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Feb 8, 2018
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When a new league starts in Path of Exile (PoE) there is a number of things that need to happen for a player to prepare before even starting the game. This guide is to take a new player through the league start preparation and game start process.


At the time of writing this guide it is in preparation of 3.6 Synthesis and some of the information and references may be league specific. Please keep that in mind if you use the guide in prepping for later leagues.
I am not going to reference any specific builds in this guide to avoid confusion for those reading the guide after 3.6 Synthesis.


Before even starting the game there is several things that need to be done in preparation of starting a new league. These actions will make your league start infinitely easier. Many of these will not be known to new players or even experienced RPG players that are new to PoE.

Premium Tabs

You get 3 normal tabs as standard with your free account. Normal tabs cannot be used to directly trade via the trade websites. For that you will need a premium tab, which must be purchased. Premium tabs are not required to play the game, but will make your PoE experience exponentially better. If you are going to play a trading league, that means not SSF (Solo Self Found) then you will want to trade and for that you will need at least one Premium Tab. Additionally there is a number of specialized tabs that can simplify your PoE experience. The main tabs you should be looking for is the Currency Tab and the Map Tab.

Loot Filter

During game play there is a plethora of items dropping all the time in PoE. Most of which are worthless and not worth the time to pick up. To avoid information overload, it is imperative that use a good loot filter. There is a number of ready made filters available online.
The one I like most is and which is easiest to use is NeverSink’s FilterBlade - There are however several other good options available. The filter needs to be updated for each new league and NeverSink will be busy programming his filter up until about an hour before league start. During this time the website will be down. Wait until FilterBlade website is active again and then download it. The website will explain how to download and where to put the file/s.

Update PoE with new Patch

Each new league comes with a rather large patch that is usually only available an hour or 2 prior to league start. You will have to update the new patch before being able to access the game. This is done be simply opening the game, the patch will automatically download and install.

Login and get in Queue

When you login to the game before league start you will be placed in the queue. Players will be granted access to the game in the order they logged in and queued. Once you are in the queue don’t exit the game as you will lose your place in the queue. Wait for the league to start and enjoy.


When starting a new league, you need to keep in mind that resources will be scarce and even plain uniques can be expensive or just plain impossible to get in the 1st week or so of the league. To start with you need to decide what you want to get from your league start character and then tailor your choice accordingly.
Do you want a character that will get into maps quickly and be able to farm red maps asap or do you want a lab farmer? Since you are most likely new to PoE you won’t really know exactly what you want you might opt for a generally well rounded character.
Keep in mind that very few builds can do everything in the game. Great boss killers are seldom good mappers and vice versa. The best Lab farmers often map like they are running in mud, while great mappers can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.


To simplify the choice of character, I would advise you to decide on one of 2 options. Decide if you want to farm maps or labyrinths early in league (1st week or 2) to build up currency.
A lab farmer is often a tough melee like character with high armour and low DPS. You want something that can face-tank traps and take on Izaro without flinching. While Intelligence and Dexterity characters can be successful lab farmers they generally take more experience and skill that new players may not have. They may also require more gear. The best characters here are Marauders, Duelists or even the Templars, characters with strength or strength hybrid classifications.
A mapping character will be almost any character with a main skill that have an Area of Effect (AoE) component. This will ensure that you can kill large groups of monsters at a time. This character can sometimes be changed from a mapper to an adequate boss killer by changing 1 or 2 gems before taking on a boss. Plan your character accordingly.


You need to do research, research and more research. Talking to an experienced PoE player is a good idea and cross reference his/her advice with your own research. Most of the YouTube streamers will put out their own videos discussing good league starters shortly before the start of a new league. Check out their videos and see if there is a build that speaks to you.
A good league starter will be cheap and have a good, well written guide that is easy to follow and use few or no uniques. It is often a good idea to ensure the build will function reliable up to mid-tier maps on a 5 link as a 6 link armour or weapon will be very expensive especially at league start. Alternatively plan on using a Tabula Rasa (cheap 6 link chest piece with no other stats) for a significant portion of the early mapping experience.


Know in advance what 3 or 4 link combinations you need. You will not have the currency to make 4 links with the right color combinations to smooth your leveling process. Therefore, you must know you want a 4 link with 3B & 1G, so that when you find one you know to take it and keep it.
Know what weapons you want to use. Not all skills can be used with every weapon type. If your main skill need wands, keep a look out for 3 link wands with the right color sockets. It is not advisable to burn currency on leveling items at this stage as currency will be scarce and hard to come by. And most items will be used and discarded within a few levels during the leveling process.

Pickup magic (blue) items and vendor them, unidentified, for Transmutation shards. 20 Transmutation shards become an Orb of Transmutation. You need Transmutes to buy items like gear and gems from NPC’s or to make normal items magic.

Pickup magic (blue) items and vendor them, identified, for Alteration shards. 20 Alteration shards become an Orb of Alteration. You need Alts to buy items like gear and gems from NPC’s or to craft usable magic items. This is especially needed to get the Quicksilver Flasks with increased duration/effect you need for fast leveling.

There are 3 quests in the leveling process that reward with Quicksilver Flasks;
Act 1 – Mercy Mission (iLvl 4, Normal)
Act 2 – The Great White Beast (iLvl 15, Magic)
Make sure to take the Quicksilver flasks as reward for both quests. Using 2 Quicksilver Flasks will significantly increase your movement speed and increase your leveling efficiency.
The 3rd quest is only in Act 5 (The Key to Freedom). Waiting to Act 5 to get a 2nd Quicksilver Flask will mean you are leveling too slow. You can however take it as your 3rd Quicksilver Flask and use it for even more efficient movement.

Every time you are back in town look at the vendors for boots with increased movement speed. This will also really increase your leveling.
If at all possible, do not use a chest piece until about Act 3 as this will also reduce your movement speed.


Leveling can be boring so turn it into a challenging and fun event. Set yourself targets and keep to them as close as possible. A good target is to try to reach Blood Aqueduct (start of Act 9) in 6-8hrs depending on your skill level and or experience.
New players often wander around during the leveling process exploring the world and killing every monster in sight. This way it could take them anything from 2-5 days to reach maps if the reach it at all. While this is not wrong, it is not an efficient use of your time.


To avoid feeling overwhelmed, you need to do the following;
  • Use a loot filter
  • Pick a good league starter
  • Work from a proper, well tested character build
  • Use you time efficiently
Leveling a new character is a time consuming and often boring task. This can however be turned into a fun event if done with the right attitude and in the company of friends. If you are going to play PoE you will probably be leveling several characters in each league. It is therefore worth learning how to do it efficiently.
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