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An elite skill is a special type of skill that is generally more powerful than normal skills. Elite skills can be identified by a golden border surrounding their icon. Elite skills cannot be purchased from skill trainers like normal skills can. Instead, Elite Skills are "captured" from a paticular boss, via a Signet of Capture. Elite skills are not available at all until the Crystal Desert in Prophecies, Kaineng City in Factions, or Kourna in Nightfall. A character may only place one elite skill in his skill bar at a time; putting a second one will cause the first to be automatically removed.

Acquiring elite skills[]

Elite skills are more difficult to acquire than standard skills. One way of obtaining them in PvE is to do the following:

  • Purchase a Signet of Capture from a skill trainer.
  • Put the Signet of Capture on your Skill Bar.
  • Find and kill a boss who has a desired elite skill (see locations link below).
  • Use the Signet of Capture near the dead boss, causing a list of its skills to appear.
  • Select the elite skill from a list of the boss's skills and click capture.

When a character captures an elite skill, they gain 250 experience for each of their levels (e.g., 5000 XP at level 20) and the signet is permanently replaced by the captured skill. The character can have at most 3 signets of capture on his skill bar at one time.

You may only capture elite skills that belong to your primary and secondary professions. If you use Signet of Capture on a boss that doesn't share a profession with you, you will not be able to choose a skill to capture and the signet will remain on your bar.

Alternatively, you may also unlock elite skills for PvP only by spending 3,000 Balthazar Faction each at a Priest of Balthazar, for example in the Great Temple of Balthazar. You can then use an Elite Tome of a PvE character's profession to capture any elite skill of that profession you have unlocked for your account.

Also, you can purchase a PvP Unlock Pack through the Guild Wars In-Game Store.


  • When a character captures an elite skill while already having one or more on their skill bar, all elite skills will temporarily remain on the skill bar until that player leaves the explorable area.
  • When a character leaves an explorable area, only the right-most elite skill will be retained. The other slots containing elite skills will be emptied. This will happen even when travelling between explorable areas so be careful with your Signet of Capture if you already have an elite skill on your bar and plan to be out adventuring for a while.
  • When capturing an elite skill from Eye of the North, the corresponding campaign is required.
  • Amassing a large number of elite skills is the objective of the Skill Hunter title.
  • A group of players out to capture skills together is called a capping group.

Counts of elite skills by campaign and profession[]

Warrior Ranger Monk Necromancer Mesmer Elementalist Ritualist Assassin Paragon Dervish Total
Core 5 5 5 5 5 5 0 0 0 0 30
Prophecies 11 10 10 10 9 10 0 0 0 0 60
Factions 10 10 10 10 10 10 15 15 0 0 90
Nightfall 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 15 15 110
Total 36 35 35 35 34 35 25 25 15 15 290

There are 3 elite skills in Eye of the North, but they are common skills and do not count for the Skill Hunter title track.

Lists of elite skills[]

Related skills[]

These skills operate on elite skills though not elite themselves: