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Gemstore overview

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The Gemstore is how Arenanet monetizes Guild Wars 2 to be able to fund future content. While some free-to-play games usually have pay-to-win cash shops, the Guild Wars 2 Gemstore sells mostly utility and cosmetic items.

Not every utility item sold in the Gemstore is as useful as others, and some are easily obtainable by playing the game. We’ll try to explain when and why you might want some items, and most importantly, what items you absolutely don’t want to buy.


Starting with the basics, the Guild Wars 2 premium currency accepted in the in-game cash shop is Gems, which can be obtained in two main ways:

  1. Convert gold into Gems.
  2. Buy them using real-world money.

You’ll earn some as you progress in the game (you’ll get 400Gems coin for every 5000 achievement points you earn). You can also take part in one of many community events and giveaways organized by Arenanet and Arenanet partners on social platforms for a chance to win Gem codes.


This guide will focus on highlighting the most useful Quality of Life (QoL) items and upgrades available for purchase.

It’s worth mentioning that majority of Gemstore items are cosmetic items. These range from single item skins, full sets, and outfits, to mount skins. These don’t affect gameplay at all, and it’s up to you to decide if a certain skin is worth purchasing to support the developer.

Note: Most items, especially account upgrades and convenience items, are often on sale. If you want to save gems, check Gemstore for discounted offers of items you are interested in.

The biggest sale periods are the March sale and Anniversary sale which happen sometime around August.

Before we go into more detail about utilities available in the Gemstore, we should mention two elements that don’t quite fit the QoL or Cosmetics category. Those are Living World Story episodes and Black Lion Keys.

Living World

Living World is the story that happens between the expansion storylines and needs to be purchased separately. (Season 1 is free for all players, including free-to-play).

Each Season contains a few story chapters, which are unlocked for free on your account if you were in the game while they were initially released. Active players don’t have to buy them if they manage to log in for each episode.

Living World Seasons sometimes have periods of free access. This allows you to unlock them for free on your account after the initial Season launch. Very rarely does this happen, however, if you are on a tight budget, that is something to watch for.

Every episode can be purchased individually through the Story Journal (found in the Hero panel) or per season in the Gemstore at a discounted price.

You can also buy Living World seasons as a part of the Complete Collection bundle available on steam and the official Guild Wars 2 website.

Season 2 only adds story episodes taking place in maps available from the core game. Episodes in Season 3, Season 4, and the Icebrood Saga add new maps to explore, and other additions like new mounts, maps, and rewards.

All Seasons will give access to new achievement sections, which once completed, will reward you with a legendary amulet, the highest tier of GW2 equipment.

These packages have incredible value in content and game experience. They offer:

  • Personal story
  • New maps
  • Entry-level instanced PvE content in the form of Strike Missions
  • Re-iteration of 5-man Dungeons in the form of Dragon Response Missions (also referred to as DRMs)
  • New mount types
  • Masteries
  • New items attribute prefixes
  • A multitude of skins and achievements

We do recommend buying them in packs for the best price (often available at reduced prices during sales), or as a part of the Complete Collection.

Black Lion Chests

((234488))s and Black Lion Chest[s]s are essentially “lootboxes“. While the Black Lion Chest[s]s can drop and are sellable on the trading post, you’ll have to purchase ((234488))s from the Gemstore.

Players in Belgium are unable to purchase ((234488))s due to their anti-gambling laws.


There are usually two items that are exclusive to the Black Lion Chest[s] found in the last two slots of the uncommon section. Opening a chest will always guarantee you getting a Black Lion Statuette[s]. These function as a consolation prize system where any missed lootbox-exclusive items can be purchased with enough statuettes at a later time.

The contents of Black Lion Chest[s]s get updated anywhere between two to five weeks. You can preview the current contents by right-clicking it and selecting “Preview“.

Black Lion Chest[s]s have a very rare chance to drop extremely valuable, tradeable permanent contracts. These are QoL items offering access to services like Permanent Bank Access Express[pl:"Expresses"], Personal Merchant Express[pl:"Expresses"], or even Permanent Self-Style Hair Kit[s] from anywhere.

Note: ((234488)) is guaranteed once-per-week rewards for completing a few story steps because one is first rewarded upon completing the level 10 personal story. It’s very common for players to create a new character every week and finish that part of the story. This is commonly referred as “key farming” and can be done in less than an hour with the use of Tomes of Knowledge.

Extremely useful items

Now let’s get to the good stuff. The items listed below will provide you with the ultimate convenience.

While none of them are required, they can eliminate the mundane tasks you do every day. For example: logging into different characters to transfer an item, buying or crafting tools like salvage kits or gathering tools, organizing your storage and bank due to lack of space, or even running from the Bank to the Trading Post merchant in the city because they are so far apart.

Shared Inventory Slots

Shared Inventory Slot[s]s are very useful when you have items you want to use between all characters.

When purchased and consumed, they’ll appear at the top of your inventory, and any account-bound item you put there can now be used on any character on your account.

Accounts that purchased any of the expansions will get a few free Shared Inventory Slot[s]s that are filled with level-80 boosts. These can be used as soon as the booster is consumed.

We recommend putting most of the items of high value from the Gemstore listed here into Shared Inventory Slot[s]s for the most significant benefit.


The Salvage-o-Matics offered in the Gemstore are simply unlimited salvage kits. Instead of constantly buying new kits, you can have a single item in your inventory and pay a small fee for every item that you salvage.

Salvage-o-Matics come in three variants:

Copper-Fed Salvage-o-Matic is the best convenience item you can buy in the Gemstore. You’ll constantly salvage mostly fine and masterwork items in the game, thus eliminating the need to frequently buy salvage kits.

Silver-Fed Salvage-o-Matic is good to have for salvaging rare and exotic gear (as it yields more Globs of Ectoplasm). It’s less of a QoL increase compared to Copper-Fed Salvage-o-Matic because you don’t drop as many rare and exotic items. You can alternatively craft Mystic Salvage Kit[s] with 250 uses instead.

For the absolute ultimate min-maxing of your salvage results, get Runecrafter's Salvage-o-Matic[s]. It has a 100% chance of salvaging any upgrade components found in masterwork gear and up. (Salvaging the upgrade doesn’t mean it pops out into your inventory. It just guarantees it is actually converted to the materials along with the item).

Lounge Passes

Lounge Passes are used to enter VIP areas in Guild Wars 2 that have a lot of services concentrated in a small area. They function like a compressed town with bank access, merchants, and crafting stations.

They also have some features that make them unique. A few noteworthy lounge passes are the Mistlock Sanctuary Passkey[s] (with access to fractals), Armistice Bastion Pass[pl:"Passes"] (with access to WvW world map and chats), and Thousand Seas Pavilion Pass[pl:"Passes"] (with easy access to fishing supplies and Canthan fishing holes).


Gobblers are items that can “consume” Snowflake[s] and Piece[s] of Candy Corn to provide you with various buffs.

Snowflake Gobbler is more user-friendly and will give you a 15-minute unique buff for consuming 5 Snowflake[s]s. It provides you with a 25% bonus to experience gain, magic find, and most importantly reward track progress in PvP and WvW.

Candy Corn Gobbler has a chance of either giving you a random buff or transforming you into a Candy Corn Elemental. The most important buffs you can get are 50% karma gain, the item booster effect (50% magic find and gathering bonuses), and the experience booster (50% increased experience gain, 50% reward track gain in WvW and PvP).

If you want to speed up the rate at which you gain rewards in WvW and PvP, these items are a must-have!

Bank & Storage upgrades

The Bank Tab Expansion[s] adds another 30 slots to your personal bank, which is extremely useful as the bank is accessible account-wide. Having more space is always great. A fully upgraded bank has over 500 slots.

The Material Storage Expander[s] increases the number of materials you can have in the material storage by 250. This means that you don’t have to clear out your material storage as often after you’ve clicked the ‘deposit all materials’ button in your inventory.

You can expand the material storage to hold whopping 2500 units of every item found there.

Could be useful

The items found in this section provide some level of improvement to your gameplay experience. For example: materials delivered every day, easier or faster gathering, more characters, less swapping between characters, more crafting disciplines on one character, etc. Depending on your goals and how you play the game, you might find them a useful addition or an absolute waste of money.

There are tons of items like that in the Gemstore. From the World Boss portal/timer device, to permanent teleport to a friend, to gathering nodes or tools, to infinite fishing lures, and so much more. Since this will depend on personal preferences, we’ll focus on only a few popular ones.

Character slots

Guild Wars 2 is a very alt-friendly game with end-game gear being account-wide, and ultimate legendary items not even required to have multiple copies of them to be used on multiple characters, account-wide bank, shared inventory slots, etc.

To take full advantage of this and the birthday gifts your characters receive every year, you may want to invest in having more characters.

Character Slot Expansion offers just that, a slot to create a new character. Accounts start with 5 slots (free-to-play with 2), and you can unlock over 60 more slots.

Having more characters is a good way of “farming” boosters. This will be mentioned in the What NOT to buy section, but ultimately it depends on if you actually want more or if you are sticking with the original few.


Equipment Template Expansion[s] and Build Template Expansion[s] are slightly controversial items. They unlock more build and equipment tabs for a single character. While it sounds useful, especially for end-game players that have multiple builds and gear setups, the fact that they are character unlocks instead of account unlocks makes their price extremely high.

Around 4 000Gems coin to fully unlock all gear and building tabs on a single character, sounds (and is) ridiculous. Even during the highest 40% discounts, the final number ends up around 2 500Gems coin.

So why we are mentioning those? Because many players still go for fully unlocking build and equipment templates. The majority of invested players will buy multiple Character Slots instead, as each character comes with 3 build tabs and 2 equipment tabs.

The worst item in this category is Build Storage Expansion[s]. Even though it is an account-wide unlock of 3 build storage slots at a time, it’s the least usable of all three of this category and extremely unpopular.

That’s because build and equipment templates actually swap your items, skills, and traits with one click. Using a build from the storage only works for builds and requires you to permanently change your current template by overwriting it with a build saved from the storage.

However, there are some players who enjoy only one or two professions and play those on multiple characters. For those players, build storage might actually provide better value over template expansions. Like everything in this section – it all depends on your preferences.

Home Instance upgrades

There are multiple packs like Basic Ore Node Pack or Basic Lumber Node Pack that will add harvestable nodes to the Home instance found in every racial capital city. They can be harvested daily.

While most of those offer some value, Black Lion Garden Plot Deed[s]s stands out by adding gardening nodes where the player influences what actually grows there.

It comes with a collection that takes the player all over Tyria collecting seeds for their own garden. The collection culminates in them unlocking the ability to craft 2-hour primers (Flask[s] of Utility Primer and Flask[s] of Metabolic Primer).

Note: If you join another player’s home instance, you’re still able to harvest these nodes even if you don’t own them yourself.

More Home instance upgrades worth noting are multiple “contracts” like Black Lion Hunters Contract, Black Lion Industry Contract[s], Season 3 Expedition Contract[s], Season 4 Expedition Contract[s], or End of Dragons Expedition Contract[s].

Every day after “server reset”, upon entering any major city, you’ll be sent a Black Lion Delivery Box[pl:"Boxes"] that contains a variety of materials and currencies from all over Tyria. The items you’ll receive can be chosen at the Black Lion Expedition Board found in the home instance.

The main appeal is receiving a handful of materials every day for some extra gold and getting map currencies without playing on those specific maps.

Due to their high price, it will take quite a while before you’ll start profiting after the initial investment. It is worth researching which region provides the highest gold value for each contract if you want to buy them for profit.

Endless Gathering Tools

Endless Gathering Tools are indestructible tools. Unlike regular gathering tools, these will not break after a specified number of uses. Some also come with a Glyph that gives them a unique bonus or effect while gathering. For example, Glyph[s] of Reaping harvests all nearby nodes when you use it.

Due to their high cost, you are unlikely to make a profit any time soon. You’re paying for the convenience of not having to run to a merchant when your gathering tools break.

If you do decide to buy such tools, always go for the ones with the Glyphs. If you are not looking for a specific gathering effect, Volatile Magic Logging Tool, Volatile Magic Harvesting Tool[s], and Volatile Magic Mining Tool bought as a bundle can be a decent general choice as Volatile Magic[pl:"Magic"] can easily be converted into materials.

What NOT to buy

The items found in this section are either way too expensive for the “services” they provide, not useful at all, or available in-game by other means. You shouldn’t buy them under any circumstance.

The main takeaway here will be to avoid spending gems on items listed below. We’d like to go a step further and tell you how to actually earn those:

That being said, let’s go through all those free items that are also available in the Gemstore.

Transmutation Charges

Transmutation Charge[s]s are used to apply skins stored in your wardrobe to your currently equipped gear. While a very useful item in making your character look good, they are a waste of gems because of how readily available they are in the game.

They are rewarded for completing maps and can be even farmed by creating a new character and map completing the five capital cities.

During any of the six festivals that are happening during the year, weekly vendors will have some Transmutation Charge[s]s to sell.

For players enjoying more competitive gameplay, most PvP and WvW tracks will have 2 Transmutation Charge[s]s somewhere along the way to completion.

By playing the game often and earning achievements, you’ll get some from Achievement Chests and 3 are given on the 26th day of the login rewards. There is a chance of obtaining them from Chests of Black Lion Goods which are also rewarded through the login rewards system.

So unless you are changing your looks every single day, you are unlikely to run out of Charges anytime soon.

Note: Players that manage to craft any sort of legendary equipment are able to reskin that piece of equipment free of charge.


The Gemstore provides three boosters: Experience Booster[s], Item Booster[s], and the Heroic Booster[s], which is the combination of the two.

While these boosters are very good for maximizing Experience gain, Magic Find, Karma gain, or PvP/WvW experience, they are poorly priced. There are also plenty of other ways you can gain access to them.

Every time you get Achievement Chests, you’ll have a chance at getting one of these boosters. You can also buy 30-minute versions of both the Experience and Item Booster for 1 laurel each at the laurel vendors found in all major cities around Tyria.

If you absolutely need the boosters, or ran out of options, invest in Candy Corn Gobbler instead, as it can provide the exact same effects at the low cost of Piece[s] of Candy Corn.

Mystic Forge Stones

Mystic Forge Stone[s]s only have one useful application: crafting Mystic Salvage Kit[s]. These salvage kits have 250 uses instead of the standard 25 and require 3 Mystic Forge Stone[s]s and one of each of the salvage kits (other than the basic one).

While this salvage kit is a good substitute for the Silver-Fed Salvage-o-Matic in the early game, it is not worth buying more Mystic Forge Stone[s]s. Before you’re able to afford the Silver-Fed Salvage-o-Matic, you’ll get more than enough Stones through login rewards and achievement point rewards.

Later in the game, you’ll have some other niche uses for Mystic Forge Stone[s]s that are great methods of getting rid of them to make space in your bank for more useful items.

One-time Services

Town Services consist of Trading Post Express[pl:"Expresses"], Bank Access Express[pl:"Expresses"], and Merchant Express[pl:"Expresses"].

These items are very convenient, but with proper planning before going on your adventures, you’ll never find yourself using them. The game also provides plenty of these from Achievement Chests and login rewards.

Upgrade Extractor[s]s are used to remove upgrade components from armor and weapons. Most upgrade components are a lot cheaper than a single Upgrade Extractor[s] so they’re never worth buying.

Revive Orb[s]s allow you to revive yourself after you’ve fully died (with the exception of WvW, PvP, Raids, and Strike Missions). While this sounds very powerful, you are usually just better off respawning and redoing a fight or running back to where you died. Covering longer distances with Mounts is very easy and in instanced story content, you’ll often have multiple automatic checkpoints that will respawn you very close to the place you died.

Instant Armor-Reinforcing Canister[s] is the worst offender on this list. This item offers you the same 12h-long buff as walking up to any anvil in Tyria and pressing “F”. Do not ever buy this.

Additionally, there are permanent versions of all these items available as rare drops from Black Lion Chest[s], which can also be bought from other players on the Trading Post.

Black Lion Salvage Kits

Black Lion Salvage Kit[s]s are the best salvage kits in the game, so why are they in this section?

Simply because they only should be used for salvaging exotic gear. Expensive runes or sigils slotted will be recovered during salvaging.

But since you won’t be dropping too many exotic items, you find yourself using them maybe once or twice a day.

You’ll be able to get more than enough of these through the Chest of Black Lion Goods that are available through the login rewards.

If you do find yourself running out of them, just sell your exotics on Trading Post or use your Silver-Fed Salvage-o-Matic or Mystic Salvage Kit[s]. They only offer a slightly worse rate at getting Glob[s] of Ectoplasm from exotic gear with a chance of salvaging upgrade components slotted instead of a guarantee of recovering it.

Waypoint Unlocks

These packages unlock all waypoints in one region you bought them for.

All core Tyria waypoints are easily obtainable due to how fast exploration with mounts is in these areas. The expansion areas have even fewer waypoints compared to core Tyria.

Considering that full Core Tyria map completion can be done under 10 hours (world record), unlocking waypoints with these packages are simply a waste of money.

Dye Kits

Dye kits (like for example classic Dye Pack[s] or Dye Kit Sampler[s]) are the absolute worst items on the list. They all are expensive lootboxes that contain a selection of regular dyes and a few exclusive ones to that dye kit.

In the worst case, you’ll obtain a dye that is worth a few coppers. In the best (rare) case, you obtain an exclusive dye that usually costs only a few gold coins each, especially in the older dye packs.

Since they are all tradeable, you’re better off buying them off the trading post for much much less than you’d pay in Gems.

Guild Wars 2 Guides

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Strike missions
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