User:Dak393/New player Guide
Decided to make my own new player guide to try and consolidate all of the resources I've saved up into one easy to access spot. If you have any questions or suggestions message me on discord Dak393#2588.
I will be adding content to this when I get a chance and keeping the links up to date, feel free to let me know or update them if I don't.
- Official New Player Guide - The official guide that goes over a lot of the basics to get started.
- Frequently Asked Questions - Wiki's own FAQ
- Rkoturdo-Ndo's GW2 Tutorial - New player basics guide
- Ayin Maiden - Does guides and videos on most content, general achievements, bosses, sPvP, etc.
- GW2 Fans - Newer site aimed at making guides.
- Dulfy.net - Mastery, Achievements, story guide (Busy with work now and not currently updating but has a lot of info on older content still).
- GW2 Parody: A Crappy Guide to Leveling - Leveling guide (semi-parody)
- Abbreviations - General list of Abbreviations
- User:Gulbasaur/Things I Wish Someone Told Me - A new player guide - New player guide.
- User:Dak393/Story Recap - Personal quick story recap mainly focused on season 1.
- Silverwastes Farming (RIBA) guide - 2019 guide for farming Silverwastes events and leading it.
- /r/Guildwars2 wiki - Subreddit's wiki with links to other resources and guides.
- Mikksmix's GW2 Compendium - Compilation and guide similar to this one.
- Catchupguides - Has guides for new players to explain mechanics and detailed changes for returning players.
- GW2Skills.net - Build editor
- Snowcrows.com - Raid builds
- Discretize.eu - Fractal builds
- Godsofpvp.net - PvP builds
- GW2 Mists - WvW Zerg builds
- Metabattle.com - General builds for all areas
- User:Tanetris/So You Want To Gear a Character - Detailed gearing guide and the one I recommend
- User:Chieftain Alex/equipment guide - Alternative gearing guide
- Metabattle:How to gear a character - Metabattle's gearing guide (outdated)
- Exotic vs Ascended - Detailed damage comparison of Exotic vs Ascended gear
- Living Story Season 3 infographic - Visual quick guide to season 3 trinkets
- Season 3 Trinkets by Fae Sun - Alternate visual guide to season 3 trinkets
- Season 4 Trinkets by Fae Sun - In addition, Eternal Ice Shards can be exchanged for season 4 currency
- GW2Crafts.net - Gw2 Craft Guide
- Craft to Gold - Shows ways to make gold off crafting and the trading post
- GW2 BLTC - Trading post database and search tool.
- GW2 Spidey - Trading post database and search tool.
- GW2 TP - Trading post database and search tool.
- GW2Efficiency - Boss Timers, Achievements and more.
- Silver Wastes Tools - Charts and info on what level to open bags from Silver Wastes and when to sell fractal encryption boxes.
- GW2 lunchbox - Item price calculations and some raid guides.
- GW2 Taco - GW2 Tactical Overlay, has on screen boss timers and markers as well as the option to add more.
- Tekkit's Workshop - Guides and videos, has a section on Taco marker packs (I suggest you get "ALL-IN-ONE" and just disable what you don't want).
- GW2 Timer - Has boss timers, maps, checklists, WvW info.
- The Daemon Army - Simple tool for easy daily achievement completion with maps and suggested areas.
- See the add-ons section for more utilities and info.
- User:Dak393/Raid Guide - My guide for getting started in raids (WIP)
- Snowcrows.com - Raid builds, rotations, and guides
- ArcDPS - GW2 DPS meter (Only accepted option)
- GW2Raidar - Raid + fractal logs and stats, upload or view DPS logs here
- DPS Report - Alternative raid log reader, has more detailed info but no global stats
- DPS Report Guide - Guide by Valk, goes over how to look at finished logs and what they mean
- The Happy Raider's Kit by Tevatron.8217- Detailed long raid guide
- Raid Guide book by SUPER GOD.6857 - Raid and strike guides with lots of helpful images
- RA - Raid Academy (NA training discord)
- Snowcrow's Training List - Alternative training discords (EU options there)
- Discretize.eu - Fractal builds and guides
- Fractal Zero to Hero by drdevicemd.3158- Detailed Fractal guide
- Mistlocked Discord - Fractal guild that does training for NA and EU
- GW2 Mists - WvW Zerg builds, updated.
- WvW Militia (JQ's old builds) - Builds and budget options but not maintained anymore, soon to be deleted.
- Metabattle's WvW list - Generic WvW builds with some details
- WvWstats - WvW statistics on server matchup, links, ranking etc.
- WvW intel - Live map with timers and announcements.
- Tragical Casual - German WvW zerg builds.
- Chains of the Kraken - EU WvW build alternative, possibly outdated now.
Vabbi- One of EU's major WvW servers, has builds, guides and good info. Shutdown.
- WvW Section - More WvW details in this guide
- Gods of PvP - Builds and guides but limited to top meta only
- Wooden Potatoes Game of the Day - Video playlist of PvP matches with in depth breakdowns and commentary
- Metabattle PvP build - As with other sections, generic PvP builds
- "I left during ..., what changed in Guild Wars 2? What's new?" (v3.6) - Chart of major game changes 2012-2019.
- Maximizing your FPS and game performance. - Guide to maxing FPS
- Kulinda's GuildWars 2 dye browser - Dye browser and comparison.
- Wardrobe unlock analyzer - Viewer to see what skins you have and can unlock from Guaranteed Wardrobe Unlock.
- GW2 Dungeons - Out of date but relevant dungeon paths and suggestions. Has some skips and other tips listed as well.
- Salvage profit sheet by Schimmi01 - Spreadsheet that calculates what salavge kits to use on what items for best profits. Source.
- GW2 Music Training by Eilinoa (caede.8036) - Detailed guide on using GW2 musical instruments.
- Customized soundtrack - Wiki article on changing in game music.
- Exquisite Extract of Nourishment Calculator - Used to calculate cheap Nourishment for ascended food crafting.
- General Map Profit by Peureki.3647 - Gold per hour estimates on several farming and meta event locations.
- Farming Profit by fast.farming-community.eu - Alternate Gold per hour estimates on maps and meta events.
Welcome to Guilds Wars 2 (GW2) and this guide! Up above you'll find my go to resources for the game organised into general categories they are worth looking over but I'll mention them again in the guides below. My goal is to simplify and go over some frequently asked questions and recommended advice, most of the sections will have links to sections on the wiki or to other sites for more details and further reading. Also if you want to skip around to different sections there is a table of contents at the top that lists all sections and subsections. The abbreviations section on the wiki is also very helpful if you don't recognize one (though I try to explain them all the first time I use one).
This guide is constantly being worked on and added to so feel to message me if there is something you want to see added or expanded on, maybe it's something you didn't understand or I took for granted as a veteran player. Give me feedback on the talk page, on discord at Dak393#2588 (I'm on the GW2 reddit discord and the wiki specific one) or even in game at Dak.2749
- When should I buy the expansions?
- Up to you, the expansions are intended to add content after hitting level 80 but you can make use of some of it early. The biggest changes will be that free to play restrictions will be removed, you'll start getting daily Login rewards, and you can unlock a mount early (see "Should I use the boost to unlock a mount or gliding?"). So if you want to just try out the game you've got an extended free trial to do so but you will want the expansions if you intend to continue playing past level 80 (they are worth it and cheap to get from official retailers).
- I just got the the expansions should I use my level 80 boost?
- In my opinion, no. More often then not players boost to 80 feel like they are lost with no idea what to do or how to play the game I always recommend leveling your first character the normal way and then booting your other characters (alts). This way you get to experience the game at a reasonable pace and get a good grasp of the game. If you feel like leveling is taking too long I suggest you look at the leveling section. If at any point you feel like you have a good grasp on the game and what to do (maybe from this guide?) you can always use the boost later or on another character. Also if you plan on doing the story you're going to be going back and doing that anyways.
- Should I use the boost to unlock a mount or gliding?
- Again I do suggest saving the boost till you know what you like playing and want. You can always have a friend (or me, just shoot me a message) run the first Path of Fire (PoF) mission for you while you are low level and unlock the raptor without needing to use your boost yet (details on how to do it). If you know what you want to do and plan to use the boost anyways feel free to unlock the raptor (mastery unlocks are account wide and permanent so you can use it on any new character). I will just caution people about spoiling the story since there are major spoilers in the first mission. It's best that you temporarily change the game language to something you don't know (remember how to set it back) and not pay attention to what is going on (easy to do if someone runs you through). Unlocking the glider is a little more involved so I suggest not rushing to it and just doing the story in order (see the story section for full order and more).
- Where do I buy items? / What is "TP"?
- The trading post (commonly abbreviated as TP) is where players buy and sell items to each other. You can access the trading post at any time by hitting "O" and selecting the 3rd tab down called "Black Lion Trading Company". Here you will see options to buy and sell items. You can limit your search to specific categories and there is also an advanced search by hitting the cog next to the search bar. Should be mentioned that there is a fee of 5% of the listing price when posting a new sale and an additional 10% when it sells for a total fee of 15%. I general I always suggest making a new buy order (higher than the other orders) when purchasing items and a new sell listing when selling (for less than the other listings). If you need items right away you usually end up paying more for them. Note that free to play account have restrictions on what they can buy check the free account section for details.
- Can I try out a profession?
- If you have a level boost to use, activating it on a character will take you to The Silverwastes and allow you to preview the build while there. Using the boost again will let you confirm permanently using the boost or deciding not to and reverting back to where you were before. You can not leave the zone till you end the preview by confirming or canceling the boost.
- If you don't have or don't want to use the boost you can also take a character into the PvP lobby where your level will be set to 80 and you'll have access to all skills and traits for your account. You can also freely change stats, runes, and sigils with the PvP gear section and can use any weapons or armor (stats on gear don't matter in PvP so a white level 1 weapon is the same as a level 80 ascended there). PvP is unlocked at level 3 for free to play accounts.
- What should I spend gems on?
- See the Gem Store section below.
In Gw2 you get experience from almost everything. Explore a new zone, have some exp. View a vista, exp. Cook some food, more exp. Revive someone, exp for that too. Chopped down a tree, yup exp.
For the most part if you're trying to level a new character quickly you'll want to be doing events (markers will show up on the map and progress in the top right if you're close enough) and killing enemies that have been alive a long time. Don't worry about doing hearts too much, think of them as an optional bonus for doing events and kills in that zone. Let me repeat that, do not bother with hearts unless you really want to. If you are going fast leveling will take you a couple days to a couple weeks, though I suggest that you take your time exploring and enjoying the game.
- Dynamic events will chain together and change depending on if they succeed or fail, it can be worthwhile to listen to what the NPCs say before leaving the area as they may be getting ready for another event.
- The "Exploration bonus" you get from enemies that live for a long time awards up to ~235% the normal exp your would have gotten.
- Leveling cooking (see crafting) is a cheap way to get ~7 levels, can be done at higher levels to get to 80
- Once you're ready for them dungeons can be a good source of levels and daily rewards
- Story missions also give good exp, do them when they show up every 10 levels
You should try to get a couple of these if you can as they speed up leveling a lot. I'd suggest at least food, utility, guild banner, and Guild XP Gain as they are easy to get. See the full list here.
In GW2 you can have two different types of consumables active at the same time, food (nourishment) and utility items (enhancement). If you use food or utility while you have one running it will replace it with the new one. You can buy the food and utility listed below on the trading post as mentioned in the start here section. Food normally has +10% experience from kills on it but there are several options that give 15%. Utility usually* gives 10% from kills.
- Bowl of Candy Corn Custard (…, level 10) - My recommendation since it is cheap, gives 15% exp, heals some, and can be used at level 10+. Only downside is that it will transform you if you're not in combat so just use it when you can't transform (in combat/mounted) or be ready to transform back.
- Strawberry Ghost (…, level 25) - Usually cheaper alternative to Custard but higher level required.
- Piece of Candy Corn Almond Brittle (…, level 45) - 18% bonus magic find and 10% gold (gold from monsters is pretty useless since it's only coins dropped and not items).
- Glazed Pear Tart (…, level 55) - 22% magic find and +50 power is nice for it still being very cheap.
- Birthday Blaster - Second year birthday reward so only useful for older accounts but gives a bunch of other stats and can be picked up by anyone (oh and it's free). Could also be useful if you have a friend with it since it shoots the food at the ground. Down side is that it only lasts 10 min so it can become a hassle to keep running.
- Weak Potion of Outlaw Slaying (…, level 5) - Example cheap potion, gives a bonus vs enemy type.
- Any other cheap Potions just check the minimum required level to use them.
- Apprentice Tuning Crystal (…) - Cheap, works at any level.
- Apprentice Maintenance Oil (…) - Another option that work at any level.
- Rough Sharpening Stone (…) - Better stats for leveling but at a higher cost per.
No matter what you plan on doing once you hit level 80 you'll want to level as a power build to start out. Power offers more burst damage and is better for killing lots of enemies instead of slower ramping damage. You should be focusing on getting gear with stats in this order:
- Power - more base damage
- Precision - higher chance to get a critical hit
- Ferocity - more critical hit damage
You can look at example open would builds like metabattle's solo build list or Wooden Potatoes standard PvE build playlist to get an idea of what skills, weapons, and traits you might want but just by getting to 80 you'll have all the base skills and trait lines fully unlocked. Feel free to try out different weapons, skills, and traits but realize that some will be better for leveling and specifically that some weapons are better for power damage vs condition damage.
Skills and Traits
You will unlock all skills and traits just by hitting level 80. Any hero points you get in the world count towards map completion, getting unlocks earlier, and eventually towards elite specializations (they need an extra 250, mostly gotten from the expansion maps, more on that later). While leveling feel free to try things out and use whatever looks interesting, you'll want to familiarize yourself with all your options. It is also not a bad idea to have some utility that removes conditions or breaks stun if you're having issues. At level 11 you'll unlock utility skills and at 15 and 19 you'll gain more slots. At 21 you'll unlock traits, you want to max out one trait line first before working on others and this should take a priority over unlocking skills for the time being but you won't unlock your second trait line until 45 and the 3rd until 71. Elite skills unlock at 31 so you'll want to pick one then. If you're looking for suggestions metabattle has open world builds for the core professions and those are usually good starting points.
This is the term for using your skills in a specific order, usually to maximize the amount of damage you do. These can both be priority systems where you just keep using your highest damage skills whenever they are off cooldown or more complicated specific orders. Your best bet is to look up a guide on your build or profession (see the builds section). Doing a proper rotation is the difference between 5k DPS and 35k DPS so it matters a lot that you have at least the basics when going for higher content.
Check Tanetris' guide for more in depth options for gearing and getting ready for content but I'm going to spend a little time here focusing on just my suggestions for your first character or how to get a new character geared and usable fast. First, only worry about gear once you hit 80. You should be swapping things out as you level but you really shouldn't need to buy or especially craft anything till 80 (though crafting at 60-70 is still good for the exp, check the crafting section for more details). Once you hit 80 I'd suggest focusing on a power damage build first, you can work on other builds at the same time but it will really help a lot to be able to farm and do content in a set of decent gear. For power DPS we want Berserker's items, ones with main stat Power, minor stats Precision and Ferocity. The best way to get these early on is just to buy them very cheaply off the trading post, however do not just buy gear named "berserker" we want to get specific "named" gear that has those stats and not the more expensive crafted gear (all level 80 exotic berserker gear of the same type is the same stats, no reason to spend more). For the Named armor we're looking at specifically:
|Zhed's (Light Armor)
Superior Rune of the Centaur
|Nika's (Medium Armor)
Superior Rune of Infiltration
|Devona's (Heavy Armor) |
Superior Rune of Strength
Next up is weapons, I'd suggest just looking at the named berserker weapons listed already in the gearing guide here. Twin Sisters and Maw of the Damned both have an expensive but worth while sigil in them so you should get one if you use that weapon type but the sigil does not stack so you can get a cheaper second option if you use two.
For trinkets there are 'many' options (again the guide goes over this in detail) but I'd suggest doing a couple days of tier 1 fractals (they are very easy, aim to do the lowest level daily ones you can) so that you can save up 10 Pristine Fractal Relics each to buy Ring of Red Death and Crystalline Band. I'd suggest finding a guild and doing a couple weeks of guild missions to get guild commendations (many guilds do weekly missions) and buy Althea's Ashes + Magister's Field Journal from the guild vendor. For an accessory I'd just buy your first one for laurels (30 or 20 + 250) from a Laurel Merchant or WvW Laurel Merchant. You're looking to buy only one of Call of the Wild, or Mark of the Tethyos Houses, or Distinguished Circle of Logic (it doesn't matter which they are all the same, pick the design you like best).
List of rune upgrades or other options, consult your build if you're aiming for fractals, strikes, or raids but open world you're free to pick lot of other options. These are some of many viable power damage choices.
|Superior Rune of the Scholar||…||Best in slot for most DPS, meta in raids and fractals|
|Superior Rune of the Ogre||…||Close to scholar but lacks the bonus 125 ferocity and 1% damage (and rock dog can keep you in combat). IMO not worth, put the gold to scholar instead.|
|Superior Rune of the Thief||…||Really good on some specific builds that need to crit cap (berserker) but not really worth it for you and pretty costly since it's a meta rune|
|Superior Rune of the Pack||…||Can provide some extra boons (mainly fury) if uptime is bad, not as good for solo or DPS though|
|Superior Rune of Strength||…||Helps keep up might while solo and still has damage and power, good solo option or when boons are really bad (well might at least)|
|Superior Rune of Infiltration||…||Has precision and power and a damage bonus to targets under 50% (basically 5% average)|
|Superior Rune of Vampirism||…||10% health on kill with some extra max HP, lower damage but much higher survivability while solo and cheap.|
|Superior Rune of the Eagle||…||Trades power for crit chance but is otherwise like scholar, damage bonus is 10% while target is under 50% (so average 5% again, like scholar)|
Sigil options, consult your build if you're aiming for fractals, strikes, or raids but these are some cheap options to go for in the mean time in addition to the typical force/impact option
|Superior Sigil of Force||…||The typical main DPS sigil for direct damage, will usually be best in slot and the one you want in general|
|Superior Sigil of Impact||…||Usually used with force for 3% damage increase and the chance at 10% in fractals, strikes, and some raids|
|Superior Sigil of Accuracy||…||Helps your crit chance (worth 147 precision), bonus is not given to summons like clones|
|Any cheap slaying sigil like:
Superior Sigil of Mad Scientists
|…||Usually only going to be 3% damage but cheap and easy damage mod and better than nothing|
|Superior Sigil of the Night||…||Only has the full buff a limited time but still not too bad to buy|
|Superior Sigil of Frailty||…||Helps stack vulnerability (which is a huge damage buff), downside is you need to flank (anywhere not in the 90 degree cone in front)|
|Superior Sigil of Air||…||Good damage on single targets and even does better than many other options at low DPS|
|Superior Sigil of Fire||…||Worse than air but AoE so it helps more in general open world and tagging|
|Superior Sigil of Blood||…||Small heal on crit but has a 5s cooldown|
|Stacking sigils like:
Superior Sigil of Bloodlust
|…||Stacking power that stays till you go down, can get up to +250 power. Only need it on one weapon set but can only have one stacking bonus (so don't get two stacking sigils). Also note you lose stacks if you remove the weapon or change zone.|
|Superior Sigil of Battle||…||Might on weapon swap that can really help if you don't have enough might already. Lasts for 12s base and can be every 9s on weapon swap. This is the same as having a permanent +150 power and condition damage|
|Superior Sigil of Severance||…||Can be a lot of stats with 250 precision and ferocity but expects you to interrupt enemies often|
As you level you'll be getting a lot of weapons and armor that you don't need. Equip what you are going to use and salvage the rest of it. While leveling it is good to carry around some Basic Salvage Kits to deal with extra items. Deposit all materials that you get, consume the luck you get (this gets you more magic find), and vendor any junk items. If you happen to fill up on a material and can't deposit any more you can use it in crafting or sell it on the trading post.
Once you start getting items level 68 and above you'll want to get a few Master's Salvage Kits (or make a Mystic Salvage Kit in the mystic forge) to use on your rare (yellow) items. If you're lucky they will drop ectoplasm which is valuable.
When you get to level 80 you'll start getting Unidentified gear this means that it will stack up to 250 and you wont have to worry about your inventory as much. When you are ready to deal with it you'll want to always identify it (don't salvage right away) and then salvage the resulting items. Basic (or the gem store Copper-Fed Salvage-o-Matic) to salvage the whites, blues, and greens, that drop and master/mystic for the rares (you can check the trading post first if you want to make as much as possible, if the price is much higher than 1 ecto (…) it is better to sell it (there is a fee of 15% so factor that into the price). As for exotics you'll want to see if they are worth anything on the trading post and sell the ones that are, though if you don't have the skin unlocked that takes priority for me personally and I'll unlock the skin first. Also note that some runes and sigils can be worth as much as the exotic itself and these are times when it is best to use a Black Lion Salvage Kit (that you got for free, don't spend gems on them) to get the rune/sigil while also getting the drops from the item.
Side note that if you have the Runecrafter's Salvage-o-Matic it is better to use on greens alone since blues lack upgrades and high level rares/exotics have ecto and other drops. Check this page has a good breakdown on the unidentified gear and salvage material and this spreadsheet has more details on kits to use in general.
|Kit||Rare Mats||Salvage Upgrade||Uses||Cost||Cost/Use||Notes|
|Crude Salvage Kit||0%||~5%||15||32 / 28||2.13 / 1.87||Shouldn't be used once you have access to other kits|
| Basic Salvage Kit
|88 / 77
|3.52 / 3.08
|Used on white/blue/green items as well as yellow/orange items below level 68. |
Copper-fed is the gem store version, it lasts forever and costs a little less per use. Great to put in a shared inventory slot and never need basic kits on any character
|Fine Salvage Kit||15%||40%||25||2 88 / 252||11.52 / 10.08||Shouldn't be used once you have access to higher kits|
|Journeyman's Salvage Kit||20%||60%||25||80 /2,800||32 / 112||Shouldn't be used once you have access to higher kits|
| Master's Salvage Kit
Mystic Salvage Kit
|15 36 / 5,600
26 24 / 8,652
|61.44 / 224
10.5 / 34.6
|Basic kit, used on rare and exotic items over level 68 to get ectoplasm |
Same as Master but 250 uses. Takes 3 Mystic Forge Stones per craft but much better space wise and cost wise compared to both silver fed and master kits.
Gem store version, not worth the purchase with the existence of mystic kits.
|Runecrafter's Salvage-o-Matic||20%||100%||Unlimited||600||30||Salvages any upgrades in the item so it's best use is on items with upgrades, usually rares and exotics below level 68 with a rune/sigil.|
|Black Lion Salvage Kit||50%||Recovers Upgrades||25||300||12||Not worth buying with gems, save the ones you get as daily login or fractal rewards from Chest of Black Lion Goods or as achievement rewards. Will recover upgrades in the item.|
|Ascended Salvage Tool||?||Recovers Upgrades||1-20||2 +1||1||Random drop from fractals, not worth buying usually try to just use the drops you get. Can attune rings you get before salvaging for better drops.|
Crafting will be required later on for crafting most of the best gear in the game and is useful while leveling for both appropriate gear and level exp. Maxing out one crafting discipline will get you about 7-10 levels of exp. You can use boosters to make the leveling go faster and guides to streamline the process. The cheapest and easiest crafting profession to level is cooking if you mainly just want the exp. Cooking also unlocks a nice collection above level 400 with account wide unlocks for item drops. The level 1-400 crafting is pretty cheap and easy but the 400-500 (Jeweler does not yet have a level 500) range is where a lot of the cost lies as well as the ascended crafting options.
Each character starts with 5 bag slots (3 if free to play) and a 20 slot bag in the first slot. You can add more bags in these slots with 20 being the largest size you can buy (there is special crafting for larger bags but they are very expensive and not really worth it). If you are trying to just get some more space it's best to search the trading post for the cheapest 18 slot bags:
Each character can individually unlock additional bag spots but this isn't very effective storage, you're better off buying new character slots and getting 5 more bag slots (and a free 20 slot bag).
Your account vault can be mainly be accessed in towns and at crafting stations. It gives access to your bank and material storage. Your bank is additional inventory space that is shared across your account, you can put whatever you want in here. You can purchase additional bank tabs of 30 slots each up to a maximum of 17 total.
Your material storage is where all your deposited items go, there are only set items that will store in here, consider it free storage for common materials. Each slot in storage can hold up to 250 items by default and can be upgraded a maximum of 7 times for 2000 total. I would not suggest getting more than 1-2 upgrades as they quickly lose value vs additional bank tabs.
Note that crafting will automatically use materials in your bank and storage.
A combo is the result of two parts, first a combo field and then a combo finisher in that field. There are 9 types of fields: Dark, Ethereal, Fire, Ice, Light, Lightning, Poison, Smoke, and Water. These areas on the ground are marked with a ring, and skills that create them will say "Combo Field: " and list the type of field. There are 4 types of finishers: Blast, Leap finisher, Projectile, and Whirl. These again will be listed on the skill with "Combo Finisher: " and the finisher type. In general blast finishers case an AoE (Area of Effect) at their location, leaps give you some kind of aura or bonus on next hit, projectiles usually gain a condition, and whirls send out projectiles in all directions that usually apply conditions. Many projectile finishers have only a 20% chance to trigger a field they pass through, the skill will state the chance. Take a look at the page on combos for the full list but the important to know ones are: blast in fire = might, blast in smoke for stealth (AoE), leap in smoke for stealth, whirl in dark for leaching bolts, projectiles through fire fields for burning. Most of the leaps through fields give very useful auras as well.
GW2 has a heavy emphasis on avoiding damage, why tank and heal a hit when you can avoid it in the first place. Lots of enemies and bosses later on will hit you very hard so you'll want to know how to not die.
The game does a great job of showing exaggerated animations and in most cases ground markers when a powerful attack is about to take place. These are usually in the form of large red shapes on the ground, your best course of action is to quickly walk out of them to avoid the attack completely. Thankfully almost all skills in Guild Wars 2 do not prevent movement and allow you to move freely while using them, make good use of this mobility to reposition when needed. In general red = bad, avoid standing in it when you can or use the other options below if you can't escape.
The orange bar above your health is your endurance. Each section of it represents one dodge and it refills over time. Most professions will have two to use and they will move you in the direction you're moving when hit (defaults to backwards if not moving). While you are dodging you will evade all hits. This means that you will not take any new hits while in the animation but will still take damage from conditions currently on you. This is the easiest way to avoid damage or cover more distance to get away from a threat.
Blocking is something that some professions have easier access to than others but it also comes from the boon Aegis. Typically this is from your weapon skills (Engineer shield, Guardian mace / focus, Revenant staff, Ranger greatsword, Warrior mace / sword / shield, Mesmer scepter / sword). They will block a limited number of hits or continue to block until time runs out or they are canceled. Note that skills like the ranger's Counterattack will keep blocking for the duration if there is no enemy in melee range or you are in the air, if there is an enemy you'll stop early and trigger the kick part. When you block an attack it prevents the hit all together but be careful of attacks that hit multiple times or small attacks that hit right before large ones. Note that spellbreaker's (warrior elite specialization) Full Counter skill is NOT a block but instead takes the hit then reduces the damage, a few bosses have attacks that instantly kill you if they hit and this will not stop them.
Limited sources of Invulnerability mainly from mesmer's Distortion, engineer's Elixir S , guardian's Renewed Focus and elementalist's Mist Form. While active these skills prevent the user from taking damage or getting hit (will not stop fall damage). Any conditions on you won't damage you and you can't have new ones applied for the duration. Note that ranger's Signet of Stone and warrior's Endure Pain only prevent the damage from attacks and will still take hits and conditions because of this.
Boons are a specific set of positive buffs in game these include things like Might that increases power and condition damage, Swiftness that gives 33% movement speed, and Regeneration that gives a heal over time effect for example. Boons can stack in intensity ( Might/ Stability) up to a limit of 25 stacks or can stack in duration up to a limit (usually 5 times). This means there is a cap on how long you can have a boon but applying more of it will extend that time. The duration of boons that you apply can also be extended by boon duration up to a cap of 100% giving double duration. It should also be mentioned that Regeneration scales it's healing with the caster's healing power and if two different sources give you regeneration it will only give you the highest value healing until that one runs out. When you give boons out there is a priority on what allies get them: 1) Players in your party 2) players in your squad 3) Any allied players (not in party/squad) 4) Your pets/minions 5) Other allied pets/minions 6) All other allies (mainly NPCs).
Conditions are the opposite of boons, these are specific debuffs that deal damage like Burning, apply CC like Blinded, or cause you to take increased damage Vulnerability. Some professions have more access to certain conditions than others like Confusion with mesmers or Fear with necromancers but all have access to most conditions. Just like with boons conditions stack in duration or intensity but the cap on damaging conditions is much higher at 1500, Vulnerability caps in intensity at 25. Other conditions stack in duration with Slow capping at 9 stacks, Immobile at 3, and the rest at 5. Again as with boons conditions can be extended in duration by their own attribute condition duration up to a cap of 100%. If playing a condition damage build getting up to 100% condition duration on the damaging conditions you apply means you'll be doing double the damage assuming the condition runs it's full course.
Dealing with boons/conditions
All professions have access to condition removal (cleanse), while some also have access to Resistance (a boon that ignores all conditions while active) or are able to convert conditions into boons. It can be very important to have ways of removing conditions in places like PvP or fights where you expect a lot of them (fractals with afflicted).
Crowd Control (CC)
The general term for Control effects by players is "CC" and is used to represent:
- "Hard" CCs Daze Float Knockback Knockdown Launch Pull Sink and Stun. These cause the target to be disabled (some traits, skills, and sigils trigger when disabled)
- "Soft" CCs Blinded Chilled Crippled Immobile Slow Weakness. These don't disable or prevent abilities but they are CC still.
- Note Fear and Taunt are special in that they are conditions that CC over time but also count as disables.
Make sure you know which of your skills have CC and try to save them. For instance on normal enemies (especially in a group setting) don't use Point Blank Shot since that knocks the target back. Do use your CC on bosses that have blue defiance bars (explained below) or to interrupt your target casting a skill (especially trying to heal).
The blue bar under the HP on some harder enemies is the Defiance bar. It prevents the boss from being CCed at all by normal means. Instead of your CC having any affect it will reduce the bar until it breaks and the enemy usually gets stunned/knocked down and/or takes 50% more damage for 5 seconds. Once this triggers, the defiance bar will need to fill again before it can be broken:
If the enemy has a locked bar CC will have no effect at all and you'll need to wait for the bar to turn blue if it changes at all:
There is a great list of all CC abilities on the defiance bar page under control effects it also lists the amount the bar is damaged (usually 100 per 1 second hard CC)
Movement Speed is simply how fast your character moves. You go faster when you have a bonus like Swiftness and slower when you have a condition like Crippled. You also move slower when in combat (you'll see a yellow background around your health and UI when in combat). It is important to note the movement speed increases and decreases do not stack and you will only be affected by the current strongest one. For example you could have the warrior trait Warrior's Sprint which gives you +25% movement speed while you wield a melee weapon putting you at 125%. If you then gained swiftness (33% movement speed) you would be at 133% base speed. Should also be mentioned that there is a cap of 400 units per second. The base movement speed (forward) is 294 out of combat and 210 in combat. To reach capped movement speed you would need 36% out of combat or over 90% in combat.
All story missions can be done solo or with a party of up to 5. When the story mission is completed, the host (person that started the story) will get credit and anyone on the same story step will be offered the choice of accepting credit or declining. If you accept it progresses your story as if you had started that instance and picked the same choices, if you don't like the choices the host made you can decline and play the mission again to pick your own. If you are missing some of the content listed below this is my recommended order to purchase it: Path of Fire (gets you HoT for free) > Season 3 > Season 4 > The Icebrood Saga > Season 2. The reasoning behind this order is to prioritize content and rewards. Season 2 unfortunately gives no new maps, is almost entirely story (rewards are not great), and you can play the story by joining someone that does own it. That being said, I do highly recommend playing through the story in the intended order that would mean buying season 2 first. If you have the funds (or plan to convert gold to gems for all of them) then get them in the release order listed below. to get The most recent living story episode is always unlocked for free by logging in.
- Personal Story - Unlocked every 10 levels from 10-80. Levels 10-30 are based on your race and starting choices, 40-60 depends on the order you join, and 70-80 is the final unified end. There are many changes within each of these paths based on choices you made previously and in that section.
- Living World Season 1 - Temporary content that is no longer playable. Many of the dungeons and instances have been added back into the game as fractals or other content (this guide has details on how to play the season 1 content as well as additional content not covered in this overview, my story recap also has a short recap on the missing season 1 story). You can also still see the remnants of many of the changes throughout central Tyria.
- Living World Season 2 - Gem store content. 8 Episodes. Can purchase individually for 200 gems or in a pack for a 20% discount. Has central Tyria mastery points as rewards but they are not needed to finish all masteries. Gives access to sinister only trinkets but these can now be acquired from any stat selectable option. Story missions can be joined even if you do not own the episodes if a party member with the chapter starts it. Note that you only get rewards if you own the chapter and you will miss some minor story content that takes place outside of the story instances.
- Living World Season 3 - Gem store content. 6 Episodes with 6 new zones. Can purchase individually for 200 gems or in a pack for a 20% discount. Requires owning Heart of Thorns to play the season. Has many great options for getting ascended trinkets, the best of which is episode 3: A Crack in the Ice since it is highly farmable and offers a good selection.
- Living World Season 4 - Gem store content. 6 Episodes with 6 new zones. Can purchase individually for 200 gems or in a pack for a 20% discount. Requires owning Path of fire to play the season. Has a couple options for ascended trinkets, the best of which is episode 6: War Eternal since it is highly farmable and offers a good selection. Also has two new mounts, the Roller Beetle in episode 3 Long Live the Lich and the Skyscale in episode 6 War Eternal (only if you own all of season 4).
- The Icebrood Saga - 5th season, 5 episodes out with 3 new zones. Adds in 7 new Strike Missions as 10 player content. 10+ Dragon Response Missions (DRMs) for 1-5 players. New mastery type revolving around Norn spirits, usable extra skills, and DRM buffs.
The Gem Store found in the Black Lion Trading Company (accessed with by default) offers account upgrades and cosmetics for gems. You can purchase gems with real money or you can exchange gold for gems (price based on supply and demand). There is nothing "pay to win" but there are some nice quality of life upgrades and content you can get.
- First worth mentioning that everything does go on sale so if you're not in a rush I would check the wiki for the past sale history. My recommendations for upgrades would be:
- Get the living story seasons you may be missing, check the story section for more details on what they each contain and which ones I suggest.
- Next suggestion would be to get the Copper-Fed Salvage-o-Matic and place it in a shared slot so you no longer need basic salvage kits on any characters, this saves a lot of bag space and means you don't need to keep going to merchants to buy more.
- After that I'd say go for account upgrades specifically character slots. Bank storage is nice too (but character slots means more storage on them if you need too), material storage I would only get 1-3 upgrades max as they have greatly reduced effectiveness the more you have. Same goes for Shared Inventory Slots, they are expensive and having a few is really nice but they are worth less once you have your high priority items in them already. Bag slots are really not worth it since they are only on one character, and I would never get the Additional Crafting License or the build/equipment expansions (see build templates section below for more info WIP).
- For unbreakable tools check the harvesting section but they are a nice quality of life for one character or multiple if you have the shared slots open to swap them (some people place the unbreakable tools in shared slots and swap them for normal tools, have to remember to swap them back when logging out though).
- Past that it is mostly cosmetic items like outfits and weapon skins, feel free to get any that you like.
These are recommended overlays and tools that are allowed to be used with the game. You can see some posts about Anet's stance on tools in general and specifically the legality of using ArcDPS in the posts here and here made by Chris Cleary. If you want to run multiple conflicting add-ons check this thread on running Arc, Radial, and ReShade at the same time or you can try using this add-on manager by fmmmlee.
deltaconnected.com/arcdps - Only allowed DPS meter. Allows you to see your DPS and compare it to your party or squad. Can not see DPS of players not in a group with you. Make sure you read through all the information on how to use and install it. The tool is updated frequently and can cause crashes with every new update, if a new GW2 patch comes out it is very likely that the tool will not work properly until it is updated. Download links at the bottom of the page.
- BuildPad - For storing and organizing build templates in game. Very useful to bypass the limited number you can store by default.
- ArcDPS Mechanics Plugin(old) - Shows failed active mechanics in a log that you can check in game. Helpful to quickly assess what is going wrong in raids. Do not call people out on failed mechanics! This is intended to see where people can improve, not an excuse to be toxic.
- Scrolling Combat Text (SCT) - Alternate combat text view. You can see what it looks like in this example video.
gw2taco.com (Guild Wars 2 Tactical Overlay) - Overlay for displaying markers and information on top of the game client. Has built in event timers, and a ton of markers for all content. Can also install additional packs of markers to add additional markers and features.
- Tekkit's marker pack - Huge pack of markers that covers everything from map completion to collections and much more. The main pack you should be using with TacO.
- Reactif pack - Has a great guild mission pack direct download and a larger pack as an alternative to Tekkit's direct download. For a full list of markers or patchnotes check the main link.
- QuitarHero's Marker Pack - Has advanced paths, timers, and strategies for fractals and raids.
Radial Mount Menu
github.com/Friendly0Fire/GW2Radial - Adds a radial menu for selecting what mount to use. Customizable options for mounts and positions on the wheel.
YoloMouse is a cursor replacer intended to make your mouse more visible in hectic combat situations or just in general. Has now moved to a paid version but the older versions should still work including this direct link to version 0.11.3 download.
- GW2 themed cursors - Fan made pack of cursors for yolomouse that keep the GW2 feel while still making them more noticeable.
github.com/megai2/d912pxy - Wrapper that allows GW2 to translate it's DirectX9 calls into the DirectX12 API. In general this can give newer systems a pretty substantial FPS increase by utilizing the new features offered in the latest version of DirectX. Read more details about it here.
In development overlay similar to GW2TacO. Has a very streamlined look and additional features to TacO (as well as supporting TacO's current features) but is still early in development. Has a discord for releases and updates. Can read this thread for more info and pictures. Release 0.1.4-alpha.5 current release as of Feb 2 2019, check the discord for updates.
- ArcDPS integration for BlishHUD - Add-on for ArcDPS to allow BlishHUD to read from it.
samhurne.github.io/gw2pao/ - GW2 Personal Assistant Overlay, another overlay to show tiers and other information.
Discord Rich Presence
github.com/Maselkov/GW2RPC - Add-on to display your GW2 information in Discord. No longer being maintained but should still work.
autohotkey.com - Allows you to set up macros to perform multiple actions with a single key BUT you must read ArenaNet's policy first. It is against the ToS to do anything that allows you to perform actions while not actively playing, in a competitive setting (PvP/WvW), or in activities (like bell choir). If you are still unsure about what is allowed or not contact support.
Dungeons a great option for getting exp, gear, and some side stories. There are 8 dungeons scattered throughout the world ranging in level from 30 - 80. They provide a decent amount of gold, experience, and dungeon tokens from completing them. The dungeon tokens can be exchanged for exotic armor/weapons and runes/sigils. Notably this is the best way to get Rune of the Monk and Rune of the Nightmare.
Dungeons have a single story mode and then an explorable mode with multiple paths. The story mode is usually 5 levels lower than the explorable mode and must be done before that character can open the explorable paths. Other players in your party can open explorable mode if they have it unlocked but again it is per character so you should have it done just in case.
Dungeons are not as active as they once were especially with better end game content like Fractals and Raids added in. You'll most likely need to post an LFG (Looking For Group) and list that you're doing the story mode. It's also a good idea to mention that you'll be doing a casual run and looking at the cut scenes.
Once you've done the story mode (and assuming your're the right level) you can now open the explorable paths. Again you'll most likely need to list an LFG and want to mention that it's a casual run (there may be groups looking for EXP (experienced) players which you won't be). Usually the format is to list what path you'll be running in the dungeon. For instance "P1" means path 1 and will be the top option when selecting which path to run in the dungeon.
Dungeon tokens are a great resource to have since they give access to otherwise difficult to get skins, runes, sigils, etc. Each explorable path that you run will give you 100 tokens (20 per path + 80 bonus per day). There is also a selectable choice of 150 tokens from completing 8 different paths and using the Chest of Dungeoneering.
Fractals are repeatable, scaling, small scale dungeons. The normal entrance is in Lion's Arch right by the Mist Portals. They usually consist of a lead up with some minor encounters and then end with a boss fight. There are currently 20 unique fractals spread over 100 levels and separated into 4 sections of 25. Many fractals repeat but most are now only once per difficulty. The difficulties change every 25 levels in the order Initiate, Adept, Expert, and Master. I suggest you wait until you are level 80 with proper gear before starting fractals.
Your account has a fractal level associated with it which determines what fractals you can start yourself and what LFG groups you can join. You can see your personal fractal level when entering fractals. In order to raise your fractal level you'll need to do the fractal at or above your highest level. You won't be able to open any fractals higher than your own level but if someone else in your party has access to them you can set it higher. You only get one level per fractal and only if they are at or above your current level. If started at personal level 10 and did fractal 11 you would still get credit and go up to personal 11 but you would no longer gain any level from doing 10.
Starting at fractal 20 and every fractal thereafter you'll want Agony Resistance to combat the Agony damage you'll take. Certain boss mechanics and enemies will apply the "condition" to you and you'll see a large purple spike effect come out of your character when it triggers. Agony does percentage health per tick, reduces healing, and can not be removed. The AR (agony resist) that you have is displayed to party members in fractals on the Party interface in the top left and you can view your current amount under the attributes section in your Equipment menu. At the final fractal level (100) the suggested AR is 150. You will need to slot agony infusions into your ascended gear in order to raise your AR for harder fractals. There are 18 slots total to put infusions in: up to 3 per ring, up to 2 in your back item, 2 per weapon set (1 in each 1 handed or 2 in 2 handed), and 1 in every other slot except amulet which gets an Enrichment instead.
World vs World (WvW or WvWvW) is the open world PvP siege mode in GW2. Teams are composed of players on servers (the one you chose when you created your account) and sometimes teamed with a linked server. Linked servers are smaller servers that get teamed with larger ones to even out the teams and provide active gameplay no matter the server. WvW takes place on 4 specific WvW maps, one for each team and a central contested zone. Teams can fight over every single map and take control of all zones except for the enemy spawns on each map. The maps have small camps that provide supply, towers, keeps, and even a large castle in the center of the Eternal Battlegrounds (EB). While in WvW you won't get normal EXP and will instead get WXP (World Experience). Suggested further reading in this thread or this thread.
For every level you gain in WvW you'll get ability points to spend up to a cap of 10,000. You'll be able to spend these points in specific WvW skills that make siege weapons better for you or give you passive effects. Currently it takes 1,186 points to max out every skill.
Below are my recommendations as to what to unlock first in order of priority:
- Cheap 1 point ranks: Many of the 1 point skills are very cost effective so feel free to put one point in them when you want though I would wait till you get provisions rank 4 at least.
- Warclaw Mastery Rank 1 (requires Path of Fire): 1 point. This unlocks the Warclaw Companion collection and the Warclaw Reward Track (which you should select right away as your first reward track). Once completed you'll get access to the warclaw mount to get around faster.
- War Gliding Mastery Rank 1 (requires Heart of Thorns): 3 points. Unlocks the ability to glide in friendly zones, letting you survive jumps off cliffs and get around faster in your own territory.
- Supply Master Rank 4: 10 points. Lets you recover spent supply when building or repairing
- Provisions Master Rank 4: 20 points. Rank 4 lets you automatically pick up loot from defeated players and NPCs, it's a huge quality of life improvement.
- Warclaw Mastery Rank 3: 35 additional points. Lets nearby allies move at warclaw speed and gives the mount a 3rd evade.
- Provisions Master Rank 5: 15 additional points. Get more Badges of Honor from killing enemies.
- War Gliding Mastery Rank 5 (maxed): 57 additional points. Lets you glide indefinitely (in your territory), glide lean for more speed, and evade while gliding.
- Warclaw Mastery Rank 4: 25 additional points. Lets you finish off downed players with the warclaw engage skill.
- Defense Against Guards Rank 5: 35 Points. Helps survive attacks from lords and lets you take objectives easier.
- Siege Bunker Rank 5: 35 Points. Lets you fight under siege pressure.
- Catapult Mastery Rank 5*: 60 points. *If in zerg, chances are other players will have siege mastery and you won't need to worry about it. Catapults are used often to break down walls, until you have rank 5 you'll want a higher ranked player to use them instead. If you aren't running with a large group and want to siege towers and keeps prioritize Rank 4 catapult Mastery higher in the list.
- Flame Ram Mastery Rank 3/5*: 20/60 points. *If in zerg, chances are other players will have siege mastery and you won't need to worry about it. Another common siege, used to break down doors. Reduced cooldown and structural vulnerability (spam skill 2) are musts before you take over a ram. The knockback and iron hide to allies are nice but not required.
- Other skills: If you got everything so far listed you'd need 234/354 points so it will take a while. After you get these suggestions feel free to branch out and work on what you want. Guard Killer can be nice to max out for the passive bonuses more so for small groups and solo camp flipping. Other siege weapons are used less often than catapults and rams but can be very useful so feel free to specialize into one or more. The build/repair master upgrades are ok to put a point in but they are overkill when you normally are running around with 10-15 supply.
Do not get:
- Warclaw Mastery Rank 5/6: Very high cost and limited usage, detect is only unstealthed enemies and has a long cooldown. The gate pull skill is never worth using since it costs supply for very little damage and is limited to 3 warclaws anyways.
- Warclaw Mastery Rank 7: Useful skill for roaming and picking people off but the fact that it's locked behind the costly ranks 5 and 6 means that you'll be getting this later on.
- Provisions Master Rank 6: You only need to get this on one character ever and just use that character to spend your proof of heroics. Best to just use a character that doesn't do WvW.
- Supply Capacity: The point costs are way too high for the benefit, the upgrade is great but save it till the end as it costs 145 points for 5 supply.
- Supply Master Rank 5: Skip this unless you're leading a group or plan to command. Commanders will throw down siege where and when they want and small groups won't need to worry about siege getting destroyed right away when stealth taking towers/keeps.
- Mercenary's Bane: It may look good but it only works on mercenaries that you really shouldn't need to worry about. If you solo cap the mercenary camps you can put some points into it but I'd avoid it otherwise.
Claimed objectives get get bonuses based on the guild that does the claiming and how many dolyaks successfully deliver supply.
At 20, 40, and 80 dolyaks objectives get automatic upgrades that increase supply capacity and make it harder for the enemy to take.
Guild claimed objectives can slot in passive improvements and activatable tactics. These are available after 10, 30, and 60 minutes. Camps can only get Tier 1 tactics and improvements and some
The recommended improvements are:
- Tier 1: Sabotage Depot / Speedy Dolyaks (camp only)
- Tier 2: Iron Guards
- Tier 3: Watchtower / Presence of the Keep (keep only) / Cloaking Waters (castle only)
The recommended Tactics are:
- Tier 1: Minor Supply Drop
- Tier 2: Dragon Banner
- Tier 3: Invulnerable Fortifications / Emergency Waypoint (only use on keep/castle) / Airship Defense (castle only)
Public Server Links
- Abaddons Mouth - ts.abaddon-wvw.eu PW: 1b2d
- Arborstone -
- Augury Rock - ts.mcmgw2.eu / ar.gw2-eu.com or https://discord.gg/trUTaGp
- Aurora Glade - https://discord.gg/YchYjHC
- Baruch Bay - https://discord.gg/k7Qmgd5
- Blacktide - https://discord.gg/V5s9M3F
- Desolation - ts3.desolation.info or https://dc.desolation.info/ (https://discord.gg/b8Q335M)
- Drakkar Lake - wVw.claimkreis.de:1337 - PW: Asura
- Dzagonur - ts.wvwdzagonur.de or https://discord.gg/sC8TPvC
- Elona Reach - elona-wvw.de/ or https://discord.gg/fFvjqpV
- Far Shiverpeaks - https://discord.gg/CyJnj9D
- Fissure of Woe -
- Fort Ranik - https://discord.gg/psaRuxJ
- Gandara - ts.gandara.info or https://discord.gg/SPU4N3b
- Gunnar's Hold - https://discord.gg/kKJS7zu
- Jade Sea - merdejade.fr PW: mdj or https://discord.gg/NXVZXUG
- Kodash - kodasch.pw
- Millers Sound - millersund.gw2mists.de PW: oyo or https://discord.gg/dqFWZUv
- Piken Square - ts.piken.eu or https://discord.gg/XgbQfRm
- Ring of Fire - https://discord.gg/aVPXJZs
- Riverside - https://discord.gg/c6MYsnA or ts3.fu-wvw.de PW: fu
- Ruins of Surmia - https://discord.gg/4swnBa5 or https://discord.gg/DzkGfZw
- Seafarer's Rest - http://seafarers.rest/ (https://discord.gg/4agqPvG)
- Underworld - https://discord.gg/7fQYxhB
- Vabbi -
- Vizunah Square - ts.vizunah.fr
- Whiteside Ridge - ts.whitesideridge.com
NA GvG discord - https://discord.gg/zh9yyyJB7J
- Anvil Rock - https://discord.gg/CZw8xM3
- Blackgate - https://discord.gg/BSf7vyz
- Borlis Pass - https://discord.gg/kyQfGZE
- Crystal Desert - https://discord.gg/gJWPPYa
- Darkhaven - https://discord.gg/YvZvhWd
- Dragonbrand - dragonbrand.verygames.net or https://discord.gg/g42pzVe
- Ehmry Bay - ts2.ehmry.com or https://discord.gg/BTEzHHv
- Eredon Terrace - https://discord.gg/JjrgcAb
- Ferguson's Crossing - https://discord.gg/QzHu4Qh
- Fort Aspenwood - https://discord.fort-aspenwood.com or https://discord.gg/xWUAps2
- Gate of Madness -
- Henge of Denravi - https://discord.gg/FEyJ6mY
- Isle of Janthir - https://discord.gg/jBRr996 or https://discord.gg/t7vQ9Gt
- Jade Quarry - https://discord.gg/pyFV9pj or https://discord.gg/RvAjej3
- Kaineng - https://discord.gg/EHWJrd2
- Maguuma - https://discord.gg/e35tWrT
- Northern Shiverpeaks - nspgw2.org
- Sanctum of Rall - https://discord.gg/WkbZnpZ
- Sea of Sorrows - https://discord.gg/dnpJejm
- Sorrow's Furnace -
- Stormbluff Isle -
- Tarnished Coast - https://discord.gg/Ht2xB5d
- Yak's Bend - https://discord.gg/8pd7rghG
(WIP) The mastery system is part of the expansions for Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire. Owning one of these expansions will unlock their respective mastery track and the Central Tyria mastery track. Mastery unlocks are account wide so once you get it, any character on your account can use the bonus. Mastery unlocks include things like mounts (PoF), gliding (HoT), auto loot (central), and fractal bonuses (central).
In order to start the HoT and PoF mastery lines you need to do the first story mission and unlock gliding or your first mount (raptor) respectively. Once unlocked, earning experience on a level 80 character will grant progress to earning the currently selected mastery. Once the bar is full you'll need to pay the shown number of mastery points gain the ability and be able to work on the next mastery in the list.
Every mastery point is tied to an achievement and can therefor only be earned once
Earning Mastery Points
- Central Tyria (83 available)
- Open World (12) - 9 Mastery Insights, 2 in Explorer, 1 jumping puzzle. The mastery insights are the first thing you should be getting if you need points, they are easy to get and marked on open world maps in central Tyria. Just got to the mark and interact, super easy. Explorer has a diving collection that is easy except for the one dive in the Not So Secret jumping puzzle and there is collection in LA to shoot Karka, both are not too bad if you follow a guide and are ok with some jumping. The jumping puzzle section is just finishing the Hidden Garden.
- Hero (14/25*) - Many mastery points for finishing the main story line and doing dungeons. *The story mastery points are only given once per story chapter so if you get the mastery point for the chapter 1 of the human story you won't get another for chapter 1 of the Norn story, same goes for all the orders so the actual number of points you can get from story is much lower. Finishing the story, story dungeons, and getting map completion (takes ~12-30hrs) will get you all possible points in this section.
- Maguuma Wastes (8) - 7 points in Silverwastes with 1 in Dry Top. Silverwastes mainly revolves around killing the 4 legendary bosses that randomly spawn at held camps during the meta with a bonus 5th point for killing all 4. Other options are a long jumping puzzle and badge collection. Dry Top's point is for getting to tier 4 and killing the skritt queen that spawns in Cragrock Palace ()
- Season 2 (16) - 1 point for each story chapter and a bonus point for finishing all achievements.
- Bosses (8) - 4 in the general boss section, 2 for Tequatl (one for any kill and one for getting all other achievements), and 2 for Triple Trouble (Same deal as Teq, 1 for kill 1 for all ap). You'll need to run triple trouble (TT) at least 3 times to get everything (once per head) but usually more than that to finish up achievements. Doing a single head of TT the first time will give 2 mastery though so it's a couple easy points to get just look for an organised group in LFG.
- Fractals (18) - 15 in the main fractals with 1 in Nightmare, 1 in Shattered Observatory, and 1 in Sunqua Peak. One of the main and best ways to get a large number of master points, most can be done on any tier as well so it's a good thing to go for even when just starting fractals.
- Collections (7) - 1 easy Basic Collection, 5 difficult Rare Collections, and 1 Fashion collection. The fashion and rare collections are usually your last options when going for mastery points as they all require heavy investments and high gold costs.
- Heart of Thorns (198 available)
- Mastery insights (22) - Free points scattered around the HoT maps, some will require other mastery unlocks to get (like Itzel Poison Lore or Updraft Use) but most are just on the map and easy to get to.
- HoT story (19) - spread out in the 4 acts, most are given for just doing the story while one in each is for all achievements.
- Season 3 (48) - Mainly there to help with the new mastery unlocks season 3 brings, many range from very easy to very hard but every zone has mastery insights that are basically free points.
- Heart of Maguuma (90) - Mostly take the form of adventure rewards for getting silver/gold and strongboxes. Strongboxes are hidden around the map like mastery insights but are not marked, I'd suggest using a guide to find them. The adventures give a ton of experience and getting at least silver is pretty easy on most, getting gold takes some skill on many of them (look up videos of how to get gold).
- Raids (18) - Mostly for killing raid bosses in wings 1-4 for the first time and a couple challenges. You need to beat one raid boss or event to unlock this track at all, it is otherwise hidden.
- Path of Fire (130 available)
- Mastery Insights (40) - Free points scattered around the PoF maps, some will need mounts and mastery to access (like Shifting Sands) but most are just on the map and easy to get to.
- PoF Story (12) - Earned through the PoF story, easy to get.
- Season 4 (42) - Just like with season 3 these are mainly here to let you get the new mastery unlocks in season 4 and most are easy mastery insights. There are a few other easy story rewards and hard collections thrown in as well.
- Crystal Desert (33) - Some special interactions spread around (like the memory game or cooking mini-game in crystal oasis), pretty easy to do and are basically insights marked on the map but with a minor extra challenge. Some mount treat collections after getting your mounts and several item collections, it is recommended to look up guides for most of these.
- Raids (3) - Defeating Dhuum in wing 5, Qadim in wing 6, and all other wing 6 achievements.
- Icebrood Saga (58 available) (WIP)
- Prologue: Bound by Blood (3) -
- Whisper in the Dark (10) -
- Shadow in the Ice (9) -
- No Quarter (17) -
- Jormag Rising (12) -
- Drakkar (1) -
- Champions (6) -
What to Unlock
- Central Tyria (49 needed for full unlocks)
- Pact Commander (19) - Train ASAP as it gives huge quality of life with crafting exp, improved reviving, swiftness in cities, and most importantly automatic looting. This means you get loot drops without needing to pick them up or even be close by. First 19 points should be spent here.
- Fractal Attunement (11) - Very important for well, fractals and should be the second track you train. Gives you access to extra daily fractals, being able to attune rings for extra slots, bonus rewards from chests, bonus stats from fractal potions, and the ability to use Mistlock Singularity to reset cooldowns, repair armor, and give you an extra life (if you would be downed instead heal 25% hp).
- Legendary Crafting (19) - Legendary crafting is a lengthy process and not something you should rush to unlock. If you're interested in getting started feel free to unlock the start of the collections early by investing 1 point but wait on the other stages till after you finish a collection or all the other central Tyria mastery.
- Heart of Thorns (144 needed for full unlocks)
- Glider Basics (1) - required for story and needs to be completed.
- Bouncing Mushrooms (1) - will be needed for the 4th story step in act 1.
- Exalted Markings (1) - will be needed for the 2nd step in act 2.
- Updraft Use (2) - will be needed for the 3rd step in act 2.
- Nuhoch Hunting (1) - will be needed for the 2nd step in act 3.
- Itzel Poison Lore (5)* - is suggested for the 4th step in act 3 but is not actually needed to progress. *Requires that you unlock Itzel Language (2) and Blazing Speed Mushrooms (3) first as well.
- When you don't have the next track unlocked or have extra these are my suggested unlocks to focus on
- Lean Techniques (3) - Lets you go farther while gliding and have more control over your decent.
- Advanced Gliding (8)* - Makes gliding long distances possible and lets you use lean gliding more often to get farther without risking falling. Huge quality of life for gliding in general. *Requires that you unlock Stealth Gliding (5) after Lean Techniques
- Nuhoch Wallows (2) - Lets you use Wallows to quickly get around the map, gives access to some hidden areas and very useful shortcuts across the map. Since it's so cheap it's a great unlock even before the other options above.
- Nuhoch Stealth Detection (5)* - Lets you see stealthed enemies, important for some events like Treasure Mushrooms *Requires that you unlock Nuhoch Language (3) after Nuhoch Wallows.
- Ley Line Gliding (12) - Takes a lot of points to finish (31 for all of gliding) but should be the first track you complete. Gives you access to a lot of hidden areas and is needed for some map and raid sections.
- Adrenal Mushrooms (12)* - Special mushrooms that reset your cooldowns, very useful in places that have access to them including all over the HoT maps and some raid events. *Requires that you unlock Itzel Leadership (8) after Itzel Poison Lore.
- Rest can be earned in whatever order you want, mainly used for some collection unlocks and minor utility. See more details on Heart of Thorns mastery tracks.
- Raids (8)
- Nice to have for wings 1-3 but not a huge deal if you don't have them and not needed in other wings.
- Ancient Magics aka Living World Season 3 (24)
Karma is a common currency received all over the place from events, hearts, fractals, raids, etc. If you save up karma you can invest it in the Wintersday festival to gain a whole lot more. Below are some options for spending karma.
- Cultural weapons cost 63,000 per making a full set cost 1,197,000 . All racial cultural weapons would be 5,985,000 for the T3 skins + another 558,600 for the other 3 sets (can just but Tier 1 for the Ebon Vanguard, Lionguard, and Pirate weapons)
- Cooking ingredients, while they don't cost a lot of karma many of them are used and there are some ways to use cooking as a way to convert karma to gold efficiently (see gw2craftgold for suggestions).
- Pact Supply Network Agent, with the Supply Line Management mastery you can buy once daily from each of the 6 agents. They offer a choice of a random recipe (7,777 ), Pact Scout's Mapping Materials for an instant map bonus reward when used (5,250 , see Map bonus reward/profit for when/where to use it), or a specific recipe from the list (normally costs 25,200 and can include otherwise unobtainable or expensive recipes).
- Obsidian Shards, specifically from Tactician Deathstrider. Mainly used in Legendary equipment.
- Material and Enhanced gathering tools, limited use tools that have built in special glyphs built in to them. Notable example would be to use Harvesting Sickle of Bounty to get bonus harvesting drops for ascended herbs (from cooking 500).
- Novelties like Endless Embiggening Tonic, Magnanimous Choir Bell, or Enchanted Snowball
- Utility items like Prototype Position Rewinder
- Ascended gear like Relic of Melandru, Asgeir's Amulet, or Asgeir's Talisman
- Exotic Temple armor, easy level 80 gear though you can't salvage it so it's not recommended
- GW2 Efficiency has suggestions on converting karma to gold as well though some options rely on luck, the trading post, or other materials.
Festivals are limited time events that repeat yearly. They have unique skins, currency, events, achievements, and activities. When they are active players usually want to take advantage of them, check out the specific festival pages but in general you'll want to do enough of the daily festival achievements for the daily progress and enough annual achievements to get the yearly bonus. The festivals also have weekly vendors as well if you're not interested in the festival specific rewards (just don't ever waste currency on transmutation charges).
Not too much going on for this event, mainly you want to buy as many Divine Lucky Envelope as you can (8 per day from the vendor, up to 8 more for tokens, 3 from guild hall) you can then sell them on the trading post (keep in mind there is a 15% tax on the TP so you need to be selling at over 1g 18s to make any kind of profit) or you stack up magic find and go to Silverwastes to open them as they are one of the few usable items affected by magic find (you're aiming for 800-1000% magic find to boost the drops you get though lesser amounts will still turn a profit). Importantly this event is the only way to get Delicious Rice Balls so if ascended food isn't an option or you want cheaper healing food this festival is the time to get it.
Festival adds a new pixel graphics themed zone focused on jumping puzzles. Each zone has a daily chest at the end which rewards festival currency. Dulfy's guide goes over a lot of the basics for it. Bauble Bubbles are the festival currency. Personally enjoy the stuff to do in this festival the most!
Currency is Piece of Zhaitaffy, can be used to buy cheap good food like Koi Cake for condition damage builds or Dragon's Breath Bun for WvW power builds. Can also be turned into Jorbreaker to get unique skins and other rewards.
Only way to get Favor of the Festival which can be used to by stat selectable unique skin weapons. Also a large source of Festival Tokens. Lots of collections and things to do for new players. Has 2 new zones as well, Labyrinthine Cliffs and The Crown Pavilion. There are Traders around that buy basic crafting materials for Zephyrite Supply Box (gambling for the rare items) so the price on a lot of cheaper materials will go up making it a good time to sell.
Amazing event for new players, gives access to Mad King's Labyrinth where you can earn a lot of Trick-or-Treat Bags to sell and experience. If possible you want to find a group running it and stay with them, focus on hitting all mobs (should not be trying to kill, just get credit for attacking it, may even want to lower damage). So long as you can deal with how repetitive it becomes (maybe watch something while you do it), it's one of the best gold farms and exp farms in the game (so a good place to run food/utility and boosters). Full guide on farming the labyrinth by xTeh here. You'll also want to make sure you do the Lunatic Wardrobe achievements to get a full level 80 stat selectable exotic armor set and buy the rest of the recipes from the Lunatic Alchemist since they are the cheapest crafted exotics for all stats and you'll unlock the option to craft them all year round.
Great way to get and spend karma. You can buy Wrapped Gifts from the vendors for karma (1,008 per) and then give them to Orphans for 1500 back but this reward is modified by karma increases so you can increase it to 3,500-4,000 each pretty easily. There are 30 orphans and each one can be given a gift daily so you can turn 30,340 into 105,000 - 120,000+ every single day of the festival. You should have all the boosters and karma bonuses on a character dedicated to giving the gifts so that you can log off of them after and not waste the buff durations. The Wintersday Gifts are also a good way to make gold especially if you're good at the Winter Wonderland jumping puzzle.
Gathering tool (WIP)
All characters have access to all Home instances found in each racial city. You can visit the instance (and take people in the same party inside with you) and use any upgrades you have unlocked once per daily. These upgrades include festival currencies, harvesting nodes (including living story), a garden, map specific chests (which are worse than the equivalent chest in the zone so I suggest not wasting keys opening them), a place of power (hero point per character and location to upgrade materials like Quartz Crystals), etc. Since you can join other player's homes you don't need to spend anything and can join a friend's to harvest from them.
Glyphs are upgrades to gathering tools that provide the tool with some bonus effect. They are included in many unlimited gem store tools and can be randomly dropped very rarely from Black Lion Chests (these ones can be bought and sold on the TP). In general the Glyph of Volatility is the best gold value, you can get the glyph with the Infinite Volatile Magic Gathering Tools pack. I would not suggest ever buying the glyphs off the TP as they typically a lot more than they are worth. The only other way of getting the glyphs is to buy the karma tools with them built in see Material and Enhanced Gathering tools they are cheap but have limited uses. Some extra glyph / tool info.
- Silverwastes (RIBA): Stands for Red, Indigo, Blue, Amber. That is the order of the silverwastes camps you should be doing and rotating between. Watch this video or read this guide for details on the strategy. The general idea is that you get a lot of reward chests you can open on a lower level character for better value materials (usually 49-53 but see current values and levels here).
- Dragonfall Meta: Repeatable meta farm that also gets you map currency to buy ascended trinkets. It's a good idea to have the Karmic Retribution unlocks so it becomes a great source of karma as well. Written guide here by xTeh on what to do to maximize profit.
Fractals: Tier 4 fractals + daily recommended fractals (recs)
Check Event timers to see when these events are up
- Heart of Thorns
- Path of Fire
- Amnoon Casino: Casino Blitz
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Drakkar: Champion of the Ice Dragon
Can do any 3 daily achievements in PvE, PvP, or WvW for 2 gold, some spirit shards, and minor bonus chests specific to the achievements you did. Also gives 10 achievement points when completed up to a total cap of 15,000. It's best to pick out whatever easy choices you want and you can usually get it done in 10-15 min. Most jumping puzzles and mini dungeons will have people helping others get them done so be sure to look on the map for a Commander or Mentor.
Check the Event timers for when timed events are active. The more active bosses and Metas will fill up their maps pretty quickly so it can be worthwhile to get to the map 5-15 min early to get into a good instance. Be sure to also check LFG to see if anyone is commanding or taxing people in (the act of listing the map or IP in LFG to bring more people in).
Heart of Thorns
- Verdant Brink Meta: Night bosses
- Auric Basin Meta: Octovine
- Tangled Depths Meta: Chak Gerent
- Dragon's Stand Meta: Advancing on the Blighting Towers
Path of Fire
World bosses cycle through a 2 hr loop with a new boss starting every 15 min. There are also 3 hard world bosses that start about every 1 hr. All world bosses give a bonus chest reward once per day in addition to the normal loot they give. Some bosses like Tequatl have very good daily rewards and are worthwhile to do daily.
- Charged Quartz Crystal
- Lump of Mithrillium
- Spool of Silk Weaving Thread
- Spool of Thick Elonian Cord
- Glob of Elder Spirit Residue
- Grow Lamp - Used in skyscale collection and mawdrey
- Couple others listed under the category "Time gated recipes"
Pact Supply Network Agents sell recipes and Pact Scout's Mapping Materials. The recipes can be otherwise unobtainable or very expensive so it can be worth looking out for ones you need. The mapping materials automatically give you the next tier of map bonus reward and should be used with Map bonus reward/profit to figure out what map to use them on.
Ley-Energy Matter Converter is a reward from completing killing the final boss in the Dragon's Stand meta event in under 20 minutes. Once you get the gizmo you can use it for a free daily key for one of the four HoT maps. It also has 3 tabs that change daily and sell items for Ley-Line Crystals, Aurillium, and Airship Parts. The bags can be worth a decent amount of gold (see best value here under the "Karmic Converter" section) but they also sometimes have Large Bag of Obsidian and Box of WvW Supplies as good options to get.
If the guild trader is unlocked for you guild you can buy 3 items from their listed rotating selection. You can get easy ascended weapon recipes this way as well as valuable loot bags. You can see which items are worth the most on GW2 Efficency's karma conversion page under the "Karmic Converter" section (the profit numbers are the same for guild trader).
3 Daily Fractals are selected every day to give bonus rewards. They are available to do at tier 1, 2, 3, and 4. Doing the higher tiers rewards all of the chests for the lower tiers as well so it's always best to to as high a tier as you can. There are also 2 (or 3 with mastery) daily recommended fractals. These give Fractal Research Pages for the legendary back collection and purchasing ascended gear, as well as Pristine Relics and large potions to sell or use. One of the main rewards from fractals are Fractal Encryptions, these chests need a Fractal Encryption Key to unlock. The chests add up to a lot of gold once you vendor the junk items as well as lots of relics
Dungeons give bonus token rewards for the first time you do each path. They can be a good way to get exotic gear and the only way to get some useful runes like Superior Rune of the Monk and Superior Rune of the Nightmare
More detailed version of my note in the FAQ section with full details on how to unlock the raptor early with help. You can unlock the raptor mount at any level by having a friend help you, just follow these steps:
- Both players need to own Path of Fire. Can't have any mounts without it.
- Both players need to get to Lion's Arch (usually just city portal) and be in the same instance (be in a party together already, right click on the on your party member in the top right and select "join in" if you're not in the same one).
- The host on a level 80 character (hopefully one that has already done the prologue or first mission) selects the first act of PoF and heads over to the airship where the first chapter starts.
- The host walks up to the green or purple story icon on the airship ("Phoenix Dawn" SW of Claw Island Portage Waypoint —) and starts the mission, the guest hits accept.
- Host does the mission as normal up till the town, guest can afk and will be teleported every time (I always suggest they change language, mute, and/or not pay attention to avoid spoilers)
- When you get to the town event (talk to the two NPCs and they need help putting out fires), your guest can help out at this point with reviving NPCs, putting out fires (you can drop your fire extinguisher and grab a second one so they don't need to use a bucket), and testing out the borrowed raptors.
- Once the heart is done they will need to speak with the heart vendor and "buy" the 0 cost saddle to unlock it.
- Just character select to leave and you're done, takes ~10m
I do also suggest people check "Disable Conditional Mount Movement Ability Input" in the options (second to last). So that they can get used to using the keys and they can jump without forcing ability.
Anyone on NA, feel free to ask me (Dak.2749 / Dak393#2588) and I'll run you through the story. I do suggest playing through the story in order and not jumping ahead but if you're going to anyways you may as well not waste your boost and get minimal spoilers!