Guild Wars 2 – Quick guide to skills and traits
In the grand tradition of all things Guild Wars 2, skills are rather complicated. There are three different skill types: weapons skills, slot skills, and traits. These are all found in the same skills and traits tab in the hero menu.
I know it seems a bit excessive, but it really helped me to think of the three categories as actively learned skills, points spending skills, and passive bonuses.
Weapon Skills(actively learned skills)
These skills are directly linked to the weapon that your character has equipped. Each class has a specific set of weapons they may use, which each has a class specific set of skills associated with it.
To unlock the weapon’s skills all you have to do is equip the corresponding weapon and use it. Don’t worry, these skills are learned really quickly. I highly recommend trying out a lot of different weapons as game play changes quite drastically with each new set of weapon skills.
Take note that a two handed weapon will have five skills. A main hand weapon will have three skills but should be paired with an off hand, which will have two skills.
Slot Skills (points spending skills)
These fall into the more traditional ‘spend skill points to unlock skill’ category. The points used to unlock slot skills are called Skill Points and are earned via leveling up (one per level starting at level 5) and also via skill challenges found in the world (which are easily found on the map labeled skill point.)
While the weapon skills take up five slots in the skill utility bar on main screen interface, Slot skills take up the other five. Far left for a healing skill, middle three for utility skills, and the far right for the only elite skill.
Everyone begins with the first healing skill unlocked. New spell slots are unlocked at levels 5, 10, 20, and 30 for the elite skills slot.
Though there are only ever five skills slots available, there are many more skills then that to unlock. This allows for a lot more customization on how each class is played.
The utility and elite skills also have tiers. In the utility section, five skills of the first tier need to be unlocked before the next tier becomes available. The first tier costs only one skill point to activate a skill, while the second costs three and the third tier costs six skill points each.
There are a lot of skill points to be found in the world, more then enough to unlock every single skill. So don’t worry too much about what you spend your points on.
It should be noted that because of this plethora of skill points available, there is no resetting of skill points.
These are also of the spend points to activate type, but result in attribute and passive bonsus instead of active skills. Trait skills are earned via leveling, one per level starting at level 11.
To unlock even the ability to spend points in traits you must first see your class trainer and purchase a Training Manual. Adept is level 11, Master is level 40, and Grandmasters is level 60. These allow you to spend more and more points in the traits tab.
These manuals also allow you to reset your traits, so again go ahead and spend them without worrying.
Every point spent in a trait will increase the bonus attribute. At each five levels of points spent, a bonus passive is unlocked. At 10, 20, and 30 points the passive has multiple choices. Makes sure to set it to something appropriate.
Well that about sums it up. I hope this quick overview was informative. One thing I will add it that reading everything really helps. Look through all the skills and read what they do before selecting. Read the fine print in Guild Wars 2!
Also the images were all from my mesmer character. Each class will have a different selection, though the overall layout will still be the same.