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Best class/build to play for effectively one-handed player

My spouse is having RSI issues with playing, even with zir fancy Kinesis keyboard. What has helped is mapping controls to zir (fancy multi-button) mouse wherever possible, and for combat abilities, clicking on the skill bar at the bottom of the screen with the mousel.

Problem is, zir only level 80 is an Elementalist Weaver, which as far as we can tell is probably the WORST profession/elite specialization to be playing with this limitation, as it involves rapid switching between attunements, skills, etc. We have theorized that a tanky build might be easier, as the character would be less likely to go down in the fraction of a second it takes to look down at the skill bar.

We mostly play Open World but are hoping to get more and more into Dungeons and Fractals. We're also planning on trying out WvW this weekend; we'll see how we like that.

Zie currently has a level 40 or 50 Engineer, a level 18 Guardian, two unused character slots, and an unused level 80 boost.

Thanks in advance!


  • Pirogen.9561Pirogen.9561 Member ✭✭✭

    Condi Mirage.

    Auto-attack and press Dodge key whenever you can.

  • Full berserker Deadeye, rifle as main weapon.

    Bind F1 and Skill 3 onto your mouse keys, which is all you need to attack.

    High damage, high attack range, simple, and good sustain with Invigorating Precision trait.

  • I used to play 1 handed (left hand on keyboard) to do SW farming, and found that key binding setup is the most important factor in being able to play effectively. If using a keyboard, make use of the Q E R T F V C X Z, Shift, Caps lock, Crtl, Alt keys for abilities, and use wasd for movement and camera turning. If using a mouse, having programmable side buttons (some mice can have 16+ additional buttons) is incredibly useful, and can significantly reduce mouse movement and clicking.

    Regarding class choice, I would suggest anything with low APM. In my experience, some of the lowest APM builds are: condi soulbeast (with traps), power reaper, power dragonhunter or firebrand (DH and FB are both very strong in dungeons and fractals). These classes also have great aoe, so there is less of a need to constantly re-target and reposition your character. And as others have said, condi mirage is great if you want something with more of a passive playstyle, and deadeye is great for easy single target dps.

  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. Zie decided to finish leveling zir Guardian to try out Firebrand, and since zie also needed to create a new character to level up a weaponsmith, zie also created a new thief which I think zie is going to use the level 80 boost on, as zie really enjoys sniper builds.

  • Shena Fu.5792Shena Fu.5792 Member ✭✭✭

    Suggest lots of pets and/or long range:

    • Necromancer minion master
    • Elementalist/Tempest Staff with both glyph of elementals and lesser elementals (stay in Fire)
    • Mesmer Greatsword
    • Thief Deadeye
  • Hannelore.8153Hannelore.8153 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 20, 2020

    Some additional suggestions:

    • Some runes can summon pets for non-pet/minion classes (Golemancer, Lich, Ogre, Pirate runes), which helps alot.
    • Range will always trump melee for 1handed due to less positioning difficulties.
    • Condition Damage & Expertise builds might trump Power; it depends on the class though (especially effective on Necro, Mesmer, etc.)
    • Some UI features like instant ground targetting and "Snap Ground Target To Current Target" help immensely.
    • A gaming mouse with alot of buttons helps as well.

    The absolute lowest effort build is a Herald/Hammer (Revenant) spec who just passively puts out boons with a mix of Harrier+Wanderer for some defense, Rune of Water(or similar), Sigil of Concentration and Soul Pastries+Peppermint Oils. There is some amount of Energy management required, but we're talking like one extra click every 30sec or so, rarely actual skill casting outside of the 0-6 skills.

    However, that Ele can still work too, put it on full Cleric+Magi, respect to Tempest/Staff and camp Water & Earth (support build) with the two Glyph of Elementals for pets. This of course requires them to have someone to follow around to do some DPS.

    There's many other builds, Ele is very versatile and not all builds play like a piano.

    Hannah | Daisuki[SUKI] Founder, Ehmry Bay | Mains Mariyuuna/Tempest(PvE), Terakura/Spellbreaker & Kitty Koume/Reaper(WvW) | ♀♥♀

  • thefinnster.7105thefinnster.7105 Member ✭✭
    edited March 20, 2020

    I am not sure if its allowed but you might be able to use third party software that uses voice activation and can be easily trained to recognise your voice and certain key words bound to keyboard skills.
    I had some software I bought for messing around on star citizens beta a couple of years back and found something called "Voice Attack" you can even download voice packs or use its text to speech feature and have it speak back to you to confirm commands witch can used to create amusing scenarios, like for me on star citizen i had a voice pack of glados from the portal series of games and made it mimic a ships AI that responded to my commands with sarcastic responses.
    Its not a GW2 video but there's a link below to see what that kind of software is capable of if you think it would be something useful to your spouse.

    Again if its something you think you could use to help in this situation be sure its not something Anet will penalise you for, I would hope its ok so long as you are not creating complex scripts to perform multiple commands.

  • Strider.7849Strider.7849 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 28, 2020

    @Pirogen.9561 said:
    Condi Mirage.

    Auto-attack and press Dodge key whenever you can.

    Going to have to second this, Mesmer is one of the few classes that can be played one handed. I've known people who effectively PvP on this class as "clickers". Going the condi variant your clones do most of the work for you. When I transferred to and played in Europe for awhile I was at really high ping so there was quite a delay inbetween when I activated a skill and when it actually happened in game.. I could decimate people with Mesmer even with a 3 second delay between skills.

    Edit: I've also seen people click to play as dragon hunters, although in PvP it would be a bit harder than Mesmer.