Character creation is a 10-step process guiding a player through creation of a new character.
- Select race
- Select gender
- Select profession
- Customize physical appearance
- Select your biography
- Name your character
- Primary article: Playable races
There are five playable races that you can choose for your character in step one. That choice determines your starting location, personal storyline, and racial skills, as well as differences in appearance and lore. The races are designed to be balanced, such that no one race possesses an unfair advantage over other races.
- These alchemagical inventors may be short in stature, but they're intellectual giants. Among the asura, it's not the strong who survive, but the clever. Other races believe they should rule by virtue of their power and strength, but they're deluding themselves. In due time, all will serve the asura.
- The charr race was forged in the merciless crucible of war. It is all they know. War defines them, and their quest for dominion drives them ever onward. The weak and the foolish have no place among the charr. Victory is all that matters, and it must be achieved by any means and at any cost.
- Humans have lost their homeland, their security, and their former glory. Even their gods have withdrawn. And yet, the human spirit remains unshaken. These brave defenders of Kryta continue to fight with every ounce of their strength.
- The race of towering hunters experienced a great defeat when the Ice Dragon drove them from their glacial homeland. Nevertheless, they won't let one lost battle - however punishing - dampen their enthusiasm for life and the hunt. They know that only the ultimate victor achieves legendary rewards.
- Sylvari are not born. They awaken beneath the Pale Tree with knowledge gleaned in their pre-life Dream. These noble beings travel, seeking adventure and pursuing quests. They struggle to balance curiosity with duty, eagerness with chivalry, and warfare with honor. Magic and mystery entwine to shape the future of this race that has so recently appeared.
Every race has the same options for gender in step two: male or female. Aside from physical appearance and some dialogue, there are no gameplay differences between them.
- Primary article: Profession
Step three allows you to choose one of eight professions, unrestricted by race or gender.
- Guardians specialize in protective and defensive magic. A deep sense of loyalty to their allies fuels their passion and power. They're also skilled with a variety of weapons which they put to use against their enemies.
- Warriors are masters of martial skills. They rely on speed, strength, toughness and heavy armor to survive. They're versatile in combat and benefit from offensive and defensive abilities. Warriors inspire allies and demoralize enemies.
Adventurer professions wear medium armor.
- Engineers are technological and alchemical masterminds. They employ turrets, grenades, elixirs, and a variety of other impressive devices and concoctions to overcome their enemies.
- Rangers are proficient with the bow. They rely on a keen eye, a steady hand, and the power of nature to slay their targets. Their loyal pets, which rangers tame and train, distract enemies while the rangers strike safely from a distance.
- Thieves are adept at the art of stealth. They utilize surprise and shadow to get close to their enemies, and they're deadly in one-on-one combat. They have an affinity for setting traps and going where they were never meant to go.
Scholar professions wear light armor.
- Elementalists have harnessed Tyria's natural forces. Their powers of destruction are drawn from an affinity with the four elements that make up the world. They conjure air, fire, earth, or water to assault their enemies.
- Mesmers are maestros of mirage. They wield mental magic that confounds, controls, or evokes emotion in their enemies. With a wave of the hand, they can shatter their own illusions to produce even greater special effects.
- Necromancers are masters of the dark arts. They summon the dead to fight for them, channel blood energy, and rend the souls of their enemies. Necromancers draw on life force and use it to strengthen or heal themselves and others.
 Physical appearance
- Primary article: Physical appearance
In step four, you can customize four different aspects of your character's physical characteristics and appearance.
- Body Features
- Head Options
- Face Details
- Armor Dyes
- Primary article: Biography
Steps five to nine involve answering five separate multiple-choice questions that influence the biography or background of your character.
- The first question determines a profession-dependent aesthetic aspect of your character, the choice and the appearance of one piece of your armor; the options are the same for all races, except for Rangers, whose pet choice-set is affected by race.
- The second question determines the character's initial personality, which affects how NPCs react to the character (typically as differences among dialogue choices).
- The final three questions determine the personal storyline of the character; questions relating to the character's background, motivations, and experiences. These questions are determined by race.
You can choose to "Skip to End" at each of these steps, in which case the game will randomly answer the questions for you and take you to the last step.
The last step is to choose a name for your character, which can include from 3 to 19 characters. Names must be composed entirely of letters and (optional) spaces; names always use title case (i.e. the first letter of each word is capitalized) and must begin with a letter.
For non-space characters, the English versions of the game allow the standard 26 letters of the alphabet along with accented letters such as à and è. All client versions on all servers also allow ÄÖÜ Umlauts in name while a German keyboard layout is used. [verification requested].
If you intend to role-play or otherwise desire to have names consistent with lore, note that some races have naming customs:
- Asura are known for having two of the same letters in their name, e.g. Vekk, Gadd, Zojja, Boaaz
- Charr warband names have a link to each other, e.g. every charr in the warband has the word "stone" in their surname
- Norn usually have northern european or viking-style names
- Sylvari usually have celtic inspired names and generally lack a surname for the most part
 Tutorial mission
As soon as you confirm the character's name, you will be transported to a race-dependent mission demonstrating basic game mechanics. After completing the tutorial, your character will end up in the starting zone for their race.
|Asura||Explosive Intellect||Metrica Province|
|Charr||Fury of the Dead||Plains of Ashford|
|Norn||The Great Hunt||Wayfarer Foothills|
|Sylvari||Fighting the Nightmare||Caledon Forest|
 Starting equipment
- Primary article: Starting equipment
Starting equipment is similar for most characters:
- Each character gets the same basic town clothing, an Aqua Breather, and a Starter Backpack (that holds up to 20 items).
- The starting weapons depends solely on the choice of profession.
- Except for Rangers, one piece of armor is dependent on how the character answers the profession-specific question during the Biography.
- Each step in the character-creation process creates a permanent part of the character's biography, with two exceptions:
- The profession-specific question determines a piece of your armor or, for rangers, your pet. Both can be changed throughout the game.
- Although your Biography determines your initial Personality, choices made by your character throughout the game will have a bigger impact.
- At this time, there is no way to change any of the other aspects of the character determined by the creation process.
- Character names will be reserved for reuse for 24 hours after deleting a character. 
- There is a hidden time limit (possibly identical to idle limit) when creating a character. Failing to complete the character within this time limit will return you to the main login screen and all of your modifications will be lost.