The Diablo 4 Faded Plaques are just one of the many emote-based puzzles that the game loves to throw at its players. Just like the Traveler's Superstition and Keeping the Old Traditions quests, you'll find statues throughout the world, each bearing a little message: "Most of the description has been lost to time. A few barely legible words read…" followed by a phrase that clearly requires action on your part.
If you're just starting out in Sanctuary, this Legendary crafting guide should help you get better gear, and you might want to pick up a mount also. But back to the matter at hand, here's how Diablo 4 Faded Plaques work and what you need to do to resolve each riddle.
How to activate Faded Plaques
As you explore Sanctuary, from its darkest caves to its perilous mountain peaks, you'll find statues with "Faded Plaques" attached to them. Each one features a worn description, but it's not immediately clear how you're meant to interact with these messages. To activate a Faded Plaque, you have to use a specific emote, hinted at in the text passage you just read.
For example, if the barely legible passage reads: "…BID FAREWELL…all…you love…" then it wants you to use the "Bye" emote on the statue. Do this and you'll be granted a temporary boon or reward, similar to the blessings you get from shrines. If you've encountered the Secret of the Spring quest, you'll already know how much Diablo 4 loves using emotes in puzzles.
Here are all of the Faded Plaques I've encountered, which emote you need to perform in front of them, and what they give you:
Text: …BID FAREWELL…all…you love…
Reward: Speed increase
Reward: Lots of health potions
Reward: Become unstoppable
Reward: Grants a barrier
Text: …GREET…death…open arms…
Reward: Makes you invisible
Text: EMBOLDEN…soul…unrelenting evil…
Reward: Bonus gold drop
Reward: Emboldened Spirit buff
It's worth noting that you have all of these emotes from the start of the game, but you might need to cycle across to the second wheel by pressing E and using the mouse wheel to access them, or assign them from your emote menu. When you use each on the statue, also make sure you're standing in the circle just in front of it.