After multiple years on hiatus, Path of Exile: Royale is back. The action game’s battle royale mode, which first launched in 2018, will go live on Thursday and run for 48 hours. The mode will continue to appear on the weekends through Path of Exile’s new Expedition League.
Path of Exile: Royale is a battle royale mode set in the long-running action game. Players pick up loot, level up skills, and battle on an island specially designed for Path of Exile: Royale. The 2021 version of the mode is significantly more polished than the previous iteration, which Grinding Gear Games made on a lark.
“We had a running joke in the office that our fast development speed meant that we could probably add a battle royale mode to Path of Exile in one day of development,” said Chris Wilson, Grinding Gear Games co-founder, in Thursday’s reveal video. The original Path of Exile: Royale was an April Fools’ Day joke, and the developers pulled a team together, requesting they spend only a single day each working on the project.
Grinding Gear Games only kept Path of Exile: Royale in the game for several days, but fans enjoyed the mode and have been clamoring for its return ever since. Because the mode was completely unbalanced, the studio was hesitant to bring it back despite the demand. But earlier this year, Grinding Gear Games started working toward a better version of Path of Exile: Royale.
The new version of Path of Exile: Royale comes with a custom version of Path of Exile’s ludicrous skill tree, designed especially for the mode. It’s designed for fast and safe use (it doesn’t take up your entire screen so you can watch your character) and comes with over 90 new skills. It’s also class agnostic. Grinding Gear Games also remade several popular skills into lower-level versions specifically for Path of Exile: Royale.
For the next few weeks, Grinding Gear Games will launch the mode each weekend and patch any glaring balance problems during the week. If fans enjoy the mode, the team will eventually add new features.
Players who win Path of Exile: Royale will get a feast to add to their in-game hideout. While the feast is cosmetic, it’ll grow in size and change shape as players win more and more matches.
Grinding Gear Games isn’t sure if Path of Exile: Royale will live successfully alongside giants like Fortnite or Apex Legends. But it’s something its community has been asking for for years, and it’s finally back in players’ hands.