- This article is about upgrading gear. For upgrading structures in WvW, see Structure upgrade. For upgrading an account, see Account#Upgrade.
Upgrade components are equipment modifiers that can be applied to weapons, armor, trinkets and gathering tools. The equipment must have a used or unused upgrade slot to accept a component. Equipment from karma merchants will often come with an upgrade component that cannot be replaced or salvaged. Upgrade components confer additional benefits (such as increased attributes or effects added to attacks) while wielding that piece. Some upgrades may carry visualized effects. They can be crafted, bought, found or obtained as a reward. They can be replaced with another upgrade component but will not be recovered except by either salvaging it with a Black Lion Salvage Kit, which salvages the item, or by using an Upgrade Extractor, which keeps both the rune and the item intact. The item must be at least the minimum level indicated by the upgrade to apply the upgrade.
Types of upgrade components
- Primary article: Universal upgrade
Universal upgrades, which include gemstones, are upgrade components that can be placed in any type of equipment. They provide smaller bonuses than components that are type-restricted, but they are easier to acquire than most other components.
- Primary article: Jewel
- Primary article: Rune
Runes can only be placed in armor. Each armor piece can have no more than one rune. Placing the same type of rune on different armor pieces worn together will give the wearer additional, accumulating benefits. For example, a single Superior Rune of Balthazar will give a +25 bonus to Power, a second (on another piece of equipment) will add on a +15% bonus duration to burning if worn at the same time, and so forth. This means that the player can accumulate armor set bonuses on any set of armor pieces, rather than having to acquire specific armor pieces in order to finish a set and gain the full bonus.
Runes are noteworthy for being able to grant abilities and stats unobtainable through any other equipped source, such as creating effects when struck, increasing movement speed, and decreasing weapon swap time. As such, the choice of runes can be more involved and beneficial to a build than choices of accessories. However, other rune sets simply provide large benefits to basic statistics, and are replaceable by other components such as gemstones and sigils.
The first number (ex: 0/2 Minor Rune of Dwayna) represents the number of armor pieces with that particular rune embedded that you currently have equipped.
When you have a piece of armor that asks you to have 2 pieces of rune ex: (0/2 Minor Rune of Dwayna) that means you should have two pieces of armor that hold that type of rune. It does not mean that you need to apply the same rune to the same piece of armor twice. If you do, your current upgrade will be destroyed.
- Primary article: Sigil
Sigils can only be placed in weapons. Each one-hand weapon may have only one sigil. Two-handed weapons, as of the April 14 update, can have (2) separate sigils, but both must be different. (You cannot double or otherwise "improve" a sigil's benefit by another of the same type to the weapon(s) currently in use.) Sigils have a variety of effects, such as attacks which trigger on critical hits, and attribute bonuses which increase as the player kills more enemies without being downed or switching to a weapon set that lacks the sigil.
- Primary article: Infusion
Infusions are a special type of upgrade component used for non-amulet ascended equipment, legendary equipment, and some non-ascended back items. Enrichments are upgrade components that can be placed in ascended amulets.
- Primary article: Glyph (upgrade)
Glyphs can only be placed in gathering tools. Glyphs enhance the speed and functions of gathering tools. Unlike runes or sigils, glyphs can be removed and reinserted indefinitely and will be placed into the inventory if replaced by another glyph.
- Replacing an upgrade component may alter the suffix of an item.
- Upgrades must be of equal or lower level to the item being upgraded.