The Mastery system is an account-wide progression system for level 80 characters that provides players with account-wide benefits such as gliding, mounts, etc. The mastery system interface is accessed through the bottom left tab of the hero panel, and is divided into four regional blocks: Central Tyria mastery tracks, Heart of Thorns mastery tracks, Path of Fire mastery tracks, and Icebrood Saga mastery tracks.
Each mastery is permanently acquired through the following process, further detailed below: 1: Start training a mastery, earn enough experience to fill the progress yellow bar. 2: Earn enough mastery points. 3: Spend your mastery points to permanently acquire the trained mastery for your account.
Unlocking the mastery system and its blocks
To unlock the mastery system, the following requisites must be completed:
- Having reached level 80, the highest level, on any character in the account.
- Having purchased the expansion Path of Fire (The Heart of Thorns expansion is included for free when purchasing Path of Fire).
- Having completed the first chapter of either the Heart of Thorns (Torn from the Sky), Path of Fire (Sparking the Flame) or The Icebrood Saga Episode 1: Whisper in the Dark (Silence) stories.
Completing the first chapter of either Heart of Thorns or Path of Fire unlocks the Central Tyria mastery block, and the block for that particular expansion. To unlock the remaining block, the other chapter 1 must be completed. e.g. a player that completes the first chapter of the Heart of Thorns story unlocks the Heart of Thorns mastery block for their account, and the Central Tyria mastery block. But that player will have to complete the first chapter of the story of Path of Fire to unlock the Path of Fire mastery block for their account. Unlocking the "Raids" Mastery also unlocks the Central Tyria mastery block, but not the rest of Heart of Thorns Mastery block.
Players should note that mastery points (explained below) are saved forever in their account, and are never lost, even if they haven't unlocked the mastery system.
Acquiring a mastery
To acquire a mastery, players will need to start training it, earn enough experience to fully train it, and then spend mastery points to acquire it.
Training a mastery
To train a mastery, players simply need to access the mastery system interface and select a mastery. Only one mastery, per block, can be trained at a time. Once the player is training a mastery, they will have to earn enough experience to fully train it. This is shown by the progress of the yellow bar just below the mastery, and also on the player experience bar at the bottom of their screen.
Players at level 80 will continue to earn experience as normal. The only difference is that earned experience is not used for levelling up, but for training masteries. If a level 80 player has not unlocked the mastery system, or is not training any mastery at the time, earned experience is essentially wasted.
When a player is training a mastery, earning experience within the region of that mastery's block will train the mastery. A player training a raptor mastery will only be able to train said mastery within Path of Fire and Living World Season 4 regions. Experienced earned in Heart of Thorns (and Living World Season 3), or Central Tyria, regions will not train the raptor mastery. A player can select to train 1 mastery from each block, so that when that player changes regions, the experience they earn will automatically train the mastery for that region, meaning players are not required to manually change their mastery in training when switching regions.
Players can switch their mastery in training without losing any progress (experience gained) on it.
Players that have learnt all the masteries that are available to them for the region they are currently in will receive a Spirit Shard when filling their experience bar (when "levelling up"). Meaning, a player that has not unlocked the griffon mastery track (more on how to unlock specific tracks below) will earn a Spirit Shard when "levelling up" if they have acquired all the raptor, springer, skimmer, and jackal mastery tracks. (Assuming they also have not unlocked the other mastery tracks within the Path of Fire block -Skyscale, roller beetle, crystal champion).
Mastery points are a currency used for acquiring masteries. As players progress through the game, they will earn mastery points. Some come from achievements, while others are gathered from the open world just like hero points. These points are stored in the player's account, and are spent to permanently acquire a mastery.
These achievements include but are not limited to:
- Interacting with Mastery Insight locations
- Completing achievements for a story chapter or step
- Finishing various scavenger hunt/location hunting achievements
- Defeating certain world bosses
- Earning silver or gold in an adventure
- Achieving world completion
Each mastery region block has its own type of mastery point. These are easily discernible by their color: red for Central Tyria mastery points, green for Heart of Thorns mastery points, purple for Path of Fire mastery points and blue for The Icebrood Saga mastery points. Masteries can only be acquired using mastery points of their respective mastery region block. Meaning, a raptor mastery can only be acquired with Path of Fire mastery points.
Mastery points earned are stored forever, even if the player has not unlocked the mastery system.
See Mastery point unlocks for a full list of all the mastery points in the game. There are far more mastery points than are needed to acquire all masteries.
Acquiring a mastery
Once a mastery is fully trained by obtaining enough experience, the experience bar will start blinking, and players will be able to spend the required amount of mastery points to permanently acquire the mastery on their account. All acquired masteries are available to all characters in the account, regardless of their level (except Spectral Aid which is only active for level 80 characters).
Before spending the points to acquire a mastery, or switching to train another mastery, any experience (up to one full XP bar) gained will be redirected to training the first unlocked, untrained, least progressed mastery track in the same mastery track, if one is available.
While training a mastery, the icon for the mastery appears in the bottom right corner of the screen, to the right of the experience bar. If no tracks are available, the icon area will be blank. If all Mastery Tracks are completed, the spirit shard icon will be shown instead.
To the left of the experience bar, the total number of mastery points spent will be displayed, referred to as your "Mastery rank".
Mastery tracks are split in 4 blocks; each block has a separate set of mastery points earned by playing its content, which can only be spent on the respective masteries. Before masteries from a given track withing a block (such as gliding) can be trained, the entire track must be unlocked by completing a certain task.
- The hero panel to change your current mastery cannot be opened by clicking on the experience bar while in combat; the current mastery can, however, be changed at any time in the hero panel if it's opened previously or by any other means.
- Almost all obtained Masteries are active regardless of level. That means even a Level 2 character can glide if Glider Basics has already been unlocked on a Level 80 character on the same account.
- Spectral Aid only becomes active at level 80.
- Experience acquired in a region will only contribute to the masteries of that region:
- Central Tyria regions (core game), Southsun Cove, and Living World Season 2 regions will contribute to Central Tyria Mastery experience.
- Heart of Thorns and Living World Season 3 regions will contribute to Heart of Thorns Mastery experience.
- Path of Fire and Living World Season 4 regions will contribute to Path of Fire Mastery experience.
- Icebrood Saga regions will contribute to Icebrood Saga Mastery experience.
- Once all the available masteries of the region are acquired, experience goes towards a 254,000 experience repeatable track to gain 1 Spirit Shard.
- A total of 133,875,158 experience is required to reach mastery rank 338, including the 4,860,359 necessary to reach level 80.