The huge skill tree is the hallmark of Path of Exile. With the Siege of the Atlas expansion, Grinding Gear Games added a second tree, the Atlas tree, specifically for endgame.
Once you complete the Path of Exile story, the real game begins. You will have access to your cartographic device, the Atlas and the Atlas tree. In it, just like in your character’s skill tree, you can distribute points to unlock different modifiers. In our step-by-step guide, we’ll explain what the Atlas Tee looks like, how you can distribute your points, and why it’s extremely important to your success in the game.
How the Atlas Tree Works in Path of Exile
You can currently distribute a total of 132 points in the Atlas tree. You earn points by completing the cards’ bonus objectives, i.e. making sure the card has the correct rarity level and defeating the card’s boss:
- Level 1-5 normal white cards must either be transmuted to magic (blue) with a transmute orb, or transmuted to rare (yellow) with an alchemy orb, or bonding orb, before being activated.
- Level 6-10 yellow normal cards must be converted to rare (yellow) with an Alchemy Orb or Bonding Orb Sphere before being activated.
- Level 11-16 red normal cards must be converted to rare (yellow) before activation with an Alchemy Sphere Orb, or Bonding Orb, and then Corrupted with a Vaal Orb.
For each completed bonus objective, you will receive a point for your Atlas tree. You also get six points from Kirac (one for each endgame boss) and a total of eleven points for the various Maven quests.
Selected points can be revoked and redistributed at any time for an Orb of Destruction. Spheres of Destruction can be purchased from Kirac for two Orbs of Regret each. You can also farm them while mapping, as the spheres are regularly dropped by monsters.
The mechanics of the Atlas tree
Simply put, the various points in the Atlas tree are used to modify the maps you run, i.e. to spawn certain content/mechanics (e.g. chests or chasms), or to increase card loot. The Atlas tree contains points for almost all old league mechanics. No matter what content you like to play, with the Atlas Tree you can focus on one of them. So, before you start spending your points, you should consider the following:
1. what kind of character do you have?
If your character primarily deals single-target damage, there is no point selecting points in the Atlas tree that require area damage (e.g. points that generate Abyss mechanics). Instead, it makes sense to spend the points on more essences on the maps or improved boss fights.
2. What do you like?
Right now, you can make change from just about anything in Path of Exile. The important thing is to really focus on one or two mechanics that you enjoy (if you like everything, you’re spoiled for choice).
For example, if you enjoy playing Strongboxes, Harbinger, and Legion, you can use the Atlas tree both to ensure you find that content much more often on maps and to ensure you get more and better of loot. Or if you only focus on Essences, you can farm a lot of Essences in a short time and upgrade and resell them over and over again.
By using other points, you can also ensure that no other mechanics (Einhar, Metamorph, Heist, etc.) appear on your cards.
3. adapt the Atlas tree to your progress
To reach the bigger bosses, you need strong items, which you can craft yourself or buy. In any case, you first need a certain amount of currency. It is also important to complete the atlas as completely as possible. At the start of the endgame, you need to distribute your points so that you get as many new maps and Kirac missions as possible on the one hand and currency on the other. For this, as described above, it is important to focus on one or two mechanics.
When you have enough currency to complete your build, you can venture into boss fights. Before you do that, though, it might be a good idea to partially redistribute your points in the Atlas tree to alter boss fights. You will have to redistribute your points (at least partially) regularly, for example because you have gone through all the maps of the Atlas. Because then it doesn’t make sense to have points that give you more new cards.
The most important rule for your Atlas tree
Basically, there is only one important rule for the Atlas tree: learn what you like. There is no right or perfect tree, but you should always focus on what you like to play. Especially if you’re new to the game, it might be a good idea to recreate a specific character build to get into the game mechanics. For the Atlas tree, however, this isn’t recommended, as the version you you recreate may focus on end-game content that you don’t enjoy at all.
So always decide for yourself how to distribute your points in the Atlas tree, especially as a beginner. Just think about what you like and focus on that content first. Use the search function at the bottom left to quickly and easily see all points in the tree that are available to your mechanics. Once you get a foothold, try different things to try out each mechanic. It’s the only way to learn.