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Diablo 4 - Upgrading Items Guide - Affixes, Aspects, Gems and more!

June 16, 2023

Upgrading Items in Diablo 4 is an essential part of becoming stronger and it can also make the difference between taking down a Dungeon Boss or wiping out. This guide will go through all the different upgrading options, as well as walking you through when is the best time to upgrade gear in Diablo 4.

As you unlock the later World Tiers (Nightmare and Torment) you're going to want to start upgrading your gear. In the early levels, upgrading does not matter too much as it's not essential for clearing early level content.

Once you complete the campaign and unlock Nightmare Mode, upgrading starts to become very important for your build. Let's take a look at all the ways you can upgrade gear in Diablo 4.

Diablo 4 Items and Rarities

Diablo 4 Item Rarities

Let's start with the basics about items in Diablo 4.

An item can have one of five rarities:

  • Common (grey)
  • Magic (blue)
  • Rare (yellow)
  • Legendary (orange)
  • Unique (red)

Sacred And Astral Items

When you start playing in World Tiers III and World Tiers IV, you can also get Sacred and Astral items. A Sacred and Astral item can come in the form of any of the rarities, and they affect the stat ranges an item can have.

So for example, you can have a Sacred Common item, as well as a Sacred Legendary item. The stats these items can roll will be higher than those that do not have the Sacred prefix.

Item Affixes


Affixes are stats, skill improvements or other modifiers like increase potion drop rate or consume less mana. Each item can have up to four Affixes added to it.

Each equipment type can only learn certain affixes. You should consider this when you want to hunt for a particular modifier; for example a Sorcerer can roll Ice Shards skill improvement on gloves but cannot on hats.

An item affixes stat range is dependent on the Item Power. You can read up more about Item Power in our Item Power and Breakpoints guide.

Item Aspects


Aspects are powerful item modifiers that greatly affect skills and abilities.

Aspects come from two places: Legendary Items and the Codex Of Power.

When you apply an Aspect to an item, it automatically turns the rarity to Legendary. You can also extract Aspects from Legendary items from the Blacksmith (cannot be done to Legendart items that have been imprinted with new aspects).

The Codex Of Power is a list of Aspects you earn by completing Dungeons. You can see them by pressing the map key and clicking on Collections. You can hover over each Dungeon on your map to see what Aspect it drops.

To apply an Aspect to an item, you can do so at the Blacksmith. More on that later.

Unique Aspects Items

Unique items are the highest rarity item in the game. Unique rarity items have Aspects too, but they cannot be changed or removed.

They also come with their own unique Aspects that other Legendary items cannot get.

Diablo 4 Upgrading Items

Upgrading Items

Each item in Diablo 4 can be upgraded a number of times. The amount of times an item can be upgraded depends on the equipment type and the Item Power level.

To upgrade your items, you're going to need several Crafting Materials that can be gotten from enemies you defeat or salvaging items.

Item Slots

Rarity Slots
Common 0
Magic 2
Rare 3
Legendary 4
Sacred 5
Ancestral 5


The Blacksmith can be found in most towns in Diablo 4. You can upgrade an item up to a max of 5 times and he will upgrade any of the following:

  • Helmets
  • Chest Armor
  • Gloves
  • Pants
  • Boots
  • Weapons

Upgrading Armor Cost

Upgrade Level Gold Items Option
Level 1 1,200 Rawhide x10 option content
Level 2 2,400 Rawhide x10
Superior Leather x3
Level 3 6,000 Rawhide x15
Superior Leather x5
Veiled Crystals x3
Level 4 18,000 Rawhide x20
Superior Leather x8
Veiled Crystals x6
Coiling Wards x2
Level 5 68,000 Rawhide x30
Superior Leather x12
Veiled Crystals x9
Coiling Wards x5
Forgotten Souls x2

Upgrading Weapons Cost

Upgrade Level Gold Items
Level 1 3,400 Iron Chunks x14
Level 2 6,800 Iron Chunks x18
Silver Ore x8
Level 3 17,000 Iron Chunks x24
Silver Ore x12
Veiling Crystal x8
Level 4 51,000 Iron Chunks x30
Silver Ore x12
Veiling Crystal x16
Baleful Fragments x4
Level 5 170,000 Iron Chunks x48
Silver Ore x24
Veiling Crystal x24
Baleful Fragments x10
Forgotten Souls x6


To upgrade Rings and Amulets, you must seek out the Jeweler, who can be found in most major towns.

Upgrading Rings Cost

Upgrade Level Gold Items
Level 1 1,200 Iron Chunks x5
Level 2 2,400 Iron Chunks x5
Silver Ore x4
Level 3 6,000 Iron Chunks x5
Silver Ore x4
Veiled Crystals x4
Level 4 18,000 Iron Chunks x12
Silver Ore x7
Veiled Crystals x8
Abstruse Sigils x2
Level 5 60,000 Iron Chunks x18
Silver Ore x12
Veiled Crystals x12
Abstruse Sigils x5
Forgotten Souls x2

Upgrading Amulets Cost

Upgrade Level Gold Items
Level 1 1,600 Iron Chunks x5
Level 2 3,000 Iron Chunks x5
Silver Ore x4
Level 3 8,000 Iron Chunks x5
Silver Ore x4
Veiled Crystals x6
Level 4 18,000 Iron Chunks x12
Silver Ore x7
Veiled Crystals x12
Abstruse Sigils x2
Level 5 85,000 Iron Chunks x18
Silver Ore x12
Veiled Crystals x18
Abstruse Sigils x5
Forgotten Souls x3

Diablo 4 Aspects - Occultist

Aspects are powerful lines on Legendary items that improve your character significantly.

An item can have only one Aspect; only Unique and Legendary items have Aspects, however, you can add an Aspect to a Rare Item called Imprinting.

Imprinting Aspects

Imprinting Aspects

You can change the Aspect of a Legendary by going to the Occultist NPC in each major town. Called Imprinting, you can select either an Aspect from your Inventory (ones you have extracted from other Legendary items) or use the Codex Of Power Aspects.

Imprinting an Aspect onto an item will replace the current Aspect on that item.

You cannot imprint Aspects onto Unique items.

Extract Aspects

You can obtain Aspects from two places; Extracting an Aspect from a Legendary Item or completing a Dungeon and using the Codex Of Power.

Extracting an Aspect can be done at the Occultist. You cannot extract Aspects from items that have been Imprinted or from Unique items.

Diablo 4 Replacing Affixes - Enchant Item

Enchanting Items

You can replace one Affix on a single item by using the Occultist Enchant Item option.

Enchanting allows you to select any Affix (non-aspect line) from your Item and replace it. The replaced line will be reroll'd and allow you to select from several new lines.

Enchanting items costs gold and the cost of replacing Affixes is very high! The first time you replace an Affix, it won't cost you too much. However, the second and third time, the price starts to increase severly. This is where you'll likely spend most of your Diablo 4 Gold.

Diablo 4 Gems

Gems can be added to any of your equipment. There are several types of gems available in Diablo 4:

Gem Type Weapon Armor Jewelry
Diamond +13% Ultimate Skill Damage +4.5% Barrier Generation +7% Resistance to All Elements
Ruby +21% Overpower Damage +3.5% Maximum Life +%19.6 Fire Resistance
Topaz +17.5% Basic Skill Damage +9% Damage Reduction while Control Impaired +%19.6 Lightning Resistance
Emerald +10.5% Critical Strike to Vulnerable Enemies +150 Thorns +%19.6 Poison Resistance
Sapphire +10.5% Critical Strike Damage to Crowd Controlled Enemies +2.5% Damage Reduction while Fortified +%19.6 Cold Resistance
Amethyst +7% Damage Over Time +7% Damage Taken Over Time Reduction +%19.6 Shadow Resistance
Skull +8 Life On Kill +4% Healing Received +220 Armor

The values above are based on Flawless Gems, which can be crafted at the Jeweler NPC.

Adding A Socket To An Item

You can add a Socket to an item by going to the Jeweler NPC found in most major towns.

It will cost you 1 Scattered Prism item to create a Socket on an item. The following items can have Sockets:

  • Hat - 1 Socket
  • Chest - 2 Sockets
  • Pants - 2 Sockets
  • Two-Handed Weapon - 2 Sockets
  • Amulet - 1 Socket
  • Ring - 1 Socket

You can also remove a Gem from a piece of equipment for free using the Unsocket Gem option at the Jeweler NPC.

When should you upgrade items in Diablo 4?

The question of when to upgrade your items comes up heavily in Diablo 4. No one wants to waste their precious gold or materials on items they're just going to replace in a couple of levels.

You should start upgrading your gear after reaching Level 50 and completing the campaign. When you begin unlocking Nightmare mode, you'll notice a significant uptick in mob difficulty and you'll want to start getting decent gear.

The fact is you will be replacing your gear quite often as you reach Level 60 and Level 70. If you find yourself with plenty of resources, it is definitely worth investing in your character early on to help make Nightmare mode more easy.

When you get to Torment, you'll want to make sure your upgrading as often as possible. Even players who hit level 90+ will find they can be easily killed in Torment difficulty.

Your main priority should be getting the right Aspects on your items first. This will involve farming Legendaries and extracting the ones you need.

After that, you'll want to start looking for higher Item Power gear (725+) to get the best rolls. Then you want to reroll your affixes that are useless to make the best gear. Finally, you then want to upgrade your gear to 5 star.

Hopefully this guide gives you a good overview of upgrading gear in Diablo 4! Post any comments below with more helpful information.



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I am attempting to upgrade basic items but the upgrade button on any character i create is greyed out, any hints? My dad who also plays seems to have the ability to upgrade right from the start of the game
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