Active skill gems and support skill gems are usually referred to as skill gems. Active skill gems grant an active skill for the player to use and are further augmented by support skill gems. They are not passive skills, which provide constant stats and mainly earned through character leveling
Skill gems must equipped in item sockets before their use. Support gems augment these skills when the gems are linked. There are currently 182 different active skill gems and 134 support skill gems in the game, for a total of 316 which can be used in hunting for POE Items.
Getting the Gems for POE Items
There are several methods of obtaining skills and support gems:
- Earned through a quest reward (see quest reward gems).
- Purchased from town vendors once a certain quest is complete.
- Vendor recipe (see vendor recipe system).
- Random drop from monsters, chests and strongboxes.
- Random offer from a master (master skill gem list).
- Vaal Skill Gem from Vaal Vessel in corrupted areas.
- Divination Cards
Gems gain experience and levels alongside the character wearing them in hunting for Path of Exile Items. For all the experience the exile receives, a gem gains its own additional experience at 10% of that amount. Additional gems do not share that experience, but gain their own 10%. Gem experience is not restricted by player level boundaries, so high level characters might not gain experience from low level enemies, but the gem will continue to gain the 10% it normally would.
Path of Exile Items for Gem Hunters
The experience required for each gem level tracks the requirement for the corresponding character level closely until gem level 15, at which point the gem experience required begins to climb much more rapidly. Gems do not need to be utilized for them to gain experience, only equipped. Gems equipped in both weapons slots gain experience, though only the currently active weapon slot’s skills can be used.
Once a gem has enough experience to level up, it will stop gaining experience and a level–up icon will appear on the right of the screen and in the inventory menu. Left–clicking it will level up the gem, right–clicking the icon will hide it on the side of the screen, but it will still be accessible in the inventory menu. Not leveling up a gem is useful in some situations.