Tips / FAQ for new players

Here's a couple of basic things everyone should know, for new players entering the beta. Feel free to add anything you think is important.
For more detailed information, visit the in depth FAQ

Make sure to check the known issues thread in the bug reports forum for up to date info about the game, recent additions, and existing bugs.

Be patient with the installer, it may take quite some time "checking resources" and "allocating space". This only happens when you first download the game and when new patches are released, since it has to build all the game files.
The patcher will be improved in the future so it doesn't take so long.

The patcher keeps failing part way through the download! What should I do?
It seems that a lot of people have had this problem, it is reported frequently.

At the moment, the only thing you can do is to let the patcher run until you receive an error message, and then restart the patcher. The fact that the patcher begins from 0% each time is deceptive, it actually keeps whatever it managed to download each time - so you will eventually download all of it.

Also there are some large files that cause the patcher to look like it isn't doing anything while they are downloading (the progress bar stops), but in fact it is still downloading. So don't restart the patcher unless it actually loses the connection or times out.

  • Left click to move
  • Right click on a skill hotkey slot (in the bottom right of the screen) to assign an action to that key
  • Use left ALT to show/hide item names, sockets on gear, chests etc.
    You can tweak the default for whether items are shown or not in the options.
  • Hold SHIFT to disable movement commands. As long as shift is held you won't be able to move - this is useful for attacking without moving.
  • Press TAB to show the map. Use the arrow keys to scroll the map.
  • You can enable a corner minimap in the options.
  • Most of the keys can be reconfigured in the options.
    The default keys are:
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5 for flasks
    Mouse1, Mouse2, Mouse3, Q, W, E, R, T for skills
    O opens the options panel
    C opens the character panel
    S opens the social panel
    F opens the contacts page
    L opens the ladder panel (currently inactive)
    I opens the inventory panel
    U opens the quest panel
    P opens the passive skills panel
  • You can swap between two weapon sets by pressing the X key, or clicking the tabs above the slots on the inventory screen. Gems in the swapped-out set continue to gain experience as normal, but their skills cannot be used unless swapped back in.
  • To quickly move an item from your inventory to the stash or vendor sell window, Ctrl-click the item.
  • To split a stack of items, Shift-click on the stack, and select how many items to remove from the stack.
  • Holding ALT while mousing over an item will bring up a side by side comparison with your currently equipped gear.
  • With the chat window open, Ctrl-Alt-click an item to quickly link it in chat.
  • Right-click on a player's name in the chat window to whipser to them, invite them to a party etc.
  • Press Ctrl+Enter to reply to the most recent whisper
  • Press Shift+Enter to talk in global chat
  • There are some chat commands available. Type /help in game to get a list of commands.
  • Press F8 to take a screenshot. They are saved in to the My Games\Path of Exile folder in your Documents folder.
    If you are taking a screenshot for reporting a bug, remember to type /debug before taking the screenshot
  • Press F1 to show FPS and network latency information

You can right click on a player and press the trade button to attempt to initiate trade with them. The other player can accept or decline your invitation to trade.
If they accept the trade screen appears. Both players can then place items in the trade screen which become visible to the other player. Before you can accept a trade, you must mouse over all items that the other player is offering.

Skill gems & sockets
Sooner or later you will get your hands on some skill gems.

  • Gems must be socketed in your gear to grant access to the skill.
  • A gem will only go into a socket of matching colour
  • Gems can be socketed and removed from sockets as much as you like. Right click a gem to remove it from a socket
  • Sockets appear randomly on items. The rarity of an item does not affect how many sockets it has.
  • Sockets can be linked. The links are shown as gold bars between the sockets. Support gems affect any skill gems in sockets that they are linked to.
  • Gems you have socketed in gear you are wearing will gain experience and level up, even if you are not using the skills they grant.
  • Multiple support gems of the same type do not stack. For example there is no point connecting two Added Lightning Damage gems to a Split Arrow skill gem. Only the highest level gem will have an effect.

  • Some NPCs will give you quests if you talk to them.
  • Vendors update their inventory every time you level up. Be sure to check in with them for weapon/armour upgrades

General gameplay tips
  • Flasks recharge slightly every time you kill an enemy. So don't be afraid to use flasks that are full to keep your life and mana topped up - your flasks are only replenishing their charges when they aren't already full.
  • Items with great stats might seem like the best choice at first, but don't neglect sockets. As long as they are socketed, skill gems gain experience whether you are using the skills they grant or not, so keeping them socketed will mean they get more powerful sooner.
    A good socket arrangement on an item with mediocre stats is sometimes a better choice than a great item with bad sockets.
  • Spend some time looking at the passive skill web, it can appear daunting at first, but it will soon become familiar. Skill points can be refunded, but refund points are hard to come by, so choose wisely.
  • If you're just starting out and are unsure how you wish to play your character, try to avoid specialising too heavily. For instance, stay away from skills that improve one handed weapon damage if you feel you might end up liking to swing a two-hander.

Linking items in the forums
To link an item in the forums, while you are writing a post, click on your character at the top-left of the window. On overlay appears showing your inventory. Then simply click on one of the items in your inventory or stash an the item will be inserted into the post you are writing.
Last edited by Malice on Feb 11, 2013, 10:37:23 AM
Last bumped on Aug 15, 2017, 11:22:32 PM
Vendors update their inventory every time you level up. Be sure to check in with them for weapon/armour upgrades.

I am a poor freezingly cold soul
So far from where
I intended to go
There are no sell vendors yet, so be sure to only keep what you want / think will be worthwhile.
Happy Days Abound.
Fun and helpful tip, gems CAN be removed by right-clicking on them.
Nice read while DL goes, thanks =)
Thanks for the post, Malice! I'm stickying this for a short time, so new players will spot it.
Balance & Design
Thanks on the tips!
Before I start with screenshots. How do I copy them onto a forum post?
You can't upload images to the forum at the moment, so they'll have to be hosted elsewhere.
Either use your own private hosting, or a site like or

If you're reporting a bug with the screenshot, remember to type /debug before you take the screenshot.
Malice wrote:
You can't upload images to the forum at the moment, so they'll have to be hosted elsewhere.
Either use your own private hosting, or a site like or

If you're reporting a bug with the screenshot, remember to type /debug before you take the screenshot.

Ah that sucks. Knowing my luck, I may post an image that could be view-able to everyone lol. But as long as the image is not under NDA than it shouldn't be to bad.

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