Leagues in Path of Exile represent the game worlds that characters exist within. A single character can only belong to one league at any time, and can’t interact with characters outside that league. League has the following types:
1. Permanent leagues:
These four leagues exist permanently:
- Standard is the default league and has no modifiers.
- Hardcore has the hardcore modifier, meaning characters who die are moved to Standard. Hardcore is equivalent to permadeath in other RPGs, though characters and poe buy items are not automatically deleted.
In addition to standard and hardcore, a Solo Self-Found variant for each exists. In these leagues, player’s can’t trade or party with other players and have to rely solely on the items they find themselves.
- SSF Standard is the default league with the SSF flag.
- SSF Hardcore has the hardcore and SSF flags.
Characters used in certain races (notably Descent, Descent: Champions and Endless Ledge races) are afterwards sent to a Void League instead of being deleted. Players can’t access these characters or their inventories; void characters can only be deleted or kept as a sort of trophy.
2. Temporary leagues:
Temporary leagues have a set duration, which can vary from 12 minutes to four months. They are usually defined by specific modifiers or features that the permanent leagues don’t have. When a league ends, the characters are not lost but transferred to one of the permanent leagues.
3. Challenge leagues:
Periodically, two new leagues are created and the previous two challenge leagues are removed. These leagues are intended to introduce and test new content while providing players with a fresh economy. Challenge leagues have been three or four months long. In addition, each pair of leagues has a set of optional challenges that can be completed for a prize.
When a challenge league ends, all characters and their stash will be sent to their respective parent league (either Standard league or Hardcore League). Map progress will be transferred, along with Shaped maps and Sextants. The greater of Master’s level will be retained, and accrued favour will be added to the existing total.
4. Bestiary leagues:
The Bestiary leagues are the current challenge leagues. They started on March 2, 2018.
5. Race leagues:
Race leagues are temporary leagues created specifically for a single race event. These leagues have their own stash. At the end of the event, characters and their stashed items will be moved to the parent league, which is typically Hardcore or Void league. The player’s race stash may be placed in remove-only stash tabs if the parent league has no empty tabs.
As with all expansions, this one will be completely free. If you’ve never tried Path of Exile before, now is a great time to jump in.