How to Corrupt Gear in Path of Exile: Corrupted Gear Explained

Are you trying to work out how to corrupt gear in Path of Exile?

by Gordon Bicker
Image: Grinding Gear Games

Path of Exile has had a large fanbase for many years and when new updates are released people rush back — maybe even to corrupt some gear. The process of doing this can take some understanding so that’s why you may spend a bit of time getting to grips with it via guides. It’s time to learn everything you need to know about how to corrupt gear in Path of Exile and what it does.

Corrupting Gear in Path of Exile

In order to corrupt any gear or items in Path of Exile you will have to use a “Vaal Orb” to do so. Vaal Orbs can be gained from Arcanist’s Strongboxes, dropped as loot, and also can be acquired via a recipe. The recipe itself can be a bit more difficult to complete than generally trying to find them through loot. You will need a Sacrifice Vaal Fragment and seven Vaal Skill Gems in total.

Related: Path of Exile Crucible Console Release Time: When Does the Update Drop on PlayStation and Xbox?

When you have a Vaal Orb you can then use it on your gear by navigating to the orb in your inventory and selecting it. After this, you will then have to choose a piece of gear (i.e. a weapon) or another item. There are a few ways of doing this process depending on what platform you are on. These are listed below for you.

  • PlayStation 4/5 — Press X on the Vaal Orb to “Use” it and then select the desired item/gear you would like to corrupt.
  • Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S — Press A on the Vaal Orb to use it similar to PlayStation and then proceed with corrupting an item or piece of gear.
  • PC — Right-click the Vaal Orb in your inventory and then left-click the item or gear you want to corrupt with it.

What Does Corrupting in Path of Exile Do?

Corrupting in Path of Exile can be a risk-reward process. By corrupting an item or piece of gear you have the chance for all of the following to happen.

  1. You could gain a buff for the chosen gear/item you corrupt like adding more damage.
  2. Could change a gear/item’s rarity to “Rare” which essentially can make it less effective.
  3. White Sockets may be added to the corrupted piece.
  4. The Vaal Orb could also have no effect at all apart from making a gear or item “Corrupted”.

It should be noted you will not be able to modify an item again after it has been corrupted. Now that you know how to corrupt in Path of Exile and what it actually does, you can pair it nicely with any of your great builds.

- This article was updated on April 13th, 2023

About The Author

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Gordon is a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy, a Games Design (BA) Honours student, and a Video Game Ambassador. He has been writing at AOTF for over a year and a half, with four years of games writing experience for outlets like Green Man Gaming. When he's not busy, he'll no doubt be experiencing games, writing poetry, playing guitar, adventuring, or happily starting a new Skyrim playthrough! As an avid Final Fantasy XIV player, he also hopes that you'll gain a warm feeling from his community stories. Gordon has reported on Fallout 4 and Destiny 2, whose favorite genres include action RPGs, MMORPG's and First Person Shooters but is always experimenting with many other types of games.