Secret Cow Level

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The Secret Cow Level, a favorite joke and absurd rumor from Diablo I, packed full of Hell Bovines, is a reality in Diablo II — an Easter Egg area that's actually quite fun and profitable.

Getting There and Exploring[edit]

Diablo II Level Info [e]
Secret Cow Level
Norm Night Hell
Area lvl 28 64 81
Hell Bovine
1 1 1
Yes Yes Yes
Cow King Cow King Cow King
Gold-chest No
Waypoint No
Rogue Encampment
Quests Secret Cow Level
In order to open the portal to the Secret Cow Level, you must first finish the current difficulty. Expansion characters must have killed Baal, while classic characters must have killed Diablo.

While standing in the Rogue Encampment in Act 1, combine a Wirt's Leg + Tome of Town Portal in the Horadric Cube.

  • Diablo 2 / Lord of Destruction: If you have been previously present in the Secret Cow Level when the Cow King was slain, you will be unable to craft this recipe yourself in the current difficulty. Someone else must open the portal for you. This restriction does not apply in Diablo 2: Resurrected.
  • Wirt's Leg can always be re-obtained from his body in Tristram. The Leg you use must have been obtained on the current difficulty, Legs from other difficulties will not work.
  • The number of scrolls inside the Tome does not matter and it will not affect the "quality" of your portal or loot.

The area is a single outdoor zone, with no sub-levels or dungeons. It resembles Blood Moor but with wide-open spaces and the occasional wooden fencing. Hell Bovines densely populate the whole zone. Somewhere inside is a wooden "fort" with higher walls, open corners, and the Cow King.


Cow King and Multiple Visits[edit]


The Secret Cow Level always contains a single super-unique monster, the Cow King. It can be hard to distingush the King in a crowd of other cows, but he is always Lightning Enchanted.

In Diablo 2 and Lord of Destruction, a hidden quest tracks whether or not you have defeated the Cow King in the current difficulty. Whenever the Cow King dies, anyone currently inside the Secret Cow Level will receive credit for the quest, and be unable to open the portal to the level again in the current difficulty.

  • Whether or not you are in a party does not matter, if you are inside the Secret Cow Level when the Cow King dies, you will receive credit.
  • You can still re-visit the Secret Cow Level in the current difficulty, but someone else will need to open the portal for you. Many players earmark some of their characters to always be portal-openers, but never have them visit the level itself.
  • These restrictions were fully removed in Diablo 2: Resurrected, the Cow King can be killed as much as you like and it will not block anyone from creating the portal again.

Having the portal restriction placed on your character is almost always considered undesirable. Joining public Cow Level games is therefore extreemly risky, as other players may accidentally or intentionally kill the Cow King even if you avoid him.

The Cow King drops his own unique set items, the Cow King's Leathers.


The portal to the level does not always spawn in a safe location, so be ready to run whenever you first enter, in case you arrive in the middle of a swarm.

The Hell Bovines all wield polearms and move slowly. They attempt to defeat players with their sheer numbers and can stunlock and kill you quite quickly if you get surrounded. Ranged characters will want to kite cows into tighter groups to better manage them.

The level is densely populated, so area-of-effect attacks or skills that hit multiple enemies at once work best. Bovines have no immunities and low resistances, so they can be farmed by most builds.

Because of the extreme number of enemies, Hell Bovines are often farmed both with and without Magic Find. Characters that have low Magic Find will be able to find socketed items and white base items more easily from cows. The Cow Level is a level 81 zone in Hell, so it does not drop the best items (level 85+), but it does drop a high number of items, making cows also ideal for farming runes.


First look at Cows, April Fools, 1999.
There were player-created rumors/jokes about a Secret Cow Level in Diablo I, based on the cows in the pasture in Tristram that would moo, or cause your character to say something amusing, if you clicked the bovines long enough.

There is no secret level or anything related to the cows other than an Easter Egg style joke in Diablo Hellfire, and Blizzard repeatedly denied its existence in both serious and humorous ways, such as the StarCraft cheat code "there is no cow level."

However, the Diablo II team apparently drew upon the rumor for inspiration, and worked the whole level into Diablo II. Blizzard North employees provided voice-acting for the cows.

The first hint of a secret cow level came on April 1, 1999, over a year before Diablo II was released, when this screenshot was released. It was taken as simply an April Fools' Joke at the time, but the joke was clearly on us, as things turned out. The cow level in the final game does not take place in the Act One caves, nor are any of the cows brown.


  • There was no truth behind the rumors of a cow level in Diablo I.
  • Prior to v1.02, single player characters could circumvent the restrictions on the portal recipie by uninstalling and re-installing the game.
  • In v1.09 the Cow Level was among the most profitable areas in the game, and was the most popular since it was so easy to rack up huge experience quickly. It became less valuable in v1.10, when the experience given by the cows was cut and their item dropping lowered.
  • Even though this level exists, the aforementioned jokes on the topic is still referred to by Blizzard, saying "there is no Cow Level".
  • The item set named Cow King's Leathers, can only be found in the Secret Cow Level.
  • The cheat code to skip a level in StarCraft refers to the Diablo I rumor. In order to skip a level, the player has to write "There Is No Cow Level" (obviously, it does exist in Diablo II).
  • In WarCraft III: Frozen Throne playing the chapter "Curse of the Blood Elves", there is a 'Secret Sheep Level' that can be accessed. It's basically Blizzard's version of a Tower Defense. In the course of unlocking, many sheep are involved, giving it's name, referencing the Secret Cow Level.
  • World of WarCraft features an item called Cow King's Hide to reference the secret level.
  • A free web enhancement to To Hell and Back and Diablerie called the Secret Cow Level emulates the cow level in the RPG with statistics for the enemy cows.
  • In The Six Sacred Stones, a novel by Matthew Reilly's, a pair of supporting character twins frequently sport shirts saying "I have seen the Cow level!" and subsequently "There is no cow level!"