In Path of Exile, crafting with Essences is one of the most effective ways to craft early, mid and late-game gear. Being one of the simplest crafting methods in the game, Essences have straightforward use-cases but they are used at every level of the game whether it be a Leaguestart Bow for Lightning Arrow or a +2 Arrow Endgame Bow for Tornado Shot.
At any point in your progression (especially when playing Solo Self-Found), Essences are a great way of upgrading your gear since Essence monsters are present from Act 1 onwards. When you start out with your first character in a new League, low-tier Essences are helpful to add modifiers to 4- or 5-link bases or to create powerful early Elemental or Physical weapons since they are a cheap alternative and better alternative to Orbs of Alchemy.
If you see an Essence Monster and can defeat it in a matter of seconds, it's worth grabbing it along the way!
Essence Types & Tiers
There are 24 different Essence types that are categorized into 6 different groups. Each of them contains 4 Essence types and dictates at which level they can start spawning, with up to 8 Essence tiers available. The difficulty of Essence monsters as well as the crafting outcomes increase towards higher tiers. All regular Essence types have at least tier 5, 6 and 7 available to them.
3 Essences of a lower tier can be combined to create 1 Essence of a higher tier, up to tier 7 (by vendoring them or using the Essence Stash Tab shown below). Most lower tiers have very low value both for crafting and in the market. Only tier 5 and above should be used once in endgame. In addition to upgrading a normal item to rare (similar to Orb of Alchemy), tier 5+ Essences also offer the option to just reroll a rare right away (similar to Chaos Orb), saving the Orb of Scouring if applied to the same base.
|Lvl. 1+ drop
|Lvl. 12+ drop
|Lvl. 30+ drop
|Lvl. 48+ drop
|Lvl. 68+ drop
|Atlas Passives, Upgrading & Corrupting tier 5 Essences
|Upgrading & Corrupting tier 6 Essences
|Corrupting tier 7 purple Essence monsters only
Similar to Vaal Orb for items, you can use Remnant of Corruption to Corrupt an Essence monster. The possible outcomes are: +1 tier, instantly release the monster or nothing at all.
Tier 8 corrupted Essences are exclusively obtained by using a Remnant of Corruption on an Essence of the last group, the purple Essences commonly abbreviated with MEDS - Misery, Envy, Dread, and Scorn.
- Essence of Delirium
- Essence of Horror
- Essence of Hysteria
- Essence of Insanity
To learn more about how to farm Essences, or when to corrupt things check out our Essence Farming Guide.
Crafting Mechanics Explained
Essences guarantee a modifier while also reforging the item like a Chaos Orb. The Essence modifier is forced regardless of what the item can normally roll. Tier 1 to 4 Essences effectively double as an upgraded Orb of Alchemy and cannot be used unless the item is scoured. Whereas, tiers 5 through 8 also work like a Chaos Orb. Some modifiers are Essence exclusive such as Socketed Gems deal 30% more Elemental Damage from an Essence of Horror.
Some more Mechanics for Essence Crafting:
- Essences cannot be used on an item with benchcrafted Metamods (i.e. a Helmet with Suffixes Cannot be Changed).
- Attempting to do so results in a "Failed to apply item" chat message.
- If an Essence mod is Fractured on an item, Essences can still be used to add a second Essence modifier.
Example 1: Leaguestart Elemental Bow
One of the most common uses for Essences is crafting Leaguestart with very little investment. Essences acquired through the campaign and early maps serve as the primary way to make an early Elemental Bow by simply using a Spine or Thicket bows off of the ground.
Before Screaming Essence of Hatred:
Example 2: Resistance Belt
Before Deafening Essence of Wrath:
When you are progressing towards higher Maps and have accumulated lots of Essences either through farming or trade, use them to target craft specific gear for your own needs (for example, using Shrieking Essence of Hatred if you're trying to max out Cold Resistance). This strategy is even more effective when used on Fractured Items to guarantee two mods at the same time!
Example 2: Endgame Elemental Bow
Essences are also necessary for creating endgame Elemental bows. For this craft, people buy up hundreds of Deafening Essences (the highest tier) in order to try again and again until they hit a specific outcome. Depending on the item type and your goal with it, you may roll a great item worth multiple Divine Orbs.
Step 1: Acquire a Base
Step 2: Essences until x3 Elemental Prefixes
Step 3: Veiled Chaos Orb
Step 4: Unveil and Finish
Tri-Elemental Bow (Lightning Arrow)
Example 3: Endgame Spell Suppression Helmet
Essences are also important for Endgame crafts which require a specific Essence-exclusive modifier. In the case of this helmet, Deafening Essences of Loathing are necessary for adding the (9-10)% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills Suffix.
Step 1: Acquire a Fractured Base
Step 2: Use Deafening Essence of Loathing until a desirable 3rd Suffix
Step 3: Lock Suffixes before using a Veiled Chaos Orb
Step 4: Unveil Life
Step 5: Benchcraft the last Prefix
Step 6: Add the Implicits
Using Craft of Exile for Essence Crafting
The Craft of Exile calculator is the by far the most useful tool for Essence crafting since it can provide an estimated cost to achieving a desired result on an item.
After loading the Craft of Exile front page, click the Calculator tab to navigate to the the base selection menu.
Choose Your Base
After selecting your Base Group, you are met with options to configure Item Level, Item Base and Influence. In this case the example is an intelligence based helmet with no Influence is selected. Match these settings to the exact item you are making.
Select Your Essence
Since this specific craft needs an (9-10)% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills Suffix, Deafening Essences of Loathing are selected. In cases where an item doesn't specifically need an Essence-exclusive modifier,
Since this example helmet has a Fractured Suffix, it's important to select "Fractured" and lock the Suffix in place to optimize the calculation. Simply right click the modifier that is fractured as indicated below.
Choose Your Desired Mods
For this helmet's crafting process, Loathing Essences are used until we see Tier 1 Intelligence. After selecting the modifier from the list of Suffixes, the calculator indicates that with a Fractured Suffix it will require 37 Essences on average.
- When you find Essence monsters, click on them to free and fight them for their special drops.
- Due to their easy use, high availability and rather low cost, Essences can help you as a first step in crafting your own gear more reliably while remaining useful all the way until the end.
- They are categorized in different types and tiers with their own modifiers, some of which are unique in the game. Remnant of Corruption has a chance to upgrade them when used on imprisoned Essences Monsters, which is the only way of obtaining the highest tier.
- Each type of Essence adds a guaranteed modifier.
- Essence crafting is useful both for simple spamming until you get a good result, or as a first step in an extensive crafting project for endgame.
- Craftofexile is a helpful tool when planning your Essence crafts.
- Use Essences to make many of the items featured in our Crafting guides!
Written by Spicysushi.
Contributions by wudijo.
Reviewed by Tenkiei.