Path of Exile Builds Guides – Glossary of Common Game and Player Terms

Glossary of Common Game and Player Terms

Act:
A section of Path of Exile’s main story. Each act has a town, quests, and a story arc contained within it.

Act

Active Skill:
Any skill that performs an action is an active skill. Most skill gems provide you with an active skill.

Affix:
The modifiers (or mods) that are randomly assigned to items. A magic item can have two affixes; one prefix and one suffix. Most rare items can have six; three prefixes and three suffixes.

Ailment:
Bleeding, Ignite, Chill, Freeze, Shock and Poison. Ailments can be removed by certain flasks, or negated by items or passive skills.

Area of Effect:
The area in which a skill has an effect. A fireball’s explosion has a small area of effect, while the secondary effect of Earthquake has a large area of effect.

Armour:
The primary defensive stat from Strength-based equipment. Armour reduces the damage taken from physical attack and spell hits.

Ascendancy:
A specialised subclass unlocked via the Labyrinth.

Attack:
One of the main skill types. With few exceptions, attacks use your weapon to calculate damage. Any skill gem with the “Attack” tag is an attack. Attacks can be both ranged and melee, and items and passive skills can affect ranged attacks or melee attacks exclusively. Some attacks, such as Spectral Throw, use a melee weapon but are not considered melee.

Attributes:
Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence. Most items have an attribute requirement.

Aura:
A persistent field of an effect. If you step outside of an aura’s radius, you won’t be affected by it. Auras are also a specific set of skills that frequently reserve a portion of mana.

Beyond Demon:
A group of monsters that are summoned, under certain conditions, when many enemies are slain in close proximity.

Boss:
A strong unique enemy. Every non-unique map has one or more map bosses, and every act has one or more act bosses.

Breach:
Visible as a clawed hand reaching out of the ground. Breaches grow in size and fill with monsters for a period of time. The more monsters slain within a breach, the longer the breach will remain open and continue to grow in size.

Build:
The way a character is played or intended to be played. Eg. A Tornado Shot build uses Tornado shot as its primary skill, and most of the items and passive skills serve to improve the effectiveness of Tornado Shot.

Chaos:
One of the five damage types, along with Physical, Fire, Cold and Lightning. Chaos damage bypasses Energy Shield by default.

Character:
Usually refers to the Marauder, Duelist, Ranger, Shadow, Witch, Templar and Scion playable characters.

Charge:
May refer to one of several things: Frenzy, Endurance, and Power Charges, which can be gained from items or skills, and which grant significant boosts to damage with attack skills and attack/cast speed, damage reduction and resistances, and critical strike chance and spell damage respectively. Charge may also refer to Flask charges, which determine how many uses a flask has. Flask charges are regained primarily by slaying monsters. Charge can also reference the number of uses a skill has, such as trap skills or Vaal skills that can store enough souls for multiple uses.

Cold:
One of the five damage types, along with Fire, Lightning, Physical and Chaos. Cold damage can chill and freeze by default.

Corruption:
One of the mysterious forces that is causing the dead to rise and life to mutate on Wraeclast. Also refers to the act of using a Vaal Orb on an item to change its properties. A corrupted item cannot be further modified.

Crafting:
The act of changing or creating an item. This can be done through the use of the various Orbs, Essences and Forsaken Master crafting benches.

Currency:
Usually refers to the various Orb items such as the Chaos Orb.

Daily Mission:
Each Forsaken Master can offer you one quest per day from your hideout. Completing the Daily Mission awards much higher experience for that Master than normal.

Damage Over Time:
Damage that occurs over a period of time without a ‘hit’. Eg. Standing on burning ground, or the poison component of Viper Strike.

Defences:
Armour, Energy Shield and Evasion are the three main defences. These are found on most non-weapon equippable items.

Dexterity:
One of the three attributes, along with Strength and Intelligence. Dexterity passively grants some Accuracy and increases your Evasion.

Divination Card:
A type of item that can be turned in at Tasuni in Highgate for the reward written on the card. Each of these was designed by a Path of Exile supporter.

Energy Shield:
The primary defensive stat from Intelligence-based equipment. Energy Shield protects Life from all damage types except Chaos by default. Energy Shield also rapidly recovers after a period of taking no damage.

Equipment:
Weapons, shields, helmets, body armours, boots, gloves, rings, amulets, and belts all count as equipment.

Evasion:
The primary defensive stat from Dexterity-based equipment. Evasion provides a chance to ignore incoming attacks. Evasion provides no benefit against spells.

Exile:
Any NPC who was exiled from Oriath. Each of the player characters is also an Exile.

Fire:
One of the five damage types, along with Cold, Lightning, Physical and Chaos. Fire damage can ignite by default.

Flask:
An item type that sits in the flask slots and is used to gain some effect on the player character, such as restoring life or mana, or gaining a temporary buff. Flasks are refilled by slaying monsters, or returning to a town or hideout.

Forest Encampment:
The town in Act 2 that is sitting atop the river.

Gem:
May refer to Skill Gems or Support Gems. Not to be confused with Jewels.

Global Mod:
A mod which affects more than just the item it is on.

Guild:
A collection of players that have access to a shared chat channel and a shared stash. Guilds can also have Guild Tags, a sequence of letters that represents which guild they are a part of.

Hideout:
An area owned by the player that can house Forsaken Masters and crafting benches, and can be decorated and altered by the player. Hideouts are shared across all characters on the same league and account.

Hideout Decoration:
Any object that can be moved and placed within a hideout.

Highgate:
The town on Mount Veruso, first encountered in Act 4.

Implicit Mod:
The mod that appears above the randomly generated mods on an item. This is guaranteed by the basetype that the implicit is on, but can be changed by a few different sources. The most common way to change an implicit is by using a Vaal Orb (see Corruption).

Intelligence:
One of the three attributes, along with Strength and Dexterity. Intelligence passively grants some Mana and increases your Energy Shield.

Jewel:
An item that can be socketed in the passive tree.

Jewellery:
Usually refers to rings and amulets. Sometimes also includes belts and jewels.

Keystone:
One of the very large passive skills on the passive tree. Keystones drastically change the function of your character, and often come with a drawback.

Labyrinth:
A long, difficult dungeon that grants the player Ascendancy points upon completion. The layout changes every day.

Legacy:
Usually refers to items that have mods, mod values or other features that cannot be obtained through normal means anymore. May refer to the Legacy challenge league, which ran in 2017.

Level:
Players, Forsaken Masters and some items have levels, used to track the progress or strength of a range of features.

Life:
Determines whether your character is alive or dead. If your life falls to zero, you’re dead.

Lightning:
One of the five damage types, along with Fire, Cold, Physical and Chaos. Lightning damage can shock by default.

Link:
The bridge between two sockets on an item, that allows skill gems to be supported by support gems.

Lioneye’s Watch:
The remains of a fortress that now acts as the town in Act 1.

Local Mod:
Any mod that only affects the properties of the item it is on, and not the character as a whole.

Lucky:
A keyword that denotes that a mechanic that has some randomness will be checked twice, and the best outcome of the two checks will be used.

Magic:
One of the tiers of rarity. Things that are of Magic rarity are tinted or coloured blue.

Mana:
The primary resource for using skills, represented by the Blue orb on the UI.

Map:
Usually refers to the Map item type, which can be used in a Map Device to enter an area that is imbued with the mods that were present on the map when it was used. May also refer to the navigation tool on the UI.

Master:
Shorthand for Forsaken Master.

Mastercrafting:
Refers to the use of the various crafting benches available from the Forsaken Masters.

Melee:
Any attack which is not ranged. Typically very close-range.

Mine:
A stationary object that can be placed and detonated by the player.

Mirror:
Usually refers to Mirror of Kalandra, the rarest currency item. A Mirrored item cannot be modified.

Mod:
Short for Modifier. Anything that modifies an item, area or skill is a mod.

MTX:
Short for Microtransaction. Usually refers to the cosmetic effects for sale in the shop.

Normal:
One of the rarity tiers. Normal items have no special qualities and appear white or uncoloured.

Notable:
Passive skills that are smaller than keystones but larger than most other passives. Notables usually provide strong benefits.

NPC:
Short for non-player character. Includes any character that can be talked to or traded with, but usually doesn’t refer to enemies.

Oriath:
The small, sole-surviving city of the now defunct Sarn Empire. Each player character was exiled from Oriath.

Pantheon:
The powers obtained from major and minor gods are stored and selected on the Pantheon screen.

Party:
Any group of two or more players that have joined forces. Players in a party all gain experience from slain monsters if they’re close enough, and can chat to one another.

Passive Skill:
Anything you can assign a passive skill point to. Passive skills provide incremental benefits for the player character.

Phrecia:
The area surrounding Sarn, named for one of Sarn’s early emperors.

Physical:
One of the five damage types, along with Fire, Cold, Lightning, and Chaos. Physical damage has no special features by default.

Portal:
Created by using a Portal Scroll. Most portals take players to the nearest town.

Prefix:
One of the Affix categories. Prefixes are typically stronger than suffixes.

Projectile:
An attack or spell component which travels without being connected to the casting or attacking player.

Quality:
Improves the effectiveness of weapon, equipment, skill gems, support gems, and other items. Quality is usually limited to 20%.

Quest:
A task which either forwards the story or rewards the player upon completion. Questgivers are indicated by a yellow ‘!’ above their head.

Rare:
One of the rarity tiers. Rare items typically have up to six random mods. Rares are coloured or tinted yellow.

Rarity:
The term used to describe how many mods an item can have, or how strong an enemy is. There are four rarity tiers: Normal, Magic, Rare and Unique.

Recently:
A keyword which is short for “within the last four seconds”.

Resistance:
Used to calculate the amount of damage dealt or taken by sources of Fire, Cold, Lightning or Chaos damage.

Rogue Exile:
An enemy, usually clad in Microtransactions, that attacks with skills commonly used by players. Rogue Exiles drop an item from each equipment slot.

Sarn:
The capital city of the Eternal Empire, and the primary location for Act 3.

Skill Gem:
The source of most active skills. Skill gems, when socketed in weapons or armour, grant a skill. This skill can be augmented by linking the skill gem with a support gem.

Socket:
A slot where a Skill or Support gem can be placed in weapons or armour. The passive tree also has sockets, however these sockets can only hold jewels.

Spell:
One of the main skill types. Any skill gem with the “spell” or “cast” tag is a spell. Spells are unaffected by anything that affects attacks, unless an item or skill specifically says otherwise. Spells can create things that attack (such as Raise Zombie) but do not themselves count as attacks.

Stash:
The primary way to store items and pass them between characters is via the stash. The stash can be expanded by purchasing stash tabs in the microtransaction shop.

Strength:
One of the three attributes, along with Dexterity and Intelligence. Strength passively grants some life and melee physical damage.

Strongbox:
A special kind of chest that can be modified with Currency. Almost all strongboxes are guarded by several packs of monsters, and cannot be opened until those monsters have been slain.

Suffix:
One of the two main affix groups. Suffixes tend to be weaker than prefixes. On Magic items and monsters, suffixes can be seen as the last part of the item’s name (such as ‘of Heat’ or ‘of Calm’)

Support Gem:
Used to modify the behaviour, cost, and power of skill gems. Support gems have no effect by themselves and must be linked to a skill gem to have any effect.

Supporter:
Any player who purchases a Supporter Pack or other microtransaction from the shop. Supporters keep the Path of Exile developers fed and happy. We love supporters!

Tempest:
One of the past challenge leagues. Tempest is also the name of the signature effect of the Tempest challenge league. Tempests create fields around the world that influence player and monster behaviours, such as shrinking them or granting a speed boost.

Totem:
A stationary object that can cast spells or attack remotely. Unlike traps and mines, totems have a life pool akin to minions. Unlike minions, totems can’t typically move around, and are unaffected by minion modifiers.

Town:
Any location other than a hideout where players can buy, sell, and stash items. Towns also contain quest-givers and other NPCs.

Trade:
The act of exchanging one good for another, typically between two players (rather than between a player and an NPC). There is a trade chat channel designed to allow players to advertise their items for sale.

Trap:
A stationary object that, when triggered, can attack or cast a spell. Traps break after they have been triggered, and can be easily destroyed by enemy attacks and spells, however they are also very difficult to see. May also refer to the traps in the Labyrinth which serve as damaging obstacles.

Trigger:
Typically refers to items or skill or support gems that cast a spell or deal an attack without the player’s direct input. ‘Cast on Critical Strike Support’ is an example of a Trigger gem. May also refer to the act of setting off a Trap.

Unique:
One of the rarity tiers. Uniques do not have randomly generated names or mods, setting them apart from the other rarity tiers. Unique monsters are typically very strong, while unique items can provide a wide range of effects not available on other items.

Vaal:
The oldest known culture on Wraeclast. The Vaal were the first known users of the gems, and their ruins are scattered across the land. Traces of the Vaal can be seen most notably in Act 2, and in the corrupted side areas. Vaal may also refer to the act of “Vaaling” an item — using a Vaal orb on an item to corrupt it.

Vendor:
Typically refers to the act of selling an item at an NPC for scraps and fragments. May also refer to the NPC themselves.

Warbands:
One of the past challenge leagues. Warbands also refers to the four groups of enemies that could be found throughout the world during that league. The four groups consists of the Redblade, Brinerot, Mutewind and Renegades. They can currently be found through other means.

Warcry:
A subset of skills that are not attacks or spells, and thus are unaffected by things that ordinarily affect attacks and spells. The potency of any Warcry skill is affected by how many enemies are nearby when it is used.

Waypoint:
The primary way of saving your progress through the world of Path of Exile. Waypoints allow travel to any other waypoint that you have previously found.

Weapon:
A type of item that can only be equipped in the main-hand and off-hand slots. Weapons are a major factor in the damage dealt by most attacks, and can also influence which skills you can or cannot use.

Wraeclast:
The largest continent in Path of Exile’s known world. Criminals on Oriath are exiled to Wraeclast, a mysterious continent with a murky and bloody history. Most of Path of Exile’s main storyline takes place on Wraeclast.