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Path of Exile 2: Mercenary Class Overview

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Path of Exile 2 New Class: Mercenary Guide

Path of Exile 2 is releasing the Mercenary, one of 6 new classes releasing alongside the original 6 classes. With 6 new classes, the game will open up a lot more in terms of build diversity and character fantasy.

The Mercenary class is adding a lot of new features to the Path of Exile series, with more details to be revealed in the future.

In this guide, I’ll be covering everything we know about the Mercenary class and how it works. Let’s jump right in.

Mercenary Class Overview

Path of Exile 2 Mercenary

The Mercenary class is a new class with the STR/DEX attribute. This makes them start at the same location as the Duelist class, with proximity towards the Strength and Dexterity portions of the passive tree.

The Mercenary’s signature weapon is the Crossbow, a new weapon type coming to Path of Exile 2. With a new weapon, the game is also introducing a variety of new mechanics like Ammo and Attachments.

Furthermore, the Crossbow is different form a traditional bow in that it will fire instantly, compared to a bow that needs to be drawn back. With this, Path of Exile is adding a new system, WASD movement.

WASD Movement

Path of Exile 2 will now allow players to move their character with WASD instead of clicking with the mouse. This allows your mouse to be elsewhere on the screen, allowing you to shoot enemies with your Crossbow in any direction while also moving in any direction.

You can freely swap between WASD and click to move. Furthermore, all characters will be able to use WASD movement, not just Mercenary characters.

If you’re a returning player, it may feel weird to play a melee character with WASD, but it may also be a nice change to try.


Path of Exile 2 Crossbows

The new Crossbow weapon will be introduced in Path of Exile 2, allowing characters to fire weapons that resemble traditional guns instead of bows.

Each Crossbow will grant a specific firing skill your character can use. In the image above, we see that the three different Crossbows grant different firing skills.

  • Rapid Shot Skill – A rapid firing skill that resembles an assault rifle.
  • Power Shot Skill – A slower firing skill that resembles a sniper rifle.
  • Brust Shot skill – A medium speed firing skill that resembles a Shotgun.

In Path of Exile 2, you will be able to equip two Crossbows, allowing you to pair two firing skills together for combat. When you use a specific Crossbow skill, your character will automatically swap weapons, allowing for seamless gameplay.

You can utilize a wide skill like Burst Shot to clear packs of enemies, or use Power Shot to hit stronger enemies that are alone.

Ammo Skills

With these new Crossbow Skills will also come different Ammo types. You can equip Ammo Skills to augment your shots, giving them unique buffs. By toggling between these skills, you can combine a variety of ammo types to use in different scenarios.

In the showcase, we learned about 3 different ammo types:

  • Armour Piercing Ammo – Pierces enemies, allowing you to efficiently hit mobs of enemies
  • Incendiary Ammo – Ignites enemies and also interacts with other explosions
  • Permafrost Ammo – Chills and Freezes enemies

With Crossbow Skills and Ammo skills, you have a large variety of combinations. You can use an Incendiary Burst Shot to burn and clear packs of mobs, or use Permafrost Power Shot to slow a large enemy.

Path of Exile 2 Mercenary Skill Bar

In this picture, the left click skill is Power Shot, with right click being Rapid Fire. Q, E, and R correspond to different Ammo skills that you can freely toggle between.

Lastly, T and F correspond to Grenade skills which are Attachments. This is also a new addition to the game, so let’s dig into that.


Path of Exile 2 Attachments

Attachments are new Skill Gems that are available only if you have a Crossbow equipped. These slot into your offhand slot similar to how a Quiver can be equipped for Bow characters.

While these attachments won’t provide additional stats like Quivers do, they essentially allow you to have an extra Skill slot compared to other characters. This is great for the Mercenary, who want to use a variety of Firing Skills and Ammo Skills for their arsenal.

Like other Skill Gems, these attachments also can be supported by Support Gems, allowing you to empower these skills further.

Path of Exile 2 Attachment Inventory

Putting it Together

With Crossbow Skills, Ammo types, and Attachments, Mercenary characters will have a huge arsenal of skills and combinations to put together. Some skills even interact in unique ways.

For example, the Incendiary Rapid Shot has a larger clip size than other types. As you fire, your bow will heat up, increasing the damage of any grenades you fire during this time. Grenades also take some time to explode, but with Incendiary Power Shot, you can detonate any grenades on the floor.

Putting this together, you can deal some great damage by first firing Incendiary Rapid Shot to heat up your Crossbow, fire some grenades with the Attachment, and detonate all of them with an Incendiary Power Shot.

There are a plenty of other unique combinations and interactions with Crossbows, and we’ll need to try the game out to learn all about the new skills.


We don’t have information on the Ascendancy Classes for the Mercenary, but we do know there will be 3 different ones. Considering the Mercenary Class is STR/DEX based, we can assume that one Ascendancy may buff up the defensive capabilities, with another being more offensive.

One may be good for getting up close and personal, while another may focus more on damage and speed from a distance. As we learn more, we’ll be sure to update this section in the future.


This wraps up everything we know about the Mercenary class in Path of Exile 2. The Mercenary class is introducing a new and unique style of gameplay that we haven’t seen before in other loot-based ARPGs.

The character will feel more like a traditional third person shooter, something many players will enjoy.

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