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Best Ranger Builds in Guild Wars 2 (2024)

Are you looking for a class that has an answer for everything in Guild Wars 2? Maybe you’re just looking for a class that’s easy to play and understand. Well, look no further than the Ranger. Ranger has some of the most versatile and effective builds in GW2 that just about anyone can pick up and play.

At its core, the Ranger has great single target and AOE damage perfect for open world or dungeons. Along with its utility skills and a variety of pets, the Ranger can customize its build to fit any situation whether its for group play or solo. Add in its elite specializations, and the Ranger becomes the perfect class.

Don’t believe me? Let’s check out the top three Ranger builds in GW2.

Power Core Ranger Build – Best for F2P

Power Core Ranger Build in GW2
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

While 9 times out of 10 elite specializations will perform 10x better, sometimes you just want to play a simple build or maybe you just don’t want to pay money. Luckily for F2P players, Core Ranger builds are still decently strong in Guild Wars 2.

Although it might not have flashy combos, the Power Ranger still deals decent damage and can switch out weapons for more burst, sustained, or AOE damage. It also has plenty of crowd control and support through its utility skills and its pets.

With ranged gameplay, versatility, and a pet to keep you company, this is a great build to play, especially for newer players looking to learn the game. To get started, click here for the full build and follow along with the rest of the guide.

Stats

As with any Power build, we want Power, Precision and Ferocity. So, we have a few options:

  • Berserker’s – Power, Precision, Ferocity
  • Marauder’s – Power, Precision, Vitality
  • Knight’s – Power, Precision, Toughness

Now the best stat prefix to get here is Berserker’s to make up for the difference in damage between the Core build and an elite spec. However, if you find yourself needing more survivability, then Marauder’s and Knight’s are decent options.

Specializations

Specializations for Core Ranger - Marksmanship 223, Skirmishing 313, a nd Beastmastery 323
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

For our specializations we want Marksmanship, Skirmishing, and Beastmastery.

With Marksmanship we gain the only trait we need Predator’s Onslaught. This trait gives a 15% damage increase against disabled, defiant, or impaired enemies. This will be where most of our damage comes from. We also grab Hunter’s Gaze and Farsighted for passive Might and 5% damage.

In Skirmishing, we will grab Trapper’s Expertise so Traps skills last longer and recharge faster. Next, we will grab Spotter for passive Fury, and we’ll grab Vicious Quarry to complement this. With this setup, our passive Fury gives 15% more crit chance and extra Ferocity.

In Beastmastery, we need to get Resounding Timbre so our Command skills give Regen and Swiftness. Even if you don’t use the Greatsword, grab Two-Handed Training so we get Fury when disabling a target. Lastly, grab Honed Axes so Axe skills have shorter cooldowns and for some extra crit damage.

Weapons and Skills

Layout of weapons, skills, and utility for Core Ranger
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

We actually have a few options for our weapon choices. First, I recommend using Axe/Axe no matter what. This combo has both great AOE and single target damage plus its ranged. As your secondary weapon, you can decide between the Longbow for more burst damage or the Greatsword for more sustained damage.

Your utility skills are largely up to you. The only must have skill is either Muddy Terrain (9) and/or Frost Trap. You’ll need these to trigger Predator’s Onslaught for extra damage. I also recommend Sic Em (7) and Strength of the Pack (0) for more damage and boon generation.

The Ranger is pretty versatile with its utility skills. You could go for the damage setup I have in the build editor or you could switch it up for group play. Spirit skills are great for supporting allies and even has an AOE revive with the elite spirit skill. Either way you can’t go wrong.

Pets

Brown Bear - best pet for Power Core Ranger in GW2.
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

Along with our weapon options we will need some pet options. Since this is a core build, I’ll stick to vanilla pets, but if you have some expansions, be sure to check out our best pets guide for some ideas.

For damage focused pets, any of the feline class are great damage dealers. Pets like the Lynx or Jungle Stalker deal a ton of damage. Any of the canine class are nice options as well. Pets like the Wolf deal decent damage and have an AOE Fear.

If you need a tanky pet then Drakes, Bears, or Warthogs all have tons of health. In addition, they all have their own specialty: Drakes for AOE damage, Bears for pure tank, and Warthogs for crowd control.

All in all, whatever pets you choose should be fine. Just make sure to have a pet for damage and a pet for utility.

Rotation

The best thing about this build is that it’s rotation is pretty simple. And by pretty simple I mean non-existent. Your damage revolves around triggering Predator’s Onslaught by applying CC like stuns or cripples to targets then using damaging skills for the duration of the CC. To make it easy here’s what skills to use:

CC

High Damage Skills

  • Frost Trap
  • Muddy Terrain
  • Winter’s Bite (Axe 3)
  • Barrage (LB 5)
  • Hilt Bash (GS 5)
  • Counterattack (GS 4)
  • Some Pets beast skills (F2)
  • Rapid Fire (LB 2)
  • Barrage (LB 5)
  • Splitblade (Axe 2)
    • Melee Range
  • Winter’s Bite (Axe 3)
  • Whirling Defense (Axe 5)
  • Maul (GS 2)

As long as you take advantage of Predator’s Onslaught, you’ll do plenty of damage. Maybe not at the top of the charts, but you’ll excel at any content thrown your way. If you want to check out another simple to play build, let’s look at the Hybrid Soulbeast.

Hybrid Soulbeast Build – Best Overall

Hybrid (Power & Condi) Soulbeast Build - Best Ranger Builds in GW2
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

The first build we have is one of the best overall Ranger builds in GW2. Hybrid Soulbeast uses both Condi and Power damage and achieves just about the same amount of damage as its counterparts. As many people describe it, this build has the consistent damage of a Condi build and the burst of a Power build.

While single damage type builds have to worry about what boss they are facing, the only bosses Hybrid Soulbeast have to worry about are ones that move a lot. The split damage type lets Soulbeast deal its full damage on just about any encounter. This makes it the perfect build to take anywhere and practically eliminates the need for a backup build.

To see how Hybrid Soulbeast achieves its split damage, click here and follow along.

Stats

Oddly enough Hybrid Soulbeast doesn’t build a mix of different types of stats. Its gear looks like any typical Condi build, as it wants Condition Damage and Expertise. So, our options are:

  • Viper’s – Power, Precision, Condition Damage, Expertise
  • Sinister – Power, Precision, Condition Damage
  • Carrion – Power, Condition Damage, Vitality

Obviously, Viper’s is our best bet, but if you are just starting out, the Sinister and Carrion stat prefixes are quicker and cheaper to get.

Specializations

Specializations for Hybrid Soubeast - Skirmishing 133, Beastmastery 333, and Soulbeast 232
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

The specializations we want are Skirmishing, Beastmastery, and Soulbeast.

With Skirmishing, we want to grab Sharpened Edges so our critical hits inflict Bleed, and Hidden Barbs to increase our Bleed damage by 33%. To help achieve more crits, we will also grab Vicious Quarry which increases our crit damage and crit chance by 15%.

Next in Beastmastery, we gain some small stat bonuses from our minor traits. As for our major traits, we want Resounding Timbre to gain Regen and Swiftness when we use skills like Sic Em. We also want Honed Axes for extra crit damage and cooldown reduction on Axe skills.

Lastly, our Soulbeast major traits will be Live Fast, Predator’s Cunning, and Leader of the Pack. With these traits we get extra boons, life steal, and our Stance skills affect allies as well. In our minor traits, we also gain 15% damage with Fury and a 10% increase to both Strike and Condition damage.

Weapons and Skills

Layout of weapons, skills, and utility for Hybrid Soulbeast
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

For our weapons, we want the Axe/Torch combo plus Dagger/Axe as our secondary set. With this setup, we gain the high burst damage of the Axe with the high condition stacks of the Torch and Dagger.

As for our utility skills, each and every one is needed. So, for our healing skill we want We Heal As One (6). Next, we want Sic Em (7) for a 25% damage boost every 28 seconds. Then we want Vulture Stance (8) and Sharping Stone (9) so our attacks inflict more conditions. Lastly, we want One Wolf Pack (0) as the elite skill to basically deal double damage for 7 seconds.

Pets

Bristleback - best pet for Hybrid Soulbeast in GW2
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

Surprisingly, the pets we choose are extremely important to our build. We will want a primary and a secondary pet to switch between. Check out our best pets guide for other options and where to find these pets.

We want the Bristleback or Fanged Iboga as our primary pet. When merged with these pets, we gain multiple skills to apply more conditions. We also gain increased Precision and Condition Damage. In most cases Bristleback will deal more damage, however, it’s really up to you which one you use.

Warthog should be our secondary, as it has Brutal Charge which will be one of the few crowd control skills we have. Thankfully, it also increases our Precision and Condi damage, so we shouldn’t lose much DPS if we switch.

Rotation

While somewhat long, the rotation for Hybrid Soulbeast is fairly simple. This rotation will assume you are using Bristleback as your primary pet. If not just replace those skills with whatever pet you are using. Additionally, be sure to be in Beastmode before starting the rotation.

Axe/Torch Opener

The Loop

  1. One Wolf Pack (0)
  2. Sic Em + Vulture Stance (7,9)
  3. Bonfire (Torch 5)
  4. Winter’s Bite (Axe 3)
  5. Splitblade (Axe 2)
  6. Weapon Swap
  7. Double Arc (Dagger 2)
  8. Path of Scars (Axe 4)
  9. Rain of Spikes (F1)
  10. Sharpening Stone + Sharpen Spines (9,F2)
  11. Whirling Defense (Axe 5)
  1. Auto-attack Chain
  2. Path of Scars (Axe 4)
  3. Double Arc (Dagger 2)
  4. Weapon Swap
  5. Splitblade (Axe 2)
  6. Winter’s Bite (Axe 3)
  7. Throw Torch (Torch 4)
  8. Splitblade (Axe 2)
  9. Bonfire (Torch 5)
  10. Sic Em + OWP + Vulture Stance (7,0,8)
  11. Winter’s Bite (Axe 3)
  12. Splitblade (Axe 2)
  13. Weapon Swap
  14. Double Arc (Dagger 2)
  15. Path of Scars (Axe 4)
  16. Whirling Defense (Axe 5)
  17. Sharpening Stone + Sharpen Spines (9,F2)

Remember to use Sic Em, One Wolf Pack, Vulture Stance, and Sharpening Stone off cooldown to increase your damage and condition output. If you are using Bristleback, be sure to use Rain of Spikes as close to the boss as possible so each spike has a chance to hit.

Follow this build and you’ll be able to beastmode your way through any content.

Healing Alac Druid Build – Best for Raid/Strike

Healing Alac Druid Build - Best Ranger Builds in GW2
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

This last build is one of the best builds for Raids and the best Ranger support build in GW2, the Heal Alac Druid. You’ll never have to wait too long to get a spot in a raid party with a build like this in your back pocket.

With the Druid, you can heal, provide 100% uptime for boons like Alacrity and Might, weaken enemies, and revive allies. Additionally, most of this is done passively by traits or place-and-forget Spirit skills, allowing you to focus on mechanics or saving teammates.

To get started click here for the full build and let’s see how to build the Heal Alac Druid.

Stats

For our stats we are going to want full Harrier’s. With a set of Harrier’s, we will have plenty of Healing Power and Concentration to support our teammates and a little bit of Power for damage. While there are probably some other options, Harrier’s should be your end goal.

Specializations

Specializations for Heal Alac Druid - Skirmishing 333, Nature Magic 231, and Druid 311
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

For our specialization, we want Skirmishing, Nature Magic, and Druid.

With Skirmishing, we get some Swiftness and Fury for swapping weapons. The most important trait we need to get here is Spotter. With Spotter we can passively generate Fury for the team. The other traits are up to you.

Next, Nature Magic will give us some support power. First, we want Instinctive Reaction so 7% of our Power is converted to Healing Power. More importantly, we want Nature’s Vengeance. With this trait our Spirit skills grant Alacrity to allies on activation.

Lastly, we have Druid. We first want Primal Echoes so our Staff skills recharge faster. Next, with Verdant Etching Glyph skills give Protection to allies. Finally, Grace of the Land gives Might to allies affected by Celestial Avatar skills for 100% Might uptime.

Weapons and Skills

Layout of weapons, skills and utility for Heal Alac Druid
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

For our weapons we want a Staff and an Axe/Warhorn secondary combo.

You’ll want to use the Staff most of the time while waiting for enough Astral Force to use Celestial Avatar (F5). In Celestial Avatar, you gain empowered healing skills that not only heal for a ton but grant Might due to Grace of the Land. To get enough Astral Force all you have to do is heal allies.

When you don’t need to heal allies, you’ll want to switch to the Axe/Warhorn for a bit to deal damage and generate boons. At the very least, you’ll want to cast Call of the Wild (5) and Hunter’s Call (4) to weaken enemies and buff allies with Fury, Might, Swiftness, and Regen.

As for our utility skills, we want at least 3 Spirit skills to take full advantage of their boons and Nature’s Vengeance. Personally, I like Water Spirit (6), Frost Spirit (7) for Might, Stone Spirit (8) for Protection, and Spirit of Nature (0) for an AOE revive. All in all, what you bring depends on the encounter and your teammates.

Pets

Fanged Iboga - best pet for Healing Alac Druid in GW2
(Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke)

Despite being a support, we want a pet to pick up the slack for our lack of DPS and a pet for utility. For DPS, we can choose Fanged Iboga or Jacaranda, as these are the highest DPS pets in the game. For our utility, we can also grab a Rock Gazelle or a Electric Wyvern for some great crowd control.

Some other options can be a Fern Hound or White Tiger. With these, we can get some extra Regen and Aegis boons if needed.

Rotation

Your main job is to maintain boon uptime and top off your teammates. Celestial Avatar achieves most of this, but there is a rotation to keep in mind:

Boons

Healing

  • Place down 3 Spirits
    • Periodically activate skills for Alac
  • Celestial Avatar (F5)
  • Lunar Impact (3)
  • Rejuvenating Tides (4)
  • Natural Convergence (5)
  • Seed of Life (2)
    • No cast time so spam it
  • Exit Celestial Avatar (F5)
  • Call of the Wild (Warhorn 5)
  • Sustained Healing
    • Water Spirit (6)
    • Spirit of Nature (0)
    • Solar Beam (Staff 1)
    • Astral Wisp (Staff 2)
  • Burst Healing
    • Any Celestial Avatar skill
    • Sublime Conversion
      • For Water Field
    • Ancestral Grace (Staff 3)
      • Combo with the Water Field

Try keeping the rotation in mind to keep your ally’s health and boons topped off. Despite being a support, Druid is a build that relies on knowledge of the encounter so be sure to know what your team expects of you. Master the Druid and any raid will be a piece of cake.

Join the High Ground!

And that wraps up the best Ranger builds in GW2. Thanks for reading! If there are any other builds you think should’ve been mentioned then leave a comment down below. Also be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter so you don’t miss any of your favorite content!

And as always, take the High Ground!

 

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