In the more conventional ones you have to visit a NPC trainer to get new skills every time you level up. In Guild Wars 2 your skills unlock once they are used enough.
Your weapon skills will unlock automatically through actively using a given weapon and defeating enemies during combat. Additional healing, utility, and elite skills, however, will be purchased by spending a pre-determined number of skill points.
After your character has reached level 5, you will begin earning 1 skill point every time you level up. The maximum level cap is 80 so that makes it a total of 75 skill points. After reaching the level cap, you can continue accumulating additional skill points even though your character has reached the maximum level.
Another method of earning skill points is through Skill Challenges. Every area you visit will have these challenges and they will be marked on your map.
Also note that every time you visit a new zone, the loading screen will show how many skill challenges are contained in that zone and how many you have completed.
These challenges will range from defeating a NPC in combat to fighting your way to the depths of a cave. Not all of them will be easy to do so and you will require a group of players to help you in your endeavours.
Unlocking New Skills with Skill Points
Every skill requires a number of skill points in order for it to be unlocked. Here’s a step to step walkthrough to help you unlock your first skill:
- Open the Hero window (H)
- Click on the Skills and Traits tab on the left.
- The top of the screen displays the total number of skill points you have.
- Click on Slot Skills to see a complete list of skills you can purchase for your character.
- Move your mouse cursor over to any skill icon
- Click ‘Buy’ when the option appears before you.
- Confirm your decision.
No matter what profession you take, each will come with one healing skill automatically unlocked. You can further purchase two additional heals for skill points where the first will cost 1 point and the second will cost 3 points.
The first utility skill slot is unlocked at level 5, the second is unlocked at level 10 and the final slot if unlocked at level 20.
The Utility skills are divided into three tiers where you cannot progress to the next tier until you have spent 5 skill points in the first one. First tier skills cost only 1 point each, with the second tier costing 3 points each, and the final tier skills will cost 6 points each.
Elite Skills are more powerful than your Utility Skills. These are the final type of skills that you can purchase and will be unlocked at level 30.
Every profession has a total of 3 Elite Skills were the first two are Tier 1 and the last is Tier 2. You will also have additional elite skills that you can purchase and use in PvE and WvW gameplay based on the race of your character.
Map and World Completion
As mentioned before everyone zone will contain a number of Skill Challenges. Completing these challenges will count towards your total completion for a given map, as well as your world completion.
Reaching that will grant you additional rewards in the end.
Spending Extra Skill Points
You can always earn more skill points than there are available skills to spend them on. For now you can use them to purchase addition components to be used in your craft making. For example you can spend 200 Skill Points to buy a Bloodstone Shard which is used in the creation of Legendary weapons.