In Diablo 2: Resurrected, sockets can be added to weapons, armor, shields, or helms using the Horadric Cube or Larzuk the blacksmith at the end of Act 5 quest, Siege On Harrogath. Adding sockets to an item allows you to place gems or runes into it, making it more powerful. Certain combinations of runes, when placed into sockets in the correct order, will result in extremely powerful runeword items, which is why most players want to add sockets to items.
Larzuk is the simpler, more reliable method of adding sockets, but he does it as a quest completion reward, and so you can only take advantage of it once in any run-through of the game. The quest you have to complete to earn this reward is Siege On Harrogath, a fairly straightforward mission in which your goal is to kill demonic general Shenk The Overseer.
Whichever item you ask Larzuk to add sockets to will get the maximum number of sockets for that particular item. Not for that weapon type, for that particular item. You see, every item in Diablo 2: Resurrected has a hidden item level (often abbreviated to “ilvl”), and that item level determines the maximum number of sockets it can get. An item’s level is determined by the level of the monster that drops it, and the monster level is in turn determined by the level of the area in which that monster is found. To put it simply, the later in the game the item is found, the more sockets Larzuk will be able to put into it.
Item level is also a factor when adding sockets to items using the Horadric Cube, but the cube will not necessarily add the maximum number of sockets possible. Instead, it will add a random number of sockets between one and the maximum number for that item. So if your item’s maximum number of sockets is three, the cube will add either one, two, or three sockets. There’s no way to control this – it’s just luck. So you always risk getting the wrong number of sockets when using the Horadric Cube, but unlike Larzuk, you can use it as many times as you want.
Now, to the Horadric Cube recipes for adding sockets:
- To add sockets to a weapon, transmute a normal weapon with a Ral rune, an Amn rune, and a perfect Amethyst.
- To add sockets to armor, transmute a normal armor with a Tal rune, a Thul rune, and a perfect Topaz.
- To add sockets to a shield, transmute a normal shield with a Tal rune, an Amn rune, and a perfect Ruby.
- To add sockets to a helm, transmute a normal helm with a Ral rune, a Thul rune, and a perfect Sapphire.