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Path of Exile guide: How to use Support Skill Gems to link your skills

Make your Active and Support Skill Gems work for you

Path of Exile Support Skill Gems

In Path of Exile, Active Skill Gems grant you abilities to use in game, but Support Skill Gems can enhance those abilities and make them stronger. Getting Support Skill Gems is easy, the same way you get Active Skill Gems: by completing quests and looting from monsters. But connecting those Support Skill Gems to compatible Active Skill Gems is much more complex.

Here’s how to link your skills together in Path of Exile.

What do Support Skill Gems do?

Path of Exile Support Skill Gems
Look for the connecting lines between your sockets
Grinding Gear Games via Polygon

Support Skill Gems can drastically alter the way your abilities work. If your Active Skill Gem is to shoot a single fireball, a Support Skill Gem could multiply the effect and make it five fireballs. Another Support Skill Gem could make the same fireball cause a bleeding effect, or increase its burn duration.

With Support Skill Gems, you can turn almost any basic ability into an incredibly powerful attack. You can find a full list of Support Skill Gems on the Path of Exile gamepedia.

How do you link Support Skill Gems with Active Skill Gems?

Path of Exile Support Skill Gems
Here’s what a Support Skill Gem tooltip looks like
Grinding Gear Games via Polygon

A Support Skill Gem does nothing without a connection to an Active Skill Gem. If you slot a Support Skill Gem into a socket all on its own — with no connections — it will level up periodically, but offer no benefits. Support Skill Gems come into play when you have two connected sockets, which looks like a gold line between two or more sockets, as seen in the image above.

If you place an Active Skill Gem into one of the connected sockets, you can augment it with any number of Support Skill Gems — depending on how many slots the armor piece or weapon has. As long as you’ve correctly linked two abilities, the Support Skill Gem will enhance the Active Skill Gem.

You must place a Support Skill Gem in a socket that matches its color – just like Active Skill Gems. If you want to create the ultimate combo between Support and Active Skill Gems, you will need a group of perfectly rolled sockets on your gear piece.

Some Support Skill Gems do have restrictions. A bleed Support Skill Gem may not be able to apply to a minion summoning Active Skill Gem, for example. To avoid creating a poorly linked spell like this, be sure to read the tooltip for every Support Skill Gem before you place it. It will always notify you what kinds of abilities it cannot support.

Two Active Skill Gems cannot support each other, even if connected. If you have a connection socket, try to only place one Active Skill Gem in the group, and use the other connecting slots exclusively for Support Skill Gems.

Most Active Skill Gems are powerful on their own, but if you can master linking them together with Support Skill Gems, you will unlock the ability to devastate a room full of enemies.