Here’s a collection of general tips and tricks to help you on your journey through Tyria.
Here's What You Do When Your Bags Get Full
Bag space is limited in GW2, as it is in most MMO's. Luckily, you can very easily and cheaply buy more bags very early in the game, although most of them will only afford you four extra bag slots apiece. There's a trick here, though, that should see you rolling in bag space as you play. That trick is the very, very handy Deposit All Collectibles button, which will let you automatically deposit all crafting materials directly into your bank from anywhere in the world.
To deposit your collectibles into your bank, open up your inventory (the I button by default), then click on the options icon in the upper right-hand corner (it looks like a small gear). This will pop open an options menu, the first item in which is "Deposit All Collectibles." That will send all crafting materials into your bank automatically, leaving you with plenty of space for more loot. You can also choose the "Compact" option to move all the remaining items in your backpack to the top of your inventory, to make it easier to see them all. (Note also that your bank is automatically shared between all characters that you run, so you'll be able to easily access materials that other characters have collected if you use this system of depositing.)
You have unlimited space in your collection of crafting items, so send items there often.
Note that objects in your bank are not available for crafting; if you want to make some sweet items from your craftable materials, you'll have to go to your crafting station and manually move your ingredients out of your Collection tab into your backpack before you can start crafting. With that caveat in mind, the Deposit All Collectibles button is going to be a great friend to you, especially early on when bag space is limited.
Turn On Autoloot
In the Options menu of the game (F11, if you want a shortcut; you can also reach it by hitting Escape), you can turn on the Autoloot option. As you'll quickly discover, you'll wind up with a lot of loot in your Tyrian adventures, and the amount of time saved by enabling Autoloot (which automatically places all dropped items into your bags) will no doubt amount to hours of your life if you play GW2 long enough. The main drawback to Autoloot is that you might not notice that you've picked up an item upgrade when you're in the middle of combat and looting away, but that’ll be a small problem compared to the convenience of the feature.
Don’t Forget To Rebind Your Mouse Buttons
If you have a modern mouse, you probably have at least a scroll wheel as well as a couple of side buttons on it. Guild Wars 2 does not, by default, bind those keys to anything, leaving them open for you to access. You can rebind these keys in your options menu, and you should find often-used skills to use them with, depending on your profession. For instance, with our ranger, we found it handy to bind our pet's "attack" command to the middle mouse button, enabling us to easily send it off to a target without having to force our hand to make that laborious trip up to the F1 key. For our two side buttons, we found it generally useful to put autorun on one of them and the talk/loot button on the other. Play the game a bit, figure out what you press the most (or is least convenient for you to find the key for in the middle of combat), and bind it to your mouse buttons.
Make Partying Easier With Map Drawing
If you're in a party and wish to wrangle all of your party members in a certain spot, you can take advantage of Guild Wars 2's map-drawing features. If you click on the minimap, you'll send out a ping that everyone in your party can see; if you hold down the SHIFT button, you'll be able to draw on the map. Handy for issuing directions or setting up a plan of attack. The same effect works on the large world map, so don’t hesitate to use it!
Traveling On The Cheap
Traveling via the waypoint system costs money, with more money being expended the further away you are from a waypoint. There are ways around that, though! For instance, you can respawn at any waypoint for free if you're dead. If you want to travel far away, just get yourself killed and take a free ride! (Note that you will have to pay repair bills eventually if you choose this route, so it might not be much cheaper.)
You can also return to your home city for free by entering PVP and traveling to The Mists; there are portals there that will quickly lead you to any of the capital cities. Also note that waypoint travel is free inside of a capital city, so don't hesitate to save yourself a bit of walking by warping around when you're in town.
Know Your Role And Pick Skills Accordingly!
You'll eventually amass quite a number of utility skills to draw from, so be sure to adapt your skill selection based on the needs of the moment. Some skills are great for soloing, some are great for dungeon spelunking, and some are going to be best suited for PVP. Before buying skills, take a look at their description and see if it suits your current needs and playstyle. When you shift from soloing to grouping or dungeoncrawling, shift around your skills and weapon choices to ensure that you're getting the most utility from them.
For instance, skills that cripple, slow, and otherwise control your opponent's movements aren't always going to be overwhelmingly useful in solo play, where most enemies will be right up in your face all of the time and few of them attempt to escape from you by running away. In the chaos of PVP, though, you can use those same skills to lock down your enemies and ensure that all of your nearby friends can take them on with watching them run away when the going gets tough. Similarly, if you're a ranged attacker in a dungeon, you'll need to heal yourself from time to time, but you might also want to ensure that your healing abilities can affect the frontline fighters who'll be taking the bulk of the damage. Examine your skills and shift things up when needed!