Path of Exile Skill gems
At the start of POE, you wake up stranded on a beach with nothing much to fend for yourself. Depending on your build you quickly find a weapon with an empty socket that you can fill with a gem. These gems are the core of the game’s skills system, you don’t get skill by levelling up as is the case in games like Diablo but by finding new gems. To be more precise, leveling up only gives you access to passive skills that we are going to cover in a separate article. In order to unlock active skills, which give you access to a large array of abilities such as new physical or magical attacks, you will need to collect and equip active skill gems and/or support skill gems.
In Path of Exile there are currently 276 active skill gems and 177 support skill gems that you can use to improve your active skills. There are several ways to get new gems throughout the game. You can get new gems by:
· Earning them as a quest reward;
· Buying them from town vendors after you complete specific quests;
· Using vendor recipes;
· Picking them as random drops from monsters, chests and strongboxes in the different zones;
· Turning in specific sets of divination cards;
· Using beastcrafting recipe;
· Corrupting regular skill gems in order to get a Vaal skill gem (you can also get those from Vaal vessels found in corrupted areas).
Once you equip a gem in an equipped piece of gear, it will start leveling up as you earn experience. Your equipped gems will gain 10% of all the experience your character earn in the game. When you reach the required amount of experience you will have the opportunity to level up the gem by clicking the level-up icon. Leveling up a gem will improve the potency of the abilities it grants you, however, it will increase the equip requirements for that gem and the mana cost for using the active skill the gem grants you. The level cap for your gem is 20 even if it is possible to pass that cap.
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