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Path of Exile: Sentinel expansion adds monster-buffing drones

In the new Challenge League, Path of Exile players will find customisable sentinels - ancient constructs that follow you around, empowering your enemies

A warrior illuminated in red energy is accompanied by a floating sentinel orb as he approaches a stockade guarded by several soldiers holding up their shields in Path of Exile: Sentinel.

Path of Exile’s latest expansion, Sentinel, is out now on PC and macOS. The expansion kicks off a new Challenge League in the free PC game, in which the central mechanic is customisable sentinel orbs that follow you around firing magic beams at your enemies. But sentinels aren’t here to make your life easier – just the opposite, in fact. Their beams empower monsters and create tougher fights for you to take on.

In the Sentinels Challenge League, you’ll find three classes of sentinel scattered around Wraeclast. Stalker sentinels will repeatedly fire monster-empowering beams once you enter combat. Pandemonium sentinels fire one big blast, empowering monsters in a large area. Then there’s apex sentinels, which will only charge up rare or unique enemies.

Sentinels only work for a limited time and eventually run out of charge, but you don’t want to throw away your empties. Depleted sentinels can be combined with a power core to create a new, fully charged sentinel that takes on traits from each sentinel husk used in its construction. You can further tweak the behaviour of your sentinels with the Sentinel Controller, which Grinding Gear Games says is “like a runic circuit board.”

Here’s the trailer:

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The tradeoff for battling tougher monsters? Well, with the right mods equipped on your sentinels, the monsters they empower will drop tastier and rarer rewards. There are also unique sentinels to discover that have their own effects with which to experiment and tinker.

The Sentinel expansion also adds 20 new keystone passives to the Atlas tree, which means you’ll have even more control over the Path of Exile endgame. That includes access to six new ‘uber’ versions of pinnacle boss fights, and Grinding Gear Games says this is the toughest content ever added to the game.

Path of Exile: Sentinel is free and available now.