Path of Exile 2: Character Classes And Progression Explained

18.01.2024 - 14:19:12
Game Guides , Path of Exile 2

Path of Exile 2: Character Classes And Progression Explained

Path of Exile 2 will be an amazing game based on what we know so far. The developers are looking to improve upon every aspect of the original and that includes the most important part of the RPG - the character progression system. You're just as excited as we are to start tinkering with the builds in the game.

The good news is that there seems to be a lot more that Path of Exile 2 as to offer in terms of character progression. In this article, we'll talk about all of the confirmed changes in Path of Exile 2 character classes and progression in general.

Path of Exile 2: Character Classes

In the upcoming release of Path of Exile 2, players can anticipate a diverse roster of 12 character classes, with 6 making a return from Path of Exile 1, excluding the Scion class. Excitingly, the game will introduce 6 new character classes: Monk, Huntress, Mercenary, Sorceress, Warrior, and Druid. Each of these classes is tailored to offer a unique playstyle, ensuring a wide range of options for players to explore.

The character classes are strategically designed, with two classes corresponding to each combination of Intelligence, Strength, and Dexterity attributes. This approach allows players to blend skills from various classes, enabling the creation of their favorite and personalized characters.


Adding depth to character development, each of the 12 classes boasts three distinct ascendancy options, providing a total of 36 Ascendancy classes to choose from. This extensive array of choices ensures that players can tailor their characters to suit their preferred playstyles, fostering a rich and varied gaming experience in the world of Path of Exile 2.

While we don't know how the new character classes work, we sort of have an idea of what their playstyle will be like based on previous iterations of these characters from previous games.

  • Monk - The Monk will most likely be a mix of Strength and Dexterity attributed. This will be a melee-focused class that will give you access to a variety of buffs that increase your attack and defense.
  • Huntress - Path of Exile 2 will introduce new items like the crossbow and even traps. These are most likely going to work well with the Huntress which could primarily be a Dexterity class. Expect this class to rely on traps and positioning to deal heavy damage to enemies.
  • Mercenary - Fans are expecting the Mercenary to be a strong and tanky character class that could also rely on traps. Think of it being similar to the Huntress but instead of Dexterity, the primary attribute will be Strength.
  • Sorceress - This is obviously going to be an Intelligence-based class that will allow you to sling spells left and right. It's yet to be known how the class will differ from other magic-focused classes in Path of Exile 2 right now.
  • Warrior - This class is a trope in many RPGs. Based on its previous iterations, Warriors are typically melee-classes with access to a variety of offensive skills, as well as defensive buffs.
  • Druid - The Druid class is popular in many similar games including Diablo. In its previous iterations, Druid classes rely on magic, the power of nature, and shapeshifting into various animal forms. It will be exciting to see these in action in Path of Exile 2.

On top of these, the other returning classes are Marauder, Duelist, Ranger, Shadow, Witch, and Templar.

Other Progression Mechanics

The character class system is already huge enough on its own and it offers a lot in terms of variety. However, there are other things that will help you build your own perfect killing machine in Path of Exile 2.

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Skill Gem Changes

Path of Exile 2 introduces a revolutionary skill system featuring 240 Skill Gems, comprising 40 Active Skills and 200 Support Gems designed to modify their behavior. The new Skill Gem system allows for a seamless integration of Support Gems directly into Skill Gems, eliminating the frustration of the previous system in Path of Exile 1 that required six-linking items. With this innovation, players can now effortlessly six-link every skill their character utilizes, offering unprecedented flexibility in creating the perfect build.

Unlike the cooldown-dependent mechanics in the predecessor, skills in Path of Exile 2 embrace a reactive play style. Players are no longer compelled to follow rigid rotations; instead, they can actively use their skills against bosses. This paradigm shift is achieved through a completely revamped Skill system, alterations to Support Gems, the introduction of Dual Specializations, and the incorporation of a Spirit system.


Character progression begins with 9 Skill sockets, and each Skill Gem has its dedicated socket. The number of support sockets a gem possesses can be increased through upgrades, with each subsequent enhancement becoming progressively rarer. This ensures that one skill does not outpace another in terms of the number of sockets. As players advance, their skills grow simultaneously, maintaining a balanced progression. While the color of sockets is still determined using Chromatic Orbs, the process is now more deterministic, requiring 2 Chromatic Orbs to obtain the desired color.

Support Gems no longer provide direct damage boosts; instead, they serve to customize the role and mechanics of a skill. Not every Support Gem is meant for every skill in a build; some may be reserved for Passive or Spirit Reservations. Returning favorites from the previous game will have a renewed focus on altering the role of a skill, and Support Gems offering offensive benefits will be subject to restrictions that introduce conditions, adding depth to skill customization in Path of Exile 2.

Passive Skill Changes

The renowned Passive Skill Tree in Path of Exile makes a triumphant return, offering over 1500 Passive Skills that empower players to completely customize their gameplay experience. The latest iteration introduces dual specialization, allowing players to allocate Passive Skill points to two different sets of weapons. These Passives come into play whenever the corresponding weapon or skill type is utilized, enabling players to specialize in multiple areas without incurring opportunity costs.

The Dual Specialization feature permits the differentiation of builds between two weapon sets and a shapeshift form. Diverse Passives provide players with the means to fully capitalize on two weapon types, exploit different elemental affinities, or emphasize distinct combat focuses. Upon transformation, a unique Passive Tree becomes active. While swapping specializations incurs a small time cost, the level of flexibility it grants is not without its associated resource investment. This innovative feature allows players to be more resilient in one specialization and deal more area-of-effect damage in another, presenting a dynamic approach to character customization. The only trade-off is the requirement to find two compatible weapons that synergize effectively.

Dual Specialization also extends its influence to Reservation effects. In one specialization, players can set up scenarios such as Cast on Shock triggering an area-of-effect for Spark. In the second set, a Cast on Crit effect can be tailored for a single-target Arc skill. Players can seamlessly switch between specializations based on the situation, and when transitioning to the second specialization, Reservations are automatically enabled. This multifaceted system enhances strategic depth, offering players an unprecedented level of control and adaptability in shaping their character's capabilities in Path of Exile.

New Items

Path of Exile 2 introduces an expansive array of 700 base types of items, each accompanied by its own unique counterpart waiting to be discovered. Among the noteworthy additions are new weapon categories such as Crossbows, Spears, and Flails, adding diversity to the arsenal available to players. Additionally, support items like Traps and Focuses, along with a redesigned version of Sceptres, further enrich the itemization landscape. This comprehensive expansion ensures that players will encounter a wealth of distinct items, encouraging exploration and experimentation.


On your end as a player, this only means that you have access to more items to use for your build. It will be pretty exciting to see how all of these play out once the game releases.

Ready To Build Your Character?

Path of Exile 2's character progression system is undoubtedly bigger and better than in the first game. We'll have access and get a taste of these changes once the closed beta of the game launched in June 7, 2024.

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