PoE Maps Guide to Prevent Getting Stuck in a Rut
In our Atlas Guide a few months ago, we discussed the best ways to fill out your Atlas in Path of Exile. While many things have changed, the base ideas have not, and the guide still holds true. However, it doesn’t properly cover one key aspect: How to obtain the maps themselves. Which brings us to this article, our PoE Maps Guide. If you’re stuck and unsure how to progress, this is your guide!
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Can I advance through a natural progression?
You can definitely just run maps and see where they take you. It won’t be the most efficient way to complete your atlas, but it’ll get you there, given enough time and sample size. As long as you’re consistently running the highest tier of maps you have, you will eventually reach high tiers – although it might take a string of luck.
Every time you run a map you have a chance to find maps at your current tier, below it, or up to one tier above what you are currently running. You can find any map that you have unlocked, within these tier restrictions, or the ones touching the map you are currently in on the atlas. For example, say you have completed all four tier-one maps. You are running a tier one Ramparts map. You have the option to drop any of the tier one maps, but you also have a chance to find a tier two Pen map, because Ramparts is touching it on the atlas. You can simply do the highest tier that you have from each progression line, and you will advance forwards through your atlas, eventually.
This method isn’t as bad as I’m making it sound, it’s actually what I and many players do to start their league. However, once you’ve started to push through it’s important that you involve the other aspects of progression as well, or you’ll be stuck with a very unfinished atlas for a very long time.
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Are there easy ways to progress?
So, I’ll be upfront and admit, I’m super lazy when it comes to many methods of getting maps. I know them all, I just often prefer to do things the easy way. Which means that my progression through mapping takes three approaches, the natural one described above, and the one I’m about to discuss here, and the one below. The second thing you can do to easily get maps is make use of the vendor recipe. In 3.5 they added a huge change which allows you to get different maps from the vendor recipe. Previously there were a few maps that you simply could not get from it because one map would touch two different maps, so the recipe would only ever give one of those two. Now, if you take out your maps and give them back to the vendor in a different order, some of the combinations will result in the other map that it touches. This is huge for solo progression, meaning you don’t have to worry about those select few as you advance.
I’m getting ahead of myself. The vendor recipe is a method of attaining maps by trading three maps to a vendor. You take three of the same maps and simply give them all to a vendor. You’ll see that the result will be a different map, of the tier above. Luckily you can preview what you’re going to get before going through with it. The resulting map will be one tier higher, connected on the atlas. So, using the example above, three Ramparts maps would vendor for one Pen map.
This method is great because it allows you to push up a single path of progression, and any time you find three of the highest tier in a different tree, you can vendor them and progress that path as well.
Any other easy ways?
This is the last of the easy ways to progress, the ones that require little effort and you’ll come across naturally. This final easy method is by using Zana’s inventory. Once you get to maps you’ll encounter Zana. Her inventory consists entirely of maps. There will be some you have, some you don’t, it depends entirely on her random selection for the day. The important thing to note is that you can reset her inventory every time you do her daily mission. Through this you can easily buy tens of maps early on, giving you a huge jump on your atlas progression.
Zana’s inventory also ranks up as you do, giving higher tier maps now than ever before. As of 3.5, she can offer red maps as well, albeit for a high price. Currently, my Zana is offering me a selection of red maps, including one T14 and one T15 map. The T15 map costs seven chaos and two chance orbs though, so it’s not cheap. Still, as a solo player, it is an incredibly easy way to advance.
As of 3.5, there’s one other thing that Zana provides. Previously she offered maps that you could choose to run when you encountered her in maps. That remains, but as of 3.5 these maps actually count towards your atlas completion. So whenever you encounter her, make sure to grab the maps you don’t have yet, if she offers them!
How about the best way?
I’ve been explaining the easy ways to advance, but there is one final way that is infinitely better than the others – it’s just not fun. Rather than try all these solo methods, all you have to do is get some currency and buy every last map you need. You’ll find more maps while running the ones you’ve purchased, so in all likelihood, it will pay for itself, and early on it’s definitely a great investment. As long as your build can handle it, being the first one to run high tier maps is very profitable, well worth the cost of admission.
The problem is simply how unfun it is to buy maps. The trading system isn’t great, and maps are one of the worst things for it. Still, if you have the patience to slog through the dozens of people you’ll have to whisper, it’s a great way to get to high tier maps, fast.
There are many different ways to acquire maps. These methods are the easiest and best ways to go about it, but you can also find maps in Temples and Delves, the possibilities are many. At the end of the day, do what you find fun. But if you’re stuck, come back and re-read our PoE Maps Guide for some tips!
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