Toughness is a defensive character attribute. Each attribute point put into toughness increases the armor of the character by one, which improves the character's ability to withstand strike damage. Toughness is one of the contributing factors in determining NPC aggression. 
Toughness has no effect on falling damage.
Damage taken = (Opponent's weapon strength) * Opponent's Power * (Opponent's skill-specific coefficient) / (your Defense + your Toughness)
The Toughness for a level 80 player with no equipment is 1000.
For a breakdown on how Toughness (or rather armor) works, see Damage.
To assess how much damage reduction a certain amount of toughness would provide, divide the amount by the current armor rating.
For Example: adding 100 Toughness to 2000 Armor would result in 100/2000 = 5% less strike damage.
Example calculation for damage taken
- An enemy core warrior with ascended berserker equipment uses a fully charged Eviscerate on you (assume they have no traits, boons, runes, sigils, nor food or utilities, and do not critical hit).
You are an elementalist with ascended berserker equipment.
How much damage does the elementalist take? What if you switch half the trinkets from Berserker to Cavalier?
- The enemy
- Ascended axe - Average opponent weapon strength of 1000
- Ascended trinkets, weapons and armor - 2381 Power
- Eviscerate - This skill has a coefficient of 3 when fully charged
- Ascended light armor - defense rating of 967 (per Armor#Defense rating)
- Berserker gear (Power/Precision/Ferocity) - Gives no additional Toughness, so the base primary attribute of 1000 applies
Damage taken = 1000 * 2381 * 3 / (967 + 1000) = 3631
Replacing the elementalist's Back item and Accessories with Cavalier (Toughness/Power/Ferocity) equivalents would grant an additional 283 toughness.
Damage taken = 1000 * 2381 * 3 / (967 + 1000 + 283) = 3175
i.e. a damage reduction of 12.5%, at the cost of losing 188 Precision (reduction in critical chance by 12.5% due to Cavalier lacking precision) and also losing 95 Power.
Weapon skills that increase toughness
Bundle skills that increase toughness
- Epilogue: Unbroken Lines — Tome of Courage, Unbroken Lines (5s): 300 Toughness (in PvE, PvP); Unbroken Lines (5s): 200 Toughness (in WvW)
Utility skills that increase toughness
- Dolyak Signet — Signet, Dolyak Signet: 180 Toughness
- Signet of Stone — Signet, Signet of Stone: 180 Toughness
- Conjure Earth Shield — Conjure, Conjure Earth Attributes: 180 Vitality, 180 Toughness
Traits that increase toughness
- Stalwart Defender (Valor) — Gain toughness when wielding a shield, and shield skills gain reduced recharge.
- Pack Alpha (Beastmastery) — Your pet's attributes are improved and pet skills gain recharge reduction. Improved attributes are power, condition damage, precision, toughness, and vitality.
- Armored Shroud (Death Magic) — Gain carapace when entering shroud.
- Flesh of the Master (Death Magic) — Minions have increased health. Gain carapace for each minion you control. Your minions are destroyed when this trait is reassigned.
- Putrid Defense (Death Magic) — Poison damage is increased. Applying poison grants carapace.
- Shrouded Removal (Death Magic) — Lose a condition when you enter shroud and every few seconds while you remain in shroud. Gain carapace when removing conditions from yourself.
- Soul Comprehension (Death Magic) — Your passive life-force generation from nearby deaths is increased. Kills grant carapace. When you enter shroud, gain life-force per stack of carapace.
- Corrupter's Fervor (Death Magic) — Inflicting a condition on a foe grants carapace. Gain pulsing protection while at or above the carapace threshold.
Traits that benefit from toughness
- Versed in Stone (Retribution) — Rite of the Great Dwarf affects condition damage as well. When struck below the health threshold, cast the Rite of the Great Dwarf. Gain power based on your toughness.
- Strength of Stone (Earth) — Gain condition damage based on your toughness. Inflict bleeding when you immobilize a foe. Bleeding can only occur on the same target once per interval.
Equipment prefixes that increase toughness
This table lists prefixes that have Toughness as a Major attribute. For other prefixes that affect Toughness, see the full listing at attribute combinations.
- For trinkets and jewels, Nomad's is equivalent to Ambrite, and Giver's is equivalent to Snowflake. Minstrel is equivalent to Freshwater Pearl, Trailblazer is equivalent to Maguuma Lily. Vigilant is equivalent to Flax Blossom, and Crusader is equivalent to Agate.
Upgrade components that increase toughness
- See also: list of runes that increase toughness
- Malachite Pebble - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 3
- Lapis Nugget - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 2, Vitality by 5
- Lapis Lump - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 5, Vitality by 7
- Emerald Shard - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 8, Power by 8, Precision by 11
- Sapphire Shard - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 8, Power by 8, Healing by 11
- Emerald Crystal - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 10, Power by 10, Precision by 14
- Sapphire Crystal - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 10, Power by 10, Healing by 14
- Emerald Orb - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 14, Power by 14, Precision by 20
- Sapphire Orb - Upgrades an item to increase Toughness by 14, Power by 14, Healing by 20
Food items that increase toughness
|Req. Level||Name||Toughness||Duration (Minutes)||Other Effect(s)|
|80||Plate of Spicy Herbed Chicken||+100||30||+70 Power, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Plate of Frostgorge Clams||+100||30||+70 Precision, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Bowl of Refugee's Beet Soup||+100||30||+20% Magic Find, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Bowl of Tropical Mousse||+100||30||+70 Condition Damage, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Bowl of Truffle Ravioli||+100||30||+70 precision, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Bowl of Roasted Lotus Root||+70||30||-40% stun duration, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Spicy Marinated Mushroom||+70||30||+100 Power, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Loaf of Omnomberry Bread||+70||30||+100 vitality, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Bowl of Nopalitos Sauté||+70||30||+100 Concentration, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Loaf of Candy Cactus Cornbread||+70||30||+100 Concentration, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Dragon's Revelry Starcake||+45||30||+45 All Attributes, +20% Magic Find, +10 experience from kills|
|80||Red Lentil and Flatbread Feast||+45||60||-15% Incoming Condition Duration, +45 All Attributes, +1% All Experience Gained|
|75||Bowl of Poultry Tarragon Pasta||+80||30||+60 precision, +10 experience from kills|
|75||Stuffed Artichoke with Tropical Dressing||+80||30||+60 Condition Damage, +10 experience from kills|
|65||Loaf of Raspberry Peach Bread||+60||30||+80 vitality, +10 experience from kills|
|55||Bowl of Pesto Pasta Salad||+60||30||+50 precision, +10 experience from kills|
|60||Roasted Parsnip||+60||30||-36% Stun Duration, +10 Experience from kills|
|45||Passion Fruit Coconut Cookie||+60||30||+50 Condition Damage, +10 experience from kills|
|45||Bowl of Salad a la Consortium||+50||30||+40 Condition Damage, +10 experience from kills|
|45||Roasted Rutabaga||+50||30||-28% Stun Duration, +10 Experience from kills|
|35||Bowl of Spiced Mashed Yams||+40||30||-24% Stun Duration, +10 Experience from kills|
|30||Bowl of Grilled Bananas with Passion Fruit Sauce||+30||30||+10 experience from kills|
|30||Bowl of Mashed Yams||+40||30||-24% Stun Duration, +10 Experience from kills|
|30||Loaf of Zucchini Bread||+40||30||+50 vitality, +10 experience from kills|
|25||Meatball Dinner||+30||30||+10 Experience from kills|
|20||Meatball||+30||15||+10 Experience from kills|
|20||Plate of Pasta with Tomato Sauce||+20||30||+10 Experience from kills|
|15||Passion Fruit Soufflé||+20||30||+10 experience from kills|
|9||Blueberry Muffin||+20||10||+10 experience from kills|
Utility items that increase Toughness
|Flask of Pumpkin Oil||+100 Toughness on reviving an ally||+100 Power, Vitality
+10% Experience from kills.
|Lump of Crystallized Nougat||+100 Toughness on reviving an ally||+100 Precision, Condition Damage
+10% Experience from kills
|Sharpening Skull||+75 Toughness on reviving an ally||+75 Power, Precision, Vitality, Healing Power, Ferocity, and Condition Damage
+10% Experience from kills.
|Potion Of Karka Toughness||+150 Toughness||60 minutes|