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Skills

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Active Skills are abilities which an exile activates by using an equipped Skill Gem, they are controlled by mouse or keyboard events. They take mana and grant an immediate effect. They are not Passive Skills, constant effects which are mainly earned through character levelling.

Gems

All Active Skills are contained in portable gems which must be equipped in gem sockets before their use. Support Gems augment these skills when the gems are linked.

Gem Experience

When a gem is close to levelling up, a bar pops up at the right hand side of the screen, showing the experience progress of that gem.

Gems gain experience and levels alongside the character wearing them. For all the experience the exile receives, a gem gains its own additional experience at 10% of that amount. Additional gems do not share that experience, but gain their own 10%. Gem experience is not restricted by player level boundaries, so a high level characters might not gain experience from low level enemies, but the gem will continue to gain the 10% it normally would. The experience required for each gem level tracks the requirement for the corresponding character level closely until gem level 15, at which point the gem experience required begins to climb much more rapidly. Gems do not need to be utilized for them to gain experience, only equipped. Gems equipped in both weapons slots gain experience, though only the currently active weapon slot's skills can be used.

Once a gem has enough experience to level up, it will stop gaining experience and a level-up icon will appear on the right of the screen and in the inventory menu. Left-clicking it will level up the gem, right-clicking the icon will hide it on the side of the screen, but it will still be accessible in the inventory menu. Not levelling up a gem is useful in some situations.

As gems level up, the abilities they grant get better, but the requirements to equip them also increase, as well as the mana cost for active skills. Each gem level, the exile must have both the attribute corresponding to gem colour and a character level high enough to meet its increased requirements. If a gem gains enough experience to level up, but the exile currently does not meet the requirements, the level-up icon will appear greyed out and not be useable until the requirements are met. For specifics, see the lists of Active Skills and Support Gems below.

Gems may be traded like normal items and they will retain their experience.

Exceeding the level cap

Generally, level 20 is the maximum level a gem can get by gathering experience. There are, however, ways to increase the level of a gem beyond 20; either by placing them in certain items with the modifier +1 to Level of Gems in this item, corrupting them or linking them with the support gem Empower. By combining these three methods, the level of a skill gem can get as high as level 28. To do this, you need an item, for example a bow, with the modifiers +1 to Level of Gems in this item and +2 to Level of Bow Gems in this item. Then, place a corrupted level 21 bow skill gem like Lightning Arrow in a socket of the bow. Lightning Arrow is now level 24. Now link it with a corrupted level 4 Empower. A level 4 Empower increases the level of linked skill gems by 3, but since Empower is affected by the +1 to Level of Gems in this item mod, is actually level 5. A level 5 Empower increased the level of linked skill gems by 4. So we get a level 28 Lighting Arrow. Note that it is not possible for every skill gem to get to level 28.

Lastly, there are three gems that only have three experience levels:

Sockets

An example of a bow with three linked sockets; two of which are occupied by skill gems.

Each gem must be set in a socket corresponding to the gem's colour. Sockets can be found on all Armour and Weapons (except for Kaom's HeartKaom's Heart
Glorious Plate
Armour: 553
Requires Level 68, 191 StrHas no Sockets
+500 to maximum Life
(20 to 40)% increased Fire Damage
The warrior who
fears will fall.
, which has no sockets) and can hold either active skill gems or support gems.

Orbs can modify the sockets in items.

  • Chromatic OrbChromatic Orb
    Stack Size: 20Reforges the colour of sockets on an itemRight click this item then left click a socketed item to apply it.
    Shift click to unstack.
    - Reforges the colour of sockets on an item.
  • Jeweller's OrbJeweller's Orb
    Stack Size: 20Reforges the number of sockets on an itemRight click this item then left click a socketed item to apply it. The item's quality value is consumed to increase the chances of obtaining more sockets.
    Shift click to unstack.
    - Reforges the number of sockets on an item.
  • Orb of FusingOrb of Fusing
    Stack Size: 20Reforges the links between sockets on an itemRight click this item then left click a socketed item to apply it. The item's quality value is consumed to increase the chances of obtaining more links.
    Shift click to unstack.
    - Reforges the links between sockets on an item.

The random choice of colour for sockets is weighted based upon which attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence) are required to use the item as well as how much of each attribute is required to use it. For example, a low strength requirement (low base-level) pure Strength armour has a higher probability of rolling off-color sockets than a high strength requirement (high base-level) pure Strength armour. This is also true for any Chromatic Orb reforging. The estimated probability of rolling an off-color socket color is roughly 10-20%, though this depends on the stat requirements of the item in question.

Support Gems

Support Gems are gems which modify the active skills they are linked to. To link support gems to active skill gems, they all need to be socketed in a segment of sockets which have lines between them. Many linked sockets can be used to give many skills a number of support bonuses.

For example, the two skills Fireball and Freezing Pulse may be linked with the support skill Elemental Proliferation in a three linked item, or Freezing Pulse may be replaced by Chance to Ignite to enhance the Fireball even more.

This is why rare maximum of "6L" or six-linked-socket items are so powerful, they can link up to 5 Support Gems to 1 Active Skill.

  • One-handed and Shields up to 3 gems;
  • Helmets, Gloves, Boots and Fishing rods can have up to 4 gems;
  • Chest armor up to 6 gems;
  • Two-handed weapons up to 6 gems.

You cannot support skill with more than one copy of each support gem. If you place more than one of any support gem linked to skill gem, only top-level will work.

Level Requirement for Sockets

The maximum amount of sockets (and therefore also the amount of links) possible on an item is determined by its item level. The higher the item level is, more sockets can be added. The ilevel required for a number of sockets is [1]:

Number of sockets Minimum item level First vendor
2 1 Normal, Act 1
3 15 Normal, Act 1
4 28 Normal, Act 3
5 35 Normal, Act 3
6 50 Cruel, Act 3

Starting weapons are an exception; they are item level 1 with three sockets (always three different colours). Tabula RasaTabula Rasa
Simple Robe
always has 6 linked white sockets. Items from Strongboxes with the "additional socket" suffix can also exceed these limitations.

Corrupted Gems

Like most items, gems can be corrupted using a Vaal OrbVaal Orb
Stack Size: 10Corrupts an item, modifying it unpredictablyRight click this item then left click an item to corrupt it. Corrupted items cannot be modified again.
Shift click to unstack.
. Corruption on gems can potentially lift the level or quality percentage of a gem above the maximum of 20.

Vaal Skill Gems

These skill gems can be acquired in corrupted areas or by using a Vaal OrbVaal Orb
Stack Size: 10Corrupts an item, modifying it unpredictablyRight click this item then left click an item to corrupt it. Corrupted items cannot be modified again.
Shift click to unstack.
on a normal skill gem. These skills are similar to their uncorrupted versions but have new effects that radically change their utility in combat.

Vaal skills must be charged before each use by collecting souls. Each slain enemy gives one soul to each equipped gem, similar to the flask system. Collected souls do not transfer between zone instances - changing zones or resetting the instance will start a new soul counter, but returning to a prior instance will restore the souls you left with. Vaal skill gems in a second weapon set do not receive souls.

Sorted By Attribute

Vaal Skills have requirements based on each of the three main attributes, and can be easily identified by the attribute colour.

Strength Skills Lvl. Dex. Int. Charges
Vaal Glacial Hammer 1 12, 18, 24
Vaal Ground Slam 1 32, 48, 64
Vaal Immortal Call 24 48, 72, 96
Vaal Lightning Strike 10 32, 48, 64
Vaal Molten Shell 10 32, 48, 64
Dexterity Skills Lvl. Str. Int. Charges
Vaal Burning Arrow 1 12, 18, 24
Vaal Cyclone 24 yes 32, 48, 64
Vaal Detonate Dead 2 yes 48, 72, 96
Vaal Double Strike 1 32, 48, 64
Vaal Grace 31 24, 36, 48
Vaal Haste 4 16, 24, 32
Vaal Rain of Arrows 4 16, 24, 32
Vaal Reave 1 yes 16, 24, 32
Vaal Spectral Throw 1 yes 8, 12, 16
Intelligence Skills Lvl. Str. Dex. Charges
Vaal Arc 19 32, 48, 64
Vaal Clarity 10 16, 24, 32
Vaal Cold Snap 4 32, 48, 64
Vaal Discipline 31 24, 36, 48
Vaal Fireball 1 32, 48, 64
Vaal Flameblast 10 16, 24, 32
Vaal Ice Nova 1 32, 48, 64
Vaal Lightning Trap 10 yes 16, 24, 32
Vaal Lightning Warp 24 16, 24, 32
Vaal Power Siphon 10 16, 24, 32
Vaal Righteous Fire 19 yes 16, 24, 32
Vaal Spark 1 48, 72, 96
Vaal Storm Call 4 8, 12, 16
Vaal Summon Skeletons 10 32, 48, 64

Active Skills

Sorted By Attribute

Active Skills have requirements based on each of the three main Attributes, and can be easily identified by the attribute colour.


Strength Skills Lvl. Dex. Int.
Anger 10 yes
Animate Guardian 10 yes
Cleave 1 yes
Decoy Totem 4
Determination 31
Devouring Totem 31
Dominating Blow 24 yes
Enduring Cry 19
Flame Totem 31 yes
Glacial Hammer 1
Ground Slam 1
Heavy Strike 1
Herald of Ash 24 yes
Immortal Call 24
Infernal Blow 4
Leap Slam 10
Lightning Strike 10
Molten Shell 10
Molten Strike 1
Punishment 19 yes
Purity of Fire 10 yes
Rejuvenation Totem 19
Searing Bond 24 yes
Shield Charge 4
Shockwave Totem 10
Sweep 2
Vitality 24
Warlord's Mark 19
Dexterity Skills Lvl. Str. Int.
Animate Weapon 1 yes
Arctic Armour 10 yes
Barrage 10
Bear Trap 4
Blood Rage 19
Burning Arrow 1
Cyclone 24 yes
Desecrate 19 yes
Detonate Dead 2 yes
Double Strike 1
Dual Strike 1 yes
Elemental Hit 19
Ethereal Knives 4 yes
Explosive Arrow 19
Fire Trap 1 yes
Flicker Strike 10
Freeze Mine 10 yes
Frenzy 19
Grace 31
Haste 31
Hatred 10 yes
Herald of Ice 24 yes
Ice Shot 4
Lightning Arrow 10
Poacher's Mark 19
Poison Arrow 2
Projectile Weakness 19
Puncture 10 yes
Purity of Ice 10 yes
Rain of Arrows 4
Reave 1 yes
Smoke Mine 19 yes
Spectral Throw 1
Split Arrow 1
Temporal Chains 19 yes
Tornado Shot 24
Viper Strike 4
Whirling Blades 4 yes
Intelligence Skills Lvl. Str. Dex.
Arc 19
Arctic Breath 31 yes
Assassin's Mark 19
Ball Lightning 31
Bone Offering 24
Clarity 10
Cold Snap 4
Conductivity 19
Conversion Trap 24 yes
Convocation 19
Critical Weakness 19 yes
Discharge 24
Discipline 31
Elemental Weakness 19
Enfeeble 19
Fireball 1
Firestorm 4
Flameblast 10
Flame Surge 19
Flammability 19 yes
Flesh Offering 24
Freezing Pulse 1
Frost Wall 19
Frostbite 19 yes
Glacial Cascade 10
Ice Nova 1
Ice Spear 4
Incinerate 10
Lightning Trap 10 yes
Lightning Warp 24
Power Siphon 10
Purity of Elements 31 yes
Purity of Lightning 10
Raise Spectre 19
Raise Zombie 1
Righteous Fire 19 yes
Shock Nova 10
Spark 1
Storm Call 4
Summon Raging Spirit 4
Summon Skeletons 10
Tempest Shield 10 yes
Vulnerability 24
Wrath 10
Other Skills Lvl.
Portal 10

Support Gems

You cannot support skill with more than one copy of each support gem. If you place more than one of any support gem linked to skill gem, only top-level will work.

For more information on Support Gems, refer to the full page.

Strength Support Gems Lvl. Dex. Int. MCM
Added Fire Damage 12 120%
Blood Magic 24 245%*
Cast on Melee Kill 19 yes 140%
Cast when Damage Taken 31 yes N/A
Cold to Fire 19 yes N/A
Empower 1 125%
Endurance Charge on Melee Stun 24 110%
Fire Penetration 24 140%
Generosity 24 yes N/A
Increased Burning Damage 31 yes 120%
Increased Duration 24 150%
Iron Grip 24 N/A
Iron Will 15 N/A
Item Quantity 24 N/A
Knockback 31 N/A
Life Gain on Hit 12 150%
Life Leech 31 130%
Melee Damage on Full Life 19 130%
Melee Physical Damage 31 140%
Melee Splash 19 160%
Multistrike 19 yes 180%
Ranged Attack Totem 31 yes 250%
Reduced Duration 24 120%
Reduced Mana 31 90%*
Spell Totem 31 yes 250%
Stun 24 N/A
Weapon Elemental Damage 12 yes 150%
Dexterity Support Gems Lvl. Str. Int. MCM
Added Cold Damage 12 130%
Additional Accuracy 12 yes N/A
Blind 24 N/A
Block Chance Reduction 19 yes 125%
Cast On Critical Strike 31 yes 140%
Cast on Death 19 yes N/A
Chain 31 175%
Chance to Flee 15 yes N/A
Cold Penetration 24 150%
Culling Strike 24 110%
Enhance 1 125%
Faster Attacks 31 115%
Faster Projectiles 12 110%
Fork 12 115%
Greater Multiple Projectiles 31 165%
Lesser Multiple Projectiles 19 140%
Mana Leech 31 N/A
Multiple Traps 24 yes 160%
Physical Projectile Attack Damage 31 120%
Pierce 19 110%
Point Blank 24 120%
Slower Projectiles 24 140%
Trap 24 yes 140%
Intelligence Support Gems Lvl. Str. Dex. MCM
Added Chaos Damage 31 140%
Added Lightning Damage 12 130%
Cast when Stunned 24 yes N/A
Chance to Ignite 19 110%
Concentrated Effect 31 160%
Curse on Hit 24 N/A
Elemental Proliferation 24 140%
Enlighten 1 125%
Faster Casting 31 120%
Increased Area of Effect 31 150%
Increased Critical Damage 12 130%
Increased Critical Strikes 31 115%
Item Rarity 24 N/A
Lightning Penetration 24 150%
Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance 19 yes 140%
Minion Damage 19 150%
Minion Life 12 140%
Minion Speed 24 150%
Power Charge On Critical 19 110%
Remote Mine 31 yes 150%
Spell Echo 31 130%

*Decreases with higher gem levels

For a list of skills not separated by attribute, see List of skills

References

  1. h0b0_lemnade (April 29, 2012 11:45 PM). "change (modification number) sockets, colour of sockets". Path of Exile Forum. Retrieved March 16, 2013‎.