It’s one of the most popular, successful, and beloved gaming franchises in the world. The very first entry came out in 1996 and it, and its two successors, defined the huge hack-and-slash action-RPG genre that exists today. Yes, we’re referring to Diablo, the series known for its story-driven campaign, fast-paced combat, diverse class options, and deep skill trees. The latest entry is the very model of a comprehensive gear system that allows for some serious min-maxing along with ample end-game content for gamers who don’t mind the grind.
Sadly, we’re still waiting on an official entry on mobile, which is quite mad considering how well the series lends itself to small bursts of gameplay. But it is coming in the form of Diablo: Immortal, an upcoming action RPG that looks remarkably similar to Diablo III, under development right now at NetEase. We first learned about it in 2018, though we still have no idea when it will actually launch.
So, in the meantime, we thought we’d put together a list of the excellent games like Diablo on mobile to sate that appetite of yours. It might just help you wait for the real thing.
What are the best games like Diablo on mobile?
The Diablo influence is clear in this ARPG newcomer, but the packaging is a bit more light-hearted. Set in the ‘paperverse’, your character and the world are rendered as paper-people, wonderfully illustrated, and not as fragile as one might think. The dungeons in Book of Demons are procedurally generated and loot comes in the form of item cards that you can find and equip, even mid-battle if you feel like you’ve chosen the wrong thing.
You start off as a warrior, but you can also unlock the Rogue and a Wizard as well. It can feel a little bit repetitive and automated at times, but thoughtful design decisions help to maintain interest. Each character has their own signature cards and, with three levels of difficulty the game certainly warrants replaying even after completing your first eight-hour run through.
Barbearian features frenetic fights against death-defying odds and a combat style that is very reminiscent of Diablo III. You charge into and through huge hordes of enemies and send their lifeless bodies flying in every direction. These fast-paced battles are about where the similarities end. The game follows a story but is driven by its action and does not have the quest lines associated with standard RPGs. Nevertheless, it’s a heck-of-a-lot-of fun and features over fifteen hours of entertainment. Have a look at our best mobile RPGs list for more games like Barbearian!
Battleheart 2 picks up where the original left off. It features real-time combat where you control up to four characters, chosen from a variety of options, in a series of battles to gain loot and experience. As you level up you unlock new skills and talents to enhance those skills. There’s also a variety of gear and four different slots in which to equip it. This creates some opportunity for Diablo-like min-maxing. Also, unlike its predecessor, it offers a co-operative mode for up to four players and an Arena mode where you face down wave after wave of enemies to see how far you can get.
This is simplified version of Diablo III’s rift system. An unintentional game mode has also arisen: AFK (away from keyboard) Arena. Astute min-maxers have realized that Cyrus, the necromancer, raises skeletons from the dead that automatically lock onto and attack the nearest enemy without any player intervention. An optimized Cyrus can go deep into the Arena without any help from the player. If that doesn’t speak to the spirit of Diablo III, I’m not sure what does.
Crashlands is a survive/craft/explore game where you play as an intergalactic UPS driver who crashed on an alien world. You must figure out how to survive and get yourself, and your precious packages, off the planet and on your way. What does Crashlands have to do with Diablo? It’s the combat and gear. Pretty much everything you come across is looking to kill you and it is best to wheel around and shake and bake, all the while attacking with your homemade arsenal of weaponry. Even more similar is the game’s surprisingly expansive gear system. Flux, the main character, rocks a primary weapon, four secondary devices (bombs, flamethrowers, freeze rays, that kind of thing), four trinkets that provide various bonuses, and four armor pieces.
All of this equipment provides bonuses to damage, critical hits, move speed, and more. She also has the power of Juicemancy at her disposal, which allows you to optimise your gear by upgrading it and rerolling stats until you get what you want. Crashlands is a fantastic game and merges the exploration and crafting of Minecraft with the combat and gear optimization of Diablo III.
For those looking for the traditional RPG quests and storyline, Titan Quest is the most Diablo-like you can get on a tablet. It started on the PC as an attempt to replicate the success of Diablo II and was later ported to iOS and Android. Set in the ancient, pre-Roman world it also has solid loot acquisition — there are over 1,200 items that can be enhanced with runes. There are also diverse skill trees, called masteries, from which you pick two. The masteries essentially decide your class and provide some great variation, customisability, and high replay value to the game. The mobile version of the game has had plenty of issues — including frame rate and saved game issues — but it is still one of the better Diablo-like titles.
Action RPGs are frequently known less for story and ambiance than, well, the action. Bastion, the debut title from Supergiant Games, is different. Bastion’s story — set after the Calamity, a devastating event that shattered the city of Caelondia — is amazing. You play as the Kid; a survivor skilled in the ways of the new, violent world. The Kid meets a man named Rucks who directs efforts to collect the cores that once fuelled Caelondia and rebuild a bit of what was lost.
Rucks also serves as the game’s outstanding narrator, who gives both play-by-play and colour commentary on the Kid’s every action and mistake. Bastion’s soundtrack is perfect, and its graphics are still impressive after all these years. The action is fast-paced and chaotic very much like the Diablo games. There are various weapons to choose from, though gear plays a smaller role in Bastion. This is definitely the game for you if you value the action and production values of Diablo over its loot and min/maxability.
If you’re looking for the dungeon-delving action and gear optimisation of Diablo III without the real-time pressure, Rogue Wizards is the perfect game for you. It features a great deal of variation in gear and slots in which to equip it, a town with upgradeable shops from which to buy and sell, and even a Treasure Goblin. Rogue Wizards features a strong storyline, but the turn-based combat is king. Once you’ve completed the quests, there’s still plenty to do in the game’s Gauntlet mode, a high-score chasing dungeon where you see just how far you can go.
The game is free-to-play and the monetisation is easy to ignore if so desired, though I recommend the ‘Gem Drops x 2’ IAP, which brings progression in line with the premium Steam version.
One of the closest games to Diablo III on mobile is Eternium. You play as an adventurer — a mage, warrior, or bounty hunter — on a quest to stop Ragadam, an ancient evil, from bringing an apocalyptic plan to fruition. The adventure hops between multiple planets in the universe and you’ll face dragons, aliens, and more deadly creatures. You collect companions as you go to help you face the increasingly dangerous foes in your path. Both you and your companions will gain new and varied powers as you level, which you cast by drawing symbols on the battlefield.
Gear is a huge consideration in Eternium, and there is a ton of it. As in Diablo, you can equip something on nearly every major body part and each piece of gear has several attributes that enhance your abilities. The game also features gems, which can be combined into even better gems and slotted into items for bonuses. Eternium even duplicates Diablo’s features that allow you to add sockets to equipment that doesn’t have it, collect sets of gear, and reroll an attribute for an item.
Eternium is a free-to-play game and uses gems as its primary currency. The game is well balanced, and you don’t need to buy gems in order to play, but can do so to unlock certain quality-of-life options faster. I spent $5 to get an additional companion slot earlier and more character storage space, for example. You can watch optional ads for more gems and there is a setting to turn them off entirely for those who want to avoid the temptation.
The campaign is extensive and Eternium also includes a series of special “trials”, think rifts from Diablo. The gameplay is good but nowhere near as great as Blizzard’s series. That’s a high bar to clear, however, and Eternium will definitely scratch the itch on your mobile device.