New & Active Leagues and Previous Leagues in Path of Exile
When you create a character in Path of Exile, you choose a league for that character to exist in. A single character can only belong to one league at any time and, can't interact with characters outside that league. Characters can only see and interact with other characters in the same league. In this way, each one is its own isolated economy. Each league has its own set of ladder rankings.
The Abyss league and Hardcore Abyss league are the current challenge leagues. The leagues started on December 8, 2017 with the release of the War for the Atlas expansion, Version 3.1.0. The Leagues are set to end on February 26, 2018.
The league mechanics are Abysses, which can spawn in almost all areas of the game. Abysses are marked with a green dot on the minimap. They are triggered by walking over the green, glowing area. This opens a crack in the ground that can be followed to a gaping pit. Enemies spawn along the crack, and a rare enemy spawns from the pit. From the last pit, an Abyssal Trove may spawn, which usually contains one to three Abyss items. At higher levels, a portal to the Abyssal Depths may open instead.
The Harbinger league and Hardcore Harbinger league were a pair of challenge leagues. The leagues started on August 4, 2017 with the release of Version 3.0.0 and ended on December 4, 2017.
In this league, zones may contain a Harbinger. Harbingers summon enemies to fight the player while empowering them in different ways, and they can only be harmed by killing their minions. Harbingers can drop currency shards, for both ones seen in Wraeclast as well as their own currency. If the player can find the mysterious origins of these Harbingers and stop them, they may find a fragment of a Harbinger unique, which grants the power to command Harbingers themselves.
The Legacy league and Hardcore Legacy league launched on March 3, 2017 with the release of version 2.6.0, and ended on November 4, 2017.
In the Legacy leagues, enemies dropped Leaguestones that could be equipped to experience one of 17 previous leagues in the next zone. Up to three Leaguestones could be equipped at a time, and Leaguestones could also have magic modifiers that altered the way the leagues are encountered. Not only was it possible to obtain league-specific items this way, the Legacy leagues offered a chance to obtain a Relic unique item, a special version of unique items with its original legacy item stats. They could be randomly obtained in an Ancient Reliquary by using an Ancient Reliquary Key in a map device.
The Breach league and Hardcore Breach league started on December 2, 2016 with the release of version 2.5.0, and ended on February 27, 2017.
In this league, there were breaches that appeared in zones. Approaching a breach opened a parallel realm containing otherworldly monsters. The breach continued to expand as more breach monsters were killed until it eventually collapsed. Splinters dropped from enemies within the breach, which can be combined into a Breachstone to challenge the Breachlord in their realm.
The Essence league and Hardcore Essence league started on September 2, 2016 with the release of Atlas of Worlds expansion, version 2.4.0, and ended on November 28, 2016.
In this league, zones contained a pack of frozen monsters which held an Essence, where taking it freed the monsters imbued with its power. Essences can be used to modify items with a specified guaranteed affix, some of which are exclusive to Essences. Essences can be traded to vendors for higher tiers and can even be corrupted for a chance to gain an even stronger Essence or destroy it.
The Prophecy league and Hardcore Prophecy league started on June 3, 2016 with the release of Version 2.3.0 and ended on November 29, 2016.
In this league, approximately one monster per area could drop a Silver Coin. These can be traded with Navali, who can exchange one silver coin for a prophecy. Prophecies have various effects: they can add new enemy encounters to zones, improve crafting outcomes, guarantee a unique drop, and so forth. There are even prophecies that require the player to have a certain unique item equipped, which upgrades the unique item when completed.
The Perandus league and Hardcore Perandus league started on March 4, 2016 with the launch of the Ascendancy expansion, and ended on May 30, 2016.
The league was based on the Perandus family, which controlled much of the Eternal Empire's wealth. Although the empire was destroyed by the Cataclysm, Cadiro Perandus had managed to hide its treasures in secret caches around Wraeclast. These caches appeared randomly in zones, but in order to open them players first had to defeat all of the guards. Players could also encounter Cadiro himself, who would offer an item in exchange for Perandus Coins. Perandus Coins could only be obtained by opening caches or trading with other players.
The Talisman league and Hardcore Talisman league started on December 11, 2015 along with the release of Version 2.1.0 and ended March 4, 2016.
In these leagues, monsters are possessed by ancient Ezomyte Talismans. These monsters are indicated by green Talisman symbols over their heads. The Talismans grant them additional strength and properties in battle. Killing one of these monsters allows the player to claim its Talisman for himself.
The Warbands league and Tempest league started on July 10, 2015. Both leagues ended October 2, 2015.
In the Warbands league, warring clans spread throughout Wraeclast. These warbands are tight-knit groups of enemies who cooperate and use synergistic skills to take you down. At higher levels, elite and leader enemies were present, who directed their Warband in combat and could take matters into their own hands if the tide of battle turned against them.
The Tempest league was a hardcore challenge league. This league introduced Tempests. These can cause a variety of effects that influence both monsters and players, such as changing their sizes, causing damage, altering drop rates or automatically animating weapons that drop
The Torment league and Bloodlines league started on December 13, 2014 and ended on March 24, 2015.
In the Torment league, your adventures were haunted by the spirits of tormented criminals that yielded their ill-gotten gains when slain. Eager to protect their trove, these spirits fled when encountered and imbue nearby monsters with dangerous powers, which improves their item drops. It was also possible for spirits to possess rare and unique enemies, greatly increasing their threat.
The Bloodlines league was a hardcore challenge league. In this league, each pack of magic monsters had a shared Bloodline mod that greatly influenced combat – sometimes while the pack was still alive, and sometimes after it had been killed.
The Rampage league and Beyond league started on August 20, 2014 and lasted until November 20, 2014.
In Rampage league, the player built up rampage for gaining kills within a 5 second time frame before the rampage resets. As players progressed through the rampage levels they would receive various effects such as faster attacks, faster movement, novas that explode or stun enemies, summoned spirit weapons up to a cyclone at 325 kills that explodes nearby enemies.
In Beyond League had to deal with a race of extradimensional demons invading Wraeclast. When you killed monsters in close proximity to one another, small portals started to open. When you got enough of those open together, and a larger portal opened up, spawning more powerful monsters. If those happened close together, an even larger portal opened up, complete with a unique boss that was designed to be extremely difficult to kill.
The Ambush league and Invasion league started on March 5, 2014 and ended on July 5, 2014.
In Invasion league all areas had been invaded by monsters from all over Wraeclast. A unique Invasion Boss from an invading monster type was also lurking in each level. Higher difficulty levels contained expanded monster variety and invading bosses with more abilities.
The Domination league and Nemesis league started on October 23, 2013 and ended on February 23, 2014.
The Anarchy league and Onslaught league started on June 7, 2013 and ended on October 7, 2013.
Permanent Path of Exiles Leagues
There are four leagues that exist permanently.
- Standard is the default league and has no modifiers.
- Hardcore has the hardcore modifier, meaning characters who die are moved to Standard. Hardcore is equivalent to permadeath in other RPGs, though characters and items are not automatically deleted.
In addition to standard and hardcore, a Solo Self-Found variant for each exists. In these leagues, players can't trade or party with other players and have to rely solely on the items they find themselves.
- SSF Standard is the default league with the SSF flag.
- SSF Hardcore has the hardcore and SSF flags.
Temporary Path of Exiles Leagues
Temporary leagues have a set duration, which can vary from 12 minutes to four months. They are usually defined by specific modifiers or features that the permanent leagues don't have. When a league ends, the characters are not lost but transferred to one of the permanent leagues.
Challenge Path of Exiles Leagues
On no set schedule, they create two new leagues and remove the previous two challenge leagues. These leagues are intended to introduce and test new content while providing players with a fresh economy. Challenge leagues have been three or four months long. In addition, each pair of leagues has a set of optional challenges that can be completed for a prize.
When a challenge league ends, all characters and their belonging will be sent to their respective parent league (Standard league or Hardcore League). Map progress will be transferred, along with Shaped maps and Sextants. The greater of Master's level will be retained, and accrued favour will be added to the existing total.