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Each profession has a primary attribute available only to characters who have chosen that profession as their primary profession. For example, when chosen as a primary profession, the Elementalist has Energy Storage, which provides a larger Energy pool with which to use skills; the Mesmer has Fast Casting, which increases spell casting speed. The secondary profession you choose will not have access to this primary attribute, so it's important to note each profession's primary attribute when considering which profession will be your primary. The primary attribute lines are: Expertise (Ranger), Divine Favor (Monk), Strength (Warrior), Soul Reaping (Necromancer), Energy Storage (Elementalist), Fast Casting (Mesmer), Critical Strikes (Assassin), and Spawning [sic] (Ritualist.) [sic]

Tablet of Wisdom

Attributes are the statistical descriptors for all creatures (including player characters) in Guild Wars. Most skills have an associated attribute that governs the effectiveness of that skill. Most weapons and offhands require a minimum investment in a specific attribute to function at their full capacity. Some attributes also have an inherent effect. The value of an attribute is known as "rank".

Primary and secondary attributes[edit]

Each profession has a primary attribute which also always has an inherent effect that is part of what "makes" the profession. One attribute from each profession is designated as its primary attribute and is only available to a character who takes it as their primary profession. Primary attributes tend to have fewer linked skills than secondary attributes.

Secondary attributes are every other attribute. A character will have all secondary attributes of their primary and secondary professions. This means that every character can eventually gain access to any secondary attribute and its associated skills. A majority of secondary attributes have no inherent effect.

Inherent effects[edit]

Primary attributes have effects beyond the linked skills and items of the attribute. For example, Energy Storage will increase a character's maximum energy directly, and Strength will add to the armor penetration of every attack skill the character uses.

Secondary attributes, with few exceptions, only influence the skills they are linked to as well as proficiency with their related weapon type (where applicable). Exceptions include:

Attribute requirements[edit]

See also: Damage calculation#Weapon requirements

Many weapons require a certain investment in a specific attribute to be used to their full potential. This requirement will be stated in the weapon information and only applies to the specific benefit that the requirement is listed for.

If the requirement is not met, the benefit tied to the attribute will be greatly reduced, though the exact penalty rules are unconfirmed. For example, Milius' Pillar would give the wielder +15 energy, +30 health, 10% HCT, and 20% HSR even at zero Earth Magic, but the damage would be greatly reduced.

List of attributes[edit]

Profession Primary Inherent primary effect Secondary
Warrior Warrior Strength Adds armor penetration to all attack skills Axe Mastery
Hammer Mastery
Ranger Ranger Expertise Reduces energy cost of ranger, attack, touch, and ritual skills Beast Mastery
Wilderness Survival
Monk Monk Divine Favor Adds bonus healing when a monk spell is cast on an ally Healing Prayers
Protection Prayers
Smiting Prayers
Necromancer Necromancer Soul Reaping Gives energy every time a nearby creature dies Blood Magic
Death Magic
Mesmer Mesmer Fast Casting Decreases the activation time of all spells and signets; in PvE decrease the recharge time of Mesmer spells Domination Magic
Illusion Magic
Inspiration Magic
Elementalist Elementalist Energy Storage Adds to maximum energy Air Magic
Earth Magic
Fire Magic
Water Magic
Assassin Assassin Critical Strikes Adds to critical hit chance and causes critical hits to give energy Dagger Mastery
Deadly Arts
Shadow Arts
Ritualist Ritualist Spawning Power Increases duration of weapon spells and the health of all summoned creatures Channeling Magic
Restoration Magic
Paragon Paragon Leadership Gives energy on using shouts and chants dependent on the number of allies affected Command
Spear Mastery
Dervish Dervish Mysticism Reduces energy cost of dervish enchantments. Increases armor rating while enchanted in PvE. Earth Prayers
Scythe Mastery
Wind Prayers

Increasing attributes[edit]

Permanent increase[edit]

Attribute points supply a character's base, "raw" attribute rank. An attribute can be raised to a maximum of 12 by spending progressively increasing numbers of attribute points. Attribute points are the only way to permanently increase a secondary profession's attribute

Each attribute has a corresponding rune that can be used to add an attribute-increasing suffix to armor. Runes add 1-3 ranks to an attribute, though the 2 and 3 rank runes come with a cost in maximum health. Only the most powerful rune on the character is considered for each attribute — the bonuses do not stack, but the health penalties do. As runes are restricted to the armor of their profession, only a character's primary profession attributes can be boosted in this manner

Headgear can also provide a +1 bonus to one of its profession's attributes. Hero headgear and some common headgear will add to the attribute of whatever rune is applied to it, and will add nothing without a rune.

Chance of increase[edit]

Temporary increase[edit]


Several skills temporarily boost one or more attributes.

Skills (PvE only)
Skills (PvP only)
PvE only Skills
PvE-only effects
  • Certain attribute-increasing blessings are available from avatars of the gods.
    • All attribute blessings cost 150Gold and last 20 minutes or until you zone.
    • In Prophecies, the avatars do not offer blessings that include attribute bonuses.
  • Four consumables increase all attributes by one (except attributes provided by attribute blessings or Seven Weapons Stance, e.g. a character that does not have Necromancer as their primary nor secondary profession and is under the effects of Necromancer of Grenth will not have any of the Necromancer attributes, such as Soul Reaping and Blood Magic, increased by any of these consumables).
  • While adventuring in Eye of the North, your character is treated as being level 20 if it is below level 20 by Journey to the North, which sets one attribute to rank 12 and three additional attributes to rank 9.

Decreasing attributes[edit]

There are several skills and effects that can temporarily lower a character's attribute rank. Attributes cannot be reduced below 0.


See also[edit]