[Guide] Path of Exile, Steam, and account linking

Hello, Exile.

One of the most common topics here is account linking - either people having questions about what it does, or posts asking for help because they did it and something went wrong. Because of this, I'm creating a guide I can link to from my signature. The hope is that people will read this before they try account linking, so they know if it's appropriate for their situation.


  • What is account linking?

Linking your Path of Exile account to Steam serves a few purposes. Instead of logging in to Path of Exile directly, you log into your Steam account. This means having fewer account credentials to remember. Steam can automatically download updates and install them for you. You can pay for things through Steam, so there are more payment options available - including your Steam Wallet. The Steam Guard authenticator app can help protect your account.


  • How do I link my accounts?

You can do that by going to this page. Since you're already here, I'd suggest reading on to make sure account linking is a good idea for your situation before you go through with it.


  • My forum account doesn't show my characters. Should I link my accounts?

No. There's no such thing as a "forum account" - you created a different account on the website, and the website has no way of knowing which other accounts are yours. The most common reason for this is people playing through Steam and not knowing they can log into the website using Steam. Please see this screenshot of the website's log in page.

All you need to do is log out of the website, and then log in using your real account.


  • Can I just link my forum account to my Steam account?

No, don't do that. Before you first played Path of Exile through Steam, a Path of Exile account was created and linked to your Steam account. This is how you have a Path of Exile account name of your own choosing, which isn't necessarily the same as your Steam name.

Each Steam account can only be linked to a single Path of Exile account. If you link your Steam account to the account you use on the forum, it will overwrite the current link between the account you play on and your Steam account. Your Steam account would then log into the account you have on the forum, which probably has no characters, achievements or MTX.

tl;dr: Account linking can not be used to merge two separate Path of Exile accounts.


  • I want to use the standalone client. Should I link a new PoE account to Steam?

No, that won't help. What you'll want to do here is contact the support team, who can help you associate an e-mail address with your Path of Exile account so you can log in without using Steam. I'd recommend that you send them a PM through the website.


  • I just linked my accounts and all my characters disappeared! WTF??

If only some enterprising individual had gone and posted a useful guide... :P

Don't panic! Contact support; they can reverse the process. All of your characters, achievements, MTX, and so on will be restored. Send an e-mail to support@grindinggear.com


  • I have to contact support. What should I tell them?

Here's a few things that's always worth mentioning;
  • What you would like help with.
  • Your Path of Exile account name.
  • 2-3 of your character names.
  • A 'please' and 'thank you' never hurts. :P


Here's information they'd prefer you do not include;
  • Passwords are encrypted - GGG have absolutely no idea what your password is. If they don't know what your password is, telling them what it is doesn't prove who you are.
  • Your Steam account name. For security reasons (you use that to log in!), Valve doesn't share this with third-party companies. Instead they give companies a UUID for your account.
  • Payment information. If they ask you questions to verify your identity, that's fine. But this is very sensitive information - so only tell them precisely what they've asked you for.


  • I contacted support, why haven't they responded?

They're probably just busy. It's worth remembering they're based in New Zealand, so you might be contacting them during the night shift. Just try to be patient - they'll respond soon.

I recommend not sending them more e-mails while waiting for a reply from them, because doing this will bump you back down to the end of the queue. Once you're reached out to them, the best thing to do is try to take your mind off things until they get back to you.


  • I'm linking / unlinking my accounts. Do I need to download the game again?

If you're about to start using Steam, yes: Steam thinks Content.ggpk is one large file, and if it scans one it hasn't created, it'll probably think "the file" is corrupt and replace it.

If you're moving to the standalone client, no: the client understands Content.ggpk is a collection of smaller individual files, and will check to see if those are present and whether there is any data corruption. You should be able to copy or move the Content.ggpk which Steam created into the folder for the standalone game client without having any problems at all.
[Guide] Path of Exile, Steam, and account linking

"Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny and old wounds open all too easily. I am merely a fool who created a monster I am now powerless to stop, and so I will play my role to the bloody end." -Bosch
Last edited by Sarno on May 9, 2017 8:59:13 AM
Last bumped on May 22, 2017 11:10:42 AM
If you've any feedback on how this guide could be improved, please let me know!

You're welcome to ask any questions you have here if you would like to, but please remember that I am not an employee so I can't do anything to help you directly. That's also a good reason not to give me any personal information. Seriously - please don't do that. If you'd like to ask your questions directly to staff, e-mail support@grindinggear.com instead. :)
[Guide] Path of Exile, Steam, and account linking

"Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny and old wounds open all too easily. I am merely a fool who created a monster I am now powerless to stop, and so I will play my role to the bloody end." -Bosch
Thanks for taking the time to write this :-) One suggestion: put the url of the thread in your sig - it really helps spreading awareness.
Thanks a lot, Alysma. :)

That was actually my original plan! I tried but unfortunately us plebs aren't allowed to use the url tag in our signatures; I tried and it just showed all the code, which was kinda ugly.


Edit: Oh, sorry - I'm daft. Never actually thought of that! Gonna do it now. :)
[Guide] Path of Exile, Steam, and account linking

"Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny and old wounds open all too easily. I am merely a fool who created a monster I am now powerless to stop, and so I will play my role to the bloody end." -Bosch
Last edited by Sarno on Feb 27, 2017 5:48:28 PM
Added bullet points to the questions to help them stand out more.

As always, any feedback people have on that (or something else) is more than welcome. :)
[Guide] Path of Exile, Steam, and account linking

"Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny and old wounds open all too easily. I am merely a fool who created a monster I am now powerless to stop, and so I will play my role to the bloody end." -Bosch
long overdue, thanks sarno. should be stickied after you removed the self praising ;)

---

never understood why it's possible to link a "forum account" which obviously gets created when you login over steam back to the steam account and overwrite it?

that's also what irritated me in your text, people who deleted their chars are of the opinion that ggg messed it up and has to fix it. don' give them the impression they did something wrong

ggg messed up the steam integration, software shouldn't allow any overwriting of accounts.

in the worst case, the steam integration is a everlasting band aid which likely costs them alot of customers because many people probably can't be bothered to wait for days before ggg reverts the deletion. it should get higher priority to fix it so player's complaints stop.
I have a PoE account and a Steam one. 1 of each and they are not fresh. Haven't linked them yet. Do I need to be aware of something?
Hizsoo,

Account linking is used to combine Steam account credentials, and the ability to pay for in-game stuff using Steam Wallet funds / payments supported by the Steam platform, to an existing Path of Exile account. A Steam account can only be linked to a single Path of Exile account at a time, so if it's already linked to one, that link would be overwritten if you link it to another account.

Sometimes people assume that you can play using Steam without a Path of Exile account, or that account linking can be used to merge multiple accounts together. That isn't the case. If you've played Path of Exile through Steam before, linking the accounts would cause you to lose characters, MTX, achievements, etc. from the account currently linked to Steam.
[Guide] Path of Exile, Steam, and account linking

"Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny and old wounds open all too easily. I am merely a fool who created a monster I am now powerless to stop, and so I will play my role to the bloody end." -Bosch
Never played through Steam client,but Steam wallet might be easier to use, just being curious.
If you've never played through Steam then the account link will work perfectly for you.
[Guide] Path of Exile, Steam, and account linking

"Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny and old wounds open all too easily. I am merely a fool who created a monster I am now powerless to stop, and so I will play my role to the bloody end." -Bosch

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