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Path of Exile 2 release date estimate, beta, gameplay, and latest news

When is the Path of Exile 2 release date? Path of Exile 2 has now evolved from its initial role as effectively a large expansion to become its own full game, with completely new mechanics, classes, and an entirely fresh story and campaign. Like the first game, PoE2 places an emphasis on deep and nuanced build crafting, letting you put together a powerful arsenal of skills and loot to blast your way through thousands of enemies across the maps of Wraeclast.

Path of Exile 2 is the standalone sequel to the first ARPG from New Zealand-based studio Grinding Gear Games. Built by a team of Diablo 2 fans who decided to make their own take on the ARPG genre and officially released as a free game in 2013 following several years in beta, Path of Exile rose to become one of the best games like Diablo and continues to update with regular seasonal leagues. Here’s a first look at Path of Exile 2, including everything we know about the new mechanics, gameplay differences, microtransactions, and the Path of Exile 2 release date.

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Path of Exile 2 release date estimate

We expect that the Path of Exile 2 release date will be no sooner than early 2025. The first public beta test is set to begin in June 2024. This is likely to last for some time as the first Path of Exile closed beta began in August 2011, with an open beta beginning in January 2013 before the game launched in October 2013. 

Path of Exile 2 game director Jonathan Rogers announced during the ExileCon 2023 reveal event, “We’re incredibly excited to near the finish line, but we are not quite there yet. We’re determined not to rush this, and make sure we get it right.” It’s likely, then, that there won’t be a fixed release date set until Grinding Gear Games gets an impression of how the reception to its closed beta testing looks.

Alongside this, Grinding Gear Games has also stated that the development process is “a little bit further out” than it was hoping, so we expect a lengthy wait until Path of Exile 2 is ready.

Path of Exile 2 release date - a living statue in a wal with a large golden crest atop its head clutches a glowing red crystal.

Path of Exile 2 beta release date

The Path of Exile 2 closed beta begins Friday, June 7, 2024. Currently, there’s no information on how players will be able to join, but the closed beta testing for the first Path of Exile game was available to players who purchased a supporter pack. With Grinding Gear Games continuing its free-to-play model, it’s likely a similar option will be available for Path of Exile 2.

This beta date was announced during ExileCon 2023 by game director Jonathan Rogers. It’s also possible that players will be able to register for a chance to join, or that a Path of Exile 2 open beta period will take place following the initial round of closed beta testing. We’ll be sure to update this article with information on how to join when it’s announced.

Path of Exile 2 release date - a woman dressed in purple stands halfway down a short stair set, addressing a person who is being held captive.

Is Path of Exile 2 a sequel?

Path of Exile 2 will be a separate game from the first Path of Exile. Initially, Grinding Gear Games had announced that the two games would coexist as a single entity, where you could pick to play one campaign or the other before transitioning into a shared endgame. However, at ExileCon 2023 the team announced that it would be releasing Path of Exile 2 as a completely standalone game, and that the pair will run side-by-side.

PoE2 director Jonathan Rogers says that each game will now feature “its own mechanics, balance, endgames, and leagues.” However, he says that the two games feature “a shared platform,” meaning that all your microtransactions for both games, past and future, will carry across both games – unless it’s for something that only exists in one of the games.

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Path of Exile 2 gameplay differences

There will be a number of big changes between Path of Exile 2 combat and that of the previous game. All character classes have access to a dodge roll – this has “no cooldown or limitations” and, while it doesn’t provide any invulnerability if you’re in an area of damage, dodging at the right time will cause enemy melee strikes and projectiles to miss you.

Another big addition is weapon switching. Evolved from the first PoE, you can now set specific skills to use either of your currently equipped weapons. You’ll also be able to allocate some passive skill points to each weapon slot specifically – so you can choose to specialize your first slot for ice skills, and the other to benefit your lightning spells, for example. This opens up a lot of potential for more diverse builds.

Path of Exile 2 release date - a warrior fights a large demon.

Path of Exile 2 uncut gems are a new drop that allows you to choose from any skill in the game when you find them and get a gem for that skill at an appropriate level for where you’re currently at in-game. Support gems are now applied directly to the skill gems of your choosing, meaning there’s no longer a need to find or craft armor with linked slots to put your gems into.

Several Path of Exile 2 crafting items are being changed or removed in line with this. There’s also a push to return to a focus on finding good items among your Path of Exile 2 drops – the first game reached a point where the best gear almost always came from crafting and players largely stopped picking up items from the floor, something PoE2’s Jonathan Rogers calls “a bit of a travesty.”

Path of Exile 2 release date - several different character classes stand side-by-side before a waypoint.

Path of Exile 2 classes

The confirmed Path of Exile 2 classes are:

  • Strength: Warrior and Marauder
  • Dexterity: Huntress and Ranger
  • Intelligence: Sorceress and Witch
  • Strength/Dexterity: Mercenary and Duelist
  • Strength/Intelligence: Druid and Templar
  • Dexterity/Intelligence: Monk and Shadow

Path of Exile 2 features six new classes along with the classes from the first game. There is one new class for each of the stat distributions. These will start at the same places on the passive skill tree as the old classes, but get their own Ascendancies (endgame specializations) and quest rewards. It’s also likely that the neutral Scion class will make a return, although we’ve yet to confirm this.

Path of Exile 2 release date - a figure approaches a chained prisoner, held down by multiple steel chains attached to the floor, their eyes glowing brightly.

Path of Exile 2 leagues

Path of Exile 2 leagues will operate on a 13-week cycle. These are much like seasons in other ARPGs such as Diablo, where you can choose to create a new seasonal character beginning at level one. You’ll have to start from scratch without any of your previous items, currency, or progression.

However, joining a seasonal league will let you take part in its unique mechanics. To give a couple of recent examples, past leagues in Path of Exile have ranged from creating mini skill trees on your weapons to exploring procedurally generated dungeons in a roguelike-style side mode alongside your main campaign.

Leagues also typically feature a number of balance changes and class updates, along with new skill gems to create fresh builds with. Because the first Path of Exile is continuing alongside PoE2, its leagues are set to run on a similar, but offset, schedule, with leagues in PoE1 beginning roughly 4-5 weeks before the end of a PoE2 league, meaning dedicated players should be able to spend time with both games if they choose.

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Path of Exile 2 trailers

There have been three main Path of Exile 2 trailers released so far, with several more specific mini-teasers and multiple more extensive gameplay demonstrations shown.

The most recent of these can be seen towards the beginning of this article, and were shown during the ExileCon 2023 event in Auckland, New Zealand where Path of Exile 2’s current incarnation was fully unveiled.

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Path of Exile 2 microtransactions

Path of Exile 2 is a free-to-play game. However, the game will include cosmetic microtransactions, as well as a few gameplay conveniences. Developer Grinding Gear Games is adamant about not letting players spend money to ‘pay for power’ and maintains that there will be no pay-to-win mechanics in Path of Exile 2.

The only gameplay-relevant microtransactions on offer for the first Path of Exile are stash tabs, character slots, and guild member slots. Stash tabs come in standard and premium variations, and give you extra storage to use across all your characters. The premium tabs offer additional customization options, such as a custom currency tab with designated spots for all the various crafting items that make up Path of Exile’s economy.

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Grinding Gear Games confirms that all your currently owned microtransactions for Path of Exile, along with any bought for either game in the future, “will be usable in both games unless it’s hyper-specific to the content of one game.”

That’s everything there is to know about the Path of Exile 2 release date for now. If you want to find out more, you can read our Path of Exile 2 reveal deep-dive preview, or you can pass the time while waiting by checking out what’s new in Path of Exile 3.22, which features a sports-inspired autobattler minigame and plenty of balance changes.

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