Guild Wars 2 Tips

August 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 17 Comments
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Guild Wars 2 is different from other MMOs.. It’s an evolution of the genre and as such some things you may have learned from other MMOs may not apply to it. I’ve played in 3 beta weekends and 2 stress tests and through all that have learned a few things that have improved my playing experience for the better. I’ve decided to compile what I know, along with a few friends, to help people out.

Not every tip is new or unknown, just something that would be good to know as a new player.

I’m not much of a PvP player so there isn’t really much content that relates to it.

Big thanks to Spirit Hime and csquirrelrun who co-wrote this thingamabob.

Options and User Interface

  • We’ll start with options where you’ll want to turn on your clock, Guild Wars 2 will be a game where you lose track of time, a lot.
  • The auto-loot option in Guild Wars 2 is one of the better looting systems in any MMO I’ve played. Turn it on, and just hit F to pick up anything nearby. It will go straight to your inventory. It’s not AoE loot, but don’t whine you entitled bastards.
  • I prefer to be able to see my skill recharge timer, I find it easier to identify in combat when my skills will be available with a timer.
  • I would also recommend changing your camera rotation. It’s a slider, just bump it up a bit so it’s a bit faster. Helpful in combat, harmful to the easily nauseated.
  • There are a couple of quick rebinds that are fun to implement. I bind my x key to sheathing my weapons, since neither sheathing or x currently have a default. The same with z for walking. Alternatively, if you liked the “look behind”, or “about-face” in Guild Wars you could bind those to x and z instead.
  • Bear in mind that using modifiers on your keybinds is also an option. So you can use shift + x, for instance. And don’t forget to click accept when rebinding.
  • There is a gear icon in your inventory menu that you can click to remove the separation between bags. I find this unclutters your inventory window.
  • You can also click on the gear icon and choose to “deposit all collectibles” into your bank. This is extremely useful. It keeps your inventory clear, and if you’re interested in crafting or auctioning items later, you need only visit the bank.
  • Once all your collectables are deposited you can compact your inventory using the same menu, which will condense all your remaining inventory to the top.
  • If you’re working on map completion but can’t find that final heart your best bet is to talk to a scout. The scout icons disappear from your map once you’ve completed the hearts they are related to. If you can still see a scout icon, it means he’s got a heart to show you.
  • There is a click box on your shoulders and hat. This hides them. This can change the way you look pretty drastically.
  • If you find yourself separated from your group on an overflow server, right click on your fellow party member and click “Join In”, this will send you to their server.
  • You can link things in chat by opening chat, holding ctrl, and clicking on them. These include items, skills, and even waypoints from the map. I like the waypoint option a lot, as when you click on the waypoint link in chat it opens your map. If you have it unlocked you can warp there immediately.
  • To split a stack of items hold alt and then click the stack and drag it.
  • To enter the lobby for structured PvP hit H to enter your hero panel and click the bottom menu. There will be an option to enter the mists. There is an initial tutorial upon first entering the mists but it is possible to skip it by simply running to the end.
  • To enter World Versus World find the WvW menu by hitting B. The bar at the top is clickable and will reveal 4 options. Your server’s borderland map, the other 2 servers’ borderland maps, and the central Eternal Battlegrounds map.
  • That yellow splash around your skills and health bar means that you’re in combat. It disappears when you heal up and you will be able to move faster.
  • There is a nifty “Followers” feature in the friends list that allows you to see everyone that has put you on their list. Very Twitter.
  • Hold shift + control + H to remove your UI to take screenshots.

Character Creation

  • There are three important options to consider during character creation. The zoom, the night/day light, and hiding your armour. These are important when considering various options.
  • For example, the day/night light is integral to adjusting your sylvari’s bioluminescence. This is one of the more spectacular character creation features. You sylvari will literally glow at night, be sure to pick the colour that suits you best.
  • Hiding your armour is important for picking out norn tattoos, charr pelts, and especially asuran skin patterns. Choosing a different skin colouring with the right skin pattern can drastically alter the look of your asura.
  • Physiques may not look that different in character creation, but for charr, asura, and to a lesser extent the other races, body types can vary drastically and experimentation is worth it.
  • Sliders in Guild Wars 2 do the normal work of character creation but I think when it comes to ears, they are spectacularly awesome. Asura, charr, and sylvari ears can all be extensively changed by use of sliders. This applies to charr horns as well.
  • Skin tones are under face options. There are several instances where you might overlook colour options, so keep a watchful eye on the screen where colours normally appear.
  • Most people will pick a name that is relevant to them on a personal level, however some like to choose a name based on lore. Guild Wars 2 lore is pretty deep, as such there are some naming conventions for races. I wrote a post about this some time ago. You can find it here.


  • Your story choices in Guild Wars 2 will be reflected in your personal storyline content. One choice will be a storyline that takes you from level 1 to level 10, while the next choice will take you from level 10 to level 20. So for example a human will have to pick between being raised on the streets, amongst the common folk, or as nobility. This will result in three completely different personal story quest lines between levels 1 to 10.
  • If you pick the same personal story choices as a friend and then accompany them to their personal story instance, you will be asked if you wish to progress your story along with them. This only happens if you’re on the same story step. Make sure that’s what you really want though, because if you choose to progress alongside them, you won’t have the opportunity to go back and change your mind.


  • Dodge, dodge, and dodge. You have a moment of complete invulnerability when dodging. Use it.
  • You can move while casting spells. Celebrate by circle strafing constantly and enjoying your godmode dodges.
  • Feel like saving a bit of money on waypoint travel? Each of the major cities has an asura gate connecting it to Lions Arch which you can use free of charge. So all you need to do is waypoint to the nearest major city and then hop through its gate instead of waypointing all the way across the map.
  • Don’t neglect to unlock your underwater skills. It pays to be prepared. The moment you have to go underwater and you don’t have unlocked skills you will have problems.
  • Don’t get downed ever, it sucks, but it pays to be familiar with your downed skills. Currently the tutorial boss tries really hard to put you into a downed state to familiarize you with it. This should be your first opportunity to check it out.
  • When you die, you revive by pressing M to access your map and clicking the nearest unlocked waypoint. This may seem rather obvious to some but I’m sure some aren’t familiar with the mechanic. Otherwise you’ll have to wait for some kind soul to come and resurrect you.
  • Anyone can rez. Just run up to a downed or dead player or NPC and press F to start reviving them. Multiple people rezzing speeds the process up, and being in combat slows it down.
  • Progress towards unlocking weapon skills is made every time you kill an enemy. Make sure to unlock as many skills in the tutorial as possible. The enemies are much easier to kill here and using AoE skills on groups of enemies will help to increase the speed with which you unlock your skills.
  • Don’t forget that you can sell things to karma heart NPCs once you’ve completed a heart. Valuable if there are no other merchants nearby.
  • Seems like it might be a good idea that if your profession can weapon swap, to have one melee option equipped and one ranged option equipped.
  • At first events don’t chain much.  As you begin to outlevel the beginner areas watch NPCs after an event, they often run off to trigger a new event somewhere else.


  • You can belong to multiple guilds in Guild Wars 2. Because of this it is important to understand the concept of “representing” a guild. Selecting a guild that you’ve joined and hitting the “represent” button means that’s the guild you’re currently in. Hitting the “stand down” button means that you no longer represent any guild. This doesn’t mean you’ve quit, just that you’re not representing.
  • The only real difference between representing one of your guilds and not representing is that you won’t be in the guild chat and you won’t receive the benefits of your guilds influence. For instance you won’t be able to access the guild vault, receive experience boosts, or benefit from any other guild buffs.
  • Once you belong to multiple guilds you can view a list of them in the guild menu. Clicking on any one of them will show you the roster of that guild, who is online, and even those who are online but not representing that guild.
  • You don’t seem to be able to access your guild vault if you’ve transferred, and I assume if you’re guesting, on another server.


  • Pick up tools to gather as soon as possible.  Even if you’re not a crafter this is a good way to make money by putting them on the Auction House.
  • Also consider spending money on salvage kits.  You can get some of the more sought after crafting materials from salvaging items that drop for you.  Particularly ore, leather, and cloth.  More expensive salvage kits will come in handy when runes and sigils start dropping for you.
  • Your bank is accessible from crafting stations. No more running between the bank and your crafting area, everything you need is already there.
  • Can’t find something you need to craft? A crafting trainer or merchant might have it. They’ve got things like lumps of tin and spools of thread which can’t be found in the world at large, as well as holding runes key ingredients to making bags with more storage slots. Make sure to check the Auction house for cheaper materials though.
  • If you’re going to craft, picking one of the armour professions probably makes the most sense for your first crafting profession. This way you can not only craft armour for yourself but bags to increase inventory space as well.  All three armour crafting professions make bags.
  • You can get basic upgrade components from ore and tree nodes. It’s random and the boosts aren’t particularly mind blowing but runes don’t seem to drop a lot at the lower levels.


  • If you’re having trouble keeping up to level with story and world content, try crafting. It’s not too difficult and both gathering and crafting award generous amounts of experience along with good sources of income.
  • Mobs that haven’t been killed recently give bonus XP. Straying off the beaten track a little bit to kill some mobs might give you a nice experience boost.
  • Don’t ignore your personal story, each chapter gives a substantial amount of XP upon completion as well as various helpful items at the chapter’s level. If you level up too far ahead of your story those items won’t be useful to you anymore.
  • If PvE doesn’t do it for you or you need a change of pace, you can try levelling in World Vs World, a sort of PvPvE scenario.
  • Still having trouble leveling? My first thought is that you’re not diversifying your gameplay from hearts, to events, personal story, crafting, world versus world, gathering, jumping puzzles, or dungeons. However, if you’re not interested in some of these things simply exploring the other capital cities, unlocking waypoints, points of interest and completing map objectives will net you a lot of experience.
  • Daily achievements are surprisingly easy to get and very effective at helping you level since they reward a sizable amount of experience.. You only need to kill 10 things, do 1 event, kill 5 different kinds of things or gather 3 times to get started.

World Versus World

  • Always keep supplies with you. Always. Always. ALWAYS. >:C
  • If you’re new to WvW or at a lower level, stick with a group until you have a better idea of what you’re doing, or you might get steam rolled by large, more organized groups and die horrendously.
  • You will want to use siege weapons if you’re planning to take on a keep. No sense in bashing your fist against a brick wall for two hours only to have a single defender turn up and pour boiling hot oil on your head.
  • The most obvious way isn’t always the best way. Many places have a back door or less used entrance that might be a little easier to take than trying to kick down the front door and march in, scouting in advance may prove valuable.
  • Small groups should concentrate on small objectives. Supply camps and caravans will be safer than other objectives.
  • Watch your back. Enemy groups will have a strong advantage if they catch you off guard while you’re attacking a keep gate or other objective.
  • World Vs World isn’t actually all about PvP. You can craft and do all the things players in PvE can, all NPC services are available without leaving World Vs World.
  • Even though when you enter WvW you get scaled up to a rough approximation of max level, a level 2 is not a level 80. Higher level characters can stomp all over you since their characters will have progressed farther than yours, unlocking more skills and traits.
  • There are icons on your map indicating where fights are going on already.  These are the best places to hook up with other players, but be careful, clearly there are enemies here as well.

Jumping Puzzles

  • I like the default option for double tapping to evade, however, in jumping puzzles (which I am clearly obsessed with) this could create problems. Temporarily disabling this option will prevent embarrassing off-cliff-dodge rolls.
  • Some puzzles can be difficult enough without sudden camera shakes throwing you off. Unticking the “Enable camera shake” box will prevent this from happening.
  • That split second of invulnerability given by dodge rolls can save a life. If you’re having trouble with traps try a dodge roll.
  • If you need a little extra help, look to your profession for helpful skills. The thief shortbow skill Infiltrator’s Arrow is useful for navigating tricky passages, though it can’t cross gaps. The engineer’s Jump Shot on the rifle can navigate tricky jumps. And if you just completely can’t be bothered to make the jumps, a mesmer with portals can zip you from beginning to end in the blink of an eye. You cheater.
  • Typically a lot of puzzles are located along the edges of a zone. Keep an eye out for suspicious ledges, vines concealing cave entrances, and other features seemingly out of place.

I’m sure there are a great number of tip posts and videos that go into great detail out there, this is just my kick at the can. I’d be happy to have people add their own link in the comments, just be sure to limit it to one link per comment or my spam filter will catch you.


  1. People get huffy about the frequency with which the word “entitled” comes up relative to gaming, and even Halibut hesitated to use it when it was wholly warranted but some gamers really are getting over the top with some of their demands. It’s not enough that ANet’s pretty much handed us the roll (automated quest log, easy looting, including bags that literally drop at your feet in WvW), they want them to…well, I’m sure you can guess where that analogy is going.

    I don’t know any good links off the top of my head, but here’s some additional tips that come to my mind:

    For character creation, people that want a more mature human but don’t necessarily want wrinkles, use sliders to make the eyes smaller and noses bigger or longer. Technically our eyes are always the same size but appear larger relative to the rest of our face when we are younger. However, our noses keep growing.

    For guilds, I’d add that not only do you not receive benefits of a guild when you aren’t representing them, but they won’t gain as much influence either (so I’m not sure how much fickleness guild leaders will put up with.) It seems like the biggest advantage is for players who want alts in different guilds with different purposes, or perhaps a big guild made sub guilds.

    For crafting, gathering and crafting provide experience and can help you with the occasional growing pains. Also, discovery rewards the bulk of XP for leveling your profession. I also suggesting crafting as many basic components as you need/can before using the discovery system to get the most XP out of it before they turn gray. I totally goofed the first beta weekend and wasted a lot of mats because I treated it like crafting in other games and overlooked the discovery system altogether. Then I went to the opposite extreme in subsequent betas. Of course some people will just wait for some crafting min/maxer to post a guide for the most cost and time efficient crafting leveling, complete with recipes but I’m hoping to suss it out for myself.

    • I really like your tip about discovery, I hope people read the comments and find it. Maybe i should put it in, I don’t know, I hate seeing EDIT everywhere in posts and forum threads these days.

  2. Good batch of tips, thank you! The only tip I can think of at the moment is don’t go AFK for very long outside of a city, even at waypoints. Events can happen just about anywhere it seems, including around waypoints. You might come back to find all your armor damaged because other players have resurrected you multiple times after your character kept getting killed while you were away.

    • I wish I had thought of that. As above, I hope people read the comments and find it. I encountered this more than once while playing. I’ve even ressed people who were afk and seen them get up half naked.

    • Yeah, you never know where that surprise centaur stampede is going to happen. Kind of reminds me of going afk en route to a contested zone in other games and returning to a dead body, with only the combat lag as evidence.

      • Theres one spot in particular in queensdale where people tend to go afk, between claypool and that trading outpost. This tip makes me think of that place every time.

  3. “Mobs that haven’t been killed recently give bonus XP.”

    Oh, is THAT what the bonus XP was! I know I was seeing it for some monster kills, but I never figured out any rhyme or reason behind it. Makes a lot more sense now.

    • Yes, exactly. As time goes by the bonus xp rises.

  4. “If you’re working on map completion but can’t find that final heart your best bet is to talk to a scout. The scout icons disappear from your map once you’ve completed the hearts they are related to. If you can still see a scout icon, it means he’s got a heart to show you.”

    HOLY CRAP, TIL. Thanks, that is going to help sooooooo much. There were a couple times that I just missed one little corner of the map (I didn’t think it was explorable), and I couldn’t see for the life of me where the last heart was. Had to look at a friend’s map who had done it. This is really a great guide Hunter, kudos!

    • It’s possible there are hearts that don’t have scouts that point to them, I’ve been trying to confirm this, but this works for the majority of hearts certainly.

  5. […] a huge laundry list of tips over at Hunter’s Insight. I think it’s too much for a new player to digest, but it is a great list for players that have […]

  6. nice tips, i have to bookmark this or something.

    The two i can think of right now are if your traveling between cities on the cheap, the quickest way is to use the mists port and then head through the gate to Lion’s Arch.
    And if you want to play around with your build, it is free and easy while in the mists

    • A couple of common sense changes I probably should have added. Nice work.

  7. These are great tips! I’m sharing them with some friends who just got the game and haven’t experienced the beta yet.

    I do hope you might be willing to edit the original post to include some of the tips from comments…otherwise they’re very likely to be missed.

    • I don’t know, I’m still thinking about it, but I’ve begun to hate how people constantly add “EDIT” into their posts. I suppose some times it’s worth it.

  8. […] Hunter’s Insight — Guild Wars 2 Tips. “Guild Wars 2 is different from other MMOs. It’s an evolution of the genre and as such some things you may have learned from other MMOs may not apply to it. I’ve played in 3 beta weekends and 2 stress tests and through all that have learned a few things that have improved my playing experience for the better. I’ve decided to compile what I know, along with a few friends, to help people out.” […]

  9. […] következik a hunter’s insight blog tanácscsokrának  átirata ide a mi blogunkra. Nem szószerinti fordítás lesz, törekszem a lényegre. Majd […]

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