Diablo Immortal timeline: Story, setting and what you need to know

Diablo Immortal Crusader
Diablo Immortal Crusader (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

The upcoming Diablo Immortal from Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase adapts the classic gameplay formula of slaying demon mobs while converting it into an experience that's friendly for mobile devices. Despite the initial backlash to the announcement at BlizzCon 2018, previews look promising, and it could end up being one of the best Android games available once it finally releases.

Still, jumping into the long-running Diablo franchise might be a bit confusing at first glance for newcomers. So if you're not sure exactly where and when this game takes place, we've got you covered.

Diablo Immortal timeline: When does it take place?

Overall, the placement of Diablo Immortal in the timeline is relatively straightforward. Diablo Immortal takes place five years after Diablo 2 and 15 years before Diablo 3. As such, you don't need to be familiar with Diablo 3 — much less the yet-unreleased Diablo 4 — in order to understand Diablo Immortal. However, it is probably a good idea to be familiar with some of the characters and events of Diablo 2, as it sets the stage for the setting.

While there's a vast, expansive amount of lore and background material in the universe of Diablo, the Diablo games themselves have a relatively straightforward timeline.

Diablo Immortal timeline: The story so far

The original Diablo is easily the most story-lite of all the games. A demonic outbreak in the town of Tristram is stopped by a hero, who descends through the levels of Tristram Cathedral and eventually defeats Diablo, one of the Prime Evils and the Lord of Terror. This hero tries to contain Diablo within a Soulstone, which is plunged into the hero's forehead.

Diablo 2, which is receiving a remaster in Diablo 2: Resurrected, takes place almost immediately after the events of Diablo. Diablo becomes able to possess and control the hero, freeing his brothers Baal and Mephisto in the process. While a new champion takes down Diablo and Mephisto, Baal manages to corrupt the Worldstone before also falling. The Worldstone is the original source of the conflict between the Angels and Demons, so its corruption enables the corruption of all humankind. The Archangel Tyrael eventually destroys the Worldstone, though, in the process, he goes missing.

This is easily the most relevant game to play before Diablo Immortal, with the immediacy of the Worldstone's destruction and the disappearance of Tyrael priming the land of Sanctuary for demonic incursion.

Diablo Immortal is set five years after the events of Diablo 2. While the Worldstone was destroyed, the corrupted fragments are scattered about the land of Sanctuary. New hordes of demons rise, attempting to harness these powerful fragments to bring about the return of Diablo. Players will take on the role of a group of heroes, making choices and working together to stop this latest scourge.

In an interview with Android Central, Senior Narrative Designer Justin Dye mentioned how the team is diving back into the world of Diablo 2 for this game, but they're also exploring places the games have never gone before.

A little further out

Diablo Immortal Screenshot

Source: Blizzard Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo Immortal is currently scheduled to launch at some point in early 2022, though there's no exact release date right now. When it launches, it'll be free to play on Android and iOS devices.

Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on PlayStation on Android Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert