[GW2]GUIDE: Weapon and Armor Stats Explained

This FAQ explains what you need to know about gear and how its attributes are distributed. I’ll predominantly aim this at level 80 equipment as we can talk about all equipment rarities. The reason for this FAQ is:

  • To explain how attributes are distributed at level 80
  • To answer some common misconceptions
  • Illustrate the methods and difficulty of obtaining equipment

If not stated, the tables in this FAQ are from the GW2 wiki or self made.

Disclaimer: This faq is based on fact or logic based on evidence. Nothing is assumed because we all know what ‘assume’ does to you and me. As such, there may be other ways of obtaining gear or additional information not known to us at this time. However, I do not wish to speculate as this only causes confusion. If any pertinent information is sent to me that will improve this faq then I will update it.


Equipment Rarity
Each item has a quality which indicates the rarity or nature of the base modifications available on the item.  The following is the rarity in ascending order:

  • Junk = Gray
  • Common = White
  • Fine = Blue
  • Masterwork = Green
  • Rare = Yellow
  • Exotic = Orange
  • Legendary = Purple

Attribute Allocation
Is all gear the same?
No, as you level all gear increases in terms of stats and defence rating.

At any given level, is all gear the same?
This is where there are many misconceptions. For any given level, attributes and defence ratings are not the same UNLESSthey are the same rarity also. Here’s an example of two great swords at level 80 (Image from reddit poster ardikus).

Posted Image

The rest of this post will explain why they are not the same and what to expect at level 80 in terms of gear and how its stats are distributed. The last section will contain the known methods of obtaining maximum stat gear.

Why does gear provide stats in PvE but not PvP?
Answer? It’s a trick question. PvP gear has stats… but not every bit of gear has it, in fact only two do. The amulet and the jewel that goes in it.

Have you ever wondered why AN made amulets so powerful? It’s obvious with a bit of thought. Amulets are there to replace stats on the rest of your gear. It would be a pain to have 6 gear slots, 5 trinket slots, a back pack slot AND weapon slots all with stats – especially if you want to change your build. Most people know roughly what they want, whether it be power, crit or condition build,

What AN have done is simply taken all the stats off of ‘gear’ and put it into one concise place… the Amulet. In BWE 1 they also had ring/ earring slots but quite rightly realised that they didn’t need them and instead amalgamated those slots from 5 items with 25/15/15 stats to one jewel for the amulet with 125/75/75 stats (i.e. same stats overall).

So what about PvE?
Well AN have simply broken down the stats you got from amulets and put them back on armour, weapons and accessories. There will be no +798/569/569 amulet, those stats now belong on gear, trinkets etc.

If you now think with the mentality that the super powerful amulet has been split amongst gear, then you’ll realise different builds concentrate on different skills. Condition builds don’t need power, so the exotic great sword in the image would be ideal. While heavy dd builds would like the stat choices of the other great sword. Bottom line, not all builds will focus on the same stats so just because a weapon doesn’t have power does it mean it’s useless.

Therefore, how can we compare two items if they have different stats?
Easy for weapons, as you can also look at its damage stat (weapon strength). Max weapon strength for a great sword in PVP is995-1,100. It’s logical PvE will be the same and as you can see Exotics max weapon strength is 995-1,100. Rares only have a max weapon strength of 882-975.

Ok, so what about stats for non-weapons, can you compare the two? 
Yes, you can look at the defence rating for the piece or because AN loves symmetry you can look at the stats. Don’t look at how they’re distributed (in terms of power, precision etc) but look at the numbers.

  • Exotic 128/128/179
  • Rare 113/113/158

Each stat is approximately 13% higher on the exotic than the rare.

What if I want an Exotic but don’t like how the stats are distributed?
Not all weapons/ armour will be the same. There will be different exotics where one might have power/ precision/ condition damage, another has power/ vitality/ toughness and so forth. The bottom line is all exotics will be distributed in a 128/128/179 manner for 2-Handed weapons at L80.

Similarly almost all rare 2-Handers at level 80 will have their 3 stats in a 113/113/158 manner. Masterworks will be closer to 100/100/140 (i.e. 13% less powerful etc).

How many attributes does gear have?
At level 1 all gear has only one attribute. As you level up it increases to three at level 80. There will be some exception where level 80 gear has four stats – these pieces of gear usually have a non-primary attribute as the fourth stat at the expense of lowering the other three primary attributes.
Level 80 Exotic Greats sword A


Level 80 Exotic Greatsword B
Crit Damage 5%

To compensate for the crit damage bonus to weapon B, it’s vitality and toughness stats were reduced. However, AN have reduced them proportionately to so that both weapons have equal “power” overall. This does not mean A will hit as hard as B.

Instead, add all the attribute points in weapon A (it comes to 435) and weapon B (comes to 375 + 5% crit damage). AN value the 5% crit damage to be equivalent to 50 primary attribute points.

Edit: As has been pointed out, in terms of literal numbers although AN is fairly consistent, they don’t necessarily rely on objective evidence to balance their game but subjective evidence such as player feedback/ internal testing plays a role.

For instance, the celestial amulet has a total stat point of 1704 + 15% crit. The Berserker’s amulet meanwhile has a total stat point of 1651 + 15% crit. Thus one amulet has 53 extra stat points so gives you more bang for your buck. However, very few players will ever pick the celestial amulet as specialising in a few stats seems to be more beneficial than spreading them out. AN have obviously ‘buffed’ the amulet to offer more incentive, that’s my take on it.

Wildclaw points out crit damage is worth more points/ percent on amulets than jewels. I again think AN have done this based upon subjective player feedback. Who wants 1% crit damage bonus at 80. Seems rather low. At the same time, AN once had 31% crit damage bonus on their amulets, that seemed rather high. So it looks like AN are tweaking numbers for balance.

The last thing Wildclaw points out is something which on paper looks better than it should. Most jewels provide 125/75/75 distribution = 275 total stat points. Interestingly the Rampager jewel provides 125/75/45/45 = 290 stat points. It is effectively providing 15 free points. Again this is probably from feedback AN got that having 2 low stats of 37.5 wasn’t enough incentive and they changed it.

One has to remember AN only added vitality as a fourth stat since BWE2. This was almost certainly due to the fact the squishy classes (Thief and Elemetalist) had low base health pools and defence. Thus they were struggling to obtain high damage builds without 12k healths in BWE1. So AN buffed the power jewellery with vitality so these damage builds could have an extra 3k health.

To add to all of this, if we look at runes we can see divinity rune offer the best bang for your buck in terms of overall stat points. Most 6 set runes have 205 total stat points and a 6th set ability. The divinity rune have 240 stat points but also 18% crit damage. The latter provides more crit + damage than any other 6 set rune. AN have most likely done this based upon their internal testing but it is a interesting point to bear in mind.

Most weapons will only have 3 stats at 80 but remember this:

  • Weapons have stats to represent the stats taken from amulets. Whenever you are picking gear, the sum total of all the stats on all pieces of gear is equivalent to one amulet. Yes that includes the weapon and accessories. In fact weapons make up almost 25% of an amulet!

Do all pieces of gear have stats?
In a nutshell, yes. There are 12 main pieces that contribute: 6 equipment slots, 5 trinket slots and your weapon. If you have 2 weapon sets, it’s the one you are wielding. Below I’ve provided an image of a level 35 Asura in cultural armour. In it I have included the caption for the amulet and to act as a reference, the chest piece.

As you can see, amulets have stats but they are significantly reduced compared to PvP

Posted Image

So all exotic gear has a 179/128/128 distribution?
No! Only 2 Handed exotics have that distribution. Below is what other pieces of exotics have at level 80.

  • 2-H Weapon = 179/128/128
  • 1-H Weapon = 90/64/64
  • Head = 45/32/32
  • Shoulder = 34/24/24
  • Chest = 101/72/72
  • Hands = 34/24/24
  • Legs = 67/48/48
  • Feet = 34/24/24
  • Rings = 67/48/48
  • Earrings = 56/40/40
  • Amulet = 90/64/64
  • Backpack = 22/16/16*

*Note all numbers in red are estimates (based upon up scaling of rare level backpack) as no exotic backpack has been seen yet

Source for the exotic Jewellery stats: http://www.gw2db.com…ysocola-jewel-s

As you can see, the sum total of the weapon plus equipment slots make one amulet.

That is if you add all 6 equipment slots (head, shoulder, chest, glove, leg, boot), 5 trinket slots (Amulet, 2x Rings, 2x Earrings) and the main weapon (either two 1 handed weapons OR one 2 handed weapon) you get roughly 798/569/569, the left over stats are meant to reflect the jewel which goes into the amulet.

So you may have to rethink that ‘precision’ sword as it will eat into your stat allocation elsewhere

Ok, so all gear at level 80 will have the same attribute allocation setup if they are from the same rarity?

Yes!!! So all exotic axes at level 80 will have a 90/64/64 distribution while rare axes at 80 will be 79/57/57.

The difference between exotics will be how the attributes are set up?
Exactly, so some exotic swords will be power/precision/condition damage while others are vitality/toughness/healing. But both swords will have a 90/64/64 distribution.

So exotic gear is always better than other gear?
Yes with one huge caveat, that is both items must be of the same level. A level 70 exotic helm is not necessarily better than an 80 masterwork helm. You should only compare items of the same rarity and level for true comparisons.

From a pure personal point of view, I found on average for any piece of equipment I found, each level of rarity is equivalent to 2-3 levels.e.g. A green level 10 power sword was as good as a blue level 13 sword which was as good as a white level 15 sword.

Obtaining Gear
Can I get all gear rarities from level 1?
No, see the following:

  • Common  = Level 1-80
  • Fine = Level 1-80
  • Masterwork = Level 10-80
  • Rare = Level 35-80
  • Exotic = Level 60-80
  • Legendary = Level 80

Basically, exotic (max stat gear) starts at level 60.

Where do I get the gear from?

  • Common = Mob Drops, Chest Rewards, Merchants
  • Fine = Mob Drops, Chest Rewards, Karma Merchants, Crafting, Mystic Forge
  • Masterwork = Mob Drops, Chest Rewards, Karma Merchants, Crafting, Mystic Forge
  • Rare = Mob Drops, Chest Rewards, Karma Merchants, Cultural Vendor Merchants, Crafting, Mystic Forge, Dungeon Token Rewards
  • Exotic = Mystic Forge, Dungeon Token Rewards, WvW Merchants, Crafting
  • Legendary = Mystic Forge

You can obtain the level 60 exotic gear with either dungeon tokens (to get the Ascalonian set), crafting (level 80 sets only) or for badges of honour in WvW (for the Invader’s set).

How difficult is it to get level 80 exotic gear?
We can theorise an estimate playtimes needed to get a full set of gear.

Dungeon Tokens
Each dungeon has its own unique tokens. Going the dungeon route path, it will cost you:

  • 2-Hander = 390 tokens
  • 1-Hander (main hand) = 300 tokens
  • 1-Hander (off hand) = 210 tokens
  • Head = 270 tokens
  • Shoulder = 240 tokens
  • Chest = 390 tokens
  • Glove = 270 tokens
  • Leg = 360 tokens
  • Feet = 270 tokens
  • Total (6-Piece (Full) Set) = 1800 tokens
  • Total (2-H + Full Set) = 2190 tokens
  • Total (Main + Off Hand + Full Set) = 2310 tokens

Ascalonian level 60 exotic armour is slightly cheaper than this with a full 6-piece gear set costing 1200 tokens.

Dungeon tokens are obtained by completing explorable mode runs of each dungeon. Each dungeon on average nets 41tokens for each completed explorable mode run: 20 tokens for the main boss and 7 for each of the three mini bosses. It is possible to obtain more than 41 per run as mobs occasionally drop tokens.

If we want a full set of level 80 exotic gear we would need to run:
1800/41 = 43.9
44 Dungeon runs

For a 2 handed weapon we would need to run:
390/41 = 9.5
10 runs

For a main and off hand we would need to run:
= 12.4
13 runs

A person who wants a full set of exotics and a main and off hand from the same dungeon vendor would need to do 57 dungeon runs.

The dungeon tokens needed per weapon are from beta and thus may change but it gives you an idea of how hard exotics will to get from dungeons.

Of the known exotic dungeon sets, the first two (Ascalonian and Noble’s) are not L80, they provide the following 3 attributes:

  • Ascalonian (L60): Power (main) / Toughness / Vitality
  • Noble (L70): Precision (main) / Power / Condition Damage
  • Nightmare: Condition Damage (main) / Precision / Toughness
  • Sorrow’s Furnace: Condition Damage (main) / Power/ Vitality
  • Flame Legion: Power (main) / Precision / Crit Damage

Higher level dungeons will have multiple explorable modes and Arah (L80/ final dungeon) has 6 paths. This will make repeating dungeons MUCH less monotonous.

This is for level 60 exotic gear only – couldn’t find the level 80 vendor sorry. For those wondering, badges of honours are rewards dropped by opposing players, mobs and from keep sieges. They may often be concealed in loot bags.

  • Head = 260 Badges of Honour
  • Shoulder = 229 Badges of Honour
  • Chest = 312 Badges of Honour
  • Glove = 188 Badges of Honour
  • Leg = 292 Badges of Honour
  • Feet = 208 Badges of Honour
  • Total (6-Piece (Full) Set) = 1489 Badges of Honour

How hard is it to get badges of honour?
From a typical 1hr hectic WvW play the average player will get 10-20 badges depending on luck and remembering to loot corpses too!

Being optimistic, at 20 badges/hour that means:
1489/20 = 74.45
= 75 hours

That’s 75 hours for a level 60 exotic gear set (not 80 remember).

When I initially made this thread I stated at this time we had no evidence to say what exact role crafting plays in making exotics. Nirgal though kindly pointed me in the direction of a few hidden pages in GW2DB.

I’ll link one inscription and one insignia.

Valkyrie Ancient Inscription – http://www.gw2db.com…ed:created-from

Valkyrie Gossamer Insignia – http://www.gw2db.com…amer-insignia-s

As you can see the limiting factor seems to be globs of ectoplasm (nostalgia for many GW1 players). The rest of the general recipe for crafting exotic weapons and armour follow the same standard recipe seen earlier in game:

1x Insignia/ Inscription
1x Inner Lining/ Weapon Hilt
1x Outer Lining/ Weapon Blade

Tier 6 materials will be needed but assuming globs of ectoplasm are available at an appropriate rate they appear much more available to the player base.

But if they’re much easier to get than the other exotics why bother getting the other exotics?
The most likely reason is for different skins. All the base level 80 exotic set looks like this:

Posted Image Posted Image

A lot of people will find them unappealing and thus hunt the other exotics for skins.

Why have exotic dungeon skins which look the same as the rare skins when you can just transmute a rare skin over a crafted exotic?
This appears to be a valid point. Why have AN put 2 diverse methods of getting exotics, one which could take weeks to complete (WvW and dungeon exotics) versus one which could be done in days (crafted or bought off the trading post).

To confound the matter, the exotics sold by dungeon vendors have rare equivalents which share the exact same skin but cost half the amount of tokens. Why would anyone buy exotic dungeon gear when you could buy crafted exotic gear and then transmute the rare dungeon skin over it?

The answer lies in the stats. Remember I said all exotic gear has the same total power i.e. all chest pieces would be 101/72/72 etc. Well, GW2 uses 8 stats on it’s PvE gear that we are aware of:

  • Condition Damage
  • Critical Damage
  • Healing Power
  • Magic Find
  • Power
  • Precision
  • Toughness
  • Vitality

Using GW2DB we can see (also seen in earlier crafting) there are only 7 different Insignias/ inscriptions:

  • Berserker’s = Crit Damage/ Power (main)/ Precision
  • Explorer’s = Magic Find (main)/ Power/ Precision
  • Knight’s = Power/ Precision/ Toughness (main)
  • Carrion = Condition Damage (main)/ Power/ Vitality
  • Rampager’s = Condition Damage/ Power/ Precision (main)
  • Valkyrie = Criti Damage/ Power (main)/ Vitality
  • Cleric’s = Healing Power (main)/ Power/ Toughness

*New* Crafted L80 Jewellery Exotic

  • Chrysocola Jewellery: Condition Damage (main)/ Power/ Vitality
  • Beryl Jewellery: Power (main)/ Crit Damage/ Vitality
  • Coral Jewellery: Precision (main)/ Condition Damage/ Power
  • Emerald Jewellery: Precision (main)/ Toughness/ Power
  • Opal Jewellery: Magic Find* (main)/ Power/ Precision
  • Ruby Jewellery: Power (main)/ Crit Damage/ Precision
  • Sapphire Jewellery: Healing (main)/ Power/ Toughness


This wiki is a good start for further info:

So crafted exotic items at 80 will have one of the above eight stat sets.

However, there are eight variables which come in threes meaning there are at least 56 distinct combinations. If only eight are covered here, what about the rest? Where is the soldier set (power/ toughness/ vitality)?

Basically, the other exotics will make up some of the remaining stat combinations. You must also remember you could have one 2H exotic with 179/128/128 power/precision/condition damage which is different from a 2H exotic with 179/128/128 condition damage/power/precision. In the former power is the main stat while the latter has condition damage. So there are actually more than 56 combination of stats.

That being said you can expect the ‘other’ methods of obtaining exotics to have skins you may want also. Whether they are worth the time to grind or not is up to you. I am a little surprised that the soldier set isn’t one of the crafted sets but I guess it will be one of the more desirable ones. It’s also intriguing that all the crafted sets have power.

Other Ways
The mystic forge is the final confirmed way of getting exotic gear but what it entails exactly has yet to be confirmed. AN have hinted it involves skill points and there are 50 skill point items at the vendors.

The commonest criticism this faq get’s is ‘there are other ways to obtain exotics’. This may be true but unfortunately we don’t have the L80 data information. I said this faq would be based upon facts but to add a bit of food for thought, the two most likely ways of also obtaining exotics but are NOT confirmed are:

  • L80 Karma Vendors in Orr
  • Rare drops off Monsters (e.g. Zhaitan)

How difficult is it to get Legendary gear?
Much harder than exotics and there are only known legendary weapons. We now know that the recipe for legendary weapons are:

  • Bloodstone Shard = 200 Skill Points
  • Exotic Weapon = These exotic weapons will most likely need skill points to make in the first place!
  • Gift of Energy/ Metal/ Wood = 400 Artificer/ Weaponsmith/ Huntsman
  • Other Gift/ Statue = 400 Artificer/ Hunstman/ Jeweller/ Cook/ Tailor/ Leatherworker/ Armoursmith

The gift of energy/ metal/ wood will be relatively straight forward albeit expensive as 250x tier 3-6 mats will be needed. The 400 in two crafts will take a bit of time too. The skill points may be a stumbling block because:

There are 200 skill points in the world, you gain 75 skill points from levelling = 275 available at launch. The minimum any normal person will spend on skill points is 5 (1st tier) + 15 (2nd tier) + 30 (3rd tier) + 10 (elite) = 60 skill points (that’s assuming the elite you want is not the 30 point elite). As such you will have enough skill points for 1 legendary.

However, if you want the 30 point elite (most people will), then you need 40 more skill points. You now have only 175 skill points left so will need 25 more for one weapon. 13 of these will likely come from when wvw resets (so you can re take the 13 skill points there) but the other 12 are from levelling (for those that don’t know you get 1 skill point for every level after 80) so you will need to be level 92 effectively for your first legendary weapon.

Edit: WvW has not been resetting skill points since the early BWE 1. This makes it plausible that skill points resetting in WvW was a bug and if that is the case then levelling will be the only way to get skill points once one completes all the skill challenges.

Once you obtain your first legendary weapon, your second will require you to gain 200 levels.

However if these exotics for the legendaries need skill points (the 50 point Eldrich scrolls) to make then we may need even more skill points to get one.


  • All level 80 gear is not the same
  • Exotic Gear is the max level gear in terms of stats (equal to legendaries)
  • PvE gear is designed by breaking up the stats of the PvP 798/569/569 amulet and putting it back on gear
  • Exotic gear at level 80 has 13% better stats than a Rare 80 item
  • All level 80 exotic gear will have the same “total attribute” points but different gear will have different attribute allocations e.g one exotic glove is 34/24/24 in power/precision/vitality while another is 34/24/24 in toughness/vitality/healing
  • The four confirmed ways of obtaining exotics are: dungeon tokens, WvW, crafting and the mystic forge. There may be other ways.
  • There are at least 8 crafted exotic sets that require globs of ectoplasm.
  • Exotic gear can take a long time to get (44+ dungeon runs or 75+ WvW hours) and this is presumably to offer more desirable stats and skins compared to the crafted sets.

Source: http://www.guildwars2junkies.com/2012/08/23/guide-weapon-and-armor-stats-explained/