About the Author
Furty has been playing Path of Exile since the release of the Onslaught League in 2013, and has a deep and diverse well of experience within the game. Equally comfortable playing on Hardcore, Softcore, and Solo-Self Found Leagues, recent ladder results include finishing at Rank 5 on the Legion SSF League playing Essence Drain and the Betrayal League at Rank 186 playing Elemental Hit. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.
The leveling process in Path of Exile can be a daunting one, but a properly equipped character can carve through the content with ease. No matter what build you are leveling, correctly identifying the best uniques to incorporate into your exile will vastly speed up the process of reaching the end-game.
Many of these items have the advantage of being flexible between multiple builds. This means that they can easily be used for multiple types of builds that you are looking to level, without the need for additional investment on a per-character basis.
Virtually all of the leveling items used in Path of Exile can be obtained for relatively cheap prices, and the hours they can save more than compensate for their meager cost. Investing into some leveling uniques is strongly advised for players looking to try out multiple builds and characters over the course of a single league.
Expense vs. Time Saved
Having a few basic leveling uniques around can vastly speed up the leveling process. If you have any interest in leveling a few characters in a league, making a few minor investments towards a basic leveling setup will be a huge boost to your quality of life. Since most of the essential leveling uniques are fairly cheap, the Chaos Orbs that you spend get that leveling gear will be easily made up and more in the time you will save by leveling faster. This leaves you with more time farming end-game content, where all the orbs you spent could be easily repaid in a single map, delve, or betrayal encounter.
The purchased items can also be easily re-sold, if necessary, once you have finished with it.
Here we have provided some recommendations for leveling armor, which is largely used by many leveling builds. Some builds feature relatively niche uniques that only make sense within the context of their build, and such items are not advised or mentioned in these sections. For example, an aspiring Necromancer may opt to use The Baron over the recommended Goldrim.
When it comes to leveling gear, these pieces of gear are typically the highest priority, as they provide the bulk of stats that allow you to survive, such as Life and Resistances. If you can afford a Tabula Rasa, which are usually quite cheap even early in the leagues, you will rarely experience any roadblocks due to insufficient damage, due to the sheer amount of links.
Goldrim is the default choice for most leveling builds, providing a massive amount of all elemental Resistances from level 1. Goldrim can be used practically until mapping level if necessary.
Tabula Rasa is one of the most prolific and well known items in the game, and is without any doubt the premium item when it comes to leveling characters. Although Tabula can be somewhat expensive very early the league, it can also be farmed easily via the Humility card. Due to the sheer power a 6-link exerts for some builds, Tabula can be carried all the way into the 80s if necessary.
Skin of the Loyal can be incredible with the proper coloring, however, it is an expensive and unnecessary item given the accessibility of Tabula Rasa. A full white-socket Skin of the Loyal is considered one of the ultimate leveling items, however, and can be a luxury purchase made later in the league.
Lochtonial Caress can be used from 1, and provide a healthy amount of attack and defense stats. They can be used for a time, but should be upgraded to a proper Rare when the player needs additional defense in the form of Resistances.
Sadima's Touch can be used from level 9, and work well with bow builds especially.
Wanderlust are the most accessible and prolific choice for the boot slot. Not only do they offer complete immunity to freeze, which is invaluable before proper flask suffixes can be obtained, but the Wanderlust also provide a 20% Movement Speed roll. This is more than sufficient for most of the leveling process, and can also take you all the way until maps if necessary. They should be swapped out for Rare boots with a superior Movement Speed roll, along with Life and Resistances.
Seven-League Step are a luxury leveling option that provide an enormous amount of speed, however, they can be extremely expensive to obtain. These boots are a great pickup for players leveling a lot of different builds, and their speedy nature makes them a real joy to play with.
Here we have provided a list of some of the most used Accessories for leveling in Path of Exile. Accessories are typically not as important as Armor, but can offer powerful offensive bonuses that accelerate the leveling process.
Typically the most desired leveling uniques in this category cost at least several Chaos Orbs, which makes them slightly more expensive than standard leveling Armor and Weapons. If you plan on leveling at least one or two more builds after your league starter, you may consider investing a little currency towards acquiring them to speed the process.
Sidhebreath is the ideal choice for players planning on leveling a summoner style build as the Necromancer class. It can be used immediately from level 1, and offers a fair amount of minion defense and damage, as well as cutting down your Mana costs.
Atziri's Foible can be used from level 16, and provides a lot of Mana and reduced gem and stat requirements. This amulet can be invaluable for builds that struggle to meet attribute requirements, or find that their Tabula Rasa is draining too much Mana due to the reality of having a 6-Link so early in the game.
Daresso's Salute (level 16) and Carnage Heart (level 20) are both great choices for Slayer builds using the famed “overleech” Ascendancy node, Brutal Fervor. The better choice may depend on your specific choice of skill.
Astramentis provides a huge helping of stats, which can be very helpful for certain classes and builds, such as the Ascendant. It can be used beginning at level 20.
Sacrificial Heart is an extremely valuable amulet that adds a lot of Elemental damage to attacks. It is most often used by players that are leveling with the popular Vaal Blade Vortex skill, and can be used starting from level 32. This amulet is also by far the best option for elemental based bow builds, as well.
Perandus Signet is one of the premium leveling items, able to be used at level 1 and granting increased experience gain and chance to receive Scroll of Wisdoms. The massive Mana regeneration makes Atziri's Foible entirely unnecessary and ensures your exile will never have issues with Mana. The price of these rings is variable based on the league.
Berek's Grip, Berek's Pass, and Berek's Respite can all be used at level 20, and offer superb damage and defensive stats. Berek’s Grip is generally the all around best of the three, but the priority may change depending on your build and passive tree. If you are using Perandus Signets, you should switch to Berek’s rings once you reach the point when you are no longer able to clear normal monsters with a single skill press. The time saved due to the increased damage will more than outweigh the experience bonus, making them the preferable choice. Berek’s Grip is particularly good for builds leveling with lightning skills, like Storm Brand or Arc, as your passive tree is also likely to scale elemental and lightning damage.
Le Heup of All offers a healthy amount of everything; damage, Resistances, Attributes, and a nice Rarity bonus to top it off. It can be equipped beginning at level 24. Some builds that do not acquire great benefit from any of the Berek’s rings may opt for this option instead.
Thief's Torment offers a nice defense, but it prevents the player from using other rings. Certain builds, particularly those that hit multiple times or very quickly, can abuse the Life and Mana gain on hit to incredible effect, and it can be equipped beginning at level 30. Cyclone and Tornado Shot are good examples of such skills.
Darkness Enthroned is the best overall option. It has no level requirement, though it requires you to have Abyssal Jewels prepared in advance that have low or no level requirements. You should also have other higher leveled Abyssal Jewels prepared in advance, so that your character may upgrade to as you level up.
Meginord's Girdle provides a large boost to Strength, which can be invaluable for characters that do not acquire many of those nodes, especially if they use red gems in their builds. The Cold Resistance and Life is also excellent, making this belt a leveling staple for people who do not want to bother with the Abyssal Jewels. Meginord’s can be first equipped at level 8.
Wurm's Molt is an alternative to Meginord's Girdle, and can also be equipped at level 8. It grants Intelligence in addition to Strength, as well as Life and Cold Resistance. The Physical Leech for Life and Mana can offer great quality of life for certain builds.
Prismweave is great for any builds that can utilize elemental damage with attack skills. Spectral Throw and Tornado Shot, for example, are incredible beneficiaries of this belt, and it may be equipped beginning at level 25.
Here our some examples of the most prolific weapon uniques used during the leveling process. Weapons are a special case, as they are not as clear cut as the Armor and Accessories. Certain weapons, such as The Poet's Pen, have an extremely low level requirement, and remain some of the most powerful weapons in the game even after the end-game arrives. Others, such as Lifesprig, are only meant to be used for a few levels, before being swapped for a more desirable upgrade.
In general, melee builds will find that their weapon makes a much more direct impact on their ease of leveling, as the base damage of the weapon itself is hugely influential. If you are playing a melee build or skill, therefore, it is recommended that you do acquire several of the weapons of your chosen type, so you can upgrade between them as you level up.
For spell based builds, the weapon choice is less influential, although potent upgrades and options remain. That said, a low requirement leveling only item, like Axiom Perpetuum, could conceivably be used all the way until end-game mapping if you have a Tabula Rasa. This is because your skills are less dependent on the weapon to deal damage, and are more heavily influenced by your links and your passive skill tree.
Lifesprig can be used right away from level one, and has a powerful spread of stats. Since effectively using a 6-Link is not possible immediately in Act I due to the lack of support gems, Lifespring’s +1 Spell Gems is also a very useful affix for the first 10 levels, usually for a Freezing Pulse link. Most players leveling elemental and/or spell based builds will opt to switch to Axiom Perpetuum at level 10, which can be dual wielded.
The Poet's Pen can be equipped at level 12, is arguably one of the best leveling items in the game. Poet’s Pens are typically wielded in both hands, and are socketed with skills such as Frenzy, Unearth, and Volatile Dead. These wands can be used to level any type of build, and are one of the fastest ways to clear the game. The main drawback of Poet’s Pen leveling is that it is extremely expensive to obtain two of these wands, and it does require some basic knowledge of how the item interacts with socketed gems.
Axiom Perpetuum is one of the best items for leveling spell based builds, as it has a lot of valuable stats and damage and can be equipped quite early in the game (Level 10). Most players that use this item will opt to dual wield them, as there are not many shields worth using in place a duplicate sceptre.
One Handed Swords
Oni-Goroshi is a very rare drop from Hillock, and it can be extremely expensive. For certain builds, however, it is an incredible weapon for leveling and can easily take you through most of the content the game has to offer. Usable from level 2 onwards, this sword can be one of the most potent leveling uniques when correctly utilized. Due to its rarity and expense, and the build meta shifting largely away from melee however, this item is no longer as commonly used.
Redbeak can be used from level 1. Due to its relatively weak stats, Redbeak is typically only used for the first few levels before being discarded for a Magic or Rare option.
Aurumvorax provides fair damage and a huge helping of Resistances, which can make it a useful choice. It can be used from level 17 onwards.
Two Handed Swords
Shiversting is the lowest level two-handed sword available, and can be equipped from level 14 onwards. It is equal parts Physical and Elemental damage, and the Cannot be Frozen buff can be a great advantage if you are not already using a pair of Wanderlust boots.
Rigwald's Charge is an excellent leveling sword for Physical focused builds, and can be equipped from level 44 onwards. This sword offers solid damage stats along with a really nice bit of extra movement speed.
Hiltless is a phenomenal item for Slayers with the Headsman Ascendancy node, as they cannot take reflected Physical damage. This sword can be used from level 59 onwards, and is perfect for finishing the story and early mapping.
One Handed Axes
The Screaming Eagle is an axe that can be equipped very early, starting at level 6, and provides a handful of valuable stats. This is a great weapon early on, and the movement speed boost is perfect for the running through of the early acts.
Relentless Fury offers fair damage and Culling Strike Support on attacks made with the weapon. The high uptime on Onslaught Support triggered by the weapon’s culling strikes is also great for leveling, due to the increased damage and movement speed. This can be equipped at level 29, and is basically a budget version of The Gryphon.
The Gryphon is an upgraded (fated) version of The Screaming Eagle, usable at level 32. It provides excellent damage and gained on kill, and now comes loaded with 15% movement speed on kill as well. Due to the high leveling speed this item can provide, it can be very useful for the right build to level with, though it can be a little pricey due to rarity of the associated prophecy needed to create the item.
Two Handed Axes
Limbsplit can be used from level 13, and has a solid smattering of stats. Similar to Lifesprig, the +1 Strength gems can actually be quite useful for a few levels, as it is unlikely your character will have a fully 6-Link skill yet, even if you are using a Tabula Rasa.
Reaper's Pursuit is excellent for leveling, and can be used from level 33. The Hits Can’t Be Evaded affix is incredibly valuable, voiding the need to use Resolute Technique, and solving the issue of accuracy many two-handed builds face while leveling.
The Blood Reaper offers fair damage and can be obtained cheaply, offering solid defensive and offensive benefits, such as bleeding and leech.
Kaom's Primacy and Ngamahu's Flame are both great options for rounding out the leveling process. Both can be cheaply obtained, and deal similar base damage – you should go for the one that suits your build better.
One Handed Maces
Gorebreaker can be used from the relatively low level of 10, and offers reasonably strong damage. It can be used for a few levels, to speed through Acts I and II without much issue.
Brightbeak can be equipped at level 20, and can be a great weapon for builds that utilize Shield Charge, due to the large attack speed bonus. Brightbeak is generally favored for speed rather than damage, and is better put to use by builds that don’t need a fantastic weapon to output strong damage, such as Blade Vortex or Righteous Fire.
Two Handed Maces
Hrimnor's Hymn can be acquired and used at level 17, and offers good damage and some welcome life leech.
Geofri's Baptism can be used as early as level 27, and fits perfectly into any builds that utilize Resolute Technique.
Goredrill can be used from level 5, and can be obtained extremely cheaply.
Ungil's Gauche can be used from level 20, and offers a good combination of damage stats.
Mightflay is a superb leveling dagger, usable from level 35. The bonus strength can be extremely valuable for many classes, such as Shadow, and the Life Gain on Hit is actually quite significant.
Arakaali's Fang is incredibly strong for the right build, but comes with a hefty price tag attached. This weapon can be used from level 53, making it incredibly powerful relative to its level requirement. If you can afford it and it makes sense within your build, this dagger can be used virtually forever, with little need of being replaced.
Last Resort can be used from level 3, and has relatively strong damage despite its low requirement.
Hand of Thought and Motion offers good elemental damage, and can be equipped from level 22.
Mortem Morsu can be used from level 34, and is quite strong even for builds that do not both with Chaos damage or Poison.
Storm Cloud is a great choice for any bow builds that deal primarily Elemental damage, as is common. The damage can be scaled via the passive tree to be quite a potent option that can last well into the 50-60 level range. Storm Cloud can be equipped starting at level 9.
Roth's Reach is another great choice, particularly if your build still deals some Physical damage, or converts. If you already have Storm Cloud, switching to Roth’s is not necessary, unless the passive +1 Chain affix is valuable to your skill specifically.
The Tempest can be used at level 32, and is the fated version of Storm Cloud. As with the non-fated version, this bow is a great choice for bow builds that rely heavily on Lightning and other Elemental damage.
Hyrri's Bite is a great quiver that can be used at level 10. It provides a nice heap of attributes, some damage and attack speed, and welcome area of effect and light gain on hit.
What Are the Essential Leveling Items?
While the list of possibilities in Path of Exile is fairly broad, you do not have to supply every slot your character has with a unique to level quickly and effectively. Just a few core uniques can make a drastic difference, and used between as many characters as you feel like leveling. You can also re-sell the items when you are finished with them, which means there is little downside to acquiring them immediately.
- Tabula Rasa is the most important investment, due to the sheer firepower it gives to any build.
- Goldrim is excellent due to immediately usability and the large injection of Resistances.
- Wanderlust are highly useful for the movement speed and freeze immunity.
- A pair of unique rings, such as Berek's Grip or Perandus Signets.
- One of the cheap unique belts; either Darkness Enthroned, Meginord's Girdle, or Wurm's Molt.
If My Build Guide Recommends an Item, Should I Use That Instead?
Many items in Path of Exile can be weaponized to great effectiveness when utilized by the right build. In this guide, we have recommended items that have a large degree of flexibility and re-usability between multiple builds, which makes them ideal for people who want to level multiple characters without constantly repurchasing. If your build guide recommends an item that your build incorporates well throughout the leveling process, you should absolutely try to purchase them and integrate them into your build.
How Long Should I Use These Items For?
Unfortunately, this is typically a matter of context, and different items have different mileage throughout the leveling process. Tabula Rasa, for example, can be used virtually forever if necessary, while a pair of Lochtonial Caress gloves should be replaced by the time you are downing Kitava and entering Act VI. Ensure you keep your Resistances as close to 75% as possible at all times, especially once you are in Act VI and beyond.