Welcome to Path of Exile, a game you’ll be hooked on!
Ready to dive into Path of Exile? Think you’re up for the challenge of surviving exile to Wraeclast and facing off against Kitava? PoE is an exceptional dungeon-crawler, but it doesn’t offer much hand-holding in the early stages.
Although the game provides a quasi-tutorial through the achievements menu, it only covers the basics of PoE’s early stages. However, there’s a lot more to learn, and some information may seem unnecessary until you progress further. Here are 10 crucial tips for newcomers to Path of Exile.
1. Utilize the Achievements and Challenges guides for guidance
Many fundamental features in PoE are left unexplained if you jump right in, highlighting the importance of the Achievements and Challenges page, accessible by pressing H. Tasks like equipping a flask or utilizing the map device are included, crucial for mastering both the basics and more advanced techniques in PoE.
From crafting new items to summoning the game’s toughest bosses, tackling Challenges will keep you engaged as you progress through the campaign. Plus, you’ll snag some awesome gear as a reward!
2. Embrace a Build
The sprawling passive tree in PoE can intimidate newcomers at first glance. Believe me, I felt overwhelmed the first time I laid eyes on it. Thankfully, the community has compiled various builds to assist you as you progress.
These builds typically detail specific skill gem necessities, advise on which passives to prioritize in each act, equipment requirements, and more. I suggest selecting a skill gem or choosing a class that aligns with your preferences, then seeking out a compatible build.
After a league or two, you might even feel prepared to create your own PoE build!
3. Maintain a Reserve of Currency in Your Inventory
Unlike many other ARPGs, Path of Exile doesn’t operate on a gold-based economy. Instead, it utilizes a variety of currencies that interact with weapons, gear, maps, and more. I always recommend keeping a small amount of each currency in your inventory for quick access to necessary items from the shop.
These currencies include:
- Scrolls of Wisdom: Used to identify hidden items discovered during your travels.
- Portal Scrolls: Generate a portal at your current location for easy return to the town of the current act.
- Orb of Transmutation: Upgrades a normal (grey) item to a magic (blue) item with random stat modifier(s).
- Orb of Alteration: Re-rolls the stats on a magic item.
- Orb of Augmentation: Adds an additional modifier to a magic item.
Other currencies, such as Chromatic Orbs (for altering colored sockets on gear), Orbs of Fusing (for adjusting socket links on gear), or Regal Orbs (for upgrading a magic item to rare), are best stored in your stash to prevent your inventory from filling up too quickly.
4. Master the Map Device
Finished the campaign? Fantastic! Now it’s time for the real excitement with maps. With 16 tiers of maps to explore and over 30 unique maps featuring specialty bosses or requirements, totaling nearly 200 maps altogether, there’s plenty of adventure ahead. Each map clear earns you an Atlas passive point, which you can use to enhance specific aspects of a map or focus on a particular encounter.
If you’re in search of a specific map to complete, remember the option of trading!
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your equipment with the Horticrafting Station, delve into the caverns with Niko, or unravel the mysteries of the Immortal Syndicate, maps offer all this and more. They’re the primary way to earn XP once the campaign concludes.
5. Conquer the Aspirant’s Trial and Unlock Your Ascendancy
In Path of Exile, each base class has access to Ascendancy classes, offering a range of potent passives to enhance your build. To unlock your Ascendancy class, you must complete the Aspirant’s Trial, which requires finishing each Trial of Ascendancy.
There are four Aspirant Trials in total, with Acts Three, Seven, and Ten serving as access points during the campaign, and the Eternal Labyrinth becoming available once you reach the map device. Prioritize completing these trials as soon as possible to further empower your character.
6. Monitor Your Health Bar
As you progress through each Act of the campaign in Path of Exile, monsters and bosses ramp up in difficulty. Without adequate equipment or attention to your passive tree, you risk frequent deaths, often due to a low health pool.
A good guideline is to aim for a total HP of 300 multiplied by the current act number. By Act Five, you should ideally have a minimum of 1,500 HP. Of course, this can vary depending on your chosen build or class, but prioritize seeking out passive skills that boost your HP percentage in the skill tree and occasionally upgrading your gear to bolster your survivability.
7. Leverage Essences for Budget-Friendly Gear While Leveling
Essences are readily available during both map exploration and campaign missions. You’ll frequently encounter groups of frozen enemies that need to be freed. Defeating these foes releases essences, which you can promptly utilize to enhance and alter the stats of your existing equipment.
Each essence bestows a distinct stat bonus to gear pieces, and they’re abundant as you progress through the game. Therefore, make sure to use them early on to tailor your gear to the specific stats you require, such as HP or elemental resistance. Speaking of elemental resistance…
8. Discover and Access The Library in Act Three
Upon reaching Act Three, you’ll encounter a place known as The Library, linked to The Imperial Gardens. Inside, you’ll find Siosa. Upon solving a puzzle within the archives, he’ll grant you the ability to purchase nearly any skill gem available in the game.
Certain skill gems might typically be inaccessible until much later stages, even after Act Ten. However, with access to Siosa at The Library, you’ll have the opportunity to acquire any skill gem you require.
9. Implement an Item Filter
At the outset of your Path of Exile journey, nearly every item you stumble upon holds some value. However, as the game unfolds, your screen can quickly become cluttered with items that offer no benefit. This is where an item filter comes in handy, concealing those irrelevant pieces of equipment.
One of the most widely used item filters is FilterBlade, renowned for its ease of installation and extensive customization options. Fine-tuning my filter is among the initial tasks I undertake before delving into a new league, and you’ll likely follow suit after completing your first league as well.
10. Maximize Your Elemental Resistances
While this tip is more pertinent to the later stages of the game, as you approach the late level 70s or early 80s, aim to reach the 75 percent cap for your fire, cold, and lightning resistances. Falling short of this threshold will leave you susceptible to significantly higher damage.
Achieving this becomes more challenging after defeating Kitava in Act 10, as you’ll suffer a 60 percent reduction in all resistances. Ensure you’re hitting that 75-mark (and maintaining at least 20 percent Chaos resistance).
This guide should set you on the right path, but there’s much more to discover in Path of Exile, especially post-campaign completion. Best of luck as you embark on your journey in Wraeclast, and remember to stay alive!