[3.11] Top 10 Path of Exile Tips & Tricks for Beginners: PoE Harvest


Hello and welcome to another Path of Exile guide, this time with a whole bunch of great tips and tricks. While these are mostly aimed at new or returning players, you might find some really useful pieces of information even if you have a few hundred hours under your belt. Immediately after login you are already faced with a choice between various leagues. You can think of these as sort of realms or sub-servers, each with its own set of rules and limitations as well as entirely separate markets. You can have different characters created on different leagues at the same time but they cannot interact with each other and do not share their stashes. Standard is a permanent type of league where your progress, items, as well as the economy itself are never reset.

Then there are the temporary leagues which last around 3 months and always have the latest content and features as well as a fresh economy each time. Everyone starts from scratch, on an equal footing so you won’t be at a disadvantage if you’re a newcomer. Once a temporary league ends all the characters along with their gear and everything else in your stashes are moved to Standard league. Generally when a temporary league ends, whatever new features were introduced in it, are migrated to Standard as well, but that’s not always the case. For example it has been confirmed that the Memory Nexus mechanics of the current league will not be merged into Standard for the time being.

If you’re a new player I strongly recommend playing in temporary leagues even if it might seem counter-intuitive. Generally speaking the appeal of an Action RPG is the sense of progression and constantly improving your gear and character. When playing in a permanent league you will soon reach a point where even small upgrades become very expensive and time consuming. Of course if you play very rarely or for short amounts of time, this might be the perfect league type for you. Then for each of these leagues you can opt for Hardcore mode. Here, if a character dies it will be moved to Standard league and cannot be returned to its previous league. Finally there’s the “Solo-self-found” or SSF mode which disables your ability to trade or party with other players. You’re completely self-reliant on the items you can find or craft so this mode is more recommended for adavanced players that are already familiar with the game. After you made your decision on the league you need to select which class you’ll be playing. Unlike most RPGs out there, in Path of Exile this doesn’t determine what skills or type of gear you can use.

There are three major things which are dictated by the class: Ascendancy, the starting position on the passive tree and character appearance. Ascendancies are a set of sub-classes that each class can choose from after completing the Labyrinth. For example, a Witch can choose to be a Necromancer, focusing on minions, an Elementalist which deals a lot of elemental damage or an Occultist, specialized on damage over time and curses. The starting area on the tree dictates what passives are closer and easier to reach. For example you can find most bow-related nodes in the Ranger area and Traps passives are more readily available for a Shadow. However there’s absolutely nothing stopping a Witch from using a two-handed sword and specializing on melee damage. And a Marauder can go about shooting fireballs from a wand, just like a buffed up Harry Potter. Skills are granted to players through gems, all of which become available to all classes later in the game. While focusing is generally more efficient, many of the all-time best builds have been created by breaking these molds. After you’ve decided on the league and class, you make your way through the beach and finally reach the first town with an inventory full of items to sell.

You find a vendor, dump all that trash and you get a whole bunch of…pieces of paper!? Congratulations! You’ve just discovered Path of Exile’s currency system! Unlike most other RPGs out there, the game doesn’t use gold or silver but rather a whole bunch of orbs, scrolls and stones each with a very specific purpose. Apart from trading with other players each piece of currency in Path of Exile is actually a crafting material which can be used to manipulate items in a certain way. For example an Orb of Transmutation will upgrade a Normal, white, rarity item into a Magic, blue, rarity item. An Orb of Augmentation can add an additional property to a Magic Item and a Regal Orb can upgrade such an item into a Rare one.

Apart from being used directly on items, they’re also required for purchasing various stuff from vendors as well the crafting bench in your hideout. Of all these various currencies, Chaos Orbs are the closest you can get to a gold standard. The vast majority of items traded between players are priced in chaos orbs so keep an eye out for these golden nuggets. The end-game, rare and expensive items, are generally priced in Exalted Orbs, a much rarer currency which is anywhere between 100-200 times more valuable than a Chaos Orb. So if you do get lucky and find one of these, try not to waste it and research its value in the league you’re playing.

While the main way to get currency is from drops and trading with other players, you can also get bits and pieces by vendoring items that you don’t need. However there’s also a smarter way of going about selling items to NPCs and that is Vendor Recipes Simply put, by selling certain groups of items you will get much more than you would if the items were sold invidually. In addition, items with particular affixes, links or sockets can be sold for a decent amount of specific currencies. While there are over a hundred vendor recipes and even a few more that are currently unknown, here are some of the most useful ones that you should become familiar with: Any item with at leat 3 linked sockets of Red, Blue and Green color can be sold for a Chromatic Orb.

The order of the socket colors doesn’t matter, but only that they are linked. I use this recipe all the way to red tier maps, but at that point I limit it to picking small items such as daggers and wands. Any item with 6 sockets can be sold for 7 Jeweller’s Orbs. Most of the items with 6 sockets are not worth anything unless they’re yellow rarity with very good affixes or a popular unique. A whole set of rare items with itemlevel 60+ can be sold for 1 Chaos Orb. You need a helmet, body armour, belt, gloves, boots, amulet, two rings and for the weapon slots you can go with one of the following: two 1-handed weapons, a 1-handed weapon and a shield a 2-handed weapon or two shields.

If all these items are unidentified you will instead get 2x Chaos Orbs. If their item level is 75+ then you obtain Regal Orbs instead of chaos and these are somewhat more valuable. This is a great vendor recipe especially when you’re just starting out or at a beginning of a new league. It will help you get those first bunch of Chaos Orbs to buy some decent gear. As you progress through the game you might find yourself short of Wisdom Scrolls and constantly picking these up becomes time consuming. It is far more efficient to pick up Orbs of Transmutation or Blacksmith’s Whetstones and then vendoring these.

They have very few other uses in end game and you get 4 Wisdom Scrolls for each of them. Finding the right items for these recipes might seem quite difficult at first but luckily you can use a Loot Filter to help you with that. These are small configuration files that tell the game how to visually highlight and display certain dropped items, as well as hide useless junk. The further you progress into the game the more loot is dropped and unfortunately 99% of it is junk. Without a loot filter it becomes literally impossible to manually sort through all of it and it would be a huge waste of time anyway.

Fortunately you don’t need to create a loot filter yourself as there are plenty of them out there that have been finely tuned by very experienced players. My personal favorite and probably the most user-friendly out there is Neversink’s filter which can be found at filterblade.xyz This is so good that the consoles version of the game come with this filter pre-installed so you’re already benefiting from it. If you’re on the PC version then go to the Download tab, get the filter files and drop them on the indicated path. Then in-game go to Options -> UI and scroll all the way to the bottom where you’ll find “List of item filters”. Neversink has compiled five filters which are progressively more strict and show less and less loot. You can switch between these on the fly as you advance through the game, depending on your personal preferences.

Picking up loot and sorting through it is all nice and fine but you have to actually get those to drop in the first place. Killing monsters is the obvious way but what’s less evident is how you get the skills to do that. Path of Exile doesn’t use a classic system where your class dictates what abilities you will have available and leveling up doesn’t automatically provide new spells or attacks. Instead you will use skill gems which will grant new abilities when placed in a socket of the appropriate color on a piece of gear that you have equipped. Gems can be broadly split in two major categories: Active Gems and Support Gems. The former will generally grant an ability such as an attack skill or spell while the latter can modify the properties or behavior of active skills which are linked to it. Links are these yellow lines connecting two sockets and the more of them you have in a chain, the more support gems you can fit and thus further boost or modify a particular active skill. For example, I’ll start with a very basic Burning Arrow; it fires a single projectile and is overall underwhelming.

I then add ?Greater Multiple Projectiles? support gem and, as its description indicates, Burning arrow will now fire 4 additional projectiles. The skill’s tooltip is also updated to reflect the effect of linked support gems and in this particular case, Burning Arrow went from firing 1 projectile to 5 of them. Then I add Pierce Support: this will cause any of the 5 projectiles fired by Burning Arrow to pierce 4 targets, instead of hitting just the first one. Now, both these support gems have a downside as well: the damage that each projectile is dealing will be lower. This is the case with most support gems in the game: they provide an advantage in a certain area but also a downside for another.

In this example I gained much better coverage and area damage but lost single-target damage. A good setup for clearing packs of mobs but not that great when fighting bosses. Lastly I will add ?Mirage Archer? support. This summons a sort of ghost archer that will also fire burning arrow at nearby targets. As you can probably notice he also fires 5 projectiles but if I remove Multiple Projectiles gem from the chain, Mirage Archer will start shooting single arrows as well. This particular support gem doesn’t have any direct downside on my damage so it might seem like a perfect choice but you have to keep in mind the opportunity cost: as you cannot have an infinite number of linked sockets, you always have to consider if using a different support gem would instead provide you more benefits. This system is one of the main reasons why Path of Exile has such a huge variety of builds and play-styles. With so many combinations and interactions, the possibilities are endless. Each equipped gem individually gains experience along with your character and they can normally go all the way up to level 20. The number of gems or links has absolutely no impact on gems’ leveling speed and they also do not affect your character’s XP gains in any way.

Each new level further improves the damage of the skills or whatever other bonuses the support gems would provide and in many cases this is the best way to improve your DPS. However the mana cost, as well as other requirements, will also increase so you will need proper gear and passives to accommodate higher level gems. In many cases you’ll want to level up more gems than the number of sockets you have available You might want to sell them for profit once they reach level 20, attempt to corrupt them or simply level up gems for other builds. Whatever the reason, there’s a great trick to get at least 6 more sockets open your inventory and press X or click on this small icon here.

This will swap between your weapon sets and any gem placed in the secondary weapons will still gain XP even when they are not being used. Each gem can also have their quality improved up to 20%. This will generally grant an additional bonus which might be worthwhile for certain setups and gems. To improve the quality of a gem you can use a Gemcutter’s Prism which will raise it by 1%. Since these are somewhat rare and slightly expensive, there is an alternative vendor recipe that you can use: selling a level 20 gem along with a single Gemcutter’s Prism will give you the same gem at level 1 but with 20% quality. Considering that you would otherwise need 20 Gemcutter’s Prisms for each gem and the fact that leveling them is practically free, I generally recommend using this method. In certain circumstances you might however want to keep the gems at a lower level than max.

One such example is the ever-popular Cast When Damage Taken setup which you’ll find in most of my build guides. As mentioned earlier leveling up a gem also increases its requirements so it sometimes makes sense to prevent that from happening. To do so, simply right click on the gem’s level-up ?+? icon; this will prevent it from further gaining XP and it will hide that notification so you don’t accidentally click on it. Afterwards if you want to further level up that gem just open the inventory and you will find the level-up button in this area. The same can be achieved on PS4 by opening inventory and then select the item where the gem is socketed. Press circle, find the gem and finally triangle to toggle auto-leveling on and off for that gem. It might however happen that you found out about this option too late or you accidentally leveled a gem too much. Instead of getting a new one you can use the following vendor recipe: sell that gem along with an Orb of Scouring and you will get it back with one level lower.

If you want to go all the way to level 1, then vendor it along with an Orb of Regret instead. Orbs of Regret are a special type of currency used to undo various things. Its most basic utility is to obtain a passive refund point by simply right-clicking on the orb. These can be then used to refund points in the tree by unspeccing unwanted passives. While you also get a few of these refund points as rewards from various quests, they might prove insufficient, especially if you want to switch to an entirely different build or to change your Ascendancy. And, speaking of which, Ascendancy passives can also be respecced, but each will cost 5 refund points. If you want to entirely change your Ascendancy class, for example from Juggernaut to Chieftain, then you will need to complete another Labyrinth of any difficulty.

After defeating Izaro and reaching the final room, respec all the passives from your current Ascendancy and then interact with the Altar of Ascendancy. This will allow you to pick a new Ascendancy where you can spend the points you’ve previously earned. However there is no way to change your starting class, so make sure you pick the correct one for the build you wish to play. Orbs of Regret can also be used to change the reward you picked from the ?Deal with the Bandits? quest in Act 2. For this you will need to vendor 20 Orbs of Regret along with a specific amulet, depending on which reward you’re looking for. Still, using Orbs of Regret might not be necessary if you’re closely following a good build guide. Now I know this might sound like a shameless plug, considering I have published quite a few of those myself, but for the overwhelming majority of new players a good build guide will make the difference between enjoying the game and giving up on it in frustration. A build is a lot more than just picking up certain passives in the tree ? active skills, support gems, secondary gems setups, gear, flasks, jewels, ascendancy and so on, all have to actually work together to deliver a functional thing.

Apart from helping you perform much better, a good build guide is also a great teaching tool from which you can learn a lot about the game in general. So where can you get a good guide? Well, obviously first and foremost from this channel and clicking on that ?i? thing in the upper right corner will take you to a playlist containing all the builds that I have covered until now. Subscribing to the channel will also let you know when my next guide is up and maybe that will be your new favorite build to play.

Apart from that, the official Path of Exile forums have a large number of guides for each existing class. While not all of them are up to date or written in a beginner-friendly manner, you’re very likely to find one that you’ll enjoy. If you’ve already started following one or more build guides then you’ve likely noticed that some of them require, or are greatly improved, by certain unique items. At the start of a new league, or when playing solo-self-found, getting all these items might be quite difficult.

Luckily there is a way to more reliably farm certain items through “Divination Cards” These are a special type of item which can be collected and exchanged for a specific reward. Multiple copies of the same card make up a set and once you have a full set you can take it to Navali to obtain the reward indicated on the cards. This is a way that developers have used to split low drop chances into several steps to provide players with tangible progress towards obtaining an certain item. For example, if you’re looking for Kaom’s Heart body armour, the chance to get it directly as a drop is quite small.

You can however farm 8x ?Pride Before the Fall? cards and trade them with Navali for the armour. Most divination cards drop in a few specific areas or maps so you can target-farm them quite easily. Of course you can also buy few cards from other players as well and complete the set. Not only can you mix farming with buying and thus end up cheaper but cards are much more abundant on the market than the final items themselves. Apart from items there are divination cards for pretty much everything in the game: currency, fragments, essences, maps, 5 or 6-link items and so on.

All in all they’re a great way to get specific stuff that you need with a much more visible progress. There are currently over 250 card sets in the game and more are added with each league so I strongly suggest to check out the Wiki page in the video description below for the entire list. You might find a lot of valuable ones that you can easily farm at your level and get a decent amount of currency. Of all the existing gear pieces in the game, flasks are probably the ones that get ignored most by new players. While in most RPGs out there potions are generally limited to healing or replenishing mana, Path of Exile puts a lot more emphasis on these. So much so that there’s even an entire Ascendancy class revolving around flasks. Apart from the usual life and mana, there are a whole bunch of utility flasks as well as a wide range of unique ones that provide various bonuses. Each flask has a maximum number of charges and you spend a certain amount of these every time you use that flask. You gain charges when killing monsters, with magic, rare and unique mobs providing more of these.

On top of their main utility such as healing or buffs to evasion or armour, they can host a lot of very useful affixes that will help you deal with some of the toughest debuffs you will encounter, especially in end-game. They can also greatly improve your clearing speed or damage output, all for the cost of a few Alteration Orbs.

One of the most useful flasks in the game is the Quicksilver one which greatly increases movement speed, something that pretty much every build can benefit from. Here’s a comparison between running with and without a Quicksilver flask. Others are more situational: for example a Silver flask is great for builds that use attack skills while a Stibnite flask will do wonders for evasion builds. But apart from that, adding a suffix such as ?Warding?, ?Heat? or ?Staunching? will vastly improve your survivability as well as damage output. Here’s what moving around and attacking looks like on a map with ?Temporal Chain? curse. Using a flask with ?Warding? suffix will make you immune to that for a few seconds, enough to clear a pack of monsters and refill it. Let’s also look at just how much damage bleeding can do, by far one of the biggest killers in end-game maps.

You can easily get rid of that by using a flask with ?Staunching? suffix. Opening a strongbox that freezes you is generally a death sentence unless you can get freeze immunity and the easiest way to do that is with a flask. These affixes can be added on pretty much every flask and you can even use Beast-crafting for that purpose. The point is, the game is designed assuming you are going to use 5 flasks, just as you would use any other piece of gear. There’s absolutely no reason to cripple your build and not benefit from all the added value that flasks will bring you.

Even if you just spam them without much consideration, it’s still much better than just having a bunch of white life flasks. Learn anything new, exile? If you did, then you’ll probably be happy to hear that there are more videos coming up in the near future with more exciting builds to try. Make sure not to miss them by subscribing to the channel so you get notified when that happens. And while you’re at it, why not like this video as well or drop a comment down below to let me know your thoughts. Thank you all for watching and see ya next time!.

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