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Path Of Exile vendor recipes explained, plus helpful recipes for league start

Take advantage of this early crafting system to level fast in Path Of Exile

Looking for some helpful vendor recipes in Path Of Exile? Gearing up in Path Of Exile is about as complex as everything else in the game, especially at league start. However, there are a few ways to smooth out your leveling experience. The earliest available option is the vendor recipe crafting system, which allows players to acquire upgraded gear by selling specific combinations of items to vendors in the game’s towns. While there are vendor recipes that are useful at all stages of the game, a few highlights provide massive boosts during the campaign and early endgame. If you’re unfamiliar with the system, we’re here to help with some of the best vendor recipes for league start in Path Of Exile.

Cover image for YouTube videoPath of Exile: Siege of the Atlas Official Trailer

How to use vendor recipes in Path Of Exile

An example of a correctly performed vendor recipe in Path of Exile, returning a modified item

The process of crafting with vendor recipes is very straightforward. However, it is not explained in-game, so here’s a quick breakdown for brand new players. To use a vendor recipe, all you have to do is place the required items in any vendor’s sell window. If you have the right combination, the vendor’s offer section will show the item that is being upgraded or created. You can see an example in the image above, where the vendor is returning a sword with an added modifier. If you have missing or incorrect components, the vendor will return various currency shards like in any other sale. See the image below for an example. The missing Blacksmith’s Whetstone makes the recipe incomplete, so the only return is shards.

An example of an incorrect vendor recipe in Path of Exile, returning only currency shards

Best vendor recipes for Path Of Exile league start

On your first character in each league, it can be very difficult to find a weapon with decent damage in the early acts of the campaign. Thankfully, there are a few helpful vendor recipes that can set you up with a powerful early game weapon. Use these recipes to smooth your progression through the first half of the campaign and beyond. Keep in mind that the weapon recipes listed here return a Magic weapon, regardless of the rarity of the weapon you trade in. You won’t be able to tack extra damage onto a Rare weapon using these recipes.

Increased physical damage


  • Any weapon
  • Magic or Rare Rustic Sash
  • Blacksmith's Whetstone

This recipe is extremely useful for any build that uses physical damage attacks, like Steel skills, Slams, or Shield Crush. Even some elemental attack builds start off leveling with Steel skills, and will use this recipe to solve their damage before switching to an elemental skill later.

Flat added elemental damage to spells weapon


  • Magic rarity weapon
  • Ring
  • Orb of Alteration

The element gained from this recipe depends on the ring type you include. Use a Topaz ring for lightning damage, Ruby for fire, and Saphire for cold. Adding some extra flat damage to your spells is a great way to boost their damage early on. However, keep in mind that flat added damage will not affect most damage-over-time abilities. Additionally, new players should note that spells and attacks are different subcategories of skills. Added spell damage will have no effect on an attack skill such as Ground Slam or Burning Arrow.

An example of gem tags in Path of Exile

Caster weapon with "+1 to level of all physical/fire/cold/lightning/chaos spell skill gems"


  • Normal rarirty caster weapon (rune dagger, wand, scepter, staff)
  • Skill gems with combined quality greater than 40% and a shared tag

This recipe sounds more complex than it really is. If you hover your cursor over a gem, you will see its tags under the skill’s name, and above its level, like in the example above. So, to bolster a chaos spell like Bane, you can gather up gems with any amount of quality plus the chaos tag until their total quality exceeds 40%. Increasing gem level is one of the best ways to scale most spells in the game. However, you are unlikely to find enough quality gems to use this recipe during the campaign. Still, a +1 wand can carry most spell builds through early maps in the revamped Siege of the Atlas endgame. This is a recipe to keep an eye on, especially in solo-self-found leagues.

Gemcutter’s Prism


  • A single gem with 20% quality, OR
  • Gems with total quality greater than 40%

You can acquire a Gemcutter’s Prism by handing in a single gem with 20% quality or multiple gems with a combined quality greater than 40%. This recipe actually works for all of the quality-enhancing currencies using their respective target items, e.g. a 20% quality weapon will return a Blacksmith’s Whetstone. Most of these are rarely used, but the Gemcutter’s Prism recipe is incredibly useful at league start, in part because of our next recipe.

20% quality, level 1 gem


  • Level 20 gem
  • 1 Gemcutter's Prism

Trading in a level 20 gem and a single Gemcutter’s Prism returns the same gem at level 1 with 20% quality. Most gems scale primarily off of level and gain smaller boosts from quality. Gemcutter’s Prisms are rare though, so it is difficult to hit 20% quality on your skill gems in the first few days of a league. Of course, you don’t want to drop a gem you’re actively using to level 1 either. That leads us to the most common strategy; level a second set of your most important gems in your secondary weapon set (x is the default keybind to swap sets), convert them to 20% quality gems using this recipe, then level them back up to 20. This strategy is practically a must in solo-self-found leagues and can save trade league players some early currency.

Those are all of the most important vendor recipes for league start in Path Of Exile! There are dozens of other recipes out there, but these five will help get your new character going when Siege of the Atlas launches on 4 February. As you’re progressing through the campaign, be sure to keep an eye on our guides to Path Of Exile skill point locations and Labyrinth Trial locations to streamline the leveling process. We've also ranked some of our top league starters if you haven't yet picked your Kalandra league start build.

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About the Author
Charlie Biggerstaff avatar

Charlie Biggerstaff


Charlie Biggerstaff is a freelance contributor to Rock Paper Shotgun, with other bylines on Upcomer. He has a great deal of experience with shooters of all kinds, including Escape From Tarkov, Warzone, Apex Legends, and more. He's also been known to get stuck into an Action RPG or two in his time.