From Guild Wars 2 Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
The trait interface of a mesmer, with locked traits and only a few available trait points.

Traits are passive abilities that can enhance a character's skills, provide bonuses to damage and attributes, and modify their actions. Each profession has 15 minor and 45 major traits grouped into five specializations. Only a small number of traits can be equipped at a time, determined by chosen specialization. Three minor and three major traits can be equipped per specialization.

The trait interface is accessed through the Hero panel, in the Traits section of the Builds tab. Traits cannot be assigned until they are unlocked by spending Hero points earned either through leveling or performing Skill Challenges.


Trait types[edit]

all traits must be unlocked by spending Hero points in the Core specialization section of the Training tab.

Elementalist traits
Trait guardian.png
Minor traits: Each tier has a predetermined minor trait that can not be unselected.
Trait XII.png Major traits Each tier offers the choice off three different major traits, one of which can be selected and used.


Allocating specializations[edit]

Three specializations can be active at any one time. When a specialization is selected up to three of the unlocked traits can be selected, one per tier.

Equipping major traits[edit]

Each trait line has access to 9 major traits, split across the three tiers with three major triats per tier.

In order to use a major trait, it must be selected in an open major trait slot.

Unlocking traits[edit]

Primary article: Trait guide

Traits can be unlocked in the Core specialization section of the Training tab by spending Hero points gained through leveling. Each specialization consists of 3 minor traits and 9 major traits. To fully unlock all 12 traits costs 60 hero points. Every new tier has an increased cost of Hero points, starting at 2 for the first minor trait and ending at 8 for the last major trait.


  • ArenaNet decided against including racial traits in the game as a matter of game balance: each race should be equally effective in each profession. For example, there should not be important differences between norn and asura warriors.[1]
  • The trait system was redesigned into tiers prior to the second Beta Weekend Event.
  • The spring 2014 feature pack made numerous changes to the trait system. Changes introduced:
    • Automatic tier unlocks. Previously, each tier had to be unlocked by purchasing a trait manual; tiers also could be unlocked earlier, at levels 11, 40, and 60.
    • Unlock system for major traits. Previously, major traits were all unlocked by default. Existing characters retained the unlocked traits.
    • Trait points were condensed by a factor of 5. In the original system, points accrued at a rate of 1 per level starting at level 11, for a total of 70 points. Each point only gave +10 to attributes, and 5 points were required to activate each minor trait/major trait slot; a maximum of 30 points could be spent per trait line.
    • Free trait point refunds outside of structured PvP. Previously, points could only be refunded for a fee at profession trainers or by using an Instant Trait Reset.
    • A 13th major trait was added to every trait line.
    • After this patch, the number of trait combinations possible for each profession, assuming all 14 points are spent, is 364,917,960. These include a lot of non viable builds but nevertheless possible builds. After the upcoming specialization patch, the number of combinations possible for each profession, assuming a selection of 3 out of 5 specialization lines and each line having all 3 traits selected, is 196830. That is 364,721,130 less combinations than before. If we consider a 6th line of the upcoming elite specialization from the Hearth of Thorns expansion, then the total number of combinations is 393660.


{{Specializations nav}}