Now that Diablo III Reaper of Souls is live it brings with it another way to play the game.  That way is to play in adventure mode. 

Basically Adventure Mode is a completely different way to go about playing Diablo III.  Instead of launching into a game and playing thought the story line over and over again, you can jump in and play what amounts to mini quests.  While playing these mini quests you will earn a new currency called Blood Shards that are used for gear, as well as Nephalem Rift Keys which are used to open Elite pack heavy areas for gear. Due to these rewards and the quick play style, this new mode is likely where players will spend most of their time while playing Diablo III Reaper of Souls.

Now that we have your attention with the reasons to play Adventure Mode, let’s take a closer look at it.

Diablo III – Adventure Mode Basics

When you launch an Adventure Mode game you will be placed into one of the five acts of Diablo III and given 5 bounties to collect. Bounties make up the first half of how you play out adventure mode.

Bounties are short quests that replace the story line component of Diablo III.  These quests are simple things such as killing a specific boss, clearing minions from a specific area, cleansing a cursed shrine of chest, or other simple things.  Most bounties are meant to be finishing in a short amount of time ranging from about 5-15 minutes.

When you complete a single bounty, you will be rewarded with Blood Shards and experience.  Once you complete all 5 bounties in an act, Tyrial with reward you with a Horadric Cache.  In addition to the two rewards listed, you will also find Nephalem Rift Keys that allow you to unlock these special areas once you collect 5 of them.

This map shows the bounty locations for just one trip into adventure mode,
it will change each time you start a new game.

Diablo III – Nephalem Rifts

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Nephelam Rifts are random instanced areas that make up the other half of the Adventure Mode of Diablo III.  To gain access to them you need to collect 5 Rift Keystone Fragments at which point you can open a portal to a Nephalem Rift from town.

A Nephalem Rift is a fully random instance that can have elements from any portion of the game.  You could end up facing minions from act 5 in an act 1 environment.  They are also multi level and you can bounce from area to area as you progress through them.  In one that I played through I went from Act 3 to Act 1 to Act 5 and then into the secret Whimsy level. 

While in a Nephalem Rift you will face a high density of monsters and an even higher density of rare and elite monsters than anywhere else in the game.  It is not uncommon to run around for 20 seconds to collect a group of monsters to end up finding 3 or more packs of elites, so be careful!

The goal of all Nephalem Rifts is to defeat enough monsters to attract the attention of the Rift Guardian and then to defeat him or her.  There will be a bar that shows up in your quest area showing your progress towards this goal.  Once summoned the Rift Guardian could be any monster or boss in the game and will put up quite a fight before you can defeat him.  Once you do defeat him though you will be rewarded with several items with a higher chance of a legendary as well as some Blood Shards and potentially additional Rift Keystone Fragments.

The number of monsters that you need to defeat to bring about the Rift Guardian is quite high.  This means that while if could be possible to finish each Bounty in 5 minutes for a total of less than half an hour spent, expect to spend roughly 15-30 minutes in a Rift to be able to summon the guardian.

This bar shows you how many more minions you need to kill to summon the Rift Guardians.

Diablo III – Adventure Mode Currencies

Now that you know about the two things that make up playing Diablo III in Adventure Mode, you are probably wondering what you get from it.  The first part is pretty obvious, you get the loot that drops from all the monsters that you kill.  However, you also collect two new kinds of currency that have been discussed above, which are:

  • Blood Shards
  • Rift Key Fragments

Starting with the simplest one, Rift Key Fragments, you simply need to collect 5 of these to be able to access the second part of the Adventure Mode content, the Nephalem Rifts.  While maybe not truly a currency as you don’t “buy” items with them, I would still consider them a currency as you use them to buy access to high drop rate areas of the game.

The other currency is made up of items called Blood Shards.  These Blood Shards allow you to buy completely random items from a new vendor.  These items vary in cost depending on the slot you are attempting to purchase.  Most armour items are 5 Blood Shards while weapons are 15 and amulets are 20. 

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Some bounties only provide gold and experience, while others also provide Blood Shards.

When purchasing an item you will be given a completely random item of that type which a chance of it being a legendary item.  It is a complete craps shoot though and you are essentially gambling on items or buying mystery boxes.  You could end up with something good or just more vendor trash.  Think of it as getting a few extra drops from elite packs after doing a few bounties, but you get to chose the item type that will drop.

The number of Blood Shards that you collect per bounty depends on the bounty and the difficulty level.  Two of the acts in any Adventure Mode game will also provide double Blood Shard bounties, on top of any another difficulty bonuses.  Therefore a bounty that normally provides 2 Blood Shards played in a difficulty though doubles it and in a bonus act that doubles it would provide you with 8 Blood Shards, making these your highest priority acts to complete.

Diablo III – Adventure Mode Tips

While higher difficulty levels provide additional Blood Shards, higher experience rewards, and more magic drops,  you should not try to ramp up the difficulty until you are clearing each area quickly.  If you are getting double experience and magic items by going up a level but it is taking 3x longer to clear you are not really gaining anything, are you.

Remember that when you start an Adventure Mode game you are dropped into one of the home towns of an act that provides bonus, there are other bounties available.  You should check the map for which other act is providing bonus rewards, and complete it as well before starting a new Adventure Mode game.  Many players assume that it is only the act that you are dropped into at the start that has bounties.

Even though all acts provide bounties, it is best to only complete the two that provide the bonus bounties.  After that start a new game to get two new acts with bonuses.

If you end up with a set of really hard bonus acts, it may be best to just leave the game and start a new one.  For example if you are on a difficulty that you are just getting by on, and get a Diablo (act IV) or Malthael (act V) kill as one of the bonus bounty rewards, it might be too hard to complete in a reasonable time.  Just skip the whole thing and move to a new game.


If you have other tips for players using the Diablo III Adventure Mode, why no share them with everyone in the comment section below?


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Diablo III Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.