In the question Are you rewarded for playing Diablo II in hardcore mode? you can see that in Diablo 2

the difference is not that great. Apart from the one life aspect of HC, the game is exactly the same;

But with all changes in Diablo 3, there is any difference between Hardcore and normal (softcore) heroes?

extra: Can a Hardcore plays together with a softcore hero?

5 Answers 5


Since it seems that this question hasn't received a comprehensive answer, here's my best attempt at a full list of all of the differences between Hardcore and Normal (Softcore) modes:

In Hardcore, you:

  • Will lose the ability to play your character permanently upon your character's death. You will also have the option to archive a profile of your dead character (playtime, level, appearance, cause of death) in your "Hall of Fallen Heroes" for posterity.

  • Will lose all of your character's equipped items, all items in your character's inventory, and all items equipped on your Followers when your character dies. Any items in your Stash, as well as your Gold and Blacksmith/Jeweler status, are retained (and are shared between all of your present and future Hardcore characters).

  • Have a separate stash, gold pool, and Blacksmith/Jeweler than your Normal mode characters. There is a dedicated Hardcore-only Auction House, and Blizzard has stated that there will not be a Real-Money Hardcore Auction House. Hardcore mode is an entirely separate ecosystem than Normal mode.

  • Cannot trade items back and forth between Hardcore and Normal characters.

  • Cannot join a game with non-Hardcore characters (and they cannot join yours).

  • Can earn special Achievements for killing bosses and reaching level thresholds on a Hardcore character. Many of these Achievements have special rewards, such as banner designs.


  • There are no innate differences in the strength of a Hardcore character versus a Normal character.

  • So far, there is no evidence of any difference in the strength of monsters, quality of loot drops, or anything else that affects gameplay aside from the fact that your character cannot be resurrected upon death.

  • I don't need a hero to chat. you are talking about Diablo-2 here. You could add that Achievements like kills and books are shared between normal and hardcore.
    – Michel
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 17:31
  • Sorry, I don't use the chat system much in the game so I wasn't sure what chat options were available outside of gameplay; thanks for the clarification. Edited that bit out.
    – Cloudy
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 17:36
  • 1
    You only need a hero to chat, to chat in your party, but since you are dead. you'll not party again. Idk if after your death, you are Removed to the main screen or stays in the game. If you stay in the game, I believe you can talk to your party. Not sure what happen after you die.
    – Michel
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 17:39

I have played both a normal barbarian and a hardcore barbarian both up to level 60 just so that I can contribute to this post. Aside from all the things mentioned above, I have noticed that my hardcore barbarian gets more Rare and Legendary items than my normal barbarian. In Normal Level, my hardcore barbarian has acquired 3 Legendary items, while my normal barbarian has only 1. I have also noticed that my hardcore barbarian gets more rare items. This is solely based on items from loot and not items I bought. Everything else is virtually the same for a hardcore and normal hero, except for the obvious differences like life/death, stash, auction house, etc...

  • 2
    There is no increased chance of finding magical gear in hardcore, any higher percentage drops you are experiencing is either imaginary or coincidence.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 1:36

Hardcore heros will have more "flashy" gear;

Will hardcore characters be more powerful than normal? --Spectrusv

No intent, no. But they’ll definitely have more prestige and flashy things to show off for being so awesome


But in the same article, you can see they can not interact with each other in any other way, including the auction house.

  • 2
    The prestige and flashy things are just referring to banners/sigils. Do you want to clarify that?
    – bwarner
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 2:11
  • Do hardcore chars and normal chars share account gold? Commented May 22, 2012 at 1:54
  • No they don't. it's like another account, your hardcare AH, stash and gold are for hardcore only. Your softcore AH, stash and gold are from your softcore only.
    – Michel
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 20:45
  • @Resorath Can you clarify the Flashy things you talked about?
    – Michel
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 20:46
  • @Resorath this link was posted 28 September 2010 by Flux. Do you have any "updated" information about it?
    – Michel
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 15:16

I feel like the drops may be slightly better in hardcore, from a few hours of playtime experience, but otherwise and statwise it's exactly identical to normal. (you have a separate hardcore gold pool and stash, and anything on hardcore heroes when they die is lost)

  • Are you sure about it?
    – Michel
    Commented May 21, 2012 at 14:55
  • You cannot judge something like that by just a few hours of experience. For example, I have found five legendary items in total. I found three of those during the same day (insane!). I cannot go claiming "monsters drops are slightly better when the date is may 22d". The evidence I have to support this claim is exceptionally weak. To make claims like this you need to make a thorough statistical investigation, and a few hours is way way way to short as raw data for such an investigation. Did you ever consider the possibility that you were just lucky with the drops on your hardcore character?
    – Alderath
    Commented May 28, 2012 at 11:09
  • I've heard the exact opposite, that the drops are actually worse. Additionally, the auction house appears to have less good content for hardcore due to the above and (I assume) lack of people hitting end-game.
    – Lee
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 23:37
  • There is no increased chance of finding magical gear in hardcore, any higher percentage drops you are experiencing is either imaginary or coincidence
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 1:37

There are no difference in the game. The only one is if you die you lose characters, equipment and money.. you can only have back the object in the cest.

The rest is the "mental" gameplay ^^

  • 1
    The money is in the account, all your hardcore heroes have the same gold pool, so you don't lose gold.
    – Michel
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 16:59

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