Since we already covered the basics of gems in Path of Exile, let’s go deeper into the gem system with Support Gems. These Path of Exile items can heavily influence how you play your character and what items you will keep. Understanding their mechanics is a must.
Support gems and links on Path of Exile items
Support gems can only affect skill(s) on sockets it is linked too. Note that sockets don’t have to be next to another socket to be considered linked. For example if you have a link layout of R-G-G-B, then each socket is considered to be linked to all the other sockets. As long as you can trace an unbroken line along the linked sockets, then all those sockets are connected. Make sure to remember this when choosing Path of Exile items to use support gems on.
Limiations and drawbacks of Path of Exile items with support gems
Aside from the obvious casting cost increase of supported skills, support gems can only upgrade statistics the skill already has. If your support gem increases fire damage, but your skill doesn’t have fire damage, then the support gem does nothing. Another limitation is that support gems do no stack. Only the higher level gem in your Path of Exile items will be used to modify the skill. They will still both gain experience points however.