Path of Exile, a Beginner’s Guide

Path of Exile is a darn good game. At the same time, it’s a deep game that rewards lots of dedication and commitment to some very detailed gameplay dynamics. As a beginner, you’ll need to get a few principles sorted before you get started.

Character choice is no big deal (but the build is)

Unlike many other games of its ilk, Like Diablo 3, Path of Exile isn't rigid when it comes to character choice. You can take it easy when you start. In fact, there are plenty more character slots, more than you’re probably used to with a game like this. So you have a little more room to try out different characters and play styles. It's a key feature of the game that this allowance makes it a lot more forgiving for beginner players.

There are seven playable characters. They’re all pretty good and easy to get into for beginners. However, once you have picked your character, the build for the characters can be a little problematic., While the game gives you the option to play between characters from the start, you don't get as much leniency when it comes to the build.

The game currently does not allow for any full-character respecs. This means you’re pretty much stuck with the build you work through as you progress. While there are some moments when you get a chance to change specs a little, you won't get the full works.

For this reason, it is well worth looking around online for the many ‘best build’ articles and recommendations from more experienced players. They’re very, very useful, and if you're looking to survive the endgame for Path of Exile, they’re essential.

If you’re making your own build and you’re committed to that, take the time to get to know the areas that matter on the skill tree:

  • The starting area. This is the area on the tree where your character starts out
  • The paths. The skill tree consists of paths that can offer bonuses. Be aware of where these bonuses are and what you need to progress in the right way
  • Clusters. These are nodes in the skill tree that share themes. They are important because they often have a gold coloured skill that is well worth pursuing
  • Keystones. These are incredibly important because they can offer a huge buff to the character. At the same time they can also offer penalties that aren’t so exciting

Don't pick up all the stuff

It's tempting to pick up every item you see. It really is. However, after a short amount of time, you’ll see that this is not a great idea. It all takes up bag space pretty quickly.

The one thing that beginners can do about this is quickly learn about item value. Like most games of this type, there are hundreds of times available. However, the rarity of the items is what makes a difference.

The value of items goes like this:

White items: Common items that will become increasingly worthless as you level up
Blue items: Magic items, with some value and may be worth selling
Yellow: Rare items
Orange: Unique items

What beginners learn very quickly (hopefully) is that yellow and orange items are worth holding on to. This is because you can sell these items when you get to town, and they can be very lucrative. Of course, as you progress, they may also be very useful for you.

Life and Mana

These are essential parts of your character's existence, so make sure you have good flasks so that you can keep topping these attributes up. You can also focus on skills and some gear that will help you boost up Life in particular.

Mana is boosted passively every second, but don't ignore it. If you can use some passive skills to boost it, you most certainly should.

Don't be lonely

The best thing about the game is the ability to team up with other players. If there is one thing that every beginner should do as soon as possible, it’s to get used to this option.

Working with other players should be something you master quickly, so it becomes almost second nature. This means you will be able to join others quickly and get the most out of the partnerships. It really will make your first few hours on the game more productive.

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