All Path of Exile 1 and 2 microtransactions will be usable in both games unless they're 'hyper-specific to the content of one of them'

Blizzard's plan to replace Overwatch with Overwatch 2 proved to be just as messy and confusing as it sounded, but it did at least do one thing right by ensuring that players could transfer over all their skins and cosmetic items to Overwatch 2. Today Path of Exile's developers made the surprise announcement that they're not replacing Path of Exile with its sequel, which was the plan when Path of Exile 2 was announced back in 2019. Path of Exile 2 is now going to be a wholly separate game, Grinding Gear announced at ExileCon today, but it's one-upping Blizzard by making cosmetics both forward- and backwards-compatible.

"Path of Exile 1 and 2 will be separate, with their own mechanics, balance, endgames, and leagues, but it's still a shared platform," Grinding Gear Games co-founder Jonathan Rogers explained during today's ExileCon keynote. 

The "shared platform" means any microtransactions on your account will be available across both Path of Exile 1 and 2. That goes for stuff you've bought since 2013, and it also goes for stuff you buy in Path of Exile 2 a few years from now, with some exceptions.

"Everything you have ever purchased or will ever purchase in the future will be usable in both games unless it's hyper-specific to the content of one of them," Rogers said. "You can't transform into a bear in PoE1, so a reskin of your bear form isn't going to work. But you absolutely can equip the awesome armor set that you got and use all your stash tabs."

This seems like an ambitious plan—or a limiting one, depending on graphical changes between the games. Will it really be feasible to make virtually all future Path of Exile 2 microtransactions backwards compatible with the original game? Given Grinding Gear's original plan to have Path of Exile essentially "become" Path of Exile 2, though, this approach guarantees that players won't be losing out on any cosmetics they expected to keep around. It also indicates that Grinding Gear really intends to keep both games operating side-by-side.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).