GW2. A complete guide for new players on how to level your characters to 80 and get your equipment while doing it. New Players Guide Leveling and Gear 2022.
If you are new to Guild Wars 2, you can choose to play the game how you want. Level at your own pace while discovering the game, exploring and learning about all the mechanics that the game offers. Check the Official New Player Guide from Arenanet to learn the very basics, but the purpose of this guide is to show the best methods to reach max level and get your first set of gear to allow you to experience the end-game content and get the most fun out of it by choosing which method suits you better.
NOTE: Guild Wars 2 has a system which will scale your level into an “effective” level depending on the area you are in. For example, if you are level 80 and you go to Queensdale (one of the starting zones) your effective level will be lowered to match the content of the map, and you will be provided a more balanced experience no matter how far you’ve progressed.
You can play Guild Wars 2 for FREE, or you can Buy The Expansions. Buying the expansions is the single most valuable purchase you can make in Guild Wars 2 because of how many features it unlocks, and they also come with extra character slots.
If you are a new player with a free to play account you will notice some limitations on your privileges. You can experience and learn about much of the game for free, though I personally recommend going for the expansions because they add so many features and story episodes that will allow you to enjoy the game more fully. As a free player you can always upgrade your account at any moment.
These are the main differences between the two types of account:
|Type||Free to Play||HoT + PoF Expansion|
|Character Slots||2||5 or more|
|Bag Slots||3||5 or more|
|Heart of Thorns||No||Yes|
|Path of Fire||No||Yes|
|Central Tyria||Starting Maps only until a character level 10 – Lion’s Arch unlocked for each character at level 35||Yes|
|In-Game Mail||Can only send to mutual friends – Can’t send gold or items||Yes|
|Guild Bank Access||No||Yes|
|Whisper Chat||Except for mutual friends can only whisper in the same map one new person every 30 seconds||Yes|
|Squad Chat||Unlocked for each character at level 30||Yes|
|Looking for Group||Unlocked for each character at level 30||Yes|
|PvP Chat||Team Chat always available – Chat in PvP Lobby unlocked when the account reaches PvP Rank 20 – Emotes, Map and Say Chat disabled during matches||Yes|
|WvW||Unlocked account-wide when one character reaches level 60||Unlocked account-wide when one character reaches level 31|
|Daily Login Bonus||No||Yes|
|Gem Store||Items unusable by free accounts are unavailable (such as gliders)||Yes|
|Currency Exchange||Gems to gold exchange available – Gold to gems exchange unavailable||Yes|
|Trading Post||Can buy and sell items from a selected list||Yes|
|Forum Posting Access||No||Yes|
Update August 2:
- Road test the raptor!
- Accounts with an expansion unlocked will be granted permanent access to the basic raptor mount after they reach level 10 on a single character. Players who have reached level 80 and own the Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire expansion can unlock this mount’s Masteries.
- Characters on Play for Free accounts will get a 10-hour trial of the raptor mount when they reach level 10.
- For characters that are already over level 10 and missed the initial unlock checkpoint, we will attempt to grant the unlock every 10 levels. This is true for both Play for Free and expansion accounts. We are working on additional methods to offer this unlock to players not caught by this fallback solution.
Here are the different alternatives you have to level up your characters efficiently. You can combine any of these methods to your liking.
Before starting with any method that you choose to level, you will need a proper Leveling Build to get the most of your character and make your experience better, check here:
Level 80 Boost
The fastest way to level is to use a Level 80 Boost.
Once you buy a expansion you will receive a Level 80 Boost for free and a as well. The boost contains the following:
More can be purchased from the Gemstore for 2,000 Gems which is not really worth but there is the option if you really want it.
Some say that using a Level 80 Boost isn’t recommended for new players because you skip the process of learning the game and you can become overwhelmed. The truth is that you aren’t skipping anything because of the downscaling system which allows you to go back to do the starting content at any time.
Others will say that you want to level a character manually to understand whether you want to play that character first. This isn’t true because the Level 80 Boost gives you a trial period before confirming the boost which allows you to visit only the Silverwastes, which is an end-game map where you can play and test your character without a time limit. It gives you level 80 Exotic gear as well. If you decide that this character isn’t your style, you can undo the boost and use it again on another character/class.
Getting a fresh experience is important in an MMO, but players have varying needs. Some may need more time to understand their class, and other veteran MMO players may want to get right into the end-game. You can save the boost for later to test out other classes, or you can boost immediately to save time. Either way, your subsequent characters will be much faster to level because of Tomes of Knowledge which you can earn playing the game normally and can be used on your other characters.
As soon as you get to level 80 you open your options and can experience the game in the order you want to. You can go through the traditional leveling experience still because of upscaling, but you would be able to progress at the pace you wanted rather than the pace the leveling system is balanced to (even if you want to enjoy the story you need to do it each 10 levels which can ruin your flow). You can also gain resources more quickly while max level that would help you level your next character faster, so even if you end up wanting to play another class after confirming the boost its not a waste.
You can watch this video that Arenanet made explaining how to use the Level 80 Boost:
The personal story is the unique campaign of each character which, along with dynamic events and map completion, makes up much of the PvE experience. It is independent from random world events and is always available to follow through the game world and the events which occur there. Story chapters are told through character specific instances and are personalized by decisions made during character creation and during gameplay.
Doing your personal story is a good way to level up. Each mission/chapter after completion gives a chunk of experience as well as other rewards that you can use while leveling. Personal story is part of the intended way of progressing, because it leads you through Tyria and teaches you the lore of the world and introduces you to the main characters within it.
However, the story might not be interesting enough for some players (slow or even boring) so it’s optional if you want to do it now for extra experience or do it later to understand the sequence of story events. This will be helpful for understanding what is going on in the expansion or living world stories, but not necessarily needs to be done while leveling.
Each character’s personal story is divided into eight chapters, with each chapter unlocking every 10 levels. For the most part there is little overlap between each chapter, with the early chapters determined by the player’s choice of race and biography, and later chapters being determined by choices made within the game.
Map completion is the act of visiting all points of interest, vistas, waypoints and completing all renown hearts and hero challenges within a given zone. After a zone has been completed, a blue bonus chest will appear that the player can then open and receive a reward. Completing all zones in the five regions of Tyria – Ascalon, Kryta, Shiverpeak Mountains, Maguuma Jungle, and Ruins of Orr – is required for world completion.
The experience gained is not much, but it can be done while completing events and killing enemy mobs. It also offers Hero Points, which are needed to train your skills and traits to unlock the full potential of your class.
Map completion is a great supplement to leveling in between Personal Story instances because it gives experience for any progress you make and will familiarize you with the areas around your story instances before you are able to continue them.
Although you can explore the map any way you wish, there are two main ways to explore a map efficiently:
- Wipe Method
Run across the map exploring as much as possible without stopping, getting key waypoints quickly so that you can use them later. Focus on completing renown hearts that have dynamic events nearby to speed up the completion of that Heart quest. Then after a lot of the map has been explored you can start focusing on the missing Hearts and harder to reach vistas and points of interest.
This method is more natural to exploring a map, but it can be disorganized and cause confusion when trying to find the last few locations. TIP: Hover your mouse over the icons in the world map legend to light up all of the undiscovered icons on the map of that type for you to easily identify their location.
- Perimeter Method
Most maps in the game are rectangular shapes. This method involves exploring all of the outline exterior of the map and then filling in the middle once the perimeter has been explored.
This is the most thorough method that helps players feel less intimidated by the size of each map. If you are a very obsessively clean or organized person, this method will also improve your efficiency. It also helps you to focus on what is next rather than getting distracted. Also because map completion is so low investment and you can stop at any time, this method help you to remember where you left off last.
Dungeons used to be popular in the past, but over the years they became outdated and aren’t challenging for level 80 characters anymore, and Fractals of the Mists took their place as end-game 5 player content. However, if you can get a group together for them, dungeons grant a lot of experience upon completing an entire path, so for leveling they are useful. They also have story modes that complement the personal story.
As you level up, more dungeons will become appropriate for your level, and you will get mails telling you where these are. There are two modes available for dungeons: story and explorable. Story dungeons will involve the story of the main characters of Destiny’s Edge while explorable dungeons will have minor characters take the the focus of the story. Generally you only want to do story mode once to unlock explorable mode. You can repeat them as many times as you want, but the rewards for repeated runs per day will be diminished. Dungeon Tokens earned will also allow you to buy Exotic Gear with exclusive skins.
Dungeons are now a more casual affair. Many players still enjoy running dungeons for fun and rewards, but you may struggle to find or build a party during off hours. There are certain runes or legendary components that can only be obtained from dungeons, giving players an incentive to go back to them.
Crafting is another tool available to players during their leveling process. Some crafting disciplines can be leveled up to 500. Leveling up a crafting discipline will also grant you some experience toward your level. Getting a crafting discipline from 1 to 400 will grant you around 7 levels. Baseline you can only have two crafting disciplines so you can use the two available slots to get 14 levels in total.
Crafting can be done in any major city like Hoelbrak, Divinity’s Reach, Lions’ Arch, Rata Sum, and The Grove, and some open world maps will have crafting stations at small towns. Once you interact with a crafting station there will be tabs to the left of the panel. You can find them easily by these icons on the map:
The Discovery Tab (the hammer icon) at a crafting station is a system that gives the most experience but is limited as you can only discover an item recipe once. Essentially, some recipes must be derived by combining specific components. Discovery can be hard to use at first because you need to guess what will create an item, but you can find out through similar items what the recipes may be. For example, if you make a power based bow with a mighty inscription, string, and wood; then you can make a condition based bow with a malign inscription, string, and wood.
In the Production Tab (the anvil icon) you will have all of the recipes you already know from discovery as well as recipes to make components which are needed for discovery. Below those tabs is your bank and material storage. Every time you use the Deposit All Materials icon in the top right of your inventory, certain stackable materials will go there. They do not need to be withdrawn to be used in crafting, the crafting station will detect them.
Since leveling up a crafting profession is a bit expensive, it is not recommended to always do so. You will need to gather or buy materials from the Trading Post and use them to create items you probably have no use for. However, crafting disciplines are valuable and will get used for many things in the future. If you are going to learn a new crafting discipline that no other character on your account has, then learning a crafting discipline is a good way to get some experience at the same time. If you don’t need a new crafting discipline, leveling cooking is the least expensive method to learn just for experience.
For more in-depth crafting guides to efficiently learn a discipline with minimal waste, I recommend visiting this website: GW2Crafts.net
There are three types of Bonus Experience:
- Bonus Experience on Kill
- Bonus Experience from Boosters
- Bonus Experience from Special Events
Experience gains are based upon percentages of the amount of experience to level, meaning you can always get a steady amount of progress.
Bonus Experience on Kill
When defeating an enemy, your character gains experience (“XP”), which is needed to progress in character levels. However, shortly after an enemy is spawned into the game world, they will start accruing Bonus XP over time that will be awarded to those who defeat them. You will often gain the most Bonus XP from defeating enemies not associated with Heart Quests and Events. Neutral wildlife or just mobs outside of the common paths are great for this.
In the image below, you’ll see that the Plains Worm Hatchling that had just appeared gave its base 20 XP. In comparison, the Brackish Skales nearby gave nearly twice the total XP when defeated, whereas the Bandits ten steps to the East gave over three times the XP of the Hatchling, despite taking the same time to defeat.
You can speed up your leveling even more by activating one or more Experience Modifiers:
- Guild XP Gain
- Exp Banners
Food and Utilities can be bought on the trading post, crafted with the cooking discipline, or even from heart quest vendors. They will provide a small experience boost for as long as the food buff lasts. Guild XP modifiers require you to be in a guild that has the Tavern built with boosters and these will last forever or until swapped for another guild booster. Experience banners can be dropped by guilds or individuals for others to share hour-long bonuses to XP and other progression systems.
Bonus Experience from Boosters
There are many experience boosters that you can apply to your character in order to increase the XP gained, not only from kills, but also from events and activities. Most of the boosters are from the Gemstore, but you can earn many of those for free doing certain tasks in-game.
Bonus Experience from Special Events
Often Guild Wars 2 will host Special Events where players can earn bonus XP in certain game modes. Festivals are holiday events including Halloween, Wintersday, Lunar New Year, etc. These allow players to access unique activities that are very profitable to farm XP, such as the experience bonuses from firing off Lunar New Year fireworks, or the massive experience farms of killing mobs and opening doors in the Halloween Labyrinth.
Tomes and Writs of Experience
are a really important part of leveling. They allow you to gain experience from game modes that don’t give experience immediately. For example, while you are playing PvP you aren’t directly progressing your character, but you earn these Tomes as rewards which can be used on any of your characters. Each Tome will give one level. This way you will be able to fully level characters to 80 without doing any kind of PvE or the methods mentioned above.
is a consumable that grants 5% of the experience needed to reach the next level. They are acquired from chests awarded for completing Daily achievements. Once you get 20 of them, you can trade them for one at the Mystic Forge Attendant. Miyani is the most common one, and she can be found in Lions Arch.
While you are doing PvP you can earn and other rewards by just playing due to a system called the Reward Track. The reward track will allow you to level completely in PvP.
A PvP reward track requires 20000 points earned towards it for completion. Points can be earned in two ways:
- By playing matches. The different arenas provide different amounts of progression per game:
- Unranked and ranked wins progress the track by 700 points.
- Unranked and ranked losses progress the track by 350 points.
- A Custom Arena win progresses the track by 320 points; a loss counts as 160 points. To reduce botting, Custom Arena progress is capped at two major rewards per day.
- Consuming a
(obtained from PvP objective dailies).
- Standard potions progress the track by 250 points, for example. 80 potions will complete an entire track.
Players can only make progress on a single reward track at a time. Switching between tracks will save any progress made, and players return where they left off.
Upon completion of a reward track, the next reward track with the most progress is automatically activated, unless the autorepeat icon (shaped like an infinity sign) has been checked, in which case it will restart the current track.
Reward track progress is linear and is the same for all tracks. You can also increase the speed with some boosters like:
- Guild Hall Enhancement: PvP Reward Boost – 3-10%
If you are interested in leveling through PvP, check this guide to have a better experience:
The same way works in World vs World. The Reward Track system allows you to earn which translate to levels just by playing.
Each WvW Reward Track has 8 tiers, with each tier containing 4 minor and 1 major reward, and the last reward is generally the most valuable. To complete a reward track 20,000 points are needed, and a reward is received every 500 points.
Progress is awarded at the end of each 5 minute scoring tick based on the player’s current participation tier, and whether the player is in a core WvW map (not Edge of the Mists or Obsidian Sanctum). The minimum time for completing a reward track (without boosters) is 8h 35m (103 ticks), where 195 points are earned per tick. Progress is also awarded by consuming which can be earned from dailies.
Switching between tracks will save any progress made, and players can return to where they left off. There is no known way to reset a reward track without finishing it. Upon completion of a reward track, the next reward track with the most progress (or a random one if all have equal progress) is automatically activated, unless the autorepeat icon (shaped like an infinity sign) has been checked, in which case it will restart the current track.
Reward track progress is linear and is the same for all tracks. You can also increase the speed with some boosters like:
- Guild Hall Enhancement: World Reward Tracks – 3-10%
If you are interested in leveling in WvW, check this guide to learn more about it:
Depending on which method you use to level, you will be prepared to get your level 80 Exotic gear, since some methods already gave you currency to spend on it. In many cases you can just continue using these same methods to equip your characters as you did to level them. Remember when I said to use the Level 80 Booster? Having access to all the features and game modes is really helpful to earn currency from the start, and much of the game is already similar to leveling just less limited.
Introduction to Equipment Stats
In Guild Wars 2 you have the following pieces of equipment:
- Rings (2)
- Accessories (2)
- Weapons (16 types, each class can use a limited number of weapon types)
- Breather (For underwater combat)
- Runes (6 total for all armor pieces)
- Sigils (1 for one-handed weapons, 2 for two-handed weapons)
Each piece of gear will have a combination of stats that will improve the effectiveness of different skills. These are the stats that your armor may have an what effect they have.
- Power – Increases the strike damage of skills
- Precision – Increases your skills chance to critically hit. A critical hit will deal 150% damage baseline
- Ferocity – Increases the percent damage that a critical hit will deal on top of the 150% base critical damage
- Condition Damage – Increases the damage that conditions applied by skills deal
- Expertise – Increases how long condition durations applied by skills last
- Toughness – Improves your armor which reduces damage taken by power
- Vitality – Increases your maximum health pool
- Boon Duration – Increases how long boons last
- Healing Power – Increases the healing done by skills
The main distinctions to notice here is that there are two different types of offensive stats. Power, Precision, and Ferocity all scale with eachother for a more immediate and burst playstyle while condition damage and duration scale with eachother for a more sustained attrisive playstyle.
Then there are selfish defensive stats and team oriented defensive stats. Vitality and toughness are better for personal survivability while boon duration and healing power can give your team benefits as well.
At first you should get some personal survivability. When you feel more comfortable with your positioning you can sacrifice some of your survivability to get more teamwork oriented stats. Then you should decide on your primary damage type. If you want to go for a direct damage build, get power first. Power is more important than ferocity and precision. Likewise condition damage is more important than condition duration. Getting both power and condition damage is fine because of how gear gives three stats and hybrid builds work as well.
To start you need to choose if you want to focus on making your character damage based on Power, Condition, or both.
The most basic stats for these are:
- Berserker (Power/Precision/Ferocity) – Power Build
- Soldier (Power/Toughness/Vitality) – Power Build (Tank variation)
- Dire (Condition Damage/Toughness/Vitality) – Condition Build
- Rampager (Precision/Power/Condition Damage) – Hybrid Build
Celestial Stats are great for new players and those who want to do a wide variety of activities because they give a bit of every single stat, allowing you to test out different builds, traits, and skills to see their relative effectiveness. They are very sustainable and with decent hybrid damage, making them great for solo play as well. If you can get celestial to start is 100% the best alternative.
You can get Celestial gear whenever you use a level 80 boost because it will give you a full exotic set, this is just another reason why I recommend you to use it.
Celestial can also be crafted or purchased from the Trading Post but it gets very expensive due to the time-gated nature of the process to make them. So if you can’t get them from the level 80 booster, will be better to go for selectable stat gear boxes (like from PvP/WvW) or directly craft the Ascended version. For that you need to jump to the ascended gearing guide.
You can learn more about the many Stats Combinations available by following this LINK
Buying your gear from the Trading Post is the most convenient and fastest way to obtain your level 80 Exotic Gear. However, for this you need to spend Gold and only some stats are available.
NOTE: There are a few isolated pieces that you can buy from the Trading Post with selectable stats but it gets really confusing, so for the purpose to keep this guide friendly and simple I won’t detail about them.
Getting Gold in Guild Wars 2 is really easy. Almost everything you do, every activity or game mode, gives you Gold overtime. Of course you can see that some specific activities could give you more in shorter time, but I personally don’t like to farm for gold because TIME is also a resource and playing a game should not feel like a job.
This is why Guild Wars 2 is so great. You get rewarded for playing how you want, allowing you to spend your time having fun. So what I actually recommend, is that you play the game and you invest your time in the game mode you want with the people you want. Some people do enjoy farming gold while watching videos or streams or multitasking though. You can find many guides from other content creators about how to make Gold, but the most optimal farms always change, because as soon a profitable way gets popular it won’t be profitable anymore.
Maybe the best approach is doing the daily achievements which will reward you 2 Gold for doing very simple tasks, it might not seem much at first but everything will add up. You can also develop your own routine by doing meta-events or the content you enjoy more, to constantly generate income.
Anyway, I will show you now how you can optimize your resources if you decide to buy gear from the Trading Post. You can use the filters, and knowing some details you can spend less and get the same result.
Once you open the Trading Post you will see there is a list of categories to refine your search. For example, I will start looking for “armor”, and I select “chest”. Then press the “gear” button which will allow you to set up more filters. In this example I’m going to look for a piece with power stats, so the most common stat combination for this is called Berserker (Power/Precision/Ferocity).
Then I apply another filter on Rarity. I set “Exotic”, and below I set the level to 80. You will see instantly that the search now only shows 4 items. You can notice now that the and the are pretty much the same stats, but the difference in price between them is big.
This can be because one is made from crafting which the components inflate the price, one can be from a drop that is very scarce, or based on a circumstantial shift in the game’s economy. So you can apply these “tricks” to search any other kind of equipment piece without over spending your Gold.
Crafting in Guild Wars 2 is important, but mostly for the end-game. As I show in the example above from the Trading Post, you can get the same stats armor for way less Gold, so making it yourself is not worth it unless you are leveling your crafting profession. I recommend you skip this method for now and save your resources to obtain your equipment in a more efficient way. This will become important later for ascended and legendary gear, but don’t worry about those yet.
If you want to know more about Crafting, I recommend you check GW2Crafts.net for guides.
Story & Achievements
While you do your Personal Story you will get often equipment rewards, and these can be useful while you level. They are usually pieces of equipment from your level range. Near the end you will get more equipment rewards for level 80, but these pieces aren’t really what you need. You can still use them if you don’t have anything else.
Achievements from my perspective are part of the end-game. They offer players so many things to do, and they add another layer of replayability. While some achievement are already available for new players since the start, most of them require you to play different game modes and content that might be out of your reach for now. Collections are mostly the ones which will offer you equipment as rewards. Specifically look for the basic collection achievements at first, as these will be the easiest to do. Achievements in general can be done by passively playing the game, and you will get rewards without actively pursuing them.
Karma is a non-tradable account-based currency that players can use to purchase items from karma merchants, including Renown Heart NPCs and master craftsmen. The amount of karma you hold can be seen in the Wallet.
Karma can be obtained from:
- Events (20 – 378, based on event level, (affected by modifiers)
- Hearts (90 – 675, based on heart level, (affected by modifiers)
- Fractals of the Mists (0 – 3,400, (not affected by modifiers)
- Wintersday activities (only during Winter, not affected by modifiers), Orphans (affected by modifiers)
- Karma consumables (not affected by modifiers)
Temple Armor is the unofficial name for the exotic level 80 armor sets that can be purchased with karma from the temples and the The Narthex in Cursed Shore. The karma vendors who sell them are only available when the relevant location is under Pact control after completing the meta event chain.
Each piece costs 42,000 Karma, and a full set costs 252,000 Karma. The skins for each weight are identical regardless of the source, while the stats and the superior runes vary depending on the vendor.
|Vendor||Location||Rune||Armor Stats||Trinket Stats|
|Historian Vermoth||Cathedral of Zephyrs – [&BLACAAA=]||Superior Rune of Dwayna||Cleric’s||Rabid|
|Tactician Deathstrider||Cathedral of Glorious Victory – [&BPoCAAA=]||Superior Rune of Balthazar||Rampager’s||Cavalier’s|
|Lightbringer Surefoot||Cathedral of Verdance – [&BBsDAAA=]||Superior Rune of Melandru||Magi’s||N/A|
|Keeper Jonez Deadrun||Cathedral of Silence – [&BCIDAAA=]||Superior Rune of Grenth||Berserker’s||Soldier’s|
|Lightbringer Brutefur||Cathedral of Eternal Radiance – [&BK0CAAA=]||Superior Rune of Lyssa||Rabid||Magi’s|
|Crusader Benson||The Narthex – [&BCADAAA=]||Superior Rune of Infiltration||Soldier’s||N/A|
Completing a dungeon in explorable mode awards dungeon currencies. These currencies can be used at a Dungeon Merchant to buy weapons, armor, runes, and other items. Each dungeon has its own unique weapon and armor set modeled according to the theme of the dungeon.
Update June 7: All the different dungeon tokens were replaced by a new single currency called , in order to simplify the currency and you will now be able to buy items from any dungeon with the same tokens.
Explorable mode gives a standard reward of dungeon currency, coin, and experience at the completion of a dungeon path as well as a bonus chest for the first completion of any given path each day per account. The standard reward gives 20 pieces of the respective currency, silver, experience and karma. Subsequent runs give 15 and 10 dungeon currencies respectively. Completing one path does not affect the reward from other paths. The bonus chest contains 80 dungeon currencies and a specific amount of coin, ranging from 35 Silver coin to 1 Gold coin 55 Silver coin, depending on path difficulty and length. Completing the same path again with the same or a different character will only give the standard reward.
The dungeon vendor can be found in Lions Arch next to the fractal portal in Fort Marriner – [&BDAEAAA=] .
Gear can be obtained from PvP by progressing one of the following reward tracks:
- Balthazar Back Item Reward Track
- Glorious Reward Track
- Legacy Armor Reward Track
- Kryta Reward Track
- Shiverpeak Mountains Reward Track
- Ascalon Reward Track
- Maguuma Jungle Reward Track
- Ruins of Orr Reward Track
- Silverwastes Reward Track
You will find several other reward tracks, depending on if you have the expansions, story dungeons completed, and living world episodes unlocked, but the ones mentioned above are enough to get the stats you want.
Another alternative is buying gear from the PvP League vendors. For these you will need Ascended Shards of Glory which is a currency specifically from Ranked PvP while the season is active, but honestly might be better to just save these for Ascended equipment instead. Still while doing ranked you can earn many which offer selectable stats and other rewards like raw Gold as well.
Because gear is actually used in WvW, unlike PvP, you will have more options for obtaining it. However, some of the methods are very similar. You can access WvW reward tracks from the WvW Panel. These are independent from the PvP reward tracks but often give the same rewards. The following reward tracks are available to you from the start and will award gear:
- Triumphant Armor Reward Track
- Hero Weapon Reward Track
- Legacy Armor Reward Track
- Kryta Reward Track
- Shiverpeak Mountains Reward Track
- Ascalon Reward Track
- Maguuma Jungle Reward Track
- Ruins of Orr Reward Track
- Silverwastes Reward Track
You will find several other reward tracks depending on if you have the expansions, story mode dungeons completed, and living world episodes unlocked, but to start the ones mentioned above are enough.
Another alternative is using the NPC vendors in WvW. For example, the Weapon Master [Weaponsmith] will offer you Exotic weapons for a cheap price and some Badges of Honor. This currency from WvW is easy to get from participating in taking objectives. The same applies to the Armor Master [Armorsmith] NPC, who will offer you Exotic armor.
Another alternative is through the WvW Currency Skirmish Claim Tickets. You can earn these by playing and being active to upkeep your participation. You can buy exotic or even ascended gear from the Skirmish Vendor at the spawn of every WvW Map but same as with the PvP currency you might want to just save for ascended directly. Still the same Skirmish system (keeping your participation up) will reward you with many which offer selectable stats passively as you keep completing it.
For more details on this, check my World vs World Beginner’s Guide.
Optimal and Easy Exotic-Ascended Mix
While I have a dedicated guide: Ascended Gear – The complete guide for the end-game, as a new player you might find yourself in the need to mix both and follow simple steps, for that I suggest you to watch this guide made by Vallun on how to gear your first character:
Builds and Preparing for End Game
Once you have your character level 80 and your Exotic Gear, you can now move into the end-game, but you may need some help along the way to get hero points to learn the elite specializations. Here are some builds to help with leveling or soloing some of the more challenging hero points in the expansion content and of course a complete guide of all the Hero Points that you will need.