The Complete PoE Essence Guide
Essences have been a niche part of crafting in Path of Exile since the Essence challenge league several years ago. Essences are the purest form of crafting in Path of Exile. They modify a white (or rare if the Essence is high enough level) item and grant it stats, guaranteeing a single stat. The Essences each have different effects, and make it extremely clear what the resulting item will contain. They are easy, simple, and can create great items. It’s all about knowing how to use them. Which is why we have our PoE Essence Guide right here!
PoE Essence Guide – What are Essences?
Essences are a crafting material that can be found throughout the world. Occasionally you will find several monsters grouped together, all frozen in blue ice. The one in the center will have a list of essences, which are the ones that it contains. Click on the center monster several times and all of the monsters will break free and attack you. The fight can be difficult, so be on your toes! The stronger the Essences are, the stronger the monster will be. Once you defeat the monster, it will drop the Essences that it contained and they are yours to pick up and use as you see fit.
Once you have picked up the Essence, read it over and it is incredibly clear what they do. Many systems in Path of Exile can be very complicated, particularly when it comes to crafting. This is not one of them. Essences up to Screaming rarity can be used on white items and they will roll the item into a rare item (in the exact same way an Orb of Alchemy would), guaranteeing a single stat which is stated on the Essence. Essences at the rarity of Shrieking and Deafening do the same thing, however they can be used on rare items so you are not forced to use a Scouring Orb to return the item to white.
How can I upgrade Essences?
There are two main ways that you can upgrade Essences in Path of Exile. First, if you have three of the same Essence, at the same tier, you can trade them to the vendor for one of the next tier up, for a maximum of Deafening Essences. This is a great way to get rid of some Essences you would never use, particularly the very low tier Essences. It’s also a good way to reduce the number if you are trying to sell them, although you tend to get higher prices if they are separate (it’s just more work!).
The other method of upgrade is a bit more complicated. There is one Essence that is different from all of the others. It is a corrupted Essence, called Remnant of Corruption. These are only obtained by finding them in Essence mobs, and their purpose is to corrupt other Essence mobs that you find in the wild. When you come across a monster trapped in Essences, before you release it you can choose to corrupt it by using a Remnant of Corruption. There are several results to this corruption – just as with any corruption in Path of Exile. There are four results of this corruption: The monsters instantly break out, all Essences are increased by one tier of rarity, the monster gains one additional Essence, or the Essence transforms.
The first three corruption results are fairly self-explanatory, but the final one is a bit more intricate. The only Essences that can transform are Essence of Misery, Scorn, Envy, or Dread. If you see one of these at the Screaming rarity and you corrupt it, it has a one in four chance of being transformed into one of four Essences that can be uniquely obtained by this method. These four Essences are Hysteria, Insanity, Horror, and Dread. These four Essences are far more complicated than all the others, adding very unique stats rather than the basic ones that other Essences provide. They also tend to be more expensive as a result, although their price has dwindled over the past few leagues.
What is the use of Essences in POE?
Essences may only provide stats in most instances, but the stats they provide can be extremely high, or in many cases not be obtained in any other way. For example, if you want a belt that has Dexterity on it, the only way to achieve this is through using an Essence of Sorrow. It will add Dexterity to any item that isn’t a weapon, despite the fact that Belts normally lack the ability to roll Dexterity. There are many other instances of this, and if you can find good examples then you can pin down a niche market to create items for, or save yourself a lot of heartache crafting other sub-par items to compensate for what Essences could have provided.
The way that I use Essences most frequently is right at the start of a league, when I’m leveling up a new character from scratch and need gear. Essences are the easiest way to grab crappy bases off the ground and turn them into useable items. A white pair of gloves with a four link might suck, but one that’s guaranteed to be a rare with 20% fire resistance is pretty darn good while leveling. Essences have given me a boost while leveling in nearly every league I’ve played.
One of the best uses I’ve had for Essences in late game was when I was trying to make Elemental Hit bows on a budget. Elemental Hit scales well off of gem levels, so you want to have a +3 to gems bow. Using Shrieking Essence of Dread guarantees +2 to level of socketed Bow Skill gems, so then you just use that until you hit +1 to level of all socketed gems, and you have your +3 bow. It’s not the way to get the best bow in the game, but it’s a cheap way to get a starter bow. There are a lot of tricks that use Essences in a similar manner and can create very useable starter items before you want to blow a few Exalted Orbs on a single item. Of course, in the cases we mentioned above where you can only get Dexterity on Belts through Essences, they can also create the items worth many Exalts, since there are no other ways to get these items! It’s all practice and knowing what to use, when. Hopefully our PoE Essence Guide has helped you out, and you find some use for all those Essences you have lying around!