Getting started in Path of Exiles can be tough but it’s well worth the time-investment. PoE is by far the most rewarding ARPG on the market precisely because of its steep learning curve and challenging game mechanics. It reminds me of Ultima Online and Everquest – games where decisions were meaningful and dying was a big deal.
I’ve put together this guide to help new players learn the most important game mechanics.
New Player Friendly Builds
Following a tested build is the most important decision to achieve success in PoE. I would not recommend creating your own build until you’ve played to end-game with at least one character. There are too many interactions between skills, passives, and items for a new player to navigate.
Righteous Fire Totem Marauder
Similar to the Righteous Fire Totem Templar below the Marauder benefits from the new Ascendancy Chieftan class which will make your totems tankier and immune to fire damage. This is the build I’ll be starting off with in the new challenge league because you don’t rely on having a great weapon for your DPS.
Tornado Shot Ranger
It’s really easy to play and cheap to gear up. You’ll be able to kill most monsters before they get to you and with the hatred aura(think buff) you can keep groups of mobs permanently frozen. Play this build if you prefer an archer themed character.
Crit Arc Witch
Another easy to play build. The skill Arc automatically targets enemies and will chain(hit additional enemies) after hitting your primary target. Gear is cheap and leveling is easy. Play this build if you prefer a spellcaster themed character.
Dual Righteous Fire Totem Templar
This is a “set it and forget it” build. Curse your enemies and then cast totems. The totems kill everything. Pick up the loot. Move on. Cheap to gear and level. Play this build if you prefer a shaman type playstyle where you wear heavier armor and wield melee weapons.
Two Hand Cyclone Marauder
This plays like the Barbarian whirlwind builds of D2. A little more difficult to play than the previous three builds mostly because you’re melee rather than ranged and PoE has quite a lot of nasty minions and effects which are more easily dodged by the ranged classes. Great option if you enjoy playing melee characters, using huge 2 handed weapons, and wearing heavy armor.
How to Accumulate Currency
First here are important tools you should use:
- Loot filters. A loot filter is a simple text file that you put into your PoE documents folder. This is important – it does not go into the installed game’s directory but rather your PoE folder in MyDocuments > My Games > Path of Exile. A loot filter will change the way drops are displayed in your game – highlighting items that you should keep. ZiggyD has a great write-up on loot filters you can check out here: http://ziggyd.tv/featured/ziggyds-loot-filter/
- Poe.trade – poe.trade is a website that makes it easy to search for gear upgrades. As a rule of thumb while leveling up I don’t spend anymore than 1 chaos for leveling upgrade items.
- Acquisition – You can download Acquisition here – https://github.com/xyzz/acquisition/releases Acquisition is a tool to help you sell your loot to other players. Stay away from trade chat. It’s really difficult to sell anything there and most of the time you’ll get ripped off. Acquisition allows you to put items you want to sell into your stash and then it will generate a forum shop thread for you. The forum shop threads are what Poe.trade crawls to update their website. Once you have Acquisition set up correctly your items will automatically be listed on Poe.trade and people will whisper you in-game and buy your stuff while you play without you having to spend time advertising in trade chat. Here’s a video for setting up Acquisition quickly.
Knowing what to pick up and what to save is crucial to accumulating currency in PoE. There are lots of vendor recipes that new players often miss out on. For example you can sell a full set of unidentified rare items(boots, helm, chest, amulet, rings, weapons) to receive a vendor and receive 2 chaos orbs. You shouldn’t try to hoard items for every vendor recipe – some will require too many trips back to town and take up too much stash space. Here’s a good video from the Lifting Nerd regarding what you should and shouldn’t pick up. Using a loot filter will help a lot in identifying what to keep.
Trading with other players is essential if you want to make the most currency possible. The above mentioned tools of poe.trade and acquisition makes trading easy. Avoid trade chat. It really is worth your time to set up acquisition and put up anything decent you find for sale. If it doesn’t sell you can always vendor it later to make space. If you don’t log much time it’s a better idea to price your items lower so that they sell quickly. Otherwise always stay at the market price. Over time you can lose out on a ton of currency if you’re consistently undercutting the market.
Here’s a great video from ZiggyD on how to trade in the beginning of a new league.
Leveling is straight forward. For the most part you want to follow the quests. If you want to optimize your leveling process here’s a great guide put together by Lifting Nerd. Most build guides will have a leveling guide as well. Read these and follow their advice for skill gems/gear. The basic premise is to farm certain easy areas every few levels so that you out-level the quest content. That will allow for faster kills of mob packs and bosses and faster overall progression.
General Game Mechanics
Rather than reinventing the wheel I’m going to link you over to ZiggyD’s PoE beginner series. It covers all the basics you’ll need to know in a concise and easy to understand fashion.
The two best resources IMO are the Path of Exile subreddit and the PoE official forums. Both are very active and are full of helpful players.
That is all, thanks for checking out this guide! If you have any questions post them below.