There is a technique called snapshotting that is insanely popular right now on certain builds. I understand the basic idea is that you are able to capture higher/buffed stats or affects and preserve it for longer than intended periods of time.

One example is capturing the Power Shrine bonus in Exploding Palm and retaining it as you move through the level from the effects of other items.

What other skills capture their settings from bonuses and can be manipulated by snapshotting?

  • You have correctly answered what is snapshotting yourself. While I can not remember other combos from the top of my head there's an important reason for that - Blizzard is actively patching out snapshotting everywhere. I am only occasionally following build news, but I think there hasn't been anything that significant for a while now...
    – Orc JMR
    Nov 13, 2015 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


Here is Wyatt Cheng (Senior Technical Game Designer of Diablo 3) explaining it: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/19890789607

I want to clarify a few things about many recent discussions of snapshotting and make sure we’re all on the same page as to what that means.

Snapshotting is very fundamental mechanic in Diablo III that allows the game to work correctly and according to player expectations most of the time. It's a bit like having electricity in your home; you never really think about it when it's working correctly, but you sure do notice when it's not! By and large most skills should snapshot the state of your character at the time your ability is used unless there is a good reason not to. This is what allows you to cast Rend just before Wrath of the Berserker expires and retain the damage bonus. You hit that monster really hard didn't you? Not only does Rend snapshotting the damage at the time the ability is cast allow for skilled players to time their abilities for maximum effect, it's also what you would expect the skill to do mechanically—bleed a lot because you hit really hard! As another example, you wouldn’t want to have a character equip a very high-speed dagger, cast a bunch of projectiles, and then switch to a high-damage two-hander to artificially boost your damage by using the damage of your character at the time the projectiles landed. Projectiles should do the damage the caster had at the time the projectile was fired. They need to snapshot.

All of this is the intended and necessary design of Diablo III.

This brings us to the confusion we see when people refer to snapshotting as if it were a global bug. There’s a huge, important difference. While most skills should snapshot, some skills and items with long or persistent effects should instead update continuously. To use my analogy from earlier - sometimes the light switch doesn't work and you REALLY notice. [...]

So basically, snapshotting is extending the time/power of your skills or buffs and as stated by Wyatt Cheng, it is a part of the game.

  • Judging only from this question and answer this quote sounds like another example of engineers doubling down on their own domain-specific language so as to not have to accept the fact that regular users use the same words differently. The developers' meaning is obviously "to capture the state of an object at a point in time", while — judging by the question — players use the same word to mean "exploiting above mechanism in unintended ways".
    – Andreas
    Jul 8 at 12:04

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