Guild Wars 2 Gear Breaking and Gear Repair

Guild Wars 2 is one of the games out that has the aspect of gear damage and repair. In the case of this game, it is only on armor, and weapons are not in any way affected. Instead of damaging on each hit to an enemy, for example, gear is damaged when death occurs. But things do go a little deeper than this, and understanding the system completely can help save you money in the long run. The goal of this article is to help better understand how everything works and how you can maximize your efficiency when dealing with it. And, of course, possibly save you some gold while we are at it!

How Gear Takes Damage

The first thing you need to know is how gear takes damage. This is when you are actually killed. Not downed (where you can resurrect yourself and use other skills) but actually dead. You can be downed as much as you want and you will never take any damage. On each kill, however, one thing will either become damaged or broken (depending on its current state). This is extremely important to remember because it means when you are out and about, you want to put yourself in to situations where if you end up downed you can escape before completely dying. As you get better at doing this, you will notice that you will end up with less and less broken gear, and therefore more gold for your pockets!

Breaking vs Damage

In the last section, I said that gear can be damaged or broken. These are very different things, in how they work. First off, how does the system determine which one happens? This is actually pretty simple. The game goes through what appears to be a few checks (based on observing what happens over the course of many months, this is what I believe to be true every time):

  • Take in a list of all gear that can be damaged (this excludes things like trinkets and weapons, but does include all armor, underwater apparatus, back braces, and anything else that directly contributes as a form of armor)
  • See if any pieces have no damage. If there are any, take them in to a list and choose a random one to be damaged. If not, move on
  • See if any pieces are damaged. If there are any, take them in to a list and choose a random one to be broken

If all of your armor is already broken, nothing at all will happen since there is nothing left to damage or break any more. Now, understanding how this works completely is imperative. If you have any gear at all that is not damaged, nothing is going to break on death; an item will simply become damaged. Along with this, it will always cycle such that every piece of armor must be damaged before it becomes broken. This is awesome because it keeps you from dealing with some broken and some items that do not even have damage on them. But at the same time it also comes at the cost of always taking damage or being broken; there is no “chance” that it will happen. So if you die and you have gear that is in good shape, you know for sure that one of the pieces is toast.

Stats and Their Effect

If you have an item in good condition or damaged, you get the full effects from it. If it is broken, it does absolutely nothing for you and will not even show up on your character. If you equip a full set of broken gear, for example, your character will be completely naked to both you and everyone else. This makes a lot of sense when we think about it, though, being that if the gear is not helping us we probably want a visual notification of that and what better way than to show us naked.

Now, we can argue back and forth how much the stats matter, but I would always say the same thing: it depends on what you are doing and how skilled you are. I have beat many fully geared players while naked in the past, and I have also done a lot of PvP (even taking down elites and champions while naked). I would not, however, take part in anything where I am dragging down others with me while naked. This includes things like instances or guild events, and it is solely because I am still human and I do make mistakes now and then and while naked there is absolutely no room for error on some of the fights. While it does not bother me much to end up dying while trying something out, I do not want to annoy others in the process so I simply do not do it around them. In any case, being damaged causes no bad effects; only being broken does.

The Cost of Repairing

Here is where you can start to save some money. I have seen people that repair gear as soon as it becomes damaged. This is really not necessary due to how it works. Being that stats are not affected until gear is completely broken, you actually have time. On top of this there is the little known fact that the cost of repairing is the same regardless as to if it is just damaged or broken! If you have a full set of gear that is damaged and then break the entire set, it will still cost the same amount to get it repaired.

Now, how long you wait to do the repairing depends on how you feel. Like I said in the last section, I have no problems (most of the time) with running around naked. So for me, having a little broken gear is not a problem. If you are used to being fully decked out and always having the full availability of your stats, though, you may be one of those that needs to constantly get repaired before heading out. It is all really just a matter of preference. Just keep in mind that you are not saving any money by doing it earlier, and in a very real sense end up spending more.

Cheaper Repairing

So maybe you are like me and want to find cheaper ways to do your repairs. Well, there is a method that works pretty solid, although it is not what you would probably think of. This involves buying a new set of gear. I know, you are probably thinking that we are going to spend a lot more to do this, but not necessarily. Let me explain.

Okay, so in my case, having gear that is completely specced out is not of the highest importance to me. If I ever get to that point in the future (where it is important) I will just carry two sets of gear: one that is specced out and one that is for everything else. Now, with the specced out gear, you will have to repair it like normal. For the other, though, what you can do is check the market for gear that is appropriate for you and is selling for just above what the NPCs pay for it. This is the method I use to repair the most, and it works excellent. Pretty much it goes like this:

  • Gear up in cheaper gear (or at least items that are sold just above NPC prices)
  • Break current gear, or damage, depending on how you feel (with this method you can swap pieces out as often as you want, so it is not a big deal since it is going to be nearly free regardless)
  • Sell current gear you want to trade to NPCs
  • Buy replacements from Black Lion Trader

This will put the cost of each damage or break as low as a single copper, or a full set at less than 10 copper. Any gear you can not find being sold just above NPC prices can be unequipped (like the back brace) to ensure that it is not being destroyed. And, if you want to be really efficient (and have the bag space) you can carry extras with you so you can swap them out as you go. This will leave you with less time spent at the trader and let you run around more, significantly increasing your efficiency when out hunting, whether it be in PvE or PvP.


Understanding the mechanics of any game is important if you want to enhance your skill level at it. With Guild Wars 2, one of these things is the gear repairing and damage system, and it can bring about some confusion. While we can look at the screen and make some assumptions, sometimes going a little bit deeper in to how it works can make things a lot better. In this case, we have learned how to save money, play more efficiently and even save a lot of time (therefore meaning less forced breaks and more earnings as well). Of course, this does not come without any sacrifice: but when it comes to Guild Wars 2, the difference between the specced out gear and things you can just buy from the auction house are pretty low anyways. Even with this cheaper gear, you can so absolutely everything within the game and are not missing out on any content because of it!


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