Path of Exile Betrayal League Beginner’s Guide – How to defeat the Immortal Syndicate
It’s highly recommended that those reading this guide check out both the New Players Guide to POE, and both the War for the Atlas Guide and the 3.0 Mapping Guide, in order to understand the basics that this new guide will build on. If you’re still looking for a potential starter build in Betrayal League, check out our recommendations. You might also want to check out the Betrayal Patch Notes. This is just the basic guide, we’ll update it as the League progresses.
Betrayal League introduces a new gameplay mechanics centered around The Immortal Syndicate, a collection of shadowy and dangerous foes hellbent on beating Death and becoming truly unstoppable. So what else is there to do as Exiles than throw a wrench in their plans and stop them in their tracks? Want to know how to investigate the Syndicate in Path of Exile Betrayal League? Here’s a guide on doing just that.
This collection of mysterious ne’er-do-wells is on a mission, a mission to defeat Death. And the new League introduces us to Jun Ortoi. You should run into her for the first time in Act 1 or Act 2, so head over to her and see what she has to say. She’ll send you on a mission to attack a small Fortification, look for the light green icon on your minimap, this is the icon for Syndicate activity in an area.
Go to the fort and smash the wall down, killing the bad guy inside. After you beat them, they should spawn on the spot where they fell as a clickable entity. Click their name to choose your option for how to approach them. At the start, you’re going to be limited to Interrogation or Bargaining. More on that below.
But the general idea is to move through the areas, looking for Syndicate members and taking them down to gain Intelligence on the overall structure of the organization.
Safehouses, Divisions and More, Oh My!
The Divisions are your primary interaction with the Syndicate in Betrayal League. There are three main types, each representing a different aspect of the operations of the Immortal Syndicate. They will also throw assassins at you as you get closer to uncovering their secrets. In Betrayal League you will dismantle Syndicate fortifications, halt the transportation of Syndicate resources, prevent the Syndicate from destroying vital evidence in their research compounds, and fight off their attempts to assassinate you.
The Immortal Syndicate in Path of Exile is a pretty complex mechanic, and the organization itself might be a little tough to understand, so we’ve compiled this basic primer on how the Syndicate works, and how to deal with them in the most efficient manner.
The core mechanics in the Syndicate for Betrayal League revolve around taking down four Safehouses, after you uncover their locations of course. Each of these Safehouses and their associated Divisions has their own mechanics, and usually a time-limit or some other hurdle to overcome.
Understanding the Board
There are four factions:
Transportation – Chasing down some transport convoy and taking out its guards.
Fortification – Attacking a fortified structure and trying to kill the leader.
Research – Racing to the inner-most area of the Safehouse and stopping the leader from destroying vital intelligence.
Intervention – A random Assassin has been sent against you, this will happen periodically as you make progress.
The general idea here is to gain Intelligence on each of the four Divisions, increasing their ranking on the Board. As you unlock more Intelligence, you’ll clarify connections with other members in that division, unlocking new potential routes to both Intelligence and special rewards. Keep in mind that Intelligence accrues “per turn”. Each time you make a change by attacking a Safehouse or any other Syndicate encounter, that counts as a new turn.
Each Division also has ranks within it that must be uncovered and challenged, as you gain more insight into the operations, you’ll unlock intel on higher ranks and new Safehouses. There are four main ranks, excluding the two top tiers of Division Leader and Mastermind. These ranks are:
- Unranked: Rank 0 – Interrogate: Grants 3 total Intelligence for any Division (Random)
- Sergeant: Rank I – Interrogate: Grants 9 total Intelligence for their Division
- Lieutenant: Rank II – Interrogate: Grants 15 total Intelligence for their Division
- Captain: Rank III – Interrogate: Grants 21 total Intelligence for their Division
The rank of a Syndicate member when you raid their Safehouse influences what their stash will contain. So careful planning and placing of Syndicate members into certain divisions can help get you the rewards you want. Pay attention to the flavor text for each encounter, they’ll say things like “stockpiling abyss jewels” or “transporting breach splinters” depending on what items they contain. There can be rewards like Fusings, Chaos Orbs and even Exalted Orbs if you get the right modifier, like “quality-modifying currency.”
This means you’ll want to pay attention to the ranks of the members in a Division if you want the best rewards for a given Division. Rank III means they’re the leader of the Safehouse for that division, so if you have a particular person who you want to keep them in the Safehouse, you can Execute them to keep them in place. Although the options you choose depend entirely on the other individuals within their Division. You also might get unlucky and end up removing a person you wanted to keep, or you might need to take someone out to push a wanted person into place, that’s a choice that is somewhat reliant on RNG and is something you’ll have to deal with.
Relationships With Syndicate Members
Also, playing members of a division against each other using Betray can be helpful later. If you see Red or Green lines between two members in the same Division, that means Hate or Trust is being built between those two respectively. A Trusted member will show up to aid their friend in battle, meaning more loot for you. A Hated member will aid you, making the fight easier. You also get access to both Syndicate members when you complete that encounter if Trust or Hate procs during it. Although keep in mind, any member can aid any other member, regardless of their relationship, their faction, or their rank, so Hate and Trust are not absolute indicators.
One trick to keep in mind is to keep building connections between Syndicate members in a Division you’re targeting. The more relations within a Division when you raid a Safehouse, the more enemies you fight, but there’s more loot and valuable stashes to be found. Yellow connections means that they are a direct underling of the person that they’re connected to, so focus on developing Red and Green connections.
Be aware that these encounters can be pretty challenging, especially if you’ve got multiple Syndicate members jumping in on a fight. You’ll want to take any advantage you can in many cases. Getting rid of excess members with no rankings can help, which can happen if you Bargain with these low-rank members. Another trick is to look for Bargains or Betrayals that remove Items from Syndicate members in a division. An “Item” in this case is the modifier to the left of their card on the Board which adds new challenges to fighting them. As far as I can tell, these modifiers only serve to make fights harder, so if you get an option to remove Items from a Division, take it.
What happens when I take on the Syndicate?
When you finish an encounter with a Syndicate member and take out the boss, you’re left with several choices, each with their own rewards.
- Interrogate – This option will use force to extract information from the Syndicate member.
Interrogation is your primary means of gaining Intelligence. Interrogating a member will put them in prison, give intelligence each turn, and lower their rank by 1.
- Betray – This option can be used to turn a Syndicate member against the organization, playing them against another Division member. Betrayal is only possible if there are exactly two members present, and if those two members have a friendly relationship with each other.
- Bargain – You will gain some special rewards for sparing the Syndicate member when choosing this option, as well as some Intel. Bargaining only happens when a syndicate member is by themselves.
- Execute – Killing off the Syndicate member has its own risks and rewards, but beware, they will come back. This means they go up a Rank in their Division. Executing a non-allocated member will place them into the faction of the mission that you just completed.
In terms of outcomes, there’s a lot of variance. Bargaining with the last surviving Syndicate member can have them drop a Veiled item or a Unique, or they can drop some random Currency. Executing them for example will force a random loot drop. Using Interrogate with the member(s) will generate Intelligence which helps uncover more aspects of their particular division. Betray seems a lot harder to get as an option, as the member needs to be close enough to the Division leaders to have an impact, which means you need to be pretty close to the Safehouse raid in terms of Intelligence for it to even be an option.
So what should I do?
- Grow relationships between members. This means that there’s a higher chance of more Syndicate members jumping into fights in Encounters and Safehouses. This means both more loot and more chances to gain Intelligence.
- The more friendly relationships between members, the easier it is to manipulate the overall structure of the Syndicate. Focus on getting these positives stacked to allow you to move members around in each of the four Divisions.
- Hostile relationships will allow you to execute more often, gaining higher ranks, which means more rewards in Safehouses.
When there are three members, this is where you get to influence things post-Encounter:
- The first member will always be executed (unless interrogated of course).
- If there are two members present that have a hostile or neutral relationship, you should execute the one that has the rewards you want first, then bargain with the other, depending on rank.
- If there are two members present that have a friendly relationship, keeping them alive until last will allow you to betray.
These are essentially the boss rooms/encounters of each division. You need 100 Intelligence to gain access to the Safehouse for a given Division. If you’ve taken the time to maximize connections between Syndicate members, and using Executions where possible to rank up Syndicate members, your rewards will be numerous and powerful.
The Safehouses in each Division are heavily dependent on what you’ve done in the investigation up to that point. Executing members of a Division will make the bosses tougher. Focusing on Betrayal will possibly bring new allies to your side, and so on.
In general the reward rooms come after a boss fight, and the rewards are also dependent on what was encountered in the Safehouse and its Division. Pay attention to the flavor text on members of a Division, if you want Currency, stack a Division with Currency stockpiling members. The Reward chests and other goodies are apparently really weird too. One being reported is a special crafting bench that hands you a pile of Currency and asks you to slot in a white item, then giving you roughly ten seconds to spam Currency into said item.
Flavour texts are always the same for each member, but each member has 4 different flavour texts that change depending on what faction they are in. There is also a datamined set of flavour texts here, which is helpful for knowing what to expect.
Hideouts have now been unified across all Leagues, and new tilesets for decorations are unlocked by clearing special hideout zones throughout the course of POEs ten Acts. Once you’ve unlocked a new tileset by completing one of these special areas, Talk to Helena in your Hideout or the Act 2 town to change tilesets.
Another cool change is that all of the new Masters can be invited to your Hideout right away, no more waiting to level up to access all the Daily Missions. And with unified crafting, you only need one Master to get crafting anyway.
Master Missions and Crafting
The old Forsaken Masters are gone, and they’ve been replaced with a much more streamlined system. You now have a single Crafting Bench in your Hideout that covers all item types and crafting mods. You now gain new crafting mods from a variety of different sources, including through exploration and helping the new Masters. You can also overwrite previously crafted mods at the cost of an Orb of Scouring.
The UI has also been reworked a fair bit, with selections for each type of gear and mod types for easy sorting.
The new Crafting Bench contains all of the previous crafting benches, even Zana’s map mods, so take the time to familiarize yourself with the list of mods if you intend to get really stuck in on crafting. The list of mods is insane, so head over to the Wiki page to see the full list.
Veiled Mods are a new mechanic in Betrayal League, and seem to operate on a new layer of RNG, similar to the Corruption mechanics from Incursion League. One interesting tidbit about this system is that once a mod is unveiled, it’s added to the pool of mods you can craft on your own Crafting Bench. There are more than 100 mods in the potential pool of Veiled Mods, and they encompass a wide variety of play styles.
When you defeat the boss of a Syndicate encounter out in the world, they’re going to drop a Veiled Rare once you’ve made your choice of whether to Bargain, Interrogate , etc. You should be using an item filter that highlights these items so you can easily pick them out of all the other loot. Once you pick these up, talk to Jun and select Unveil. She’ll give you a selection of three random mods to craft onto the item as suffixes. This is how you unlock these special mod combinations on the new unified Crafting Bench, so always be sure to Unveil when you can.
Scarabs are a new item introduced in Betrayal League that works as an item modifier, this time for maps. Similar to the way Fossils and Resonators worked in Delve, these Scarabs will allow players to add new properties to their maps by slotting them into a Map Device alongside the map they wish to run. The Scarabs will drop from Safehouse runs, so be on the lookout for them. Here’s a rundown of the new Scarabs and their modifiers.
The type of Scarab you get is tied the Syndicate member’s identity (which presumably means there are 18 different types). You can use multiple Scarabs on the same map (up to three, since that’s how much space there is in the map device), but not multiple of the same type.
If you’re a more visual learner, the POE community put a visual guide to Scarabs together, go here for that.
|SCARAB NAME||SCARAB EFFECT||DROP LEVEL|
|Rusted Divination Scarab||Area Drops 100% more Divination Cards|
|Polished Divination Scarab||Area Drops 200% more Divination Cards|
|Gilded Divination Scarab||Area Drops 300% more Divination Cards|
|Rusted Breach Scarab||Area contains 1 additional Breaches|
|Polished Breach Scarab||Area contains 2 additional Breaches|
|Gilded Breach Scarab||Area contains 3 additional Breaches|
|Rusted Sulphite Scarab||Area contains 1 additional Sulphites|
|Polished Sulphite Scarab||Area contains 2 additional Sulphites|
|Gilded Sulphite Scarab||Area contains 3 additional Sulphites|
|Rusted Reliquary Scarab||50% more Unique Items found in Area|
|Polished Reliquary Scarab||100% more Unique Items found in Area|
|Gilded Reliquary Scarab||150% more Unique Items found in Area|
|Rusted Elder Scarab||100% more Rare Elder Items found in Area|
|Polished Elder Scarab||200% more Rare Elder Items found in Area|
|Gilded Elder Scarab||300% more Rare Elder Items found in Area|
|Rusted Shaper Scarab||100% more Rare Shaper Items found in Area|
|Polished Shaper Scarab||200% more Rare Shaper Items found in Area|
|Gilded Shaper Scarab||300% more Rare Shaper Items found in Area|
|Rusted Cartography Scarab||30% more Maps found in Area|
|Polished Cartography Scarab||60% more Maps found in Area|
|Gilded Cartography Scarab||100% more Maps found in Area|
|Rusted Ambush Scarab||Area contains 3 additional Strongboxes|
|Polished Ambush Scarab||Area contains 4 additional Strongboxes|
|Gilded Ambush Scarab||Area contains 5 additional Strongboxes|
|Rusted Bestiary Scarab||Area contains 1 additional Red Beasts|
|Polished Bestiary Scarab||Area contains 2 additional Red Beasts|
|Gilded Bestiary Scarab||Area contains 3 additional Red Beasts|
|Rusted Torment Scarab||Area contains 3 additional Tormented Spirits|
|Polished Torment Scarab||Area contains 4 additional Tormented Spirits|
|Gilded Torment Scarab||Area contains 5 additional Tormented Spirits|
|Rusted Harbinger Scarab||Area contains 1 additional Harbingers|
|Polished Harbinger Scarab||Area contains 2 additional Harbingers|
|Gilded Harbinger Scarab||Area contains 3 additional Harbingers|
|Rusted Perandus Scarab||Area contains 2 additional Perandus Chests|
|Polished Perandus Scarab||Area contains 3 additional Perandus Chests|
|Gilded Perandus Scarab||Area contains 4 additional Perandus Chests|
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