Guild Wars 2 Beginner Guide: How To Get Started In The GW2 Beta


Posted April 27, 2012 - By Leah Jackson

We've created this Guild Wars 2 beginners guide to help you get started in the Guild Wars 2 beta that will periodically be going on for those who per-purchased the MMO. Check out the video below, where I teach MMO newbie Jake Gaskill all of the basics about GW2, including the differences between races, professions, and how to use your skills.

Guild Wars 2 Tutorial For Beginners »

After the break, we've broken down all of the info into easy-to-digest chunks. Don't forget to take a few breaks while playing GW2, and have fun!

Guild Wars 2


There are three playable races in the GW2 beta, Norn, Charr, and Humans. All of the races are on the same side, so you don't have to choose a faction. Each race starts in their own starting area of the world and your character will have certain racial skills based on which race you choose.

  • Norn - The Norn are like really big Vikings; they live for a good hunt and their racial skills let them change into different animals.
  • Humans - Humans are a noble race who are fighting to save their home from old enemies. Their racial skills let them heal and buff themselves up.
  • Charr - Charr are a savage feline race. They're raised as warriors from birth and their racial skills make them more fierce in battle.

Personal Story

The personal story is the storyline in Guild Wars 2. Every character gets their own specific character instance that's always available to them, and the decisions you make while you're in them will be reflected throughout your character's journey all the way to level 80.

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Professions in Guild Wars 2 are divided in to types (Soldier, Adventurer, Scholar) based on the type of armor they wear. Soliders wear heavy armor, Adventurers wear medium armor, and Scholars wear light armor. These are basically the classes of GW2.


  • Guardian - Guardians are kind of the main "tank" class in GW2, they can dish out a lot of damage but they're mainly masters of protection and defense.
  • Warrior - Warriors can equip all different kinds of weapons. They're really strong, versatile in combat, and have a lot of both offensive and defensive abilities


  • Engineer - The Engineer is a pretty complex profession. They use things like turrets, grenades, and elixirs to take out their enemies, so it's important to have a strategic eye if you want to go with an Engi.
  • Ranger  - Rangers can train all types of awesome pets to help them out in battle. They can strike from a distance, usually with a bow or a gun, but they can be fierce melee warriors too.
  • Thief - The Thief is a master of stealth and traps. If you want to sneak around and stab your enemies with fast attacks then you'll want to be a Thief.


  • Elementalists -  Elementalists are masters of the elements, so if you want to throw our fireballs and turn in to a tornado, go with this one. They can change their elemental attunement in battle to adapt to any situation
  • Mesmer - Mesmers are masters of illusions. They can make clones to attack their enemies for them, and use skills to buff their allies or hinder their enemies.
  • Necromancer - Necromancers are masters of the dark arts. they steal life from enemies and use it to heal themselves. They also can summon the dead to fight for them.

Guild Wars 2


Your skills are abilities that you activated to perform an action. You unlock more weapon skills through killing enemies with a certain weapon. But you only have to learn them once, all swords have the same sword abilities, for example.

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  • Utility skills - Utility skills are unlocked using skill points that are gained from completing different skill challenges. They vary in cost from 1 point for basic utility and healing skills, up to 25 points for certain elite skills.
  • Healing Skill - A healing skill restores your health via healing and some grant additional benefits too.
  • Weapons - Weapons determine the first five skills in your skill bar. The weapon in your main hand determines your first three skills, and the weapon in your off hand determines your last two skill slots.


- A scout is an NPC who points you towards general goals which can be completed in a nearby area. They have a telescope marker on the map.

Hearts - These basically indicate that there's a local quest to complete in the area. If you're ever unsure of where to go, look on your map for hearts and you'll always have something new to do.

Now that you know all of the basics, it's time to talk to some scouts, go explore the world, and have fun!

Have something to share? Follow me on Twitter @Leahbjackson or send me an e-mail.

Guild Wars 2 Beginner Guide: How To Get Started In The GW2 Beta


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