Get started with crafting
In a nutshell, crafting in Path of Exile means improving the quality and rarity plus modifying the mods (also called affixes) of an item. To do that, you have to use various items in your inventory, to be specific, your PoE currency.
Basic crafting requires an item you feel is a good upgrade to your old gear. First, increase its quality, especially if using a white rarity item. It’s more cost-effective to increase quality on a lower rarity item. Use an Orb of Alchemy or an Orb of Transmutation and an Orb of Chance to make it rare.
Now that it’s rare, you can use Chaos Orbs on it to reroll the mods. You used to be able to imprint an item with an Eternal Orb to ‘save’ the item, but it is drop-disabled right now. The only way to reset crafting an item is to use an Orb of Scouring and restart the process.
That’s only scratching the surface of crafting. For example, the Crafting Bench lets you craft modifiers. These crafted mods keep Chaos Orbs from rolling the same ones, thereby limiting the results. It’s a method to skew RNG in your favor. New mechanics come with some challenge leagues, which gives the process even more complexity.
Now, as you’re using currency to craft, in a way you’re investing in the item. That’s why some players treat crafting as a business, and so recommend a few things to note.
Good PoE Crafting Habits
Check Prices Religiously - Item prices fluctuate often in Path of Exile. Most of it is dictated by streamers, though some other factors still influence it. Sometimes it changes every league, other times it’s every week during the league. Knowing what an item is worth lets you know whether it’s worth investing in.
Know When You’ve Made a Sellable Item - Take note that when rolling for mods, you always want viable ones. If you made an item that you know is worth more than when you started (checking prices comes into play), you can sell it for a profit. Maybe it’ll be small, maybe it’ll be a huge profit. Just because it can’t be beneficial to your build doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial to another’s build.
Unfortunately, the only way to get this right is through experience and lots of research. Knowing what builds are currently popular will also help. At any rate, don’t roll over good opportunities to profit. Understanding what variations can come out can also help with this. It’ll let you assess the potential profit against your investment.
RNG Will Favor You Sometimes - That means you might hit a jackpot in rolling and can get back all your crafting expenses. Of course, you can’t rely on getting a good supply of these, as RNG is often merciless unless you’re extremely lucky. Again, it doesn’t have to fit your build to be valuable! Keep on checking prices and popular builds.
Invest for Higher Profits - Like in real-world business, the more you invest, the more you stand to gain.
Know the Chaos to Exalt Ratio - This determines how much you can profit. Below a certain threshold, you’ll profit less for the same investment.
Time is Money - All the research can take some time if you’re going to do it every you craft. Being efficient with experience lets you spend less time on that. In turn, it’ll give you more time to craft or run maps.
You May Have to Wait for Profit - Selling crafted gear can go two ways. Lower margins mean less profit per item, but they fly off the shelves. Higher margins mean more profit per item, but take some time to sell. It’s up to you to choose which method to go with.
Heed the warning to not craft early on in the game. For one thing, your stockpile of PoE currency wouldn’t be able to sustain your crafting. Besides, players are changing gear all the time while leveling up. Investing too much in gear you won’t use after a few levels isn’t very good for profit. It’s just not worth it.
Good luck with crafting gear! PoE trade is always bustling so with the right affix combinations you can be swimming in currency. The most important thing is to have fun and don’t be afraid to lose. Sometimes you’ll get the jackpot, and sometimes you’ll find nothing good.
Keep on enjoying Path of Exile!