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 expansion packs unlocked gain access to one elite specialization for each profession per expansion.
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 select an elite specialization only 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 | Scepter, Greatsword|
|Radiance||Signets, burning and blinding | Sword, Torch|
|Valor||Blocking and meditations | Shield, Focus|
|Honor||Dodging, symbols and shouts | Staff|
|Virtues||Consecrations and virtues | Hammer|
|Dragonhunter||Grants access to longbows and traps. Active effects of dragonhunters' virtues gain a more physical presence in the world. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Firebrand||Grants access to axes and mantras. Virtues become tomes. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
|Core (requires a purchased expansion)|
|Corruption||Legendary Demon Stance and conditions | Mace, Axe|
|Retribution||Legendary Dwarf Stance and defense | Hammer|
|Salvation||Legendary Centaur Stance, healing and support | Staff|
|Devastation||Legendary Assassin Stance, damage and mobility | Sword|
|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. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Renegade||Gain ability to wield short bows. Channel Kalla Scorchrazor's power in battle, drawing upon her spirit to summon members of her warband. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
|Strength||Dodging, physical utility skills, and brute force | Greatsword, Hammer|
|Arms||Critical hits, signets and bleeding | Sword|
|Defense||Toughness and enduring of damage | Shield, Mace|
|Tactics||Revival of allies and supporting them with shouts | Warhorn, Longbow|
|Discipline||Adrenaline gain and weapon swapping | Axe, Rifle, Harpoon Gun|
|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. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Spellbreaker||Grants access to daggers and meditations. Spellbreakers can use their adrenaline to perform a full counter, absorbing the next attack against them and damaging surrounding foes. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
|Explosives||Power and Vulnerability | Grenade Kit, Bomb Kit|
|Firearms||Condition Damage | Pistol, Rifle, Harpoon Gun, Flamethrower|
|Inventions||Turrets and defensive tactics | Shield|
|Alchemy||Elixirs and manipulating of conditions | Med Kit, Elixir Gun|
|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. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Holosmith||Grants access to swords and exceed skills. Use skills that project light into semi-solid form. Photon forge mode generates heat as skills are used, causing damage to themselves but also increasing utility skill damage. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
|Marksmanship||Long range damage and signets | Longbow, Harpoon Gun|
|Skirmishing||Mobility, traps, and weapon swapping | Sword, Short bow|
|Wilderness Survival||Defensive combat maneuvers and conditions | Dagger, Torch|
|Nature Magic||Boons and spirits | Warhorn|
|Beastmastery||Pets | Greatsword, Spear, Axe|
|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. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Soulbeast||Grants main hand use of daggers. The Soulbeast is able to unite with animal spirits, and enters stances to take on the aspect of wild creatures. The merge allows use of unique animal and archetype abilities. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
|Deadly Arts||Traps and poison | Dagger|
|Critical Strikes||Critical hits and signets | Pistol, Harpoon Gun|
|Shadow Arts||Survival, defensive abilities, and stealth|
|Acrobatics||Dodging and mobility | Sword, Spear|
|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. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Deadeye||Gain ability to use rifles. Marking targets increases effects of sniping. Can use shadow magic to cast cantrips that gain bonuses when used against marked targets or as malice increases. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
|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. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Weaver||Gains ability to use swords and stances. Wields two attunements at once, combining both elements in Dual Attacks. Switches between elements by changing stances. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
|Domination||Interrupts, signets and vulnerability | Greatsword|
|Dueling||Dodging, blocking, and mantras | Pistol, Sword, Spear|
|Chaos||Defense and application of random boons and conditions | Staff, Trident|
|Inspiration||Phantasms and healing | Focus|
|Illusions||Shattering and illusions | Torch, Scepter|
|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. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Mirage||Gain ability to use Axes and deceptions. Taps into magic of the Crystal Desert to deceive enemies and create constructs that explode when touched. Can create mirage cloaks to avoid enemy attacks without dodging. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
|Spite||Damage and signets | Axe, Focus|
|Curses||Critical hits, conditions, and corruptions | Scepter|
|Death Magic||Minions and defense|
|Blood Magic||Support, life stealing, healing, and wells | Dagger|
|Soul Reaping||Death Shroud, life force, and spectral skills | Staff|
|Reaper||Grants access to greatswords and offensive shouts. Death Shroud is replaced by Reaper's Shroud, which has a heavier focus on melee combat. (Requires Heart of Thorns expansion.)|
|Scourge||Gain ability to wield torches and punishment skills. Death Shroud is replaced with the ability to raise Sand Shades that shield allies and attack foes. Casts spells that grant allies might and barriers while tormently ripping boons from enemies. (Requires Path of Fire expansion.)|
- Specializations replaced trait lines and were part of a trait system rework in the June 23, 2015 game update.
- Specialization equipment — armor and weapons connected to the elite specializations obtainable via collections