Are you a new player to Guild Wars 2, who’s seen the Achievements panel and wants to know how to earn points and rewards? Or perhaps you’re more limited with in-game time, and are curious what options you may have. If either of these are the case, then this post is for you!
Why are achievements worth it? Well, they didn’t used to be – they were just points that had no meaning other than showing you played the game’s content. In July of 2013, however, they added in an achievement rewards system, and suddenly those meaningless points meant that you could earn actual rewards for doing them. Weapon skins, money, account bonuses, and a variety of other items are what you can earn for hitting certain achievement milestones (the first chest is at 100 points, and then you get one every 500 points).
The main achievement panel screen. It shows your points, your next few chests, your daily rewards, recently completed achievements, and nearly-completed ones.
But where to start? I’ll go over some of the different categories available. Keep in mind you won’t get to 10k AP in three days, but these will help you build up that number (and your rewards!) in good time.
The absolute best way to build your achievement points with minimal time and effort: DO YOUR DAILIES.
I just finished mine about 15 minutes ago.
The dailies system has changed quite a few times over the life of the game. The current system gives you rewards for logging in, and then you can complete different daily achievements that are on a rotation – three are required to get your AP. What you get varies based on the highest character level on your account. If your highest character is only level 10, you will see one PvE, one WvW, and one PvP daily. If your highest is between 10 and 30, you’ll see three of each. If you’re above 30, you will see the full rotation of four each (12 in total).
Which ones you actually do is entirely up to you; one of the advantages of this system is that since you only need to do three and the variety is pretty wide, you do have plenty of options. Vista viewer and any of the gatherer dailies are no-brainers; they both take no time at all to do. Usually when WvW Big Spender is in the rotation, I do that one, though today I decided to do Kessex Events and Kryta Forager at the same time. Generally I’ll do two PvE and one WvW daily, unless I’m in the mood for PvP; if you do PvP and have the full set available to you, you can often get all three done in one match.
Completing three dailies gets you an even 10 AP – all for just a few minutes’ work – as well as various rewards for the specific dailies. They’re worth doing. It’s fast and it’s easy AP. Just try and do them every day if you can.
Have you started the game recently? Or just haven’t done certain portions of it?
New Guild Wars 2 player? Great! Welcome and I hope you’re enjoying the game. There are a few categories you will be able to make immediate progress in. You won’t max out everything in them quickly, but you will gain points almost immediately.
The Hero Category is one that encompasses a lot of the things you’ll be doing just by playing. Personal story, for example – as you play through your personal story, you will earn points for each chapter you complete. There are three chapters available for each race (the level 10, 20, and 30 story chapters), one for joining each of the three Orders, and then one for each story chapter after that (I think. As the personal story setup changed significantly since I completed everything, it may be slightly off).
This category also contains such things as completing hearts, participating in events, earning skillpoints, completing story dungeons, and doing map completion. And the latter ties in nicely to the next few categories!
The Explorer Category is basically exactly what the name says. Simply by exploring Tyria and uncovering new areas of the map, you will work on the various Explorer tracks – there is one for each region in the game. It can be tricky to find all of these areas! But it’s also fun to see all of the little things the game contains.
This is also where you will find achievements for mini-dungeons, which are essentially simple puzzles that usually contain some fighting and jumping and have a chest at the end. Some of them can be more difficult, so if you’ve got some friends to play with, take them along for those, as well as for the next category…
The Jumping Puzzles category keeps track of the various jumping puzzles you’ve completed in the game. They are similar to mini-dungeons; however jumping puzzles are more about platforming and tend to lack fights. They vary in difficulty; I’d definitely advise bringing a friend along for these. Some puzzles are more forgiving, so that if you miss a jump or fall, you can get back to where you were fairly easily, but others will make you restart. Having a friend makes it less likely you’ll lose all of your progress, because then you can be ressed easily.
The next two can be easily progressed in tandem:
The Weapon Master category…
…and the Slayer Category.
As you play the game, you will kill things. Many things. Doing so counts towards achievement tracks in both of these categories. Really, I’d say to not worry about these two categories much – I bring them up simply to let you know they’re there. You’ll naturally make progress on tracks in both just by playing normally.
Have you been playing the game for a while? Have some money to play with? Do you have any level 80 characters?
If so, take a look through these categories:
The Tradesman Category will keep track of your crafting progress, among a few other things. I’ll be straightforward – for the most part, this is the “Throw money at the problem until it goes away” category. One of the achievements in this category, Gold Hoarder, is for saving up 200 gold. Most of the rest are for crafting, and crafting isn’t cheap. That said, there are separate tracks for getting a crafting discipline to 400 (the original max level), and then again for raising it to 500, so you can potentially bank a lot of points in this category. It’ll just cost you.
Collections are iffy, but I’m going to bring them up anyway. You don’t actually get many achievement points from completing these, and some can be annoying, expensive, or both. That said, you can get some neat rewards for finishing them, and for a lot you’ll wind up getting a good chunk of the stuff without really trying. For the record, Wintersday Toy Weapon Collection can be completed for a few silver by buying everything off the trading post.
If you have any level 80 characters and have unlocked the second season of living story, peruse through and work on the Story Journal achievements. They can vary greatly in difficulty, but you do get pretty good rewards for some of them, including free ascended trinkets for completing all of the achievements for a specific story step. This is worth noting as currently that is the only way to get the particular stat type that those trinkets come in. Give them a go, and check out a guide if you get stuck.
Do you have a good guild or group of friends to play with?
Then it may be worth your time to work on these two categories:
The Dungeons Category…
…and the Fractals of the Mists Category.
Now, you can do dungeons and fractals through PUGs, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re aiming to complete achievements – most people in such groups are just looking for the path of least resistance and want to get to the end in the shortest time possible. Do these with friends or guild members who’ll be understanding of your desire to do slightly out of the way things.
The biggest problem with the Dungeon Master achievement is that the game does not track in any visible way which dungeon paths you have done. And believe me, it can be frustrating if you can’t remember if it was Path 2 or Path 4 of Arah you haven’t done yet, and then doing the wrong one. So if you are working on Dungeon Master, create yourself some sort of list to track what you’ve done and what you haven’t.
Also note that one of the paths of Twilight Arbor, the Aetherpath, has its own achievement category. It was added in after release, and is a level 80 dungeon path (as opposed to level 55 like the rest of TA). It has a different set of achievements that can be trickier to complete.
What else is good to work on?
Well, there are a lot of different categories, really! Fashion and Community are ones that you’ll make natural progress in through play – Fashion is unlocking various weapon and armor skins, while Community contains things that will happen as you play with others. Bosses is pretty easy to fill out if you do world bosses. And there is the Competitive section, containing PvP, WvW, and a variety of mini-games. You can pick up some points there if you like those things. The PvP category in particular is full of AP, with various tracks having a high number of tiers. They’ll certainly take you a long time to max out, but you can still get a lot just by playing; the more you play, the more you get.
And of course, most important is simply to keep track of new stuff being added to the game! New content tends to come with new achievements to work on. Festivals often have their own achievement categories as well – these are temporary, however, so make sure you’re aware of how long they’ll be available!
Good luck, and have fun adding to your list of accomplishments!