Path of Exile is an incredibly dense ARPG, with tons of systems and mechanics to learn, including the Class System. Every journey in this game starts with choosing a character class, and there is a number to choose from. In Path of Exile, there are seven playable core classes. As you create a character, you must choose a specific class in the character creation screen. Based on what class you choose, you’ll also have a different starting point on the passive skill tree and starting attributes.
Your main attributes, those being Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence, can vary based on which class you choose. You’ll also want to focus on raising these stats based on your class as well. Each class also has a number of subclasses which can dramatically change how the classes play. Each subclass has a different playstyle, so don’t expect to choose a class and be locked into a certain way to play the game.
Related: Path of Exile Passive Skill Tree guide.
Path of Exile: Classes and subclasses system explained
As stated, each class focuses on a particular attribute, and you can choose from a number of subclasses. The Marauder class, for example, has a focus on the Strength class and allows you to choose from three subclasses: the Juggernaut, the Berserker, and the Chieftain. Each subclass can pivot into a different playstyle. For example, the Juggernaut is a class that focuses on tanking, while the Berserker is more offense-oriented.
Here are the other classes and their subclasses in the game:
Some classes and subclasses can have a mix of focus in their attributes. For example, the Shadow class focuses on both Dexterity and Intelligence skills. The Saboteur specializes in mines. While other Shadow classes may want to focus on the Dexterity class, the Saboteur utilizes Intelligence to place traps and mines on the field and damage enemies that way. Each class can specialize in a stat and groups of spells, which allows for a lot of customization.
Choosing the perfect class for you requires a bit of research and investigation, as well as some creativity on your end. There are recommended build guides for most of the characters out there, with some being more beginner-friendly than others. Be sure to do your due diligence and pick the class that best speaks to you for your first Path of Exile run.