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Tips & Tricks for New Path of Exile Players - Beginner's Guide

Tips & Tricks for New Path of Exile Players - Beginner's Guide

We have decided to put together all the valuable information for new PoE Players. Top Tips & Tricks are included in our Beginner's Guide

Odealo's Tips & Tricks
For New Path of Exile Players

We have decided to make this guide for all beginner players that start their adventure in Path of Exile. Furthermore, we believe even experienced Exiles might find some valuable information here. This guide will include tips and tricks for:

  1. Setting up your game
  2. General tips
  3. Leveling phase
  4. Orbs/Currency management
  5. Vendor recipes
  6. Build types
  7. Maps

If you have already possessed this knowledge and would like to find out what are our recommended builds check out the link below:

  1. Best PoE Builds - a complete list of all our Crafty Guide for Path of Exile. Most of the builds get updated to the newest Patches within few weeks of the launch. If you are a beginner, it's best to pick a build that is described as a "Starter" build. This type of builds is powerful while being less reliant on expensive equipment

 


Odealo is a secure trading platform for MMO gamers. Here you can buy, sell, and trade PoE Currency for real cash.

 

1. SETTING UP YOUR GAME

  1. Lags and freezes can be deadly, and deaths may completely nullify your progress. You can display an overlay with your current framerate and latency by pressing F1. If you have any issues with game performance, try different DirectX component versions and find out which one works best for you. There were also reports of "Fullscreen windowed mode" to work better than "Fullscreen mode". In either case, you can always try the following steps to increase game performance:
    > add "--waitforpreload" startup command to your path of exile's shortcut
    > edit the production_config.ini file in your Libraries -> My Documents -> My Games -> Path of Exile and increase the value of the texture_quality parameter. This will decrease texture quality and should improve performance
  2. Download and use Loot filter (for example Neversink's LootFilter from the official games forum). You should eventually find out by yourself which items are valuable and worth picking up, but till then the loot filter will hide all the useless stuff. You have to download and move the unpacked lootfilter files to the same location as production_config.ini file (see p.1) and then load them while in game. You can access this feature by opening Options -> UI. Then scroll down to the "List of Item Filter", choose your desired filter and click the "Reload" button

2. GENERAL TIPS

  1. Holding the SHIFT button while using currency items (Jeweller's Orbs, Chromatic Orbs, and Orbs of Fusing are used excessively when trying to get the right sockets on your items) will allow you to use the orb repeatedly. If you are crafting sockets on an item with Jeweller's Orbs, you will be unable to use the orb on an item with a maximum number of sockets. However, this rule does not apply to the number of links. You could remove links on both 3,4,5 linked gear even if they connected all of the available sockets. The game will only prevent you from ruining six socket links
  2. Left-clicking on an item while holding down the CTRL button will automatically buy/sell the items to a vendor, or move them between your Stash, Backpack and Trade window. This feature, however, does not work with Guild Stash
  3. Pressing CTRL+C while hovering over an item will copy to clipboard all of the items data. You can paste it on forums, chats, etc. for example when you want a more experienced player or a friend to evaluate the item for you (or when you want to post it for sale/trade)
  4. Holding ALT button while hovering over items will show their item level. Item level is one of the most important factors when it comes to crafting expensive gear and equipment. It's the item level that determines what tier of affixes certain item can have, and the number of sockets it can have when it's dropped by a slain monster. It is arguable, but possible that crafting a high number of sockets on low-level items might be harder than on higher level gear
  5. You should always level up gems in items you carry in your alternate weapon slots. You can either do it for gems that you know you will be using shortly (after you replace your gear, or reach a certain level) or Support gems like Empower/Enlighten/Enhance that require a lot of experience points to be leveled up 
  6. You should use different flasks one after the other. When you gain Flask charge, it is added to every Flask, regardless of how many Flasks you have emptied previously
  7. Auras skills don't have to be on your Skill bar to remain active. You can cast them, and then replace with different skills or abilities on the skill bar
  8. When using skills that fire multiple projectiles (or any projectile-based skill that is supported by Lesser Multiple Projectiles or Greater Multiple Projectiles) can be either aimed close to your character, making the projectiles to be more spread out and cover wide areas or aimed further away, and the projectiles will be fired in a nearly straight line
  9. There are few useful chat commands that include:
    /hideout - teleports you to your hideout (works only while in town or another hideout)
    /passives - shows a summary of all passive points rewards, and the Bandits quests reward the character has gained
    /remaining - shows the number of monsters remaining in the area

3. LEVELING PHASE

  1. Don't worry much about choosing a wrong character class, unless you knew for certain what type of build you wanted to play, and you want to maximize its potential. In general, Path of Exile provides the highest flexibility when it comes to building your character. You can build powerful Witches or Duelist that wield bows, spell caster Berserkers or tanky Shadow class characters - everything is possible in Path of Exile, and unlike other games, still may remain viable if planned well
  2. Never consume/use currency items (except for Portal Scrolls, Scrolls of Wisdom, Blacksmith's Whetstones, Armourer's Scraps which are rather inexpensive) while leveling your character. Unless these are the first days of a new League when good leveling items are hard to get, using orbs to upgrade or craft items is extremely expensive
  3. Always pick up 3 and four linked items during leveling. You can easily turn them into powerful gear by using Essences on them. Essences are found throughout Wraeclast starting at the very first levels and are used to upgrade normal items to a rare item with a certain fixed property. The effect of Essences is similar to that of Orb of Alchemy, however low-level Essences are much more common and less valuable
  4. When you decide you really need to craft some equipment (this rule also applies to maps later on) use Armourer's Scraps and Blacksmith's Whetstones on Normal quality (white) items. This will make 1 orb improve the item's quality by 5%, while it is 2% for magic items, and 1% for rare and unique items. You can upgrade your item/map to higher rarity when it has 20 points of quality 
  5. You should consider buying leveling unique items that are most suitable for your character class. As stated earlier, unless this is the first days of a new League, most of this shouldn't be expensive and will save you a lot of time. Here you can find a list of the best PoE leveling uniques
  6. When learning the game and leveling up your first character try to play around with different skills and support gems. You can pretty much pick any skill you like for any character class, as long as you know what type of skill is that and how to amplify its' damage. 
  7. Try to complete prophecies while you level up. If you are lucky, you may find some valuable Prophecies you can keep for later or sell with profit. These are: Jeweller's Touch (will create 5-links in an item after using Jeweller's Orb on it), Fated Connections (will create 6-links with single Jeweller's Orb) and Trash to Treasure (will turn normal item to unique item, should be only used on Sorcerer Boots to craft Skyforth boots)

4. ORBS MANAGEMENT

  1. In general, and this is the most important rule, do not use/consume your orbs while leveling/learning the game. Almost all of the orbs carry significant value(with the exception of Scrolls of Wisdom, Portal Scrolls, Blacksmith Whetstones and Armourers Scraps). All the orbs you collect during your early/mid levels should be stored, or used to purchase leveling equipment (usually 1-2 items every ten levels is more than enough to help you progress). Keep in mind, that each piece of leveling gear shouldn't cost more than Orb of Alchemy/Orb of Fusing each. Only the best leveling items may cost up to few Chaos Orbs, like Goldrim, Praxis or Tabula Rasa. However, these items will work for your entire leveling phase (50+ levels)
  2. To get rich during the leveling phase, and when playing your first character, you should know and use all of the Vendor recipes provided in the next section
  3. Do not use Chromatic Orbs to change socket color into one that is not corresponding with the item type. Sockets on items with Strength requirement have the highest chances to turn out red, Dexterity requirement - green, and Intelligence requirement - blue. Unless you are crafting your end-game gear, forcing certain colors is a waste of currency
  4. Do not use Jeweller's Orbs / Orbs of Fusing to craft sockets on items you will use only temporarily (for example most weapons). Usually buying items with the sockets you want is cheaper than crafting them yourself. Again, crafting sockets should be done on items you will keep for most of the leveling part, or when crafting your final gear
  5. Never use Orbs of Chance and Orbs of Alchemy during leveling - craft gear with low tier Essences instead
  6. Never roll stats on rare items with Chaos Orbs - Chaos Orbs are extremely valuable, and crafting low-level items with it is a complete waste while using it on high-level items (which you most likely don't have at this point) is a gamble
  7. NEVER use/consume Exalted Orbs. Unless you know what you are doing, trading it for equipment is your best option


Odealo is a player-to-player marketplace for PoE Currency, Orbs, and Unique Items.

5. VENDOR RECIPES

Vendor recipes are one of the best and the most effective ways of becoming rich until you get to the end-game content, and can farm Atziri and Shaper. There are several recipes that should be used unconditionally by all Path of Exile beginners and casual players. This is:

  1. Chromatic Orb recipeChromatic Orb: trade any item with red, green and blue sockets linked together. This is the most commonly used vendor recipe in PoE. During leveling, your every visit to town should result in you getting 2-3 Chromatic Orbs 
  2. Gemcutter's Prism recipeGemcutter's Prism: trade gems with a combined quality of 40% or a single gem with 20% quality. Keep in mind that each combination of gems has to be with at least 40% of quality. If you have gems with a total quality of 80 %, but the first group has 42% while the other only 38 %, you will only receive 1 Gemcuttter's Prism in the trade. The best solution is to always group gems into exactly 40% quality packs so that you don't lose these extra percents on each trade
  3. Jeweller's Orb recipeJeweller's Orb: vendor any item with 6 sockets. If the sockets are linked together it's not advised to vendor it at all, however, then it would grant a Divine OrbDivine Orb instead
  4. Cartographer's Chisel recipe ICartographer's Chisel: trade maps with a combined quality of 40% or a single map with 20% quality. This is usually used by players that have already reached end-game content (mid/high tier maps and bosses), when you are no longer interested in clearing the white low-level maps. The recipe, however, makes collecting any quality map worth it
  5. Cartographer's Chisel recipe IICartographer's Chisel: trade any map and a 20% quality Stone Hammer, Rock Breaker or Gavel (any rarity). This is one of the most profitable recipes that most players may be unaware it even exists
  6. Glassblower's Bauble recipeGlassblower's Bauble: trade flasks with a combined quality of 40% or a single flask with 20% quality. Glassblower's Bauble is not exactly the most sought-after orb in Path of Exile, but this recipe may still grant some extra profits for PoE's newcomers
  7. Orb of Chance recipesOrb of Chance: there are 3 known recipes that grant the Orb of Chance. This is:
    -trade 2 identified rares with the same name for 1x Orb of Chance (some prophecies, unique encounters and strongboxes may contain mirrored copies of the same rare item)
    -trade normal, rare, magic and unique item of the same base item type (for example Leather belt)  for 5x Orbs of Chance. This recipe is basically free money if you have time to do it. Simply select some popular base item type, and collect all items of this type. You can then turn 1/3 of them into magic items with Orbs of Transmutations, 1/3 into rares with low tier Essences, and then buy corresponding base item type uniques on poe.trade. In most of the cases, each unique item shouldn't cost more than 1 Orb of Chance or 1 Orb of Alchemy depending on the item type you have chosen previously
    -through full rare item set recipe (more commonly referred to as the Chaos Orb recipe) with lower level items (with item level between 1 and 59). It grants 1-3 x Orbs of Chance
  8. Orb of Alchemy recipesOrb of Alchemy: there are several ways of obtaining Alchemy Orbs from vendors which are:
    -trade 3 identified rare items with the same name for 1x Orb of Alchemy
    -trade 2 identified rare items with the same name and quality 20% for 1x Orb of Alchemy
    -trade normal, magic and rare, 20% quality item of the same base item type for 1x Orb of Alchemy
    -trade normal, magic and rare, 20% quality unidentified item of the same base item type for 2x Orb of Alchemy
  9. Chaos Orb recipeChaos Orb: also known as the "full rare item set recipe". It is the most profitable recipe in Path of Exile. Some fast map clearing builds like Spark Templar or Frostblades Raider may earn over 100 Chaos Orbs per day using just this recipe (plus all the directly looted orbs and items). It is also advised to trade only unidentified items in this recipe for double Chaos Orb reward. Way under 1% of all rare items you come across will be actually worth 1 Chaos Orb or above, and the most expensive ones are usually crafted anyway. You can get:
    1 Chaos Orb for trading a set of rare, item level 60 or above gear:
    - 1x Two-handed weapon / 1x One-handed weapon + 1x Shield /  2x One-handed weapons / 2x Shields
    - 1x Helmet
    - 1x Body Armour
    - 1x Belt
    - 1x Boots
    - 1x Amulet
    - 1x Gloves
    - 2x Rings
    2 Chaos Orbs for trading all of the above, unidentified items
    3 Chaos Orbs for trading all of the above, unidentified, quality 20% items


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6. BUILD TYPES

When choosing a character, you should determine two main factors: How are you going to deal damage? and how will you survive monster attacks? There are several main types of characters in Path of Exile, and to put it simply, we can divide them into:

  1. Melee fighters: they use melee weapons, with either high physical or elemental damage. Even though their name, they may still be fairly powerful ranged fighters (yes, that's possible in Path of Exile) and depending on skill and weapon chosen you may amplify the damage by:
    -added flat physical damage to attacks
    -increased physical damage
    -increased melee damage
    -added flat elemental damage to attacks
    -increased elemental damage
    -added flat chaos damage to attacks
    -increased chaos damage
    -increased projectile damage - certain melee abilities shoot additional projectiles, which make up for good portion of the skill's damage, including Molten Strike, Lightning Strike or Frost Blades active skill gems
    -increased area damage for certain skills that deal area damage, for example, the popular Sunder and Earthquake skills
    -increased attack speed
  2. Ranged fighters: they use bows and ranged attacks. As a ranged fighter, you will be looking for the same attributes and melee fighters, with the exception of "increased Melee damage". Most ranged fighters use high physical damage weapons and use elemental damage conversion to increase their DPS (more information on damage conversion can be found at the end of this section). As a ranged character you may also need:
    -increased projectile speed
    -increased projectile pierce chance
    -increased number of projectiles
    -increased number of arrows
  3. Spellcasters: they use wands, scepters and other items that increase spell, elemental or chaos damage. As most active skill gems in PoE spells can have various types which include: area spells(e.g. Firestorm, Ice and Shock Novas), channelled spells (e.g. Arc, Scorching Ray), projectile spells (e.g. Fireball, Frostball, Kinetic Blast), spells with damage over time effects (e.g. Blight, Essence Drain). Depending on the active skill gem you are using, spells can generally benefit from the following:
    -increased spell damage
    -increased elemental damage
    -increased chaos damage
    -added flat physical/elemental/chaos damage to spells (yes spells in Path of Exile can deal physical damage as well)
    -increased cast speed
    -increased area damage
    -increased projectile damage/speed
    -increased damage over time
  4. Summoners: are types of characters that rely on Minions to deal the damage. This types of characters usually have to kite attacks and cast supportive spells that amplify their minion damage. This is achieved through numerous Auras, Curses, and Offerings. This kind of builds can only increase the minion's damage directly through increasing:
    -minion damage
    -minion movement speed
    -minion attack and cast speed
    Other affixes like increased physical/melee damage, or spell/elemental damage will not affect Minions, even if this is their(minion's) corresponding damage types. This forces Summoners to: 
    -increase effectiveness and area of a radius of their Auras, as well as increasing the number of active Auras through the use of Enlighten Support gem, and other Reduced Mana Reservation sources including passive points and ascendancy powers of certain classes
    -increase effectiveness and number of Curses you can apply to enemies. This can either increase the damage monsters receive(offensive curses like Punishment, Elemental Weakness, etc.), or make kiting and avoiding attacks much easier (defensive curses like Enfeeble or Temporal Chains)
    -supporting minions with the Offering spells and Vaal gems (Vaal Haste mainly)
    Minions can deal either physical or spell damage (chaos damage inclusive), and depending on the type of Minions summoned, they should be supported by different and appropriate gems.
  5. Totem builds - are specific types of builds that rely on Totems as their main damage source. They can cast spells or perform attacks of any of the previously mentioned types (including summoning minions). This types of builds will benefit from all the damage amplification sources as their corresponding damage type. On top of that Totem builds will also benefit from:
    -increased Totem damage
    -increased Totem placement speed
    -increased Totem cast and attack speed
    Totems are not considered minions. However, Minions Summoned by Totems (for example Spell Totem linked with Summon Skeletons Spell) will benefit from the increased Minion damage and speed bonuses. Totems also benefit from Auras and can generate endurance/frenzy/power charges on their own (charges generated by Totems will not apply to the player's character)
  6. Traps & Mines builds - these are very specific and niche types of build. Traps can be laid down anywhere on the screen (they are thrown by the player's character) but take a moment to be armed. After a Trap is armed, it can be triggered by monsters. On the other hand, Mines can be only planted under the caster's character, but can be detonated instantly, and even remotely. If using the Trap Support or Remote Mines Support gems, basically any spell can be cast by either of those. This is similar in a way to Totem builds - spells and abilities cast by Traps and Mines will benefit from the corresponding support gems, while Traps' and Mines' damage can also be globally amplified by the following stats.:
    -increased Trap/Mine damage
    -increased Trap/Mine laying speed
    -increased Trap/Mine duration
    -increased maximum number of Traps/Mines that can be laid down
    -increased number of Traps/Mines that are laid down with a single cast

It is very important to understand how certain skills have their damage calculated. All skills deal a certain amount of physical/elemental or chaos damage. While most spells have it determined by the skill gem itself, melee and ranged attacks will usually deal a certain percentage of your weapons base damage (whether it's physical or elemental). Both spell damage on skill gems, and your weapon's damage is increased by the flat added damage to spells and attacks (the damage values are added to that of the skill gem and weapon). Later on damage conversion takes place, and finally, it is multiplied by all corresponding damage type bonus, from your items, skill tree, and ascendancy points. 
To understand how damage conversion works you should know there are two main types of damage conversion:

  1. % of [damage type] is converted to [damage type] - the damage is converted to another type. For example, your skill deals 2-4 physical damage. With 50% fire damage conversion, it will deal with 1-2 physical damage and 1-2 fire damage. Increased Melee/Physical Damage affixes will apply to the 1-2 value, while Fire/Elemental Damage Bonuses will apply to the 1-2 Fire Damage dealt.
  2. Adds % of [damage type] as extra [damage type] - basically, this means, the original damage of your skill remains the same, while certain % of it is added as extra damage. For example, your skill deals 5-10 physical damage, and 20% of it is added as extra cold damage. This means your skill will still deal 5-10 physical damage, and also 1-2 cold damage, greatly increasing your overall DPS. This conversion type, makes damage amplification apply to both types of damage. Melee/Physical Damage bonuses will apply to physical damage, while Cold/Elemental Damage will apply to the 1-2 cold damage dealt. With this types of skills, it is usually the main idea to stack as much flat physical damage bonuses on your items, because the damage is not only added in the form of physical damage, but also some part of them is added to other types of damage (usually elemental)

Any damage can also be increased by:

  1. Increased Critical Strike Chance - most abilities and weapons have a base critical strike chance (e.g., 5%) By increasing Critical Strike Chance you increase the base chance to critically strike an enemy. This value is not additive, but multiplied - if your Increased Critical Strike Chance attribute is at 200%, it means an ability with 5% base critical strike chance will have 15% to Critically Strike.
  2. Increased Critical Strike Multiplier - determines the damage increase of your Critical Strikes
  3. Frenzy Charges - a type of charges associated with Dexterity attribute. It increases Attack Speed, Cast Speed and Damage per Frenzy Charge
  4. Power Charges - a type of charges associated with Intelligence attribute. It increases Critical Strike Chance by 40% per Power Charge

In a nutshell, this should give you a basic understanding of how damage works in Path of Exile. It is common that players assign certain passive points, and buy expensive items, while falsely thinking they will affect their currently used skills. 

Let's now get down to the main defensive mechanics in Path of Exile. There are three main types of builds in Path of Exile:

  1. Life builds - this is the most common and popular types of builds in Path of Exile. They are based on high life pool - which should be increased by pretty much every item except for certain unique items that you may require in your build, which simply don't have this attribute. As a beginner, you should be more than fine just using Life-based builds during your adventure. It is easy to recover Life directly using Life Flasks, Life Leech or Life Regeneration.
  2. Energy Shield builds - are usually more suitable for advanced PoE players. Energy shield recovery works in a completely different way. After not taking damage for a brief moment, Energy Shield will recover it's own, at a setup pace which can be increased by certain items or passive points. This means some encounters and combat, in general, may be troublesome for newcomers. Also, it is impossible to regain Energy Shield with Flasks, and Life Leech requires Zealot's Oath passive to be active or provided by items or Flasks. In general, having a high Energy Shield pool requires tremendous investments in gear, and staying alive may pose a challenge to beginners. This types of builds are usually based on the Chaos Inoculation passive, which turns the character's Life to 1, but makes the character immune to Chaos Damage. 
  3. Hybrid builds - this is a mix of Life and Energy Shield. These are not as widely popular anymore but still used in some builds. Hybrid build choices are usually made because of the necessity to use certain high Energy Shield items, and keeping the characters ES a level high enough, to make it more effective to spend a couple of extra points on Energy Shield nodes, rather than following the regular Life route for the build.
  4. Low life builds - these are very niche types of builds nowadays because of the Patch's 3.0 nerfs to Energy Shield. They are based on Shavronne's Wrappings Body Armour, which makes no Chaos Damage bypass the Energy Shield. Granting similar effect to Chaos Inoculation, but allowing the players to reserve the available Life for additional Auras

On top of the above types, Path of Exile introduced several other defensive mechanics that include:

  1. Armour - mitigates incoming Physical damage from hits (for example bleeding deals physical but does not hit, so your Armour will not lower the damage from bleeding)
  2. Evasion - grants a chance to evade enemy attacks (chance to hit is calculated based on enemy accuracy rating and the player's evasion ratings). Only melee and ranged attacks can be evaded, while spells will automatically hit
  3. Dodge - is similar to evasion. However, both attacks and spells can be dodged
  4. Avoidance - is a mechanic, that allows avoiding damage from hits. For example, you are hit by an attack but avoided its damage. It still however counted as a hit and may apply on-hit effects (for example bleeding)
  5. Block - is a mechanic that grants a chance to prevent damage of attacks when wielding a staff, shield or when dual wielding weapons. A chance to block may also be applied to spells by certain items or abilities
  6. Immunity - certain items and abilities may grant permanent or temporary immunity. The most common skill that uses this defensive mechanic is Immortal Call, which grants brief Immunity to any damage. Various items, including Flasks, may grant immunity to certain damage types or negative status ailments
  7. Endurance charges - are the defensive type of charges associated with the Strength attribute. Endurance charges are generated through various skills and abilities and last only for a brief duration. Each charge provided physical damage mitigation and increased all elemental resistances. Certain items, passives, and abilities may increase the maximum number of charges your character can have at a time.

7. MAPS

In this section, we are going to cover only the most basic and important information about mapping. This will include the most valuable information for new Path of Exile players that just started their adventure. We might write a more detailed and in-depth guide about mapping and the Atlas if we see a lot of you guys interested in this topic :) Leave it in the comments below and we will get right to it ;)

  1. Maps are the end-game content in Path of Exile. They are regular lootable items, that start dropping from slain monsters on areas level 60 and above (this is an estimate, it is possible you may find maps on slightly lower level areas)
  2. You can use the map in the mapping device which will open portals to specific areas inhabited by monsters, rogue exiles, and unique bosses
  3. Areas you can gain access to by using maps have the lowest level of 68 (Tier 1 maps)
  4. Map device opens six portals to each map. You can enter each portal only once, meaning you should only farm maps you are comfortable with. Dying too much will render it impossible to complete maps and obtain the most valuable loot from its' bosses
  5. Each map has a specific layout, monster types, monster densities, and bosses. Try to explore different types of maps and find out which one works best for you (clear speed and deaths per map should be your main concern)
  6. Magic, Rare and Unique maps have different mods affecting monsters or the player's character. You should make sure you can complete maps with their mods before you open it. For example, elemental/physical resists maps are extremely hard for a lot of popular builds
  7. Maps can be altered with orbs, in a way similar to crafting/reforging items. For starters, you can upgrade low/mid-tier maps to magic rarity, and higher tier maps to rare with Orbs of Alchemy. This increases the item quantity and rarity of slain monsters but makes the difficulty level higher
  8. Before opening unique maps make sure what type of encounters wait ahead. Certain unique maps may require a specific set of skills or items to complete (for example movement skills, or specific status ailments immunity items)
  9. "Fast map clearing" builds usually allow clearing maps in 2-3 minutes each. You can use this as a reference to measure how effective your current build is.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.