Guild Wars 2 strategy guide

Guild Wars 2 is a massive game--even for an MMO--and it can be tricky getting your bearings in its brave new world. But BradyGames is here to help, with a strategy guide that's hundreds of pages long and spells out everything you need to know about the game. We've got some sample pages to check out, as well as an introduction to the Ranger profession. Check it out below, then hit up the second page for some insanely high-res images of the guide's undoubtedly pretty pages.


Rangers are frontline fighters today, rearline firepower tomorrow, and skirmishers every day of the week. Medium armor keeps them mobile and still able to survive a few hits. A wide variety of weapons gives the ranger the ability to meet enemies on almost any turf. Fighting at range allows the ranger to hit multiple foes from safety, and using melee weapons makes them incredibly mobile and difficult to hit.

Pets are as varied and flexible as the ranger and any enemy that ignores a ranger’s pet is in for a world of hurt. Rangers also gain a wealth of group utility from traps and spirits. The spirits increase ally damage, add a new damage type, or even revive fallen allies. Traps slow, Poison, or Burn enemies.

Rangers are the profession for you if you enjoy forcing the enemy to fight on your terms, or if having a smart animal companion sounds really intriguing.

Profession Stats

The stats listed above give you an idea of what to expect from your character. They show ranger progression through examples taken at the beginning and end of leveling. Your actual stats will likely vary from this.


As a ranger, you and your companion fight and live side by side. A ranger without a pet is only half a ranger.

Interface and Controls

Rangers have the most versatile and controllable pets in the game. This is very powerful but requires finesse to use a pet to its fullest.

The pet interface is just above your skillbar. The paw-print icon opens the Companion window. The next three icons are your basic controls (detailed in the accompanying table), followed by a portrait of your pet, and then the final button. The red bar beneath all these is your pet’s health bar.

Pet special abilities are unique for each type of pet. Learn these abilities so you know which animals are best for a given situation. Attacking your target and toggling between stances is very intuitive. Aggressive stance commands your pet to attack as soon as you take damage or attack a target. Passive stance keeps your pet from attacking or using any abilities unless commanded by you specifically.

Switching pets allows you to swap between two pets during combat. You can change pets outside of combat without trouble, but think of the in-combat switch as being analogous to the weapon swap. This function is very powerful because you can swap a downed pet for a pet with full health. Swapping pets outside of combat has a negligible cooldown, but swapping inside combat starts a 30-second cooldown before you can swap again.

Finding New Companions

All rangers start with a pet, but new pets can be found all over the world (including in WvW areas). Throughout your adventures, watch for Juvenile creatures with their names in green. Approach these and Charm them. This gives you the option to “equip” the pet immediately. This process also gives you a detailed summary of the pet. To give you an idea of what to expect, some of the pets in the game are listed here.

(Click here for an enlarged version of the above table)

Having the best pet for a given situation is as important as having the right weapons and skills. For example, the White Moa is great for helping tanks stay on their feet. The Golden Moa is excellent for moving a party across terrain quickly. The Krytan Drakehound is wonderful when kiting a powerful enemy with its Immobilize and Knockdown. Experiment and see what works best for you and your allies.

Pet Management

Use the Pet Management window to set pets for above-ground and aquatic use. Terrestrial pets are locked for land use only, while aquatic ones are for water use. There are amphibious pets that can serve you in either environment.

In the Pet Management window you can also rename your pet. Click the icon that looks like a feather pen and start typing! You can rename your pet as many times as you like.

The Pet Management screen gives a full summary of each pet’s abilities and stats. Only the first ability can be activated by you (as the F2 ability). The other three are used automatically by your pet. This window also lists where you first encountered the pet in case another ranger asks.

Weapons and Weapon Skills

Rangers have quite a few weapons available. Like many professions, they can have two sets of weapons equipped at any time and switch between those, even during battle. A standard grouping might be a melee mode and a ranged mode (axe/axe and longbow). This allows a ranger to rain death onto enemies until the enemy closes, and then switch to melee weapons to finish off an opponent.

Swords (Main Hand Only)

Swords keep you mobile while slashing away at your opponent. Their damage is fairly high, and nothing is going to get away from you without a great deal of effort. The mobility granted by the sword makes it easy to dodge opponents’ more powerful attacks without easing up on your damage.

Take a look at more excerpts from the Brady Games Guild Wars 2 guide on the next page...