Which GW2 mount is the best one? Is it worth it to make Griffon? How about Skyscale? And should I bother to get a cool mount skin from the Gem Store? Read on to learn our (highly-opinionated, as always) answers to these mount-related questions.
What Does “Best” Mean?
First, consider the question of “best.” I have a friend who uses the Jackal mount almost exclusively, because he likes it. He just really likes dogs, and he has a Jackal skin that appeals to him, and yeah… it’s hard to pry him off the Jackal.
This is 100% valid!
As with choosing a race and class, the “best” mount is the one you most enjoy riding. This answer will vary depending on your personal preferences, and which game mode you prefer.
That being said, I’m going to rank mounts from least to most useful.
The Worst Mount: Jackal
Apologies to my Jackal-loving friend, but Jackal is useless unless you specifically need to use a Jackal portal. And how often does that happen?
Across regular terrain, Jackal provides a slight speed boost versus running on foot. But it’s not as fast as Raptor, particularly if you take the Raptor’s jump into account. Jackal’s teleport jump effect is fun, but not useful.
Of the three special-purpose mounts (Jackal, Warclaw, and Skimmer), Warclaw is useful in a whole entire game mode, and Skimmer is useful anywhere there’s water in Tyria. But Jackal has one specific use on a small specific set of maps, and most of the time you don’t even need it. 9 times out of 10 if there’s a Jackal portal, you can get to the same destination another way, even if it takes longer.
One of Jackal’s big selling points is “you can turn midair.” I never got the knack of it, personally. Also, I mean… you can turn while you’re gliding, or riding Griffon or Skyscale. Jackal’s mid-leap turn is finicky and difficult to master… why bother?
If you do a lot of WvW, Warclaw is great. If you don’t, it’s useless. Warclaw may only be useful in WvW, but the bar is low – it’s the only mount you can use in WvW.
When Warclaw was released, many people (myself included) worried that it would create a huge gulf in WvW between the “haves” and the “have nots.” WvW already struggles to find enough players to participate, and I didn’t want to see a significant barrier to entry.
Luckily (?) Warclaw isn’t what I would call “mandatory” for WvW. It’s handy, sure, but when I’m doing WvW only about 1/3rd the players seem to be riding Warclaws, and we get by just fine.
Like Warclaw, the Skimmer mount is a special-purpose mount. If you need to travel across water (or a few edge-case situations, like lava and toxic ground), Skimmer is your best and only choice.
- I’m thankful for Skimmer every time I die during Teq and have to race back from Broonooloo Waypoint.
- Love the idle animation where the Skimmer taps your character on the shoulder with its tail.
- Not particularly useful anywhere else.
- Weird handling over dry ground.
- I still don’t really know what the zoom-zoom-buzz “jump” thing is, when you hold the spacebar. It goes faster? And also higher? But it vibrates? Very perplexing.
Roller Beetle has so much potential. I mean, it’s a mount that goes really fast! Don’t you want to go really fast?
I find that I want to go really fast right up until I try to use my Roller Beetle to go really fast. Then I steer it wrong, and the recovery process is so frustrating that I give up and switch back to Raptor.
Sure, you can just putter along with Roller Beetle not in speed boost mode. But why bother? Also, it’s embarrassing.
Roller Beetle is great (I guess) if you want to do Roller Beetle races. I have done a few of these races against my will, and I’m not eager to do any more. I understand some people love Roller Beetle races. More power to them! I say “No thanks.”
- Very fast!
- Very fast!
In addition to being very cute, Springer is a godsend. When you need it, you need it. Even after you get Skyscale you may find yourself going back to Springer from time to time.
Springer’s leap is fast, versus the Sksycale’s slow rise. Springer can also jump very high, versus Skyscale having to stop to recharge along the way.
And did I mention Springer is very cute? It’s very cute.
Raptor is the gold standard for traveling on dry land. The standard Raptor run is comparable to the speed of other land-based mounts, but the Raptor leap makes it the fastest of all the mounts.
NOTE: Yes, Raptor is faster than Roller Beetle. If you take into account the time you lose every time you don’t turn Roller Beetle in time, and have to stop and get out and go back on track, or slowly turn your Roller Beetle around and go back, Raptor is MUCH faster.
If you factor in the cost and trouble of getting a mount, Raptor comes in well above Griffon and Skyscale. Raptor costs nothing to unlock, and requires no tedious collections. All you have to do is complete the story instance, and presto: You’ve got yourself a Raptor.
One could argue that the easiness of getting a Raptor, combined with its speed, makes Raptor the best all-round mount. However, Raptor’s lack of verticality is a definite sticking point.
- The fastest mount.
- Has the best of all the mount skins (fight me).
- The easiest mount to unlock.
- Love all the idle animations.
- No vertical movement.
Second Best: Skyscale
Ah, now we’re really getting into the tricky bits! I’m ranking Skyscale as the second-best mount for two reasons:
- The expense, time, and difficulty of getting Skyscale.
- The way it always manages to grab onto something at the least-convenient time.
That being said, everyone I know who gets a Skyscale uses it exclusively from that point on.
If you have Skyscale, there’s no point using Griffon. Skyscale completely supersedes the Griffon mount. From that perspective, Skyscale is the better mount. But damn is it an expensive pain in the ass to get!
The Best Mount: Griffon
Griffon wins my vote for best all-round mount. It’s not as fast as Raptor, but it makes up for that speed by letting you fly over obstacles and enemy mobs. It can’t hover or fly as high as Skyscale, but it’s easier and cheaper to get. It can’t jump as high as Springer, but that first-flap-hop is pretty great.
If you already have Raptor, Springer, and Skimmer, Griffon is well worth the trouble and cost to obtain. Griffon is useful on every map, even those (like Dragonfall) which are designed for using a Skyscale.