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Guild Wars 2 Leatherworking Guide: Leveling From 0-400

Have you ever played an MMO for hours upon hours, but never touched crafting? I don’t know about you, but leveling crafting always looked so tedious. Even if that’s true, crafting is actually a vital part of just about any MMO. More often than not, crafting can provide unique buffs for parties and guilds. Sometimes they can even refine exclusive materials needed for crafting the best weapons or armor in the game. Guild Wars 2 follows this train of thought, especially its craft skill, Leatherworking.

Crafting in Guild Wars 2 can be fairly unique compared to other MMOs. Usually, other MMOs have secondary crafting skills dedicated to refining raw materials. This isn’t the case in GW2 — each crafting skill can refine its own materials in order to craft what they need. This allows you to focus on two that fit your class, such as Tailoring and Artificer. If you chose a medium armor class like Engineer, I recommend Leatherworking. With that in mind, let’s jump right into our GW2 Leatherworking Guide!

Why Should I Level Leatherworking?

Leatherworking in GW2 is one of the best ways to get quality gear without running endgame dungeons.
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Leatherworking is the perfect crafting skill for medium armor classes. Having maxed-out Leatherworking is one of the few ways to acquire Ascended gear without doing endgame dungeons or raids. However, crafting Ascended gear is time consuming — it takes thirty-six real-world days, in fact — so it’s a good idea to get started.

Even if you don’t want to craft your gear, the time-gated materials sell for a decent amount of money on the trading post. Within a couple of weeks, you could make back the money it takes to level Leatherworking.

Additionally, Leatherworkers can make bags for more inventory space which you can sell on the market. So, if you don’t want to buy your bags, let see how to start Leatherworking in GW2.

Where to Get Started

You'll need training from a Master Leatherworker to begin leveling Leatherworking in GW2.
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

To start Leatherworking, you’ll need to be trained by a Master Leatherworker. A Master Leatherworker can be found in just about every main city, starter area, and Lion’s Reach, the main capital. Then you can craft at any Leatherworking crafting station.

I recommend going to Lion’s Reach to start your crafting. While you can easily craft in other places, the Leatherworking station in Lion’s Reach is fairly close to your bank and the trading post so you don’t have to go far if you forget some materials.

Also, if you already have the max of two crafting skills, you don’t need to worry. You can always switch out skills for a cost of some silver plus crafting level progression is saved no matter what.

Leatherworking Materials

Basic Materials

Leatherworking uses a variety of basic materials.
Please ignore my messy inventory. | Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

As the name suggests Leatherworking uses a lot of leather. It also borrows a bit from Tailoring and uses cloth. There are six tiers of leather and cloth, which are found depending on the level of the area you’re in and your character level.

Some recipes will also call for spools of thread. Likewise, there are six tiers of thread, but they can only be bought from any Master Leatherworker.

Mainly, you’ll use these materials to craft the components needed to make gear. For instance, to make some shoulder gear, you’ll need to first make the correct tier of shoulder padding and a shoulder panel.

Rare Materials

Some Leatherworking recipes in GW2 require rare materials.
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Other recipes will call for rarer materials. These materials include Totems, Claws, and Venom Sacs. These usually drop in the open world from mobs as a little wooden chest on the ground. Additionally, some material loot bags can drop them. Be sure to open those up.

You’ll need a lot and mainly use them to craft insignias.


Insignias help give your crafted gear certain stats.
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Insignias are components needed to give the gear you craft specific stats. What stats they give are indicated by their name and match gear prefixes. For instance, an Assassin’s Insignia will give an item Precision, Power, and Ferocity, giving it the Assassin’s prefix.

We will need to make and buy a lot of these on our way to 500 Leatherworking.


Discovery allows you to find new recipes while Leatherworking.
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Additionally, crafting in Guild Wars 2 uses what they call Discovery. Discovery is exactly as it sounds. By putting different materials together, you can create and discover new recipes. Usually, you need materials like Glove Lining and Padding then combine them with an Insignia.

Through this method, you can gain tons of crafting XP from just discovering a new recipe. We will use the Discovery method to quickly level Leatherworking and craft a bunch of items from the recipes we learn.

Don’t worry about wasting materials, though. Discovery highlights items that can be combined and prevents you from combining items that don’t. Luckily, this isn’t Skyrim’s Alchemy.

The Cost of Maxing Leatherworking

Leveling Leatherworking in GW2 to max is going to cost you tons of materials.

While it’s totally possible to gather these yourself, I recommend buying everything off the trading post. You’ll save a lot of time just buying the materials you need. For Levels 1–400, it will cost you about 20 gold to buy everything you need, plus an additional 20–30 gold for Levels 400–500.

While this sounds like a lot of money, you’ll quickly make it back from selling time-gated ascended materials. Additionally, if you already have some of the materials, you’re saving a ton of money already. So, if you are still leveling, be sure to salvage everything you aren’t using.

Let’s jump into the next piece of our GW2 Leatherworking Guide — the most efficient way to level.

Using GW2Crafts

Now, I would be a liar if I said I knew the most efficient way to level crafting off the top of my head. Luckily, someone in the community has created a computer script that does that for us.

Gw2crafts.net is perfect for finding the best way to level a craft in Guild Wars 2, from Leatherworking to Artificing. It uses a script that analyzes trade market prices to find the fastest and cheapest way to level a craft. As such it’s constantly updating to reflect the current state of the game.

For Leatherworking, we are going to use its fast guide. This might cost a bit more gold, but it’s quicker and has less steps. Click that link and you’ll find yourself on a page that shows you all the materials you need and what you need to craft. Discovery recipes are also shown if you click on them.

Before you go buying everything, check your bank for materials you already have. On gw2crafts, you can input how much of each item you have and it will tell you how much you need to buy. Additionally, feel free to buy as you go rather than all at once. You might save some money.

While the site is pretty easy to understand, I’ll walk you through each tier.

GW2 Leatherworking Guide | 0–400

Leveling to 400 Leatherworking should take you around 16–20 gold. If you already have some of the materials, you might drop the cost to 8–13 gold depending on how much you have. Most of the cost will come from rare mats like Claws and Totems.

Tier 1: Levels 0–75

GW2 Leatherworking: Tier 1
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

For the fast guide in gw2crafts, you’ll refine all the materials you need at the start of each tier. For Tier 1, that means refining a bunch of Rawhide and Jute, then make crafting components. We will need these for discovering recipes.

For the first discovery, click on the Discovery tab. Simply insert a Rawhide Glove Lining, Rawhide Glove Strap, and a Malign Jute Insignia, then click craft. This will craft some Seeker Gloves and a give you the recipe.

Most new recipes we find will be our main source of XP for the entire leveling process. Remember, steps in gw2crafts that have a red arrow can be clicked on to see the recipe.

Additionally, by the end of this, you’ll have a lot of armor. More than your bags can carry. So, I recommend to buy a Research Kit and click the auto salvage box to salvage gear into currency for later use. You can buy them cheap from any Master Craftsman.

Tier 2: Levels 75–150

GW2 Leatherworking: Tier 2
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

For Levels 75–150, you’ll start using Tier 2 materials — namely Thin Leather and Wool. Like the previous section, we will use these materials for crafting gear components in order to discover the recipes we need to reach 150.

The recipes we discover in this section will be a part of the Outlaw gear set. We’ll have to discover three recipes — Outlaw Shoulders, Heaty Outlaw Gloves, and Hunter’s Outlaw Gloves. We won’t have to craft any shoulders, but you’ll have to craft 26 Hearty and 12 Hunter’s Outlaw Gloves.

Luckily, we already crafted all the components we need and bought all the insignias. It’ll be a short way to 150.

Tier 3: Levels 150–225

GW2 Leatherworking: Tier 3
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

For Levels 150–225, Tier 3 materials, Coarse Leather and Cotton, will be used. This section is quick and simple. After crafting what we need, discover the Rejuvenating Leather Mask and craft 26 until you reach 200.

This section is where we also start crafting our insignias. Now they give decent XP bonuses and we can probably save some money from overpriced insignias on the market.

At 200, we can craft the Hunter’s Embroidered Cotton Insignia, which can be used to discover the Hunter’s Leather Mask recipe. Craft 9 more of those and you’ll reach 225.

Tier 4: Levels 225–300

GW2 Leatherworking: Tier 4
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Okay, we are halfway done! Stretch or something, because you still have a lot of work to do.

Tier 4 starts to use Linen and Rugged Leather. This section actually makes up much of the full cost. For whatever reason, Rugged Leather is almost three times the price of other tiers of leather. So, now’s the time to search the couch cushions for some extra gold.

First thing we have to do after crafting components is discover the Carrion Rascal Mask. The only reason we do this is to get to 250. At 250, we can craft 19 Cleric’s Linen Insignias, discover a new Rascal Mask, then make 18 Cleric’s Rascal Masks.

With this, we will be at 275, which allows us to make 10 Knight’s Embroidered Linen Insignias. We will then use these to discover the Knight’s Rascal Mask and craft 9 more masks.

Tier 5: Levels 300–400

GW2 Leatherworking: Tier 5
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

For the last Tier to 400, you’ll be working with a bunch of Silk and Thick Leather. Just like the last section, we will make a bunch of components and insignias to discover new recipes.

First, we’ll make a Valkyrie Silk Insignia and use that to discover a Valkyrie Prowler Helm. This should get us to 325 Leatherworking.

Next, we should be able to craft 19 Rampager’s Silk Insignias so we’ll be able to discover and craft 18 Rampager’s Prowler Helms to reach 350. Then we’ll do the same thing to craft 9 Valkyrie Prowler Helms to reach 375.

For the last 25 levels, we have to make 3 Valkyrie, 1 Rampager’s, and 1 Assassin’s Intricate Silk Insignias. We should have bought the recipes for these, but you could buy the actual item off the market. Use these to discover Valkyrie Noble Gloves, Shoulders, and Mask, then discover a Rampager’s and Assassin’s Noble Mask.

Congrats! You made it to 400 Leatherworking! Now you can craft 20 slot bags, any gear up to Exotic tier and refine Tier 5 materials. You can stop here or continue to Levels 400–500 in our GW2 Leatherworking Guide.

GW2 Leatherworking Guide | 400–500

Levels 400–500 will be a separate guide on gw2crafts, located here.

The last push to 500 is going to cost around 30 gold. If you don’t want to spend that much gold, then you don’t exactly need to. You could stop at 450 if you wanted to save your wallet. At that point, you can craft Ascended materials then sell them on the market for a profit.

All 500 gets you is crafting Ascended gear, which you can easily farm for in Fractals, Strikes, or Raids. It’s all up to what you prioritize more.

If you do choose to continue, you might have trouble making the insignias.

Ineffable Silk Insignias

Ineffable Silk Insignias are a bit trickier to craft, since their recipe names are different.
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Early into this process, the guide will ask you to make a couple of different Ineffable Silk Insignias. Seems pretty easy, right? Well, the names of the recipes are a little different than the names on the guide.

For instance, Ineffable Intricate Silk Insignia is crafted from the Resonating Ineffable Insignia recipe. The Embroidered and Ineffable Silk Insignias also share this problem and are crafted from the Saturated and Shifting Insignia recipes, respectively.

Tier 6: 400–500

GW2 Leatherworking: Tier 6
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Levels 400–500 will use Thick and Hardened Leather plus Silk and Gossamer. If you’ve been Level 80 for a while, you might have a lot of these materials already. Besides the Hardened Leather, it’s pretty inexpensive. What will cost you the most money is all the Insignias we have to buy.

Other than components and the ineffable insignias, we won’t be crafting much. Much of the XP we need will come from discovering new gear, named and basic. For instance, Inconnu’s Paw and Obfuscation Ward are two named recipes that get us to 425.

For 425–475, you’ll be discovering multiple different Emblazoned Helms, Gloves and Shoulders. You might find that you’ll meet the next level requirement before discovering everything gw2crafts tells you to. If that happens, skip to the next level and sell the leftover materials afterwards on the market.

For the last stretch, you’ll discover 3 last Emblazoned pieces, then discover named items like Trackless Boots. Stick it out til you reach 500 Leatherworking. Finally, you’re done and can craft all the Ascended gear you want. Now see if you can’t fill that big hole in your wallet.

Join the High Ground!

That wraps up the GW2 Leatherworking Guide. Thanks for reading! Considering the cost, do you think it’s worth leveling Leatherworking? Leave a comment if you agree or disagree and subscribe to our newsletter for more Guild Wars 2 content.

Happy gaming!


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