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Path of Exile: The Forbidden Sanctum

In Path of Exile: The Forbidden Sanctum, you will test your resolve as you make your way through the Sanctum's dangerous halls. In the Sanctum, each decision you make can cost you greatly.

Our December expansion introduces the Sanctum challenge league and improvements to Path of Exile's endgame, alongside two new Skill Gems, seven new Vaal Skill Gems, over 15 new Unique Items, significant balance changes to jewels, hexes, monster modifiers, unique weapons and more. We are also proud to introduce Ruthless, an optional new way to play Path of Exile with extreme item scarcity.

Dare to Enter

In this league, you'll discover The Forbidden Sanctum, an ancient Templar enclave hidden beneath the Fellshrine Ruins. Abandoned for a long time, it is now controlled by a malevolent entity. You must explore it, uncover its secrets, and deal with the evil that lurks within.

Test your Resolve

Upon entering the Sanctum, you'll uncover a map that reveals a few of the rooms ahead of you. Sparse details of the room and its rewards are shown, so you must plan carefully as each mistake will dwindle your resolve. When your resolve runs out, your Sanctum run ends. Each time you enter the Sanctum, you will seek to push yourself farther than before through its four floors.

Adapt or Die

The Sanctum's rooms hold many secrets. Some contain ancient fountains you can rest at to restore a portion of your resolve. Others will curse you with an affliction, hindering your progress. These afflictions stack up as you explore deeper and deeper within the Sanctum. You can also receive boons, blessings that help you overcome the Sanctum's dangers. Each time you enter the Sanctum, you will encounter a unique layout that you must assess and adapt to as you explore.

Pay the Price

Inside the Sanctum, you will find gold coins called Aureus, a currency that the Templar used for commerce. It's stored in treasure chests and falls from slain monsters. Although these coins belong to the Sanctum and will not leave with you, they can be traded with a merchant who you may encounter from time to time. Spend your Aureus wisely as it can be used to purchase a crucial boon when the time is right.

Bet your Life

The sinister powers controlling the Sanctum will occasionally present you with an Accursed Pact. These pacts offer you a powerful benefit with a dangerous cost. Although the Pact will tempt you greatly, you must choose with care. The result of your choice could signal the end of your time in the Sanctum or be the turning point in your success.

Reap or Weep

Many rooms in the Sanctum will offer you a choice of currency items. You can take the reward now or leave it behind, with the promise of an even larger reward later. Deferring your reward to the end of the current floor or even the end of the entire Sanctum escalates it with great risk. If you run out of resolve before reaching this goal, you lose everything you gambled. Do you believe in yourself enough to take the risk and potentially reap a massive reward? Or do you play it safe and leave with what you have?

Uncover Templar Relics

As you explore the Sanctum, you'll discover a special altar that Templar Relics can be placed on. These relics make you more powerful in the Sanctum and persist from run to run. Their continued power is the key to making it deeper into the Sanctum's vaults each time you enter. As you accumulate more relics, you'll need to make decisions around which ones most benefit you and arrange the Altar accordingly.

You may also uncover Sanctified Relics, a very rare type that directly affects your character's build. You may use only one of these, but its benefits stay with you beyond the Sanctum walls and bestow the Templars' power on you as you journey through Wraeclast.

Defeat the Sanctum's Guardians

The Forbidden Sanctum is home to many bosses, including random miniboss encounters, bosses at the end of each floor and an ultimate showdown against the entity that controls the Sanctum. These fights yield valuable rewards including Relics, piles of Aureus coins, masses of experience, new Unique Items and more.

Explore the Atlas Endgame

We've improved the Atlas Passive Tree so that players don't need to respec between mapping and boss-killing and can invest even further into content that they enjoy. We've added two new Atlas Memories themed around Domination and Bestiary, which include nine new Beastcrafting recipes. We've also rebalanced Eldritch Altars and have made Maven-witnessed map bosses a source of Awakened Gems.

Harness Powerful Gems

The Forbidden Sanctum expansion introduces two new skill gems and seven new Vaal gems. Volcanic Fissure is a new fiery Slam skill that strikes the ground to create a chasm that winds towards your target until it erupts with a burst of fiery projectiles that explode when striking the ground. Frozen Legion is a spell that creates a ring of icy statues that attack using your weapon damage. These statues perform a sweeping ice slash which can overlap.

Discover new Unique Items

There are over 15 new unique items to be found from within the Forbidden Sanctum and throughout Wraeclast and the Atlas. We've also massively increased the power and rarity of ten existing endgame unique weapons to bring them in line with some of Path of Exile's most iconic unique items.

Say Goodbye to Archnemesis

The Archnemesis monster mod system has been replaced with a system that more closely resembles Path of Exile's initial monster mods, but with modernised balance and effects. This system has been streamlined so that each modifier only does one specific thing and describes exactly what it does. While you'll still encounter modifier combinations that get your heart racing, these will be rarer than before and easier to understand in the heat of combat. Changes to rare monster rewards mean that you don't need to summon a magic find culling character to help you with specific monster mods anymore.

Experiment with New Balance

This expansion includes a number of changes to Path of Exile's mechanics. We have improved Jewels as a source of ailment mitigation and have replaced most existing unique Jewels with some powerful new ones. We've also rebalanced Hexes to make them stronger against endgame bosses and have reworked most curse mechanics and curse uniques as a result. Our recent balance manifestos and expansion patch notes cover these changes in more detail.

Be Ruthless

Ruthless is an optional new game mode which offers a more challenging way to play Path of Exile. Ruthless players can expect extreme item scarcity, limited crafting and many other changes such as support gems being drop-only. Ruthless is a mode about friction, tension and anticipation. It's much more difficult, but overcoming that difficulty feels highly rewarding. In a world where your items are far below par, every item drop has the potential to be the breakthrough one you need.

You can access Ruthless during character creation by selecting it as an additional flag alongside Solo Self-Found and Hardcore. To find out more about what changes it features and the philosophy behind its development, visit

Unlock Kirac's Vault

Kirac's Vault returns for the Sanctum League with a brand new set of exclusive unique item skins. Purchasing access to Kirac's Vault allows you to claim these exclusive rewards as you complete map objectives in the Sanctum League. These exclusive skins apply to popular unique items that can be found in Path of Exile's endgame and each has a special cosmetic gameplay effect.

You can purchase the pass at any point in your progression, retroactively unlocking any skins you have earned. This also applies to the Kalandra Pass, which is still for sale in the store right now! For more information, visit

Show your Support

We're launching two new sets of Supporter Packs to celebrate the release of The Forbidden Sanctum: the Forge and Gemling packs. There are three price points available for each and they feature masses of points and several exclusive microtransactions that visually interact with gameplay in new ways.

Path of Exile: The Forbidden Sanctum will launch on December 9th (PST) for PC and Mac, and on December 14th for Xbox and PlayStation.