Hirelings are mercenaries that can be hired to aid the player during the course of the game. In Diablo II Classic they were temporary companions that could be hired to accompany the player throughout one act. The Rogue and Iron Wolf could also be obtained as quest rewards. However, hirelings did not follow the player outside the acts they were hired in.
In the Lord of Destruction expansion pack, Hirelings were improved with radical changes. They could level up along with the player and accompany them throughout all acts and difficulties. They also had a new stats screen and the player could equip them with items to further enhance their stats. All hirelings can equip body armor and helms, and different weapon types can be equipped depending on the hireling (listed below). Hirelings are not able to equip Class-specific Items, with the exception of the Barbarian who can equip Barbarian Helms and armor that has the Barbarian class requirement (such as the body armor with the "Myth" runeword enchantment). No hireling can be equipped with rings, amulets, boots, gloves, or belts.
To heal a hireling, click and drag a health potion onto your hireling's portrait in the upper left corner of the game screen or press Shift and right-click the potion to instantly give it to him/her. Hirelings are also healed if you talk to a healer in town.
Act I Rogue
- Skills: Uses the Amazon skill Inner Sight and can shoot either Fire Arrows or Ice Arrows (Ice Arrows travel half the distance of Fire Arrows).
- Weapons: bows. They cannot equip crossbows or Amazon Weapons.
Act II Desert Mercenary
- Skills: Uses Auras to enhance the battlefield and the Amazon skill Jab. The aura a mercenary has depends on which difficulty he is hired in. If a Combat Mercenary is hired in Normal, he will still use Prayer in Nightmare.
- Weapons: spears, polearms, and javelins.
Act III Iron Wolf
- Abilities: Spell-casting, dependent on type. They are also able to attack with their equipped sword, but do so infrequently. Iron Wolves are incapable of blocking, despite being able to equip a shield.
- Weapons: One-handed swords and shields.
Lightning mercenary spells:
Fire mercenary spells:
Cold mercenary spells:
Act IV Angel
There are no hirelings in this act, but Tyrael provides resurrection services.
Act V Barbarian
- Skills: Uses Bash and Stun.
- Weapons: One-handed and two-handed swords. Can not dual-wield. Barbarian hirelings are able to equip class-specific Barbarian Helms.
The lack of an Act IV Hireling led to rather ridiculous speculations related to a non-existent hidden Act IV Hireling: The Angel. The Angel was described to use Hadriel's base structure and did not walk, but levitated above the ground. They were said to use Cold and Lightning Spells. It was even said that the Angel was showcased by the presence of Hadriel. Because these rumors spread before the expansion, there are no details on what they could equip.
The rumors said that the Angel could be obtained by completing certain meaningless tasks, mostly on Hell difficulty. They included:
- Talking to Hadriel or Tyrael a certain number of times
- Defeating Diablo in Hell difficulty a certain number of times
- Defeating the The Cow King a certain number of times (requires another player's aid because the Secret Cow Level portal cannot be reopened by the character who killed the King)
- Giving the Jade Figurine/Golden Bird to Tyrael or Hadriel
- Not talking to Tyrael after freeing him in Tal Rasha's Chamber (you cannot complete Act II without talking to him)