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, Furty finished the Betrayal League at Rank 186 on the ladder playing Elemental Hit. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.
Many players consider Solo Self-Found the “purest” way to play the game — no trading, more emphasis on crafting, with nothing to distract you from the game itself. If you have never tried Solo Self-Found before, it is an extremely unique experience when contrasted with the more popular “trade leagues”. For starters, there is no bothersome crawling through poe.trade spamming whispers to players, hoping to buy their items, while they mysteriously refuse to reply.
On the other hand, you have less build diversity and freedom on Solo Self-Found, as you can only use items you find or create yourself. This means that really crazy builds like our Soul Eater Winter Orb Juggernaut are generally not possible due to the sheer amount of specific items they require to function. In some cases, finding a really rare Unique or a powerful Rare allow you to create an all-new build you might not have otherwise been able to execute, which is a novel and exciting experience as well.
Overall, Solo Self-Found is an experience that is far removed from the standard affairs offered on a trade league. While it may not be suited to everyone’s taste, all players should give it a try at least once.
+ Entirely different game experience
+ No tedious trading
+ Encourages picking up items and currencies that are often skipped in trade leagues
+ More well-rounded game experience as you are forced to employ many of the game’s systems that trading eliminates
+ Currency can be used for crafting a lot more often
- Less build diversity or freedom
- Requires some knowledge to effectively execute
- “Slower” game experience — progress through the end-game takes longer (this is a Pro for some players)
- No party play
Choosing a Build for Solo Self-Found
A lot goes into choosing a build for any league, but it is of particular importance for Solo Self-Found due to your reliance on your own finds. Unlike so-called “Trade Leagues”, where you often begin a build with an end point in mind, it is generally better to choose a build (when League Starting) that has a strong for the end-game and mapping. Instead of having a fixed end point as a goal, it can be advantageous to find several viable builds within your chosen Class or Ascendancy that you can then re-spec or retrofit your build towards, should you find one of the necessary items.
Having a fixed and powerful starting point for your build is the most important part of enjoying Solo Self-Found. You want your build to be strong enough out of the gate that you are actually enjoying farming the content, clearing maps and progressing deeper into the end game. If you are too ambitious with your choice of build too early, you might find that your character is really struggling which can lead to a miserable experience.
Choosing an end point is also a lot more stable than many players might expect, depending on your chosen build. Many powerful Uniques can be reliably farmed through Divination Cards, such as Kaom's Heart. Even very early in your game experience a Tabula Rasa can be farmed in under 2-3 hours in the Blood Aqueducts in Act IX, allowing you early access to a 6-Link that can be a springboard through the early part of the end-game. We will go more into detail on commonly farmed Uniques and Divination Cards for Solo Self-Found later in the guide.
The Importance of Increased Item Rarity
Increased Item Rarity is an affix that is often overlooked or passed over entirely on trade leagues. What Rarity does is increase the likelihood of items being Magic, Rare, or Unique when they drop. Since most Uniques do not have great worth on trade leagues and most players only pick up certain Rare bases, it is easy to see why this mod is not as potent as its competitors.
On Solo Self-Found, however, Rarity is one of the most important affixes, as Uniques can not be obtained simply by purchasing them off of other players. Incorporating a bit of Rarity into your build will result in a significantly increased number of build-enabling Unique items, which can give you access to a much larger number of end-points and possible builds. You are also much more likely to have early access to leveling Uniques, which is incredibly valuable if you decide to level up another character or build.
Certain Uniques, if found, can also be great for further increasing your Rarity bonus, especially early in the league. Good examples are Bisco's Leash and The Ascetic, which can provide a large injection of Rarity without sacrificing too much in the way of damage or survivability.
The Item Rarity Support gem is extremely popular in Solo Self-Found as a 6th link, even if it is only used for general clearing and swapped out for bosses. Alternatively, it can be linked to an aura skill that triggers a chain reaction, such as Herald of Ice. If you can fit the gem into your build without a huge loss in capability of clear it is usually well worth it.
You should (so you have at least one of each in your stash) as this will enable you to experiment with different builds or different leveling paths later in the league, or if you decide to retrofit your build. The number of options available to you is only as high as the number of Uniques you have access to, after all. If you already have one or two Uniques, or its an item you are certain you will never use such as Veil of the Night, you should instead vendor these Uniques. In this way the Increased Item Rarity affix provides a large natural increase to the Quantity of Orb of Alchemy numbers you acquire.
Maintaining a Currency Pool
Since you are no longer using Currency as a means of trading with other players, you might be surprised at how quickly certain orbs begin to stack up in your stash. Just like in any normal league, you will want to ensure that you are using your Orb of Alchemys on any Map, providing you can deal with the affixes, in order to maximize pack size and quantity bonus. This will ensure you get the maximum possible returns and will keep your Currency pool strong.
If you are using a Loot Filter (highly recommended), you will want to ensure that you whitelist Orb of Chances, as they are an exceptionally useful tool in Solo Self-Found to give you that extra chance of getting an ultra-rare and/or build-making Unique item. Be sure to also whitelist any relevant item bases that you plan on chancing (e.g. Glorious Plate). We recommend simply carrying around a stack of Orb of Chances at all times in order to save time.
Linking your gear is arguably the most important step in any build towards achieving the best possible damage output. On a trade league, obtaining the necessary fusings can be as simple as buying several hundred of them off another player in one quick, lump sum trade. On the other hand, slowly collecting the fusings yourself is also entirely out of the question. So what can we do in Solo Self-Found to mitigate this?
If you are not already aware, the Orb of Fusing can be bought from many vendors for the price of 4 Jeweller's Orbs each. Since 6-socket items are relatively common in Maps, and provide 7 Jeweller’s Orbs each when traded with a vendor, each 6-socket you find is essentially 2x Orb of Fusing.
If you are mapping often you should be able to accrue hundreds of Orbs of Fusing in a period of a few days, or even less if you are playing a significant amount. This gives you a good opportunity to go for 5/6-Links without the need to trade with other players. Remember that each % of Quality on an item increases the chance for it to be socketed or linked by 1%.
The Chaos Orb is usually self-sustaining once you reach Maps, even if you are Zana modding and rolling Maps regularly.
The Chaos Recipe is a means of injecting further Chaos Orbs into your stash, however, this is a matter of a personal preference, as it takes additional time and inconvenience and many players opt to simply skip doing it. The unidentified Chaos Recipe is also an option, however, you should only do this with item bases that are particularly worthless.
If you are not entirely clear on what the Chaos Recipe is, trading in a full set of Item Level 60+ Rare gear (Helm, Gloves, Chest, Boots, Amulet, Rings, Belt, Weapon) to a vendor will result in them trading you a Chaos Orb. If the items are all unidentified, the vendor will offer 2 Chaos Orbs instead. If the gear is all Item Level 75+, the vendor will offer a Regal Orb (or 2 for unidentified gear). Since Chaos is generally more useful than Regals, you can avoid the Regal Recipe by simply having a single item below Item Level 75.
Additional Vaal Orbs can be obtained by trading in 7 Vaal Skill Gems and a Sacrifice fragment.
Setting Your Lootfilter
The settings used by your filter are far more important for Solo Self-Found, as you need to acquire all items under your own steam. Certain items that are not worth picking up on a trade league, such as an Orb of Chance, offer the player far more potential in SSF. Here are a few general recommendations for settings and items that are helpful to display for your Lootfilter when heading into Solo Self-Found:
- Orb of Chance
- Bases you want to use Chance Orbs on (e.g. Glorious Plate, Occultist's Vestment, Sadist Garb, Sapphire Flasks, etc.)
- Try setting up some leveling options to make the acquisition of links easier
- Remove low tier bases from your filter if you are not doing the Chaos Recipe (you will be getting a lot of them when running Increased Rarity)
- Make sure low tier Maps can be easily seen (can be traded up)
- Quality Gems for Gemcutter's Prisms
- Quality Flasks for Glassblower's Baubles (you can set it to a threshhold to save stash space, such as >15%)
Progress through the Atlas of Worlds is naturally slower when you are playing Solo Self-Found, as you will not be able to purchase them from other players to fill out any missing objectives. It is important to remember that this is a natural part of this type of league, and it is not something worth being frustrated over — the large upside being that you will not ever have to deal with whispering player after player hoping to get a Map off of them.
There are a few tricks to keep in mind in order to expand your Atlas as quickly as possible:
- Always do Zana missions
- Check Zana for new maps whenever you complete her Atlas objective or mission
- Lower tier maps can be traded for the next tier up connected on the Atlas at a 3:1 rate
- Elder and Shaper maps (and Strongholds) have natural quantity increases that bolsters Map sustain
- Using a Vaal Orb on a Map has a 12.5% chance to upgrade it to the next tier
Remember that running Maps that are not completed and connected to the current Map have a much higher chance of dropping. For more advice and information on the Atlas and how to manipulate it, we recommend checking out our Atlas of Worlds and Map Guide , as well as our Advanced Atlas and Map Strategies Guide.
Shaped Atlas strategies are relatively common on Solo Self-Found, especially on Hardcore, as they give you the best chance of survival as well as the ability to target Divination Cards to farm.
Divination Cards and Prophecies
Certain Divination Cards are enormously beneficial on Solo Self-Found, as they provide much needed Currency sustenance (e.g. The Survivalist) or the ability to obtain otherwise ultra-rare Unique items (e.g. Pride Before the Fall). When you are choosing which Maps to Shape or use an Elder Orb on you should consider Divination Cards in your selection.
Prophecies can fulfill a similar function. Once you have reached the end-game, you will want to ensure you always have 6 active prophecies, and you are sealing any that you cannot or have no intention of completing. Maintaining enough Silver Coins is actually not that difficult; if you use an Orb of Transmutation or an Orb of Alchemy on every Strongbox you encounter, you have a fair chance of hitting the Contains Additional Silver Coins mod, which can help bolster your reserves.
Solo Self-Found is a very different gameplay experience than Path of Exile’s standard fare, an experience that every player should give a chance at least once. Many players opt to alternate between Trade Leagues and Solo Self-Found every other league, or every two leagues, in order to add some variance and spice. We hope that this guide has answered many of the most frequently asked questions when approaching Solo Self-Found — if you need anything cleared up, please ask in the comments below. Good luck!