Trait (GW2)  

A trait is an ability that can be equipped by a player to provide passive ongoing effects. Traits can be used to boost a character's attributes, reduce the effects of conditions, improve the effects of skills and more. Traits are determined by profession as well as the weapon held. There are around 100 traits per profession.[1]

Each trait has a type; major, as indicated by an octagram shaped icon, or minor, indicated by a hexagonal icon. A trait also has a trait line, a profession based grouping of traits, to which it belongs. Each profession has several trait lines. There are two types of trait line: general and weapon. General traits boost attributes or particular skill types, while weapon traits boost or give additional abilities to weapon skills.

The effect of a trait cannot be changed by the player.

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Traits are acquired in PvE by completing profession challenges scattered throughout the world. Each profession focuses on different activities to develop his or her traits. For example, warriors can train physically, bash stuff, eat and drink. Elementalists on the other hand can seek ancient knowledge locked in tomes or discover particularly powerful elemental locations. Discovering or earning traits does not necessarily require participation in events.[2]

Each trait can be individually collected. There are no traits which require another trait in order to gain access to it.


Once a trait has been found it can be equipped on the traits tab of the hero panel outside of combat. The available traits are presented in the profession's trait lines. Each of trait lines has a limited number of major and minor slots, which can be told apart by their shape. A trait of a matching type can be dragged from the trait listing for a line and dropped onto a slot to equip it.

Several dozen traits can be selected for use at one time, however the final number will depend on the profession.[3] Traits can be selected into every line available to the profession however the traits are only activated if appropriate. This means that general traits are always active if selected and only the selected weapon traits for the active weapon set are active. For example, axe traits can be equipped by a warrior but they will only be active if the warrior is wielding an axe. A trait may be disallowed from PvP play for balance reasons.[4]

Traits by profession

As well as having their own profession specific trait lines, all professions also have trait lines for each weapon that they are able to wield.


The elementalist has five exclusive trait lines: Arcanum, Earth Mastery, Air Mastery, Water Mastery and Fire Mastery.

See the incomplete list of Elementalist traits


The warrior has two exclusive trait lines: Power and Tactics.

See the incomplete list of Warrior traits.


A ranger has two exclusive trait lines: Wilderness Survival and Beast Mastery.

See the incomplete list of Ranger traits


Necromancers have two exclusive trait lines: Soul Reaping and Blood Rituals.

See the incomplete list of Necromancer traits


There are no racial traits because of the effect they would have on game balance.[5] This means that a particular race cannot get traits which make them better than another at a profession. For example, an asura will be as good as a norn at combat which might require focus on strength.


  1. ^ Traits overview
  2. ^
  3. ^ Introducing the Warrior |, Martin Kerstein, Guild Wars 2 Guru forum post
  4. ^ Warriors, traits, and combat chatter: Massively's interview with the Guild Wars 2 Lead Designer, Massively
  5. ^ Entretien exclusif avec Eric Flannum, Lead Designer chez ArenaNet, Jeux Online (French)

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 03:19:20.