Path of Exile Beginner-Friendly Lightning Arrow Ranger
If you are new to Path of Exile and are looking to do a lot in the game, but don't have friends to share Path of Exile items with you, then you need to play a character that will get you up to speed without need a lot of expensive equipment. Melee characters are out since they depend on high level gear to really become strong, while magic characters require a higher level of skill to play. What a beginner needs is a character that's easy and cheap to play, and that's where the Ranger comes in.
The Ranger is the quintessential ranged character in Path of Exile, and it's the best choice for a support character who can also deliver damage. She has a pretty good balance overall, and the build that she is best known for is the Lightning Arrow build. While it can be played a very high level with top tier gear, you can also play it with cheap gear as it depends mostly on the active and passive skills that you have. Of course, that means that you have to know how to progress in order to make the most of it.
This build makes use of two main attack skills, which are Lightning Arrow for multiple targets and Burning Arrow for single targets. Elemental and physical damage are distributed evenly, which means that enemy resistances and damage reflects don't become too much of a problem. It also does well in just about any map mod, which is crucial for farming and getting far in the game with a first character.
There are two link progressions you should be aware of, one for Lightning Arrow and the other for Burning Arrow. For the first one, you should go Lightning Arrow, then Lesser/Greater Multiple Projectiles, Blood Magic, Life Gain on Hit, and finally Chain. As for the second one, it's just Burning Arrow, then Weapon Elemental Damage / Life Leech, Blood Magic, and Added Fire Damage.
You'll have to get 3 auras in total, then choose and make use of 2 at a time depending on the situation. They are Hatred, Grace, and Purity, and they have their own purposes. Hatred is more or less a necessity for this build, while Grace synergizes quite well with Iron Reflexes, and Purity should be used when you're lacking resistance.
Leveling the Lightning Arrow Ranger is easy enough. You can just progress through the tree node by node, and you can consider skipping the damage nodes when you feel like your damage is good enough so you can concentrate more on survivability. You can then taking Heart of Oak and later spec out of it once you get Shaper if that sounds good to you. Static Blows is recommended if you want to start doing end game maps with a group since that would enhance your ability to play the support.
Going for Point Blank can really helps early game, especially if you often do solo leveling. As for items, you should prioritize those with Life, Physical Damage, and Attack Speed. Once you start approaching the end game, you can spec to the immediate life, critical chance nodes, and later critical multiplier nodes.