In just about every MMO, choosing your race is very important. Races give unique abilities and stat bonuses that benefit some classes more than other, and some MMOs even limit their classes by their races. Luckily, in Guild Wars 2, there is no best race for every class.
In GW2, there are no limits for who can be what. You can be an Asura Warrior, or even a Sylvari Elementalist. The race you choose in GW2 only affects a few things: the racial skills you get (nothing really game-changing), your personal lore/story, your character’s voice actor, and how armor looks. There is no pressure to choose one race over another, and it all comes down to personal preference.
However, let’s be honest — even if races did affect stats, creating a character with backstory and lore is much more fun. With that angle in mind, let’s get into our picks for the best race and class combos in Guild Wars 2.
Guardian — Norn
Appearance wise, Norn are great for any of the heavy armor classes. They are big and bulky with enough muscle to crush a bowling ball with their bare hands. They tower over all the other races. Additionally, Norn fill heavy armor well and don’t have shoulder pieces too big for their body like other races.
From the lore of Guild Wars 2, Norn are the perfect race for the Guardian class. While on the surface, Norn look like race of hunters and warriors, they are much more than that. The average Norn goes their entire life trying to prove themselves to be worthy enough to be remembered and praised. Due to this, they are an innately optimistic culture, looking at any challenge as something to be overcome.
This is the perfect attitude for a Guardian. Never backing down from a fight. Always looking to be the hero and protect their allies. Neither a Norn nor a Guardian fear death. The only fear they have is not being strong enough to overcome the challenges they face.
Warrior — Charr and Asura
Anyone can become a Warrior, when you think about it. Swords and Axes aren’t held back by the inability to learn magic or the lack of skill. Anyone with the willpower to fight can become a Warrior in their own right. However, if there was a race that perfectly fit the Warrior, it would be the Charr.
The Charr’s history is categorized by constant fighting and war. Due to this, the Charr are primarily a military culture. As soon as they turn one year old, Charr are sent to a warcamp to learn how to fight and form their own warband. It just makes sense for most Charr to be Warriors. Besides, a Charr running at you on all fours with a Greatsword on their back would be a scary sight.
While the Asura typically leave the fighting to magic or inventions, Asura Warriors are a sight to behold. When wielding weapons such as the Greatsword, Asura get different animations for skills compared to other races. Some attacks lift Asura into the air as they swing, and the weight of some swings visibly drag the Asura along. For this reason alone, Asura are a great choice for Warrior.
Revenant — Charr and Sylvari
For a Revenant, what better race to choose than the Charr? After all, the first Revenant was our good friend Rytlock Brimstone. More importantly, the Charr already revere the same legends from their history that Revenants call upon. It wouldn’t be hard for a Charr to commune with a powerful ancestor in the Mists.
But what about the Sylvari? Hear me out. Sylvari are spiritually connected to the Pale Tree, the place where they are born. In the lore, there are Sylvari called the Soundless who cut themselves off from the Pale Tree. What if your Sylvari Revenant was a Soundless who decided to commune with the spirits of the Mist rather than the Pale Tree? Now excuse me while I go remake my Revenant.
If my lore reasons didn’t persuade you, the armor for both races look pretty good for a Revenant. Charr can really pull off the classic Revenant armor and have some decent heavy sets. Likewise, Sylvari’s cultural heavy armor is pretty unique and have designs made of leaves and bark.
Engineer — Asura and Charr
When it comes to Engineering, Asura and Charr are very similar. They both like to build things, albeit for different reasons.
With the Charr’s war culture, they are always building and manufacturing weapons of war, like their tanks. It would come as no surprise that a Charr would specialize as an Engineer. They even have a Scrapper rank in their society, which just so happens to be an Engineer elite spec. Additionally, the Engineer’s makeshift inventions and tools perfectly fit the Charr Steampunk aesthetic.
Likewise, Asura are always inventing and creating, but for the sake of knowledge rather than war. In fact, their whole society is built on research. As much as an Asura would love to stay in the lab all day, someone has to test their inventions. What better way than to create an Asura Engineer testing out their new inventions in the field and randomly becoming a Commander against the Elder Dragons?
Ranger — Norn and Sylvari
For Rangers, Norn and Sylvari are a perfect match.
Due to the frozen mountains of the Norn homeland, they are hunters first and foremost. They hold huge hunting festivals to prove themselves and hunt dangerous game. Additionally, they are a very spiritual people and honor the spirits of the animals. This explains the bond between Ranger and Pet, especially if you match your pet with the spirit animal you chose in your story.
In almost a similar way, Sylvari are very close to nature. Born from nature itself and the forests of Caledon, it makes sense how a Sylvari might have an intense bond with their pets. Additionally, Sylvari always reminded me of Elves from other works of fiction, which (with a few exceptions) were always archers/rangers. So, it just feels right to make a Sylvari Ranger.
If lore wasn’t a good enough reason, the medium armor sets for these two races are pretty good. Norn sets look as though they personally crafted it from whatever they hunted. Sylvari, on the other hand, have a few sets made of leaves and other plant fibers that look amazing.
Thief — Human
While Thief works for just about any race, Human has a little bit of an upper hand. When making a Human character, you get to choose how they were raised. Quite possibly the best one for Thief is “Street Urchin.”
With the Street Urchin backstory, your character was raised on the streets and learned how to make money any way possible. Your story starts you out with dealing with the gangs of Queensdale and ends somehow becoming a Commander in the fight against the Elder Dragons. It’s the perfect rags to riches story of a Thief stumbling their way into something bigger than themselves.
Additionally, Humans have more of a Thief physique, being more slender than most races. They also have some of the better medium cultural armor, especially the Tier 3 Assassins set.
Elementalist — Human and Sylvari
Again, Humans are a great choice. Your Elementalist could be a Human with a Noble background who spent their days learning magic instead of lounging around, or a Human Commoner who learned how to use Earth and Water magic for farming. Humans have great background options for an Elementalist. Not to mention Human light armor is pretty with flowing dresses/skirts (male and female) and a variety of masks.
Now, I know a Sylvari playing with fire is a bad idea, but it kind of sounds cool. An Elementalist who risks losing something (leaves and twigs in this case) every time they use their power is a cool idea. Almost like the Equivalent Exchange concept from Fullmetal Alchemist. Plus, Sylvari light armor is unique, with armor made of bark and leaves.
Necromancer — Asura
While Necromancers could come from anywhere, I thought it would be interesting to say Asura as the best race. As researchers, alive or dead specimens are very useful for data gathering. Even more so when you can bring them back to life.
I thought it would be an interesting concept for a mad scientist or at least a scientist with few ethics to learn necromancy for their research. Asura love researching magic just as much as machines, and it makes sense that they would have easy access to necromancy. A reusable test subject sounds like an evil scientist’s dream come true.
Not to mention just about every Necromancer concept art uses an Asura, so maybe I’m on to something.
Mesmer — Human, Asura or Sylvari
In my opinion, Humans are the best choice for Mesmers. Not only is Human light armor amazing, but lore-wise, it fits.
In the last Human kingdom of Kryta, cutthroat politics are at play. Nobles reach for power in every underhanded way possible. It almost reminds me of Coruscant from Star Wars. A Mesmer is a perfect fit, like Lady Kasmeer, able to handle both politics and centaurs with charm and illusion magic.
Asura are also a great choice for a Mesmer. Asura aren’t just inventors and scientists for machines. They also love researching magic, and what better magic to learn than the mysterious magic Mesmers use?
Lastly, Sylvari just have good light armor. Flowing dresses made of leaves, butterfly shoulderpads, and a mushroom top for hallucinogenic properties.
Join the High Ground!
And that wraps up the best race combos for every class in Guild Wars 2. What are your favorite race/class combos? Leave a comment down below and subscribe to our newsletter for more of your favorite content.