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Prof. Minor Major Superior
Any Minor Rune Major Rune Superior Rune
Warrior Minor Warrior Rune Major Warrior Rune Superior Warrior Rune
Ranger Minor Ranger Rune Major Ranger Rune Superior Ranger Rune
Monk Minor Monk Rune Major Monk Rune Superior Monk Rune
Necromancer Minor Necromancer Rune Major Necromancer Rune Superior Necromancer Rune
Mesmer Minor Mesmer Rune Major Mesmer Rune Superior Mesmer Rune
Elementalist Minor Elementalist Rune Major Elementalist Rune Superior Elementalist Rune
Assassin Minor Assassin Rune Major Assassin Rune Superior Assassin Rune
Ritualist Minor Ritualist Rune Major Ritualist Rune Superior Ritualist Rune
Paragon Minor Paragon Rune Major Paragon Rune Superior Paragon Rune
Dervish Minor Dervish Rune Major Dervish Rune Superior Dervish Rune

A rune is a type of upgrade component for armor and bags. Unless otherwise specified, all instances of the word "rune" in this article refer specifically to armor runes. There are only three runes applicable to bags: Rune of Belt Holding, Rune of Holding, and Superior Rune of Holding. Runes drop in all campaigns and must be extracted from salvage items. Runes can also be purchased from Rune traders.

Armor runes[edit]

Runes (with one exception) are suffix upgrade components which can be used to upgrade armor, to provide a passive benefit to the character wearing the armor. Some of the more powerful runes also possess a downside - they reduce a character's maximum health.

Runes come in two broad varieties:

Profession-specific runes[edit]

Profession-specific runes, when inserted into an armor piece, enhance the attribute level of a character wearing that piece of armor. Warriors get an additional type of rune, a Rune of Absorption, that does not enhance an attribute; it instead provides damage reduction. See the table on the right for images of profession-specific runes.

Another property of such runes is that they can only be applied to armor pieces of that profession. In other words, a character can only use runes of their primary profession, since they can only wear the armor of their primary profession. Runes for one profession cannot be applied on another profession's armor piece.

Profession-independent runes[edit]

There are also runes that can be used by any profession. Originally, this was limited to Runes of Vigor, but the release of Guild Wars Nightfall introduced six more profession-independent runes. The table below provides a summary.

List of armor runes[edit]

The positive effects of such runes do not stack with the effects of runes of the same attribute - the larger effect takes precedence. The negative effects of equipping several runes of the same attribute do stack. This reduction to player health from wearing redundant runes in this way is the basis of the 55 monk series of builds. An example of runes that do not stack is having two Superior Vigor runes on two different pieces of armor: the bonus to Health is still +50, not +100. Two Superior Communing runes would reduce the player's health by 150, whilst only providing +3 Communing. On the other hand, two Runes of Vitae would stack for a net bonus of +20.

Name Rarity Stats
Profession-specific runes
<Profession> Rune of Minor <Attribute> Minor / Blue <Attribute> +1 (Non-stacking)
<Profession> Rune of Major <Attribute> Major / Purple <Attribute> +2 (Non-stacking)
Health -35
<Profession> Rune of Superior <Attribute> Superior / Gold <Attribute> +3 (Non-stacking)
Health -75
Warrior Rune of Minor Absorption Minor / Blue Reduces physical damage by 1 (Non-stacking)
Warrior Rune of Major Absorption Major / Purple Reduces physical damage by 2 (Non-stacking)
Warrior Rune of Superior Absorption Superior / Gold Reduces physical damage by 3 (Non-stacking)
Profession-independent runes
Rune of Minor Vigor Minor / Blue Health +30 (Non-stacking)
Rune of Major Vigor Major / Purple Health +41 (Non-stacking)
Rune of Superior Vigor Superior / Gold Health +50 (Non-stacking)
Rune of Attunement Minor / Blue Energy +2
Rune of Vitae Minor / Blue Health +10
Rune of Clarity Major / Purple Reduces Blind duration on you by 20% (Non-stacking)
Reduces Weakness duration on you by 20% (Non-stacking)
Rune of Purity Major / Purple Reduces Disease duration on you by 20% (Non-stacking)
Reduces Poison duration on you by 20% (Non-stacking)
Rune of Recovery Major / Purple Reduces Dazed duration on you by 20% (Non-stacking)
Reduces Deep Wound duration on you by 20% (Non-stacking)
Rune of Restoration Major / Purple Reduces Bleeding duration on you by 20% (Non-stacking)
Reduces Crippled duration on you by 20% (Non-stacking)

Container runes[edit]

A Rune of Holding and Superior Rune of Holding upgrades the carrying capacity of a bag by +5 slots and +10 slots, respectively. Unlike armor runes, a Holding Rune does not add a suffix to the name of the item it upgrades. Also, unlike armor runes, it can only be purchased from merchants, acquired from collectors, or from Jessie Llam in Great Temple of Balthazar or Embark Beach. Runes of Holding will only work on bags, not Charr Bags, nor Zehtuka's Pack. (Superior) Runes of Holding will not work on belt pouches, nor Equipment Packs.

Rune of Belt Holding upgrades the carrying capacity of a Belt Pouch by +5 slots.


  • Runes can overwrite each other.
  • The effect of Runes of Vitae and Attunement stacks.
  • Attribute-enhancing runes stack with bonuses from headpieces but not with each other.
  • Runes are not included when a skill template is pinged, so the attributes are shown at their base level. However, runes are considered part of equipments and so are shown when a PvP equipment template is pinged.
  • There are some farming builds that require low health, like the 55 builds. Superior attribute runes are used to decrease the character's health to use such builds effectively.
Condition runes
  • All condition-reducing runes stack with other condition-reducing effects (such as insignia and certain skills). The reductions are each applied separately and each rounded separately.
    • For example, if a character has two 20% reduction modifiers against blindness and an 8-second long blindness is inflicted, each modifier reduces the duration by 2 seconds (1.6 rounded up to 2), thus reducing the total duration to 4 seconds. If the blind was only 7 seconds long, each modifier would reduce it by 1 second (1.4 seconds rounded down to 1) for a total reduction of 2 seconds (resulting in a 5-second blindness).
Original time [s] 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Effect of 20% reduction [s] 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5
Resulting time [s] 0 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 6 7 8 9 10 10 11 12 13 14 14 15 16 17 18 18 19 20
Rune prices
  • The minimum price of any rune and insignia sold to a trader is 25Gold, but like all other weapon and armor upgrades, they can be identified to increase their value. Although the identified values vary a lot, minor runes usually increase prices up to 26-50Gold, major up to 52-100Gold and superior up to 104-200Gold.
  • Trade prices for runes vary considerably and can run to several platinum.

Armor Runes (edit)
Armor artArmor ratingArmor bonusCalculationInfusion
Any AttunementClarityPurityRecoveryRestorationVigorVitae
Warrior AbsorptionAxe MasteryHammer MasteryStrengthSwordsmanshipTactics
Ranger Beast MasteryExpertiseMarksmanshipWilderness Survival
Monk Divine FavorHealing PrayersProtection PrayersSmiting Prayers
Necromancer Blood MagicCursesDeath MagicSoul Reaping
Mesmer Domination MagicFast CastingIllusion MagicInspiration Magic
Elementalist Air MagicEarth MagicEnergy StorageFire MagicWater Magic
Assassin Critical StrikesDagger MasteryDeadly ArtsShadow Arts
Ritualist Channeling MagicCommuningRestoration MagicSpawning Power
Paragon CommandLeadershipMotivationSpear Mastery
Dervish Earth PrayersMysticismScythe MasteryWind Prayers

Inventory (edit)
Containers Backpack.png BackpackBelt Pouch.png Belt PouchBag.png BagCharr Bag.png Charr BagZehtuka's Pack.png Zehtuka's Pack
Small Equipment Pack.png Small Equipment PackLight Equipment Pack.png Light Equipment PackLarge Equipment Pack.png Large Equipment PackHeavy Equipment Pack.png Heavy Equipment Pack
Upgrades Rune of Belt Holding.png Rune of Belt HoldingRune of Holding.png Rune of HoldingSuperior Rune of Holding.png Superior Rune of Holding