Guild Wars 2 Thief Profession Guide

The massive world of Guild Wars 2 is naturally demanding of high-quality classes for its characters, and it every-so-rightly delivers them.

The classes in GW2 are called ‘professions’, and every one of the 8 available is different from the other. This uniqueness makes the profession aspect of GW2 almost epic in a sense.

In this guide we will go over the Thief profession. The Thief profession is focused around speed and stealth, and is an ideal choice for those looking to be ninjas who don’t fight fare.

We’ll go over the skill types, the equip-able weapons, the various gameplay mechanics of the Thief, and the general way of playing the profession. For more help on Guild Wars 2, read our Ranger, Engineer and Guardian Guide.


Though the term ‘thief’ suggests a passive and boring class, the Thief profession in Guild Wars 2 is extremely versatile, relying on speed, stealth, and adept one-on-one combat.

In fact, the Thief profession greatly resembles the ‘Rogue’ class that is found in many RPG games, with a touch of an assassin as well. Like the Rogues, the Thief sacrifices high-armor and defenses for high mobility, speed and precision. This makes the profession extremely viable in one-on-one situations.

The Thief uses a resource called Initiative for using abilities, and always has at least one initiative-free skill. Thieves have ten points of initiative to use, and gain one back one point every second.

What truly makes the Thief standout is the lack of recharge of weapons skills. Because of the initiative resource, the Thief has the ability to use weapon skills back-to-back. This can result in a set of extremely powerful attacks in rapid succession.

Thief Heal, Utility, and Elite skills do not cost Initiative and still have a recharge cost.

Thieves have a special skill called Steal that can be used on enemies. Unlike the conventional stealing, this skill does not steal a real item from enemies. Instead, it generates an environmental weapon based on the target the Thief is stealing from.

Stealing has quite a bit of application, as it can give a large range of support and CC options to the Thief, which are otherwise not present by default. For example, Stealing from a moa can give the Thief a bunch of feathres, which can be thrown around to blind enemies.

Stealing does not break your Stealth mode (more on this ahead), but is not available very often.

Dual Skills:
Dual Skills are special skills that are based on the type of weapons the Thief is wielding. The dual skill set is determined by both the main-hand and off-hand weapons of the Thief. This set can also vary depending on the order the Thief is holding the weapons.

This means that the Dual Skills will be different when the Thief has a dagger in the main-hand and a pistol in the off-hand, and different when the Thief has a pistol in the main-hand and a dagger in the off-hand.

The Thief can only equip one type of two-handed weapon: the Shortbow. This implies that the Shortbow has no dual skill associated with it.

Shadow Stepping:
Shadow Stepping is a teleporting technique used by the Thief to get in and out of battle. This is an extremely useful move for all sorts of situations. However, the Thief cannot Shadow Step over obstacles, and can only do so where movement is possible. Therefore, Shadow Stepping will not work over gates or other blocking sources, including the Guardian’s Ward.

In addition to the various stealth techniques, traps can be placed by the Thief to ambush unsuspecting enemies or to attain area-based CC.

Playing as the Thief

The Thief is an ideal choice for anyone looking to play an assassin-DPS role. The profession gives a large amount of burst damage, and ample opportunities for both surprise attacks and evasive maneuvers.

This makes the Thief an excellent choice for any type of player, be it a newcomer or a pro. Newcomers are given lots of opportunities to make up for common mistakes as the Thief, whereas other professions are less forgiving.

Veteran Thieves are a force to be reckoned with because of how well they have mastered the stealth and steal mechanics.

The Thief can equip the following weapon types:

  • Main Hand – Sword, Dagger, and Pistol
  • Off Hand – Dagger and Pistol
  • Two-Handed – Shortbow

The best two choices in this case are dual-wielded Pistols or dual-wielded daggers. As stated before, it’s not always a good idea to use a Shortbow with a Thief, because it can limit the play-style.

What is even better is if two sets – one with a dual-wielded pistols and the other with dual-wielded daggers – is used. This will allow for max versatility during battle; you can initiate a fit with pistols, then switch to daggers and move in for heavy damage.

Daggers come with lots of condition damage abilities. You will be able to use conditions like Weakness, Bleeding, Cripple and Vulnerability. If these all manage to be inflicted, your enemies will almost be dummies in front of you.