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Off-hand is a term used to denote one of several types of item held in a character's "second hand", the one not holding their primary weapon (their main hand). It may also be used to refer to the equipment slot such items are held in, or to the second equipped weapon when a character is "dual wielding". In the game interface this equipment slot is on the right side of the "paper doll" used to equip items (implying their left hand), and may also be called the "second weapon slot" or the "shield slot".

Shields themselves are often included in the off-hand category, while weapons are not usually considered "off-hand items" even when equipped in that slot. Two-handed weapons generally prevent the use of the off-hand slot.

"Off-hand" became a more useful term for equipment starting with Diablo III due to the availability of off-hand items other than weapons and shields.

Diablo III[]

The third game of the franchise included a number of traditional shields, but also introduced non-shield off-hand items for the first time. (Diablo II Shrunken Heads functioned as shields despite a rather different appearance.) These items are class-specific, ranging from defensive to offensive to magical:

  • Crusaders can use Crusader Shields. These function like regular shields including granting a chance to block, but can only be equipped by Crusaders.
  • Demon Hunters can use Quivers in combination with Bows, Crossbows, or One-handed weapons (even melee weapons). This is one of the few ways a character can ever use an off-hand item in combination with Two-handed weapons (Bows and Crossbows). Demon Hunters may also "dual wield" two Hand Crossbows, precluding the use of a Quiver.
  • Necromancers can use Phylacteries, magical charms that grant additional power over the dead.
  • Witch Doctors can use Mojos, magical totems which come in many forms, from occult objects to live animals.
  • Wizards can use Sources (also called, creatively, Wizard Sources). These are usually orb-like objects from which the Wizard can draw magical power.

Barbarians and Monks do not have a class-specific off-hand type, but both "dual wield" weapons frequently, and have class-specific weapons which are used almost as often in the off hand as the main hand - Mighty Weapons and Fist Weapons, respectively.

Most types of off-hand item automatically have direct bonuses to damage, and are capable of dropping with various class-specific bonuses, especially to primary resource capacity or gains. Quivers come with Attack Speed bonuses instead of flat damage bonuses. However, off-hand items are not weapons, and do not have a base weapon damage range or attack rate. Most are not shields either and do not grant a chance to block, but like shields, they receive the armor-specific bonus from gems equipped in them. They cannot have weapon-specific Legendary Gems, and cannot make use of Ramaladni's Gift, which only works on weapons.

Like other item types, there are numerous Legendary off-hand items, and some Set Items. Their Legendary powers are found in the same slot of Kanai's Cube as weapon and shield powers, rather than the slot used by armor.