PoE Chaos Orbs Explained – Everything You Need to Know

Chaos Orbs is a golden currency item that’s found in Path of Exile. It has a unique look, resembling three faces spliced into one. If you’ve played PoE for a while, you’ve probably accumulated quite a few of them.


Why are Chaos Orbs so important in PoE?

Chaos Orbs have become the staple currency item in Path of Exile because of their versatility. You can use them for buying items, crafting re-rolling rare items, adding mods in the crafting bench, adding Zana mods in the map device, and even re-rolling maps. In short, you’ll always need Chaos Orbs.


Can you buy Chaos Orbs from vendors?

Unfortunately, you can’t buy Chaos Orbs from vendors. The highest currency items you can buy from vendors are Orbs of Regret. But you can get Chaos Orbs from mob drops, Chaos recipes, and Divination cards.


When do Chaos Orbs start dropping?

Chaos Orbs drop from level 12 enemies and above. But the earliest you can find a Chaos Orb is in the level 10 zone “The Prisoner’s Gate”, but only from Rare and Unique monsters.

Prisoner's Gate Chaos Orb Start Dropping

This is because of how enemy levels work in Path of Exile. Magic monsters are +1 to zone level. Rare and Unique monsters are +2 to zone level. So even though The Shaper’s Realm is a level 84 (Tier 17) zone, Shaper himself is level 86. 

So moving forward in the level 11 zone The Ship Graveyard, you can get Chaos orbs from magic, rare, and Unique monsters. 

The Ship Graveyard Chaos Orbs Start Dropping

And finally, starting with the level 12 Merveil’s Cavern, you can get Chaos Orbs from all monsters.

Merveil's Caverns Chaos Orbs Start Dropping

How can you use the Chaos Orb vendor recipe?

To use the Chaos Orb recipe, you need to vendor a full set of itemlevel 60-74 rare equipment (to check the item level press ALT). The recipe consists of: 2 x one-handed weapons (can also be 1 x two-handed weapon or 2 x shields), 1 x helmet, 1 x body armor, 1 x gloves, 1 x boots, 2 x rings, 1 x amulet, 1 x belt. (quivers don’t work).

Chaos Orb Recipe PoE

What if the Chaos Orb vendor recipe doesn’t work?

Sometimes the Chaos Orb vendor recipe won’t give you a Chaos orb. So when that happens look at the result:

  1. If you’re getting a Chance Orb, one or more items is below item level 60. Simply check the item levels by pressing “ALT” on the item and replace the ones that are too low.Chance Orb Recipe PoE
  2. If you’re getting a Regal Orb, all items are itemlevel 75 or above. Then you need to replace one of the items with another item that’s itemlevel 60-74.Regal Orb Recipe PoE
  3. If you’re getting a random assortment of shards and orbs, the recipe isn’t assembled correctly. The most common mistake is including a quiver in the recipe. Or forgetting to include two rings.Failed Vendor Recipe PoE

When can you start using the Chaos Orb vendor recipe?

The earliest you can start collecting itemlevel 60 rare equipment is in level 58 zones (The High Gardens, The Lunaris Concourse, and The Imperial Fields) from rare and unique enemies. 

The Lunaris Concourse PoE Start Collecting Chaos Recipe

After that in level 59 zones (The Solaris Temple and The Lunaris Temple) from magic, rare, and unique enemies.

The Solaris Temple PoE Start Collecting Chaos Recipe

And finally, starting with the level 60 zone “The Harbor Bridge” you can collect rare equipment from all enemies.

The Harbour Bridge PoE Start Collecting Chaos Recipe

But this only lasts until Tier 7 maps. In Tier 8 maps and above all items drop at itemlevel 75+, so you can only use the Regal Orb vendor recipe with them.


Is the Chaos Orb recipe worth it?

The Chaos Orb vendor recipe can be a great way to quickly earn some extra currency. But the best time to use it is in the beginning of a league. This is because early in the league, all unique items, even the really rare ones, are way cheaper than they will be later on. 

So if you level up quickly, you can collect a few dozen Chaos Orb recipes and buy lots of great items cheaply. You can even exchange them into Exalted Orbs since they’re also cheap. And then change them back into Chaos Orbs about two weeks into the league.

But the effectiveness window for this is very narrow. The longer a league goes on, the more the prices will rise, and the more pointless the Chaos Recipe becomes. This is also affected by the strength of your character. Simply put, the faster you clear high-quantity maps, the more you gain from simply killing monsters. So don’t waste time on the Chaos recipe if you’re easily clearing 8-mod red maps!


Three types of Chaos recipes – which one is the best?

There are three variants of the Chaos recipe. All require a full set of itemlevel 60-74 rare equipment. But the main difference between them is item state and quality.

  1. The first recipe is the one most players use. You need to vendor a full set of rares, yielding 1 Chaos Orb per recipe.
  2. The second recipe is a bit trickier, so fewer players use it. You need to vendor a full set of unidentified rares, yielding 2 Chaos Orbs. But by not identifying the rare items, you might be missing out on valuable upgrades. So you need to consider if you’re fine with that.
  3. The third recipe is near impossible to do, so almost no one actually uses it. For the recipe, you need to vendor a full set of 20% quality and unidentified rare items, yielding 3 Chaos Orbs. If you manage to collect it, chances are, you already have a dozen or more Exalted Orbs.

So the arguably the best Chaos recipe is #1, a full set of rare itemlevel 60-74 equipment. It’s the best in terms of practicality and usefulness. And even though it only gives you 1 Chaos Orb, the other two are simply not worth the time or effort. Especially because, you can’t use Breach rings for #2 and #3. 


What’s the best Chaos recipe loot filter?

Neversink’s Loot filter on Semi-strict works really well for Chaos Recipes. Anything higher than that and you won’t be seeing enough rare items. Anything lower and you’ll get too many big rare items that fill up your inventory. In both situations, it can take a really long time to collect a Chaos recipe. The default loot filter isn’t recommended either.


What are the best things to use Chaos Orbs on?

Chaos Orbs have many uses, but some of them are simply better than others. So here the ways you could be using them, from best to worst: 


#1 Buy items from other players (sorry SSF players)

By buying better gear you can improve your build, clear maps quicker, and kill stronger bosses, which will in return earn you more Chaos AND Exalted orbs.

#2 Add mods on good rare items through the crafting bench

Simply put in your rare item inside the crafting bench and scroll through the list of available mods. Maybe you’ll be able to turn a terribly mediocre item into something completely awesome!

Use Chaos on the Crafting Bench PoE

#3 Re-roll terrible Map Mods

Sometimes when you roll a map with an Alchemy Orb it will be completely terrible. No regen, no life or mana leech, elemental and physical reflect, and the list goes on. So when you see a map like that, use Chaos Orbs on it until you get something that won’t outright kill you on the first monster pack.

#4 Apply Zana map device mods to Maps

Zana mods are awesome. They add extra stuff in the map and enable league-specific drops. For example, when you apply the “Nemesis” mod, Nemesis league unique items such as the Headhunter or Berek’s Respite can drop. Unfortunately, without the proper sextant setup or map quantity, the yields will be really low, causing you to rapidly Chaos Orbs.

Zana Map Mods Legion PoE Partial

#5 Use Chaos Orbs to re-roll rare items (not recommended, even on SSF)

When you’ve done it all or simply feel bored – try spamming Chaos Orbs on a high itemlevel (84+) rare item. Who knows, maybe you’ll get something good? But most of the time this is a waste of time and currency. Alternatively, it’s probably better to just buy essences or resonators/fossils and try your luck with them instead.


Is crafting with Chaos orbs worth it?

Using Chaos Orbs to reroll a rare item is generally not worth it. You can waste hundreds of Chaos Orbs and not get anything good. Mostly because the better a roll is, the lower the chance to get them. So if multiple good rolls manage to align, it’s the same as winning the lottery in real life. The better alternative is to use the crafting bench to add mods to a decent rare item.


Should you convert Chaos Orbs into Exalted orbs?

There are two times when you can convert Chaos Orbs into Exalted Orbs:

  1. At the start of the league (this doesn’t work in Standard) you can trade in your Chaos Orbs for Exalted Orbs because they’re cheap. Later on in the league when they get more expensive, you can trade them back and earn more Chaos Orbs as a result.
    Exalted Orb Price Changes Over Time
    Courtesy of poe-antiquary.xyz
  2. When you need Exalted Orbs for adding expensive mods in the crafting bench. Things like the multi-mod for 2 Exalted Orbs. But this isn’t recommended unless you know crafting really well.

Multimod Crafting PoE

Is buying Cartographer’s Chisels or Maps from Zana with Chaos Orbs worth it?

Yes, if you’re playing in Solo Self-Found (SSF). Zana can considerably help you with the Atlas progression. And if you do a Zana map objective (the ones that can be seen on the Atlas), her item/map selection will reset. And no, if you’re playing in trading leagues because you can get them from other players cheaper. 

Zana's Scammer Prices

Anything else you’d like to know about Chaos Orbs?

Hope you enjoyed the read! If there’s anything else you’re unclear about in regards to Chaos Orbs, leave a comment below and I’ll try to help you! Thanks for reading, and have an awesome day!

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