The trait interface of an elementalist
. The grandmaster tier traits have not yet been unlocked.
Traits are passive abilities that can enhance a character's skills, provide bonuses to damage and attributes, and modify their actions. Each profession has 15 minor and 65 major traits grouped into five trait lines across three tiers. Like utility skills, only a small number of traits can be equipped at a time, determined by how the character allocates their trait points among the trait lines.
The trait interface is accessed through the Hero panel, in the Traits section of the Skills and Traits tab.
 Trait types
|| Minor traits have small icons marked with the profession's symbol. All minor traits are unlocked by default.
|| Major traits have large icons marked with a Roman numeral. Major traits must be unlocked (per-character) using trait guides, which can be acquired as rewards for completing various in-game content or can be purchased from profession trainers.
 Trait lines
Every profession has five trait lines, each of which is linked to one primary and one secondary attribute. See the profession trait tables below for how each profession's lines and attributes are linked.
- Primary attributes
- Power — increases damage dealt.
- Precision — increases critical hit chance.
- Toughness — increases armor.
- Vitality — increases health.
- Profession-specific attributes — increase effectiveness of the profession's unique mechanic.
- Secondary attributes
- Boon Duration — increases boon duration.
- Condition Damage — increases condition damage.
- Condition Duration — increases condition duration.
- Ferocity — increases critical hit damage.
- Healing Power — increases healing.
 Trait tiers
Within a trait line, traits are grouped into 3 tiers: Adept, Master, and Grandmaster. These tiers unlock sequentially as a character progresses and determine how many trait points can be spent in any trait line.
|| Unlock level
|| Max points per line
 Trait points
Characters acquire their first trait point at level 30 and earn 1 additional point every 6 levels up to level 66, when they start earning 2 points at a time. In total, a level 80 character will have 14 trait points.
|| Points earned
|| Total points
 Allocating trait points
The traits available to a character are determined by the allocation of trait points across the five trait lines. Trait points can be reallocated for free any time a character is not in combat or in a structured PvP match. The number of points in a trait line can be adjusted discretely using the plus/minus buttons at the left of the trait line's display, and all points can be deallocated by clicking the "Refund traits" button at the top of the panel.
For each point invested into a trait line:
- A +50 bonus is granted to each of the two attributes associated with that trait line.
- A minor trait is activated for the first point in each tier.
- A major trait slot is opened for the second point in each tier.
- Spending 1 point in a trait line will activate the Adept minor trait and give an attribute bonus of +50 or +5%.
- Spending 3 points will activate the Adept minor trait, open the Adept major trait slot, and the Master minor trait, as well as give an attribute bonus of +150 / +15%.
- Spending 6 points will activate all 3 minor traits, open all 3 major trait slots, and give an attribute bonus of +300 / +30%.
 Equipping major traits
Each trait line has access to 13 major traits, split across the three tiers. The first 6 (I–VI) major traits are in the Adept tier, the next 4 (VII–X) are in the Master tier, and the last 3 (XI–XIII) are in the Grandmaster tier.
In order to use a major trait, it must be equipped in an open major trait slot. The tier of the slot must be equal to or higher than the tier of the trait — i.e., an Adept trait can be equipped in any trait slot, a Master trait can be equipped in a Master or Grandmaster slot, and a Grandmaster trait can only be equipped in a Grandmaster slot.
 Profession trait tables
These tables list the trait lines for each profession and the attributes linked to them.
- ArenaNet decided against including racial traits in the game as a matter of game balance: each race should be equally effective in each profession. For example, there should not be important differences between norn and asura warriors. [ref]
- The trait system was redesigned into tiers prior to the second Beta Weekend Event.
- The spring 2014 feature pack made numerous changes to the trait system. Changes introduced:
- Automatic tier unlocks. Previously, each tier had to be unlocked by purchasing a trait manual; tiers also could be unlocked earlier, at levels 11, 40, and 60.
- Unlock system for major traits. Previously, major traits were all unlocked by default. Existing characters retained the unlocked traits.
- Trait points were condensed by a factor of 5. In the original system, points accrued at a rate of 1 per level starting at level 11, for a total of 70 points. Each point only gave +10 to attributes, and 5 points were required to activate each minor trait/major trait slot; a maximum of 30 points could be spent per trait line.
- Free trait point refunds outside of structured PvP. Previously, points could only be refunded for a fee at profession trainers or by using an Instant Trait Reset.
- A 13th major trait was added to every trait line.