What Loot Should You Pick Up In Path Of Exile

Written on:April 26, 2013
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Path of Exile logoOne of the most confusing things in Path of Exile for new players is undoubtedly the currency system. This game is considered to be one of the best (if not the best) Diablo II clones out there and while it incorporates many elements from similar hack-and-slash games, the whole economy and currency system is completely unique. While nearly every other game has a standardized currency (typically gold), Path of Exile uses numerous different orbs as the basis of trading.

Paired with the fact that every item in the game has a certain value, it’s understandable how new players can feel overwhelmed with the system. Even seemingly useless white item drops can be turned into one of the best items in game with the use of Orbs, so make sure you understand the value of all items in the game. This loot guide will provide you with the basic knowledge about what loot you should pick up during your adventures in Wraeclast.

1. Understanding item rarity

Equippable items can be white (common), blue (magic), gold (rare) and orange (unique). White items are the most frequent drop obviously, and in vast majority of cases are useless. Blue items might have a certain trade value, but only when they’re high-end items with great basic stats. You should always pick up rare items and identify them, and obviously unique items are some of the best in Path of Exile so be sure to click like mad when you see one drop.To better understand how white and blue items can be valuable, take a look at the information about sockets below.

2. Sockets

Mid-level items with 4 linked sockets can be worth quite a lot if they have useful stats. For example 4-linked boots with +movement speed and +Chaos resistance are very valuable for any class, and you might even get them at level 30, so be on the lookout for such items.Items with 3 linked sockets of different colors can be sold to vendors in towns for a Chromatic Orb, a mid-level orb which is used to change the color of sockets on a single piece of gear. You should start getting these items at around level 20, and you can never have enough orbs (remember that even if you have extra Chromatic Orbs, they can be traded for more valuable orbs such as Chaos for about 20:1 ratio). Any item rarity will do, as long as it has 3 LINKED sockets with DIFFERENT colors!

Chromatic Orbs

A typical 15-minute farming session often gets you a couple of Chromatic Orbs. Can you spot them?

Around level 50 (Act 3 Cruel or Act 1 Merciless difficulty) you might start seeing 5 and 6 link sockets. Items with 5 sockets are generally not worth anything, but if they are all linked then then you should ALWAYS pick them up and spend an Orb of Alchemy to turn it into a rare item. Even if it doesn’t have the best of stats, 5 linked sockets means you can add an additional support gem to one of your skills which may increase your damage output significantly, even up to 50%.

Items with 6 sockets are valuable even if not linked: if you don’t want to bother with Alchemy orbs you can simply sell them to vendors for 7 Orbs of Fusing (randomly links sockets on an item). 2 Orbs of Fusing are worth 1 Chaos Orb, not to mention you will most likely need a lot of fusings later on. If you find an item with 6 linked sockets, you just hit the jackpot. Really! I won’t go into the details why and how it’s so valuable in this article, so if you don’t know what to do with it just save it in your stash for later. Don’t go and sell it for a few Chaos Orbs because it’s worth a lot more.

3. Currency orbs

Basically you should always pick up all currency items (Orbs). Their values change constantly as the trading ratios are determined by the market, but you can view a rough comparison below.

  • Lower value orbs: Chromatic, Alteration, Jeweller’s, Chance, Cartographer’s Chisel
  • Mid value orbs: Fusing, Alchemy, Scouring, Blessed, Chaos
  • High value orbs: Regret, Regal, Gemcutter’s Prism, Divine, Exalted

You can also take a look at the image below to see how they are valued at the time of writing this article:

Value of orbs

Value of various Orbs in Path of Exile (courtesy of Exilestats)

Notice the vendor prices: some orbs can be bought and traded at in-game vendors as well, so in case you need any specific ones you can trade them that way. Obviously higher level orbs can’t be found at vendors.

Scrolls of Wisdom and Portal Scrolls are generally nearly worthless: you obviously need them but they drop all the time and it’s not hard to farm them. You can sell about 100 Scrolls of Wisdom for an Orb of Alchemy, so whether they are worth the time it takes to pick them up is up to you.

4. Skill gems

When you’re first starting to play PoE you’ll probably want to pick up all skill gems, but generally there’s very few that you will need. Unless you have a ton of duplicates you almost always want to pick up support gems though as you might need multiple ones.

Skill gems

If you don’t need any specific skill gems, take support gems as quest rewards.

Skill gems with +Quality have a much higher value than ones without it: to get just 1% (goes up to 20%) quality on a gem you need to spend one Gemcutter’s Prism (if you take a glance on the image under 3. Currency Orbs above it’s a high-value currency item). Although a < 10% quality gem isn’t worth a lot it can still be traded for a Chaos Orb or two, or you can use it yourself if you need it. Skill gems with high quality like +15% are extremely valuable.

5. Flasks

While leveling you probably always want to pick up flasks if they are an upgrade. The best flasks are called Hallowed and you’ll start seeing them in Act III Cruel, and more often in Merciless difficulty. Generally you’ll want to pick them up and identify them: there’s plenty of different stats they can give you so finding the ones you need most can take awhile. Generally I prefer flasks to have bonus Armor or Evasion on use.


I generally keep a few flasks for leveling alts.

Flasks with +Quality (either white or blue), besides providing more health on use can be traded to vendors for Glassblower’s Bauble, an orb that increases the quality of a flask. You will need to sell either 1 flask with exactly +20% quality, or any number of flasks with a combined quality of +40% for the Bauble. Once you get Hallowed Flasks with the preferred attributes you’ll no doubt want to improve their quality so you might want to pick up all Glassblower’s Baubles and quality flasks you can get your hands on. They are generally easy to come by in group farming as very few players pick them up.

6. Quality equipment

Armor and weapons with bonus quality can be sold to vendors in the same way as flasks: one item with 20% quality will give you an Armorer’s Scrap, or alternatively sell multiple items with a total quality of 40% to get the same. The same goes for weapons, but you will receive Blacksmith’s Whetstone (used to improve the quality of a weapon).

Typically I don’t loot items with bonus quality unless I’m about to go to town and have empty space in my inventory. You won’t need that many Scraps or Whetstones, and since they drop anyway you should have plenty. I can’t remember seeing anyone buying either of these orbs so even if you find a buyer I doubt they are worth much.

7. Other vendor recipes

Other than the aforementioned quality items, you can sell some other gear to vendors for specific rewards.

  • Chaos Orb: a full set of rare items (head, belt, gloves, chest, boots, mulet and two rings, plus 1-handed weapon and shield or 2-handed weapon); all items must be iLvl 60+ *
  • Alchemy Orb: two rare items with the same name
  • Regal Orb: three rare items with the same name

If you decide to collect items with the same name for Alchemy or Regal orbs chances are you’ll need extra stash tabs. It might be best to focus on just a few different item names, for example just stash Recurve Bows or something similar. I should note that it is NOT necessary to do this, but it’s definitely a good way to get some extra dough.

Chaos Orb Recipe

You’re basically looking at a Chaos Orb. Even if stats aren’t good, items can still be valuable, especially Rings, Amulets and Belts.

You can find a more comprehensive list of vendor recipes at Path of Exile Wiki, although I warn you might just get even more confused. If you’re just starting out with the game don’t bother remembering all the recipes, just focus on my advice in this article.

* Note about iLvl

Item level in Path of Exile works the same way as in every other game that uses the system. Every single item dropped has a specific “hidden” level attached to it which determines the “item budget”, which basically means an item level of 50 for example can have a maximum bonus of +30 to fire damage, while an item level 60 can have up to +45 bonus fire damage. Yeah, I just made the numbers up, this is just an example.

To find out which item level a particular piece of equipment is, click on it once with your left mouse button in inventory or stash to “pick it up” (don’t click again to drop), then type /itemlevel in chat.

8. Spending your currency

My advice is, don’t. I’m sure spending all those Alchemy Orbs seems tempting but unless you’re getting the best iLvl items you really shouldn’t waste them. Spending an Alchemy occasionally if you really must upgrade a piece of your gear is okay but don’t go overboard. You’ll out-level the items quite soon and you may even get a good drop making your crafted item obsolete.

Any orbs are much more valuable when spent on end-game items than anything else while leveling, so take that into account. If you just stick to the best farming spots you can get to level 60ish quite quickly and finish the game on the hardest difficulty, Merciless. Once you start farming maps you’ll get the hang of the economy and crafting and you will definitely find a better use for any orbs you pick up along the way.

9. Conclusion

While you may find this currency system that Path of Exile uses frustrating or confusing at first, you’ll quickly figure the value or items and it definitely brings more flavor to the game than the standard gold system. Who knows, you might even end up liking it!

I do hope my loot guide helped you understand what to do with all those drops you keep getting. If you have any questions or suggestions you’re welcome to drop them in the comments just below.

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