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Path of Exile 2 ShapeShifting Mechanics Guides

Path of Exile 2, a massive expansion of the beloved game, was revealed to the ecstatic crowd. Among the various teasers and reveals, one feature stood out and garnered an enormous reaction: ShapeShifting. Fans had long awaited the inclusion of this ability in the game, and the developers delivered. In this guide, we will explore the intricacies of ShapeShifting in Path of Exile 2 and delve into the exciting possibilities it presents for players.

Path of Exile 2 ShapeShifting Mechanics Guides


ShapeShifting Mechanics

ShapeShifting in Path of Exile 2 allows players to seamlessly switch between human form and bestial form. The specific type of bestial form will depend on the ShapeShifting skill gem being used. Similar to stance swapping in Blood and Sand, ShapeShifting will function as a reservation skill, with a flat amount of reservation cost. While it is unclear if support gems will augment ShapeShifting skills beyond their reservation costs, the introduction of new support gems with stats like ShapeShifting buff effects seems plausible.


Enhancing ShapeShifting through Ascendancy

Path of Exile 2 introduces 19 new ascendancy classes, with one dedicated to ShapeShifting: The Beastmaster. As a Ranger ascendancy, The Beastmaster focuses on Animal Companions and ShapeShifting. Through the Born to Be Wild ascendancy notable, players can acquire the werecat form skill—a ShapeShifting ability that transforms the ranger into a formidable werecat. This notable also grants a 10% damage increase while shape-shifted. The Beastmaster can further enhance ShapeShifting through the powerful ascendancy notable, Wild Shape. This notable grants a 100% increased buff effect to all ShapeShifting abilities and allows players to retain the ShapeShifting buff even after reverting to human form. Additionally, the developers confirmed the ability to retain buffs from previous shape-shift forms while using a different shape-shift form, effectively granting double buff effects.


ShapeShifting Forms

Path of Exile 2 introduces several exciting ShapeShifting forms. In addition to the exclusive werecat form available to The Beastmaster, players can expect the wolf form, which focuses on increasing damage and mobility. The cat form offers a movement speed bonus, phasing interactions, and stealthiness akin to the aspect of the cat. The developers also accidentally mentioned the bear form during the keynote, revealing its tanky nature, potentially providing reduced damage-taken modifiers and endurance charge generation or recovery mechanics.


Gameplay Mechanics and Freedom

The developers intend for ShapeShifting to feel fluid and unrestricted, allowing players to change forms at any time, even during the animation of another skill. This freedom of movement contributes to the game's overall fluidity and enhances combat experiences. Furthermore, ShapeShifting forms can utilize any regular Path of Exile attack, regardless of the weapon equipped. For example, the Tactician, another Ranger ascendancy, possesses the close combat specialist notable, enabling the use of ax and sword melee abilities with a bow. This suggests that all ShapeShifting abilities will incorporate similar technology, providing players with diverse combat options.


Potential Balance and Defensive Layers

While the exact balance of ShapeShifting forms remains uncertain, the developers briefly showcased a level one skill gem with a remarkable 50% reduced damage taken modifier. While this specific value might not make it into the final release, it suggests that ShapeShifting forms could possess a baseline defensive layer independent of the ShapeShifting buff effect. Additionally, the developers hinted at the significant impact of the 20% increased movement speed, benefiting both the racing community and the general leveling experience.



Although subject to potential changes since Exile Con 2019, ShapeShifting in Path of Exile 2 promises to be an exciting addition to the game. With its seamless mechanics, the ability to utilize various ShapeShifting forms, and the extensive support from new ascendancy classes, players can look forward to a dynamic and engaging gameplay experience. Stay tuned for more concrete details on ShapeShifting and other features of Path of Exile 2 at Exile Con 2023 in July. It's an exhilarating time for ARPG fans, and Path of Exile 2 aims to deliver an unforgettable adventure.

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