- This article is about the basic game mechanic. For the skill type, see Skill (skill type).
By Elite acquisition
Every time you are in a town or outpost, you are allowed to change your attribute settings (press "H" to view your attributes) and your skills (press "K" to view your skill list) as much as you see fit before continuing in your travels. Many times, the key to success during your adventures is to adjust your skills and attributes based on the enemies and challenges you are faced with. The skills that work well in one situation will often fail in another. Do not be afraid to experiment.
Skills are the basic gameplay unit in Guild Wars. There are many skills in the game, and each campaign contains its own set of hundreds. In staging areas, a player can choose to equip skills in their skill bar, to a maximum of 8 skills (including at most one elite skill) at a time. Skill icons represents skills in the User interface.
 Universal properties
All skills have these two properties:
- Skill type
- The skill's category. Some effects are only triggered by specific skill types. Skills of the same type share mechanics.
- Linked profession, campaign, and attribute
- Skills are linked with a campaign, attribute, and profession. Only accounts with the respective campaign may use a skill from it, and only characters of the respective profession can use it. A skill's effectiveness scales with the number of points the player puts into its linked attribute. Exceptions: most PvE-only skills are linked to a title track instead of an attribute, and some skills have no attribute. Most PvE-only skills (detailed below) are not linked with a profession. Some skills are included in two campaigns and some exist in all campaigns.
 Common resource costs
Most skills require spending time and energy:
- Activation time
- How long the skill takes, in seconds, to activate. Shouts, stances, and a few other types lack activation times. Some skills affect other skills' activation time, and some weapons and offhands can halve activation time. Also referred to as "warmup".
- Recharge time
- The time it takes for a skill to become ready to use again once activated (even if interrupted, although when a skill fails, it does not need to recharge). Some skills, notably Adrenal skills, have no recharge time. Some skills affect other skills' recharge time, and some upgrade components and staves can halve recharge times of spells. Also referred to as "cooldown" ("cd").
- Energy cost
- The amount of energy required to activate the skill. The energy is spent when the skill starts activation. Energy costs are 5, 10, 15 or 25 (a few skills cost 1, but have a sacrifice cost as well). Signets and adrenal skills have no energy cost, as do many festival skills, celestial skills, and monster skills.
 Other resource costs
- Adrenaline cost
- An alternate cost used by some Warrior, Paragon, and Dervish skills instead of energy. Each adrenal skill has an independent adrenaline pool, filled one stroke at a time by attacking. When an adrenal skill is used, its pool is emptied and all other skills' pools decrease by one stroke.
- Each enchantment with upkeep costs 1 pip of energy regeneration to maintain. It's possible to get negative regeneration this way. If a player can't support the cost anymore, the most recent enchantments get canceled until they can.
- A cost in health, measured as a percentage of maximum health. Players can kill themselves by sacrifice.
- Each use of a relevant skill temporarily reduces the user's maximum energy by 5 or 10. Over-use can result in the character having a negative amount of energy.
 Other properties
- Elite status
- Some skills are elite, and considered more powerful or valuable. A player can only equip one elite skill at a time (except when having used a Signet of Capture, and before changing zone; when a player zones, all elite skills except the rightmost one are removed).
- PvE or PvP distinguished
- Some skills cannot be used in PvP; you can only equip three of these PvE skills at a time. Other skills have split versions for PvE and PvP, and update automatically when in each respective zone.
 Learning and unlocking skills
Before the first character on an account, no skills are initially available. As a roleplaying character progresses through the game, they learn skills as listed below. When a skill is learned, it is known to that character, and at the same time unlocked on that account. All unlocked skills can be used by all PvP-only characters and heroes on the same account. PvE-only skills can be learned, but never unlocked.
When a skill is first unlocked (except through the PvP Access Kit), a small dialog box appears indicating the event.
- A skill can be learned by
- Completing certain quests which reward the player with a skill.
- Purchasing a skill from a skill trainer (except for PvE-only skills).
- Purchasing a skill from a Hero skill trainer (except for non-Sunspear PvE-only skills).
- Capturing a skill from a boss.
- Switching secondary profession, which adds the set of default basic skills for each profession.
Additionally, a character can use a skill tome or elite skill tome to learn any skill or elite skill unlocked on the account. Skill trainers each have a unique set of skills for sale, but also list all an account's unlocked skills.
- Skills can be unlocked without being learned by
- Purchasing a skill or an elite skill from a Priest of Balthazar.
- Gaining a hero, each of which has a set of default skills, or switching a hero's secondary profession, which unlocks the profession's default set.
- Purchasing PvP unlock packs through the online store .
- Temporarily receiving skills while a PvE character has a quest that leads to choosing a second profession.
- Thus, skills can be one of four ways, from least available to most;
- Locked and unknown to any character.
- Locked for the account, but known to the current character, as with PvE-only skills.
- Unlocked but unknown to the current character.
- Unlocked and known to the current character.
 Skill quantity
|Profession||Core||Prophecies||Factions||Nightfall||Eye of the North||Total1|
|Warrior||35||5||24||11||20 (2)1||10||15 (1)||10||10||-||104 (3)||36||140 (3)|
|Ranger||35||5||25||10||20 (2)1||10||15 (1)||10||10||-||105 (3)||35||140 (3)|
|Monk||35||5||26||10||20 (2)1||10||15 (1)||10||10||-||106 (3)||35||141 (3)|
|Necromancer||35||5||27||10||20 (2)1||10||15 (1)||10||10||-||107 (3)||35||142 (3)|
|Mesmer||35||5||23||9||20 (2)1||10||15 (1)||10||10||-||103 (3)||34||137 (3)|
|Elementalist||35||5||29||10||20 (2)1||10||15 (1)||10||10||-||109 (3)||35||144 (3)|
|Assassin||-||-||-||-||60 (2)1||15||15 (1)||10||10||-||85 (3)||25||110 (3)|
|Ritualist||-||-||-||-||60 (2)1||15||15 (1)||10||10||-||85 (3)||25||110 (3)|
|Paragon||-||-||-||-||- (2)1||-||60 (1)||15||10||-||70 (3)||15||85 (3)|
|Dervish||-||-||-||-||- (2)1||-||60 (1)||15||10||-||70 (3)||15||85 (3)|
|Common||1 (1)||-||-||-||-||-||- (3)||-||- (47)||- (3)||1 (51)||- (3)||1 (54)|
- ↑ The 20 Factions PvE-only skills are made up of 10 pairs of duplicate skills: one linked to the Friend of the Kurzicks title track and one linked to the Friend of the Luxons title track. Only one allegiance's skills can be equipped at a time, but all 20 can still be learned by a single character.
- Numbers in brackets indicate PvE-only skills. These are tallied for convenience.
- Resurrection Signet is the only common (non-profession) skill available for PvP characters.
- The only common PvE skill is the Signet of Capture.
- This list does not include special skills or title effects.
To check how many skills a character has, open the Skills and Attributes panel; choose "sort by profession" and switch through each profession, writing down the numbers for each profession plus the common skills (11 numbers if all professions are unlocked), and add them up. If the sum is 1319, the character has learned all available skills. Careful - multiple Signets of Capture are counted multiple times.
To check the number of unlocked skills, add a hero to your party and scroll through its primary and secondary professions. Keep in mind this omits PvE-only skills.
- As in most games, skills tend to balance costs (e.g. energy or activation time) against benefits (e.g. buffs or damage). Skills with a powerful impact often include additional restrictions (e.g. multiple prerequisites or elite status).
 Related skills
 Skills that end when a skill is successfully activated
|Stance. (5...10...11 seconds.) You attack 33% faster and gain 50% more adrenaline. Ends if you use a skill.||5||20||StrengthZ||Core|
|Stance. (5...10...11 seconds.) You have 75% chance to block. Gain 5 Energy for each melee attack blocked. Ends if you use a skill.||8||TacticsZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Stance. (5...10...11 seconds.) You move 33% faster. Causes knock-down if you hit a moving foe in melee. Ends if you use a skill.||5||20||StrengthZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Stance. (1...8...10 second[s].) You move 33% faster and deal +10...34...40 damage with your next melee hit. Ends when you hit or if you use a skill.||5||5||StrengthZ||Nightfall|
|Enchantment Spell. (4...9...10 seconds.) You have +7 Health regeneration and +80 armor. Ends if you hit with an attack or use a skill.||5||¼||25||Shadow ArtsZ||Nightfall|
|Enchantment Spell. (8...16...18 seconds.) +10 Health regeneration. Ends if target ally attacks or uses a skill.||5||1||8||Healing PrayersZ||Nightfall|
|Chant. (5...17...20 seconds.) Allies in earshot gain +4 Energy regeneration. Ends when using a skill.||25||1||30||MotivationZ||Nightfall|
|Stance. (1...5...6 second[s]). You block attack skills. Gain adrenaline and 5 Energy for each block. Ends if you use a skill.||10||10||TacticsZ||Prophecies|
|Hex Spell. (5 seconds.) Each second while hexed, target foe and all foes adjacent to that foe take 1...8...10 damage. Foes take +1...8...10 damage each second this hex is in effect. Ends early if target foe uses a skill.||5||¼||3||Domination MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Hex Spell. (3 seconds). End effect: causes 20...84...100 damage to target and adjacent foes. No effect and ends early if target foe uses a skill.||5||¼||1||Domination MagicZ||Prophecies|
 Skills that have an effect on or during skill activation
|Spell. Interrupt a skill. Interruption effect: disables interrupted skill (+5...11...12 seconds) for target foe and all foes in the area.||10||¼||20||Domination MagicZ||Factions|
|Spell. If target foe is using a skill, that foe and all foes in the area are interrupted and take 15...63...75 damage.||10||¼||15||Domination MagicZ||Core|
|Spell. Interrupts a skill. If target foe had a Mesmer hex, deals 25...50 damage to target and foes in the area and causes 3...5 Health degeneration (10 seconds).||10||¼||15||Sunspear rankZ||Nightfall|
|Axe Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: interrupted skill is disabled for +20 seconds.||6||Axe MasteryZ||Core|
|Half Range Spell. Projectile: deals 10...30...35 earth damage. Interrupts a skill.||5||¼||10||Deadly ArtsZ||Nightfall|
|Pet Attack. Deals +1...10...12 damage. Interrupts a skill. Interruption effect: interrupted skill is disabled for +20 seconds.||5||20||Beast MasteryZ||Core|
|Bow Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: +10...34...40 damage if you interrupt a skill.||10||½||15||MarksmanshipZ||Eye of the North|
|Bow Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: interrupted skill is disabled for +20 seconds. Hits for only 1...13...16 damage.||5||½||10||ExpertiseZ||Core|
|Melee Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: Disables interrupted skill (20 seconds) if target foe has Cracked Armor. Deals no damage.||5||½||15||Z||Eye of the North|
|Hex Spell. (5...17...20 seconds.) Causes 50% slower spell casting. Target foe takes 5...41...50 damage whenever interrupted. Deals double damage on skill interrupt.||10||1||7||Illusion MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Scythe Attack. Interrupts an action. If you are enchanted, the interrupted skill is disabled for an additional 1...8...10 second[s]. This attack does 50% of normal damage.||5||½||15||Scythe MasteryZ||Nightfall|
|Elite Hex Spell. (5...17...20 seconds.) Causes -1...7...8 Health degeneration and doubles skill activation time.||10||2||12||Illusion MagicZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Hex Spell. (3...10...12 seconds.) Causes -1...7...8 Health degeneration and doubles skill activation time.||10||2||12||Illusion MagicZ||Prophecies|
|Hex Spell. (5 seconds.) Causes -1...3...3 Health degeneration. If target foe is using a skill, that foe and all adjacent foes take 15...63...75 damage.||5||¼||5||Domination MagicZ||Factions|
|Elite Hex Spell. Also hexes foes near your target (1...8...10 second[s]). Interrupts all other nearby foes whenever a hexed foe successfully activates a skill.||10||1||15||Domination MagicZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Spell. If target foe is casting a spell or chant, that skill and all skills of the same attribute are disabled (1...10...12 seconds) and that skill is interrupted.||15||¼||20||Domination MagicZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Spell. Interrupts a skill. Interruption effect: disables interrupted skill (+5...11...12 seconds). Your other skills are disabled (8 seconds).||10||¼||2||Domination MagicZ||Factions|
|Elite Spell. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: if the action is a skill, cause knockdown for 2...4...4 seconds on target foe and all nearby foes. 50% failure chance unless Fast Casting 5 or higher.||5||¼||12||Fast CastingZ||Factions|
|Elite Spell. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: if the action is a skill, causes knockdown for 2...3...3 seconds on target foe and all adjacent foes. 50% failure chance unless Fast Casting 5 or higher.||5||¼||12||Fast CastingZ||Factions|
|Signet. Interrupts a spell. Can interrupt any skill if target foe is hexed. Interruption effect: deals 10...43...51 damage.||¼||15||Domination MagicZ||Factions|
|Elite Spell. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: If a skill was interrupted, that skill is disabled and Simple Thievery becomes that skill (5...17...20 seconds).||10||¼||10||Domination MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Chant. (10 seconds.) Allies in earshot are uninterruptible with their next skill.||8||2||5||Z||Nightfall|
|Hex Spell. (10...34...40 seconds.) Cold damage interrupts target foe's skills. Interruption cost: you lose 10...6...5 Energy or Spinal Shivers ends.||10||2||15||CursesZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Spell. Interrupts a skill. Interruption effect: also interrupts other foes in the area, and you steal 0...4...5 Energy from all foes in the area.||5||¼||15||Inspiration MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Hex Spell. (10 seconds.) Initial effect: interrupts a skill. End effect: interrupts a skill.||5||¼||15||Z||Nightfall|
|Hex Spell. (10 seconds.) Initial effect: interrupts a skill. End effect: interrupts a skill.||10||¼||15||Z||Nightfall|
 Skills that have an effect when any skill is successfully activated
|Spell. (15 seconds.) Affects all party members. 50% faster casting. 25% faster skill recharge.||1||morale boost||Z||Factions|
|Hex Spell. (6 seconds.) Target foe's next skill takes +10...47...56 seconds to recharge.||10||3||12||Domination MagicZ||Core|
|Elite Enchantment Spell. (30 seconds.) Echo becomes the next skill you use (30 seconds).||5||1||10||Z||Core|
|Nature Ritual. Creates a level 1...5...6 spirit (1...25...31 second[s] lifespan). Skills cost 15 less energy (minimum cost 10 energy) and recharge 25% slower for creatures in range. Does not affect spirits.||15||5||60||Beast MasteryZ||Core|
|Nature Ritual. Creates a level 1...8...10 spirit (15...39...45 second lifespan). Skills cost 30% more Energy and recharge twice as fast for creatures in range. Does not affect spirits.||25||5||60||Wilderness SurvivalZ||Core|
|Elite Nature Ritual. Creates a level 1...8...10 spirit (30...78...90 second lifespan). Creatures lose 1 Energy each time they attack or use a skill. Does not affect spirits.||10||5||30||Wilderness SurvivalZ||Nightfall|
|Stance. (15...27...30 seconds.) Your skills recharge 33% faster. Ends if your Health drops below 50%.||5||45||Wilderness SurvivalZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Chant. (20 seconds.) Allies in earshot lose one condition with their next 1...3...3 skill[s].||5||2||MotivationZ||Nightfall|
|Elite Chant. (10 seconds.) Party members in earshot gain 45...97...110 Health with their next skill.||10||1||20||MotivationZ||Nightfall|
|Elite Chant. (10 seconds.) Party members in earshot gain 45...97...110 Health with their next skill.||10||1||30||MotivationZ||Nightfall|
|Elite Hex Spell. (8...18...20 seconds.) Deals 5...29...35 damage to target and adjacent foes whenever this foe attacks or uses a skill.||15||2||10||CursesZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Hex Spell. Also hexes foes adjacent to target (10 seconds). These foes take 15...39...45 damage whenever they use a skill and 5...41...50 additional damage if not under the effects of another Mesmer hex.||10||2||20||Domination MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Elite Hex Spell. Also hexes foes adjacent to target (10 seconds). These foes take 10...26...30 damage whenever they use a skill and 5...33...40 additional damage if not under the effects of another Mesmer hex.||10||2||30||Domination MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Elite Hex Spell. (5...13...15 seconds.) You gain 5...17...20 Energy and all your skills recharge if target foe dies.||5||¾||45||Deadly ArtsZ||Factions|
|Touch Skill. (2...5...6 seconds.) Disables skills. Your skills are disabled (5 seconds).||10||1||12||Domination MagicZ||Prophecies|
|Enchantment Spell. (30...54...60 seconds.) When using a skill on a foe, deal 5...17...20 shadow damage to all other foes adjacent to you.||5||1||30||Blood MagicZ||Core|
|Elite Enchantment Spell. (8 seconds.) Enchants you and target ally. Adjacent foes take 5...25...30 fire damage each second. Skills that target a foe also inflict Burning (0...2...3 second[s]).||10||1||20||Fire MagicZ||Factions|
|Elite Hex Spell. (10 seconds.) Deals 5...21...25 damage each second to target and adjacent foes. Inflicts Blindness [sic] on foes using attack skills. Ends if you use a skill that targets this foe.||10||1||15||Air MagicZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Bow Attack. Recharges all skills except Oath Shot if it hits. Disables all skills if it misses (10...5...4 seconds). 50% miss chance unless Expertise 8 or higher.||10||25||ExpertiseZ||Prophecies|
|Spell. Resurrects target party member (25% Health, 0 Energy). Teleports target to you. Disables target's skills (10...4...3 seconds). You lose all Energy.||10||5||Protection PrayersZ||Core|
|Enchantment Spell. End effect: Shadow Step to target ally. Cannot self-target and disables all of your skills for 10 seconds when it ends.||-1||15||1||10||Z||Factions|
|Elite Skill. (5...29...35 seconds.) You have +2...4...4 to all Ritualist attributes for your next skill. If that skill is a Binding Ritual, it recharges 10...50...60% faster and Ritual Lord recharges instantly.||2%||45||Spawning PowerZ||Factions|
|Bow Attack. Deals +10...22...25 damage. Deals +10...30...35 more damage if target foe is not using a skill.||10||8||MarksmanshipZ||Eye of the North|
|Bow Attack. Deals +5...17...20 damage. Deals +5...13...15 more damage if target foe is not using a skill.||10||15||MarksmanshipZ||Eye of the North|
|Enchantment Spell. (5...17...20 seconds.) While casting spells, you cannot be the target of spells. End effect: your skills are disabled (10...6...5 seconds).||10||2||30||Divine FavorZ||Factions|
|Elite Skill. Shadow Step to target foe. Causes knock-down if target foe is not using a skill. Disables your non-dagger attack skills (10 seconds).||5||¼||20||Z||Nightfall|
|Enchantment Spell. (60 seconds.) Whenever you use a skill on an ally, all foes adjacent to that ally are hit for 5...29...35 fire damage. Damage cost: you lose 1 Energy.||10||¼||30||Smiting PrayersZ||Core|
 See also
|The Guild Wars 2 Wiki also has an article on Skill.|