One of the newest gameplay features Diablo 4 brings to the series is the Fortify mechanic.

Generally speaking, Fortify is a highly effective way of reducing incoming damage for the Barbarian, Druid, and Necromancer classes. However, it is not well explained in the game and is a mechanic that many players will likely miss.

Here we’re going to cover what Fortify is, how it works, and how to best use it to your advantage when playing Diablo 4.

Fortify being activated in combat in Diablo 4
Credit: Mai Keth

What Does Fortify Do in Diablo 4?

Fortify is a defensive tool that reduces all incoming damage by 10% when your Fortify value is equal to or greater than your current life.

Fortify appears as a glowing red border over your existing health globe and shows you how much Fortify you have built up over time. Once it goes past your current health, Fortify will activate.

When active, Fortify acts as a shield over your health bar, allowing you to take more damage than usual. In essence, think of it like another health globe over your existing one.

Showing Current Health and Fortify Health in Diablo 4
Credit: Mai Keth

You can tell that Fortify is active in two distinct ways:

  1. The word ‘Fortified‘ will appear on your screen above your character
  2. A metallic border will appear around your health globe
Showing Fortify being activated as Fortify Health is greater than current health in Diablo 4
Credit: Mai Keth

When taking damage, you will lose both health and your Fortify value at the same time. When your health goes below your Fortify, you revert to taking damage normally and lose the 10% damage reduction until you build it up Fortify again.

Also, your Fortify will begin to decay when out of combat for 5 seconds.

Is Fortify a Barrier in D4?

No, Fortify is not a Barrier in Diablo 4. Unlike a Barrier, you lose health and Fortify at the same time, meaning that you need to build up a sufficient amount of Fortify to make the best use of it.

Barriers in Diablo 4 provide you with flat damage absorption and are signified by a transparent blue shield over your health globe.

Conversely, Fortify is, in essence, a form of bonus life. Fortify is only granted through building its value up past your current health.

How to Get and Increase Fortify in Diablo 4

To get Fortify, you need to equip certain gear pieces or make use of class-specific skills. Only Barbarians, Druids, and Necromancers can take full advantage of the Fortify mechanic in Diablo 4.

Here are all the ways you can use and improve Fortify:

  1. Equip gear that grants Fortify
  2. Pick class-specific skills and abilities that boost Fortify – from the Barbarian, Druid, or Necromancer
  3. Slot Sapphires into your armor to increase Fortify’s base Damage Reduction
  4. Equipping certain Legendary Aspects into your gear that buffs Fortify
Highlighting the Chipped Sapphire Armour perk of increasing Damage Reduction while Fortified in the Jeweler Vendor's menu in Diablo 4
Credit: SpookyFairy

How to Use Fortify With Overpower Damage

Fortify will significantly increase the effectiveness of Overpower Damage, allowing you to deal out higher damage more consistently.

At a base, Overpower grants a 3% chance to do extra damage when attacking normally. The amount of Overpower damage dealt equals the combined value of both your current and Fortify health, which makes Fortify a very effective stat for raw damage output.

Barbarians, Druids, and Necromancers all have the Overpower stat built in, meaning that there’s a high potential for increased power when building with Fortify in mind.

Be sure to check out our guide on Overpower Damage to get your head around it and add the most power to your build!

Staff Writer
Passionate gamer and writer, Alpay has been featured on GamingIntel,, and TheGamer. When not writing, he delves into virtual worlds, enjoys high-concept TV shows, and splurges on Steam sales.
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