What Profession Should I Play
Not sure which Guild Wars 2 profession to try out? This page will cover how each profession plays, both at a casual and a competitive level.
Last updated July 2020
Elementalists are masters of their chosen element. They're capable of strong damage per second or healing per second depending on playstyle. Elementalists have access to more weapon skills than any other class, which makes them difficult to pick up but rewarding to master.
The Tempest elite specialization turns elementalists into resilient group supports. The Weaver elite specialization focuses more on damage and dueling and requires players to quickly chain different elements together.
- In open world and casual PvE, elementalists are good at wiping out large groups of enemies thanks to their AoE skills. With a dagger or sword, they're highly mobile and capable of quickly engaging or escaping from enemies. However, their low health pool makes mistakes punishing.
- In fractals and raids, Weavers and Tempests are glass cannon damage dealers, with tempest excelling against groups of enemies and weaver dealing high single-target damage. Tempests can also be built as raid healers that provide boon support and very high AoE healing for inexperienced groups or casual raid clears.
- In large scale WvW, Weavers are backline damage dealers that excel at AoE damage and field control, and Tempests are decent midline healers and supports.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, Tempests are powerful supports with high sustain, while Weaver focuses on single target burst with duelling and roaming potential.
Play an elementalist if:
- You like massive AoE skills.
- You like complex classes with many different skills and rotations.
- You like playing ranged glass cannons, or
- You like constantly healing and sustaining yourself and your allies.
Engineers are jacks of all trades. They have more utility skills than any other class, regardless of role, which lets them find the right tool for any situation. While anyone can perform reasonably well on Engineer, the deeper you dive into Engineer's bag of tricks, the more rewarding you'll find playing Engineer to be.
The Scrapper elite specialization turns engineers into tanky supports with strong damage mitigation. In contrast, the Holosmith elite specialization is capable of high damage output and significant cleave.
- In open world and casual PvE, engineers are strong all-rounders thanks to their high damage and varied utility skills.
- In fractals and raids, Power Holosmiths are relatively bursty DPS that inflict heavy crowd control and vulnerability. Condition Engineers and Condition Holosmiths are difficult to play, but provide sustained damage and a massive toolbox of utility skills. Scrappers can be played as raid healers that provide defensive buffs to their party.
- In large scale WvW, Scrappers are midline supports with strong healing and condition cleanse. They have the unique ability to stealth the group or reveal stealthed enemies.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, Holosmiths are versatile melee skirmishers that deal high damage while Scrappers have mostly fallen out of favor.
Play an engineer if:
- You like blowing things up.
- You like classes with lots of utility and niche skills.
- You like cutting enemies down with flashy glowing lasers, or
- You like being an unkillable hammer-wielding sustain machine.
Guardians excel at defensive support. Regardless of their role, they have good off-healing and numerous utility skills that shield their party members from attacks. Guardians are easy to pick up and solid in every game mode, making them a good class for new players.
The Dragonhunter elite specialization turns guardians into skirmishers with mobility and burst damage. The Firebrand elite specialization grants a plethora of support skills, and can be built for damage or healing.
- In open world and casual PvE, guardians deal high damage and are great at supporting other players. However, their low health pool means they have to stay on their toes and be aware of their defensive options to survive.
- In fractals and raids, Dragonhunters are a strong DPS option in short fights, with high burst damage and the ability to provide a small amount of group support. Firebrands are useful as sustained DPS or as high-utility healers.
- In large scale WvW, Firebrands are the best supports in the game. They provide healing and defensive utility to their frontline while protecting their squishy backline.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, Firebrands are extremely powerful supports that keep their teammates alive. Core guardians and Dragonhunters are less common, but can be played as high burst damage skirmishers.
Play a guardian if:
- You like protecting your allies.
- You like having a lot of defensive options.
- You like being the supportive core of your team, or
- You like jumping on enemies and bursting them down.
More than any other class, mesmers break the rules. They can teleport and stealth their party, become invulnerable, and rewind their ability cooldowns. Skilled mesmers are wanted in every group regardless of game mode, as they open up entire new strategies with the utility that only a mesmer can provide.
The Chronomancer elite specialization enhances the supportive capabilities of mesmers, allowing them to buff themselves and their party members. The Mirage elite specialization focuses on clones, dueling, and damage.
- In open world and casual PvE, mesmers can be difficult to get the hang of, but excel in the hands of an experienced player thanks to their utility and survivability.
- In fractals and raids, Chronomancers are utility supports that provide powerful party-wide buffs and irreplaceable utility. Both Chronomancers and Mirages can also be played as strong DPS.
- In large scale WvW, Chronomancers are usually played as a utility support class, but currently struggle to measure up to the other options and so it is rarely seen.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, Mirages are extremely annoying assassins/duelists with high mobility that can mess with enemies and quickly burst them down.
Play a mesmer if:
- You like using tricks and utility skills to outwit your opponents.
- You like completely circumventing game mechanics.
- You like being an indispensable support class, or
- You like ambushing enemies and dancing out of their attacks.
Necromancers weaken their enemies and grind them down. They aren't the fastest or the cleanest, but they apply constant pressure to their enemies, forcing them to retreat and succumb. This slow grinding playstyle, combined with the necromancer's ability to cheat death, makes them relatively simple to play.
The Reaper elite specialization turns necromancers into menacing juggernauts with a lot of survivability and melee damage. The Scourge elite specialization reduces the necromancer's survivability in exchange for ranged damage, debuffs, and support.
- In open world and casual PvE, necromancers are one of the best classes for soloing thanks to their minions and self-sufficiency. They deal high damage while stubbornly refusing to die.
- In fractals and raids, Reapers and Scourges deal low DPS but provide party wide sustain, making them good in inexperienced groups. In raids they are most useful for the skill which is excellent for clearing adds. Scourges can alternatively be played as supports that mitigate damage and revive teammates.
- In large scale WvW, Scourges are fragile but incredibly dangerous midline damage dealers. They can turn large areas into kill zones with their damaging and boon-stripping shades. In addition, they provide minor support by shielding and cleansing their teammates.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, core necromancers dominate teamfights with their constant pressure and boon corruption. Reapers are extremely potent damage dealers. However, both are vulnerable to enemy focus and work best with support from others. Scourge's need to choose between ranged damage and personal survivability make them unsuitable for these faster-paced engagements.
Play a necromancer if:
- You like being an unstoppable wave of death.
- You like forcing your enemies to flee.
- You like both dealing damage and supporting your team, or
- You like scattering your enemies and ripping their buffs away.
Rangers are versatile skirmishers that team up with their pets to take on anything. They're the only profession that can seek out and charm creatures across the world. As their class mechanics are simple and they can fall back on their pet when they're having trouble, rangers are one of the easiest classes to learn.
The Druid elite specialization focuses on group support, offering healing and powerful party-wide buffs. Meanwhile, the Soulbeast elite specialization allows rangers to merge with their pets to become tough damage dealers.
- In open world and casual PvE, rangers are among the easiest classes for soloing because of their good sustain and their pet mechanics. Rangers have more control over their pets than other minion classes, making the pet uniquely capable of drawing aggro and allowing the ranger to deal damage safely from a distance.
- In fractals and raids, Druids are irreplaceable healers thanks to their utility and 10-player offensive buffs. Soulbeasts are also strong DPS with a simple learning curve.
- In large scale WvW, rangers are rarely played, but Soulbeast can provide a unique "immobilizer" role in coordinated groups.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, rangers of every specialization make strong duelists. Druids have good sustain and group healing, while core rangers and Soulbeasts threaten to follow up crowd control with high burst damage.
Play a ranger if:
- You like pets.
- You like hunting dangerous enemies and winning through smart healing and positioning.
- You like summoning spirits and buffing allies, or
- You like crippling enemies with traps and barrages of arrows.
Revenants project force across the battlefield. With their personal auras and tactical area-of-effect skills, they build up themselves and their allies while raining destruction on their foes. Revenants can be difficult to play due to their energy management system, but they are rewarding for players who learn and master their intricacies.
The Herald elite specialization focuses on defensive buffs and group support. The Renegade elite specialization has a mixture of defense and offense, providing AoE damage, lifesteal, and crowd control.
- In open world and casual PvE, revenants are slow and steady brawlers. They can generate their own boons and healing, making them strong when soloing.
- In fractals and raids, Heralds and Renegades are sustained DPS that boost the damage of their allies. Renegades can also be built as healers with very strong, but short-range, offensive buffs and healing.
- In large scale WvW, Heralds are ranged damage dealers that place constant pressure on enemy groups.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, Heralds are melee killing machines with high damage and mobility. Renegades can utilise the area control of Kalla to bunker on points.
Play a revenant if:
- You like flashy reality-tearing skill effects.
- You like classes that are quirky but strong when played well.
- You like summoning spectral weapons and calling in artillery strikes, or
- You really, really, really like hitting people with hammers.
Thieves are sneaky, slippery assassins. While their damage-dealing options are straightforward, they have the most mobility, evasive skills, and access to stealth of all the professions. This makes thieves easy to pick up but difficult to play to their full potential.
The Daredevil elite specialization focuses on mobility and evading attacks. In contrast, the Deadeye elite specialization sacrifices mobility for stealth and single-target burst.
- In open world and casual PvE, thieves deal good damage and have the ability to sneak past enemies with their superior mobility and stealth. However, their low health pool makes quick reactions important against more difficult enemies.
- In fractals and raids, Daredevil deals solid DPS with a simple rotation, while Deadeye can sacrifice mobility in order to deal very high single-target damage. They can reliably skip sections in fractals with teleports and stealth, which makes for useful out-of-combat utility if there isn't a Chronomancer in the party.
- In large scale WvW, Daredevils are slippery damage dealers that constantly evade attacks. They are usually played as frontline fighters, but their viability relies heavily on the player's ability to avoid damage and so are not common.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, thieves of all specializations make excellent roaming and ganking assassins.
Play a thief if:
- You like using stealth to run circles around your enemies.
- You like outplaying enemies in PvP with a high skill cap class.
- You like being able to avoid damage with well-timed evades, or
- You like dealing massive damage and killing things out of nowhere.
Warriors are sturdy melee fighters that their party members can rally around. While relatively simple to play, they have access to good damage and crowd control skills, and are useful in all game modes because of their unique offensive capabilities.
The Berserker elite specialization sacrifices personal defense to put out high sustained damage. The Spellbreaker elite specialization is more methodical, and rewards well-timed counters and interrupts by preventing damage and turning it against attackers.
- In open world and casual PvE, warriors are both strong and easy to play thanks to their innate damage and durability.
- In fractals and raids, a Warrior "bannerslave" is near-mandatory in every group because of their powerful and unique damage buffs, and . Berserkers, Spellbreakers, and core warriors can all fulfill this role depending on the fight, though Berserker is preferable. Berserkers can also be played as pure DPS with the option to bring extra crowd control.
- In large scale WvW, Spellbreakers are frontline supports that bring the unique skill, which single-handedly defines fights by forcing engagements and retreats.
- In PvP and small scale WvW, Spellbreakers are difficult-to-kill melee duelists, while core warriors are bruisers that lock enemies down and burst them.
Play a warrior if:
- You want to be a tough, brutal frontline fighter.
- You like simple but rewarding classes.
- You like setting yourself on fire and headbutting enemies, or
- You like countering attacks and expertly interrupting your foes.