Guild Wars 2 has five playable races a player can choose from when creating their character. Races have their own customization options and lore. Everything you need to know about races in Guild Wars 2 can be found in this guide!
- Does race matter in Guild Wars 2?
- What's different for each race?
- The Races of Guild Wars 2
- The Asura
- The Charr
- The Humans
- The Norn
- The Sylvari
Does race matter in Guild Wars 2?
A question that arises whenever new players create their first character is what race they should pick. What are the pros and cons of each race in Guild Wars 2? Simply put, your race does not matter. You can pick any race you like and each race can play every profession (class).
The races in Guild Wars 2 don’t provide you with extra stats. This means that you won’t have an advantage or disadvantage over others when you select a specific race.
What’s different for each race?
There are however, some key features that are unique for each race:
- Racial skills
- Physical appearance
- Personal story
- Home instance
Each race has six unique skills that are healing, utility or elite skills. These racial skills don’t give you a significant advantage over other skills. In fact, the racial skills are quite weak compared to regular skills. The Racial Skills are rarely used in any serious raid or end game groups. This is done intentionally so the choice of your race (and racial skills) won’t give you an advantage over other races.
The physical appearance of your character varies for each race. This will probably not come as a surprise. However, it is good to note that armor sets and weapons look different for each race and gender. A greatsword looks bigger on a Charr than on an Asura. So, if you want to flex your big weapon then you might be better off picking a Charr over an Asura.
The first chapters of your personal story (main quest) are based on the choices you make during character creation. Each race has their own starting zone and capital in the world of Guild Wars 2. Once you havecreated your character, you are dropped into one of these starting zones and you are able to start your personal story. For the first 40 levels or so, your story is tied to your race and choices you made during the creation of your character. After that, the story moves to a next chapter where the choices you made at the start do not matter anymore.
Home instances (player housing)
Each race has their own Home Instance. Home instances are somewhat similar to player housing in other MMORPG’s. You can store gathering nodes here that you acquired by completing specific achievements or that you bought from a merchant. These gathering nodes can be used once a day and grant you materials that are otherwise difficult to acquire. So, if you unlocked some of these gathering nodes, it’s recommended to gather rare materials at your own home instance!
Home instances are tied to the capital city of your race. Continue reading to learn more about the races and their capitals!
The Races of Guild Wars 2
As mentioned at the start of this article, a player has five races to choose from in Guild Wars 2. Let’s dig a little deeper into these five races.
The Asura are small, somewhat arrogant but intelligent creatures that utilize magic for their research. You can recognize Asuras by their height and their big floppy ears. The Asuran race used to live underground but were driven out by the Great Destroyer. Once the Asura arrived on the surface they started using their inventions across the world.
The Asura also created a travelling system commonly known as the “Asura Gates“. These gates are connected to the major cities across Tyria. The Asura Gates are not exclusive to the Asura, all races are able to use them!
Asuras have no religion but believe in the Eternal Alchemy. The Eternal Alchemy is an idea that all creatures and magic are part of one greater purpose.
Education is important to the Asura. Young Asura start their education in smaller labs in Metrica Province. When Asura are old enough they’ll join one of the three colleges
|College of Statics||Councillor Ludo||Their analytical and cautious approach to their work|
|College of Dynamics||Councillor Zudo||Their experimental work and enthusiasm|
|College of Synergetics||Councillor Phlunt||Their studies on magical metaphysics and theory of abstract structures|
Rata Sum – The Asuran Capital
Rata Sum is the capital city of the Asura. This city floats in the air in the form of a large cube. When the Great Destoyer drove the Asura to the surface, they set up settlement in the Maguuma Jungle. Later on, the Asura transformed this settlement into the floating city we know today.
Asura Starting Area
The starting area of the Asura is Metrica Province. In this level 1-15 zone you’ll find plenty of other Asura NPC’s and some of their (failed) experiments.
Although they are small in size, Asuras made a big impact on the world. Here are some of them!
|Zojja||Member of the Destiny’s Edge guild||Personal Story|
|Snaff||Former member of the Destiny’s Edge guild||Personal Story|
|Taimi||Young but extremely smart Asura||Living World Season 1|
|Gorrik||Asuran Holosmith and expert on Scarabs. Blish’s younger brother||Living World Season 4|
|Blish||Portal Specialist and Gorrik’s older brother||Living World Season 4|
The Charr are large, aggressive cat-like creatures. The Charr are militaristic. They focus on developing new military tools and vehicles. Everything in their society revolves around war. All tasks that are not related to war, like farming, are left for the young, injured or retired.
Each Charr belongs to a Legion. These legions are the highest form of organization among the Charr. Each Legion is lead by an Imperator and are known for their specific skills or professions. When creating your Charr character you can choose to join any of these Legions (except the Flame Legion).
|Ash Legion||Malice Swordshadow||Their spies, stalkers and Assassins|
|Blood Legion||Bangar Ruinbringer||Their prowess in traditional battlefield combat|
|Iron Legion||Smodur the Unflinching||Their pioneering in combat engineering|
|Flame Legion||Efram Greetsglory||Their will to impose on the rest of the Charr society|
The Charr have a difficult relation with the Humans in Tyria. Many years ago, the Charr conquered large parts of Tyria and this eventually lead to a war between Humans and Charr. One of the most notable events was the fall of Ascalon, a Human settlement. This event can be experienced in the original Guild Wars. Eventually the Charr and Humans formed a fragile peace agreement.
The Charr follow no religion and are strongly against any form of religion. The Flame Legion however still believes and worships gods. This to the displeasure of the other Legions
The Black Citadel – The Charr Capital
The Black Citadel fit the Charr’s war-focused lifestyle. The city is full of tanks, vehicles, and weaponry. The Black Citadel is built on the ruins of Rin in Ascalon. This was the former Human Capital in Ascalon.
Charr Starting Area
The Plains of Ashford is the starting area for the Charr race. In this level 1-15 zone you’ll find plenty Human ghosts that haunt the ruins of their former home.
There are notable Charr that made a big impact on the world with their war efforts. Here a number of the most notable Charr in Guild Wars 2.
|Rytlock Brimstone||Member of the Destiny’s Edge guild.||Personal Story|
|Tybalt Leftpaw||Member of the Order of Whispers||Personal Story (Order of Whispers path)|
|Almorra Soulkeeper||Founder of the Vigil||Personal Story|
|Roxx||Free agent for the imperator’s office in the Black Citadel||Living World Season 1|
|Bangar Ruinbringer||Blood Legion Imperator||Living World Season 5 (Icebrood Saga)|
|Ryland Steelcatcher||Blood Legion Centurion||Living World Season 5 (Icebrood Saga)|
The humans are the once dominant race in Guild Wars 2. The span of the human kingdom used to run across all of Tyria. However, their former kingdom is now in ruins, there is oppression in the Crystal Desert of Elona and the humans in Cantha have isolated themselves from the other continents.
Humans are highly religious and believe in the Six Gods. These Six Gods have a central position in human culture. Many statues or references can be found all over Tyria and human settlements. Although the presence of the Six Gods has disappeared over the last 250 years, the humans hold to their faith.
|Dwayna||Original Godess||Goddess of air, life and healing|
|Balthazar||Original God||God of fire, war and conquest|
|Melandru||Original Godess||Godess of earth, nature and growth – the eldest god(dess)|
|Lyssa||Original Godess||Godess of water, illusion and beauty|
|Grenth||Original God||God of ice, darkness and death|
|Kormir||New Godess||Godess of truth, knowledge, spirit and order|
|Abaddon||Fallen God||God of secrets and water|
Divinity’s Reach – The Human Capital
Divinity’s Reach is the human capital city. Divinity’s Reach is a vibrant bastion surrounded by castle walls. The city consists out of six districts with a promenade in the center.
Human Starting Area
Queensdale is the starting area for the human race. In this level 1-15 zone you’ll find plenty centaurs, bandits and human settlements that require the aid of new and local heroes!
There are notable humans that you’ll encounter when venturing the world. Here a number of the most notable humans in Guild Wars 2.
|Lord Faren||Clumsy nobleman||Personal Story|
|Logan Thackeray||Commander of the Seraph||Personal Story|
|Queen Jennah||Queen of Kryta descendant of King Doric||Personal Story|
|Marjory Delaqua||Member of Dragon’s Watch, Detective and founder of Delaqua Investigations||Living World Season 1|
|Kasmeer Meade||Member of Dragon’s Watch, noblewoman and the other half of Delaqua Investigations||Living World Season 1|
The Norn are the largest humanoid race in Guild Wars 2. Norn can grow up to be 9-foot tall in height. The Norn live in the Far Shiverpeaks where they hunt and roam.
The Norn have the Spirits of the Wild to guide them. These Spirits of the Wild keep an eye on the Norn. The Spirits make sure that Norn do not despoil their land and help them manage their impulsive behavior. The strong bond between the Norn and the Spirits of the Wild allows them to shape shift into a bear, raven, snow leopard or a wolf.
|Spirit of the Wild||Known for…|
|Wolf||Brotherhood and loyalty|
|Raven||Wisdom, cleverness, clarity and perspective|
|Snow Leopard||Stealth, prowess and independance|
|Bear||Strength in body and mind, confidence and ferocity|
Hoelbrak – The Norn Capital
Hoelbrak is the capital city of the Norn and located in the Far Shiverpeaks. Hoelbrak has a lodge for each of the Spirits of the Wild. The buildings and aesthetics of Hoelbrak have a connection to the hunt and the northern lifestyle of the Norn.
Norn Starting Area
Wayfarer Foothills is the starting area for the Norn race. In this level 1-15 zone you’ll find statues of the Spirits of the Wild and you’ll encounter the Sons of Svanir, a cult that seek the power of the Elder Dragon Jormag.
The Norn live for adventure and love to tell stories about those adventures. Therefore you can find plenty of Norn that made an impact in the world of Guild Wars 2.
|Eir Stegalkin||Ranger, tactician and member of Destiny’s Edge||Personal Story|
|Knut Whitebear||Master of the Lodge and defender of Hoelbrak||Personal Story|
|Braham||Guardian from Craigstead||Living World Season 1|
|Jhavi Jorasdottir||Norn Necromancer and one of the leaders of the Vigil||Living World Season 5 (Iceboord Saga)|
The Sylvari are an ‘elf-like‘ botanical race that sprouted from the Pale Tree. The Pale Tree is a tree planted by the human Ronan and the Centaur Ventari and forms the center of the Sylvari’s capital; The Grove.
Rather than being born, Sylvari are awakend from their dream beneath the Pale Tree. This ‘dream’ gives a Sylvari their current knowledge and a path to pursue in life. Through the dream, the Sylvari also gain a sense of adventure, nobility, curiosity and warfare with honor. These morals were written by Ventari and are commonly referred to as Ventari’s Teachings.
There is also a group of Sylvari that reject Ventari’s Teachings and believe other Sylvari are being held by the Pale Tree’s twisted ideals. This group is referred to as the Nightmare Court. The Nightmare Court’s goal is to corrupt the Pale Tree and ‘free’ the Sylvari.
The Grove – The Sylvari Capital
The Grove is the capital city of the Sylvari located in the Tarnished Coast. At the heart of the Grove stands the Pale Tree. There are many paths leading from and to the Pale Tree but you can also take a flower pod that take your up or down a level.
Sylvari Starting Area
Caledon Forest is the starting area of the Sylvari race. In this level 1-15 area you will meet other Sylvari and help them with their tasks. You will also meet the Nightmare Court and find settlements of other races like the Quaggan and the Hylek.
Although the Sylvari are young, most of them no older than 25, they made a great impact on the world. Here a few of the most notable Sylvari.
|Caithe||Thief and member of Destiny’s Edge||Personal Story|
|Faolain||Leader of the Nightmare Court||Personal Story|
|Trahearne||Leader of the Pact||Personal Story|
|Canach||Mercenary and member of the Shinig Blade||Living World Season 1|
|Scarlet Briar||Leader of Scarlet’s Alliance||Living World Season 1|
Still got a question about the races in Guild Wars 2? Leave a comment!