Warriors are an incredibly versatile profession that benefits from the ability to wield a wide variety of weapons. While some weapon sets may give a polite nod to the more traditional warrior archetype of a sword-n-board melee combatant, the warrior in Guild Wars 2 can be a major damage dealer in both melee and ranged combat. They also have excellent survivability, can grant positive benefits to allies, and really ruin their enemies day through a variety of negative conditions and crowd control abilities.

GW2 Warrior Icon

Warrior Quick Facts

  • One of Guild Wars 2’s two Soldier professions
  • Able to wear Heavy armor
  • Can wield a large variety of weapons
  • Builds Adrenaline to unleash powerful attacks based on their active weapon set
  • Able to focus on both melee and ranged combat styles
  • Uses a strong combination of physical and condition damage
  • Can create a variety of Banners to support and bolster allies
  • Can be highly mobile, while greatly reducing the mobility of foes

Warrior Themes and Combat Roles

Thanks to the ability to wield the largest variety of weapons of all the professions in Guild Wars 2, the warrior also tends to offer some of the most diverse options for how you choose to approach combat. While they can certainly be played with a more traditional sword-n-board approach befitting of the typical RPG warrior, they can also be a DPS powerhouse, crowd control specialist, or masterful ranged combatant.

Don’t let the use of heavy armor fool you; the warrior can also be one of the most highly mobile professions, pairing particularly well with their ability to hinder the movement capabilities of foes. This combination greatly reduces the all too common issue for melee classes in MMOs where you can dish out a lot of damage, but tend to get kited by ranged attackers to the point of uselessness.

Another thing to note about the warrior is that most of their weapon sets focus on a very specific theme or damage type, perhaps more so than any other profession in the game. This is partly due to the fact that the warrior in GW2 draws heavy inspiration from many of the strongest primary / secondary skill synergies in the original Guild Wars. As you’ll learn below, these concepts aren’t necessarily limited to GW1 warrior skills. For example, the longbow skills draw heavy inspiration from ranger skills that focus on inflicting the Burning condition.

GW2 Warrior Character Creation

The warrior is a solid option for solo gamers thanks to a combination of being able to equip heavy armor, remain highly mobile both in and out of combat, and deal heavy damage through normal attacks and their unique Adrenaline mechanic. The learning curve does tend to be a bit steeper than other professions, however, because you will have a lot more weapons to learn and eventually master.

In group settings you can approach the warrior in a number of different ways. While you could certainly fulfill a more traditional tanking role, you will also be equally capable of providing strong melee or ranged DPS. This versatility also tends to make the warrior a strong choice for any game type, be it general PvE, dungeons, structured PvP, or World vs. World.

Warrior Weapon Sets

Starting at level 7, the warrior is able to equip two unique weapon sets. These can be actively swapped by pressing the [`] key at any time out-of-combat, though there will be a short cooldown after swapping weapon sets during combat before you will be able to swap back again. For more information on how this system works, please refer to our Intro Guide to Builds.

The weapons that warriors can equip along with their associated skills can be seen in-game by opening the Hero window [H] and selecting the Skills and Traits tab on the left. We’ve also added a list of available weapons for the warriors below:

Main Hand Off-Hand Two-Handed Aquatic
Axe Axe Hammer Harpoon Gun
Mace Mace Greatsword Spear
Sword Shield Longbow  
  Sword Rifle  

As you can see, the warrior has a sizable list of options for weapon sets, so you will want to acquire plenty of weapons early on to begin the process of unlocking all available weapon skills. While doing so, be sure to pay particular attention to any weapon sets you naturally gravitate towards, and don’t be afraid to “think outside the box” when it comes to your overall build concept.

For example, just because you notice that many warriors are using sword / sword and greatsword for their weapon sets in sPvP, don’t feel as though you need to follow suit. Remember, the warrior can be just as viable when played as a ranged character, and it can always be a good thing to keep your enemies guessing as to your personal combat style.

Given the overall depth to the weapon set options (the warrior has a total of 19 possible combinations – more than any other profession in GW2) and the thematic nature of many sets, there is simply too much to cover for a basic guide. But be on the lookout for a separate guide to warrior weapon sets, themes, and combat styles in the near future.


The unique profession mechanic for warriors is called Adrenaline. As you attack foes with your weapon skills, you will begin building up adrenaline which can then be used to unleash a more powerful attack based on your current weapon set by pressing the [F1] key. You should consider this skill an extension of your normal weapon skills, and will want to get into the habit of utilizing it in combat early on.

You will start out with 1 level of adrenaline, which will be displayed directly above your weapon skills as shown below:

Warrior Adrenaline Tip

Within the first few levels you will unlock a total of three levels of adrenaline. You must fill at least one of these to use your [F1] skill, but the more levels you fill, the more poweful your [F1] skill will be. The results for having 1, 2, or 3 levels of adrenaline will be shown in the tooltip for each of these skills.

A complete list of adrenaline skills and their associated weapon sets can be seen below:

Weapon F1 Skill Description
Axe Eviscerate Leap at your foe with a devastating attack. Effect increases with your adrenaline level.
Greatsword Arcing Slice Strike your foe with an uppercut that grants Fury
Hammer Earthshaker Jump to the targeted location and slam your hammer down, damaging and stunning foes.
Harpoon Gun Forceful Shot Fire a forceful shot. Damage increases with adrenaline level.
Longbow Combustive Shot Ignite target area, Burning nearby foes. Effect increases with adrenaline level.
Mace Skull Crack Stun your foe with a skull crack. Effect increases with adrenaline level.
Rifle Kill Shot Fire a powerful shot. Damage increases with adrenaline level.
Spear Whirling Strike Strike all foes around you. Effect increases with adrenaline level.
Sword Flurry Immobilize your foes with a flurry of strikes. Effect increases with adrenaline level.

Warrior Trait Lines

Upon reaching level 11, you will begin earning Trait Points (1 per level for a total of 70 at level 80) that can be spent in any of the five available Trait Lines. Each point spent will increase 2 primary or secondary attributes, with every 5 points spent unlocking either a Minor or Major trait.

The trait lines for the warrior are listed below, along with their associated attributes and weapon or utility skill type associations.


  • +10 Power per point spent
  • +1% Condition Duration per point spent
  • Improves – Banners (minor), Greatsword and Spear, dual wield damage


  • +10 Precision per point spent
  • +10 Condition Damage per point spent
  • Improves – Greatsword, Spear, and Harpoon Gun, Bleeding damage and duration


  • +10 Toughness per point spent
  • +10 Healing Power per point spent
  • Improves – Hammer and Mace skills, survivability


  • +10 Vitality per point spent
  • +1% Boon Duration per point spent
  • Improves – Longbow and Warhorn skills, Shouts, Banners


  • +1% Critical Damage per point spent
  • +1% Burst Skill Damage
  • Improves – Adrenaline skills (burst damage), weapon swaps, Signets, adrenaline gain

Additional Warrior Notes

Along with the adrenaline mechanic, the warrior also has access to three unique skill lines; Banners, Stances, and Physical. Banners are physical objects that can be summoned and placed on the ground to grant different benefits to allies during combat. They can also be picked up and physically carried by any allied player, so in a sense they could be considered a form of mobile AoE (area of effect) buff.

Stances are a utility skill type that grants a direct benefit when used. While stances tend to be used a bit more situationally than other utility skills, they can also be incredibly powerful skills. For example, Balanced Stance grants Stability which means you can’t suffer from negative crowd control effects for the duration, while Endure Pain will negate incoming damage for a few seconds.

Finally, the Physical skill line is all about providing various forms of crowd control. Physical skills can also be incredibly powerful, particularly in structured PvP combat situations as they can help you keep enemies physically impaired while you smack them over the head with your weapons. If you intend to focus primarily on melee weapon sets, the physical utility skills can be a great way to augment your overall effectiveness in combat.

Source: http://www.guildwars2hub.com/guides/professions/warrior