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.
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:
- The main hand slot can hold one one-handed weapon or a two-handed weapon.
- 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.
- 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
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)|
|Fine||690 – 762|
|Masterwork||745 – 823|
|Rare||802 – 886|
|Exotic||905 – 1000|
|Ascended||950 – 1050|
|Legendary||950 – 1050|
A weapon can be acquired in several different ways:
- Starting equipment.
- Purchased from a weaponsmith or a cultural weaponsmith.
- Crafted through the disciplines of weaponsmith, huntsman, and artificer.
- A loot drop from a monster or a chest after killing a boss.
- A reward from completing parts of your personal story.
- A reward from completing a dungeon's story mode.
- Traded with other players.
- As a PvP reward from certain PvP Reward Track rewards.
- Crafting at the Mystic Forge.
See also: Equipment acquisition by stats
Weapons cannot be dyed.
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.
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
|Main hand only||Scepter||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||1|
|Number of usable weapons||11||6||11||4||10||6||5||9||8|
|Number of weapon skills 1||40||25||49||17(47)||39||37||80(105)||34||30(35)|
- 11 indicates a one-handed weapon that can be wielded in either hand or both hands simultaneously.
- 10 indicates a one-handed weapon that can be used in the main hand, but not in the off hand.
- 01 indicates a one-handed weapon that can be used in the off hand, but not in the main hand.
- 1 indicates a main hand only, an off-hand only, two-handed or aquatic weapon that can be wielded.
- 0 and 00 indicate weapons that are not usable by a profession.
- 1 indicates the weapon requires an elite specialization.
- 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.
- 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.
- Equipment acquisition by stats
- List of weapon sets
- List of standalone weapons
- List of named weapons
- Starting equipment
- Skill bar
- Gallery of weapons
- Guild Wars 2 Quick Reference Card contains a weapons usability table
- Category:Item galleries by type
- ^ Martin Kerstein answers Community Questions | GuildWars2.info, Guild Wars 2 Guru translation from German
- ^ GW2 Interview with Martin Kerstein & Eric Flannum, CD-Action
- ^ Guild Wars 2 FanDay - Developer Interview, Wartower