burst out of the hallway and attack you.
The subsequent fight will be against Molqarth himself. However, you won't be fighting just one boss -- a second boss will immediately spawn once you defeat the first. As usual, you can light the Wanderer's Shrine after defeating the boss.
The final step will be to get the Altar of Lilith in the Southeast. Bear in mind, however, that the Temple of Rot will very much remain a hostile area after you've conquered it; expect a fight on your way back out.
Qara Yisu is an area that has effectively been overrun by Fallen. Most of the individual enemies won't have too much health, but you should expect to fight a dozen or more enemies at any one time -- make sure you have strong AoE capabilities before heading in.
You'll find humans encased in salt throughout. Attacking these people will spawn enemies, so it's a good idea to proactively fight and kill these enemies along the way. Your first major task will be to find and destroy the 3 Infernal Spires. Enemies will continually spawn until they're destroyed, so prioritize attacking the Infernal Spires first and foremost.
The next step will be to investigate a disturbance in the mine. You'll have to fight a superpowered Fallen Shaman named Ultulku, The Voice Below. Expect to encounter a large number of enemies throughout the fight.
Once you've beaten Ultulku, you'll be able to rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine. You can find Qara Yisu's Altar of Lilith in the southeast of the Stronghold. Qara Yisu is one of the rare Strongholds that will also spawn a Waypoint after you've conquered it.
Hawezar's Strongholds are on the tougher side of things, mainly due to the fact that this is a higher-level area.
As the name implies, Crusaders' Monument is a monument to the Crusaders' of past battles. Start things off by heading to the center of this Stronghold and you'll find a small group of undead around the titular monument. Kill them all, then investigate the corpses of the Graverobbers near the monument to get an Exhumed Crusader's Skull.
Picking up the Exhumed Crusader's Skull will spawn the ghost of Sir Trystan. Defeat him and you'll be given an objective to find three more Crusader's Skulls throughout the Stronghold. Each Skull is on a Graverobber's corpse, and picking them up will summon a number of ghosts including one Elite.
It's best to collect the three Crusaders' Skulls before putting them into the Ritual Brazier. Either way, placing a Crusader's Skull into the Ritual Brazier will summon another group of ghosts to fight.
After all of the ghosts have been defeated, you'll have one more battle to tackle -- a fight against three Crusader Champions. Defeating them will allow you to rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine. After that's done, you can grab the Altar of Lilith to the north.
Eriman's Pyre features an unfortunate soul who is being burned alive and unable to die. Speaking with the Spirit of the Pyre at the center of this Stronghold will spawn an enemy that you'll have to fight. Defeating this creature will cause Villagers' Remains to drop; you can use them to extinguish one of the Fiery Focuses.
Extinguishing the first of the Fiery Focuses will open up another area of the Stronghold. You'll have to repeat this process a few more times -- go into a new area, defeat enemies to get Villagers' Remains, and extinguish a Fiery Focus.
When all of the Fiery Focuses have been extinguished, you'll have a fairly straightforward fight against Duz'Agur, Eriman's Bane. Defeat him and you'll be able to rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine and conquer this Stronghold. Don't forget to get the Altar of Lilith to the northwest!
Vyeresz is a Stronghold that has been taken over by a cult of snakes and their worshippers. You'll have to find and destroy the 3 Serpent's Eyes in the area.
Take note that there are Bound Prisoners within this Stronghold. Unlike some previous Strongholds, these Prisoners will actually help you fight in addition to dropping Potion Charges -- make sure to free them as soon as possible to make things a little easier on you.
Once you've destroyed the three Serpent's Eyes, you'll be able to open the Serpent's Eye Door. It will take about a minute to open, so make sure you're ready for a protracted fight against some Elites and trash mobs before opening it.
Head inside the Vyeresz Temple Ruins and you'll encounter a few more enemies along the way. Your final battle will be against the Boss Dianthus (which isn't particularly tricky as far as boss fights go). Defeat Dianthus and then rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine as shown on the map. Finally, grab the Altar of Lilith on the eastern side of the Stronghold. You'll be able to easily return here in the future, too, as this is one of the Strongholds that activates a new Waypoint.
The Kehjistan Strongholds are undeniably the toughest Strongholds in Diablo IV -- you won't really be able to survive them until you're at least Level 40. Therefore, you should aim to go after these Strongholds last.
Alcarnus is home to a witch who is researching immortality. Your first step in this Stronghold is to head to the tower in the northeast. You'll find the witch within; kill her and you'll be able to explore her lair.
There are three Research Notes that you'll have to find within the Lair of the Witch. You'll then be able to destroy the Necrotic Masses.
Destroying a Necrotic Mass will spawn a Simulacrum of the Witch along with additional enemies. After you destroy them all, you'll have to fight the Witch one final time along with a few "imperfect" clones as adds.
You can rekindle the Wanderer's Shrine after you defeat the witch. After that's done, you can grab the Altar of Lilith in the northeast.
Altar of Ruin
The Altar of Ruin is another one of those annoying Strongholds where you can't quite get in through the front door. Instead, you'll have to run around the side.
There's a locked Ritual Chamber inside the Altar of Ruin. You'll need to find Keystones to open it. As you might expect, each Keystone is protected by a miniboss. Opening up the Ritual Chamber will lead to the fight against the Dark Cardinal.
The Dark Cardinal is invulnerable at the beginning of the fight. Furthermore, he summons additional enemies throughout the fight. There's nothing particularly challenging about it otherwise, so tough it out and defeat him.
When the Dark Cardinal is dead, you can light the Wanderer's Shrine and conquer this Stronghold. You can find the Altar of Lilith for this Stronghold to the northeast. Finally, the conquered version of this Stronghold will be home to a brand new shiny Waypoint that you can travel to at any time.
Omath's Redoubt is a little unusual as far as Strongholds go -- you have a mystery to solve, and that means you'll have to find clues. Interact with the following items, and keep in mind that each interaction will spawn enemies:
- Blade in the western circle
- Corpse in the northern circle
- Corpse in the eastern circle
- Corpse in the southern circle
After you've interacted with these four things, you'll have to inspect the Ceremonial Staff. That will lead to a pretty standard boss fight. Defeat the boss, relight the Wanderer's Shrine, and grab the Altar of Lilith to the northwest and you're done!
Now that you've finished the Diablo IV Strongholds Guide, why not check out our other guides below?