How to Gear a Character

Last updated August 2022

Introduction

This guide is an overview of the best ways to acquire gear for level 80 PvE and WvW content.

It's assumed that you already have a fully leveled character and know what PvE or WvW build you're aiming for. If you don't know what build to aim for, here are some useful resources:

Equipment can be acquired from many different sources in this game. Feel free to mix and match gearing methods in a way that works for you.


Exotic or Ascended?

In Guild Wars 2 there is no gear treadmill. The only two equipment tiers for endgame gear are Exotic and Ascended.

  • Exotic gear is the second best tier. It's relatively cheap and easy to obtain, as a full set of Berserker's exotic gear only costs ~35 gold on the Trading Post (~10 gold if you don't count trinkets). It's also good enough for everything other than high-level fractals.
  • Ascended gear is the best tier. It's significantly more expensive than exotic gear, as a full set is timegated and costs 200-400 gold to craft. However, it only offers a 12.5% damage increase over exotic gear. You don't need to get ascended gear unless you want to run high-level fractals (in which case you need the infusion slots). However, it's a good long-term goal, especially if you plan to play WvW or do raids.
    • Ascended gear can be upgraded with agony infusions, which provide the agony resistance needed to survive high-level fractals. Alternatively, they can be upgraded with stat infusions, which provide a marginal amount of stats. Agony stat infusions provide the best of both worlds but are extremely expensive and most players don't bother with them.
    • Legendary gear has the same stats as ascended, but offers the ability to swap those stats any time outside of combat. It is extremely expensive to obtain but provides a further goal to aim for once you are fully kitted out in ascended. Legendary trinkets do have a particular use, as ascended trinkets with the End of Dragons stats (Dragon and Ritualist) are available only in extremely limited supply.


Ascended trinkets (backpieces, amulets, accessories, rings) are relatively easy to get, so you can consider skipping exotic and going straight to ascended for these. They also offer the greatest increase in stats by far, making them the most efficient place to start.

For every build other than power DPS, when upgrading from exotic gear you should upgrade your trinkets first, followed by your weapon, as most of your stats are in these items.

Power DPS classes should prioritise getting at least an ascended mainhand weapon before trinkets, as the higher weapon strength translates to a significant damage boost even before the increased attributes are considered.


Stats and Prefixes

For the vast majority of equipment, stat combinations are only accessible if they are part of the core set, or you own the expansion they are associated with. Stat selectable equipment will allow you to choose from any of the combinations you have access to, with a few exceptions (such as specialization collections).

  • Core/Release stats were included at release. These stats are generally the easiest to acquire.
  • Core/Extended stats were added during Living World Seasons 1 and 2.
  • Core/Hybrid stats are similar to Core/Extended stats but only available on certain ascended trinkets.
  • Heart of Thorns stats were added during Heart of Thorns and Living World Season 3. Other than Marauder and Crusader, these stats require the Heart of Thorns expansion.
  • Path of Fire stats were added during Path of Fire and Living World Season 4. These stats require the Path of Fire expansion.
    • Diviner's gear is a weird edge case. This stat combination was retroactively added in Path of Fire to both Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire gear, so it requires either Heart of Thorns or Path of Fire.
  • End of Dragons offers Dragon and Ritualist stats. At the time of writing, these are not included in "all-stat" selectable equipment, with the exception of weapons from End of Dragon's Strikes. Trinkets in particular are very limited, requiring completion of achievements or collections.


Useful Attribute Combinations

In instanced PvE, a relatively small selection of attribute combinations are in common use:

Optimised builds will often make use of other stat sets - see individual builds for details.


In Open World PvE and WvW, the useful combinations are much more varied, as survivability is much more important and the balance between offense and defence will depend greatly upon the build and player.


Below is a full list of the different attribute combination, and the prefixes used to refer to them.

Icon Exotic prefix Ascended prefix Release Stats Jewel
Apothecary stats.webp Apothecary's Ebonmane's/Veldrunner's Core/Extended Healing Power++, Condition Damage+, Toughness+ Passiflora
Assassin stats.webp Assassin's Soros's/Saphir's Core/Release Precision++, Power+, Ferocity+ Opal
Berserker stats.webp Berserker's Zojja's Core/Release Power++, Precision+, Ferocity+ Ruby
BerserValk stats.webp Berserker's and Valkyrie - Core/Hybrid Power++, Ferocity++, Precision+, Vitality+ -
25px Bringer's Giftbringer's Core/Extended Expertise++, Precision+, Vitality+ -
Captain stats.webp Captain's - Core/Release Precision++, Power+, Toughness+ Emerald
Carrion stats.webp Carrion Occam's Core/Release Condition Damage++, Power+, Vitality+ Chrysocola
Cavalier stats.webp Cavalier's Angchu Core/Release Toughness++, Power+, Ferocity+ -
Celestial stats.webp Celestial Wupwup Core/Extended Power+, Precision+, Toughness+, Vitality+, Condition Damage+, Ferocity+, Healing Power+ Charged Quartz
Cleric stats.webp Cleric's Theodosu's/Tateos's Core/Release Healing Power++, Power+, Toughness+ Sapphire
Commander stats.webp Commander's Tizlak's Heart of Thorns Power++, Precision++, Toughness+, Concentration+ Maguuma Burl
Crusader stats.webp Crusader's Ossa's Heart of Thorns Power++, Toughness++, Ferocity+, Healing Power+ Agate
Dire stats.webp Dire Mathilde's/Morbach's Core/Release Condition Damage++, Toughness+, Vitality+ -
25px Dire and Rabid - Core/Hybrid Condition Damage++, Toughness++, Precision+, Vitality+ -
Diviner stats.webp Diviner's Steelstar's Heart of Thorns OR Path of Fire Power++, Concentration++, Precision+, Ferocity+ -
Dragon stats.webp Dragon's Suun's End of Dragons Power++, Ferocity++, Precision+, Vitality+ Jade
Giver stats.webp Giver's Tixx's Core/Extended Toughness++, Healing Power+, Concentration+ Snowflake
Grieving stats.webp Grieving The Twins' Path of Fire Power++, Condition Damage++, Precision+, Ferocity+ Mournstone
Harrier stats.webp Harrier's Zehtuka's Path of Fire Power++, Healing Power+, Concentration+ Brandspark
Knight stats.webp Knight's Beigarth's Core/Release Toughness++, Power+, Precision+ -
Magi stats.webp Magi's Hronk's Core/Release Healing Power++, Precision+, Vitality+ -
Marauder stats.webp Marauder's Svaard's Heart of Thorns Power++, Precision++, Vitality+, Ferocity+ Ebony
Marshal stats.webp Marshal's Nadijeh's Path of Fire Power++, Healing Power++, Precision+, Condition Damage+ Sunset
Minstrel stats.webp Minstrel's Maklain's Heart of Thorns Toughness++, Healing Power++, Vitality+, Concentration+ Freshwater Pearl
Nomad stats.webp Nomad's Ventari's Core/Extended Toughness++, Vitality+, Healing Power+ -
Plaguedoctor stats.webp Plaguedoctor's Nerashi's Path of Fire Condition Damage++, Vitality++, Concentration+, Healing Power+ -
Rabid stats.webp Rabid Grizzlemouth's/Ferratus's Core/Release Condition Damage++, Precision+, Toughness+ -
25px Rabid and Apothecary's - Core/Hybrid Condition Damage++, Toughness++, Precision+, Healing Power+ -
Rampager stats.webp Rampager's Coalforge's/Forgemaster's Core/Release Precision++, Power+, Condition Damage+ Coral
Ritualist stats.webp Ritualist's Togo's End of Dragons Vitality++, Condition Damage++, Concentration+, Expertise+ Polished Resin
Sentinel stats.webp Sentinel's Tonn's/Wei Qi's Core/Extended Vitality++, Power+, Toughness+ Azurite
Seraph stats.webp Seraph Thackeray's Heart of Thorns Precision++, Condition Damage++, Concentration+, Healing Power+ -
25px Settler's Leftpaw's Core/Extended Toughness++, Condition Damage+, Healing Power+ -
Shaman stats.webp Shaman's Zintl Core/Release Vitality++, Condition Damage+, Healing Power+ -
Sinister stats.webp Sinister Verata's Core/Extended Condition Damage++, Power+, Precision+ Charged Ambrite
Soldier stats.webp Soldier's Chorben's/Ahamid's Core/Release Power++, Toughness+, Vitality+ -
Trailblazer stats.webp Trailblazer's Pahua's Heart of Thorns Condition Damage++, Toughness++, Vitality+, Expertise+ Maguuma Lily
Valkyrie stats.webp Valkyrie Stonecleaver's/Gobrech's Core/Release Power++, Vitality+, Ferocity+ Beryl
Vigilant stats.webp Vigilant Laranthir's Heart of Thorns Power++, Toughness++, Concentration+, Expertise+ Flax Blossom
Viper stats.webp Viper's Yassith's Heart of Thorns Power++, Condition Damage++, Precision+, Expertise+ Black Diamond
Wanderer stats.webp Wanderer's Ruka's Heart of Thorns Power++, Vitality++, Toughness+, Concentration+ Moonstone
Zealot stats.webp Zealot's Keeper's Core/Extended Power++, Precision+, Healing Power+ Watchwork



TL;DR - Recommended methods

There are a huge number of ways to obtain gear in Guild Wars 2. As such, while the guide below may be exhausting, it is not exhaustive. For many people, the question is not about how to get gear doing the content they enjoy, but simply how to get it as quickly as possible. As such, this section covers the fastest and simplest methods for acquiring each piece.

How was this decided? Toggle
For each piece of gear, the length of time it would take to obtain was estimated. For items that could be bought off the trading post, the time was worked out as the length of time it would take to farm the required amount of gold.
  • At the time of writing, a RIBA farm of the Silverwastes provides ~20g/h. Although there are better farms, this was chosen as it is easy to access for any level 80 character, and can be farmed for as long as desired.
It is assumed the player is level 80 and has access to all content, but has no particular story completion.


Exotic

Armour

  • For core stats such as Berserker's, you should just head straight to the trading post and buy the armour. Make sure to use the filters to select the appropriate stats rather than searching for the prefix itself.
  • For other stats, buy the Shoulders of the Ebon Vanguard and the Ice Golem's Maw from the trading post.
  • For the remaining armour pieces, head to Verdant Brink.
    • Complete events, open Airship Cargo and keep an eye on LFG for maps that are organising for the meta. A successful tier-4 map will give you a guaranteed armour piece.
    • In particular, make sure you kill the Wyvern Matriarch at the start of night as this has a chance to drop two of the pieces.
    • Prioritise the Itzel Lore mastery track to unlock Itzel Language so you can buy any pieces you don't get from the vendor.
    • In a well-run map you can earn ~500 airship parts an hour, which is enough to buy one armour piece. Buy shoulders, leggings and boots first as they cannot drop randomly.
    • See here for more details.


Weapons

  1. First, check if one of the elite specialisations happens to have a weapon/stat combination that you need.
  2. The next thing to do is check the trading post - remember to use the filters! Certain weapon/stat combos happen to have cheap options available. There are too many to list here, so go look.
  3. If there is a festival running, go and check the festival vendor as they often have weapon sets with specific stats. Festival of the Four Winds and Halloween are particularly worth paying attention to, as every fifth time you complete the dailies for these festivals, you get a box that gives you a stat-selectable weapon.
  4. Otherwise, you will probably need to rely on crafting, buying the item off the trading post, or one of the other methods detailed in the rest of the guide.
    1. If you happen to need a Greatsword, Pistol, Rifle, Staff or Sword, search for "Iron Legion" to find stat-selectable options for ~6g.
    2. Diviner stats Diviner stats weapons can be crafted for cheaper than most by heading to Forge Master Hilina in Thunderhead Peaks. The recipes cost five laurels and some volatile magic, but are still likely to be a lot cheaper than the other crafting option and they have pretty nice skins.


Trinkets

  • For most trinkets, there are few options other than crafting or buying from the trading post. As such, you may wish to go straight for ascended-tier trinkets instead given that they are relatively easy to get.
  • The only exotic backpiece you can buy from the trading post are those that drop during Lunar New Year. The cheapest of these should be around 7 gold.
  • Players with End of Dragons can head to Research Merchants throughout the maps to buy a stat-selectable ring (including Ritualist and Dragon stats!). Your character must have its End of Dragons elite specialisation unlocked, and you can only buy one ring per class per account. How good this method is depends on how cheaply you can get research notes.
  • Otherwise, and for all other trinkets, the choice is between crafting, buying off the trading post, holding out for ascended or one of the other methods detailed in the rest of the guide.


Ascended

Armour

  • Other than crafting, the only reliable way to get ascended armour is to go deep into endgame content (PvP, WvW, instanced PvE).
  • The most practical method is to play until you get a random drop, and then stat swap it to what you want.
  • Raids and Icebrood Saga Strikes offer the only cheap ways to buy ascended armour.
    • If you're interested in raids, you should immediately start paying attention to the Envoy Collection as this will give you two "free" sets of ascended armour across the course of completing it.
    • Raids are much more generous with both their magnetite shards and random armour drops, so if you're willing, that is the route to go.
  • Given how difficult ascended armour is to obtain, and how little it provides in the way of stats over exotic rarity, my personal recommendation is not to prioritise armour and to only upgrade as and when it becomes convenient.


Weapons

  • Weapons are similar to armour in difficulty to obtain, and has nearly identical recommended acquisition methods.
  • If you happen to need one of the weapons, the Knight of the Thorn collections offer the cheapest method of crafting an ascended weapon, though it is time consuming.
  • End of Dragons Strikes are more generous with their currency than their Icebrood Saga counterparts, so they are very similar to raids in terms of time investment required.
    • You are, however, gated by the fact that there are (currently) only four such strikes. So while the total time is low, it will still take over two weeks of dailies.
  • For many builds, ascended weapons can also be low priority. For power DPS in particular though, the enhanced weapon strength translates into a significant damage boost so you should at least get mainhand ascended weapons (including 2-handed) if you can.


Trinkets

For many players, the place to get ascended trinkets will be the Living World episodes. If you head down this route, it is highly recommended that you pay attention to the Seasons of the Dragons collections. Even if you aren't interested in going all the way for the legendary amulet, completing some relatively simple tasks in each map will get you 250 of the map currency, which is likely to be faster than farming materials directly.

  • For core stats, players with laurels to spare can quickly buy Amulets or Rings from the Laurel Merchant.
  • For non-core stats, or if the above methods don't appeal, several Living World episodes provide very effective methods of obtaining trinkets.
    1. Your first port of call should be Bjora Marches, which offers an amulet and an accessory to players who have completed the required achievements. Opening various chests on the map can quickly earn over 300 Eternal Ice Shards (limited to once per day, and you will need the appropriate masteries to open them). In addition, the Storms of Winter meta and the Drakkar Meta provide ~285 and ~152 Eternal Ice Shards respectively. Icebrood Saga strikes also drop a decent amount of shards. Fitting in any of these activities regularly will be greatly useful.
      • Even after getting the trinkets, it might be worth continuing to do a regular chest farm. At the speed you can acquire Eternal Ice Shards, converting them to season 4 map currencies is likely to be faster than farming the season 4 maps themselves.
    2. For the backpiece and ring, you then want to look at Bitterfrost Frontier. While farming winterberries may not be particularly engaging, it is quick and the only limit to how much you can get is how many characters you can bring there. You can also get an accessory from Bitterfrost Frontier if you prefer this method to Bjora Marches. If you have enough characters, it should take ~30m of farming to get enough currency for a ring, and ~1h of farming to get enough currency for the backpiece.
    3. For the second accessory (and possibly a second ring), the place to head is Dragonfall. It is a little slower than the other maps, but more varied and doing the meta is an excellent farm in its own right. You can also get an amulet and an accessory from this map if you prefer it. It should take ~1.5h of farming to get enough currency for the accessory.
  • Unfortunately, if you need Dragon or Ritualist stat trinkets, you will need to rely on End of Dragons achievements/collections, or on legendary gear.


Recall that rings and accessories are unique, so you cannot equip two of the same type. For rings specifically, you can get around this by attuning one of the rings so that it is considered a different item.



Exotic Equipment

Trading Post

For Core/Release stats, the simplest and fastest way to get exotic equipment is to buy it off the Trading Post. This can, however, be rather costly for some stats and you may find that it is easier to go straight for ascended weapons and trinkets in particular. The majority of exotic equipment is also soulbound upon use, preventing you from giving it to another character later.

DO NOT SEARCH DIRECTLY FOR THE PREFIX, as that will only show you crafted gear. Instead, use the filters to find the cheapest level 80 exotic gear with the stats you need. You should be able to find armour pieces for less than 1 gold each.

This will set you back 10-35 gold. If you don't count trinkets it will cost less than 10 gold.

There are two notable stat-selectable armour pieces you can obtain from the trading post: a helm and shoulders. These give you access to stats that are otherwise hard to come by. If you happen to be a Charr, there are also a couple of Charr-only helms: the Charr War Mask and Blood Legion Soldier Helm that are very cheap.


Lunar New Year backpieces

The stat-selectable exotic backpieces that are available during the Lunar New Year festival are tradeable, and the cheapest can be found for ~6 gold. They are the only exotic backpieces that can be bought on the trading post.


Iron Legion weapons

A limited range of stat-selectable weapons can be bought from the trading post for ~6 gold each (search for "Iron Legion"). The ones available are Greatsword, Pistol, Rifle, Staff and Sword.


PvP/WvW

If you play PvP or WvW, reward tracks are the best way to obtain exotic armor and weapons with Core/Extended, Heart of Thorns, or Path of Fire stats. Assuming a 50% winrate, it takes ~38 ranked PvP matches to complete a track. WvW reward tracks progress is more reliable, but takes over 8.5 hours without boosters at maximum participation. Completing dailies for the reward potions is highly recommended to speed up these methods.

These provide stat-selectable armor pieces:

These provide stat-selectable weapons:

You can also get certain Core/Release stats very easily through the dungeon reward tracks, which provide 3 weapons and one piece of armor:

If you have any of the Living World Season 3-5 episodes, you can get stat-selectable gear from their corresponding reward tracks. See "Living World Achievements" below for the gear you can get (identical to the gear the reward track provides).


Bladed Armor

Special mention must be given to the Bladed Armor set available from the first map of Heart of Thorns, Verdant Brink. This set is stat-selectable, which makes it an excellent way to obtain some of the more difficult attribute combinations. Each piece has a slightly different way of obtaining it:

  • The head can be found as a random reward from chests, purchased from a vendor or as a reward for completing the The Jungle Provides story step.
  • Shoulders, leggings and boots can be purchased from a vendor
  • The coat is a random drop from killing the Wyvern Matriarch at the end of the map's meta event
  • Gloves can be found as a random reward from chests in the map or killing the Wyvern Matriarch, and can also be purchased from a vendor

The vendor in question is the Itzel Mastery Vendor, which requires the Itzel Language mastery to unlock.

You can also get a chest that lets you choose one of these pieces each time you complete the Heart of Maguuma Reward Track in PvP or WvW.


Story/Achievement Rewards

Some story steps and achievements provide exotic gear as a reward. If you're going to be playing through the story anyway it may be worth checking the list below see see what you'll get.


Story Rewards

Some story steps provide you with free exotic equipment:

Personal Story

  • Victory or Death: Provides a Berserker's, Knight's, or Rabid head.

Heart of Thorns

  • The Jungle Provides: Provides a stat-selectable head.
  • Bitter Harvest: Provides a piece of Trailblazer's, Viper's, or Wanderer's armor.
  • Hearts and Minds: Provides a piece of Wanderer's armor.

Living World Season 3

  • Confessor's End: Provides a stat-selectable Core/Release, Core/Extended, or Heart of Thorns head.

Path of Fire

  • Blazing a Trail: Provides a Marshal's backpiece.


Elite Specialization Gear

You receive some gear for training an elite specialization. Note that the armor pieces are not salvageable, so you might not want to put expensive runes in them.

Heart of Thorns

  • Berserker: Sentinel's, Sinister or Vigilant torch and head
  • Chronomancer: Berserker's, Minstrel's or Soldier's shield and shoulders
  • Daredevil: Celestial, Marauder's or Minstrel's staff and head
  • Dragonhunter: Berserker's, Commander's or Rampager's longbow and gloves
  • Druid: Cleric's, Minstrel's or Nomad's staff and shoulders
  • Herald: Celestial, Crusader's or Trailblazer's shield and shoulders
  • Reaper: Berserker's, Knight's or Trailblazer's greatsword and head
  • Scrapper: Berserker's, Knight's or Wanderer's hammer and head
  • Tempest: Assassin's, Celestial or Minstrel's warhorn and shoulders


Path of Fire

  • Deadeye: Assassin's, Berserker's or Valkyrie rifle and shoulders
  • Firebrand: Marshal's, Trailblazer's or Viper's axe and head
  • Holosmith: Berserker's, Marauder's or Marshal's sword and shoulders
  • Mirage: Carrion, Dire or Rabid axe and head
  • Renegade: Celestial, Grieving or Viper's shortbow and head
  • Scourge: Apothecary's, Carrion or Viper's torch and shoulders
  • Soulbeast: Marauder's, Marshal's or Viper's dagger and gloves
  • Spellbreaker: Assassin's, Knight's or Valkyrie dagger and shoulders
  • Weaver: Celestial, Grieving or Viper's sword and gloves


End of Dragons

  • Bladesworn: Berserker's, Dragon's or Knight's pistol and gloves
  • Catalyst: Celestial, Dire or Dragon's hammer and head
  • Harbinger: Ritualist's, Sentinel's or Shaman's pistol and gloves
  • Mechanist: Dragon's, Soldier's or Zealot's mace and gloves
  • Specter: Apothecary's, Ritualist's or Shaman's scepter and gloves
  • Untamed: Carrion, Dragon's or Rabid hammer and head
  • Virtuoso: Carrion, Dire or Ritualist's dagger and gloves
  • Vindicator: Dragon's, Nomad's or Zealot's greatsword and gloves
  • Willbender: Apothecary's, Ritualist's or Settler's sword and shoulders


Mistward Collections

You receive a set of exotic Berserker's, Knight's, or Rabid heavy armor for unlocking all Revenant specializations and completing the Mistward collections.


Heart of Thorns Pact Backpieces

For playing through the Heart of Thorns story and completing the Agent's Pack, Crusader's Pack, or Scholar's Pack collection, you get a backpiece with certain Core/Release or Core/Extended stats.


Living World Achievements

Since Heart of Thorns, most Living World episodes have had at least one achievement that provides stat-selectable exotic armor:


Living World Season 3


Living World Season 4


Icebrood Saga


Festivals

A few festivals offer stat-selectable exotic equipment as rewards, so it's always worth checking the festival vendors while one is running.

Halloween and Festival of the Four Winds are particularly notable, as every five times you complete their dailies, you get a box that offers an exotic stat-selectable weapon. Lunar New Year has a similar reward, but only Diviner stats Diviner stats are available.


Crafting

Crafting is an expensive but reliable way to get exotic equipment. You'll need the appropriate level 400 crafting profession and the recipe for the items you want to craft. You'll also need the right materials, either acquired through farming or the Trading Post.

Crafting can get complicated for expansion stats, as the appropriate recipes are often locked behind map-specific currencies, and the materials may be expensive or account bound. Use the wiki to find the appropriate crafting recipes and where they can be obtained from.

This will set you back 50-200 gold depending on the stat set; you might also have to spend more gold leveling your crafting or buying the recipes.


WvW Vendors

The Weapon Master and Armor Master at each WvW spawn point sell:

  • weapons and armor with Berserker's, Carrion, Cleric's, Knight's, Rabid, and Soldier's stats;
  • amulets, accessories, and rings with Soldier's stats.

Depending on the exact stats and how many Badges of Honor you have, this may or may not be a better deal than buying them off the Trading Post. A full set of weapons and armor will set you back 7-10 gold and 1200-1500 Badges of Honor.


Karma

Each of the six temples in Orr has a meta event chain that, when completed, allows you to buy exotic equipment for 42,000 karma apiece. Note that none of these are salvageable, so you might not want to put expensive runes in them.


Dungeon Tokens

If you have some experienced friends to run dungeons with, or you're willing to take your chances with LFG, you can get certain Core/Release stats by doing dungeons. Each explorable path has a daily reward of 100 Tales of Dungeon Delving which you can cash in for exotic armor and weapons at the Dungeon Armor and Weapons vendor.

Ascalonian Catacombs, Twilight Arbor (non-Aetherpath), and Crucible of Eternity are the easiest dungeons for inexperienced players to tackle. Arah is grueling and not recommended for the faint of heart. If you're new to dungeons, I recommend using a LFG description along the lines of "new player LF all paths, help appreciated".


Guild Backpacks

If you’re in an active guild that does guild missions, you can buy exotic backpieces with Berserker's, Magi's, or Soldier's stats from the Guild Commendation Trader for 5 gold and 5 guild commendations each.

You can also buy exotic weapons from this vendor, but this is not recommended as the Trading Post is cheaper.


Prototype Fractal Capacitor

You can buy an exotic Berserker's, Cavalier's, Rabid or Soldier's backpiece from BUY-4373 for 1,350 fractal relics. This backpiece can be upgraded fairly cheaply to an ascended version in the Mystic Forge, making it a good choice for fractal players. However, it does not have an upgrade slot and hence provides inferior stats compared to all other exotic backpieces.

Note that the upgraded ascended version will have the same stat combination as the exotic version.


Beetle Incubator

If you have Living World Season 4 Episode 3 ("Forearmed is Forewarned"), you can buy an exotic backpiece from Kadir in the Domain of Kourna for some karma and map currency. This stat-selectable backpiece provides all Core and Path of Fire stats.



Ascended Equipment

Differences from Exotic

Ascended equipment differs from exotic equipment in three crucial aspects:

1. Ascended equipment is Account Bound, not Soulbound.
This means you can freely move ascended weapons and trinkets between characters, and ascended armor between characters that wear the same weight of armor.
2. You can't equip multiple copies of Unique ascended trinkets.
For example, you can't equip two , even though you have two ring slots. The same applies to accessories. You can work around this in two ways:
  • Get two differently-named rings or accessories that have the same stats.
  • Use one ring that is infused or attuned (see "Infusing and Attuning Equipment" below) and one ring that isn't. This is useful if you aren't planning to slot infusions into your rings.
3. Ascended armor and weapons can be reforged in the Mystic Forge to change their stats.
To do this, combine the ascended piece with 5 Globs of Ectoplasm, an Anthology of Heroes (bought from Miyani), and an exotic inscription/insignia with the desired stats. This lets you stat swap any ascended weapon or armor piece, including named weapons and armor pieces you get from achievements.
  • Note that this is effectively destroying and recreating the ascended piece, so you'll lose any upgrades that were inside it. If you want to keep runes, sigils, or infusions, you'll have to extract them with an Upgrade Extractor or Infusion Extraction Device.
  • This process will also cease to count as the original item for some purposes such as forging legendary armor.


Living World Maps

The single best way to get ascended trinkets is through the Living World maps. All Season 3 maps and some Season 4 and 5 maps have a unique farmable currency that can be used to buy stat-selectable ascended trinkets. If you play PvP or WvW, you can also get the map currencies from the appropriate reward tracks.

Generally speaking, season 3 maps are more generous with their currencies than season 4 maps, and Bitterfrost Frontier in particular is notable for only limiting the amount of winterberries you can farm each day per-character (other maps limit you per-account). This means with enough characters, you can very quickly obtain all trinkets except for an amulet. The most convenient map to get an amulet (or another accessory) from is Bjora Marches. After these two maps, the easiest to farm is probably Dragonfall, which can get you the final ring.

Note that all of these are Unique, so you can only get one ring and accessory from a single map, though you can double up on rings if you attune one of them (see above).


Living World Season 3


Living World Season 4


Icebrood Saga

  • Bjora Marches (Eternal Ice) - amulet, accessory (require achievements to unlock purchase option)
    • Eternal Ice drops very frequently from events and strikes related to Bjora Marches, and can be traded for season 4 currencies. This can work out faster than farming the relevant maps themselves.


Laurels

Another way to get ascended trinkets with Core/Release stats is to buy them from the Laurel Merchant. This vendor sells trinkets with Apothecary, Berserker's, Cavalier's, Celestial, Cleric's, Knight's, Rabid, Rampager's, and Soldier's stats. You can also buy Core/Hybrid stats, and duplicates of any Core/Extended trinket you received from Living World Season 2 story achievements.

  • Amulets only cost 30 laurels, making this the cheapest way to get an ascended amulet.
  • Rings cost 35 laurels, which is pretty cheap. However, getting them with laurels is not recommended as Pristine Fractal Relics are even cheaper.
  • Accessories cost 40 laurels and 50 Globs of Ectoplasm, which is only worth it if you have lots of laurels and ectoplasm to spare.

You can also buy from the WvW Laurel Merchant, which costs more Badges of Honor but fewer laurels.


Mist Trinkets (Fractal, PvP or WvW)

You can buy stat-selectable ascended trinkets from vendors in fractals, PvP, or WvW. This is a relatively expensive way to obtain ascended trinkets, but the trinkets you obtain can have any stats, and you can reselect stats using a Mist Capacitor. The trinkets are also not Unique, so you can equip multiple Mist Bands or Mist Talismans.


Precursor Backpieces (Fractal, PvP or WvW)

Each of these three gamemodes has a legendary backpiece associated with it, and the corresponding ascended Precursor can be a convenient option for people who already play these gamemodes.

  • The fractal legendary, Ad Infinitum, involves the creation of several ascended backpieces. The first of these, Finite Result requires somewhat costly materials to craft, but is still among the cheapest ascended backpieces
  • Wings of Ascension, involves combining all four PvP backpieces, which are bought for a total of 100 PvP League Tickets
  • Warcry is obtained in much the same way as the PvP backpieces, and costs a total of 2450 WvW Skirmish Claim Tickets


Fractals

As Fractals can be completed daily, a regular player can have a fairly consistent source of ascended drops (particularly if they are doing t4s and/or CMs), though the available stats are quite limited. In addition to RNG, there are some more reliable methods:


Fractal Rings

If you don't mind doing fractals, you can use Pristine Fractal Relics to buy ascended rings from BUY-2046 PFR. These are the same rings sold by the Laurel Merchant, except they only cost 10 Pristine Fractal Relics each. That's a mere 3 days of T1 fractal dailies, or 1 day of T3/T4 fractal dailies if you already have a geared character. These are available with core stats.


Prototype Fractal Capacitor

As previously mentioned, BUY-4373 sells a Berserker's, Cavalier', Rabid or Soldier's backpiece for 1,350 fractal relics, which can be upgraded to an ascended version in the Mystic Forge. If you do fractals regularly, this is one of the cheapest ascended backpacks available.

Note that the upgraded ascended version will have the same stat combination as the exotic version.


Raids

If you do PvE raids, you can buy ascended equipment from the Basic Magnetite Exchange Operative for magnetite shards. This is by far the cheapest way to get ascended armor and weapons, but you have to invest time into learning to raid (or at least have friends that are willing to carry you through raids).

Each raid encounter also has a small chance to drop an ascended trinket, weapon or armour piece, though the available stats are restricted.

Finally, any new raider should immediately try to get started on the Envoy Collection. This is the collection that leads up to Legendary Armour, but crucially the first collection awards you with a FULL set of ascended armour for relatively little effort, provided you can get the kills.


Strikes

Icebrood Saga Strikes award Blue Prophet Shards, which can be traded for stat-selectable weapons and armour at a vendor in the Eye of the North.

Players with access to End of Dragons Strikes can also trade Green Prophet Shards for weapons at a vendor in Arborstone. These weapons are notable, as they allow for the selection of Ritualist stats Ritualist stats and Dragon stats Dragon stats, which are not included in the majority of other ascended stat-selectable gear.


Guild Commendations

If you're in an active guild that does guild missions, the Guild Commendation Trader sells the same ascended accessories as the Laurel Merchant, but for 5 gold and 12 guild commendations each. This is more cost-effective than buying them with laurels, as guild commendations aren't really used for anything else.


Achievements

Some story steps and achievements provide ascended gear as a reward. This is the best method of getting ascended gear for new players, but is limited by the achievements available.


Dungeon Collections

Unlocking all the skins for each of the dungeons will unlock an ascended accessory with Assassin's (Caudecus's Manor or The Ruined City of Arah), Carrion (Citadel of Flame or Sorrow's Embrace), Magi's (Honor of the Waves or Twilight Arbor), or Sentinel's (Ascalonian Catacombs or Crucible of Eternity) attribute combinations. These attribute combinations can be difficult to obtain if you only have access to core stats, but completing the collections from scratch involves running a lot of each dungeon, or its correspondind PvP/WvW reward track.


Style Guide

A stat-selectable accessory can be obtained by completing the Style Guide collection, though several items are very expensive to obtain.


Knight of the Thorn

If you complete the Heart of Thorns story and the Knight of the Thorn questline, you can get a stat-selectable ascended weapon with Core/Release, Core/Extended, or Heart of Thorns stats.

You can have the weapon be a dagger, greatsword, scepter, shield, or sword. While this weapon can't be stat swapped in the Mystic Forge, you can use unbound magic to reselect its stats or the type of weapon it is.

The first ascended weapon is free (only requiring some easy collection achievements). To make more, you'll need to complete the Heart of Thorns story on additional characters, and spend about 30 gold crafting the components for each new weapon.


Pact Reformer & Luminated Backplate

There are a number of collections in Heart of Thorns that reward you with a stat-selectable ascended backpiece for completion. The collections themselves are simple, but require a bit of grinding the relevant maps.

  • The Pact Reformer achievement rewards you with a Gift of Ascension for completing all three of the pact backpiece collections.
  • The Luminate's Backplate is a simpler collection, but involves a large amount of the Auric Basin currency. Fortunately, this map is very farmable so this may be convenient to go for.


Raise the Banners

You get a stat-selectable ascended backpiece for completing each Raise the Banners collection in Path of Fire. The stats available include all of the stats sold by the Laurel Merchant, as well as Path of Fire stats.

There are 3 collections you can finish, each one providing an ascended backpiece. You get a 4th backpiece for free after completing all the previous collections.


Specialization Collections

You get an ascended weapon for completing each Specialization Collection. The resulting ascended weapons have a limited selection of stats but can be stat swapped in the Mystic Forge.


Heart of Thorns

  • Berserker: Sentinel's, Sinister, or Vigilant torch
  • Chronomancer: Berserker's, Minstrel's, or Soldier's shield
  • Daredevil: Celestial, Marauder's, or Minstrel's staff
  • Dragonhunter: Berserker's, Commander's, or Rampager's longbow
  • Druid: Cleric's, Minstrel's, or Nomad's staff
  • Herald: Celestial, Crusader's, or Trailblazer's shield
  • Reaper: Berserker's, Knight's, or Trailblazer's greatsword
  • Scrapper: Berserker's, Knight's, or Wanderer's hammer
  • Tempest: Assassin's, Celestial, or Minstrel's warhorn


Path of Fire

  • Deadeye: Assassin's, Berserker's, or Valkyrie rifle
  • Firebrand: Marshal's, Trailblazer's, or Viper's axe
  • Holosmith: Berserker's, Knight's, or Wanderer's sword
  • Mirage: Carrion, Dire, or Rabid axe
  • Renegade: Celestial, Crusader's, or Trailblazer's shortbow
  • Scourge: Apothecary's, Carrion, or Viper's torch
  • Soulbeast: Marauder's, Marshal's, or Viper's dagger
  • Spellbreaker: Assassin's, Knight's, or Valkyrie dagger
  • Weaver: Celestial, Grieving, or Viper's sword


End of Dragons

  • Bladesworn: Berserker's, Dragon's or Knight's pistol
  • Catalyst: Celestial, Dire or Dragon's hammer
  • Harbinger: Ritualist's, Sentinel's or Shaman's pistol
  • Mechanist: Dragon's, Soldier's or Zealot's mace
  • Specter: Apothecary's, Ritualist's or Shaman's scepter
  • Untamed: Carrion, Dragon's or Rabid hammer
  • Virtuoso: Carrion, Dire or Ritualist's dagger
  • Vindicator: Dragon's, Nomad's or Zealot's greatsword
  • Willbender: Apothecary's, Ritualist's or Settler's sword


The Heart of Thorns collections includes an expensive Mystic or Mordant weapon that will set you back about 20-30 gold. However, collecting a Mystic shield or staff, or a Mordant axe, dagger, or sword, will fulfill the requirement for two collections at once.


Story Mastery Achievements

Some story achievements provide an ascended trinket when complete:


Living World Season 2


Heart of Thorns

  • Heart of Thorns: Act IV Mastery: Stat-selectable amulet
    • Note that this used to require the difficult achievement Migraine. However, in June 2022 a new achievement was added that allows you to skip this if you do all the others.


Path of Fire


Icebrood Saga

  • Completing all episodes of the Icebrood Saga will award you an ascended accessory.


Misc Living World Collections

A number of stat-selectable backpiece are available as rewards for collections from Living World episodes. Typically these are not a convenient method, but they may hold some attraction to achievement hunters.

  • Mawdry is the final reward of a lengthy collection that spans the whole of Living World Season 2
  • The Wayfarer's Henge is available from Living World Season 3 Episode 5. While is is not costly, it is heavily timegated - requiring a minium of 16 days
  • Mark Y Golem is available from Living World Season 4 Episode 2
  • Ascended Banner of the Dauntless Commander is available from Living World Season 4 Episode 3


Seasons of the Dragons

Players with access to all seasons of living world should seriously consider completing the Seasons of the Dragons achievements. This involves playing through all Living World episodes (except season 1) and doing some specific tasks in the relevant maps (usually events and gathering materials). Completing the entire thing will take some time, but along the way you will be rewarded with the following items:

  • An ascended weapon chest that allows you to choose any core stat
  • A token for a free End of Dragons precursor weapon - can select any stat in the game, including Ritualist stats Ritualist stats and Dragon stats Dragon stats, but unfortunately is only exotic
  • A 32-slot bag
  • And finally, a legendary amulet - As a legendary, this effectively removes the need to get any other amulet on your account

Each episode's achievements are also scattered with other rewards such as Mystic Coins, map currencies, and weapon skins.


Crafting

Crafting is an expensive but reliable way to get ascended armor and weapons. You'll need the appropriate level 500 crafting profession and the recipe for the items you want to craft. You'll also need the right materials, either acquired through farming or the Trading Post. Note that ascended trinkets cannot be crafted.

One important difference between exotic and ascended crafting is that ascended crafting requires several time-gated materials:

Crafting can get complicated for Core/Extended, Heart of Thorns, and Path of Fire stats, as the appropriate recipes are often locked behind map-specific currencies, and the materials may be expensive or account bound. Use the wiki to find the appropriate crafting recipes and where they can be obtained from.

Crafting a full set of ascended armor and weapons will set you back 200-400 gold depending on the stat set; you might also have to spend more gold leveling your crafting or buying the recipes.


Grandmaster Marks

As an alternative to crafting ascended armor and weapons directly, you can craft Grandmaster Marks and use them to buy ascended gear. This is primarily useful for obtaining Core/Extended, Heart of Thorns, or Path of Fire stats without jumping through hoops to get the relevant crafting materials and crafting recipes.

One vendor in each game mode sells the recipes for Grandmaster Marks, and also accepts them as a currency:

This costs around the same as crafting the items normally, but is much more convenient than farming rare/account bound materials. If you play WvW or ranked PvP you can also get the occasional Box of Grandmaster Marks from reward chests.


Vial of Salt

Although this stat-selectable item is PvP-related, no PvP is required as the items involved in forging it can simple be bought off the trading post.


Rurik's Engagement Ring

If you have Living World Season 3 Episode 2, Rurik's Engagement Ring is a stat-selectable ascended ring awarded from a questline in Ember Bay. The items for the questline can be bought off the Trading Post for about 50 gold, so it's an option if you have lots of gold to spare.


Path of Fire Vendors

As a last resort, you can use Trade Contracts and Pulsing Brandsparks to buy Path of Fire trinkets from various open world vendors. This is one of the worst and most expensive options available, but it's included for the sake of completeness.



Runes & Sigils

Trading Post

The vast majority of upgrade components can be bought off the Trading Post. Some crafted runes and sigils can be expensive, but unfortunately there may be no better way to obtain them. Obtaining the materials and crafting them yourself is sometimes cheaper, but crafting costs vary wildly so you would need to check each Rune/Sigil individually.


Heroics Notary

A small set of runes and sigils can also be obtained for Proofs of Heroics from the Heroics Notary. If you play WvW, check the Heroics Notary before buying expensive upgrade components.

  • Runes: , , and
  • Sigils: , , and


Crafting

Some runes and sigils are account bound and only available through crafting, such as . Neither the recipe nor the materials are particularly expensive, but you'll need to have the appropriate crafting profession levelled to craft it.


Dungeon-Exclusive Runes and Sigils

Some runes and sigils are exclusive to dungeons, including the following meta runes:

  • : Ascalonian Catacombs
  • : Twilight Arbor

The best way to get these is to farm dungeons for a few days, then buy them with dungeon tokens from the Dungeon Armor and Weapons vendor. The only alternative is to obtain the tokens from the appropriate PvP/WvW reward track; this will take much longer and is only really worth it if you hate dungeons.


HoT-Exclusive Runes and Sigils

The remaining runes and sigils are account bound upgrades introduced in Heart of Thorns, and must either be bought with map-specific currency in PvE or with Proofs of Heroics from the Heroics Notary.

Decide whether you enjoy farming PvE or WvW more, then farm the appropriate currency and buy them from the vendor. Note that all except the Whispers Keeper require you to unlock the appropriate Mastery to buy items from them.



Infusions

Infusing and Attuning Equipment

To put infusions in your gear, you first need ascended equipment with infusion slots. Most ascended equipment comes with one or two preset infusion slots. You can increase the number of infusion slots in certain trinkets by infusing or attuning them:

  • Rings and backpieces can be infused to add one infusion slot, for a total of two infusion slots.
  • Rings can also be attuned to add a second infusion slot, for a total of three infusion slots.

The following Mystic Forge recipe is used to infuse rings:

The following Mystic Forge recipe is used to attune rings:

Backpieces have inconsistent Mystic Forge recipes and are also fairly expensive to infuse (about 30 gold + a Gift of Ascension). Check the wiki to see which recipe is required to infuse your ascended backpiece.

Note that these Mystic Forge recipes effectively destroy and recreate your ascended trinkets, so you'll lose any upgrades that were inside them. Be sure to remove any expensive infusions using an Infusion Extraction Device before reforging them.


Agony Infusions

Agony infusions are relatively straightforward to acquire. They drop from fractals, and can be combined by an Artificer or INFUZ-5959 into higher tiers of agony infusions. Agony infusions can also be bought and sold on the Trading Post.

New fractal players should aim for +9 Agony Infusions, as equipping 15 +9 infusions, 1 +8 infusion, and 1 +7 infusion is enough to reach 150 agony resistance. This means you don't need to spend gold infusing your backpiece.


Stat Infusions

+4 Stat Infusions

You can buy Healing, Malign, Mighty, Precise, Resilient, or Vital infusions from the Laurel Merchant for 5 laurels each. These are the cheapest stat infusions available, but only provide +4 to a stat rather than +5.


WvW Stat Infusions

WvW Laurel Merchants and Skirmish Supervisors sell stat infusions for WvW currency. These infusions provide +5 to a stat and make you more effective against Guards, Lords, and Supervisors. If you play WvW, these are the cheapest +5 stat infusions available.


Agony Stat Infusions

INFUZ-5959 sells +5, +7, or +9 Agony Infusions that also provide +5 to a stat. These cost agony infusions and integrated fractal matrices. The +5 Agony Infusions can also be bought for magnetite shards and gold from the Basic Magnetite Shard Exchange Operative.

PvE players who only plan to play raids can buy the relatively cheap +5 agony stat infusions. The +7 or +9 infusions are much more expensive and should only be considered by extremely dedicated fractal players.

Adapted from User:Tanetris/So You Want To Gear a Character

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