Skill (GW2)  

A skill is an ability which can be activated by a player to perform an action in the world. It is through skills that a character is able to able to do damage, protect themselves and their allies, and interact with objects in the environment.

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Anatomy of a skill

Each skill has a variety of different attributes:

  • Activation time — time it takes to activate the skills. Also known as cast time or warm up.
  • Activation cost — price of activating the skill, usually energy but also adrenaline. The energy cost changes as the character levels up.
  • Activation type — passive, simple, charge skill, channeled skill, click to target, toggle on/off.
  • Recharge time — time it takes before the skill can be activated again.
  • Maintenance cost — if the skill has a passive effect it will have an energy maintenance cost.
  • Animation — a unique animation for the skill provides a clear indication of the range and effect.
  • Icon — a unique icon allows quick identification of the skill on the skill bar.
  • Description — the description of the effect of the skill.
  • Type — weapon skill, healing skill, utility skill, elite skill, downed skill, pet skill or environmental weapon skill.
  • Skill type — skills with similar effects and activations are grouped into different types.
  • Effect — what the skill actually does once it is activated.
  • Movement — whether the activation of the skill is interrupted by character movement.

A skill has several different tiers which change attributes of the skill. The skill's effect can also be modified by the application of traits. If necessary, skills will have different effects in PvE and PvP versions or disallowed from PvP play to maintain balance.[1]

It is possible to auto-use skills by right-clicking on their icon.


In PvE and world PvP skills for the skills bar, including most weapon skills, are initially locked. The unlocking of the skill and any tiers improving the skill is restricted by the level of the player. For example, tier 9 of Point Blank Shot becomes available to be unlocked when the character reaches level 80.

There are several different ways to unlock skills:

  • as a reward for completing different types of combat.
  • the purchase of a skill guide from a skill trainer.
  • as a loot drop.

Pet skills and skills given by environmental weapons do not need to be unlocked and are always available to PvE and world PvP players. In structured PvP all skills are available for play without needing to be unlocked first.


Skills are combined by the player into a skill bar outside of combat.[2] The skills available for the bar are determined by race, profession, the type of the weapon wielded and what skills are currently unlocked. Once equipped on the skill bar the skill is activated by clicking on the icon in the skill bar or by selecting a key which activates the skill in a particular skill bar slot.

Skills have different activation mechanics. For example, a skill might be ground targeted or have a cone area of effect which requires an additional click to position the effect. Other skills may have a limited range and will miss a selected target if activated too far away.

Skill activations may be combined to create a new effect. Combinations can occur within the skills of a profession or require a player of another profession to enact. For instance, arrows shot through a Wall of Fire will deal fire damage.Guild Wars 2 Design Manifesto, Mike O'Brien The power and effect of the skill can also be affected by the direction the attacked enemy is facing. For example, hits made to the side or from behind could increase damage or stun duration.

Skill types

Skills with similar behaviors are grouped into types.

  • Conjure Spells — summon useful items and potent weapons that can be used.
  • Glyphs — enhance or modify the natural power of the elementalist.
  • Banners — movable banners to buff allies with attack power.
  • Burst Skills — uses all adrenaline to give an improvement.
  • Shouts — affect a large area and give bonuses to allies or debuff enemies.
  • Stances — turn on an enhancement at the cost of energy regeneration.
  • Preparations — apply a preparation to a weapon to change its abilities.
  • Spirits — summons which influence the battlefield around their location.
  • Traps — effects placed on the ground and triggered by enemies walking over them.
  • Marks — ground-targeted spells with a variety of potent effects.
  • Minions — undead allies that attack foes and do their master's bidding.
  • Wells — a persistent spell that affects the surrounding area.
Multiple professions
  • Area Skills — skills which affect the area around a targeted ally, foe, or plot of ground.
  • Chains — three skills that share a single skill slot, which are executed in sequence on a single target.[3]
  • Charge Skills — held down to power them up for more impressive attacks.
  • Channeled skills — held down to continue using the skill.
  • Signets — provide a passive benefit, but can also be activated for a greater effect.

See also


  1. ^ Warriors, traits, and combat chatter: Massively's interview with the Guild Wars 2 Lead Designer, Massively
  2. ^ Interview mit Eric Flannum, Online Welten
  3. ^ Interview: meet Guild Wars 2's acrobatic Ranger, PC Gamer

Guild Wars 2
ZAM credits this article at Guild Wars 2 Wiki for some of the info in this article.
Licensed under the GFDL.

This page last modified 2010-11-19 03:17:16.