Every long-time PoE fan likely has distinct memories of Path of Exile Act 2 engraved into the corners of their minds. If you’re unfamiliar with Act 2, we’ll help you get acquainted with it in little-to-no time at all while giving you all the tips and tricks you’ll need to know to level as quickly as the speedrunners do.
Our Guide To Quickly Completing Path Of Exile Act 2
This is the second part in our POE leveling guide series, so if you feel lost, feel free to check out the Path of Exile Act 1 Leveling Guide that we’ve put out recently. For the ultimate time-saver, you should also acquaint yourself with the “Dealing with the Bandits” quest, and its rewards as Act 2 revolves around this quest to a degree (we’ve got you covered there too with a helpful guide).
Let’s jump right into the step by step instructions for clearing Act2!
Upon exiting the boss fight with Merveil, you’ll enter the Southern Forest and begin the quest “The Way Forward”. Your goal at the beginning of Path of Exile Act 2, is just to get to the Forest Encampment. Don’t bother with any particular objectives or killing any of the mobs along the way. Because this map layout never changes, you can easily follow the right-hand wall or edge of the water to the town.
Be sure to pick up the quest reward for “The Way Forward,” for a free skill point, and quickly grab the quest “Intruders in Black” before heading back out into the wilderness.
The Old Fields
When you’re ready to leave town, hang a quick right to enter the Old Fields. To shave down time, we’re going to run through this zone as well. Keep your eyes peeled for the main path and take it to enter The Crossroads. The mob density in this area is pretty negligible, so even if you’re behind on experience, it’s not worth farming up here yet.
Again, we’re going to rush through this map, just make sure you pick up the waypoint while you’re following the main path. Here, you’ve got two main options to keep in mind before you continue on with the main quest. First of all, if you know that you’re planning to help Kraityn, there’s no point in going forward to the Broken Bridge to find him yet. At the same time, if you’re planning on clearing all of the Trials of Ascendancy as you go, it would make sense to go downwards to The Crypt Level 1 as you’ll find the Spinning Blade trial there.
So, if you plan on killing Kraityn, go over to the Broken Bridge, kill him to take Kraityn’s amulet, and then use the character screen trick to take the waypoint to the Crossroads. Once you’re there, head down to the Crypt and finish off the labyrinth trial and use the character screen trick again to get back to the Crossroads.
Once this is done, or if you chose to skip both options above, head upwards to reach the entrance to the Chamber of Sins.
The Chamber of Sins
The Chamber of Sins – Level 1
All three of the different tilesets for this zone have a very similar orientation. You’ll always start at the top and have to work your way down. The most significant difference between each layout is following the path either to the left or right around the center. When you reach the bottom of the map, you’ll find the staircase entrance that will lead you down to the second level of the chamber.
Note: the monster density here is pretty good, so if you’re more than 3 level behind the recommended area level, it’s a good idea to kill all of the magic and elite packs you’ll encounter on the way. However, there is a unique boss here called the Black Death, but it’s not worth killing it at all as it doesn’t give much experience nor drop anything good – just run past it.
The Chamber of Sins – Level 2
The Chamber of Sins Level 2 is even more comfortable pathing-wise than the last area. Follow the path in front of you until you meet a fork in the road. If you haven’t done the Trial of Ascendancy, head left – otherwise, keep right to reach the main quest area.
At the very end of the zone, you’ll confront a quest boss named Fidelitas, who will drop a quest item called “Baleful Gem” once you kill him. Grab the gem and head back to town by either logging out to the character screen or using a teleport scroll.
Before leaving town, turn in your quest reward for a herald skill. The provided skill gem will be one of the most important in the Path of Exile Act 2 to give you a strong damage boost and help you clear the act that much faster. Once you’re all stocked up and ready to continue, head left to enter the Riverways.
Following the leftmost exit in the Forest Encampment, enter The Riverways. Take the main road through this zone and keep heading left. If you have a movement skill that allows you to leap, dash, or teleport over gaps, use it to skip any of the broken bridges. Alternatively, head up to find a few jumping stones that you can use to cross the river. By following the road, you should be able to find the waypoint with ease, as it lies directly beside it.
If you’re planning to help Alira, you’ll want to go upwards from the waypoint to find the Wetlands and enter them to find Oak’s Camp, where you can kill him to take his Amulet and then run further upwards to find the waypoint for this zone. Once you’ve done so, take the waypoint back to the Riverways and keep following the road to enter the Western Forest at the end of the zone.
The Western Forest
Once you enter the zone, you’ll want to follow the main road downwards until you find the waypoint for the zone. There are three locations that you’ll be interested in for this particular zone. First of all, you should run towards the very end of the zone to find Captain Arteri at the guard camp. This is where Piety threw you a bird before sealing off the cliffs in Act 1, kill Captain Arteri and the blackguard that are with him and pick up the Thaumetic Emblem that he drops. This emblem is useful as you can turn it in at Lioneye’s Watch in Act 1 to get a free passive skill point as a quest reward for “The Way Forward” quest.
Next up, run back along the road until you see a torch on either side. Run diagonally to the road in the direction of the side that the torch is on to find the Bandit Lord Alira’s encampment. Here you can either kill Alira or help her to get either her amulet to hand in to Oak or Kraityn, or the Pyramid Apex to help you finish off the act.
Now, run back towards the road and explore the side of the road opposite to Alliras camp. If you follow the forest in deep enough, you’ll find the entrance to the next area, the Weavers Chambers.
The Weavers Chambers
The Weaver’s Chambers are typically a long and almost-straight path, and you’re merely looking for the door at the end. Run through and make sure to clear any of the magic and elite packs in this area as they provide some very good experience. Once you get through the area, you’ll find a small opening that will lead you into the final room – the Weaver’s nest.
The Weaver’s Nest
Upon entering the final cavern of the Weaver’s Chambers, you will fight The Weaver herself. This boss mainly does chaos damage, which can be quite dangerous to newer players, so if you’re worried about a drawn out battle, grab an Amethyst flask along the way. Once killed, The Weaver drops a quest item called Maligaro’s spike, pick it up after you’ve offed her and go back to the Forest Encampment.
Before entering the Wetlands, you’re going to need to get a few critical things done. Firstly, turn in any outstanding quests for their rewards. You should at-least get your level 18 support gem reward from Silk in return for giving him Maligaro’s Spike. After you’re done collecting your rewards and supplies, you can also teleport back to Lioneye’s Watch to pick up a skill point from Bestel in Act 1 by handing in the Way Forward quest.
With all said and done, it’s time to move on to The Wetlands!
Take the waypoint to the entrance to the Vaal Ruins, if you chose to help Oak, now’s the time to go get your Pyramid Apex. Alternatively, if you’ve already got it from another bandit lord, just open up the Vaal Ruins (make sure that you have Maligaro’s Spike and the Baleful Gem in your inventory) and jump in.
The Vaal Ruins
This is one of the more annoying areas in Path of Exile Act 2 due to the fact that the Vaal Ruins are more or less a winding maze of labyrinth-esque ruins. You’ll need to run through them in order to find the way out by hitting the Ancient Seal which will initiate the “Shadow of The Vaal” quest that will lead you towards completing the act.
The monster density in this area isn’t all too bad, so if you need to farm up a few levels, you can kill magic and rare monster packs on the way. The same applies for the next zone, the Northern Forest.
The Northern Forest
Run through the zone as it’s pretty linear and be sure to kill any magic and elite monsters along the way for a good deal of free experience. If you care about unlocking the Lush Hideout in PoE, you can find the entrance located inside of the Dread Thicket which is a sub area of the Northern Forest.
Be sure to grab the waypoint in the zone if you plan to skip the hideout for now and come back for it later. At the end of the area, you’ll find a cave overshadowed by a waterfall, this will be the entrance to the Caverns.
The Caverns are incredibly simple, but they feature a lot of twists, turns, and small rooms along the way. Speed through them and don’t bother to kill anything to find the stairs and move into the next area – The Ancient Pyramid.
The Ancient Pyramid
Undoubtedly, the Ancient Pyramid is the most annoying part of the map. You’re going to have to traverse four levels in order to fight the Vaal Oversoul and clear Act 2. The annoyance stems from the fact that you have a bunch of mobs that do chaos damage and the stairs leading up to the next level can be in any quadrant of the map.
Tip: Generally, the easiest way to find the stairs quickly in the Ancient Pyramid is to run through the map in a clockwise manner.
The experience that the monsters in this area give isn’t all too bad and there are a lot of magic and elite mobs around, so it’s worth to kill them as you run through to maximize your gains per time spent. Once you’ve cleared the third level of the Pyramid, you’ll find the entrance to the Pyramid Apex.
The Pyramid Apex
Upon entering the area, you’ll find an empty platform with a pedestal in the center, where you can put in your quest item – The Apex. Doing so will activate the pyramid and spawn the final Act 2 boss – the Vaal Oversoul.
The Vaal Oversoul isn’t too difficult as a boss, but he can still be challenging for new players (especially his crazy lightning beams). Throughout the fight, you should pay close attention to his animations and his movements to determine how to best dodge his attacks. Here are a few tips to get this done and over with quickly.
You can prepare for this fight with a lightning resistance setup. By the end of Path of Exile Act 2, there should be just enough equipment drops with lightning resistance modifiers to bring you up to the recommended maximum.
His skinny fork-like arm shoots a terrifying lightning attack that can easily kill you in 2-3 hits, as well as ice shards that slow you down significantly. The recommended strategy is to dodge these attacks because they inflict a hefty amount of damage. You can recognize when they’re about to happen when he starts moving that particular arm.
Vaal Oversoul’s other ball-hammer-like arm uses slam and earthquake abilities. These aren’t a big deal, and they’re effortless to dodge. Unfortunately, the quake also causes rocks to fall from the ceiling, and it takes close attention to detail to avoid getting hit. Again, the cue for you to dodge is him lifting up this particular arm.
The Oversoul’s third arm is not that dangerous as he uses it to summon extra monsters (a.k.a. free flask charges for us). You’re bound to get hit hard at some point in the battle, so be sure to keep your flasks full, and you should always take on his summoned minions ASAP to refresh the flask charges where possible. After all, the last thing you’d want is to have to dodge his lightning beams alongside a barrage of chaos projectiles flying at you all at once.
After defeating the Vaal Oversoul, you’ll see the stone circle door at the top end of the platform roll open to reveal the exit to The City Of Sarn, which is the starting point of Act 3 in Path of Exile.
Path Of Exile Act 2 Side Quests & Rewards
Through Sacred Ground
Once you rescue Helena from the Chamber of Sins Level 2, you’ll be able to help Yeena with his quest. She’ll want you to recover the Golden Hand from The Crypt level 2 by grabbing it from the Altar guarded by Archbishop Geofri, the Abashed.
Quest Giver: Yeena at the Forest Encampment
Notable Rewards: Book of Regrets and a choice of Unique Jewels.
Safe And Sound
The rescued Helena advises you that it’s time to get your very own hideout for some peace and respite from the adventuring you’ll be doing. You’ll need to find a suitable location and clear out the enemy monsters inside to help her turn it into your hideout. This will grant you access to crafting benches, inviting the masters you’ll meet throughout the game to come hang out and ultimately, build up your own player-owned housing inside of Path of Exile. You can turn this quest in at any point of the game, however the first hideout you’ll encounter will be the Lush Hideout located in the Dead Thicket sub-area of the Northern Forest in Act 2.
Quest Giver: Helena at the Forest Encampment.
Notable Rewards: Access to the Hideout mechanic in the game.
The Great White Beast
Yeena wants you to hunt and kill the Great White Beast that you can find in the Den over in the Old Fields.
Quest Giver: Yeena at the Forest Encampment.
Notable Rewards: A second Quicksilver Flask and a choice of belt (Heavy, Leather, Chain and Rustic).
You’ll need to help Einhar hunt and capture dangerous beasts to unlock the Menagerie mechanic in the game.
Quest Giver: Einhar in the Riverways.
Notable Rewards: Access to the Menagerie mechanic in Path of Exile.
Helpful Tips For Clearing Path of Exile Act 2
Skip the side quests in Path of Exile Act 2, as they don’t have nearly as much to offer as the side quests in other acts.
If you want to do the “Through Sacred Ground” quest, you’ll need to kill the White Beast first.
Movement skills will save you a lot of headache and speed up your run through this act, so make sure you pick one up in Act 1.
Make sure that you pick up a herald gem early on to buff up your damage and speed up your leveling.
To find the weaver’s chamber a bit quicker, be on the look out for trees covered in spider webs.
You can optionally start Act 2 by going to the Riverways first and killing the weaver, dealing with Alira and picking up the Thaumeric Seal first, before continuing on to the Old Fields and the rest of the rightmost path. Some players prefer this due to the chunk of quick experience gain and fast access to all of the waypoints they’ll need at the end of the act. If you have a higher-level friend that can help you unlock all the waypoints, you can actually clear this act in under 5 minutes.
Congratulations on beating the second act in PoE! Having read through our comprehensive guide – you’ve now got all the knowledge you need to make short work and breeze through this act in a matter of minutes. On average, it should take around 15 minutes, just like Act 1, however, depending on your experience in the Ancient Pyramid, this could be stretched up to 20-25 minutes.
Now it’s our turn to hear from you – did we miss any tips or tricks, got any that you’d love to share? Give us a shout in the comments down below!
1/12/2021 – Updated the guide for patch 3.12 Heist League