Path of Exile Leveling Guide

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Leveling in any game is one of the most important aspects for new players, as everyone always wants to get to the endgame as fast as possible. Path of Exile can be played through pretty quickly if you know what you’re doing, but new players might have a hard time wrapping their heads around some of the game’s aspects. We already published a beginners guide that will help you understand many intricacies of this exciting game, and now we’re going to help you get your characters to the endgame with this Path of Exile leveling guide.

In Path of Exile grinding experience in Normal (easiest) difficulty is pretty pointless. You’re gaining levels extremely fast and can finish it quite easily without any item or level grinding required. By the time you get to Cruel (second) difficulty you should be over level 30 and you can start farming the first few areas of Act I without much trouble.

Afterwards, you should always try to be at the very least the same level as monsters in a particular area otherwise progression might get difficult, especially if you prefer playing solo and not in groups. Some skill tree builds also aren’t as strong until level 50 or so (dual totems or Freezing Pulse for example) so it’s highly recommended to stay a few levels above the mobs in the zone you’re in. You can take a look at the table below for a quick overview of the monster levels in every zone.

Zone Normal Cruel Merciless Waypoint*
Act I
Twilight Strand 1 33 52 Yes
Terraces 2 33 52
Tidal Island 3 36 58
Mud Flats 4 34 52 Yes
Fetid Pool 5 39 58
Submerged Passage 5 34 53 Yes
Flooded Depths 6 37 58
The Ledge 7 35 53 Yes
The Rocky Climb 8 36 54 Yes
Prison 9 36 54 Yes (Lower)
The Prisoner’s Gate 11 37 55 Yes
The Ship Graveyard 12 38 55 Yes
Ship Cave 13 39 59
The Coves 13 39 55
Caverns of Wrath 14 39 55 Yes
Act II
Old Fields 16 41 57
River Crossings 16 41 57
The Cave 17 42 61
Crossroads 17 42 57 Yes
Fellshrine Ruins 18 42 59
Dark Forest 18 42 57 Yes
The Weaver’s Chambers 20 43 58
Western Forest 21 44 58 Yes
Church Dungeon 21 43 60 Yes (lvl 1)
Chamber of Sins 20 43 58 Yes (lvl 2)
Broken Bridge 21 44 58 Yes
Vaal Ruins 21 44 58 Yes
Pools and Streams 23 45 59 Yes
Dread Thicket 24 47 60
Waterfall Cave 25 46 60 Yes
The City of Sarn 26 47 61 Yes
Sarn Slums 27 47 61 Yes
Crematorium 28 47 62
Warehouses 29 49 62 Yes (sewers)
Marketplace 29 49 62 Yes
The Catacombs 30 50 67
Battlefront 30 50 62 Yes
Solaris Temple 31 50 63 Yes (lvl 3)
The Docks 32 50 63 Yes
Sewers Aqueduct 32 51 65
Barracks 32 51 66 Yes
Lunaris Temple 33 51 66/67/68 Yes (lvl 2)

Another note, if you’re looking for specific quest walkthroughs read this article.

Where to grind levels?

Below are my absolutely favorite areas to grind experience, so if you’re looking to gain some quick levels I suggest you do it here.

Act I best leveling area: The Ledge

Act I: The Ledge
Act I: The Ledge

Probably the best of all areas, The Ledge is really straightforward. Monsters include mostly Skeletons which are slow and really easy to mow down either one by one or with AoE skills. There’s also a waypoint in the middle of the zone so you don’t have to spend too many Portal Scrolls if you wish to clear your inventory.

Tip: the “sharp” tip of the waypoint always points towards Kuduku and the next area (Rocky Climb).

In The Ledge I recommend you simply run from one end to another and clear everything along the way. Reset the instance and repeat. Really easy, fast, and like everything else in Path of Exile best done in groups.

Act II best leveling area: Fellshrine Ruins

Act II: Fellshrine Ruins
Act II: Fellshrine Ruins

There are actually a few areas which are equally good for grinding levels in Act II, but Fellshrine Ruins is probably my favorite zone. Take a waypoint to Church Dungeon Level 1, and take the exit to Fellshrine Ruins immediately next to it. In Fellshrine I found it best to simply follow the road, and once you get to Crossroads exit just reset the instance. Rinse and repeat. If you don’t have Church Dungeon waypoints go to Crossroads and just follow the road east.

Monsters in Fellshrine mostly include skeletons and zombies which are both extremely easy to kill, and when you come across Hulking Titans you can easily skip them if you find them hard to kill.

Alternatively Church Dungeon, Western Forest, Pools and Streams and Pyramid are all just as good for farming, so take your pick.

Act III best leveling area: The Docks

Act III: The Docks
Act III: The Docks

Without a doubt The Docks is the best area for experience grinds in Act III on any difficulty. Another area littered with skeletons and zombies who won’t cause you any trouble. There’s plenty of room for kiting, and ranged classes will certainly enjoy killing monsters from safe spots over ledges.

If you’re level 30 or so after finishing Act II, press the magic “S” button and find a group for The Docks. You’ll be level 35 in just a bit over an hour, making progression through early Cruel difficulty much easier. If you’re trying to go on Merciless, you can easily farm this zone until level 60 if you wish and still get plenty of experience.

Endgame Leveling

If you really wanted to you can finish Merciless by the time you hit level 50, although there’s not much point. You can just open up Docks and farm there until you’re level 74 with ease. It’s the easiest area to farm, has decent drops so you can upgrade your equipment, and you can even get quite a few maps there to get you started. If you’re around level 62 you should still be getting almost 20% of your level by doing just one full Docks run which takes no longer than 10 minutes in the worst of groups. At level 73 if I remember correctly you’ll get about 8% of your level with one full run which is still a decent amount.

Before doing level 66 maps I would recommend you try and hit at least the same level in Docks: it’s extremely easy and even though it’s a grind, that’s what Path of Exile endgame looks like so you might as well get used to it. As for equipment and defenses you should try and max your elemental resistances and get at least 2,000 health (or 3,000 energy shield), otherwise you might end up dying far too often to continuously get experience.

Leveling really slows down after you hit 75, in which case you’ll want to do maps at least level 67, or find a group for Lunaris Temple. By the time you hit level 80 I’m sure you’ll already know what your preferred way of leveling is. Realistically you shouldn’t expect to hit level 100 anytime soon as it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, but in case you’re planning your character skill tree build you can expect to be level 90 at most.

General leveling tips:

  1. Try grouping up with other players if you’re having trouble progressing, or find a group that just grinds the same area over and over again and farm experience. Once you’re 3-4 levels above the monster’s level in a particular area you should have no problems clearing it alone.
  2. Farming experience in groups for a couple of hours may be boring, but it’s definitely better than dying constantly. Remember that dying on Cruel and Merciless difficulty levels will decrease your experience by 5% and 10% respectively, meaning you’ll eventually have to farm that XP anyway.
  3. Also it doesn’t really matter what level you decide to go grind for experience, you will have to catch up in levels sooner or later. Simply progressing through quests in harder difficulties won’t give you enough experience points and you WILL have to grind. I suggest you do it early while you’re about the same level as monsters in order to maximize your experience gain and loot.
  4. On Cruel and Merciless difficulties try not to have a full XP bar before you engage bosses. In fact I recommend you go attempt to kill bosses just after you gained a level to make sure you lose as little as possible if (or rather when) you die.
  5. It’s always best, fastest and safest to do maps with a full group. If your defenses or damage is lacking don’t be afraid to run in and out of fights and play more passively and safely. Once you figure out you gain 1-3% XP for a full 66 map run dying and losing 10% of your experience is a significant amount of farming.

I do hope this post helps you at least a little bit to powerlevel your characters as quickly as possible, or at the very least make sure you know where to catch up with levels. If you have any other great areas for farming you like or other leveling tips be sure to post them in the comments below.

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