Guild Wars 2 Classes Guide - Find Yourself The Perfect Profession!
Guild Wars 2 offers a lot of freedom in choosing the perfect playstyle for their players. The first step towards defining your character’s role and identity are picking the right professions. This Guild Wars 2 Classes Guide will help you learn all the information necessary to make that choice!
Guild Wars 2 classes Guide
There are nine professions to choose from in Guild Wars 2 and plenty of options to refine and tweak them to play the way that you want. You can use different weapons, traits, and specializations, but for the start, let’s talk about the classes themselves.
First of all, the role-playing in Guild Wars 2 is far less extreme than in many other MMORPGs. There still are different armor classes that can make a character more suitable for tanking damage and some of the professions have some great supportive tools, but they are not completely limited to them. In the end, a lot comes down to personal player choices. In most situations, you have full freedom to pick any specific playstyle you want. It's a great thing about Guild Wars 2!
Even if you adjust your gear and specializations towards healing, there’s still much more than you will be doing. At the same time, if you want to switch to a different playstyle, every profession has multiple viable options that you can easily try out, without having to create new characters. Even switching to a different type of weapon gives you access to another set of weapon skills.
Each profession has some healing skills (to at least be self-sufficient in the open world). Besides dealign damage, they can also inflict conditions, break crowd control and get some mobility - at least increasing their movement speed.
Guild Wars 2 Specializations
Each class has access to five core and two Elite Specializations (the latter ones are unlocked in the Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire expansion packs and are only available for maxed out level 80 characters). Specializations can be trained after a character gets to level 21. You can only have three of them equipped at the same time (3 core ones, or 2 core and 1 elite), but they can be freely swapped out of combat.
The right choice of specializations can complement certain strengths of your profession and make your character fitter for the exact playstyle that you’re striving for. The specializations consist of traits and you can select the ones you want the most to adjust your build even more, but we’re not going to go that deep in this beginner’s guide.
The Elite Specializations usually can change the possibilities of your character much more significantly, as they often unlock completely new weapon types and introduce some game-changing mechanics. It compensates for the lack of the secondary profession mechanic known from the first game. You can learn more about all the specializations of different classes from the respective guides posted on our site.
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List of Guild Wars 2 professions
The professions in Guild Wars 2 can be divided into three smaller groups, based on the armor type that they use. Scholars (Elementalist, Mesmer, and Necromancer) wear the least resistant, light robes, adventurers (Engineer, Ranger, and Thief) use the medium armor class, the leather armors and soldiers (Guardian, Warrior, and Revenant) protect themselves with the plate, heavy armor.
Elementalist is one of the classes that have been introduced in the first Guild Wars game. As the name suggests, they are mages that harness the power of the four elements. This class doesn’t have access to weapon swapping mechanic, but instead, they can switch between the elements with attunements.
They are often played as a powerful AoE DPS mage using fire and/or air magic. They can use the earth to empower their defenses and deal a lot of damage over time. Water is the most supportive and utility focused element in their kit, it allows them for buffing and protecting allies as well as weakening enemies. Elementalists are mostly played as DPS mages, but this class can also work as a support.
Depending on the build, the weapons they can use are staff, scepter or dagger. One of the Elite Specializations – Weaver unlocks swords and dual attunement that allows for using two elements at once. The other Elite Specialization is called Tempest and unlocks the high utility shout skills and powerful overload spells. They can cast spells from range or go melee range for extra powerful rotations.
Mesmer is an illusionist and a master of deception. They can disorient their enemies, avoid damage and create phantasms and clones that can later be shattered, inflicting powerful damage or providing some strong effects. Mesmers also provide a unique condition called confusion that makes their enemies damage themselves.
This profession can be played as a strong DPS, usually using melee weapons like sword, axe or greatsword. They can inflict a lot of conditions and utilize their mobility and disruption spells. Of course, Mesmers can also use ranged weapons like staff or scepter, but they’re mostly best in the supportive, utility builds that are based on Inspiration and Chronomancer specs. The other Elite Spec - Mirage anplifies dodging and melee combat with axes.
The class definitely changed a lot from its version in the previous game, where it used to be a backline caster who spammed all kinds of curses and debuffs. As most of the Guild Wars 2 professions, Mesmer is now much more versatile.
Necromancer is, unsurprisingly, a master of death and a mage proficient in the dark arts. They can summon undead minions, use life drain spells on their enemies and cast curses. The most unique aspect of this class is the ability to change form with the Death Shroud. It temporarily gives them extra stats and another set of abilities.
There are a few most popular builds. One of them focuses on role-playing as a minion master with Death Magic and Spite, while leading an army of the undead. Another uses Soul Reaping and Reaper specs to deal a lot of damage in the frontline while utilizing the transformation skill. Necromancers can also use Blood Magic and Scourge and as the most supportive of the three builds, as it provides heals and shields to your allies.
An Engineer is a technologically advanced adventurer class. They use various types of devices and other items, including grenades, turrets, elixirs and even a flamethrower. Their special mechanic is the ability to equip seven engineering kits that provide access to different skills. At the same time, Engineers also don't have access to weapon-swapping, because the tool kit mechanic serves a similar purpose.
The DPS Engineers will usually use some combination of Explosives, Firearms, Tools, and Holosmith. The remaining specs: Inventions, Elixirs, and Scrapper are more geared toward supportive utility. Engineer as a class is extremely potent at allying conditions to the enemies, especially the vulnerability.
Ranger is another profession that was already present in the first game. A huge portion of their original identity has been preserved. They are still masters of nature that can utilize traps and pets in combat. Rangers can also be very proficient with bows, but of course, there also are options of using other weapon types.
Since Heart of Thrones came out, Rangers also can be one of the most powerful supportive characters, with their Druid Elite Specialization that lets them use staves and transform into a Celestial Avatar. Combined with the core spec Nature Magic it allows for tons of healing, defensive utility, and boons.
The other, more damage focused build often uses Beastmastery and the power of different pets and pet-swapping. Depending on the situation you might want to use more damage focused pet or one that provides more crowd control. The ranged damage dealers will also specialize in Marksmanship, while the optimal melee DPS build will use the Soulbeast Elite Specialization and fight with a dagger, greatsword, sword or an axe.
Thief is a successor to the Assassin class that was introduced in Guild Wars: Factions. Most of the core builds use daggers since they have a lot of synergy with the rest of their kit, but the Elite Specializations allow for fighting with staves (Daredevil) and Rifle (Deadeye). The first one lets you attack multiple foes at once, while the last one is great for builds designed to efficiently deal damage to a single enemy.
As far as role-playing goes this class is mostly a DPS and even the more supportive builds mostly focus on increasing the team’s damage, while still providing a significant amount of sheer DPS. Thieves have access to some of the most basic, simple efficient damage dealing builds. They can do a lot with basic attacks, making their rotations easier. Thieves can also use to utilize their unique resource - an initiative to burst foes with powerful combos.
As far as the specs go, most of the build uses Deadly Arts and Critical Strikes just for the damage that they provide. Shadow Arts can help with utilizing stealth. Acrobatics give you some useful mobility and dodging, while Trickery can be helpful when stealing items.
Warrior is the only soldier profession that comes straight from the first game. They still have the adrenaline mechanic, which makes it so they have to stay in combat for a moment to get access to some of their abilities. In addition, this class has the highest health pool of any playable characters which makes them very hard to kill.
Warriors are mostly frontliners that can either deal damage, tank or buff their allies. They can efficiently use many different types of weapons (including even longbows) and as DPS they can profit a lot from efficient weapon-swapping.
The supportive specializations are Tactics and Discipline as they empower their banners and shouts. DPS builds often use Berserker Elite Spec in combination with either Strength or Arms (or both). A strong tanking build will be always based on the Spellbreaker, because it grants an AoE taunt and a very powerful tanking skill – Full Counter.
Guardian is the most supportive soldier class. They can use protective magic and spiritual powers to aid their allies. They can also role-play as very durable tanks and with certain setups become strong damage dealers. Guardians can stand their ground and bring a lot of value to their party.
A lot of the specializations that are available for Guardians provide some utility bonuses. The supportive build will often use some combination of Radiance, Honor, Virtues, and Firebrand. They will often use Scepters as their main weapons. Some of the builds are great at increasing your team's defense and survivability as well as damage output.
The most popular Guardian DPS build is using the Dragonhunter Elite Specialization, it unlocks some powerful damage boosts and the access to longbows (although using them isn’t necessary to deal high amounts of damage). Guardian is one of the classes that can switch their playstyle the most thanks to Elite Specs.
Revenant is a unique profession, only available to players who bought either one of the expansions. They channel legendary figures of Tyria to gain their powers. A lot of their skills are dependent on the used stance, which is the aspect of the summoned spirit. Their specializations also are assigned to these stances.
The Revenant playstyle consists of both stance and weapon-swapping, as different stances synergize with certain weapon types: sword, mace, staff shield, and short bow. At the same time, Revenants have to manage a unique resource – energy.
Most of the DPS focused builds use the Devastation spec, that’s responsible for summoning the aspect of Shiro Tagachi – a character very well-known from the first game. For tanking the best idea is to get Retribution and Herald. Herald is also great for supporting, especially combined with Salvation.
That being said, if you never played Guild Wars 2 before and you’re planning to create your first character, we wouldn’t recommend starting with Revenant, as it’s one of the most difficult classes to pilot, especially for new players. Trying it out after you get some experience with the game is probably a better idea. However, when Revenant is piloted by a proficient player, this class is a force to be reckoned with.
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Guild Wars 2 classes guide
As you can see, basically every class has multiple playstyles that it can use in different situations. The ability to fill different roles with the same character is a great feature of Guild Wars 2. All the specializations and traits offer a wide variety of possibilities and it’s a ton o fun to find perfect uses for them. Even playing meta builds, you'll often want to change a thing or two, adjusting your setup for the exact area that you're going to. The same goes for equipment.
We hope that this GW2 professions guide helped you with finding the perfect class to pilot through the wonderful world of Tyria. Maybe you already have your favorite profession and build? If so, let us know in the comments below! Remember to check back with our website, in order to read more guides and news associated with numerous top MMOs.
Guild Wars 2 – the living MMORPG
It’s been almost seven years since Guild Wars 2 has been released by ArenaNet and NCSoft. During all this time the hit game got two major expansions and underwent plenty of changes. Being based in a beautifully designed world that has already been introduced in its predecessor surely helped a bit, but there are plenty of more reasons behind the game’s success. Players can choose their race and play as Human, Norn, Charr, Asura or Sylvari. The game in its core version is available to play for free. It gives the new, interested players a possibility of testing it out and deciding if they want to spend their money on the expansions later.
The Living World feature might be the biggest one of them. The occurring events have a great impact on the different aspects of the entire world and some of the important NPCs have interesting story arcs and are really well created. The developers also keep gradually unfolding new content and locations. Some of them being revamped, future versions of the ones known from the first game, the rest is completely original. Guild Wars 2 is changing day by day! A lot of them have to do with the main dragon-themed storyline. Players have to become the heroes of Tyria and save the world from these powerful creatures. Well, some of them will be our friends too! An interesting plot and relatively quick progression make the gaming experience really enjoyable.
At the same time, if you don't want to go through the limitations of low level early game multiple times, you can make the leveling much easier. When developing the second character, you can use a Tome of Knowledge to get an instant and permanent boost to level 80, which currently is the max.
Gameplay-wise there’s also a lot of interesting things to do. Besides the main campaign, the Living World storyline and tons of side quests, players can complete achievements for discovering the map by traveling through the world and completing jumping puzzles. As almost any MMORPG, Guild Wars 2 also has a crafting system that lets you create different items using necessary materials. Of course, you can also buy and sell items from other players through the trading post.
There’s also plenty of stuff to collect. This giant category includes mounts, mini pets, numerous beautiful weapons (including legendary ones) and armor sets. They’re mostly cosmetic, but some of them are really worth the effort. At the same time, Guild Wars 2 doesn't force its players into too much grind, especially if they're not interested in purely cosmetic items.
Some of the most demanding PvE content are the 5-man dungeons and fractals as well as the 10-man raids. They can often require good coordination, well-equipped group and efficient builds – often synergizing between other people in the group. The reward is obviously really valuable. Going for a dungeon is relatively easy and is mostly a relaxing activity. However, defeating a strong raid boss might be quite a challenge that requires both skill and coordination. Raids also provide much greater rewards.
As for PvP, the most famous mode is probably the World versus World (WvW) mass combat. The rest is referred to as structured PvP and the modes are Conquest, Team Deathmatch and Stronghold. There are also some more casual for-fun PvP activities. They often show up in the game during seasonal events.