Leagues in Path of Exile represent the game worlds or domains that characters exist within. A single character can only belong to one league at any time, and can't interact with characters outside that league. Leagues in Path of Exile are split in 2 different categories: permanent and temporary leagues. Each league is narrowed down further with optional game modes that represent different playstyles by introducing key conditions and restrictions to gameplay.
Permanent leagues are standard, default leagues that only include mechanics that are core to the game, have no additional modifiers, and exclude any content from the current challenge league. Permanent leagues include: Standard (Softcore/Trade), Standard Hardcore, Standard Solo-Self Found, and Standard Hardcore Solo-Self Found. Ruthless versions of these permanent leagues are added in April 2023 after the end of Sanctum leagues, the first expansion that introduced Ruthless .
Characters used in Hardcore versions of Ruthless mode or certain event leagues (such as Endless Delve or Mayhem) are automatically transferred to a Void League upon death or at the end of the event's duration. Characters in Void Leagues cannot be accessed from the character selection screen, and can only be deleted or kept as a trophy. Their equipment and passive trees are still visible on a player's web profile and can be imported to the Path of Building third-party software.
Temporary leagues have a set duration, which can vary from 12 minutes to four months. They are usually defined by specific modifiers or features that the permanent leagues don't have. When a league ends, characters from temporary leagues are transferred to the corresponding permanent league, unless voided.
Roughly every 13-16 weeks, a new challenge league is released that is intended to introduce and test new content and provide players with a fresh start and a set of optional challenges that can be completed for cosmetic prizes. Traditionally, challenge leagues are accompanied by a number of balance changes, new skill gems, and content from an accompanying expansion. Older challenge league content may also be periodically removed from the core mechanics of the game.
When a challenge league ends, all characters and their stash will be sent to their respective parent permanent league. Map progress will be transferred, along with maps. However, the map progress will be reset in Standard league once the new temporary league (and the accompanied expansion) starts. Players restore their atlas completion progress by completing any single T16 legacy map (or partial restoration of the progress by complete a legacy as high tier as they can). Voidstones and atlas passive progress (only the invitation and pinnacle bosses kill part) are not reset at the start of each expansion, however.
Below is a list of all leagues in Path of Exile in order of release, starting by the current challenge league (times are in UTC):
|Challenge League||Release Date||End Date||Release Version|
|Affliction league||2023-12-08 7:00:00 PM||3.23.0|
|Ancestor league||2023-08-18 8:00:00 PM||2023-12-05 9:00:00 PM||3.22.0|
|Crucible league||2023-04-07 8:00:00 PM||2023-08-15 10:00:00 PM||3.21.0|
|Sanctum league||2022-12-09 7:00:00 PM||2023-04-04 9:00:00 PM||3.20.0|
|Kalandra league||2022-08-19 8:00:00 PM||2022-12-06 8:00:00 PM||3.19.0|
|Sentinel league||2022-05-13 8:00:00 PM||2022-08-16 10:00:00 PM||3.18.0|
|Archnemesis league||2022-02-04 8:00:00 PM||2022-05-10 10:00:00 PM||3.17.0|
|Scourge league||2021-10-22 7:00:00 PM||2022-02-01 9:00:00 PM||3.16.0|
|Expedition league||2021-07-23 8:00:00 PM||2021-10-18 9:00:00 PM||3.15.0|
|Ultimatum league||2021-04-16 8:00:00 PM||2021-07-19 10:00:00 PM||3.14.0|
|Ritual league||2021-01-15 8:00:00 PM||2021-04-12 9:00:00 PM||3.13.0|
|Heist league||2020-09-18 8:00:00 PM||2021-01-11 9:00:00 PM||3.12.0|
|Harvest league||2020-06-19 8:00:00 PM||2020-09-14 10:00:00 PM||3.11.0|
|Metamorph league||2019-12-13 8:00:00 PM||2020-03-09 9:00:00 PM||3.9.0|
|Blight league||2019-09-06||2019-12-09 9:00:00 PM||3.8.0|
|Synthesis league||2019-03-08||2019-06-03 10:00:00 PM||3.6.0|
|Betrayal league||2018-12-07||2019-03-04 9:00:00 PM||3.5.0|
|Delve league||2018-08-31||2018-12-03 9:00:00 PM||3.4.0|
|Incursion league||2018-06-01||2018-08-27 10:00:00 PM||3.3.0|
|Bestiary league||2018-03-02 8:00:00 PM||2018-05-28 10:00:00 PM||3.2.0|
|Abyss league||2017-12-08 8:00:00 PM||2018-02-26 9:00:00 PM||3.1.0|
|Harbinger league||2017-08-04 8:00:00 PM||2017-12-04 9:00:00 PM||3.0.0|
|Legacy league||2017-03-03||2017-07-31 10:00:00 PM||2.6.0|
|Breach league||2016-12-02 8:00:00 PM||2017-02-27 9:00:00 PM||2.5.0|
Race leagues are temporary leagues created specifically for a single race event. These leagues have their own stash. At the end of the event, characters and their stashed items will be moved to the parent league, typically Standard, Hardcore, or Void League. The player's race stash may be placed in remove-only stash tabs if the parent league has no empty tabs.
Private leagues are independent, temporary leagues that are purchasable with Path of Exile store points. They are customizable, allowing players to select their name, start time, amount of players, duration, and additional modifiers. When creating a private league, you can choose a league type to base it on. This can be a variation of the current challenge league or one of the permanent leagues.
By default, every private league has a base cost of 120 Path of Exile store points, a duration of 10 days, and 10 player slots. You may increase the number of players or the duration of the league at an additional cost when creating the league and throughout its duration. The player that creates the league can either pay for the cost directly or crowdfund it, allowing for other players to contribute Path of Exile store points to fund the league.
You may also choose additional modifiers to make the league more challenging for no extra cost. These modifiers will be active for the entirety of the league's duration and cannot be deactivated. Options include:
- Increased Monster Damage: Monsters deal 10% (Tier I) and 20% (Tier II) increased damage.
- Increased Monster Life: Monsters have 20% (Tier I) and 40% (Tier II) more life.
- Increased Monster Speed: Monsters have 10% (Tier I) and 20% (Tier II) increased attack, cast, and movement speed.
- Increased Monster Elemental Damage: Monsters gain 15% (Tier I) and 30% (Tier II) of physical damage as extra fire, cold, and lightning damage.
- Increased Monster Area of Effect: Monsters have 35% (Tier I) and 70% (Tier II) increased area of effect.
- Reduced Player Resistances: Players have -20% (Tier I) and -40% (Tier II) to all resistances.
- Additional Monster Projectiles: Monsters fire 2 additional projectiles.
- Famine: Life, mana, energy shield, and flasks do not refill when you go to town.
- No Stash: Players have no access to the stash or guild stash)
- No Magic or Rare Items Drop: (Items of magic or rare rarity will not drop, they can be crafted.
- No Vending: NPCs will not have the option to sell or buy.
Private leagues are popularly used by players who are interested in progressing through a league in a group and restrict trading amongst themselves, normally referred to as Group SSF (GSSF).
Players can also base their private league on an event league type. Event leagues are only available occasionally (and for a fixed period), but can be created for free with a restricted set of modifiers.
There are currently 3 optional game modes under the permanent and temporary league categories: Hardcore (HC), Solo Self-Found (SSF), and Ruthless. These modes can only be selected during the character selection screen and represent different popular playstyles by introducing key limitations.
- Hardcore (HC) is a game mode centered around a mechanic similar to permadeath in other RPGs, though characters and items are not automatically deleted. With the exception of HC Ruthless (see details below), when "normal" HC characters die, they are instantly transferred to standard league. All HC characters will still be viewable in the official website after death. Non-HC leagues are referred to as Softcore (SC). Other than by dying, players cannot manually migrate characters from HC to SC.
- Solo Self-Found (SSF) prevents players from joining a party or starting a trade with other players; players must rely solely on the items they find themselves and brave the game's content alone. Non-SSF leagues are also referred to as Trade. Players can migrate from SSF to Trade at any time on the character selection menu, with the option to migrate just a single character or all characters, stashes, and league progress.
- Ruthless, also known as "hard mode," opts the character into extreme item scarcity and various other changes that fundamentally change the experience of the game. Players cannot migrate out of Ruthless. When a HC Ruthless character dies, it will be transferred to void league and become inaccessible.
When creating a character, a player can choose to combine game modes, resulting in HCSSF, HC Ruthless, SSF Ruthless, and HCSSF Ruthless.