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A Guide to Masteries for Guild Wars 2

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The Mastery system is an account-wide progression system for level 80 characters that provide players with account-wide benefits. In simple terms, it’s a way to make your life easier in GW2. Players will want to unlock these, and do them in a certain order. That’s because the upgrades become more useful the faster you get them.

Masteries for Guild Wars 2 are normally unlocked via completing certain goals. The three main story tracks are unlocked by completing the first story arc in each expansion. You can unlock these three Mastery Tracks by completing the following:

  • Heart of Thorns, Act 1: Torn from the Sky
  • Path of Fire, Act 1: Sparking the Flame
  • The Icebrood Saga, Episode 1 (Whisper in the Dark): Silence

Do these ASAP. Because if you’re at level 80 and don’t unlock masteries, you will be locked at Mastery 0 until you do. That means any XP you earn which results in a new level is wasted. This often happens if you use the level 80 Gemstore boost on a brand new character. So skip ahead in the story and do the tasks listed above first when you hit 80. Completing just one of these steps will unlock the Mastery system in its base form. Completing all three unlocks the three region-specific tracks.

Some other Mastery Tracks unlock outside the Story. For example, Raid masteries can be unlocked after completing any encounter of either Forsaken Thicket and Bastion of the Penitent raids. So now that you have the system unlocked, let’s try to understand where to go from here.

The basics of Masteries in Guild Wars 2

Masteries in Guild Wars 2 are effectively a second leveling system in the MMO. The levels you gain can then be spent on various upgrades that apply to your entire account. These upgrades often unlock new gameplay features and new elements that are incredibly useful. Each new expansion and Living World content block adds its own Mastery Track. Training a Mastery Track allows you to permanently unlock upgrades pertaining to each new style of content.

Firstly, you should learn how to read the Mastery UI so that you understand what progress you’re making. It’s accessed by pressing H on your keyboard  and clicking the Mastery button at the bottom. Use the image below for a quick explainer.

(1) Total amount of spent mastery points,
(2) Current regional block,
(3) Current mastery track,
(4) Number of available (unspent) mastery points for this region block,
(5) Permanently acquired masteries,
(6) The mastery currently being trained, and the progress experience bar (full),
(7) Number of mastery points needed to permanently acquire the mastery after it is fully trained.

Now that you understand what you’re looking at, let’s explain how to unlock new Masteries. Each one can be unlocked simply by gaining XP. Any activity that earns XP can result in a Mastery if you tick over to a new level from that batch of XP. So just play the game as you normally would. If you want to rush progression, here are some things you can do.

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Keep in mind, that there’s a restriction. For example, a player training the Raptor Mount mastery will only be able to earn experience towards said mastery within any region belonging to Path of Fire. Experienced earned in Heart of Thorns or Central Tyria regions will not train the raptor mastery—instead, they will train the mastery track that was selected for that particular region.

Do these tasks for the most Mastery XP each day:

  • Meta-Events are the best way to grind out Mastery XP
  • Fractals and other dungeon runs are also good
  • Strikes in Icebrood Saga
  • Story chapters should all be completed as well

This will take time and millions of XP, but it won’t be a waste. Here are some of the Mastery rewards you should focus on first.

What Masteries should you go for first?

There are so many Masteries in Guild Wars 2 that need to be completed. Many are less useful than others.

Insights

These are the basic Central Tyria Mastery Points relating to exploration and learning the map. To see these, press H and use the cog filter to only show Core Masteries. Then, type insights into the search box. Each Insight Mastery offers a task to complete for a few easy points. Spend these points first, as they are the easiest to get. Now, here’s some of the Mastery tracks you can spend your points on for cool rewards.

  • Pact Commander – Advanced Logistics – This Mastery gives your characters auto-looting in PvE game modes, super useful.
  • Heart of Thorns – Gliding Basics – This mastery gives you access to Gliding, a very important means of getting around the map. Updraft Use is also good to have.
  • Path of Fire – Mounts – All the different mounts can be useful, but the Raptor and Beetle Roller have the most utility for a new player, grab those ASAP. Just unlock the mounts first, then focus on upgrades. Make sure to get the higher jump Masteries for mounts as well.
  • Icebrood Saga – Both the Essence Manipulations and Ash Legions Mount Stealth under United Legions Waystations are both very useful here. The first allows you to open new varieties of loot chests. The second one allows you to use stealth abilities for your mount.

Optional choices include Fractals, Raid and Legendary Crafting Masteries, among others. Look through the list in the Hero panel and pick and choose. You won’t have to buy into Mastery tracks for game modes you don’t plan to engage with.

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