Active skill

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An overview of skills

Active skills are abilities which an exile activates by using an equipped skill gem; they are controlled by mouse or keyboard events. Active skills cost mana and grant an immediate effect. They are not passive skills, which are constant effects and mainly earned through character levelling.

Gems

All active skills are contained in portable gems which must be equipped in item sockets before their use. Support gems augment these skills when the gems are linked. There are currently 218 different skill gems total in the game, including 28 Vaal Gems.

Obtaining Gems

There are several methods of obtaining skills and support gems:

  • Earned through a quest reward (see quest reward gems).
  • Purchased from town vendors once a certain quest is complete.
  • Vendor Recipe (see vendor recipe system.
  • Random drop from monster/chest.
  • Random offer from a master.
  • Gems can be corrupted using a Vaal Orb.
  • Vaal Skill Gem from Vaal Vessel in corrupted area.
  • from a strongbox with a base type "Jeweller's"
  • from a strongbox with a suffix "of Augmentation"
  • from a strongbox with a suffix "of Corruption"
  • from a strongbox with a suffix "of Facets"

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 Paragon's (1 to Level of Socketed Gems), 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 Paragon's (1 to Level of Socketed Gems) and Sharpshooter's (2 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems). 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 Paragon's (1 to Level of Socketed Gems) 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:

Unique Jewels That Alter Gem Experience Gain

NameBase ItemLimitRadiusModifiers
Mutated Growth
Crimson Jewel1N/A
10% increased Experience Gain of Corrupted Gems
Corrupted

Corruption

Like most items, gems can be corrupted using a Vaal OrbVaal OrbStack 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. Corruption can also convert a gem into its Vaal skill equivalent, if one exists.

Active Skills

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.
Abyssal Cry 34
Anger 24
yes
Animate Guardian 28
yes
Cleave 1
yes
Decoy Totem 4
Determination 24
Devouring Totem 4
Dominating Blow 28
yes
Enduring Cry 16
Flame Totem 4
yes
Glacial Hammer 1
Ground Slam 1
Heavy Strike 1
Herald of Ash 16
yes
Ice Crash 28
yes
Immortal Call 34
Infernal Blow 1
Leap Slam 10
Molten Shell 4
Molten Strike 1
Punishment 24
yes
Purity of Fire 24
yes
Rallying Cry 10
Reckoning 4
Rejuvenation Totem 4
Searing Bond 12
yes
Shield Charge 10
Shockwave Totem 28
Static Strike 12
yes
Summon Flame Golem 34
yes
Sweep 12
Vengeance 24
Vigilant Strike 4
yes
Vitality 24
Warlord's Mark 24
Dexterity Skills Lvl. Str. Int.
Animate Weapon 4
yes
Arctic Armour 16
yes
Barrage 12
Bear Trap 4
Blade Vortex 12
Bladefall 28
Blast Rain 28
Blink Arrow 10
Blood Rage 16
Burning Arrow 1
Caustic Arrow 4
Cyclone 28
yes
Desecrate 16
yes
Detonate Dead 4
yes
Double Strike 1
Dual Strike 1
yes
Elemental Hit 1
Ethereal Knives 1
yes
Explosive Arrow 28
Fire Trap 1
yes
Flicker Strike 10
Freeze Mine 10
yes
Frenzy 16
Frost Blades 1
Grace 24
Haste 24
Hatred 24
yes
Herald of Ice 16
yes
Ice Shot 1
Lightning Arrow 12
Lightning Strike 12
Mirror Arrow 10
Phase Run 34
Poacher's Mark 24
Projectile Weakness 24
Puncture 4
yes
Purity of Ice 24
yes
Rain of Arrows 12
Reave 12
yes
Riposte 4
Shrapnel Shot 1
Siege Ballista 4
Smoke Mine 10
yes
Spectral Throw 1
yes
Split Arrow 1
Summon Ice Golem 34
yes
Temporal Chains 24
yes
Tornado Shot 28
Viper Strike 1
Whirling Blades 10
yes
Wild Strike 28
yes
Intelligence Skills Lvl. Str. Dex.
Arc 12
Arctic Breath 28
yes
Assassin's Mark 24
yes
Ball Lightning 28
Bone Offering 12
Clarity 10
Cold Snap 4
Conductivity 24
Contagion 4
yes
Conversion Trap 4
yes
Convocation 24
Discharge 28
Discipline 24
Elemental Weakness 24
Enfeeble 24
Essence Drain 12
yes
Fire Nova Mine 12
Fireball 1
Firestorm 12
Flame Dash 10
Flame Surge 12
Flameblast 28
Flammability 24
yes
Flesh Offering 12
Freezing Pulse 1
Frost Wall 4
Frostbite 24
yes
Glacial Cascade 28
Herald of Thunder 16
Ice Nova 12
Ice Spear 12
Incinerate 12
Kinetic Blast 28
Lightning Tendrils 1
Lightning Trap 12
yes
Lightning Warp 10
Magma Orb 1
Power Siphon 12
Purity of Elements 24
yes
Purity of Lightning 24
Raise Spectre 28
Raise Zombie 1
Righteous Fire 16
yes
Shock Nova 28
Spark 1
Storm Call 12
Summon Chaos Golem 34
Summon Raging Spirit 4
Summon Skeletons 10
Tempest Shield 16
yes
Vulnerability 24
Wither 10
Wrath 24
Other Skills Lvl.
Detonate Mines 8
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, please refer to the full page.

Strength Support Gems Lvl. Dex. Int. MCM
Added Fire Damage 8 120%
Blood Magic 31 245%*
Bloodlust 18 125%
Cast on Melee Kill 38
yes
140%
Cast when Damage Taken 38
yes
N/A
Cold to Fire 18
yes
110%
Empower 1 125%
Endurance Charge on Melee Stun 18 110%
Fire Penetration 31 140%
Fortify 31 110%
Generosity 31
yes
N/A
Increased Burning Damage 31
yes
120%
Increased Duration 31 140%
Iron Grip 18 N/A
Iron Will 18 N/A
Item Quantity 24 N/A
Knockback 8 N/A
Less Duration 31 120%
Life Gain on Hit 8 150%
Life Leech 31 130%
Melee Damage on Full Life 18 130%
Melee Physical Damage 18 140%
Melee Splash 8 160%
Multistrike 38
yes
180%
Ranged Attack Totem 8
yes
200%
Reduced Mana 31 N/A
Spell Totem 8
yes
200%
Stun 8 N/A
Weapon Elemental Damage 18
yes
140%
Dexterity Support Gems Lvl. Str. Int. MCM
Added Cold Damage 8 130%
Additional Accuracy 8
yes
N/A
Blind 8 N/A
Block Chance Reduction 19
yes
N/A
Cast On Critical Strike 38
yes
140%
Cast on Death 38
yes
N/A
Chain 38 150%
Chance to Flee 8
yes
N/A
Cold Penetration 31 140%
Culling Strike 18 110%
Enhance 1 115%
Faster Attacks 18 115%
Faster Projectiles 31 110%
Fork 31 115%
Greater Multiple Projectiles 38 165%
Hypothermia 31 120%
Ice Bite 31 120%
Lesser Multiple Projectiles 8 140%
Mana Leech 31 N/A
Multiple Traps 8
yes
160%
Physical Projectile Attack Damage 18 120%
Pierce 31 110%
Point Blank 18 120%
Poison 31 125%
Rapid Decay 31 125%
Slower Projectiles 31 140%
Trap 8
yes
140%
Trap and Mine Damage 18
yes
130%
Void Manipulation 8 120%
Intelligence Support Gems Lvl. Str. Dex. MCM
Added Chaos Damage 31 130%
Added Lightning Damage 8 130%
Blasphemy 38 N/A*
Cast when Stunned 38
yes
N/A
Chance to Ignite 31 110%
Concentrated Effect 18 140%
Controlled Destruction 18 130%
Curse on Hit 38 N/A
Elemental Proliferation 38 140%
Enlighten 1 100%*
Faster Casting 18 120%
Increased Area of Effect 38 140%
Increased Critical Damage 18 130%
Increased Critical Strikes 8 115%
Innervate 31 120%
Item Rarity 31 N/A
Lightning Penetration 31 140%
Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance 31
yes
140%
Minion Damage 8 130%
Minion Life 18 140%
Minion Speed 18 150%
Physical to Lightning 18
yes
110%
Power Charge On Critical 18 110%
Remote Mine 8
yes
150%
Spell Echo 38 140%

*Decreases with higher gem levels

Vaal Skill Gems

These skill gems can be acquired in corrupted areas or by using a Vaal OrbVaal OrbStack 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.

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 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 Lightning Strike 10
yes
32, 48, 64
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 24, 32, 48
Vaal Righteous Fire 19
yes
16, 24, 32
Vaal Spark 1 48, 72, 96
Vaal Storm Call 4 16, 24, 32
Vaal Summon Skeletons 10 32, 48, 64

See also

References