Table of Content

Mapping is one of the endgame content players will spend most of their time on. This feature contains and drops the most loot in the game, which makes it profitable to spam. With the vast number of unexplored areas in the game, Exiles will need to know how to navigate this feature optimally and efficiently. From developing your Atlas Tree to planning which maps to make an incursion, there are a lot of steps in maximizing your profits via Mapping. 

Path of Exile Mapping and the Atlas

Mapping in Path of Exile requires using consumable map items and the Atlas Device. Engaging with this feature will give players access to various locations that will contain a varying quality of mobs and specific League encounters. Mapping is considered the most profitable venture in the game since it is the source of various items, currencies, and more maps. 

In each area, players have the chance to encounter various opponents. Mobs are ever-present, and Bosses can be found at the end of each map, which will drop different good loot. Mobs can drop maps that are one tier higher than the current one. Bosses can drop maps that are two levels higher. However, certain modified foes can alter the drop rule. Here is how the system works:

  • Normal Mobs (White) can only drop maps of the same tier in the current zone being run.
  • Magic (Blue) and Rare (Yellow) foes can drop maps up to one tier higher than the current zone.
  • Unique Mobs (Orange) can drop maps two tiers more elevated than the ones currently running.

Aside from the tier drops, another rule is which maps would be dropped on by mobs. Any loot related to Mapping must be connected to the one being run. Alternatively, mobs can drop unconnected pieces if the player has already completed them. Tier 1 maps can be looted as early as Act 8, but no other higher tiers can be acquired in the story chapters. 

Due to the number of available zones, it might be hard for players to keep track of their progress. Fortunately, the Atlas of Worlds assists Exiles by highlighting how each map is connected and how gamers can progress. This feature is the best way to plan their path or see which they should prioritize. 

The Atlas of Worlds will show players their current progress and the quality of their maps. There are 16 Tiers for Mapping, each with a recommended entry level. Here are all the grades for these items:

  • Tier 1 to 5 (White) - levels 68 to 72
  • Tier 6 to 10 (Yellow) - levels 73 to 77
  • Tier 11 or higher (Red) - levels 78 to 84

Atlas Skill Tree

Players can increase the quality of these maps using the Atlas Tree. This system is similar to how to point allocations affect character stats and skills. In this case, the skill tree buffs or modifies specific types of maps and encounters in various ways. The enormous size of this system might confuse newer players. However, the current tree allows Exiles to become more flexible and efficient in building their Atlas.

How you build your Atlas Tree will determine which modifiers will fit you the best. Hundreds of nodes are available, but players must still be careful allocating points since they can’t get them all. Depending on your characters, some skill builds are better for starters, and some for the endgame stage.

POE How to Get Maps

Maps are obtained randomly from running zones starting from Act 8 to any Atlas Map. These items are obtained randomly, similar to how you accept currencies and other gear. While the loot relies mainly on RNG, you can influence the chances of getting specific tiers and maps. 

The main thing gamers should remember is that they can only acquire maps connected to the zones they are currently running. As mentioned in an earlier section, the type of mob that drops the item will determine the tier of what you acquire. This method will be your primary method of gathering maps. 

Another way players gain maps is to sell the ones they get to a vendor. Most of the time, gamers will acquire pieces they have already finished or are not needed. By selling three maps of the same tier, you will get a new one of a higher rank. Instead of spamming lower-level pieces, always sell them by threes.

Eventually, you will meet Zana Caeserius during one of your runs. She can be found in The Templar Laboratory or The Shaper’s Realm. She will provide you with random selections of maps every time you encounter her. These pieces will be done immediately as she will open a portal that will take players there. Here are the qualifiers:

  • Same tier or one tier higher than your current zone
  • It can be magic, rare, or unique

Exiles should note that these maps will also feature specific challenges. Magic and Rare pieces may have a chance to have time limits. There are clear objectives that you must also complete for the higher-tier maps. 

Fastest Way to Get Higher Tier Maps in PoE

The easiest way to obtain higher-tiered maps is to engage in trade. If you have Chaos Orbs, you can buy pieces from other players who have them. It is ideal to do this interaction when looking at Red maps. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to do this, so only a few players consider buying pieces. 

Best PoE Map Layout

Many players look for the best layout they should follow when they build their mapping routes. However, there is no fixed or set way to create the best pattern in the game since it mainly relies on the individual. Shaping your Atlas is influenced by personal preferences and your skill tree.

For preference, the only thing that players should remember is to shape their Atlas based on bosses and layouts they like to fight. If you find certain bosses or landscapes harder, try to avoid them. Your current build will also determine which fights are more suitable or appropriate for you. 

Aside from the difficulty, another main factor is probability. Depending on your Atlas Tree, specific layouts are more lucrative or beneficial. It is ideal for cross-checking your passive tree before you start shaping your routes or vice versa. 

How to Optimize Mapping in Path of Exile

There are four significant ways to improve your mapping runs in the game:

  1. Optimizing your character to be strong enough to take on any zones.
  2. Planning and selecting which maps you will be spamming.
  3. Customizing your Atlas Tree to increase the quality of loot
  4. Upgrading or modifying your pieces.

Character optimization is a personal preference on the player’s side. There are tons of builds that gamers can run, so it is hard to pinpoint a specific form that would work the best. However, the general rule is that setups that can clear mobs quickly and have high-single target DPS are good for Mapping. This part does not need many discussion since it will mainly depend on the players’ decisions.

The second one is essential to ensure you spend your time optimally. This part indicates which maps players should prioritize and what objectives they should do. Gamers can either progress their Atlas progression or profitable farm currencies. 

The third one is significant since allocations in the Atlas Tree will determine which maps would be more lucrative for gamers. However, some nodes are better compared to others. Investing in Eldritch and Legion skills are high-risk but high-reward venture. Meanwhile, Harbingers, Strongboxes, and Essences are more appropriate for starter builds.

The fourth one should always be observed and should already be done habitually. Upgrading or modifying maps helps improve the quality of the loot gathered from the zones. While they make mobs a lot stronger, the reward for clearing the areas makes the risk worth it.

In-Depth Guide for Planning and Optimizing Runs

The general rule for Mapping is to aim for the highest map tiers your character can handle. Some players think completing the Atlas is essential, but it can be inefficient if you try to force it. It is ideally more optimal to spam the highest-tier characters can run rather than forcing yourself to clear zones that are definitely out of your League. 

When you have determined the highest zones you can run, completing the Bonus Objectives is the next thing you should do. Clearing these secondary tasks will help you gain points, which you can allocate to your Atlas Skill Tree. No shame in rerunning lower-level maps as long as you haven’t completed their bonus objectives.

In-Depth Guide for Atlas Tree

The Atlas Tree can be very overwhelming, especially for newer players. The sheer size of the whole system can confuse experienced players if they do not know the mechanics of the current League. However, there is a general idea of what gamers can go for depending on what stage of the game they are on. Here are some tips when customizing your Atlas Tree:

  • For League Starters or earlier, it is best to invest most of your points on Nodes involving Strongboxes, Essences, and Harbinger.
  • The best endgame Nodes would be the Eldritch Altars since they provide the most rewards. However, foes become more lethal, making them a high-risk but high-reward venture.
  • Harvest is a good option for those looking more into gear crafting.
  • Legion provides excellent profits for the price of minor investments.
  • Breach is another alternative for Legion for those who prefer doing Breach encounters.
  • Abyss may not be as profitable as others, but it does get more rewarding since you can gain five to six mods of Abyss Jewels from these encounters.
  • Expeditions are lengthy ventures but very rewarding, so it is an excellent option for gamers willing to invest more time for greater rewards.
  • Investing on the Bestiary side is excellent for players who want to balance their gear crafting activities while also gaining profitable items to sell.

While deciding which path to take can be pretty troublesome, gaining the points needed to access specific Nodes is equally tedious. You can acquire 132 points to use in the Atlas Tree, so learning how to achieve them is crucial. Here are the ways to earn them fast:

  • Gain the map completion bonus, which would provide 117 points. To do so, you must complete the main and optional objectives per map. However, the zones should be modified to finish the tasks. Tiers 1 to 5 maps need to be blue or better. Tiers 6 to 11 need to have a rare rarity or better. Red maps need to be both rare and corrupted.
  • Doing Kirac’s quest and eliminating the Pinnacle Bosses will reward you with points.
  • Doing the first set of Maven’s Invitations will provide players with the remaining points.

The best thing about investing in Path of Exile is that you can restyle your Atlas Tree because you can refund investment points. However, this process is not free because you will need an Orb of Unmaking, which functions similarly to an Orb of Regret. They can be acquired from slaying mobs or trading them with Kirac for the price of two Orb of Regret.

In-Depth Guide for Upgrading and Modifying Maps

Upgrading the quality of maps in Path of Exile is commonly known as juicing. There are tons of ways to modify your pieces, so it is always advised for players to juice their high-tiered maps as often as possible. Here are the currencies you can use to improve your Yellow or Red maps:

  • Orb of Binding
  • Orb of Scouring
  • Orb of Alchemy

Aside from orbs, you can also use items called Voidstones to upgrade your map runs. These things boost Atlas as a whole rather than just singular maps. There are four types of Voidstones that players can use. Here are all the Atlas modifiers in the game:

  • Ceremonial Voidstone (acquired from The Mave)
  • Decayed Voidstone (acquired from The Elder)
  • Grasping Voidstone (acquired from The Eater of Worlds)
  • Omniscient Voidstone (acquired from The Searing Exarch)

While Voidstones already increase the quality of the maps in the Atlas, they provide an additional 25% bonus to increase their tiers by one more. This bonus can stack depending on how many stones you have socketed. All four means you gain a 100% bonus to increase map tiers.

Another set of items that players should own is called Sextants. These currencies can be used to enhance Voidstones, which will add random modifiers to them. This means that the mods that the stones gain from the modification will also affect all the maps. Here are all the Sextants in the game:

  • Simple Sextant (provides common modifiers)
  • Prime Sextant (provides standard modifiers)
  • Awakened Sextant (provides rare modifiers)
  • Elevated Sextant

These items can be randomly acquired from mobs or exchanged for the Monochrome and Underground Forest Divination Cards.

General Tips for Mapping

  • Upon reaching Tier 6 maps, always try to have the Maven influence in all your runs to ensure you are progressing her storyline. The faster you do them, the quicker you will receive more Atlas Tree points.
  • After you have finished The Maven questlines, you can freely pursue The Searing Exarch and The Eater of Worlds tasks.
  • Save your Surveyor’s Compass for important Sextants that you may want to retrieve later.
  • Players don’t need to do maps tier by tier. Once you acquire a particular piece, you can already run it in the Atlas. For example, if you have Tier 1 and Tier 4 maps, you can already do the latter without even doing any Tier 2 or 3.

Following this guide will help give you an idea of how you can optimize your runs. Try to explore as many features as possible to help you figure out what you would prefer in your Mapping.