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 slotted into weapons, armor, trinkets, and gathering tools, providing an attribute bonus or an extra effect while that equipment is used. The equipment must have an Upgrade Slot to accept a component, and most upgrade components require the item to be above a certain level. Some upgrades additionally have special cosmetic effects. Upgrades can be acquired through crafting, bought from vendors or on the Trading Post from other players, looted, or obtained as a reward.
A upgrade component slotted in an item can be replaced with another one, but doing so will destroy the previous upgrade, except for the legendary equipment and upgrades. Most upgrade components placed in items cannot be recovered except by using an Upgrade Extractor or by salvaging the item with a special high-tier salvage kit that specifically recovers upgrades, such as Black Lion Salvage Kit or Ascended Salvage Tool. Equipment from karma merchants will often come with an upgrade component that cannot be replaced or salvaged. Glyphs, which are placed in the gathering tools, are the only type of upgrade components that can be freely swapped without any restrictions.
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 condition if worn at the same time, and so forth. This means that the character 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.
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. It is impossible to double or otherwise "improve" a sigil's effect 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. Infusions placed in an item can be recovered by using an Infusion Extraction Device or by salvaging the item with the Ascended Salvage Tool.
- Primary article: Enrichment
Enrichments are a special type of upgrade component used for ascended and legendary amulets. Similarly to infusions, enrichments can be recovered from an item by using an Infusion Extraction Device or by salvaging the item with the Ascended Salvage Tool.
- Primary article: Glyph (upgrade)
Glyphs can only be placed in gathering tools. Glyphs provide various bonus effect or improvements, from enhancing the gathering speed to gaining extra materials. Unlike other upgrade components, glyphs can be removed and reinserted freely and will be returned 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.