Path of Exile Beginner’s FAQ

Path of Exile Beginner’s FAQ by Dark0mens

The purpose of this FAQ is to hopefully give people some knowledge of the game for when they start playing. It is compiled based on questions that many others and myself have spent countless hours answering over and over and over again in normal chat. This is not a “technical” FAQ as there are many posts throughout this forum that handle the more technical aspects.


Q: Is there a Wiki?

A: Yes.

Q: When does Open Beta start?

A: Open Beta is currently scheduled to start around mid August but is subject to change if the Dev’s feel they need to move it back in order to get some important features in.

Q: When Open Beta hits will all characters be wiped?

A: No they will be reset along with all the stash tabs you own. This means you will get to retain your character names but you will not keep any items you have found in the game. You will however get to keep your kiwi’s and anything you bought from the store.

Q: Is there a way to make a build without ruining my character?

A: There is a web based skill tree on the website (the link is on the left, ‘Passive Skill Tree’). It has a search feature and can calculate the shortest distance as well as showing you other nodes that match the one you are mousing over.

Q: What the heck is this Skill tree…forest…thing?!

A: The Passive Skill ‘Tree’ is a large network of passive buffs and raw attribute increases for your character. All classes are on the same tree, but start in different places. When you level up, you gain one skill point. You can use that point to activate a node, but you must be connected to that node. This is how the character’s passive ‘path’ is formed.

While the passive tree (sometimes referred to in-game as the Skilldrasil or Skill Web) may seem complicated, it actually only has two parts. It can be thought of as a map, with suburbs and roads.

The clusters of related passive nodes that boost a specific area (sword, hammer, archery, fire damage, evasion, and so on) are like suburbs. These will form the bulk of your character’s build. The pathways between these clusters, comprised entirely of nodes that give +10 to a certain attribute, are like roads. Some of these roads can cover a great distance much quicker than if you detour through the suburbs: what may look like a short path with passive boosts could in fact be much longer than taking the +10 to attribute path.

You can see what these attributes do by pressing ‘c’ and hovering your mouse over each of the three. Anything the attributes don’t do, such as increase ranged damage or attack speed, will likely be handled by passive nodes on the skill ‘tree’.

Q: What is the point of classes in this game if they all are on the same tree?

A:While it is true that all classes can use the same skill gems, are on the same skill ‘tree’ and can use any item in the game provided they meet the attribute and level requirement, there are three significant differences between the classes:

1)starting position on the skill tree, thus determining which passive nodes are easier to get

2)Starting attribute allocation

3)What skills you get from quests.

Think of how you want to build your character then pick the class that will help you get there the best.

Q:What’s the max level in this beta?

A: 100. If you look at the ‘Passive Skill Tree’ (link on the left), it grants 111 skill points. This takes into account all quest rewards. Although 100 is the maximum level, it is virtually impossible to reach. Most people create builds to ‘milestones’, such as levels 30 and 60.

Q: Where is the gold? Is there no gold in this game?

A: There is no gold. Path of Exile uses a barter system based on consumable currency called orbs. There are various orbs worth varying amounts.

Click here for the Dev Diary about Path of Exile’s currency.

List of current currency items.

Known list of vendor recipes.

Q: Why did my town portal close? How long do instances stay open?

A: Your town portal closed because the timer on your empty instance ran out. It is 8 minutes for regular instances and 15 minutes for instances that have side zones. An example of a 15 minute instance would be Mud Flats. You have Fetid Pool to the north and Submerged Passage to the east.

Q: How do I make a new instance? Can I farm an area or a boss?

A: You can make a new instance by Crtl+Left Clicking on either the Way Point or the zone entrance portal and select new. This is also how you reset instances so you can farm bosses or chests, although some bosses do not have chests to farm.

Q: Is there a quest log in the game?

A: Yes. You press “u” to see the quest log. It also doubles as your Way Point map. When you cycle through the quests you have active the map will show you the path to the zone where the quest is to be completed.

Q: Is there a penalty for dieing in Path of the Exile?

A: Not on normal difficulty but as you progress through the difficulties the penalty is XP loss. 5% for Cruel, 10% for Ruthless, 15% for Merciless.

Q: What does quality do?

A: It varies per item. Armors and Shields gain an increase in their defensive stats. More Armor, Evasion, Energy Shield, and Increased Block Chance. Weapons give more damage. Health/Mana Flasks it increases the amount returned. For Granite/Diamon Flasks it increases the effect duration. For gems it depends on the gem where some gems gain attack speed and others gain piercing or radius of the skill.

Complete list of all skill gems with quality bonuses here.

Complete list of all support gems with quality bonuses here.

Q: How do I get back to town without walking all the way back?

A: You either use a Town Portal. Use a Waypoint. Or you can get yourself killed. 3rd option not recommended in higher difficulties.

Q: Is there a quick way to sell things?

A: Shift+Left Click while the sell window is open.

Q: Can I compare items?

A: Press and hold Alt while the mouse is over the item you wish to compare to the equipped item.

Q: Is there a map or minimap?

A: There is the traditional map overlay which can be activated via Tab by default. Or in the options you can turn on the minimap.

Q: Is there a quick way to move things into my stash?

A: Not yet there isn’t. You can try clicking and moving your mouse faster I guess.

Q: Is there a Way Point in every zone?

A: No.

Q: Is there a Way Point in Zone X?

A: There is a legend in the quest log/way point map. If you go to the zone and then see a small dot in the middle of the circle that represents the zone then there is a way point you just haven’t discovered it yet. Otherwise if the circle is empty there is no way point in the zone.

Q: Is there a way to respec?

A: Yes you get 2 respec points per act via quests. Act 1 is the Fetid Pool quest from Tarkleigh. Act 2 is the Through Sacred Ground quest from Yeena. Other than that you can get Orbs of Regret as drops in the world or trade them from other players.

Q: Can I respec all of my points at once?

A: No, skill point resets are a single point at a time. GGG have made clear this is working as intended and they do not plan to implement a method of total respec.

Q: I just took a passive that increases my critical strike chance by 15% but I see no change or very little chage in my crit percent what gives?

A: Crit increasing passives are multiplicative and not additive. Meaning if you have 5% base crit and you take a 15% crit increasing passive you don’t get 20% crit. You instead get (5*.15)+5 as your crit.

Q: How do I view items linked in chat?

A: You have to press enter then mouse over the item(s).

Q: How do I link items in chat?

A: Ctrl+Left Click

Q: Can I buy more than one currency item at a time from the vendor?

A: Currently you must buy the single item, close the purchasing window, and then reopen it.

Q: Do vendors ever change their wares?

A: Yes there are 2 things that change what a vendor has for sale. Once every 24 hours (not sure what the exact time it occurs it) they reset. And every time you level the vendors change their wares.

Q: Can I play with friends?

A: Yes but you must first play through the Twilight Strand before you can do so.

Q: How do I find games/parties to join?

A: There is a messageboard in each town that lists public games/parties for you to join. Alternatively, you can press ‘S’ and click the ‘Public Parties’ tab.

Q: Is there a chat service for voice chatting with people in the game?

A: Not inherently. There is however a Mumble server set up by a group of people who are in the beta. Tutorial on how to join. Thread for rules regarding the Mumble server.

IP –

Port -64738

Password – poe

Q: Is there a way to trade?

A: Yes you can trade currently by joining group with the person you wish to trade with. Going into a zone and each dropping your item on the ground then picking up the item you are trading for.

Q: How do I get more skills and/or support gems?

A: You get some from quests and you can find them from mobs and random environment objects like chests, barrels, rocks.


Q: Does it matter where I put my skill gems, like weapon skills have to go into a weapon?

A: No it doesn’t matter where you put skill gems.

Q: Can I stack the same skill gem to make it stronger?

A: No you cannot.

Q: Is this gem a spell or a weapon skill?

A: There are two kinds of skills, spells and attacks. All attacks deal damage based on your weapon, and if you select them in the character screen will show main hand and/or off hand damage depending which weapons the skill is usable with. Spells base damage comes from the gem, rather than the weapon, and they will generally show “spell damage” in the character screen (if they do damage).

Q: Why would I never level up a gem?

A: Three reasons to not level a gem. A)If you cannot support the new mana cost of the gem or the mana reservation. B) If you want to pass it on to another character which might be lower level. C)If you are gear dependent on the stats required to use the skill gem and don’t think you’re going to be able to keep up with the stat requirements.

Q: Can I have multiple supports on the same skill gem?

A: Yes. If you are lucky enough to get a 6 link chest you can have up to 5 supports on a single skill.

Q: Can one support gem support more then one skill gem?

A: You can support up to 5 skills with a single support if you have a 6 linked item.

Q: What is the max level for skill gems?

A: 20

Q: Do 1 hand passives work for dual wield?

A: Yes.

Q: Do I need to use a skill to level it up?

A: No any skill that is equipped will gain XP.

Q: Do skills I use gain more XP then those that I don’t?

A: No all equipped skills gain XP at the same rate regardless. They are also not affected by the XP penalty that players are.

Q: What is elemental damage?

A: Elemental damage is all non physical damage except for Chaos damage. Chaos is not an element. That means: Fire, Cold, Lightning are all elemental damages.

Q: Do bonuses that affect elemental damage affect spells?

A: As long as it does not state “weapon elemental damage” and rather states the more generalized “elemental damage” then yes it will affect your spells. “Weapon Elemental Damage” affects weapon based elemental skills like Burning Arrow, Lightning Arrow, Lightning Strike since they are not spells and are weapon based.

Q: Is there a stealth or invis ability/spell? Does X class ever get to become invisible or learn stealth?

A: There is currently no invisibility or stealth skill in the game.


Q: What do I do with the Baleful Gem?

A: Keep it for use with the Wicked Spear.

Q: What do I do with this Wicked Spear?

A: Keep it. If you read the quest text you would know the answer but then you wouldn’t be asking the question. You need the Wicked Spear and the Baleful Gem to bypass the roots that block your way to Oak.

Q: Which Bandit should I kill?

A: Up to you. You don’t have to kill all 3 of them. Leaving one alive yields you a specific bonus instead of a single skill point for killing all 3. Oak gives 45 HP, Kraitlyn gives +8 all resists, and Alira gives 30 MP.

Q: I have killed all 3 Bandits what do I do now?

A: You should now have the combined amulet. You will take that back to the Pools and Streams area and go through the Waterfall cave. There you will find the Pyramid. It is 4 levels of mobs and then a top level where you currently use the combined amulet to open the door to the next difficulty. However in 9.11 when they introduce the Act 2 boss this is where you will fight him before you can continue on.


Q: What does it mean when a socket is linked to another?

A: It means you can place a support gem into socket B with a skill gem in socket A and it will gain the effect of the support gem when you use the skill gem. For example: I put Heavy Strike in socket A and I put Added Lightning Damage in socket B. You will now see a “L” on the skill icon for Heavy Strike and the tool tip should show added lightning damage.

Q: How do I get Town Portal scrolls?

A: They drop off of mobs, chests, barrels, etc. You can also buy them from the vendors with 3 Wisdom Scrolls per Town Portal Scroll.

Q: How do I get Scrolls of Wisdom?

A: White items sells for scroll fragments. 5 scroll fragments make a single scroll. I advise picking up only the smaller objects to vendor as you can carry more per return to town.

Q: How do I identify stuff?

A: Right click on the Scroll of Wisdom and then left click on the unidentified object.

Q: Do I need to identify things before I sell them? Does selling an unidentified item sell for more?

A: You don’t have to identify before you sell but it doesn’t grant you more shards. Instead selling identified and unidentified items grants you different shards for different orbs. Unidentified items grant you Transmutation Shards, whereas identified items grant you Alteration shards.

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1 Response

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