Every character in Path of Exile has access to the passive skill tree [1]. The Passive Skill 'Tree' is a large network of passive Buffs and raw Attributes increases for your character. All classes are on the same tree, but start in different places. When you level up, you gain one skill point. You can use that point to activate a node, but you must be connected to that node. This is how the character's passive 'path' is formed.

While the passive tree (sometimes referred to in-game as the Skilldrasil or Skill Web) may seem complicated, it actually only has two parts. It can be thought of as a map, with suburbs and roads.

The clusters of related passive nodes that boost a specific area (Swords, Hammers, Archery, Fire Damage, Evasion, and so on) are like suburbs. These will form the bulk of your character's build. The pathways between these clusters, comprised entirely of nodes that give +10 to a certain Attributes, are like roads. Some of these roads can cover a great distance much quicker than if you detour through the suburbs: what may look like a short path with passive boosts could in fact be much longer than taking the +10 to attribute path.

You can see what these attributes do by pressing 'c' in-game and hovering your mouse over each of the three. Anything the attributes don't do, such as increase ranged damage or attack speed, will likely be handled by passive nodes on the skill 'tree'.

Making builds

There is also an offline-ish skill-tree that can be downloaded from the forums, which allows players to refine their intended builds more easily. This program will not work while the pathofexile.com is down for maintenance or you are not connected to the internet.

Passive Nodes

Basic Passives

Icon Name Bonus
Passive-strength.png Strength +10 to Strength
Passive-dexterity.png Dexterity +10 to Dexterity
Passive-intelligence.png Intelligence +10 to Intelligence

Notable Passives

Keystone Passives

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