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Important.png Archived Article [e]
Traits is an archived article about material previously included in Diablo 3. However, it has currently been removed or the article contains outdated facts. The information is stored in Diablo Wiki for posterity. Please note: Links in this article lead to both updated and archived material.

This article was last up to date:
    September 2010
Currently updated version of this article is:

Traits and Passives have gone back and forth over Diablo 3's development but they are essentially the same thing, secondary skills that bolster the Active Skills. They are now called Passives.

Details about Traits prior to its removal have been saved for posterity.


Traits are a separate set of skills, all of which are passive, that provide strong bonuses for the active skills and general character abilities. Characters do not earn enough points to use every trait, or even most traits. Choosing which traits to spend point in allows each character to specialize their play style in unique fashion.

Every trait in the game is described in its own wiki article. View them all on the Traits master list further down this page, or click to any of the individual class traits pages to see which are available.


The Prismatic Cloak trait, shown as an example during BlizzCon 2010
Traits implemented into the game during 2010, when all passive skills were removed from the skill trees. Many existing passive skills were (more or less) directly transformed into traits, while lots of others were added to fill character needs. Traits were first revealed during the Diablo 3 Gameplay Panel in Blizzcon 2010 by Jay Wilson. Traits provide substantial bonuses to all active skills and stats, essentially allowing a player to upgrade a specific skill or playstyle which defines them and their build.

Jay explained the logic behind moving passive skills out of the skill trees and into a traits tree in an interview in the Blizzcon 2010 show program:[1]

The skill system has been totally revamped, and we’ve added an all-new traits system. The skill system we showed last year was fairly Diablo II-like. We knew at the time that the basic mechanics were sound, but we felt it was intimidating, and that it overly encouraged spreading your points around into as many different skills as possible instead of focusing on the skills that fit your play style. If you’ve spread your points into 30 different skills, then you’ve broken your character. The system wasn’t facilitating playing the game well. We also moved passive skills into their own UI, and renamed them traits—because no matter how good a passive skill is, it’s hard to pass up picking an active skill instead. The traits tree allows us to expand the number of passives and focus on core character customization ideas like, “I want more health,” or “I want more damage.” It replaces attribute-point spending, which we didn’t consider to be a very good customization system because there was always a *correct* way to spend points. With traits, players will find there are a lot more choices to make that will be better balanced against one another, and will include flavorful or role-playing choices to cater to a broader group of players.

As of October 2010, trait points are awarded every other level (1, 3, 5, etc). There are about 30 traits per character, though this number may be reduced/condensed in further development. Traits can have 1, 3, or 5 points placed in them, with the number varying between traits.

Traits are not all unique to each character. About one-third of the traits are found on two or more classes, with a fair number spread across all five classes, though their Clvl requirements may vary between classes. Many traits are unique to individual classes, and have special bonuses that are only of use to that class.

Traits Allow Customization[edit]

The main goal of traits is to allow players to really customize the build of their character. This is accomplished by the large number of traits providing a lot of bonuses, and the fact that each trait makes a considerable difference. They're not just +1% minor passive bonuses; they're all big chunks of effect, usually +20% or more, per point.

Jay Wilson spoke to this fact in an interview from Blizzcon 2010. [2]

Jay Wilson: We wanted more customization, and we wanted customization that really spoke to the idea that, ‘I’m going to roleplay my character and focus in one area.’ Skills are really awesome, but when players think of who they are as a character, they don’t tend to think of, “I like to Whirlwind.’ They’ll use Whirlwind with their Barbarian, but it’s not how they define themselves. They think, ‘I’m a Barbarian who’s exceptionally strong or exceptionally tough!’ And that’s what traits are. The affect the core attributes of your character to let you customize and expand them.
For the Barbarian we can focus on Inner Rage, which really defines who he is. For the Wizard we can focus on something more magical in nature. So it’s a great opportunity to tell the player more about their character.

Traits Master List[edit]

An alphabetical listing of all known traits. There were 81 traits seen at Blizzcon 2010, though some of the highest level traits were not recorded, and the newly-revealed Demon Hunter class had only five traits. All of these traits are listed on the various class traits pages.

Trait Name Effect/Bonus Available to
Anti-Magic Shield Reduces magical damage taken. Wizard
Arcane Channeling Increases the regeneration of her Arcane Power. Wizard
Assassin Doubles the class' melee damage when equipped with a dagger. Witch Doctor
Axe Murderer Increases the character's damage while wielding axes. Barbarian
Bad Temper Increases Fury generation and decreases Fury decay. Barbarian
Ball of Lightning Creates ball of lightning that strikes nearby enemies. Wizard
Battering Ram Enables the Barbarian to resist the debuff dealt by various slowing effects. Barbarian
Beast Hunter Enables bonus damage against all beast type monsters. Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard
Black Ice Causes target frozen by the Wizard to take additional damage. Wizard
Blood Rites Enables the class to increase spell damage for a short time after hitting a health globe. Witch Doctor
Blur Reduces the damage taken from melee attacks. Wizard
Brain Basher Grants increased damage while the character is wielding any type of mace. Barbarian
Care of the Master Increases the health of his summoned pets. Witch Doctor
Conjured Armor Increases the Wizard's armor (defense), as well as boosting the effect of Ice Armor or Storm Armor. Wizard
Cruelty Enables a character to increase their chance of dealing critical strikes during combat. Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard
Death Pact Enables the class to take less damage when low on hit points. Witch Doctor
Demonsbane Provides bonus damage to Demon type monsters. Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard
Die by the Sword Enables those classes to boost their damage while wielding a sword. Barbarian, Monk
Disbelief Reduces the damage taken from magical attacks. Barbarian
Drain Power Transfers damage dealt to health and Arcane Power, essentially giving the Wizard dual leech from spells, in Diablo II terms. Wizard
Energy Reserves Enables Arcane Power to regenerate when health orbs are consumed. Wizard
Expanded Mind Increases the class' Arcane Power. Wizard
Ferocity Increase the damage done by the Witch Doctor's summoned pets. Witch Doctor
Fetish Leader Increases the damage done by the class' various Fetish skills. Witch Doctor
Fleet Increases the class' base movement speed. Monk
Flight Before Fight Increase in movement speed when one of the Wizard's melee attacks is blocked. Wizard
Frenzied Attacks Enables class to deal more critical strikes and make them more damaging, while dual wielding weapons. Barbarian, Monk
Glass Cannon Increases spell damage while reducing armor. Wizard
Healer Enhances the amount of healing provided by the class' healing skills. Monk
Inner Rage Increases Fury gain and reduces Fury loss while attacking the same target. Barbarian
Insane Courage Enables the Barbarian to take less damage when his health is below 50%. Barbarian
Intimidation Increases damage done to monsters as well as reducing vendor costs. Barbarian, Monk, Wizard
Iron Skin Boosts the characters' armor. Barbarian
Just...Stay...Dead! Provides bonus damage against undead type monsters. Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard
Leader of the Pack Adds damage to his pet Mongrels. Witch Doctor
Legendary Might Boosts the character's strength by an unknown amount. Barbarian
Lightning Reflexes Enables the character to increase her dexterity. Demon Hunter
Lucky Allows character to find more gold from monster drops only. Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard
Mana Regeneration Regenerate mana at an increased rate. Witch Doctor
Massive Blow Grants Barbarians using two-handed weapons a chance of spontaneously striking all nearby enemies with any attack. Barbarian
Meditation Regenerates some of the mana cost of spells cast. Witch Doctor
Mind and Body Regenerates health. Witch Doctor
Natural Leader Unknown Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard
Natural Resistance Adds resistance against all types of magical attack. Barbarian
Penetrating Spells Reduces resistance of the Wizard's enemies. Wizard
Pig Sticker Increased damage to a Barbarian while wielding a polearm or spear, or while throwing weapons. Barbarian
Plagued Increases the damage done by his various "Animal and Plague" skills. Witch Doctor
Pound of Flesh Increases the likelihood that a health globe will drop from a monster they kill. Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk
Power Surge Increases critical strike damage. Wizard
Precision Increases the Monk's melee damage for each point in dexterity. Wizard
Prismatic Cloak Increases the effect of Ice Armor and Storm Armor, two defensive skills. Wizard
Quickening Enables faster spell casting speed. Witch Doctor, Wizard
Ranged Weapon Specialization Enables her to boost her weapon and skill damage while using ranged weapons (bows and crossbows). Demon Hunter
Rapid Strikes Increases the class' attack speed. Monk
Right-Handed Enhances skill damage when the character is wielding a weapon in their right hand. (Not using a two-handed weapon. See Staff Specialization.) Witch Doctor
Ritual of Blood Transfer 50% of mana costs to health, allowing for more spell-casting, with a slightly increased risk of death. Witch Doctor
Rituals Increases spell damage by a percentage of the character's Vitality. Witch Doctor
Second Wind Steadily regenerates hit points. Barbarian
Shield of Iron Improves the Barbarian's blocking when he has a shield equipped. Barbarian
Shield Slam Chance to strike melee attackers with his shield, interrupting their attacks. Barbarian
Sixth Sense Increases the class' chance to dodge attacks of all types. Monk
Slaughter Enables melee attacks to sometimes strike additional nearby targets. Barbarian
Soul Split Defensive trait that enables the Wizard to automatically create a short-term decoy when her health drops below 50%. Wizard
Spirit Link Lessens damage taken by the Witch Doctor by redirecting a percentage of it to his summoned pets. Witch Doctor
Spiritual Attunement Enables the class to increase their maximum mana. Witch Doctor
Spirit Vessel Enables the class to gain mana from each health globe, whether the character gains any health or not. Witch Doctor
Staff Specialization Boosts the damage done by spells while a character has a staff equipped. Witch Doctor, Wizard
Superior Skill Enables a character to boost their dexterity. Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard
Telekinesis Improves the Wizard's chance to dodge projectiles. Wizard
Temperature Control Reduce the damage the class takes from Lightning, Fire, and Cold damage. (But not Arcane or Poison/Disease.) Monk
Temporal Flux Slowing effect to enemies who she hits for Arcane spell damage. Wizard
The Wall Reduces damage taken from melee attacks. Barbarian
Thunderous Blows Enhances their damage while wielding a two-handed melee weapon. Barbarian, Monk
Toughness Increases a character's Vitality. Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard
True Spirit Increase the rate of spirit regeneration. Monk
Unbreakable Will Enables a character to boost their willpower. Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor, Wizard
Unrelenting Assault Gives dead Mongrels a chance to spontaneously return to life. Witch Doctor
Wand Specialization Increases the damage done by spells and weapons when the Wizard is wielding a wand. Wizard
Weak Spot Enables them to increase their critical strike damage. Barbarian, Monk
Weapon Master Increases the damage done by spells and weapons when wielding a sword, axe, or mace. Wizard
Zombie Master Enhances the damage of his zombie type skills. Witch Doctor


  1. Jay Wilson Interview - Blizzcon, 25/10/2010
  2. Jay Wilson Interview @ BlizzCon 2010 - IncGamers transcript of G4TV interview, October 25, 2010