User:Dak393/New player Guide

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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.

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.

Start Here

Resource Links[edit]

General Guide Links[edit]

Build Sites[edit]

Gearing Links[edit]

Crafting Links[edit]

Trading Post Sites[edit]

  • GW2 BLTC - Trading post database and search tool.
  • GW2 Spidey - Trading post database and search tool.
  • GW2 TP - Trading post database and search tool.

Utility Links[edit]

  • 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.
  • GW2 Daily Helper - Simple tool for easy daily achievement completion with maps and suggested areas in PvE and WvW.
  • See the add-ons section for more utilities and info.

Open World Links[edit]

Raid Links[edit]

Fractal Links[edit]

WvW Links[edit]

PvP Links[edit]

Other Links[edit]

Start Here[edit]

Welcome to Guild Wars 2 and this guide! Up above, you'll find my go-to resources for the game organized into general categories. They are worth looking over but I'll mention them again in the guides below. My goal in this section is to simplify and go over some frequently asked questions and advice. Most of the sections will have links to sections on the wiki, other guide sections, 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 will always include the full word when first used).

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 (I'm on the GW2 GW2 unofficial discord and the GW2 wiki discord) or even in game at Dak.2749


  • Should I make an ArenaNet account or use a Steam account?
    • ArenaNet in almost all cases. There are a lot of benefits for having an Anet account very few for steam. See the Account Type section below for more details.
  • What world should I pick?
    • For all PvE and sPvP content all that matters is what region you are on (NA or EU), all players on the same region play all PvE and sPvP together. For now the only impact world selection has is what WvW team you're assigned to and in the future that system is being removed all together and replaced with World Restructuring (still only relevant to WvW team).
  • What profession should I play?
    • Whatever you like! All professions have viable and meta builds in all game modes and it really comes down to picking something you'll enjoy. If you're still unsure check out Kyosika's video going over all professions and elite specializations. If you want to try stuff out yourself see the "Can I try out a profession?" question below!
  • Can I try out a profession?
    • Yes! You can take a character into the PvP lobby by opening the PvP Panel (PvP Menu Bar icon.pngcrossed sword icon in top left) and selecting "Enter PvP Lobby". While there your level will be set to 80 and you'll have access to all skills and traits you have access to on 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.
    • Alternatively 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. This will not let you try elite specializations or other gear setups though. Using the boost again will let you "Consume", permanently using the boost, or "Undo Boost" reverting back to where you were before and saving the boost. You can not leave the zone till you end the preview by consuming or undoing the boost.
  • 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 (some of these take up to 5 days after applying an expansion), you'll keep your raptor mount after the trial (though mounts are not needed or intended for any content before PoF, the second expansion), and the game will change your daily/weekly options to include expansion content you own (relevant for PvE daily/weekly). If you want to just try out the game you've got a no time limit free trial all the way up to max level. If you intend to continue playing past level 80 you will eventually want to get the expansions though, they are very much worth it and cheap to get on sale from official retailers.
  • Which Expansion(s) should I buy?
    • All of them if you can and in order. Older content is still very much relevant and activate. I'd also argue that the first expansions are way more important than the later ones just for content and unlocks. What you get exactly will depend a lot on your budget and options too so see the Buying the Game section below for details.
  • I just got the the expansions. Should I use my level 80 boost?
    • No. Learn the game, level a character to 80 normally (and hopefully do story once through), read the level up rewards as you go. Save the boost and use it on an alt character later (it's not going anywhere). Leveling is very fast now (arguably too fast!) but if you still feel like it's not fast enough I have suggestions below in the leveling section. More often than not when players boost to 80 they feel lost with no idea what to do or how to play the game.
  • Should I use the boost to unlock a mastery like mounts or gliding?
    • No. I'll again suggest saving the boost till after you've leveled one character and you know what you like playing (see below on trying them out too) and want. You now unlock the raptor (account wide like all mastery) for just owning an expansion and getting to level 10, and I don't suggest boosting for the other mounts, gliding, or other unlocks like fishing. A word of warning as well, if you're still going to try and unlock additional Path of Fire (PoF) mounts they require mastery points from PoF (easy way to get a bunch is doing story), lots of exp from PoF (so you have to spend a lot of time specifically there), and lots of spoilers for the story. Glider from Heart of Thorns (HoT) also requires starting story and doing missions to unlock. Overall I suggest not rushing to it and just doing the story in order (see the story section for full order and more), everything is still relevant, story is still important and linear, and nothing is going away. Don't rush it. If you still must have gliding or springer before doing the story, End of Dragons (EoD) can unlock basic glider and basic springer by getting to the maps (you'll need teleport to friend, a guild hall, or another way to get there) and at least that way you're hopefully avoiding some spoilers. But it's again worth mentioning that no content before the expansion that introduced it requires that mastery or was designed for it. So no gliding before HoT, no mounts before PoF.
  • How do people have a level over 80?
    • The yellow number you're seeing on players is showing the number of mastery points they have spent to unlock Masteries. It's side progression for expansions and the max level always has been 80.
  • Where do I buy items?
    • The Trading Post (TP) is where players buy and sell items to each other. You can access the trading post at any time by hitting the O key 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% (this always applies to selling items and only selling). I general I always suggest making a new buy order (higher than the other orders) when purchasing items and a new sell listing (for less than the other listings) when selling. If you need items right away you usually end up paying more for them. Note that free to play accounts have access but some restrictions on what they can buy check the free account section for details.
  • What should I spend gems on?
    • Generally the Living World if you lack it, then things like character slots and nice quality of life upgrade, see the Gem Store section below for details.


In GW2, you get experience (exp) from almost everything. Explore a new zone? Have some exp. View a vista? Exp. Cook some food? More exp. Revive someone? There’s exp for that, too. Chopped down a tree? Yup, get 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.

  • The Character Adventure Guide on the side of your screen gives you objectives to do that reward a lot of experience. Try to do them when you can or use them as a guide.
  • 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 crafting (see crafting) is an easy way to get 7+ levels. Would suggest doing it around level 60-70, cooking is usually a cheap option for it.
  • 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.

Experience Boosts[edit]

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.


  • Moa Haunch.pngMoa Haunch (16 Copper coin, level 0) - Good food when just starting out, only gives 10% instead of 15% like the others but can be used at any level, is always cheap from vendor, and gives a good buff of +40 power after kill.
  • Fried Banana Chips.pngFried Banana Chips (, level 0) - Can craft or buy on trading post, gives 15%.
  • Bowl of Candy Corn Custard.pngBowl of Candy Corn Custard (, level 10) - Generally my recommendation as they are cheap and give 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.pngStrawberry Ghost (, level 25) - Alternative to Custard but higher level required.
  • Piece of Candy Corn Almond Brittle.pngPiece 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.pngGlazed Pear Tart (, level 55) - 22% magic find and +50 power is nice for it still being very cheap.
  • Scarlet's Rainbow.pngBirthday 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.


Note: Powerful Potion of Demon Slaying.pngPowerful Potion of Slaying Scarlet's Armies () gives 15% but are not worth the higher cost, better to save them for fractals later on. The WvW food/utility give no exp bonus.

Leveling Builds[edit]

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:

You can look at example open would builds like metabattle's open world builds or Masel's PvE video guides 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[edit]

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 Power, minor stats precision Precision and ferocity 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.pngSuperior Rune of the Centaur
Nika's (Medium Armor)
Superior Rune of Infiltration.pngSuperior Rune of Infiltration
Devona's (Heavy Armor)
Superior Rune of Strength.pngSuperior Rune of Strength
Item Trading post
Buy Sell
Seer Mask.pngZhed's Mask
Seer Mantle.pngZhed's Mantle
Seer Coat.pngZhed's Coat
Seer Gloves.pngZhed's Gloves
Seer Pants.pngZhed's Leggings
Seer Boots.pngZhed's Boots
Item Trading post
Buy Sell
Sneakthief Mask.pngNika's Mask
Sneakthief Shoulderguards.pngNika's Pauldrons
Sneakthief Coat.pngNika's Coat
Sneakthief Gloves.pngNika's Gloves
Sneakthief Leggings.pngNika's Leggings
Sneakthief Sandals.pngNika's Boots
Item Trading post
Buy Sell
Scallywag Helm.pngDevona's Helm
Scallywag Pauldrons.pngDevona's Pauldrons
Scallywag Chest.pngDevona's Chestguard
Scallywag Gauntlets.pngDevona's Gauntlets
Scallywag Legs.pngDevona's Legplates
Scallywag Greaves.pngDevona's Greaves

Next up is weapons, I'd suggest just looking at the named berserker weapons listed below. 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. As a reminder these weapons are all level 80 berserker weapons so they are functionally the same for each weapon type, only difference being the skin and potentially the free sigil offered. You can also search the trading post and filter by rarity (exotic), level (80), and stats (power main, precision/ferocity minor).

Berserker Weapons
Type Weapon Cost Note
Axe Maw of the Damned.pngMaw of the Damned Superior Sigil of Force.pngSuperior Sigil of Force
Axe Shattered Axe.pngBerserker's Shattered Axe
Dagger Usoku's Needle.pngUsoku's Needle Superior Sigil of Accuracy.pngSuperior Sigil of Accuracy
Dagger Shattered Dagger.pngBerserker's Shattered Dagger
Focus Adam.pngAdam
Focus Shattered Focus.pngBerserker's Shattered Focus
Focus Boneskinner's Totem.pngBoneskinner's Totem
Greatsword Ebonblade.pngEbonblade
Greatsword Shattered Greatsword.pngBerserker's Shattered Greatsword
Hammer Bronze Hammer.pngIronfist
Hammer Shattered Hammer.pngBerserker's Shattered Hammer
Longbow Eir's Longbow.pngEir's Longbow
Longbow Shattered Longbow.pngBerserker's Shattered Longbow
Mace Ceremonial Morning Star.pngSerpentstone
Mace Shattered Mace.pngBerserker's Shattered Mace
Pistol Ceremonial Pistol.pngVenomstriker
Pistol Shattered Pistol.pngBerserker's Shattered Pistol
Rifle Charrzooka (weapon).pngCharrzooka Superior Sigil of Accuracy.pngSuperior Sigil of Accuracy
Rifle Exterminator.pngExterminator
Rifle Shattered Rifle.pngBerserker's Shattered Rifle
Scepter Anura.pngAnura
Scepter Hypnotic Scepter.pngHypnotic Scepter
Scepter Shattered Scepter.pngBerserker's Shattered Scepter
Shield Kryta's Embrace.pngKryta's Embrace
Shield Shattered Shield.pngBerserker's Shattered Shield
Short bow Eir's Short Bow.pngEir's Short Bow Superior Sigil of Accuracy.pngSuperior Sigil of Accuracy
Short bow Shattered Short Bow.pngBerserker's Shattered Short Bow
Staff Deathwish.pngDeathwish
Staff Shattered Staff.pngBerserker's Shattered Staff
Sword Bonetti's Rapier.pngBonetti's Rapier
Sword Twin Sisters.pngTwin Sisters Superior Sigil of Force.pngSuperior Sigil of Force
Sword Shattered Sword.pngBerserker's Shattered Sword
Torch Combustion.pngCombustion Superior Sigil of Accuracy.pngSuperior Sigil of Accuracy
Torch Shattered Torch.pngBerserker's Shattered Torch
Warhorn Kodanroar.pngKodanroar
Warhorn Shattered Focus.pngBerserker's Shattered Focus
Harpoon gun The Stingray.pngThe Stingray
Spear Impaler.pngImpaler
Trident Peasant's Solution.pngPeasant's Solution Superior Sigil of Air.pngSuperior Sigil of Air


For trinkets there are 'many' options (the guide above 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 10Pristine Fractal Relics Pristine Fractal Relics each for Ring of Red Death.pngRing of Red Death and Crystalline Band.pngCrystalline Band.

For accessories a good option is finding a guild and doing a couple weeks of guild missions to get guild commendationsGuild Commendation (many guilds do weekly missions and if not you can solo many of the missions for personal credit) and buy Althea's Ashes.pngAlthea's Ashes + Magister's Field Journal.pngMagister's Field Journal from the guild vendor. If guild missions are too slow or not an options for you, buying or crafting Ruby Orichalcum Earring.pngRuby Orichalcum Earring for is a good relatively cheap short term option. Please also note that buying accessories for laurels and ectoplasm is very expensive and you're better off using other options (check in depth guide at the start of this section).

For an amulet I'd just buy your first one for laurels (30Laurel or 20Laurel + 250Badge of Honor) from a Laurel Merchant or WvW Laurel Merchant. You're looking to buy only one of Call of the Wild (Amulet).pngCall of the Wild, or Mark of the Tethyos Houses.pngMark of the Tethyos Houses, or Distinguished Circle of Logic.pngDistinguished Circle of Logic (it doesn't matter which they are all the same, pick the design you like best). If you lack the laurels or if it's cheaper, you can make Vial of Salt.pngVial of Salt instead, you just need to buy the materials for and make it, see the crafting here.

Back doesn't matter as much since it's minor stats but some good options would be the crafted backs like Ambrosial Chef's Backpack.pngAmbrosial Chef's Backpack, they are level 78 exotics but that doesn't matter as they are super cheap to get for now. As you do more fractals you can work on getting a Prototype Fractal Capacitor that you'll need for the legendary back collection as well. If you still need something now the Lucky lanterns such as Lucky Great Ox Lantern.pngLucky Great Ox Lantern can just be purchased on the trading post. They can select stats so they can be useful for other builds too but I'd still suggest one of the other options. As you do more content and story you'll get access to more backs too.


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. If your gear already comes with runes just overwrite the old ones with new ones. If they are runes that you want to transfer to new gear or save the Wizard's Vault offers Black Lion Salvage Kits to salvage the old exotic gear and recover the upgrades or Upgrade Extractors to recover the upgrade without salvaging the item (though this is not worth it on cheap runes/sigils).

Rune Price Power Ferocity Precision Boon Other Notes
Superior Rune of the Dragonhunter.pngDragonhunter Power +100 Ferocity +300 Usually the best option for builds that don't need more precision, has the most ferocity and high power
Superior Rune of the Scholar.pngScholar Power +175 Ferocity +225 For builds that already have enough ferocity this can be better than Dragonhunter runes
Superior Rune of the Golemancer.pngGolemancer N/A Ferocity +300 Precision +100 Dungeon runes in Crucible of Eternity vendor tab for 120 Tales of Dungeon Delving
Superior Rune of the Deadeye.pngDeadeye Power +175 Ferocity +100 Precision +125 Mix of Power, Ferocity, and Precision. Can also purchase from Heroics Notary in WvW
Superior Rune of Infiltration.pngInfiltration Power +175 Precision +225
Superior Rune of the Ogre.pngOgre Power +175 Ferocity +100 Vitality +125 Vitality
Superior Rune of the Eagle.pngEagle Ferocity +225 Precision +175
Superior Rune of the Ranger.pngRanger Ferocity +100 Precision +300 High Precision to crit cap
Superior Rune of the Thief.pngThief Precision +300 Condition Damage +100 Condi Alternative to ranger
Superior Rune of the Pack.pngPack Power +175 Precision +125 Boon Duration 15% Boon Duration Power, some Precision, and some bonus boon duration, if you need the precision to crit these can be really nice
Superior Rune of Strength.pngStrength Power +175 Might Duration 50% Might Duration Might duration can really help damage when solo or in open world
Superior Rune of the Citadel.pngCitadel Power +175 Fury Duration 50% Fury Duration Usually easier to get fury over full might but this can still help pad it out if it's needed
Superior Rune of Fireworks.pngFireworks Power +175 Boon Duration 25% Boon Duration Good general boon duration, really useful if you have better self boon access
Superior Rune of the Privateer.pngPrivateer Power +175 Precision +125 Might Duration 30% Might Duration Can be an alternative to Strength/Pack if you want more might duration but need Precision still
Superior Rune of Hoelbrak.pngHoelbrak Power +175 Boon Duration 10% Boon Duration
Might Duration 10% Might Duration
Condition Duration -10% Condition Duration
Superior Rune of the Fire.pngFire Power +175 Might Duration 30% Might Duration Burn Duration 30% Burn Duration Usually just worse Strength runes but could be cheap alternative
Superior Rune of Rage.pngRage Ferocity +300 Fury Duration 30% Fury Duration If capped on crit and lacking ferocity can be a good option, trading post alternative to Golemancer
Superior Rune of Vampirism.pngVampirism Power +175 Vitality +225 Vitality
Superior Rune of the Centaur.pngCentaur Power +175 Swiftness Duration 50% Swiftness Duration Would suggest other options over this, there are better ways to get around or keep up swiftness
Ruby Orb.pngRuby Orb Power +120 Ferocity +84 Precision +84 Cheap upgrade, alternative to runes. Lower stat totals but a good mix of what we usually want
Rune Price Power Ferocity Precision Boon Other Notes


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. And reminder again that like runes you can replace old sigils with new ones or recover them when you go to upgrade gear.

Sigil Price Effect Notes
Superior Sigil of Force.pngForce 5% Strike damage 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.pngImpact 3% Strike damage or 10% vs Stunned/Knocked-Down Usually used with force for 3% damage increase and the chance at 10% in fractals, strikes, and some raids.
Superior Sigil of Accuracy.pngAccuracy +7% Critical Chance Helps your crit chance (worth 147 precision), bonus is not given to summons like clones.
Superior Sigil of Strength.pngStrength Might on crit, 1s ICD Can be strong in open world/solo if you're not capping might already without it.
Any cheap slaying sigil like:
Superior Sigil of Mad Scientists.pngMad Scientists
3% Strike damage or 10% vs specific enemy type Usually only going to be 3% damage but cheap and easy damage mod and better than nothing.
Superior Sigil of the Night.pngNight 3% Strike damage or 10% during night time Only has the full buff a limited time but still not too bad to buy.
Superior Sigil of Frailty.pngFrailty Vulnerability when flanking or against defiant foes 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.pngAir Bonus damage on crit, 3s ICD Good damage on single targets and even does better than many other options at low DPS.
Superior Sigil of Fire.pngFire Bonus AoE damage on crit, 5s ICD Worse than air but AoE so it helps more in general open world and tagging.
Superior Sigil of Blood.pngBlood life steal on crit, 5s ICD Small heal on crit but has a 5s cooldown.
Stacking sigils like:
Superior Sigil of Bloodlust.pngBloodlust
+10 power per kill up to 250 power Stacking power that stays till you go down. 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.pngBattle 5 Might on weapon swap 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.pngSeverance +250 precision and ferocity for 4s when interrupting Can be a lot of stats but expects you to interrupt enemies often


Relic options, consult your build if you're aiming for fractals, strikes, or raids. Check your options on crafting or buying them as that's usually cheaper.

Relic Price Unlock Expansion Effect Notes
Relic of the Thief.pngRelic of the Thief Crafted GW2Logo new.png Up to 5% strike damage for using weapon skills Most common and general use relic, almost every power build can use it well
Relic of Fireworks.pngRelic of Fireworks Crafted GW2Logo new.png 7% for 6s after using weapon skills with 20s cooldown Can be better than thief on some setups
Relic of the Deadeye.pngRelic of the Deadeye Crafted GW2Logo new.png 10% strike damage for 8s after using a cantrip skill Usually just seen on some deadeye setups though it could still be an option on others if you have cantrip skills
Relic of Peitha.pngRelic of Peitha N/A Achievement
Secrets of the Obscure logo.png 10% strike damage for 4s after using a Shadowstep or deception skill, 4s ICD Some builds have a lot of options to trigger the bonus so it can be up pretty often
Relic of Cerus.pngRelic of Cerus N/A Achievement
Secrets of the Obscure logo.png Deals damage around you when using an elite skill, 30s ICD Good burst but falls off, does corrupt boons too when that matters
Relic of the Midnight King.pngRelic of the Midnight King N/A Achievement
Secrets of the Obscure logo.png Might and Fury when you disable an enemy, 1s ICD Can help with boons if you have a lot of disables in your build
Relic of Isgarren.pngRelic of Isgarren N/A Achievement
Secrets of the Obscure logo.png Evading an enemy attack marks them for 6s causing them to take 10% more strike damage Also increases condition duration but if you evade a lot or can time it well it can be good damage
Relic of Nourys.pngRelic of Nourys N/A Achievement
Secrets of the Obscure logo.png Gains stacks over time at 10 stacks gains 25% damage, 15% reduced damage, and 15% damage to healing Pretty decent even without getting bonus stacks from removing boons, only lasts 5s but the bonuses are pretty big
Relic of the Brawler.pngRelic of the Brawler Crafted GW2Logo new.png 10% strike damage for 4s when you apply protection/resolution to yourself. 8s ICD Duration is short and the cooldown makes this not great and for an average of 5% damage just use the much better thief relic
Relic of the Weaver.pngRelic of the Weaver Crafted GW2Logo new.png 10% strike damage for 4s after using a stance skill Low duration holds this back from being a more viable option and you're still limited to needing stance skills to trigger it
Relic of the Cavalier.pngRelic of the Cavalier Crafted GW2Logo new.png Aegis, Might, Quickness, Swiftness, and resistance for 5s on mount engage Nice for open world but Skyscale's  Blast.png Blast specifically triggers the boons multiple times
Relic of Durability.pngRelic of Durability Crafted GW2Logo new.png 4s of Protection, regen, and resolution on heal skill, 15s ICD Decent defensive option on a low cooldown
Relic of the Adventurer.pngRelic of the Adventurer Crafted GW2Logo new.png Refills one endurance bar on heal skill, 20s ICD Another defensive option, more dodges is always good and can work really well if you have bonuses on dodge
Relic of Zakiros.pngRelic of Zakiros N/A Achievement
Secrets of the Obscure logo.png While you have fury, critical hits heal you Sustain option so long as you're able to keep up fury
Relic Price Unlock Expansion Effect Notes


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 Fast or Peu's pages for a good breakdown on the unidentified gear and salvage material or this spreadsheet on kits to use in general.

Salvage Kits
Kit Rare Mats Salvage Upgrade Uses Cost Cost/Use Notes
Crude Salvage Kit.pngCrude Salvage Kit 0% ~5% 15 32 Copper coin / 28 Karma 2.13 Copper coin / 1.87 Karma Shouldn't be used once you have access to other kits
Basic Salvage Kit.pngBasic Salvage Kit
Copper-Fed Salvage-o-Matic.pngCopper-Fed Salvage-o-Matic
10% 20% 25
88 Copper coin / 77 Karma
800 Gem
3.52 Copper coin / 3.08 Karma
Copper coin
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.pngFine Salvage Kit 15% 40% 25 Silver coin 88 Copper coin / 252 Karma 11.52 Copper coin / 10.08 Karma Shouldn't be used once you have access to higher kits
Journeyman's Salvage Kit.pngJourneyman's Salvage Kit 20% 60% 25 Silver coin/2,800 Karma 32 Copper coin / 112 Karma Shouldn't be used once you have access to higher kits
Master's Salvage Kit.pngMaster's Salvage Kit
Mystic Salvage Kit.pngMystic Salvage Kit
Silver-Fed Salvage-o-Matic.pngSilver-Fed Salvage-o-Matic
25% 80% 25
15 Silver coin 36 Copper coin / 5,600 Karma
26 Silver coin 24 Copper coin / 8,652 Karma
500 Gem
61.44 Copper coin / 224 Karma
10.5 Copper coin / 34.6 Karma
60 Copper coin
Basic kit, used on rare and exotic items over level 68 to get Glob of Ectoplasm.pngectoplasm
Same as Master but 250 uses. Takes 3 Mystic Forge Stone.pngMystic 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.pngRunecrafter's Salvage-o-Matic 20% 100% Unlimited 600 Gem 30 Copper coin 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.pngBlack Lion Salvage Kit 50% Recovers Upgrades 25 300 Gem 12 Gem 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.pngAscended Salvage Tool ? Recovers Upgrades 1-20 Fractal Relics +Gold coin Gold coin 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 making most of the best gear in the game and is useful while leveling for extra experience. Maxing out one crafting discipline will get you about 7 levels of exp from 1-400 and another 3 from 400-500. I would suggest starting crafting in the level 60-70 range, by that time you'll have saved up some gold and materials and you'll still get value out of the character levels.

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 at level 425 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.

Crafting Basics[edit]


  • Automatic
  • Discovery
  • Recipe


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 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.

Damage Avoidance[edit]

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.png Might that increases power and condition damage, Swiftness.png Swiftness that gives 33% movement speed, and Regeneration.png Regeneration that gives a heal over time effect for example. Boons can stack in intensity (Might.png Might/Stability.png 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.png 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.png Burning, apply CC like Blinded.png Blinded, or cause you to take increased damage Vulnerability.png Vulnerability. Some professions have more access to certain conditions than others like Confusion.png Confusion with mesmers or Fear.png 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.png Vulnerability caps in intensity at 25. Other conditions stack in duration with Slow.png Slow capping at 9 stacks, Immobile.png 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[edit]

All professions have access to condition removal (cleanse), while some also have access to Resistance.png 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)[edit]

The general term for Control effects by players is "CC" and is used to represent:

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).

Defiance Bar[edit]

DefianceDefiance bar teal.png

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:

DefianceImmune (recharging) defiance bar

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:

DefianceLocked defiance bar

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[edit]

Movement Speed is simply how fast your character moves. You go faster when you have a bonus like Swiftness.png Swiftness (+33%) and slower when you have a condition like Crippled.png Crippled (-50%). 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 that most 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 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 (only swiftness counted). There is a movement cap of 400 units per second total. 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.

Buying the Game[edit]

It's suggested that you buy and play content in order if possible. Older expansions and content is still relevant and important with rewards/unlocks, story, and zones.

General purchase options:

  • Full content - Contains all expansions and living story
  • Budget options - If you're not ready to commit to buying everything or want to start off more affordable
    • One expansion ($30)
      • Heart of ThornsPath of FirePath of Fire - $30, PoF Expansion, comes with HoT for free.
      • Has two full expansions for the price of one, this is the first thing you should buy. Also goes on sale for up to 75% off aka $7.50 which is huge value.
    • First 3 expansions ($50)
  • Upgrading later - Purchasing sections on their own
    • Buy missing expansions ($162 if purchasing all on their own)
      • Path of FirePath of Fire - $30, PoF Expansion, comes with HoT for free. You should really already have this as it should be your first purchase.
      • End of DragonsEnd of Dragons - $30, EoD expansion.
      • Secrets of the ObscureSecrets of the Obscure - $25, SotO expansion.
      • Janthir WildsJanthir Wilds - $25, JW expansion.
      • Living WorldLiving World complete packs - $52 worth of gems, can always convert gold to gems in game as well. If not buying in order for story see the details below but just for rewards alone you might be looking at S4 > S3 = S5 > S2.
      • Best to get content in order with a priority on expansions first then living story, though I will again suggest playing content in story order which would mean getting living story before/after first few expansions
    • Deluxe Editions - Gem store purchases for the deluxe edition content
      • I generally don't suggest buying the normal deluxe editions as is and these gem store upgrades cost more so I'd usually avoid them.
      • That said, they do still have exclusive content you might want later and most importantly they can go on sale making them a much better deal than normal.
      • Gem price and approximate gem values for items contained are there to give you an idea what it would cost to get similar things and you can judge if the items are worth it to you.
      • Digital Deluxe Upgrade.pngDigital Deluxe Upgrade - 2,000 Gem, has some armor skins, a mini, an elite skill (not useful), and gives characters a 2 week bank access item (one time per character). Would not suggest.
      • Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns—Deluxe Upgrade.pngHeart of Thorns Deluxe - 2,400 Gem, character slot (800), glider skin (usually 500-700), mini, and finisher (usually 500-800). Would not suggest.
      • Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire—Deluxe Upgrade.pngPath of Fire Deluxe - 2,400 Gem, character slot (800), identity kit (1000), outfit (usually 700), lounge (usually 1000). Can be decent value if you plan to use the identity kit or like the outfit but I'd suggest waiting for a sale to get this. The lounge does give easy access to PoF as well.
      • Guild Wars 2 End of Dragons—Deluxe Upgrade.pngEnd of Dragons Deluxe - 2,400 Gem, character slot (800), skiff skin (usually 1600), raptor skin (usually 1200-2000 for a select or exclusive skin), identity kit (1000). Can be great value if you like and will use the skins but still mostly cosmetic and I'd wait for a sale.
      • Guild Wars 2 Secrets of the Obscure—Deluxe Upgrade.pngSecrets of the Obscure Deluxe - 2,400 Gem, character slot (800), raptor skin (usually 1200-2000 for a select or exclusive skin), emote (usually 400), identity kit. Similar to EoD pack and mostly cosmetic, would wait for sale if you like the skins.
      • Skill.pngJanthir Wilds Deluxe - 2,400 Gem, character slot (800), table homestead decoration, eldritch unbreakable tools (2400 for normal tool pack), identity kit (1000).


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 the 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.

Story order and details:

  • 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 starting race/background, choices you made in previous sections, and choices in each section with branching options. Can check the chart here for full branches and to check what you've done (spoilers on mission names).
    • Living World Season 1 - Reworked and added back as free content. Some of it is playable as fractals or other content as well, this guide has details and my story recap has a short recap on the original version. You can also still see the remnants of many of the permanent map changes throughout central Tyria.
    • Living World Season 2 - Gem store content or part of the complete pack. 8 Episodes no new zones as they were added to core content so you already have access. 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 be acquired from most selectable gear options. 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.
  • Heart of Thorns - First expansion. 4 long Acts of story. Has mastery for gliding. Centers around Heart of Maguuma.
    • Living World Season 3 - Gem store content or part of the complete pack. 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 buy. 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. New mastery for the maps, mainly for navigating around them but they get reused in later maps and expansions some too (as optional ways to get around), importantly has Spectral Aid that gives you a new down state skill.
  • Path of Fire - Second expansion. 3 long acts of story. Centers around the Crystal Desert.
    • Living World Season 4 - Gem store content or part of the complete pack. 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 (Season 5) - Gem store content or part of the complete pack. 6 episodes with 3 new zones. Adds in 7 new Strike Missions as 10 player content. 10 Dragon Response Missions (DRMs) for 1-5 players and a new world boss for up to 50 or 80 players. New mastery revolving around Norn spirits, usable extra skills, and DRM buffs. This season also includes a free supplementary episode with its own story missions and one season 1 mission.
  • End of Dragons - Third expansion. 5 long acts of story. Centers around Cantha.
  • Secrets of the Obscure - Fourth expansion. Releasing in parts. Centers around Horn of Maguuma.

Gem Store[edit]

The Gem Store found in the Black Lion Trading Company (accessed with O by default) offers account upgrades and cosmetics for Gem 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.pngCopper-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.
    • A single lounge can be nice QoL, these have access to a lot of useful merchants, crafting stations, fast travel, mystic forge, etc.
      See the lounge page for more options, suggested ones are:
      • Thousand Seas Pavilion Pass.pngThousand Seas Pavilion - Close to Cantha maps, huge list of extra fast travel locations (fishing locations), underwater golems, fishing, will keep jade tech buffs. Generally the best option for open world PvE players as it lets you get to a lot of locations easily.
      • Mistlock Sanctuary Passkey.pngMistlock Sanctuary - Central location for getting around, has direct access to fractals, has fractal vendors. Nice one in general but especially if you do a lot of fractals.
      • Armistice Bastion Pass.pngArmistice Bastion - Exists in WvW, has extra WvW locations, can see team chat and WvW map progress, WvW enemies to test on, WvW vendors. Great option for WvW focused players.
      • Invitation to "Lily of the Elon".pngLily of the Elon - Easy access to PoF, bounty board, exists in Crystal Desert. Comes with PoF deluxe/ultumate edition, if you already have have it or plan to get the upgrade on sale it can still be a nice lounge.
      • Icebrood Saga Portal Tome.pngEye of the North* - IBS strike missions, DRMs, public metas, can be upgraded to have most lounge features. Do it yourself "lounge", will need PoF for some of the upgrades, and IBS to get the Icebrood Saga Portal Tome for easy access.
    • After that I'd say go for account upgrades:
      • Character Slot Expansion.pngCharacter slots are the best option since you're getting inventory, build slots, profession options, fashion options, etc all in one. This would be my go to suggestion to start, having one of each profession at least is really nice.
      • Bank Tab Expansion.pngBank storage is good quality of life too (character slots is still more storage if you don't mind it), lets you save items that don't go in your material storage or if you're full on stacks.
      • For Storage Expander.pngmaterial storage I would only get 1-3 upgrades max as they have greatly reduced effectiveness the more you have but you can always come back to this later if you really want.
      • Same for Shared Inventory Slot.pngShared Inventory Slots, they are expensive and having a few is really nice but they are less valuable once you have your high priority items in them already (like a copper-fed salvage kit).
      • Bag Slot Expansion.pngBag slots are really not worth it since they are only on one character. If you really are focused on only one character they can give more space but you're usually better off with the options above.
      • Equipment Template Expansion.pngEquipment expansions I'd really only recommend these with legendary gear or for speed runners, most builds don't change that much and you'll get more value out of a character slot (comes with 3 build slots and 2 template slot!).
      • I would never get the Additional Crafting License.pngAdditional Crafting License or the Build Template Expansion.pngbuild expansions as you have more than enough characters by default to cover the crafting disciplines already and you can have infinite free builds saved without the templates (see build templates section right below for more info).
    • 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).
    • Deluxe edition upgrades can be worth getting on sale, see the Buying the Game section for more details.
    • Past that it is mostly cosmetic items like outfits and weapon skins, feel free to get any that you like!

Account Type[edit]

There are two types of accounts: ArenaNet accounts and Steam accounts. The account you use to the game is one of these and this can't be changed or linked. Below is a list of main differences between account types. Note that account used to sign in has no effect on the: game files, launcher, servers, or really anything else related to the game itself.

  • Info
    • Info logo.svg GW2 Steam FAQ
    • Info logo.svg No "linking" accounts.
    • Info logo.svg No regional pricing for any version.
    • Info logo.svg Expansions and complete collection on both.
    • Info logo.svg Steam accounts can only buy through steam.
    • Info logo.svg Anet accounts can't buy through steam but can use the official site or any approved retailers.
    • Info logo.svg Same client, launcher, servers, files, etc.
    • Info logo.svg Can use either account type through the steam version (or just add non-steam game)*.
    • Info logo.svg Steam takes a cut of sales made through it, up to 30%.
  • Cons
    • Red Dot.png Needs steam login servers to sign in.
    • Red Dot.png Can't use gem cards.
    • Red Dot.png Can't link GW1 accounts and cannot earn rewards from the GW1 Hall of Monuments.
    • Red Dot.png Doesn't have additional Anet purchase options such as ultimate editions and normal collection.
    • Red Dot.png No 2-Step Verification through Anet (so no Mini Mystical Dragon.pngMini Mystical Dragon)
  • Pros
    • Green Dot.png Uses steam wallet, only a pro if you have funds there already or use it a lot.
    • Green Dot.png Steam currency conversion may help pricing in some regions, only a pro in some regions and worse pricing in others. Can see price comparisons on SteamDB
Keep in mind that even if you use an anet account on steam you don't have a steam account and can't buy anything through steam.


Characters have 3 default build templates and 2 equipment templates. These slots act as loadouts and will save your tabs with their own skills/gear. Gear in one tab can be shared and used in other tabs and any legendary items are shared over all characters. Builds can be copied and pasted meaning you can easily get them from build sites or save them in text files. Add-ons make storing, saving, and using any number of builds very easy and I would suggest using those over buying more slots. Specifically Buildpad for ArcDPS or the Builds Manager module for Blish HUD, linked in the sections mentioned.


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 you'll need to rename and move files, check the addon pages for info .

ArcDPS[edit] - 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. My raid guide has details on installing and using it as well.


  • Boon table for a more readable boon chart.
  • Mechanics(updated) (older version) to see what mechanics players were hit by. Use this to correct your own mistakes, don't call others out.
  • BuildPad to be able to save and sort as many builds as you want.
  • Healing stats to be able to log outgoing and incoming healing and save it for logs.
  • Kill proof shows the info of other players if they have it added.
  • Unofficial Extras adds some additional details for other add-ons to use.
  • Food reminder reminds you when food buffs run out, tracks food and utilities used.
  • Squad role tracker helps you see what boons and roles you have in your squad and track what's missing.
  • Uploader allows you to upload logs from in game and set them up to work with discord.
  • Clears tracks boss kills for the week, can share clear info with others and see friends as well.
  • Scrolling Combat Text changes the way damage numbers show up on screen and has a lot of UI customization and features. Example video.
  • GW2 Radial* can be used to bind custom keys to a radial menu, useful for mounts and more.


These are separate programs that can use GW2's built in mumble API to know where you are in the game and provide info on top of your screen relevant to that.

Blish HUD[edit]

Overlay with a large library of modules and advanced features. Easy to use and does everything the other overlays do and more. Streamlined look that matches well with in game UI. Has a discord and website for releases and updates. Can read this thread for more info and pictures.

  • Built in models and packs auto update, check in settings after launching.
    • Including pathing module and packs, timers, mount radial, and much more all from within the overlay itself.
  • ArcDPS integration for BlishHUD - Add-on for ArcDPS to allow BlishHUD to read from it.

GW2 TacO[edit] (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. Though at this point would suggest using Blish instead which has these packs and more.

  • 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 patch notes check the main link.
  • QuitarHero's Marker Pack - Has advanced paths, timers, and strategies for fractals and raids.

GW2 PAO[edit] - GW2 Personal Assistant Overlay, another overlay to show tiers and other information.


  • ReShade - The main open source software that the others are based on. If you want add-ons make sure you download the version "with full add-on support". User made setup guide as well
  • Gw2Hook - Now outdated and no longer updated. Modified version of ReShade made specifically for GW2. Video that goes over the details of what it is, how it looks, and has more presets linked in the description.
  • GW2Enhanced - WIP but now possibly abandoned, check out GW2 Development discord GW2Enhanced section for more info.
  • TBA by Lennn - WIP check out GW2 Development discord Reshade section for more info. Was working on UI skipping.
  • Nvidia Freestyle - Built in post processing option for Nvidia graphics cards using the GeForce Experience app.
ReShade ReShade
(with add-ons)
GW2Hook GW2Enhanced
Modern Shaders 1Yes 1Yes 0No* 1Yes
Depth Buffer Unlocked 0No 1Yes** 1Yes 1Yes
UI skipping 0No 1Yes** 1Yes 1Yes
Bloom Removal 0No 1Yes** 1Yes 0No
Active Development 1Yes 1Yes 0No 0No
Currently Working 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes 0No

* Reshade 3.x
** With additional steps and addon

Shader Packs[edit]

Radial Mount Menu[edit] - 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.

Discord Rich Presence[edit] - Add-on to display your GW2 information in Discord. No longer being maintained but should still work.

AutoHotKey*[edit] - 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.png 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.


Strike Missions are meant as an intro into raids and group fights while in general being easier than most raids. They have daily rewards and a weekly chest. There are some boss fights where it's just a single fight and some longer encounters. Chests to loot and special rewards from the fights, you will want tier 2 of Essence manipulation to loot all the chests on some fights but you're still getting the Prophet Crystals that are the main currency. You'll want to do as many strikes as you can and use 3 crystals to open the weekly chest, strike progress will not reset for the chest until you open it. Crystals can be traded for ascended gear boxes at Crystallographer Smoxxi.

Basic run down of the fights:

  • Boss fights
    • Shiverpeaks Pass: Use stability, blinks, or avoid the snowball at the start. Do the jumping puzzle to get to the end. As soon as any player reaches the end a ShrineShrine (transport) appears, use it to skip to the boss. For the boss, it's really easy, could even solo it with a good build... Just attack really, wouldn't hurt to have some kind of healing but it's a joke. Just DPS and kill, try to avoid hits if you can but the fight is short.
    • Fraenir of Jormag: Like shiverpeaks but with mechanics and longer invulnerability phases. Stay in the middle (to avoid ice that freezes you and boss will come back to the center), dodge or block when boss returns center. Will have construct phase like before, when you see a ton of red AoEs on everyone spread a little (or heal/block/whatever through it).
    • Voice of the Fallen and Claw of the Fallen (bears): Follow the ranged one at the start and till it gets low (say ~20-30%) then swap to the hammer one. Try to kill both at the same time.
    • Boneskinner: People usually just stack healers + heal scourge here... Main thing to avoid is the red AoEs that show up under everyone, try to stay stacked till they do then rotate (or dodge) off them. Groups tend to just rotate around the boss and heal while ignoring mechanics. CC with special action when it comes up. Dodge when boss disappears and red circle pulls people into center.
    • Whisper of Jormag: Don't worry too much on being lifted up or the small ice tornadoes, stack and DPS. Spread out for red circles, stack together in green. At 75% (and 25%) you'll be teleported to a clone, kill it. After that people start getting chains which connect you to the boss and damage anyone in front of you (or in the boss hitbox). You want chains to stay close to the boss and not behind other people. Don't stand in hitbox!. Below 25% the boss shoots out orbs (can be blocked with stuff like  Summon Flesh Wurm.png Flesh Wurm), you'll see arrows to let you know, touching one makes it explode in that spot many times. If you do hit one, move out of the AoE. CC when the defiance bar shows up.
  • Encounters
    • Forging Steel: Very long escort mission. Starts with some setup events before you escort a tank to a boss. You can collect ammo and get in the tank to use it and repair kits or normal healing to heal it. Just follow the events, normal mode is pretty easy. When you get to the boss you'll want to destroy the portals that spawn and collect ammo like normal. When the boss does it's fire barrage attack step on the lit up runes to raise a wall to protect you and the tank. If you get a red AoE on you make sure you stay away from allies and the tank. When the timer appears you'll want to get ready then get in the tank to use skill 3  Harpoon (TT6-B Devourer).png Harpoon and hit it again for  Grapple Target.png Grapple Target (just hold down the button) to break the defiance bar. Once broken DPS the boss with tank skills or get out and DPS.
    • Cold War: Kill waves of enemies and some mini bosses to gain more reward chests at the end (up to 8 chests). During the waves choppers will fly over and bomb the area, you can kill Cannoneers to get a Charrzooka to shoot them down. Destroying the bombers lets you call in an artillery strike that does a lot of damage to a large area. For the champions that spawn keep take note of the buffs they have which change with the week. You can jump over the freezing wave (3rd pulse) and the Ice giant's stomp attack. All enemies will leave after the timer ends and the final boss will spawn. Again, pay attention to the special buffs the boss has. As for main attacks you only really need to avoid the assassin attack, just spread out when the red circles appear and dodge right before they fill. Should also watch out for engineer attack which will summon multiple tanks to run players over (step out of long AoE) and the frost legion attack that can freeze you (again don't stand in AoE). Boss doesn't have a ton of voice lines and says them often so get ready for a lot of "One by one, I'll raze your ranks!"


For now check my Raid guide or the resources linked above in the raid section.


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.

Ability Points[edit]

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.

Objective Upgrades[edit]

Claimed objectives get bonuses based on the guild that does the claiming and how many dolyaks successfully deliver supply.

Automatic Upgrades[edit]

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:

The recommended Tactics are:

Public Server Links[edit]

Thanks to /u/Roile's compiled list here and the list on gw2mists. If your server is not listed here check if you are currently linked to another server that is listed.



NA GvG discord -



(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. Earning experience while one mastery track is full will go towards any other unlocked tracks you have in that region or if all are full/unlocked then it goes to the normal level 80 experience bar and awards Spirit Shards when it fills. Experience is never wasted or lost.

Every mastery point is tied to an achievement and can therefor only be earned once.

Earning Mastery Points[edit]

Mastery insight (Central Tyria) (map icon).pngCentral 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.
Mastery insight (Heart of Thorns) (map icon).pngHeart 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.
Mastery insight (Path of Fire) (map icon).pngPath 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.
Mastery insight (Icebrood Saga) (map icon).pngIcebrood Saga (76 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) -
Mastery insight (End of Dragons) (map icon).pngEnd of Dragons (115 available) (WIP)

What to Unlock[edit]

Central Tyria (49 needed for full unlocks)
  • Pact Mentor 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.
  • Follows Advice 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).
  • Revered Antiquarian 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)
  • When you don't have the next track unlocked or have extra these are my suggested unlocks to focus on
  • Lean Techniques Lean Techniques (3) - Lets you go farther while gliding and have more control over your decent.
  • Advanced Gliding 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 Stealth Gliding (5) after Lean Techniques
  • Nuhoch Wallows 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 Nuhoch Stealth Detection (5)* - Lets you see stealthed enemies, important for some events like Treasure Mushrooms *Requires that you unlock Nuhoch Language Nuhoch Language (3) after Nuhoch Wallows.
  • Ley Line Gliding 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 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 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.
Path of Fire (110 needed for full unlocks)

Really these should all be pretty straight forward and I'd suggest unlocking the important mount skills asap. Being able to "master" the mount and share it's bonus with the other mounts is really nice too. So it mostly comes down to what mounts you have unlocked and then just preference on what skills you want to share first.

  • Canyon Jumping Canyon Jumping (3) - Needed to progress story and unlock Springer
  • High Vault High Vault (4) - Great mobility in getting around maps and you'll need this or Ride the Wind Ride the Wind in Skimmer to unlock the Jackal.
  • Shifting Sands Shifting Sands (4) - Needed to access some hidden areas and points
Icebrood Saga (63 needed for full unlocks) [WIP]
  • Bjora - Raven Attunement is really cheap and easy to get
    • Raven Bond Raven Bond (1) - Required for story and the zone
    • Raven's Flight Raven's Flight (2) - Opens up access to many areas you'll want to get to
    • Essence Manipulation Tier 1 (1/1/1) - The first tier in all 3 Essence Manipulations. It's needed to open many chests and gain the bonuses. The exact one you start on doesn't really matter but you want all 3
    • Essence Manipulation Tier 2 (1/1/1) - Again try to spread this out, getting the second tier lets you loot medium and large chests
    • Essence Manipulation Tier 3 (2/2/2) - Getting tier 3 adds extra bonuses to the effects and chest drops. Tier 4 is not as important.
  • United Legions
  • Dragon Slayer
End of Dragons (89 needed for full unlocks)
Secrets of the Obscure ( needed for full unlocks)


Karma 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.


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).

Lunar New Year[edit]

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.

Super Adventure Festival[edit]

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!

Dragon Bash[edit]

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.

Festival of the Four Winds[edit]

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 on Metabattle here or 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 Karma per) and then give them to Orphans for 1500 Karma 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 Karma into 105,000 - 120,000+ Karma 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 (WIP)


Gathering tools come in many forms but the most common ones you'll run into are just the basic sickles, axes and picks that come in the tiers of: Copper, Iron, Steel, Darksteel, Mithril, and finally Orichalcum. You can start using Orichalcum tools at level 60+ and really should always just use them when you can. They cost difference in the basic tools is very minor and not worth being unable to harvest some nodes.

There are also special karma tools you can buy from vendors that have built in bonuses (the "glyph" effects below) but have fewer uses before running out. These vendors are in major cities and lounges and you can buy important tool effects like a Sickle of Bounty. These can be very profitable if used well, such as harvesting ascended herbs from your home.

Lastly you can get gem store unlimited tools. These tools act as normal gathering tools except they never break, usually have unique animations (which sometimes slightly changes gathering), and often come with a glyph in them with a bonus effect. These can be quite expensive and you still need to move them between characters (though some people place them in shared slots and swap tools). My suggestion would be to save some of the cost by getting a pack and specifically to get the Volatile Magic Tool pack which has one of the best glyph options overall and it's a discounted pack (best case if you get it on sale).

Home Instance[edit]

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, usually as a selection now, 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 good general gold value, you can select the glyph with the most packs and see the glyph link before for up to date details. 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.

See also: detailed values on glyphs and karma tools

Gold Farming[edit]

Check out Peu Research Center by Peureki.3647 (spreadsheet also here) or the site for estimates on gold per hour on many events and locations.


  • 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)

Meta Events:

Check Event timers to see when these events are up


Daily Achievement[edit]

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[edit]

Path of Fire[edit]

World Bosses[edit]

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.

Daily Crafting[edit]

Pact Agents[edit]

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.

Daily Purchase[edit]

Ley Energy[edit]

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.

Guild Vendor[edit]

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

Mount Unlock[edit]

Now that raptor is unlocked by hitting level 10 (or any multiple of 10 if you have an old character) and owning any expansion there really isn't a good reason to unlock it through other means. There is no content that needs or was designed for mounts/gliding before you naturally unlock it in story. If you're still set on unlocking springer/gliding early see below:

  • Gliding is unlocked by getting to an End of Dragons map.
  • Springer is unlocked by talking to Lieutenant Zhao in New Kaineng City near Lutgardis Plaza Waypoint —.
    • This can be done by using Teleport to Friend, the Thousand Seas Pavilion lounge, from Isle of Reflection if you're in a guild with that option, or other options listed in the map "Getting there" sections.
      • If you're using the guild hall you'll need to make your way up to the water NE of Haiju Docks Waypoint —, a friend with a turtle mount can speed this up by having you enter and then teleporting to that waypoint.

I do also suggest people check "Disable Conditional Mount Movement Ability Input" in the options (second to last). This lets you get used to using the keys and jump without forcing you to use the mount ability.