Upgrade items improve your equipment's performance. Double-click an upgrade, and then click on a piece of gear with an unused upgrade slot to fuse the upgrade to the gear.
Upgrade components are items that can be added to weapons, armor, trinkets, and gathering tools. The equipment must have an Upgrade Slot to accept a component, and most upgrade components require the item to be above a certain level. Upgrade components grant bonuses (such as increased attributes or effects added to attacks) while wielding that piece. Some upgrades have special cosmetic effects. Upgrades can be crafted, bought, found, or obtained as a reward. Upgrade components in an item can be replaced with another upgrade component, but doing so will overwrite the previous upgrade. Upgrade components placed in items cannot be recovered except by either salvaging the item (with a Black Lion Salvage Kit or Ascended Salvage Tool), or by using an Upgrade Extractor. Equipment from karma merchants will often come with an upgrade component that cannot be replaced or salvaged. However, glyphs and upgrades in legendary equipment can be swapped freely.
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 Condition Damage, a second (on another piece of equipment) will add on a +10% 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 can have two separate sigils, but both must be different. (You cannot double or otherwise "improve" a sigil's benefit by slotting 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, passive damage or attribute bonuses, or triggering effects when swapping to a weapon with that sigil slotted.
- 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. Infusions placed in an item can be recovered by salvaging the item or with an Infusion Extraction Device.
- Primary article: Glyph (upgrade)
Glyphs can only be placed in gathering tools. Glyphs enhance the speed and functions of gathering tools. Unlike other upgrade components, 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.