Torchlight III takes players on an adventure in a cutesy, cartoony world that’s still fraught with danger against Netherim invaders. Here’s our beginner’s guide with several tips to help you out.
Note: This guide is intended for Torchlight III‘s early access stage and certain mechanics may change in due course. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.
Torchlight III: Beginner’s guide and tips
1. Be aware of known issues
It goes without saying that a game that’s in its early access stages will, no doubt, have several issues. These can come in the form of questionable mechanics or connection/server-sided problems. In my case, I’ve relayed some of these issues in our early access impressions piece. Here’s a quick refresher:
- extremely long loading times in between areas
- neverending loading screens that lead to the game freezing; you’ll just have to hit alt+F4
- disconnection from server
- enemy or player desync due to lag
- items and skills won’t get swapped or selected until several seconds (or even minutes) pass
- input and animation delays
- teleporters will sometimes not work
- the player’s fort might not allow you to construct new objects or the panel simply won’t open
Many of the issues I experienced were related to laggy gameplay and servers. As far as I know, Torchlight III doesn’t have servers for certain regions and, as someone who lives in the Philippines, I’m likely ending up in servers that lead to poor latency. Your experience might be different from mine due to your location and server availability.
2. Torchlight III is online-only… for now
Developer Echtra Inc. will be adding servers for various regions. However, Torchlight III still remains online-only for now. This might be a holdover from its development cycle when it was supposed to be the Torchlight Frontiers MMO. Still, it’s worth noting that we will eventually see an offline mode sometime during the early access period. If you’re on the fence about grabbing the game immediately, then you could wait until offline mode becomes available.
3. The higher the difficulty, the better the rewards
As with most other ARPGs, Torchlight III follows the age-old mantra of “high risk, high reward.” You’ve got the following difficulty modes to choose from while selecting a character on the main menu:
- Practice – No bonuses.
- Normal – +20% potion luck (chance to acquire potions)
- Hard – +20% potion luck; +5% item luck
- Painful – +30% potion luck; +10% item luck; the HP of bosses will reset if you die (in lower difficulty modes, they’ll retain all the damage they took prior to your character’s death)
- Ridiculous – +40% potion luck; +20% item luck; the HP of bosses will reset if you die (in lower difficulty modes, they’ll retain all the damage they took prior to your character’s death)
In my case, I had to stick to Normal mode due to connection issues that persisted whenever I played. If you aren’t experiencing as much lag, then, ideally, you’ll want to play on Ridiculous difficulty all throughout. Enemies are tougher and deadlier, but the rewards are well worth it.
4. Lifebound items and random deaths will test your patience
Given the above connectivity issues, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some “Damn this lag!” type of deaths. Deaths like these will surprise and frustrate you especially when you’re carrying Lifebound items. These have slightly higher stats compared to regular items, however, since they’re “lifebound,” they’re lost the moment you die. Truth be told, this concept feels like another holdover from a freemium MMO-styled gameplay.
The only way to prevent losing certain lifebound items is by collecting extremely rare items called Scrolls of Unbinding. Also, once you reach level 35 or higher, try to keep some decent regular equipment with you. These should give you some ample replacements just in case of unwanted deaths.
5. Skill refunds or respecs aren’t free
As you progress further in Torchlight III‘s campaign, you’ll likely find that your character has a smattering of skills to choose from, and you’ll likely end up allocating skill points into various abilities. Keep in mind, though, that experimentation might be detrimental to your cause. That’s because you can’t instantly refund your character’s skill points unless you use items called Respectacles.
These drop from bosses and boss chests and they’re somewhat rare (although not as rare as Scrolls of Unbinding). At best, you’ll want to choose some decent skills or hold off on leveling some of them until you’re sure about what you want to spend your points on.
6. Shared loot and progress among characters
It’s normal in most ARPGs to have a shared stash, one that lets you store loot that can be picked up by your alts. Torchlight III is no different. However, you also have other shared items such as gold, fort resources, and building materials (ie. stone, metals, wood).
Likewise, the fort you’ve built up has account-wide progress, so you don’t need to worry about constructing new objects or decorations when you’re using low-level characters. This is helpful if you’ve already leveled up your Luck Sprout/Luck Tree to increase your Gear Luck stat. Lastly, your alts will also retain relics and relic upgrades, as well as legendary skills/passives that you’ve acquired while playing as other characters.
Note: The pets that you’ve discovered can be found in your Pet Shelter once you’ve built it in your fort. However, any items you’ve stored with your pet won’t transfer to another character even if that same pet is used. You’ll still end up with the same items you’ve stored despite switching pets.
7. Characters can equip different kinds of weapons
Unlike other ARPGs, Torchlight III characters aren’t quite as restricted by the types of weapons they equip. For instance, the Sharpshooter (a ranged class no different from an Archer or Hunter), will be able to use two-handed swords or magic staves. Meanwhile, the Forged, a mechanical contraption, can use all manner of weaponry such as guns, hammers, and more. From a practical standpoint, you’ll simply want to equip a weapon that provides the best stat boosts despite not necessarily being the most “lore-friendly” or “immersive” options.
8. Items will scale down depending on the level
Don’t be surprised if the items you pick up will have odd stats every now and then. This is due to item scaling depending on the level of areas that you’re in. For instance, here are a couple of items that are level 29 and 30 respectively:
Their actual stats are shown since you’re in a town. But, if you travel to a low-level area, the stats will also be lowered significantly. You’ll even see its downgraded level (ie. 5/30). If in case you picked up an item in certain areas, try to head to town, your fort, or a higher-level location so you can see its real stats.
9. There will be character wipes
The developers have mentioned that there will be character wipes (and likely one of these will happen prior to the game’s official launch). As such, you don’t want to get too attached to your characters or all the loot you’ve collected.
10. The third act and endgame are yet to be released
For now, Torchlight III only has its first two acts available for play. Because the game is still unfinished, you might even notice storyboard or concept art being used for cinematics. Currently, you’re looking at a grind to reach level 34-35 since the game only has a couple of acts. Additional levels beyond that can be quite a slog since enemies don’t give as much XP.
The third act which takes you to the Echonok area will be released on June 30. You can watch a video of the location below. The endgame is also yet to be unveiled, so we’ll just have to see if the entire endgame loop becomes viable in the long run.