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New Player Tips 2024

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A lot has changed in this game over the past few years, and it does a lot of things right. However, I feel like one thing this game has always struggled to do is tell you how good it is. You have to kind of figure out much of the game on your own. They have definitely been taking steps in the right direction with this recently, but there are still a lot of things that you might not know as a newer player that will help make your experience a little smoother. Whether you're finding your footing for the very first time or are a returning player, these tips will set you on the right path.
  1. Inventory management
  2. Take your time
  3. Use the wiki
  4. Get gliding and mounts early (if you want)
  5. Set your OWN goals
  6. Join guilds
  7. Don't sleep on the wizards vault
  8. Achievements
  9. Join squads
  10. Read your skills and traits

You can also see this guide in video form if you prefer that:


You get a lot of stuff in this game, and sometimes inventory management can be overwhelming for newer players who don't know how to properly process their loot, and upgrade their bag space. The sooner you learn a bit about this the better so here are some tips.

Right from the start you should start looking to upgrade your bag space. You can get inventory bags from many vendors around the world, crafted, purchased from the trading post, found as low level loot or from completing achievements and the personal story. This is just personal preference but I like to go to the inventory settings and click “hide bags”, this just combines all your bags into 1 big inventory and uses space more efficiently and looks better.

Make sure to use the “deposit all” button in the top right of the inventory panel. It will instantly deposit all crafting materials into a section of your bank called material storage, where you can store a large amount of each and every crafting material so they don't take up space in your inventory OR your bank. They can then be withdrawn from any bank access NPC or even crafting station on any of your characters.

There are many items you will get that have no value or use for anything other than just being sold to an NPC vendor for a bit of coin. These junk items are trophies with grey borders around their icon in your inventory that usually drop from random mobs around the world. So whenever you see these, you can rest easy knowing it's not important and you can just sell it to a vendor. There is also a super handy “sell junk” button on the sell tab of any NPC vendor which will automatically sell all of these items in your inventory that have no other use, this often will instantly clear up a bunch of space in your inventory if you've been playing for a while.

Finally, there are many items that should be either salvaged or just sold on the trading post. As a general rule, almost every item that can be sold on the trading post will net you WAY more profit if sold to other players on the trading post, instead of to an NPC vendor. With very few exceptions. However it's usually better to salvage a lot of lower level gear that you don't need and get crafting materials from them instead. This is where a lot of your crafting materials will come from, and it's good to start building up your stash as you'll likely need them later, or just sell the crafting materials instead of the gear for easier and usually more profit.

I would highly recommend this guide from Abree if you want to get a bit more in depth with salvaging gear efficiently

Once you’ve sold all junk items, salvaged the gear you don't want, sold items to the trading post, and deposited all materials, there is one final super handy and satisfying button to press. The compact inventory button next to the deposit all button will move all the items in your inventory up filling any empty gaps so it's all nice and compact.

Guild Wars 2 has changed a lot over the years. If you're a returning player that played around launch or even just a few years ago, you may notice when you come back that levelling is MUCH faster now. Mounts, gliding, new achievements, new content, and the general rise of average power level in this game have all contributed to making the levelling process much faster now. So now more than ever I’d say there is absolutely no reason to rush through the early game. It’s there for a reason and in my opinion, it's best experienced when savoured. If all you want to do is get to the endgame you can do that and that's fine, you can even just boost a character straight to max level with a level 80 boost you get when you buy any expansion. For the rest of you though, take your time.

This game does so many things right in the early game. Exploration is so immersive and beautiful. You progress through levels at the same time you progress through exploration of different maps which blend perfectly into the story that you uncover at the same time, new gameplay mechanics get gradually introduced to you the whole time, every level you gain you unlock something new, there's always something going on in any map you happen to be in and always something to do.

The levelling process can also be thought of as a way to ease you into the endgame as well. You may have heard the advice of “don't use your max level boost on your first character” which I absolutely agree with. The build crafting and combat system is quite in depth and there is so much more you will have missed out on if you just boost straight to level 80 and there is a really good chance you will just end up feeling overwhelmed and not have any idea what to do or where to go. Take your time to organically level up your first character and learn the systems and explore the world, this game is incredibly alt character friendly and you can always use that boost on another character.

This game honestly has one of the best, most well maintained and integrated wikis that I have seen. Not only is the wiki full to the brim with pretty much any information you could possibly need on even the most obscure item in the game, but also all of it is just a click away. You can type” /wiki” ingame to immediately pull up the main page of the wiki, or even “/wiki” followed by whatever item, achievement, NPC, currency, weapon skin, or any search term you want and it will take you straight to that specific page on the wiki which has all the information there is on that thing, all neatly organised.

One of the best habits you can develop early on in this game is whenever you get any item you don't know if it's important or want to know what it can be used for or anything else about it, just type “/wiki” then shift click the item from your inventory to put it's name in chat and hit enter to open the wiki page for that item.

Gliding and mounts are absolute gamechangers in guild wars 2. Gliding was introduced in the Heart of Thorns expansion in 2015, and mounts with the Path of Fire expansion in 2017. Both of these movement tools will not only greatly improve the speed and efficiency of how you get around but also are an absolute joy to use. Seriously if you haven't experienced the mounts of guild wars 2 yet, you will never be able to go back. And that's basically why this tip has that “if you want” asterisk. Once you unlock these, they are account bound and you can use them on all of your characters at basically any time in the open world. This is fantastic, but it also means that you will never be able to not use them again. That vista that you just want to quickly get to? That jumping puzzle or point of interest? You will no longer have to do it the intended way if you can always just mount up and instantly get there. Unless you have some insane willpower and even then it just feels different. You no longer did that jumping puzzle because you had to and feel great when you overcame adversity, it's now a conscious choice you made to make it more difficult than it needed to be.

Now this is probably not a big deal for many people and if that's you then just get your mounts and gliding. They're awesome, you wont regret it. But if you're a bit more oldschool like me, I will say I did enjoy experiencing this game without mounts and gliding first before they were added. And it made getting those quality of life things even more special. You now automatically unlock the raptor mount once you hit level 10 if you own any expansion, but If you want to wait until you get your first max level character before unlocking gliding and the other mounts you can, just know you might feel a bit left behind sometimes if you play with other players as mounts and gliding have become basically essential traversal tools especially in the endgame.

To unlock gliding you just need to own the Heart of Thorns expansion and unlock the “Glider Basics” mastery by playing through a bit of content in that expansion. Alternatively you can also unlock basic gliding through the End of Dragons or Secrets of the Obscure expansions but you won't be able to upgrade it with further gliding masteries like using updrafts or gliding indefinitely. Heart of Thorns is required for that.

To unlock more mounts than the raptor, most of them are unlocked by playing through the path of fire story, the basic version of the springer can also be unlocked from End of Dragons, but you will still need Path of fire to upgrade it further.

Many years ago, back when I used to play this game on and off very casually, I can remember countless times that I had taken a break from the game and wanted to come back, so I’d download the latest patch and hop back on, just to sort of wander around for a bit, not really know what to do, maybe do an event or 2, gather a tree, then log off.

Guild Wars 2 doesn't do what most games do and shove exactly what to do in your face. It's actually quite unique and it's one of my favourite things about this game. But it's also one of my least favourite things about this game. It's awesome that you truly can just do whatever you want really. Especially once you hit max level. But it also means many people who don't put in a little bit of effort to create some of their own personal goals will often feel a bit lost and maybe even feel like there is nothing to do.

Again, the devs at arena net have definitely been working on this and are taking steps in the right direction here, but personally I think it's still advantageous and fun to go out of your way to set a couple of your own personal goals to work towards. Maybe it's to completely explore queensdale because it's obviously the best map in the game. Maybe it's to unlock a specific greatsword skin because you saw some random dude walking around with it and you instantly fell in love. Maybe it's to complete a certain collection, reach a certain character level, gather every node in a map, beat every jumping puzzle, go through the entire decade plus of story, level up one of each profession, each race, each crafting discipline, get a certain legendary item, become the richest player in the game. All of these can be done, and all of them can give you an immediate sense of purpose and direction every time you log onto the game.

Another thing that can help you find stuff to do is joining a guild.

One mistake I made when I was new was not joining a good guild early on. There are countless guilds in this game which are basically like little individual communities. If you find a good one they can completely change the game for you. A good guild is one that has many active players that are on and chatting at the times you are, they will often run events that anyone in the guild can join in on, maybe they do guild missions every week at a certain time, have fashion contests, run world boss trains, create groups for endgame content like dungeons, fractals, and raids. A good guild can be super helpful for newer players as you can always just ask in guild chat whenever you need help with something and there's usually someone able to help right there ingame. It's also just nice to have a sense of community in any game.

Not only that, joining a guild can even increase your loot and gold earnings, as many guild members frequently share resources, and you get access to a guild hall booster that is free and permanent once applied. You can choose what kind of boost you want be it experience, magic find, gathering boost, and many more!

You'll often see people advertising their guilds in map chat, mostly in highly populated maps like Lions Arch, Starter zones like Queensdale, Caledon Forest, Plains of Ashford, and capital cities like Divinitys Reach and The Black Citadel. You can also just ask yourself if any new player friendly guilds are looking for new members! Make sure you're talking in map chat by typing “/m” before your message so everyone in the map can see.

Another thing that can give you some direction is the Wizards Vault.

This is a new feature added to the game with the most recent expansion, Secrets of the Obscure, and it is probably one of the best tools to use if you want an immediate sense of direction when logging on. The Wizards Vault essentially replaced the old daily login rewards system. It gives you some immediate tasks that you can complete daily, weekly, and seasonally (usually around a few months) The rewards are attainable through regular, normal play, and there are no paid upgrades or skips. When completing these objectives you are rewarded with Astral Acclaim, which is a currency you can spend on whatever rewards you want from the rewards tab. Be it unique skins, other currencies, ascended gear, legendary starter kits, or just straight up raw gold. There's even some gemstore items in there.

You can even customise what type of objectives you want to receive, so if you only play pvp you can get exclusively PvP objectives, exclusively PvE one, or a mix of whatever. Honestly do not sleep on the wizards vault, it has some seriously good rewards and most of the objectives are pretty trivial to complete.

Let's move on to yet another fantastic tool for finding direction in this game. Achievements.

Guild Wars 2 does NOT do achievements like other mmos. They are not some random pointless side quests to grind out to earn some meaningless number. There is a serious amount of content hidden away in the achievements of this game. They span over all gamemodes, PvE, PvP and WvW, and they can reward you with all sorts of things like items, weapon and armour skins, laurels, titles, mastery points, even free gems which are like the premium currency you can buy with real money. Almost all achievements will also reward you with achievement points which is a super longterm system to reward you with permanent account bonuses like increase to your experience gain and permanent increase to your gold find on every one of your characters. They can get you to do a vast range of activities from collecting items or skins, defeating powerful bosses, completing the hardest content in the game (voidwalker), or even drink every beer from around the world (brewmaster)

There's even hidden achievements in the game that don't appear in the Achievements UI panel until at least one objective is completed. Seriously, there is so much content in here it's not even funny. You can click the little eye icon in the top right corner of the achievement to track it so it's always visible on the right of your screen, and it also shows in the “watch list” category in the achievements panel where you can even drag them around to reorder them.

Squads are basically the bigger version of parties. While parties can have a maximum of 5 players in them, squads can go all the way up to 50 and have more features and benefits. It's a good practice to join squads whenever you see them out in the open world. Whenever someone shares a boon with their allies, players in their own squad are prioritised over other players so you get more boons which generally means you do more damage and survive more.

It also just means you are kept more in the loop of any communication about the event or whatever content the squad is doing. You can see squad chat and if the commander is saying. Sometimes they will be typing out information about the event or what to do which can be very helpful for newer players or anyone who hasn't done the content before. Little side note, make sure you're talking in squad chat by typing “/squad” or just ”/d” before your message. Party chat sends the message to only your subgroup in the squad, most of the time you'll probably have no subgroups in the open world so everyone can see party chat in the squad but sometimes that isn't the case if the commander puts themselves into their own subgroup or organises everyone into subgroups. you might be wondering why everyone is ignoring you when you're talking to people in a different subgroup with party chat. Good habit to just use squad chat so everyone in the squad sees your message whether there are subgroups or not.

Experienced players can assign themselves as a commander which adds the commander icon above their head which also shows on the map and minimap for everyone in that map. They usually organise squads of players through content in the open world or instanced content or other competitive gamemodes. For open world PvE content, they sometimes even direct players to a specific map instance where a map meta event is happening. You can join their squads by clicking the commander tag icon on the map and clicking join squad, or right clicking their name in chat and joining that way.

One thing I wish I started doing a bit sooner is actually reading and familiarising myself with the weapon skills, utility skills and traits that I was using on a daily basis to interact with the world. I think it was partially laziness and partially assuming they didn't really matter that much and as long as I pressed a bunch of buttons blindly I would kill most things. Which I guess is technically somewhat true, guild wars is certainly no dark souls, and most content is not going to require you to execute the most optimal DPS rotation possible just to survive. However, traits, weapon skills and utility in this game are FAR from meaningless and it wasn't until I started to actually understand them that I started to understand the combat system this game has. It is much more interesting than it might initially seem.

They don't just all do varying degrees of damage with different effects and animations. Some abilities will make you stronger, some will make you take less damage, some will make your allies run faster, some will make you move differently, or make you move to a specific location, or stop you from moving, some abilities will interact with other abilities that you can combo together for additional effects on top of what they do alone. Your allies can even use some of their abilities in a field that one of your abilities left on the ground and cause another unique effect. Some of them do a unique type of damage called defiance break (also known as CC or crowd control) which damages the additional blue bar that some tougher enemies have which when broken will stun them and make them vulnerable for a short time and sometimes even trigger an additional unique effect.

It really opens up a whole new world of gameplay when you finally stop putting off reading those skills so get to it.

Thanks for making it all the way to the end! If you appreciate my work please consider checking out my youtube channel where I post a lot of helpful stuff for new and veteran players alike and if you have any questions you’d like me to answer, leave them on the youtube video version of this guide. This way I will definitely see them and endeavour to answer all questions over there. The link is at the top of this guide. Cheers!

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