Gathering is the act of collecting crafting materials from resource nodes, which are marked on the compass. General types of gathering resources include ore veins (metal), trees (wood), and non-tree plants (cooking ingredients). Once used, the node is temporarily exhausted for that character, but remains available to other characters.
You can only get materials from nodes using a gathering tool: mining picks for ore, logging axes for wood, and harvesting sickles for plants. You can equip the tools in the hero panel. Each tool comes with a set number of uses, which is reduced by one each time it is used.
Gathering is not tied to any discipline or profession; the amount and quality of materials dropped depends only on the node and the quality of tool used to gather. More expensive tools will produce greater amounts of more valuable materials. If using an inferior tool on higher tier nodes, you will tend to receive ruined resources instead of desired ones.
Rich mining veins can be mined ten times as opposed to three and have a higher chance to give rare gems.
 Gathering tools
- Primary article: Gathering tool
You can usually find a merchant offering gathering tools in large towns, some small ones, as well as some karma vendors, especially after completing a heart quest. Master craftsmen also sell these tools. New characters may purchase basic harvesting tools from the following merchants:
- In Queensdale (human starting area), talk to Horatio in the Shaemoor pub.
- In Plains of Ashford (charr starting area), talk to Kaladrian the Greedy in the Village of Smokestead.
- In Wayfarer Foothills (norn starting area), talk to Odgrim near the Horncall Waypoint.
- In Caledon Forest (sylvari starting area), talk to Malvaisus south of the Wardenhurst Waypoint.
 Resource nodes
 At a glance
Nodes can be found randomly distributed within logical ranges, e.g. underground and rocky areas are likely to have ore or mushroom nodes, forests will have wood nodes, and farms are more likely places to find vegetables. A node farm is an area with six or more plants of same type clustered together.
|Node type||Compass icon||Main Yield||Rare Additional Yield||Harvesting tool required|
|Tree||Logs|| Cinnamon Stick
|Non-tree plant||Ingredients|| Dandelion Blossom
 Respawn rate
Node locations are reset after any changes to the game, including after server maintenance. After a character has gathered from the node, the node will automatically respawn at that same location within a few hours, with the following exceptions:
- Rich metal veins: approximately 23 hours.
- Node farms: approximately 23 hours.
- Orichalcum Ore & Ancient Saplings.
 Required tools, by zone level
|Tool prefix||Applicable area level|
- Some zones require more than one level of tool, e.g. Darksteel tools can be used in most parts of Mount Maelstrom, while some nodes require mithril tools.
- The strength of the the master tools obtained as Personal Story rewards depends on the level of the story: a steel-equivalent tool from the L15 story, darksteel at L35, and an orichalcum-equivalent from the L60 story.
In addition to the items listed below, harvesting plants will occasionally yield:
 Special nodes
|Pick Material||Node name||Main Yield||Rare Additional Yield|
|Copper||Raw Candy Corn, Rich Candy Corn Vein||Candy Corn||Trick-or-Treat Bag|
- Gathering behaves like a skill that requires you to be within a certain range of a node, and can be interrupted by control effects. Gaining a gathering-related achievement and leveling up also interrupts gathering.