A character is a customized avatar of the player in the game. Once created, the player uses the character to participate and progress through any of the three major game modes: Player versus Environment, Player versus Player, and World versus World. The number of characters on an account is limited by the number of slots available for character creation. They are the main protagonist in Guild Wars 2.

Players are guided through a 10-step character creation process where they determine their character’s characteristics: race, gender, profession, physical appearance, initial biography, and name. Players can later change some aspects of the character through means of purchasing a Total Makeover Kit, a Name Change Contract or Identity Repair Kit from the Gem Store.

Once created, information about the character can be accessed through the hero panel. This panel also allows further customization through the character’s choice of dye and equipment obtained while playing the game.

When a character levels up, they are fully healed, they gain full adrenaline and life force, and if they are in combat they will also launch and damage nearby foes with the Level Up contextual skill. New abilities are unlocked and higher quality equipment become available at certain levels. Gaining a level gives the character equipment rewards, unlocks mechanics, and gives various game tips and guidance. There is end game content designed specifically for players after reaching leveling 80.

Dynamic level adjustment is a game mechanic that automatically scales a character’s base attributes to match the effective level of the current area.

The game discourages players from bringing characters into areas that are more than 10 leveling above the current character level. Levels of zones, enemies, hearts, and events more than 10 levels higher than the character are displayed in purple. Non-player characters detect lower level player characters from a much greater distance than they would detect a character of equal level, and if they are hostile they will rush the character. Combined with the combat difficulties listed below, this makes even basic exploration of higher level zones extremely dangerous.

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