Create an Account
Creating an Account
You can play PoE in one of two ways. If you're playing it as a standalone program, you'll need to create an account on the official website. You can also play Path of Exile via Steam, in which case you log in through your Steam account as you would with any other game distributed via Steam.
Accounts in PoE are free and permanent. Your characters will remain no matter how long you're away, although extremely long breaks of a year or more will free up the names of your characters for other players to use (possibly forcing you to rename them).
Any Microtransactions you buy, from cosmetic effects for your character to extra tabs for your item stash, will be available to all characters on an account.
By default, an account can have up to 24 characters on it. This limit can be increased through microtransactions, but will not be relevant to the vast majority of players thanks to PoE's frequent Leagues (more on this later).