[3.4] Delve: Guide to fractured walls

Are you tearing your hair out at the fractured walls?


One of the most common questions I see in every POE related chat is

"how to find the exploding walls!!!11!"
"Walls are impossible to find, i've looked everywhere!!"
"GGG, why are you so bad at playtesting QQ"

I hope to remedy this with a quick(ish) Ok its not quick at all guide on how to find the buggers and blow them to bits before they drain a hole in your sanity.

I'm sure if you are looking for a guide on them, this is already the case.

Wow this guide looks long
Yes. PoE has a steep learning curve.
I'm sure you know already! I promise you it's worth it.

I've read the guide, and I still can't find X wall, please find it for me
Do these steps:

1. Imagine, or draw the grid. It will stop you from being mislead.

2. Search every single node that could fit, starting with the most likely according to the rules. In general, this means 2 and 3 connection nodes first, but don't rule out the idea of some wack mine generation going on. Paths can be unexpectedly long. And by search, it means completely filling out the minimap.

3. If you failed, repeat 2. Every node is reachable, and it's possible you've simply missed it. This might be most important for those rare boss rooms, but really if you spend to long on a single common node, it can be better to simply give up. Time is money.

1: Where to start looking
Thanks to Paint for making this guide possible. Excuse my drawing.

First, find a juicy hidden node.
They are shown on the map as a "node" with no paths leading to it.
Some are more worthwhile, special nodes, like talisman or abyss.
Hidden nodes

- The node asks you to blow up fractured walls to find a path to this encounter
- It's an encounter just like every other node so far.
- This means that you are eventually going to escort the crawler to it in order to claim your prize.
- Therefore, there will be a clear path between some other node and this hidden one, where the crawler will travel.

In order to figure out where this hidden path is, we should first think about how paths connect to each other. Here are some rules you can determine based on the delve map:

1. The delve map is a grid
I mean, how else are you gonna make an infinitely generating dungeon?

2. 4 paths max to a node, 1 each direction, no diagonals.
Once you clean up the artistic noise, the grid system becomes a lot more apparent.

3. 1 path per non-node square, no overlapping paths
Pretty obvious in the last pictures. Each square either has a path leading from one side to another, or a node. They never, for instance, have a T shaped path, since that would just become a node.

4. Nodes have either 1, 3 or 4 connections, but not 2.
There are frequent enough counter-examples showing up on Reddit, this thread, and even my own mine as I explore further, so don't take this rule to be concrete. However, I'd advise following it first before you take the effort to search those 1-connection nodes.

2-path nodes have a hidden, third path.

Brought up by reddit, it seems for the most part true that every single node has either 1, 3 or 4 connections.

What this means is that if you ever come across a node that LOOKS like it only has 2 connections on it, really this means there is a hidden path coming off it.
(Note this doesn't apply to the mineshaft dug by Niko)

Not only that, it also rules out the possibility of dead end nodes (with one path) having a hidden path, which would make it an illegal 2-path node. Unless of course, it has 2 hidden paths to make it a 3-path node.

Dead ends don't have hidden paths.

I will go through some examples below of where this can REALLY save you some time


Random 2-path nodes

The mineshaft can have only 2 connections to it, since it goes straight down.
Also, you may find 2-path nodes near the top of the map, which may have something to do with whatever generation algorithm GGG uses. For further down,
this rule holds true almost all the time, but exceptions will and have popped up in the community.

Dead-end Rule

This image, collected by reddit user poiuyt0418 in this thread shows a dead end having a hidden path on it.
This was likely caused by it being at the very top of the map (the node was depth 3) which so far seems to carry a lot of the exceptions to the rules

Direct counter
From the comments of this guide (Thanks Likejke) comes:

to this:

It's even at reasonable depth. An interesting direct counter to the 2-path rule. Some consequence of the delve path generator made this happen. It tells us the 2-path rule is not absolute. But it does work most of the time. If you don't find the hidden path on a 2-path node, you may have yourself a rare case such as this one.

Double hidden node

This great image from reddit user Lvl99KampfKeks shows a dead end node having two hidden paths, a rare but valid occurrence. Source post here.

If you ever come across a node that you just can't seem to find by following the rules, it may be a good counterexample. Explore every node in the right direction around the hidden one, and it will be there. Then post a picture somewhere. It might be useful to the community :D

It's time to become a *real* mine surveyor! I hope you like puzzles, because we are gonna bring these rules into the ground, minesweeper-style. Let's get cracking:

Possible paths

This is the first one I came across, and at first glance it has 7 possible locations. However, 3,4 and 6 can all be ruled out because of the dead end rule. We'll complete this situation in part 2.

Extra examples

Example 2

Notice how the bottom nodes are blocked by the 4 paths max rule and the 1 path per square rule. Also, paths 1,2 and 4 are blocked by the dead end rule, leaving us just 3 and 5 to check.

Example 3

8 paths?! Ew. Gonna skip this one.... But wait! Rule 4 makes our life easy.

Since this armor node only has 2 visible paths, there must be a third that leads to the hidden node. We've narrowed it down to only one possibility, and its just 2 delves away! Sweet.

Example 4

Looks complicated, right? But once again, notice rule 4 making our delve easy.

The nodes here also have 2 visible connections, hinting at a third hidden one for each. Simple.

Rule 4 makes your life EZ

In both these examples, because of rule 4, (2-connection nodes have hidden paths) I knew exactly where I would find the hidden path, and got there to claim my loot quick and easy.


Important rooms

This one had only one possibility for the hidden room, and it shows us the importance of the mechanic. Btw, I got a
off it. Worth!

Fantastic! Now we know where to start looking!

2: Finding the damn thing in the map

Remember that this node will eventually have a crawler running to it. This means the cart will lead out of the center checkpoint and towards the side of the map that goes in the right direction.

The wall will be found somewhere along the predicted path of the crawler.

When you are exploring, most of the time you can just rush into the darkness with your quicksilver flask or movement skill, fill out the mini-map, then get back into the light and review the mini-map. You are not trying to visually search the area. That small amount of exploring will be enough to see if it's there or not.

Don't forget to upgrade your darkness resistance while you do this, though.

Lets start working on the first example.
Path 7

No luck. There doesn't look like there's a path in the right direction, towards the top right. Of course, this part is a straight mineshaft, but if you don't find anything within around one screen of the candle checkpoint, then it isn't there. Go to another possible path.

Path 2

Same thing. There is no path in the expected direction, in the bottom right.
Go to another possible path.

Path 3 + 4

Both paths quickly lead to dead ends, no flares needed. Don't give up, move to the next one. BTW, when I did this, I didn't know the 2-path rule, so some time was wasted here. :/ But hey, it adds another positive example for the dead end rule, so there's that.

Path 1 (Okay, I already knew this was the one)

owo, what's this? A path in the top right? Let's throw down some flares and look a little further!

Success! Notice the rocky looking mini-map icon. It will show up once you get close enough to it.

3: Bring it down!

Now you have found the wall, you will need to bring flares to survive and some dynamite to bring it down. Dynamite now one-shots walls every time. That means that the number of dynamite is probably the most useful upgrade, though they could apparently be used to deal tons of damage to mobs/bosses.

Die, foul beast


Once you do this, get back to the checkpoint node thing. The map will update with a new path that you can now traverse normally.

The walls blocking your delving progress are defeated!

4?: Non-Node Walls


This path should have 2 walls in it, one in abyss area and one in fungal area.


Yes! Thanks for the tip GGG.

In grid squares that only have a path in them, you will be able to find an explodable wall in-between nodes. These do not connect to the nodes on the map, and instead have loot (or sometimes nothing, haha, rekd) behind them. Finish the escort, then search back along the path to claim your prize.

Yellow line shows the crawler's path.
Example 1

There wasn't actually any loot behind this one.

Example 2

This one didn't have loot either.

Example 3

This one actually had loot!

These are super easy to find now. Just run along the longer paths in lower (higher height lol) area delves. With high darkness resistances, I could stay in the dark for at least 8-10 seconds, enough to explore out the mini-map. I'll probably spend a day doing this to get my challenge at some point.

Thanks for reading,

Good luck down there!

Good video guides

SlipperyJim8, the true madman
Delve: How to find fractured walls, and get into hidden rooms.
I wonder if Jim spent too long in the dark...
Entertaining guide to quick exploration pre-rule 4

Path of Exile Delve Guide: How to Easily Unlock Hidden Areas Behind Destructible Walls
As concise as always. Guide on how to use the 2-path rule

Update log

Edit 1: Wording, minor edits, note about exploring. Changed last part ^
Thanks for the attention guys, and I'm glad the guide helps people out. If you still have trouble, post away in the comments.

Edit 2: Added examples for non-node walls + more pathing examples. Also figured out how to name spoilers, it's my first guide. If you have the time to, perhaps post your own success in the comments!

Edit 3: Added rule 4, brought to my attention by reddit and the comments. This one's pretty important!

Edit 4: With GGG's Delve Improvements news post, some minor information/changes were revealed about the delve system. These were added to the guide.

Edit 5: Added video guides section, all collected from the youtubes. I'll update this as I further consume sweet PoE bontent. Also, the extension to rule 4 - the dead-end rule.

Edit 6: Added interesting exceptions and counterexamples to some of the rules, collected off Reddit. All credit to them, names will be mentioned where needed.

Edit 7: Been a while, surprised the thread is still up and bumped. Added disclaimer about rule of 2 + the "I've read the guide" spoiler. Thanks!

Did you know kiwi (kiwifruit) are actually berries, and it is a national fruit of China? Also, their name is a big marketing ploy by a major exporter, New Zealand.
Delve fractured wall guide: view-thread/2204851
Legion Emblem Carry thread: view-thread/2598853
Last edited by Erisymum on Nov 1, 2018, 5:54:36 PM
Last bumped on Jun 6, 2024, 4:11:55 PM
Good post. Can i ask players to keep this bumped and visible from the first page? I will do the same for a while. Should be very helpful to a lot.

Better yet would be if a moderator could make this a sticky.
Thank you!
Nice guide, didn't know a couple of things you mentioned there. Bumping this so more people cansee it!
I make dumb builds, therefore I am.
Pretty useful! I'm gonna try and find the wall concealing the fossil encounter I have on my map...
Ayy, it worked, I found it! Thanks a bunch! ^^
Very helpful. Do all fractured walls look like that?
"Gratitude is wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk." Rumi
US Mountain Time Zone
Man. I gotta say that you're bad at explaining.
Awesome Guide

The bit about it being a grid helped a huge amount
This was driving me mad, Went to every possible node and wasted like 30 flares exploring everywhere

The end reward wasnt worth it, but seems road to hidden areas is full of treasures
Perfect guide, good job mate, Thank you.

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