SSF in Path of Exile, known by its full name Solo-Self Found mode, is a very unique ARPG experience. Some swear that this is the best way to play the game. THat may be true for some, but it’s certainly not true for all of us POE players. SSF in Path of Exile cuts away group play in all its forms, and yes, that means trading. You are also locked into its own league, so no access to any existing Stash items.
That might sound crippling if you’re coming to the game mode from Standard or Challenge Trade Leagues. SSF is a very different beast.
What Does SSF Change?
Having to avoid trading means that you need a much deeper understanding of many POE game mechanics. The challenge is much higher, but strangely rewarding. If you want to learn the ins and outs of the crafting system, this trial-by-fire is a great way to do that. Players also have to focus on gearing sources much more than normal Trade leagues. This push for progression can help a lot of players reignite their love of the game. For me, I was burnt out on the game and decided to give it a try.
Why? Because of realizing what I enjoyed about the game: I noticed that the game was built on a core of chasing items. I usually would chase best-in-slot items by farming currency to try and trade for them. I decided that this grind had gotten boring. and I found that having to craft and focus heavily new items was far more rewarding. Sure, builds are much weaker in SSF, but it’s tons of fun.
Tips for a new SSF player
Here are some basic tips with SSF to keep in mind to make the most of your time. When playing SSF in Path of Exile, keep this stuff at the top of your mental list.
Start with a good build and know when to end
Having a fixed and powerful starting point for your build is the most important part of enjoying Solo Self-Found. That means likely following a build guide tuned for SSF if you’re a new player.
Another thing to remember is that you will hit and ending with any SSF build. Choosing a healthy place to stop and call a build good enough is key to not getting burnt out. You might want to chase rare Uniques for some reason, but it usually isn’t worth the effort unless you have farming down to a science.
Item Rarity and Quantity can be a lifesaver
Stacking Item Rarity and Quantity in any way you can might help here. Uniques can not be obtained simply by purchasing them off of other players in SSF, so if you need one for a build, you need Rarity to have a chance at getting it. You should always keep the Uniques you find as a result, you never know when you might figure out some crazy interaction that takes you to new heights of power.
Traditional Magic Find builds are not going to work out too well in SSF. So the best option to hope for is a support gem that offers rarity instead. Increased item Rarity supports will reduce your already low DPS, but it’s a good quick fix if you need more rares. Whether you need to trade them for Chaos Orbs or whatever else, that’s up to you.
Quantity is much harder to get in the modern Path of Exile experience. The support gem that used to give it to skills is locked to Standard leagues, as it was removed from drop tables. And that only leaves Uniques as the best source for IIQ. Quantity is how you increase Divination Card and Currency drops, so you want some of it to boost your chances.
Pick up ALL Currency Items
Certain items that are not worth picking up on a trade league, such as an Orb of Chance or Scrolls can always be useful in SSF. Since you can’t trade for junk currency, you never know when you might want to try to chance for a new Unique with something like a Glorious Plate base. Also, stack that Quantity if you’re intending to farm specifically for Currency.
This also applies to Divination Cards, Set up your loot filter to prioritize these drops with something fairly visible. Div Cards you wouldn’t normally grab, like Twice-Corrupted Unqiue cards, are super good to have in SSF as you can potentially get a stupidly powerful item.