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"Path of Exile": Tips and Tricks for Beginners

I've been playing video games since the tender age of four. As a result, most of my articles are related to video games.


If you have happened upon this article, then you are probably looking for helpful tips, tricks, and resources for your very own Path of Exile (PoE) quest. With PoE out of Closed Beta, this article is perfect for helping those that are just starting today or will start soon. Read on to get an idea of what to do and not be completely lost.

What Class Should I Play?

To be honest, based on the way the game works, any class will do fine. There are a total of six classes divided between the game's three stats of Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence. Three of the classes are pure (that is, dedicated solely to one stat), and the other three are hybrids (dedicated to two of the three stats).

Despite what I said above, a fair number of the differences are purely cosmetic. The only things that are truly influenced by your choice of class are your starting stats and where you start in the passive skill tree.

Passive Skill Tree?

Yes, a massive one at that. As Grinding Gear Games (the developers of Path of Exile) proudly proclaim on their website, it has a whopping 1350 (!) skills. The possibilities are nearly limitless, although I predict that the community will eventually fall in line with certain passive skill allocations that are "best-of-class" (or what are commonly known as cookie-cutter builds). It will be possible to re-spec your choices to a limited extent, but if you want to try a radically different build, you will probably have to roll (create) a new character.

Here's a link for you to mess around with: Path of Exile's Passive Skill Tree Calculator.

Active Skills

See, the reason why classes are largely unimportant in PoE is due to the way active skills work. Your character does not learn new skills at level-up. Instead, he or she must equip skill gems in socketed items to gain their effects. This creates an interesting balance where a weapon that would be strictly superior in most other action roleplaying games is actually inferior to a close competitor due to the fact that it has fewer (or NO) sockets.

Skill Gems come in three colors, one for each stat. Strength is Red, Dexterity is Green, and Intelligence is Blue. Sockets, likewise, also come in the same three colors. So, as you might imagine, you must place gems in sockets that share their color.

Another thing that this game does which hasn't been done much, if at all in this genre, is utilize the concept of linked sockets. You can use special support gems to augment the effects of your skills. However, to do that, you will need to have a skill gem in a socket that has a link with another socket. Then, you would put the support gem in the other socket, and voila!

Tips and Tricks for Playing Path of Exile

Here's a list of helpful tips and tricks for starting out your adventuring career in Path of Exile:

  • You have flasks that fill with health or mana liquid when you kill monsters or return to town. Thus, it is important to watch your flask levels carefully when you're in a heated fight, lest you run out of ways to heal yourself!
  • Items can be traded to shopkeepers in exchange for items that serve as currency (in other words, this is a barter system). The lowest form of currency are pieces of Scrolls of Wisdom (for the Diablo 2 veterans out there, these are the PoE equivalent of Identify Scrolls). Naturally, the more valuable an item, the rarer the items you get in return.
  • Make sure to fight enemies in chokepoints. This plays more like older ARPG entries where you are not godly and actually have to fight a few enemies at a time. Playing this like your modern ARPG will get you killed in a hurry.
  • PoE has a League system where you can create a character in special conditions. For example, you might make a character in a Player vs Player League or a Hardcore League where you have only one life. Characters in special leagues that get booted out of said leagues (in the Hardcore league you will get booted out for dying) will end up in a Default league (this is where your character ends up if you don't choose a special league at character creation).
  • While this game can be played solo, don't forget the online component. You will occasionally see other players in town, so don't hesitate to ask questions! The community is pretty helpful. If you don't want to ask in-game, you can always use the official game forums to voice your doubts and concerns as well.
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Why Should You Play Path of Exile? Well...

Now, Get Playing!

After reading this article, you should have a nice little reference for many of the most basic questions you may have while playing Path of Exile. If you're still wondering about some things after the references I have already given, please don't hesitate to visit the official site and check out the vast sections they have related to most game mechanics.

Seriously, most modern-day video game manuals, offline OR online, would love to be as in-depth as Path of Exile's help guide.

Feel free to talk about the game or ask me questions in the comments section!

Until the next time, take care and have fun!

Participate in the Obvious Debate!

© 2013 Darrin Perez


Sarah Forester from Australia on February 05, 2014:

Great guide for new players, I've been playing Path of Exile since it's early days, best Diablo like experience out there.

Darrin Perez (author) from Puerto Rico on February 01, 2013:

Hello there crs! Well, to be quite honest I would identify items before selling them. Also, don't hesitate to trade with other people if you think you may get a better offer than you would get from the in-game storekeepers. :)

crs on February 01, 2013:

Hi, I played now til lvl 30. My dps is lagging behind and overall gear doesn't seam to suit the current situation I am in-it tend to get very difficult both surviving and killing stuff. I play templar. My question is: should I identify magic + rare items before I sell them to get the best mats?

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