How does aggro work in Diablo III?

How does aggro work in Diablo III?

I’m a tank, so my job is to keep mobs coming after me, and not after my squishy dps partners, however I am not sure what the aggro/threat rules are

I’m fairly sure it’s not the closest player or the one that hits first based on some of the longer boss fights I’ve done with some friends. I don’t think it’s damage-based either, although I’m not positive on that one. I also don’t think its entirely random because I’m usually not targeted if I hang back.

I’m looking to find out:

  • How does aggro work in Diablo III?
  • Can it be “controlled”?
  • And does it work differently for bosses or regular mobs?


I play a tank and try my best to keep aggro on me at all times, and here is what I’ve observed

  • Aggro is initially obtained through proximity or attacks (even non-damaging attacks)

  • Aggro obtained through proximity can be trumped by damage, meaning if you do damage you can pull aggro off of someone who had obtained it through proximity only.

  • You do not pull aggro from doing more damage than another person once aggro is obtained via damage

  • Mobs will frequently and randomly decide to stop hitting their target, and look for someone else to hit. Once this happens, aggro can be re-obtained through the same thing: either proximity or attacks

  • Skills which interrupt mobs, including those which push/pull mobs around, will cause monsters to find a new target after they’ve recovered

  • Boss fights seem to work the same as regular mob fights

Some things I have noticed to back this theory up:

  • If I aggro monsters by being too close to them and my DPS hits them before I do, the monsters run for the DPS player

  • If I pull monsters with a damaging ability, such as Cyclone Strike, I keep agro for a few seconds regardless of how much damage the dps players do until monsters randomly start dropping aggro and looking for a new target

  • Tanking monsters with an AOE dps ability active, such as Sweeping Wind, typically will keep monsters on me since when they drop agro, my aoe ability will tick and cause them to stay on me. Of course, it’s not perfect since dps has a chance to hit before my aoe ability ticks.

  • Using a skill like Cyclone Strike to pull a mob off a dps player will cause the monster to re-focus on me in most cases, unless they take damage from the dps player before I can do damage, or are shielded/invulnerable so I don’t do damage

Other notes…

  • Per Bashiok’s twitter comment, some mobs may work differently

  • Damage absorbed by the enemy does not count for aggro purposes (for example, hitting a shielded enemy will not pull aggro off of someone who has it via proximity only)

  • Much of this is simply speculation based on what I’ve observed while playing, and the little bit of information found online.

As for controlling aggro….

Here’s what I find works best for when you want aggro:

  • Pull mobs by doing damage, so dps doesn’t pull them off you with their damage

  • Use AOE abilities if possible so monsters will re-target you after losing interest

  • If you don’t use AOE abilities, consider building attack speed so you can pick up monsters faster when they lose interest in you

  • Have some damage reflection, so things that aggro to you based on proximity will now aggro because of damage, and won’t get pulled off by other dps

  • Be wary of monsters losing interest with you, and use push/pull/stun/etc skills to reset their target and hit them immediately afterwards to pick aggro back up

  • Hit things chasing squishy people, because their aggro resets fairly frequently and you will probably pick it back up quickly

For not getting aggro:

  • Let your tank do damage first

  • Stand back, so your tank gets proximity aggro when a mob loses focus, and they have a chance to do damage and pick them back up

  • Use push/stun/blind/etc skills if you get aggro to reset the mob’s target

  • Stop hitting things chasing you if the tank is hitting it as well if you want the tank to pick aggro back up

Most of this stuff is probably just common sense, but figured I’d list it to provide a complete answer to the question.

Source : Link , Question Author : Rachel , Answer Author : Rachel

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