Frequently Asked Questions
This page is intended to provide useful information not necessarily covered in the official FAQ or the first post of the new player forum thread. Global chat tends to see the same questions repeated, so feel free to direct people here and add questions/answers of your own. (Make sure your information is correct!)
When will Path of Exile be released?
We haven't announced a specific release date, but we entered public Open Beta on January 23, 2013 and expect a release late this year.
How do I sign up for the Open Beta?
By creating an account on the site. You'll have game access immediately!
What character classes can I play?
There are six character classes in Path of Exile - the Marauder, the Ranger, the Witch, the Duelist, the Templar and the Shadow. These classes represent the attributes of strength, dexterity, intelligence, a strength/dexterity hybrid, strength/intelligence and a dexterity/intelligence hybrid, respectively.
What are attributes?
Our three attributes are strength, dexterity and intelligence. Path of Exile's character classes, items, monsters and skills (both active and passive) are designed around being aligned with some ratio of these attributes. For example, a short sword might be aligned with 50% strength/50% dexterity. This means that it would be most suitable for use by a strength, dexterity or hybrid character class. Similarly, a monster that is aligned with 100% intelligence would have its damage and armor values biased in favor of intelligence mechanics.
What's the difference between the character classes?
Besides the obvious aesthetic differences, the classes in Path of Exile are quite diverse. Each starts with different base attributes, and has a specific starting point in the passive skill tree. It's still completely possible to make a Marauder with lots of dexterity, or a Ranger with plenty of intelligence, but you'll be most effective sticking with your character's preferred attribute.
What does Path of Exile cost to play?
Path of Exile is 100% free to play, for everyone, forever. Our website will allow the purchase of many in-game perks and aesthetic upgrades, but all of these are completely optional, and players can have a complete, fulfilling gaming experience without spending a penny.
I still don't understand how it's free to play - what's the catch?
There is no catch at all, once you download the client you are free to play for as long as you like, with no charge. The purchasable perks do not convey any gameplay benefit, but help you create a unique look for your character and its fighting style.
What makes Path of Exile different from other games in the Action RPG genre?
Countless things make Path of Exile different, but here is a short list of the ones we feel most set us apart.
- -A gritty dark fantasy setting, supporting a hostile cutthroat atmosphere.
- -Free to play on online servers with persistent character storage in a secure economy.
- -A unique active skill system that will allow any class to use any skills in the game and augment/combine them how they see fit.
- -A haunting fixed-perspective 3D game world, constructed with incredible attention to detail.
- -Deep passive skill system that eschews the mere allocation of stat points when levels are gained
- -Incredibly complex and sophisticated item system with literally unlimited possibilities.
- -A random generation system for monster loot that is dynamic and tremendously exciting.
What platforms are supported by the game?
Path of Exile will initially launch with support for Windows. No Mac support has been announced yet, but it's something we'll investigate after release.
Will you support languages other than English?
Yes, we intend to support other languages once the game has been released.
Are there defined roles for players, like tanking, healing and sustained damage?
While we don't have concrete defined roles for any class, there's enough customization with passive and active skills that a player can focus on one type of play. A Marauder, for example, can load up on hit point buffing skills and taunts, and a Ranger could focus purely on offensive skills. We do not intend to have a dedicated healer role.
What is the level cap?
A level cap of 100 is currently planned, but players will find that they level up more slowly as they gain experience. You'll need to be very high level and be very well-geared to contend with the end game content on the hardest difficulty level. These diminishing returns mean that the game doesn't suddenly end when the player hits some arbitrary point. If a player wanted, they could improve a single character for years on end.
I really love PvP, do you support that?
Yes! In addition to the PvE content, Path of Exile will contain many PvP elements, including random arenas, a ranking system, seasonal ladders and unique PvP item rewards. The game has a tremendously fun and rewarding PvP experience.
What are the hardware requirements for Path of Exile?
Path of Exile is designed to run on a huge variety of systems, from an everyday laptop to a top of the line gaming rig. Our detailed art is designed to not only look great, but also reveal additional detail as the resolution is increased to the maximum of 2560x1600. Exact system requirements will be determined closer to release.
At the moment, you will need a Graphics Card with Pixel Shader 3.0 or higher, and a CPU that supports SSE2. At least 2GB of RAM is recommended, and older Integrated Graphics Cards will not run well.
Can I post and monetise videos of Path of Exile on YouTube? Can I stream it?
Yes, you may post (and monetise) videos of Path of Exile on YouTube. You may stream it on twitch.tv and other streaming sites. These streams may be monetised. Thanks very much for helping spread the word!
How can I check frame rate/latency/etc?
What does ___ mean?
Check the Acronyms page for a list of common acronyms and abbreviations.
What are the specific differences between classes?
Starting stats, your starting position on the skill tree, and your quest rewards. Gameplay is otherwise the same (there are no class restrictions, etc). All classes start with 50 base life, 40 base mana, and 53 base evasion.
Do stats increase when I level up?
Base life increases by 6, base mana increases by 4, and base evasion increases by 3. Strength/Dexterity/Intelligence must be increased with passive skills or items.
What do attributes do?
|Strength||+0.5 life and +0.2% melee physical damage per point|
|Dexterity||+2 accuracy and +0.2% evasion per point|
|Intelligence||+0.5 mana and +0.2% energy shield per point|
Items and skills can also have attribute requirements.
Are there caps on any stats?
- Resistances are normally capped at 75%, but this can be increased by things like Purity or Flasks.
- The physical damage reduction from armor is capped at 90%.
- Chance to hit cannot go higher than 95% or lower than 5%. The exception is Resolute Technique.
- Chance to block is capped at 75%.
- Critical hit chance cannot go higher than 95% or lower than 5%.
What's the difference between "local" and "global"?
Local modifiers will only affect the item they're on, and global modifiers affect your entire character. For example, the global critical chance increase from daggers increases the chance of all your skills critting, but the local accuracy bonus from one-handed swords only affects attacks that use the sword.
What's the difference between "increased" and "more"?
"X increased/decreased by y%" refers to an additive modifier, and "y% more/less" refers to a multiplicative modifier. If you don't know what this means, see Modifiers.
How do I quickly move items between inventory, stash, and vendor screens?
What's the difference between Hardcore and Default?
There are no gameplay or quest differences (increased drop rates, stronger monsters, etc). The only difference is that Hardcore has permanent death as an extra challenge, by means of moving you to default. (No, the admins will not move you back if you die. Even if it was a glitch.)
Will dying in PvP in Hardcore send me to default?
If I join a race, what happens to my character afterwards?
The character is sent to the hardcore league. If you want to move to default, enter an area and die.
Can you trade items between leagues?
No. However you can send items from hardcore to default by dying.
Is chat separated by league?
Is there only one channel per league?
No, chat is instanced. You are occasionally switched to a new channel when changing areas. If you accidentally join a new channel and want to switch back, return to one of your previous instances.
Ctrl-Alt-Click (If the chat window isn't open already, this will open it)
What's the shortcut to reply to whispers?
How do I change difficulty?
After you finish the game on Normal your character unlocks Cruel, which covers the three acts again at higher levels with tougher monsters. Finishing Cruel unlocks Merciless, and finishing Merciless unlocks the Eternal Library where Maps can be played. Note that you unlock difficulties for each character - new characters always start in Normal.
Characters get -20% to all resistances in Cruel, which changes to -60% in Merciless. There is also an experience penalty for dying of 7.5% of level progress lost in Cruel and 15% in Merciless.
Are there penalties for being over/underleveled?
Every area has a monster level, which you can see on the world screen or by pressing Tab. If your character is more than two levels above the monster level, there is a -2.5% penalty to Item Quantity for each extra level. (A level 40 character in a 34 area will have -10%.) Characters above level 66 are treated like their level is 66.
The experience penalty is more complicated. Characters have a "safe range" of three plus one per sixteen complete character levels, and the "effective level difference" of an area is the number of levels outside of this range. So a level 24 character has a safe band of 3+1=4 levels. From monster level 20 to 28, there is an effective level difference of 0. At Monster Levels 19 and 29, the effective level difference is 1. The Effective Difference matters in either direction.
The penalty formula is on the Experience page, or this graph shows how experience is affected. The penalty increases fairly quickly: a level 50 character earns about 90% of normal experience in a level 42 area, but only about 25% in a 38 area.
How do flasks work?
Flasks consume their charges to recover some amount of life/mana over time. By default regular monsters grant 1 charge each, magic (blue) monsters grant 3.5 charges each, and rare (yellow) monsters grant 6 charges each.
If you reach your maximum life and/or mana before the end of the recovery time, the flask effect will end prematurely. When multiple flasks are used at the same time, the effects are queued. The effect with the highest regeneration rate is always applied first. For example:
You have two flasks, one that gives 500 life recovery over 10 seconds and has a 20% increased movement speed modifier, and a second that gives 500 life recovery of 5 seconds with no additional modifiers. You use the first flask and gain the movement speed while recovering life. After one second, you use the second flask. At this point the remaining 9 seconds from the first flask is queued, and the second flask begins its effect. Once the second flask has expired, the first flask resumes its effect for the remaining duration.
What bonus does dual wielding give?
+10% attack speed bonus, and a 15% chance to block.
Do I have to crit to inflict status effects? What else affects them?
Under normal conditions, yes. "Chilled" is the exception, and can come from non-crits with enough damage. The damage of a critical hit is compared to the mob's max life to end up with a duration, as below: (Note that only the specific elemental damage of the hit is considered, not the overall damage.)
- Shocked: 276ms per 1% max life dealt as lightning
- Chilled: 138ms per 1% max life dealt as cold
- Frozen: 100ms per 1% max life dealt as cold
- Burning: automatic 4 seconds
If the result is above 300ms, the status is inflicted for that period of time. The damage considered is capped at 1/3 max life.
Burning damage will always burn for 4 seconds on crit. The damage is 1/3 of the fire damage per second, for 4/3 extra damage overall. Mobs can have burning effects overlap, but only the strongest one will do damage. (If a mob gets one for 20 dmg/sec and another for 10 dmg/sec but 1 second later, the 20 dps will last for the full duration followed by one second of 10 dps.)
If you have Chaos Inoculation, the calculation uses the max life you would normally have.
What do charges do?
Charges are temporary buffs that can be gained from certain skills. See Charge for more info.
Is there a waypoint in area x?
In the World screen (press U to open), areas with a waypoint will have a blue icon to the right of its name.
How do I reset an instance or join a specific instance?
Ctrl-Click on the entrance to the area and the instance menu will appear. This also works if you're using the waypoint menu by ctrl-clicking the area node.
How do skill gems get experience?
Gems get experience equal to 10% of the experience you gain. Equipping more gems doesn't divide the experience, all gems get the 10%.
Do gems in my second weapon set gain experience when I'm not using them?
Yes, which is convenient if you need to level something.
Yes, but they don't stack. Only the highest level gem will take effect.
Can a support gem affect more than one skill?
Yes, it affects every skill in the link group.
What's the difference between attacks and spells?
Attacks are affected by your weapon's damage, while spells are based only on your stats. "Attack" isn't a general word for anything offensive.
Does support x work with skill y?
As a general rule, the keywords of the support gem need to be included in the skill gem. (Keywords are the category words near the top of the mouseover description, such as "Attack" or "Projectile".) Exceptions are the words "Fire", "Cold", "Lightning", and "Chaos"; supports like Added Fire Damage affect any damage-dealing skill. "Bow" is also equivalent to "Projectile". Below are answers to common questions:
- Life Gain on Hit only works with Attack skills. Life Leech works with everything, however.
- Freezing Pulse has 100% pierce chance, so it doesn't work with Chain or Fork.
- Increased Duration won't make charges gained from skills last longer. It only affects the skill itself, which is instantaneous.
Is there a way to bypass the passive skill allocation confirmation?
Yes. Holding Ctrl while selecting a passive note will immediately allocate the skill point and confirm it.
What does quality do?
All weapons, armour, flasks, gems, and maps can have a quality bonus between +1% and +20%. Items dropped as loot may have a random quality, and quality can be increased by using currency items.
Using a quality-increasing item will raise the quality of Normal items by 5, Magic items by 2, and Rare/Unique items by 1. If you plan to upgrade an item, it's most efficient to max out the quality beforehand.
|Item Type||Effect of Quality||Quality increased with...|
|Weapons||Increased physical damage||Blacksmith's Whetstone|
|Armour||Increased armour/evasion/energy shield||Armourer's Scrap|
|Recovery Flasks||Increased life/mana recovery||Glassblower's Bauble|
|Utility Flasks||Increased duration||Glassblower's Bauble|
|Gems||Specific to each gem||Gemcutter's Prism|
|Maps||Increased item quantity bonus||Cartographer's Chisel|
How do item rarity/item quantity work?
These modifiers come from players (through skills, passives, gear etc.), monster rarity, party bonuses, and map bonuses. Modifiers from the player stack additively with each other, and are subject to diminishing returns. Modifiers from the party bonus and monsters stack additively with each other, and are not subject to diminishing returns. The total player bonus stacks multiplicatively with the total party & monster bonus.
Increases the chances of an item being magic, rare, or unique. For example, with a total of +100% increased item rarity you'd get twice as many magic items, twice as many rares and twice as many uniques from normal enemies. Note: This modifier does not affect chests, and has no effect on the number or type of currency items, scrolls, or gems that drop.
When in a party, only the modifier from the player who lands the killing blow on an enemy is counted. If one of your minions gets a kill, the minion's IIR is added to yours and the total is used. Magic, rare, and unique monsters have an increased item rarity modifier for drops.
Increases the average number of items that drop from monsters and chests. It does not affect the type, quality, or rarity of item dropped, only the chance that something will drop. There is no cap on the usefulness of this modifier, since there is no limit to the number of items a monster can drop.
The base chance for an item to drop from a normal monster is 16%. This varies between monster types, and drop rate increases with monster rarity. When in a party, each player in the party after the first gives a +50% item quantity modifier on drops.
Blue items can only have two modifiers, why does mine have three?
Magic items have up to two affixes, but some of these add more than one modifier. (For example, the "Beetle's" prefix adds local armor and stun recovery.) Rare items can have more than six modifiers, but are limited to six affixes.
The number of sockets is affected by item level(see below). Helmets, Gloves, Boots can have up to 4 sockets; Chest armor up to 6; Two-handed weapons up to 6; One-handed and Shields up to 3. Links are not affected by item level.
Socket color is weighted towards the attribute requirements of an item. Strength items will have mostly red sockets, etc.
What does "itemlevel" mean?
Though it isn't shown on the mouseover description all items have an item level, which affects the modifiers that can be added as well as the number of sockets. There are three ways to find the item level of something:
- Pick up the item with the cursor, and type the /itemlevel command into the chat box. The item level will appear in chat.
- With the trade screen open, hold down the ALT key while hovering over an item in the trade panel. The item level will be shown near the mouse cursor.
- Hover with the mouse over an item linked in chat, and press CTRL+C. This will copy the complete item information to your clipboard, including item level.
Items dropped from chests or normal(white) enemies have the item level of the area you are in. Items from magic(blue) enemies are one level higher than the area, and items from rare(yellow) or unique(orange) enemies are two levels higher.