Path of Exile: Royale is back and it's available right now for PC players until the weekend is over, then every weekend for the duration of Expedition, except for its launch weekend. If you want to know more, we've put together a guide on what to expect and everything you need to know.
Path of Exile: Royale was originally launched as an April Fool's event back in 2018. Like other Royale games, it was a fast-paced massively PvP experience where players fought for items, experience and survival on a shrinking island. Despite being put together very quickly and only being available for one day, it turned out to be surprisingly popular, and the community has been asking for it to return ever since. Well it's finally back, and this time we've put a lot of effort into making it more than a quick joke. Whether you played the original and have been waiting for it to come back ever since, are brand new to Path of Exile as a whole, or anywhere in between, here's a guide for what to expect and how to succeed in Path of Exile: Royale.
Joining a GameA round of Path of Exile: Royale requires a fresh level 1 character and takes about 15 minutes at most. You can find Royale on the character selection screen, in the Events list (under your list of characters). Click join, pick a class as usual, and you'll be thrown into the currently-filling game. You don't have to make a new character for each round — once you've made a character, you can select them again to join more games, though they'll be reset to level 1 and lose all their items each time, of course.
You'll find yourself on the shores of Royale Island while you wait for the game to fill. Rounds start when they have some initial threshold of players (which we'll start at 50/100, but may tweak as needed). If you have a few seconds to wait, why not pass the time by taking a look at the brand new Royale-exclusive passive skill tree?
The Passive Skill TreeRoyale now has a completely different passive skill tree to regular Path of Exile. It's designed specifically for fast games and PvP combat, and to be a bit easier to understand than the regular tree.
The first thing you might notice is that there are no class start positions anymore. That's because in Royale, your class doesn't affect your starting location on the passive tree. All classes can allocate points from any of the nine starting points. The six outer branches are themed around different kinds of skills and damage types, while the skills in the centre provide powerful but situational defensive stats. You'll probably also notice that the passive tree window doesn't take up your whole screen, so you can manage your tree without taking your eye off the action.
When you level up, you'll receive two passive skill points instead of one. Clicking on a skill immediately allocates it rather than needing to be confirmed, and there are no respec points in Royale, so make sure you choose carefully! Or maybe just convince yourself that your "experimental" new build is secretly OP…
Starting the RoundEveryone starts on the beach of a mysterious island. You start with only a few flasks and basic weapons, so your first goal should be to find some skill gems and more gear. The beach is full of chests and scattered items to help you gear up, so make a beeline for those to find a skill gem you can use.
There are plenty of monsters on the beach you can kill to start gaining experience and levelling up, but other players are also ripe for the picking! Killing players gives bonus experience so can be a way to gain an early experience lead, as long as you make sure your targets don't kill you first. Once you feel strong enough, you can push inland to find stronger monsters, higher level gems and gear, and maybe some valuable chests in the centre of the island.
As soon as the game begins, a timer begins counting down. When this timer hits zero, a storm will sweep in from the sea and cover part of the island. Anyone standing in the storm will start taking damage over time, which becomes more and more deadly until they either reach safety or succumb. Once the storm stops moving, the timer starts again, and the cycle continues until the storm covers the whole island!
The boundary of the storm appears in red in the game world and on your minimap. The inside circle in blue indicates the area that will still be safe after the storm's next movement. When you're outside the safe zone, indicators will show you the direction and distance to safety.
Gems and ItemsThere are currently around 50 skill gems and 15 support gems available in Royale. They have been chosen from all of the gems in the regular game and, if necessary, scaled down for use in low-level play. For example, you may find a skill at level 1 that requires level 28 in regular Path of Exile. To keep things relatively simple, the skills available are exclusively damage and/or movement related.
The beach offers a fairly limited selection of skills, and no support gems. As you explore inland you will find a wider selection of gems.
The equipment you find will mostly look the same as it would in act 1 of the regular game, but there are a few differences. Most importantly, your life flasks will be interrupted if another player hits you, so you can't rely on them to save you in PvP combat. Some items also have tweaked balance values, a few extra mods available, or appear at much lower levels than they normally do. Royale also contains a pool of around 75 unique items, and like gems many of these are items that you would normally find at much higher levels, scaled down for low-level play. These adjustments are purely numerical though, so you can trust that your favourite unique will still work just like it does in the regular game.
When a player dies, you can loot their stuff! By interacting with their corpse, you can see all the items they were holding and take what you like. Watch out for corpses as you wander the island, though don't be surprised if someone else has looted them first!
It's worth noting that item filters are disabled in Royale. Even though the number of item drops has been reduced as much as possible, a finely-tuned item filter can provide too much advantage over someone playing without a filter, particularly for spotting items on the minimap. We may introduce less-powerful ways of filtering items in Royale in the future. Cosmetic microtransactions are also disabled for the time being, until we can find a solution to loading them without causing enormous initial load times or degrading performance.
Other Gameplay FeaturesIn your wanderings you'll find flask stations that completely refill your flasks when touched. After they've been used, their power is drained for a few seconds. Look out for these if you're running low on flask charges, but watch out for other players waiting in ambush.
Your character has also been beefed up compared to the wimpy Exiles who wash up on the Twilight Strand. Compared to the normal game, you start with more life, less mana but more mana regeneration, higher stun and ailment thresholds, more balanced base attributes, and faster experience gain.
Winning and LosingIf you die, that's it. Your round is over. Your death will appear on the kill feed, mostly so that everyone can laugh if you're killed by Rhoas. You can still watch the game, however! You can move around freely as a spectator, or use the spectate menu to select another player and watch from their perspective. Or you can just quit out and jump right into the next round.
The storm creates an ever-shrinking safe zone that means the remaining players will eventually be forced to battle it out for glory. If you're skilled (or just lucky) enough to be the last person standing, then congratulations! You win not only fame and glory, but also the brand new Rhoa Feast hideout decoration for the main game! This transforming decoration unlocks new, more impressive variations the more rounds you win and shows your win count when hovered, letting you show off your PvP skill to anyone in your hideout.
What's Next for Path of Exile: Royale?Royale is available from now until 11:59pm PDT on Sunday for PC players. After this weekend, it will be available every weekend except launch weekend for the entirety of the 3.15 expansion cycle. Unfortunately, we are not bringing Royale to console at this stage. Even with the higher player populations on PC, it may still take some time for new Royale games to trigger at certain times of day in certain regions, and these issues will be significantly exacerbated on the smaller console realms. We'll see how it goes.
We're planning to play a lot alongside you, watch people's experiences carefully, and make changes as necessary. Unlike the main game, there's no risk of balance shifts ruining people's characters, so expect smaller changes to be made as frequently as every week.
Beyond that...we honestly don't know. This is an experiment for us. We hope that Path of Exile: Royale has a long-term future, and the number of people in the office who've looked forward to our internal playtests every week makes us optimistic, but we're going to have to wait and see. Expect an update on this near the end of 3.15.
We hope you enjoy Path of Exile: Royale's new incarnation. Once again, it's live right now, so what are you waiting for?