Call it whatever you like—DPS, damage per second—we just call it DAMAGE, and when it comes to making red bars go down, you can never have enough of it. Don't trivialize it though; damage is a very versatile aspect of combat. There are so many ways that a character can do damage.
— GuildWars2.com promotional material
Damage is any effect from an action which results in a target losing health. Damage is considered to be one of the three facets the Guild Wars 2 combat system is built around, the others being support and control. All professions are able to deal damage in a useful way, mostly by using skills. Direct damage and condition damage are the two primary forms of damage. The term damage usually refers to direct damage in the game.
There are three types of damage in Guild Wars 2:
- Direct damage. This damage is inflicted by skills and/or traits directly, can crit, and is mitigated by the target's armor.
- Condition damage. This damage is inflicted primarily by conditions, does not crit and is not mitigated by the target's armor.
- Falling damage. This damage is taken from falling. When taken below zero health by falling damage, the player does not enter a downed state but instead dies immediately. Falling damage scales with height fallen and is not mitigated by armor or any skills that reduce or prevent damage, but can be halved by one specific trait that varies by profession (see below). Death/defeat from falling does not result in damaged armor.
 Direct damage
Base direct damage is given by the following equation:
Damage done = (Weapon strength) * Power * (skill-specific coefficient) / (target's Armor)
- Weapon strength: a uniformly distributed random number taken from the range of weapon strength of the equipped weapon. The weapon strength used for a skill will typically be that of the weapon associated with that skill; utility and elite skills are typically not affected by weapon strength and use a range based on the player's level.
- Power: The current power as listed on the Hero tab.
- Armor: The current armor as listed on the Hero tab. Armor is the sum of defense and Toughness.
- Skill coefficient: Every skill has a unique coefficient used to calculate damage inflicted. Listed by the () after tool tip listed on wiki pages, not shown in-game however.
This base direct damage can then be modified by the following effects:
- Critical hits do increased damage. Critical hits default to 150% of base damage and this amount can be increased by the Ferocity player attribute. Critical Chance is governed by the Precision player attribute and flat bonuses such as the fury boon.
- Glancing blows, as caused by either level difference or weakness, only do 50% of regular damage.
- Vulnerability increases direct damage on a target.
- Protection decreases the damage received by a target by 33%.
- Other various passive effects that increase the attacker's outgoing damage or a target's incoming damage, including those from upgrade components, traits, nourishment, etc
In order for a skill to do direct damage, it first must hit. The following will cause a skill to miss:
- The blind condition affecting you
- The target blocks, dodges or evades by other means
- The target is out of range of the actual attack (some attacks have greater reach than their skill tooltip indicates, e.g. projectiles with high arc)
- The target is obstructed by terrain, structures or objects
- The target is invulnerable
Direct damage is listed on skill tooltips with the Damage icon. Skill tooltip direct damage is given by the following formula:
Tooltip damage = (average weapon strength) * Power * (skill-specific coefficient) / (level-based Armor value)
- Average weapon strength is the average of the range of damage listed as Weapon Strength on the equipped weapon's tooltip.
- The damage actually done will not correspond to the tooltip damage, since it depends on your opponents Armor value and other factors listed above.
- At level 80, the opponent Armor value used to calculate the tooltip's direct damage is 2600.
- Some skills do not calculate their tooltip damage based on the equipped weapon. These are frequently the same skills that are unaffected by Weapon Strength.
- Some skills list multiple hits of Direct Damage, for example: Damage (2x): 500. This means the target will receive 2 hits of 250 each.
- Some skills which apply conditions, such as Burning, may also have direct damage associated with them. For example: Damage (8x): 800, 8xStack Burning (2s): 4800. In this case the fire will apply 8 pulses of direct damage of 100 each at 1sec intervals. Each direct damage pulse will extend the burning condition by 2 sec which will apply 2 pulses of burning damage of 300 each at 1sec intervals as long as the burning lasts. The burning will therefore last 16sec and apply 16 burns of 300 and 8 direct damage hits of 100 each.
- Direct damage is reported in the Combat Chat tab. Condition damage is not.
 Condition damage
- Primary article: condition damage
The damage done by conditions is governed by the character level, the condition inflicted, and the player's Condition Damage attribute. Unlike direct damage, condition damage is not reduced by armor or toughness. Players can increase the listed amounts by increasing the Condition Duration attribute via traits, equipment, or nourishments.
(Deals double damage to moving targets)
(In WvW and sPvP, confusion damage is 50% less.)
|per skill use|
 Falling damage
A character that falls takes damage, which depends on the distance fallen; a character can become defeated if the fall is far enough. The damage is proportional to the character's health- a level 80 character and a level 1 character falling from the same height will both lose the same percentage of their maximum health. Landing in water negates fall damage, although invulnerability does not. Armor is never damaged by falling damage unless you are already within the downed state while falling.
You can fall while attempting to navigate a slope, since it is more difficult to estimate the height and angle. Sometimes, instead of sliding safely down, a character can be inflicted by repeated short falls that are each far enough to cause falling damage, sometimes resulting in becoming defeated, even though individually the falls would not have been fatal.
- Forcing opponents to fall
Every profession has a trait which halves falling damage and grants one or more other effects after falling. Despite belonging to different trait lines, all of them can be unlocked by completing Obsidian Sanctum.
- Protector's Impact – create Symbol of Protection
- Death from Above – damage and launch foes
- Arcane Abatement – cast a spell based on attunement
- Explosive Descent – use Grenade Barrage
- Soften the Fall – create Muddy Terrain
- Descent of Shadows – use Blinding Powder
- Descent into Madness – create Chaos Storm
- Toxic Landing – create a poison field