Welcome to the 2020 Path of Exile guide. Trading and building currency in POE is a game within a game, with many nuances to learn and understand. Almost all the loot you during your time in Wraeclast can be traded, and if you know which items to look out for and the best ways to trade you can make a lot of in game currency. If you are reading this guide then I will assume you know the basics of POE (if not, please check out our previous beginners guide) but aren't too familiar with trading and currency, well fear not as I shall take you through it in simple terms, introducing complex ideas where is appropriate.
Path of Exile has an interesting and complex bartering system, and is one reason for the games continues popularity, alongside its many other great features. In contrast to a game like Diablo 3 where there is a single, central currency used as a base for all trading, in POE there is no single currency that you can use to trade with players and NPC's, rather there are various currencies you can use. When you want to sell loot to a vendor they will pay you in these various currencies. Whilst it can initially seem a little complicated, once you get the hang of it using multiple currencies to trade will seem simple.
Trading in Path of Exile always takes place player to player, unlike in other similar games there is no central exchange or market place in POE. To initiate a trade with a player in game, just right click on their character and select the “trade” option, if the player is in your party you can also right click on their portrait on the left side of the screen and select the “trade” option there. The trade user interface itself is fairly simple and should be intuitive if you have played other MMO type games with trading, just drag your items from your inventory into the trade window to offer them, the trade will only complete once both players have agreed.
You may be wondering how to find trades for particular items if there is no central trading hub or marketplace, well a good tool to find out what is for sale is Poe.trade. Poe.trade is a popular third party shop indexer that makes use of the public stash tab API as well as the POE official forums to search for current trade opportunities, it is updated automatically so is always up to date. The tool is extremely feature rich, but I will explain the basic functions in order for you to find an item someone is selling. You can search for an item, including any filters you wish to use from the tools front page. Once you have searched a page will appear with a list of all sellers of that item, clicking the “whisper” button will copy some text that you can you can paste into the chat in-game, once you send the message this will alert that player that you wish you trade with them. If the player is online (which you can see from the status on poe.trade) they should invite you to their hideout to perform the trade, you should make sure you have enough currency with you in your inventory before you go. Once you get to their hideout start and complete the trade with them, making sure to check everything is correct in the trade window.
Selling items in POE is a bit more difficult and will require you to spend some money. To list items and make them visible for others to see on poe.trade, you must have a premium stash tab. Your stash is the chest, located in every main hub and in your hideout, by default it comes with 4 tabs, of which you can list items on. Having a premium stash tab adds the following features to your stash: colour coding for organizational purposes, re-nameable tabs and the most important one for trading, they can be set to “public”, which allows websites using the stash tab api (such as poe.trade) to make a record of what you have, allowing others to see your items when they search using those services. That is all making your stash tab public does, the items still fully belong to you until you wish to trade them on.
Path of Exile has a microtransaction shop on the website, if you visit it you will see an option for stash tabs, and inside that many choices for various purposes. Some of them offer things like special layouts, or extra spaces for certain items, for example the map stash tab comes with the ability to hold 72 of each map type in a tab. At first many of these options may seem unnecsasry or purely cosmetic, and of course the developers strive to make a truly F2P experience, but if you play POE a lot many of these options uses will become more apparent. For the purpose of trading I recommend you buy the following two stash tabs: premium stash tab upgrade which has the effect of upgrading one of your standard stash tabs to a premium one and the Currency stash tab which creates a new layout based tab, making the storage of different currencies much easier.
Now, back in game you can right click on your new purchased tab(s) to set it to public (and change its colour if you wish). You can set a tab so every item sell for the same price, or so that they are priced individually, for now you should price them individually as the value of loot will vary lots. Right clicking on items inside the premium tab will allow you to modify their price. You can set the value of it, which is how much of a certain type of crafting item/ resource you wish someone to pay for it. Once it is public, and if the price is reasonable and similar to other market prices you should expect messages from players soon, do as you did when buying, but invite them to your hideout this time and sell trade them the item, checking the price is correct. You can make the tabs unlisted whenever you wish, although as the indexing sites will show if you are online or not this isn't too important.
What is currency in POE
As was mentioned at the start of this guide, POE doesn't have one single currency, so players instead trade and barter with crafting materials which are better known as orbs. These orbs possess powers that can modify items in a beneficial way, which in turn increases those items value. So whilst there isn't one single currency, over time the Chaos Orb has become the defacto in-game currency, think of it as a gold coin if you will. A good website is poe.ninja/standard/currency, which gives the current, relative value of all in game currencies. For example, selling 18 of the fairly commonly obtained “Orb of Augmentation” will get you 1 chaos orb at the current market price.
You can also buy all POE currencies here at MMOEXP, this will also give you an idea of the real world value of such items. For example at current rates you can purchase 200 chaos orbs for just $0.98, this is a fast and cheap way to boost your POE build and playing experience.