Crafting is an important part of the Guild Wars 2 experience. Unfortunately, it can be a bit of a confusing process at first.
Many players go their entire Guild Wars 2 careers and never craft anything! It is possible. You don’t HAVE to craft. But there are many reasons why you might want to:
- Easy way to level a character.
- You can craft dyes. For free accounts, this is the only reliable way to get new dyes.
- If you ever want one of those cool legendaries or a good set of Ascended gear, you will need one or more crafting disciplines at max level.
- Craft bags and consumables which boost your XP gain as well as give bonuses to other stats (like Power or Condition Damage).
- Earn gold by crafting items to sell on the Trading Post.
Which Crafting Should I Choose?
Short answer: NOT SCRIBE.
There are nine crafting disciplines. Each character can choose two by default. (You can buy additional crafting licenses in the Gem Store, but most people just create another character or “alt.”) Any class can choose any crafting discipline.
Many players wonder: Which crafting discipline should I start with?
We recommend you start with one armor and one weapon crafting discipline. Pick the one that matches your character:
- Light Armor (Elementalist, Necro, Mesmer): Tailor
- Medium Armor (Engineer, Ranger,Thief) : Huntsman
- Heavy Armor (Warrior, Guardian, Revenant): Armorsmith
And your preferred weapons:
- Magic Weapons including focus, staff, and scepter: Artificer.
- Ranged Weapons including shortbow, longbow, pistol, and rifle: Huntsman.
- Melee Weapons including greatsword, shield, axe, and dagger: Weaponsmith
Honorable Mention: Jeweler and Chef
If you have been playing GW2 for a while, and you want to level a new character, we recommend Jeweler or Chef.
- Ingredients are very cheap and easy to farm.
- Chef lets you craft dyes.
- Jeweler is the most cost-efficient craft, since just about everything you craft can be sold for a decent price.
- Products (food and trinkets) can be used by every profession.
Dishonorable Mention: Scribe
Don’t pick Scribe unless you absolutely have to for your guild.
- Stupid expensive to level.
- Most things can’t be sold, only donated to your guild.
- Items can’t be used by your character, just the guild.
- Did I mention it’s stupid expensive?
How Do You Start Crafting?
You can find crafting stations in every major city, and in a few other locations throughout the game.
Inventory Management Tip: Crafting stations are a fast and easy way to access your Bank. You don’t have to be assigned a crafting discipline in order to use a crafting station this way. Meaning, you don’t need to be an Armorsmith in order to use the Armorsmithing station to access your Bank.
Interact with the crafting station, then check the Recipes tab. The name of the recipe is color-coded by how much XP it will give you. As a general rule, start with the orange recipes, and craft them until the name goes gray.
WARNING: Don’t go overboard refining wood! Yes, you should refine logs into planks. But NO you should NOT refine planks into dowels, unless you need some dowels. When I was a new player, I refined an entire stack of planks into dowels because I didn’t know any better, and I’m still mad about it.
There are many guides online that can “power level” your Guild Wars 2 crafting. These guides are effective, but… it’s just not as fun. Leveling up your crafting this way can also be expensive. And since you’re not using the Discovery process, it’s not a good way to level up your character.
That being said, I have used these guides in the past when I just needed to level up a crafting discipline fast. They are useful, but by no means mandatory.
Why Can’t I Craft It?
There are a few reasons why you might not be able to craft a particular item:
- It’s above your current crafting level. (These recipes will be in red.)
- You don’t have all the materials you need for the recipe.
- Your inventory is full. (Your inventory icon on the top of the screen will be red.
Photo courtesy Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash