Is Path of Exile Worth Playing in 2021?

Lorded as, potentially, the greatest action role-playing game on the market, Path of Exile has seen colossal changes since 2013. From expanding its endgame almost exponentially to continually adding new items and cosmetics, the title from Grinding Gear Games has solidified its position at the forefront of the genre. However, with Path of Exile 2 on the (very) distant horizon, some may wonder whether the current game’s worth diving into, or, indeed, coming back to. And, well, as it is free there’s really nothing stopping you.

But if you need some convincing, we’ll give it a shot.

It Has A Colossal Amount of Endgame Content

Endgame always means different things for different games but like with most MMOs, the endgame of Path of Exile is part of (if not the majority of) what the game has to offer.

After reaching the main game’s 8th act, players will begin receiving map drops, which will allow you to access the many worlds in The Atlas of Worlds. These varied dungeons house unique, generated zones chock-full of monsters and plenty of tasty loot.

On top of this, earlier this year the expansion Echoes of the Atlas was released, adding further depth to the endgame.

It’s also worth noting that this expansion saw player counts saw, which have steadied out at average counts of 45,000 players since—some of the best numbers the game has seen since launch.

If you are diving into Path of Exile for the first time and want to avoid most of the grinding, you can pick up some PoE Orbs to help accelerate your gameplay.

Frequently Changing Leagues

Four times a year, Path of Exile releases a new league. These leagues are essentially different worlds and servers which introduce new mechanics, unique challenges and allow players to experience the game in a whole new way.

As these are so frequent, it helps the game stay fresh. 

Incredible Customisation

From the formidably diverse skill trees to each and every piece of equipment you slap onto your character, Path of Exile has a near-unrivalled level of player customisation. The majority of this customisation will come from skill gems, which can be attached to gear in order to help superpower your build.

True Free to Play

While many games label themselves as free to play, only a handful meaningfully stick by that promise. Path of Exile is one such game. Developer Grinding Gear Games make their money by relying on in-game cosmetic microtransactions—alongside some optional quality of life improvements players can purchase which help with, for example, inventory management.

Tonnes of Existing Content

If you are a new player coming to Path of Exile, you’re in for a treat. Being live for 8 years, the game has accumulated an incredibly backlog of content—both in regard to the early game and endgame.

From the aforementioned maps and Leagues to “Delve” and “Labyrinth” the in-game content is colossal. But to only mention those elements would be to miss the point—the vast choice of classes, each with incredible levels of customisation mean that you will not only have a wealth of content to explore but a whole array of ways in which to do so.

An Active Community—Old and New

As previously mentioned, over the past few months record numbers of players have been flocking to the game. This includes old players returning to the game thanks to the new expansion, but it also includes a whole lot of new players as well. This has made the Path of Exile community more vibrant than, well, almost ever.

Due to its age and the countless players who have progressed through the game to date, there is also a wealth of helpful community-created content regarding the game. This ranges from build-making guides to shop indexer sites and guides for pretty much anything you’d be looking for.

And, as with any online game, the community can make or break the experience—fortunately the alive and dedicated community found within Path of Fire make it a great experience.

Get Yourself Hyped of Path of Exile 2

Now we’re not going to get your hopes up. It’s quite clear that Path of Exile 2 isn’t going live this year—with studio head Chris Wilson explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the New Zealand studio. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself excited for what a great experience that game may well be. Meaning that if you’re an old-time player who hasn’t picked up Path of Exile in a while, or if you’ve never picked it up at all, now is a great time to get into it to give yourself enough time to prepare for the sequel.

While we can give you a wealth of reasons you should play Path of Exile in 2021, there’s one sure-fire way to know whether it’s the game for you—and that’s playing it yourself. Fortunately, given that it is totally free to play there is nothing to stop you. So, go ahead, give it a go. If you’ve made it this far, you’re unlikely to regret it.

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