Specializations are a progression mechanic available to professions, which allows characters to concentrate on different aspects of their build through various traits. Depending on the character's level, up to three specializations can be chosen, and each fully trained specialization provides 3 minor traits and the choice of 3 out of 9 major traits. Players can switch back and forth between specializations when out of combat.
Each character in the base game can choose from five core specializations per profession, while accounts with Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns gain access to one elite specialization for each profession.
In contrast to core specializations, which merely allow use of certain traits, choosing an elite specialization fundamentally changes abilities of a given profession by providing it access to a new weapon, healing skill, elite skill and a set of utility skills in addition to its own set of traits, as well as by altering or expanding on the base profession mechanic. All core profession skills, weapons and specializations are still available while an elite specialization is equipped.
Before training an elite specialization, you must be level 80, and each core training line must be completed. Elite specializations can only be equipped in the bottom (third) specialization slot in the hero panel.
- Specialization slots (an empty row to place specializations in) are unlocked at levels 21, 45, and 71.
- Fully unlocking a core specialization costs 60 hero points.
- Fully unlocking an elite specialization costs 250 hero points.
- Specializations require training of the first minor trait before they can be selected.
- You can only select an elite specialization in the third slot, which has a visible "frame" around it. The hover text for selecting the third specialization reads "Core and Elite", whereas the first and second only state "Core".
- If the player is wielding a weapon whose proficiency is unlocked by an elite specialization and selects another specialization in the third slot, the corresponding weapon skills will be blanked out until the player either removes the weapon or changes back to the corresponding elite specialization.
List of specializations
|Icons / Name||Focus|
|Zeal||Symbols and spirit weapons.|
|Radiance||Signets, burning and blinding.|
|Valor||Blocking and meditations.|
|Honor||Dodging, symbols and shouts.|
|Virtues||Consecrations and virtues.|
|Dragonhunter||Grants access to longbows and traps. Active effects of dragonhunters' virtues gain a more physical presence in the world.|
|Corruption||Legendary Demon Stance and conditions.|
|Retribution||Legendary Dwarf Stance and defense.|
|Salvation||Legendary Centaur Stance, healing and support.|
|Devastation||Legendary Assassin Stance, damage and mobility.|
|Invocation||Legend channeling and fury.|
|Herald||Grants access to shields and Legendary Dragon Stance, in addition to Facet of Nature, which can be used at any time. Heralds focus on defense and supporting allies with various boons.|
|Strength||Dodging, physical utility skills, and brute force.|
|Arms||Critical hits and bleeding.|
|Defense||Enduring of damage.|
|Tactics||Revival of allies and supporting them with banners, shouts, and the warhorn.|
|Discipline||Adrenaline gain and weapon swapping.|
|Berserker||Grants access to torches, rage skills, and Berserk mode which allows the use of primal burst skills. Berserkers focus on fast attacks, adrenaline gain, and burning damage.|
|Explosives||Bombs, grenades, and mines.|
|Firearms||Pistols, rifles, and the flamethrower.|
|Inventions||Turrets and defensive tactics.|
|Alchemy||Elixirs and manipulating of conditions.|
|Tools||Tool belt skills, utility kits, and endurance.|
|Scrapper||Grants access to hammers, gyro skills, and Function Gyro to interact with players at a range to revive allies or finish enemies. Scrappers focus on reducing incoming damage, supporting allies, and improving Superspeed and lightning fields.|
|Marksmanship||Long range damage and signets.|
|Skirmishing||Mobility, traps, and weapon swapping.|
|Wilderness Survival||Defensive combat maneuvers and conditions.|
|Nature Magic||Boons and spirits.|
|Druid||Grants access to staves, glyphs, and Celestial Avatar, which changes your weapon skills and the effects of your equipped glyphs while active. Druids have a heavy focus on team support and healing.|
|Deadly Arts||Traps and poison.|
|Critical Strikes||Critical hits and signets.|
|Shadow Arts||Survival, defensive abilities, and stealth.|
|Acrobatics||Dodging and mobility.|
|Trickery||Stealing and managing initiative.|
|Daredevil||Grants access to melee staves and physical skills. Endurance pool is increased and dodging is enhanced with additional effects.|
|Fire||Fire magic and conjured weapons.|
|Air||Air magic, glyphs, movement speed, and spike damage.|
|Earth||Earth magic, bleeding, defense, and signets.|
|Water||Water magic, defensive tactics, vulnerability and Cantrips.|
|Arcane||General improvements, arcane utility skills, and switching of attunements.|
|Tempest||Grants access to warhorns and offensive shouts. Tempests can overload their attunements for powerful channeled abilities after staying in an attunement for a certain amount of time.|
|Domination||Interrupts and vulnerability.|
|Dueling||Dodging, blocking, and mantras.|
|Chaos||Defense and application of random boons and conditions.|
|Inspiration||Phantasms and healing.|
|Illusions||Shattering and illusions.|
|Chronomancer||Grants access to shields, wells, and a new shatter skill, Continuum Split. Chronomancers focus on manipulating time and can provide a unique effect called Alacrity, which reduces skill recharge.|
|Spite||Damage, signets, foci, and axes.|
|Curses||Critical hits, conditions, corruptions, and scepters.|
|Death Magic||Minions and defense.|
|Blood Magic||Support, life stealing, healing, wells and daggers.|
|Soul Reaping||Death Shroud, life force, staves, and spectral skills.|
|Reaper||Grants access to greatswords and offensive shouts. Death Shroud is replaced by Reaper's Shroud, which has a heavier focus on melee combat.|
- Specializations replaced trait lines and were part of a trait system rework in the June 23, 2015 game update.
- Specializations, Part One: A Primer
- Specializations, Part Two: Reward Tracks and Elite Specializations