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Helpful Starter Tips for New Players~

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First of all, Welcome to Tyria!

<3About once a week, I spend a couple of hours on starter maps with my mentor tag up, offering help and advice for new (and returning) players. On a single map, there are only so many people to reach, however. So, here's a thread with a few tips and tricks that the game does not directly teach you~

The Chat Box

  • Quickly and easily add friends, block trolls, report bad behavior (anet takes it very seriously), send mail, whisper, etc. by right clicking a name in chat.
  • Use emotes such as dance, laugh, and cry by typing /dance, /laugh, and /cry into chat. Your character will act them out!
  • There is an Official Wiki. It is your Best Friend! Access it quickly by typing /wiki into chat~
  • Share things in chat using ctrl+click; or shift+click if you want to add text. Begin with /wiki to search for things.

Your Inventory Panel

  • Hold Alt while moving a stack in your inventory to split it into multiple stacks. You get to choose the amount in the new stack!
  • Open your Inventory Panel and click the gear in the top right corner. Select "Deposit All Materials" to quickly clear space in your bags. Mats are sent to your personal Bank~
  • Your personal Bank can be accessed in every Major City and Crafting Station.

How Do I look?

  • Show off your fancy face and hairstyle by hiding your helmet. Go to your Equipment Panel and click the check box on the Helmet.
  • Customize your character through the Hero Panel using Equipment, Outfits, and then Dyes to color it all.
  • Wardrobe lets you apply Skins to equipment with Transmutation Charges.
  • Armor/Weapon Skins, Minis, Color Dyes, Outfits and more are unlocked account wide. They can be used by any of your characters!

"To Battle!"

  • The red bar beneath your skills appears when a foe is out of range. Move closer until the red bar disappears to be in striking range for that skill. ;)
  • You get XP for a lot of different actions beyond slaying foes. Reviving characters, Harvesting resources, Mapping the world, Crafting goods, etc. Go Explore!
  • Everyone who attacks a foe gets XP & loot. It's not shared, and you can't steal the kill or the loot~ \o/ Play Together, Help Out, Get Loot, Have Fun!
  • Being in a party betters your chances of loot drops (you don't have to do quite as much damage to receive credit if your party is attacking, too). Play with your friends, find a Guild, or just ask in chat for like-minded people~


  • Your Characters Enjoy Food, Too! Omnomnom, Eat Up~ It will give you bonuses and extra XP!
  • Set your Key Bindings! Be able to walk, swim straight up/down, use first person, and more. Esc>Options>Control Options~
  • The NPCs calling out for your help really DO need your assistance! Talk to them to begin quests, and follow NPCs around. They may be part of a Event Chain. Listen to NPCs chatting with each other. They often have important information, may be talking as part of an ongoing event, or could even be dropping Easter Eggs~
  • The game does not end with level cap. It's only just beginning! There is so much to do beyond level cap, so keep playing! (also, don't rush your leveling, or you'll miss a HUGE part of the game!)

    <3Got more helpful tips that aren't in the tutorial, but gosh would it help if they were? Maybe you've got an answer for a question commonly asked by new people coming in from other games? Perhaps you've been playing for years, but just recently learned of something that would have saved you many painstaking hours if only someone had told you back then? Please share, and support our growing community!

Got a question? You're in the right forums. =)

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@Gailrin.1384 said:Adding asterisk(*) after an emote will allow you to sync emotes. Also, the door in Queensdale which says only threatening people may enter, "/threaten" it, it'll open! Some Npcs also react to emotes which can help heart completion, like the lonely cows in the Diessa Plateau.

@LadySilverHand.6841 said:Ooo, a fun one is the Ornery Crabs. If you threaten them, they will become normal hermit crabs and run away, instead of attacking. :D

I didn't know either of these things, but now I'm curious and want to try it. The crab thing sounds particularly intriguing.

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If you join a guild that has its tavern up, head over there and grab one of the buffs from the barkeep. They last 24 hours and are completely free. One of them increases critical crafting chance, which can really help make levelling your crafting skills a little less painful and material-intensive.

When levelling a crafting skill, always "refine" your logs/ore/cloth/leather before doing anything else, until doing so no longer gives experience. You'll need a LOT of materials, and refining is the cheapest and easiest way to get crafting experience. Also, when you switch from refining to making things, try to "discover" as many recipes as possible, even ones that are useless to you (pistols or rifles for a ranger, for example) because a discovery gives MUCH more experience than doing the same recipe over and over -- again, saving you time and materials.

In the guild panel, you can click on "leave guild hall" to be transported back to where you were before, just as you can use the panel to visit the guild hall from any place in the world. Quick, easy and safe access to a vendor and your bank (via the scribe crafting station) no matter where you are.

If you are grouped with other people and their names in the party or squad UI have an empty background, it means they're on a different instance of the map (or on a different map altogether). Right-click someone's name, preferably the party leader or squad commander, and select "Join in (for example) Queensdale" to get into their instance, unless it's at capacity. Note that this works if you are actually on the same map as they are. You can't use this option to teleport to your commander in Queensdale if you are in Lion's Arch.

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You can Right-Click on your Salvage Kits to Bulk Salvage stuff.

You can Right-Click on Essence of Luck to Consume them all.

If you accumulate lots of Bags/Containers and open them later, you can easily bind your Mouse-Wheel to Double-Click (Google) saving the life of your Left-Click button.

If you are in Open World, you can easily access Bank, Merchant & Trading Post by entering the PvP Arena (Open PVP Panel) and then exit Arena and you'll be just where you left from. (Can do the same with Guild Hall but can't access TP there)

Home Instance, look it up on Wiki :)

The best initial Gem investment you can do IMHO is buying a Copper-Fed-Salvage-O-Matic and putting it in Shared inventory slot.

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Good idea! I was just thinking this morning that the new forum is a great opportunity to start an updated version of this topic!

Some additions:

All stats affect all weapons/skills, but they work in different waysIt's well worth spending some time on the Wiki finding out how they work. When I first started I somehow got the idea that stats only applied to certain weapons - e.g. precision was for ranged weapons and power was for melee, and toughness was pointless if you weren't using heavy armour. All of which is wrong and I wasted a lot of time putting together useless builds before I learned how it actually works. (Fortunately I found out before I got to level 80.)

EventsThese are like quests in other games - defend this, kill that, collect 10 rats and so on. The difference is they start, continue and finish regardless of whether anyone is joining in or not (and left to themselves the NPCs will most likely fail). They're shown on the map and on the list of stuff on the right side of the screen with orange text and icons.

You can jump into an event at any point and leave at any point and (as long as you stay on the map) you'll be rewarded for your participation. Everyone is rewarded individually, so it doesn't matter if you're on your own or if other people join in too. Events give good XP and karma so they're well worth doing.

Equipment tiers

Unlike a lot of games there's not many (6 in total) and all equipment with the same level and tier is equally good - an exotic level 80 Knight's helm you got from a random enemy will have exactly the same stats as one you crafted or got from a dungeon or dropped from a boss. All of which means getting good equipment is relatively easy.

The 6 tiers are:

  • Common (white)
  • Fine (blue)
  • Masterwork (green)
  • Rare (yellow)
  • Exotic (orange)
  • Ascended (pink) & Legendary (purple)(I've grouped the last 2 together because the stats are identical)

At level 80 most people go straight for exotics since it's relatively easy to get so there's no point getting a lower tier set first. They can be bought on the Trading Post with gold, bought from merchants in Orr with karma, crafted, bought with dungeon tokens or WvW badges, found as drops, awarded for completing certain achievements and sometimes bought with special currencies (like the Season 3 map currencies). As mentioned above all of these are equally good so you can mix and match as needed if you can't afford to get a full set through 1 method.

What you do need to think about is the stat combination. There's a lot of options, this Wiki page lists all of them: https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Attribute_combinationsand this one provides info on how to get them: https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Equipment_acquisition_by_stats

It's a good idea to plan ahead because some combinations are only available in specific ways and some are much easier to get from certain places. No sense is grinding crafting up to 400 only to find you could have used dungeon tokens you already had (or grinding a dungeon only to find you could have crafted it because you've already levelled crafts).

Ascended is more difficult - it was intentionally designed to be more expensive and time consuming to act as a long-term goal, and since the vast majority of the game is balanced around exotics it's probably not worth getting right away. But if you do want to go for it I strongly recommend doing your research first so you know exactly what you need to do.

Legendaries have absolutely identical stats to ascended, the only difference is that you can switch them to any stat combination any time you're out of combat. BUT they're even harder and more expensive to make - they're the ultimate long-term goal in this game so it's worth being certain you like how one looks and you want to use it before you start making them.

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Ctrl+Right-Click on a weapon skill sets it into automatic mode. Only one skill can be marked at the same time. Usually the first skill of a weapon is marked for auto-attack, but this is not true for most consumable, ambient or heart-quest-related weapons.

Hold Ctrl to make neutral (yellow) and hostile (red) nameplates appear. Foes can be seen much earlier and clickables on the ground or elsewhere are much easier to locate.Hold Alt to make friendly nameplates (green, white) appear, including your own.

/m - mapchat/s - say something readable in close range only/p - partychat/g - guildchat/d - squadchat

Most useful Mystic Forge recipes:Combine 4 Sigils or Runes of the same Tier to get a rune/sigil of the same Tier (80% chance) or next higher Tier (20%).Combine 1 Fine, 1 Journeyman's, 1 Master Salvage Kit and 3 Mystic Forge Stones to create a Mystic Salvage Kit (250 uses).Combine 4 rare items (yellow) to get 1 rare or exotic weapon/armor

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@Lanhelin.3480 said:Shift+Right-Click on a weapon skill sets it into automatic mode. Only one skill can be marked at the same time. Usually the first skill of a weapon is marked for auto-attack, but this is not true for most consumable, ambient or heart-quest-related weapons.

Hold Ctrl to make neutral (yellow) and hostile (red) nameplates appear. Foes can be seen much earlier and clickables on the ground or elsewhere are much easier to locate.Hold Alt to make friendly nameplates (green, white) appear, including your own.

It's actually Cntrl+Right-click for me. ;P You can see what you need to press to set an auto-attack by hovering over the skill. It's in the bottom of the pop up box. You can tell if an auto attack is set by the ring of an arrow around the skill box. And for a lot of consumable, heart related, ambient, etc skills, both hitting the downed state and transforming may require you to reset your auto attack. So if you can't figure out why you stopped attacking, watch for that.

New players, be sure to check your settings in your options! Lots of handy stuff in there, like keeping name plates (as above) turned on at all times so you can save your fingers (and buttons) some work.


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Another thing that might be good to know: You will eventually get more than enough hero points to unlock all the skills and specialisations.

It's still a good idea to pick ones that sound useful because you'll be quite limited in your options at first, but getting to level 80 gives you enough points to unlock all the core specialisations and all the skills, and you can get more from Hero Challenges around the world (1 per challenge in core maps, 10 per challenge in HoT and presumably PoF).

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Using skill 4 when downed will heal you slowly and make your character shout out for help. It may sound like just something fancy, but it really can helps others to notice when someone is down nearby and come to your help. The healing will be interrupted as soon as you take a hit so watch out. Using skill 4 when someone is trying to rally you will make the process faster.

When you're downed, killing something will also rally you. If you can, locate something nearby with the lowest hp and try to kill it, usually by throwing stones at it with skill 1. It is sometime also a good idea to call your target with ctrl+click if you're in a group to have them assist you killing your target.

Downing often in a short amount of time will add a penalty of 25% hp on the next time you down. After downing 4 times in about 1 minutes, the next time will make you die instantly. You can see your level of penalty from a small icon on the bottom right of your health ball after downing. Spending a couple of seconds without downing will degrade the penalty back to none. So watch out for it and take extra precaution if you see your penalty icon is red.

It is long to revive someone who is fully dead, especially if you are in combat. When you see downed people, it is great to rally them up as soon as you notice them, but if they're fully dead, you should first finish the combat before reviving them or you risk dying too.Likewise, if you die during a big event like a worldboss on in middle of many monsters, it is better to respawn at the closest waypoint and come back than waiting for someone to revive you.

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When coming into this game people will tell you that this is a friendly community, but they're not kidding. New players, this really IS the friendliest community out there. If you have a question, literally just ask it in map chat, or in say chat if you're a free player and can only read this forum but not comment on it, or whisper someone by right-clicking on their name and selecting whisper to ask them a question. Especially if you're in a starter zone or a city there are no questions that you think are too 'newbie' and there will be someone who will answer you with the correct information. That is the most helpful hint that I could ever give about this game, that if you need help to simply ask for it, whether it's about the class you're playing or if you need help with an event or jumping puzzle, or if you want to know about PvP, or if you want to know how to tame a pet, or how to get into another zone, or where the last hero point is wherever you are, or whatever it is. If you ask it, people will answer you and genuinely. You can make lifelong friends that way.

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Great suggestions so far guys, excellent idea for a thread, but there is one thing I didn't see anyone mention, and that's armor repair. In game, when you die, your armor takes damage and must be repaired. Eventually it will completely break if not repaired, and you lose the stats from that piece of armor. There will be a small icon directly to the right of your health pool that you can mouse over to see which pieces are damaged/broken. Repair is free, and is usually located in the beginning of dungeons, or most small settlements/towns. Just look for the red shield icon on your mini map. Nothing more embarrassing than walking out of an instance with no pants on :smile:

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One other thing I thought I'd mention is the mastery system. If you have leveled your mastery bar fully(bottom of the screen, only after reaching level 80), but do not have enough mastery points to unlock it yet, you can open another mastery line and let it be filling up, so you do not waste experience while earning more mastery points.

@LadySilverHand.6841 said:And it's always the pants, too. XD

Always. But I don't think most people realize there is a loss of stats when it breaks, which can turn a frustrating battle into chaos when naked people start falling out dead and no one knows why lol.

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@LadySilverHand.6841 said:

@Lanhelin.3480 said:Shift+Right-Click on a weapon skill sets it into automatic mode. Only one skill can be marked at the same time. Usually the first skill of a weapon is marked for auto-attack, but this is not true for most consumable, ambient or heart-quest-related weapons.

Hold Ctrl to make neutral (yellow) and hostile (red) nameplates appear. Foes can be seen much earlier and clickables on the ground or elsewhere are much easier to locate.Hold Alt to make friendly nameplates (green, white) appear, including your own.

It's actually Cntrl+Right-click for me. ;P

You're right. I'd edit my post if I could ...

Edit: reported myself and asked a Mod to edit the mistake.

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Great PvE hints, everyone!

Here are some things to be aware of for when people venture into WvW - need to be at least level 31 (or level 60 if you are using the Free-To-Play).

There are 4 main maps: 3 color-coded Borderland maps and the Eternal Battlegrounds(EBG).

Each Borderland map is tied to a main world along with its allies. Your home borderland will have a house icon next to it. Blue and Green are Alpine borderlands and use the exact same map layout - only the actual names of locations are different. Red has a Desert borderland. All three borderland maps each have 3 Keeps, 4 Towers, 6 Camps, and a number of sentry locations identified by a pennant. The color of the icon representing each of these locations denotes who controls it - so Blue, Green, or Red. A white icon indicates that no color has yet claimed that point (usually happens right after a server reset). To save time, the Towers and Camps are usually referred to by a compass direction plus T for Tower or C for Camp. So, "SET" would be referring to the SouthEast Tower, "NC" would be North Camp. On the Alpine maps the Keeps are "Bay" for the western Keep, "Garrison" for the center Keep, or "Hills" for the eastern Keep; for the Desert map the western Keep is "Fire", the center Keep is "Stoic Ramparts" and sometimes "Garrison", and the eastern Keep is "Air".

The Eternal Battlegrounds is split between each color and has Stone Mist Castle (SMC) in the center. Each color starts with a Keep, four Towers, and two Camps.

Also, be aware that chat works a little bit differently./s[ay] (green), same as PvE, so everyone (your side and all the others) in the immediate vicinity of your character will see what is typed in this chat./m[ap} (reddish orange), only communicates with everyone on YOUR side on your CURRENT map/t[eam] (red), communicates with everyone on YOUR side on ALL WvW maps

This Wiki link has more complete information detailing the WvW experience.

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Most boss enemies, and some regular enemies have a blue-ish bar under the health bar called a breakbar or defiance bar. This can be permanently displayed, or only appear during/prior to special attacks (it's a grey stripped bar outside these periods).

You can reduce this bar immediately by using "Hard CC" (These tend to interrupt opponent's actions - grey icons: Daze, Stun, Knockdown, Knockback, Launch, Pull, Float) or reduce it over time by "Soft CC" (These tend to be conditions - red icons: Fear, Taunt, Immobile, Slow, Chilled, Blind, Cripple, Weakness).

When this bar is reduced to zero, one or more of the following things happens to the enemy:

  • Stunned
  • Prevent a special attack
  • Interrupt/cancel a special attack
  • Take more damage for a short period
  • Enable you to damage the enemy (invulnerable otherwise)


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