What’s the skill gems in Path of Exile? Skill gems must be equipped in items sockets before their use. Skill gems are not to be confused with passive skills, which provide constant stats and mainly earned through character levelling.

One of the unique things that sets Path of Exile apart is its brilliantly designed skill system – skills come in forms of gems that are socketed in the items. At the inception of the game, many skills were obtainable only through drops, however now you can buy practically all skill gems from NPCs with exception of few.

Path of Exile

Skill gems are divided into two types – active skill gems and support gems. Active skill gems grant the player active skill such as spell, trap, mine, aura, curse or warcry. Skill gems have several tags associated with them that many beginners overlook, below I have added a picture with 3 different active skills and their tags. When active skill gems are linked with support gems, it increases mana cost of the active skill.

These tags are pretty much essential pointers for everyone, even the most experienced players – they basically tell us what kind of skill this is and which support gems are going to work with said skill.

First one – Flameblast. As you can see it has several tags – Spell, AoE, Fire, Channeling that tell us what kind of support gems would work with the skill. For example, we could link Flameblast with Faster Casting support or Spell Echo, that works with all active skill gems that have tag Spell, we could also link it to Increased Area of Effect Support or Concentrated Effect Support because of AoE tag, and Fire Penetration Support because of Fire tag.

3rd Skill gem is a minion gem – as you can see it has tag Minion, which means it will be affected by such skill gems as Minion Damage Support or Minion Life Support; it can also be supported with Faster Casting Support or Spell Echo Support.

This specific skill gem has hidden attack modifier as well – some of the minion skill gems (this included) summon minions who use attacks when they kill enemies, which means it can also be supported by Melee Splash Support, however, does not benefit from Weapon Elemental damage because they do not attack with weapons.