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Path of Exile vs Last Epoch – Which is Better?

Two titans of the ARPG genre face off!




Path of Exile vs Last Epoch - Which is Better

Path of Exile has held the throne of the best modern ARPG for a decade, but the upcoming launch of Last Epoch is bringing some fierce competition to the classic genre!

ARPG players are eating good, that’s for sure, but these types of games are massive timesinks. If you only want to choose one of them, you’ll better choose carefully…

In this article, we look at the key differences between these fantastic ARPGs and help you decide which one is better for you.

Path of Exile vs Last Epoch – Key Differences


Path of Exile gameplay

Honestly, this might be the most obvious difference by far, so let’s get it out of the way first.

Path of Exile is a free-to-play game. It’s a pretty lenient F2P game that doesn’t paywall content, but the size of your stash is pretty limited and the only way to increase it is through microtransactions.

It’s not a huge dealbreaker for everyone, but a limited stash inventory can be a huge pain to deal with, especially once you reach the endgame. I mean, even the in-game currency stash requires upgrades!

Besides the stash upgrades, you can also pay up to get a variety of cosmetics. These have absolutely no gameplay benefits other than making you look spiffier, though.

Last Epoch gameplay

Last Epoch, on the other hand, requires an upfront payment. It doesn’t cost anywhere near as much as a brand-new AAA release, though, that’s for sure!

You can’t get any gameplay benefits at all by paying up, either. That said, the game does have microtransactions for cosmetics. Extra drip costs extra cash, it seems…

In short, Path of Exile is F2P with microtransactions for gameplay benefits and cosmetics. Meanwhile, Last Epoch requires an upfront payment and also has cosmetics for sale as microtransactions.

Path of Exile might be better in this category, as you can just try out the game without spending a dime. But do be warned you will need to spend to upgrade the stash later on!

Character Builds

Last Epoch gameplay

Both games feature similar class systems, as you start out with a base class which you can upgrade to a specialized class later on. In that sense, both games are fairly similar.

However, the skill trees for both games make character builds work extremely different from each other.

Path of Exile Skill Tree

Path of Exile has a massive Passive Skill Tree that is shared by all classes, with each level up further defining your playstyle and class. We really do mean massive, by the way, as it has over 1300 Skill Nodes available.

This gives you an extreme amount of freedom when building your character, but it does have a couple of notable drawbacks.

The first obvious drawback is that it’s simply overwhelming. There’s just way too much to keep track of, which results in most players getting turned off from the game.

The second drawback is that the game sacrifices the identity of each class somewhat since the Passive Skill Tree has the same skills for all classes. Equipment is more defining of your class than your passive skills.

Last Epoch Skill Tree

Last Epoch, on the other hand, has a much more classic type of skill tree. Each class has its own skill tree, and your character build will be mostly defined by which skill you choose to focus on.

While this is obviously not as flexible as what Path of Exile offers, it does make it much easier to grasp for players.

Additionally, each class has a more uniquely defined role and playstyle, since they all have unique skill trees. This makes choosing the right class for you more important!

New Player Experience

Path of Exile gameplay

If you haven’t played either game and are looking to get one as a total newbie, this key point is all for you! Especially if you’re new to the ARPG genre.

Path of Exile has been around for over a decade at this point, and it never stopped getting updates. In fact, it’s still getting updates to this day! The amount of content in the game is simply staggering, to say the least.

Pair the massive amount of content with Path of Exile’s complex Passive Skill Tree system, and the game can feel downright impossible to a new player.

In fact, even some veterans make memes about the game requiring frequent use of external third-party guides to figure out how to build their character and how to do certain content.

However, that does mean you will get a massive amount of content and one of the most complex ARPGs ever made if you manage to push through that initial barrier. It’s well worth persevering if you’ve got the stomach for it!

Last Epoch gameplay

Last Epoch, on the other hand, is only barely coming out of Early Access and doesn’t have a decade’s worth of content updates.

That’s not to say the game is lacking in content, though, and we know updates will add even more stuff to the game down the line!

More importantly, Last Epoch’s character progression systems and skill trees are a lot easier to grasp while still retaining enough depth to be engaging.

And, should you ever be stuck, the game features a lot of in-game guides and tools that you can use to look up information without having to rely on third-party sources.

So, in short, Last Epoch is a much more welcoming ARPG for new players than Path of Exile.


Path of Exile gameplay

Ultimately, Path of Exile and Last Epoch offer pretty different experiences, despite both being ARPGs. Sorry to disappoint you, but the answer isn’t quite as clear cut, after all…

Path of Exile is free-to-play and has a decade of content available for you to play through. However, its overwhelming character progression systems and microtransactions for stash upgrades can turn players off.

Path of Exile is your best bet if you simply want a highly engrossing game with lots of content, fast-paced combat, and an extremely freeform skill tree.

Last Epoch gameplay

Last Epoch requires an upfront payment and doesn’t have the vast amount of content Path of Exile has. But, it has an excellent character progression system that perfectly balances accessibility and depth.

Its unique classes, welcoming nature, and engaging tactical combat systems make it extremely fun to play. It’s one of the best ARPGs in a while, and it’s perfect for both veterans and newbies to the genre.

Full disclaimer? You really can’t go wrong with either of these fantastic ARPGs, but we hope we at least helped you decide which one better suits your tastes!

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