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Weapon set concept from GDC 2010 slideshow.

Weapons are a type of equipment that characters wield in combat. When equipped, they also determine the first five skills in a player's skill bar.

Excluding environmental weapons, there are a total of 19 different types of weapons - each profession having access to a specific selection of them. Furthermore, each profession utilizes weapons differently from one another, giving a wider scope in play style. A warrior's use of the axe, for example, focuses on building adrenaline quickly and spiking for high amounts of damage, while the ranger uses axes as throwing hatchets for ranged attacks.

Basic attributes[edit]

Character weapons are split into four primary categories based on how they are held:

  • One-handed — can be wielded in either the main hand, the off hand, or one in each hand, depending on the profession.
  • Two-handed — requires both hands to wield it.
  • Off-hand — can only be used in the off hand.
  • Aquatic — can only be used in underwater mode.

Every character has at minimum (depending on profession) a set of 3 different weapon slots:

Main hand The main hand slot can hold one one-handed weapon or a two-handed weapon.
Off hand The off hand slot can hold one off-hand weapon or, depending on the profession, a one-handed weapon, but can not be used when a two-handed weapon is equipped.
Aquatic weapon The aquatic weapon slot can hold one aquatic weapon.

All professions excluding the elementalist and the engineer have a second set of weapon slots and the ability to switch between two weapon sets while in combat. However, the elementalist's attunements give it the equivalent of four weapon sets to choose from, and the engineer has device and weapon kit skills which can be used to change weapon skills.

When combined with profession, equipped weapons (and shields) determine the first five skills on the character's skill bar.

All weapons have a range of weapon strength which, in combination with Power and the opponent's Armour, affects the direct damage dealt with that weapon's skills. In addition, a weapon can provide up to 3 attribute bonuses based on its prefix, and often includes a slot for an upgrade component. The amount of weapon strength and attribute bonuses depend on the weapon's required level and quality. Weapon strength is always the same for a given weapon type at a particular level and quality (for example, all masterwork shields with a level requirement of 35 have 279-314 weapon strength), but damage might still vary depending on which attributes the weapon improves (e.g. a weapon that improves power will end up dealing more damage than a weapon that improves toughness).

A weapon can be wielded or stowed, where it is visible on the back or hip of the character. Stowing away a weapon can be used to cancel the current action, e.g. auto attacking or a utility skill. (The in-game options panel allows you to bind a key to the "Stow/Draw Weapons" command).

Strength relative to rarity[edit]

For the same level requirement, strength improves with the grade of weapon rarity. As seen in the table below, an ascended weapon at level 80 is 5% stronger than an exotic weapon of the same level requirement.

Rarity Strength (sword stats used for comparison)
CFine 690 – 762
DMasterwork 745 – 823
ERare 802 – 886
FExotic 905 – 1000
GAscended 950 – 1050
HLegendary 950 – 1050


A weapon can be acquired in several different ways:

See also: Equipment acquisition by stats



Weapons cannot be dyed.[1]


Weapons are classified in three categories depending on their skin:

  • Weapon sets: Collections of weapons that share visual characteristics and name patterns.
  • Standalone weapons: Weapons that aren't part of any weapon set.
  • Named weapons: Weapons with the same appearance as some of the weapons from the weapon sets, but that aren't part of any set.

Skins can be transmuted, too.


Sigils are upgrade components for weapons. Some upgrades will add a visual effect to the weapon.[2]

Environmental Weapons[edit]

When available, an environmental weapon (such as a Jar of bees) can be picked up and dropped while adventuring. While equipped they suppress the normal weapon sets of the character in favor of their own special skills. Some can be destroyed by using their skills and most are destroyed when dropped.

Weapon usability by professions[edit]

Weapon Elementalist tango icon 20px.png
Mesmer tango icon 20px.png
Necromancer tango icon 20px.png
Engineer tango icon 20px.png
Ranger tango icon 20px.png
Thief tango icon 20px.png
Guardian tango icon 20px.png
Some tango icon 20px.png
Warrior tango icon 20px.png
One-handed Axe 0No0No 0No0No 1Yes0No 0No0No 1Yes1Yes 0No0No 0No0No  ? 1Yes 1Yes1Yes
Dagger 1Yes1Yes 0No0No 1Yes1Yes 0No0No 0No1Yes 1Yes1Yes 0No0No 0No0No
Mace 0No0No 0No0No 0No0No 0No0No 0No0No 0No0No 1Yes0No 1Yes ? 1Yes1Yes
Pistol 0No0No 0No1Yes 0No0No 1Yes1Yes 0No0No 1Yes1Yes 0No0No 0No0No
Sword 0No0No 1Yes1Yes 0No0No 0No0No 1Yes0No 1Yes0No 1Yes0No 1Yes1Yes
Main hand only Scepter 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes 0No 0No 0No 1Yes 0No
Off-hand only Focus 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes 0No 0No 0No 1Yes 0No
Shield 0No 1Yes 0No 1Yes 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Torch 0No 1Yes 0No 0No 1Yes 0No 1Yes 0No
Warhorn 0No 0No 1Yes 0No 1Yes 0No 0No 1Yes
Two-handed Greatsword 0No 1Yes 1Yes 0No 1Yes 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Hammer 0No 0No 0No 1Yes 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Longbow 0No 0No 0No 0No 1Yes 0No 0No 1Yes
Rifle 0No 0No 0No 1Yes 0No 0No 0No 1Yes
Short bow 0No 0No 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes 0No 0No
Staff 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes 0No 1Yes 0No 1Yes 0No
Aquatic Harpoon gun 0No 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes 0No 1Yes
Spear 0No 1Yes 1Yes 0No 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Trident 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes 0No 0No 0No 1Yes 0No
Available sets 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 2
Number of usable weapons 5 9 8 4 10 6 11 11
Number of weapon skills 1 80(105) 34 30(35) 17(47) 39 37[40] 40 49
Possible combinations 6 12 12 4 13 9 14 21
  • 1Yes1Yes indicates a one-handed weapon that can be wielded in either hand or both hands simultaneously.
  • 1Yes0No indicates a one-handed weapon that can be used in the main hand, but not in the off hand.
  • 0No1Yes indicates a one-handed weapon that can be used in the off hand, but not in the main hand.
  • 1Yes indicates a main hand only, an off-hand only, two-handed or aquatic weapon that can be wielded.
  • 0No and 0No0No indicate weapons that are not usable by a profession.
  • 1Yes indicates the weapon will become available in Heart of Thorns.
  • 1 Chains and sequence skills are counted as one skill. The number in () includes Conjure, Death Shroud, Device kit and Weapon kit skills respectively. The number in [] includes dual wield skills with no off-hand equipped.


  • Weapons will scale based on the size of the character wielding them, so the same weapon will be smaller for an asura compared to a norn. The scaling is proportional, so a large weapon will still seem large when wielded by an asura.[3]
  • It's not necessary to have three of the same weapon to have a weapon set with dual wielded weapons and another with one of those weapons. It is possible to simply equip the different weapon alone along an empty slot in the other weapon set, and the game will not swap the weapon with the empty slot, only the other one.

See also[edit]


Gwwlogo.png The Guild Wars Wiki has an article on Weapon.
  1. ^ Martin Kerstein answers Community Questions | GuildWars2.info, Guild Wars 2 Guru translation from German
  2. ^ GW2 Interview with Martin Kerstein & Eric Flannum, CD-Action
  3. ^ Guild Wars 2 FanDay - Developer Interview, Wartower