Looking for a guide to the infamous Path of Exile Fractured Wall system? Check out our top tips and tricks on how to properly utilize the Delve mechanic for maximum profitability!
It’s no secret that the Delve system in Path of Exile is one of the most rewarding and engaging pieces of content that GGG has released over the plethora of leagues we’ve gone through so far.
However, when it comes to the profitability of Delving – a very good chunk of it is dependant on fractured walls in Path of Exile.
And admittedly, finding these walls is a total nightmare. Whether you’ve spent the last 10 hours trying to find a fractured wall, or are thoroughly convinced they’re a hoax at this point – today we’re here to bring you our definitive guide on finding and farming fractured walls efficiently.
What Is A Path of Exile Fractured Wall In The First Place?
Before we dive headfirst into the in-depth system that you’ll need to use in order to find these annoying yet rewarding bits of “content”, let’s get a good feel for what they are and how they work.
The fractured wall is a particular environmental object found along certain Delve routes. As the name would imply – it’s a wall that you can shatter (blow up, big boom) in order to access an otherwise secret room.
Typically these rooms would contain relatively good loot such as items, currency, valuable prophecies, fossils, and lots of other loot that you can then sell for some nice currency gains in Path of Exile.
So, How Do You Actually Find Fractured Walls?
While most players actively believe that finding a decent number of fractured walls in PoE is entirely dependant on a run and gun approach – that’s basically akin to just rolling the rice, off of a skyscraper and then trying to guess the numbers you landed.
Instead, let’s use a bit of science to create a reliable, accurate, and effective framework. The aim here is to put together a system that will allow us to find the greatest number of these buggers and loot them for lots and lots of currency, without any sort of exhaustive effort involved.
Step 1 – Find The Node You Want To Loot
Before you go off spelunking, let’s set a clear target. Fractured walls are typically associated with hidden nodes.
These are nodes on the delve map that don’t have any sort of path connecting them to any other nodes. For example, take a look at the node highlighted in red above.
Step 2 – Understand How Pathing Works In Delve
To really understand the system behind finding fractured walls and hidden nodes with ease, we first need to understand how pathing works in the Delve environment.
Hint: It’s one big grid!
With the Delve world being a flat grid, each given node can have 4 paths connected to it. One per direction (left, right, down, up) with none of the paths ever being diagonal. However, while nodes can have up to 4 paths, they only ever have 1, 3, or 4 connections – never 2, as there is always a third hidden connection.
On the other hand, squares that are not a node can only have a single path going through them from one side to the other, as having any sort of intersection would make them a node.
Step 2.5 – A Few Helpful Rules To Save You Time
There are actually a few counterexamples to the 1,3,4 rule we mentioned earlier, where some nodes in the mineshaft do legitimately have 2 random paths.
There are also some 2-path nodes that spawn up towards the very top of the layout, which might be the byproduct of the procedural generation algorithm employed by PoE.
However, the further down you go – the more the 1,3,4 rule holds true.
The Dead-End Rule
In certain scenarios where a hidden node of depth 3 is at the very top of the layout, it can actually have a hidden path on it despite technically being a dead-end.
Hover, as a general rule of thumb – dead end nodes will not have a connection to a hidden node or anything else aside from the node that leads there.
Note: In some cases, it’s even possible for there to be 2 hidden paths in depth 3 dead-end nodes.
Step 3 – Pick A Starting Point
Now that we have a decent handle on how the pathing mechanics work in PoE’s Delve system – let’s apply our newfound knowledge and pick out the possible nodes that could connect to the hidden node we showed earlier.
Here’s an example of the nodes we’ll need to check:
Woah – isn’t 7 locations too much?
Don’t stress, exile! We can actually cross out paths 3, 4, and 6 due to them technically being dead-ends. However, as we know, in certain situations, the path can still spawn there – though it’s very unlikely, so we’ll start with the other paths first.
Don’t forget the 2-path node rule:
If you recall our nifty rules, pretty much all nodes with 2 connections (mineshafts) will have a third hidden path.
In this case, I pretty much know that the other nodes are going to be dead-ends most of the time, and that circled node is going to have a hidden path – meaning around 9/10 times we will find the Path of Exile fractured wall there.
Step 4 – Let’s Get Lookin’
Now that we’ve picked out our starting points, we’ve got to check paths 7, 2, and 1 to see which one will lead us to the hidden node and Path of Exile fractured wall.
So, do we need to run the whole map?
No way! Once you’re in the node, you’ll need to quickly establish which paths it’s got and whether those paths run in the direction we’d need them to.
Let’s go back to our example – starting with Node 7, it’s not the right fit because it doesn’t have a path running to the top right (which would lead to the hidden node on the Delve map).
In the case of Node 2, it’s also not a match since there’s no path running downwards (bottom right of your screen).
Ok, now we’re on Node 1 – and look, there’s a path going to the right!
This is the point where you’d follow that path, throw down some flares, and blast that Path of Exile fractured wall to bits in order to reap some solid profits.
But what if Node 1 didn’t have the path either? Well, dear reader – that’s when we go back and check those dead-ends to see if they may have been exceptions to the rule. As we noted earlier, it’s very rare that this happens, but it’s not impossible to find a Path of Exile fractured wall there.
Video Guide Summary
If going through all the text above proved to be a bit challenging – check out this video guide by ZiggyD to get a quick visual overview of the system we’ve just pieced together.
Ok, But Don’t Corridors Have Walls Too?
Good thinking! Hidden nodes definitely aren’t the only source of fractured walls in PoE’s rich and diverse Delve environment.
As a matter of fact, one of the 2018 Delve patch commentaries ended up giving the Path of Exile player-base a huge hint at the fact that practically every single stretch where there’s no encounter (we’ll call it a corridor) will contain a fractured wall.
Let’s take this cool new theory for a quick spin!
According to the image above, cells 1 and 2 in that long corridor should contain fractured walls.
Boom – theory confirmed!
Pro Tip: In most cases, the fractured walls are quite close to the crawler’s path. I’d recommend running the entire path and then exploring backwards to find the Path of Exile fractured wall.
Hidden Nodes Vs. Running Corridors – Which One’s Better?
One of the most popular questions I see asked is something along the lines of – “but isn’t running long stretches backward more efficient?”
A number of high-rank players I’ve spoken to confirmed that on average, you should find multiple instances of a Path of Exile fractured wall on longer stretches. Which typically provides better average loot potential.
However, that’s only true unless you can systematically speed-run hidden nodes. In which case, your loot potential is typically better.
Using the system we jotted down earlier, you should be able to find hidden nodes quickly and efficiently. In fact, here’s an extra tip – don’t spend too long looking for potential pathways when you check a candidate node, check a screen-length away in the direction of interest.
And if you’re really after some major profits – you can always do a healthy mix of both methods!
Undeniably, the Delve system is one of the best ways to generate currency early in just about any league. And no matter what sort of PoE solo class you’re playing – it’s one of the most consistent ways to level up safely while getting all the currency and resources you’ll need for your endgame build.
Today, in our Path of Exile Fractured Wall Mega-Guide, we’ve covered the key concepts that you’ll need to know in order to loot hidden nodes, discover fractured walls, and rack up tonnes of currency without so much as breaking a sweat.
And with that, we wish you some relaxed and fruitful delving, exile!
Note: A big shout-out goes to Erisymum from the PoE forums who helped compile and track down a lot of the information the community relies on today for profitable delving!