A thief begins to accumulate skill points

A thief starts out with a base amount of 12 initiative in Guild Wars 2, which is shown on your hotbar as a row of diamonds directly above your weapon skills. This can be expanded to a total of 15 initiative if you pursue the Trickery trait line. Once you start using your initiative, the used initiative will be represented by those diamonds going dark. They will light up again when it regenerates. A thief’s initiative refreshes itself at a rate of roughly 1 per 1.6 seconds. However, there are other skills and traits that can help you replenish your initiative on a faster scale. The quicker you can replenish your initiative, the more quickly you can rain down damaging blows upon your enemy. Below is a breakdown of the skills and traits that impact your initiative.

Starting at level 11, players can begin to spend points on the various trait lines. A thief has a total of five trait lines to pick from. For more information on traits, read our handy guide. Below are the various traits that will impact your initiative.

Critical Strikes

  • Opportunist – Minor trait – 10% increased damage when initiative is over 6
  • First Strikes – Minor trait – Critical hits have a 20% chance to restore one initiative (1 second cooldown)
  • Signet Use – Major trait – Gain 2 initiative when activating a signet. Reduces signet recharge by 20%

Shadow Arts

  • Infusion of Shadow Major trait – Gain 2 initiative when using a skill that stealths you
  • Patience – Major trait – Regain initiative faster while in stealth


  • Quick Recovery – Major trait – Gain 2 initiative every 10 seconds
  • Quick Pockets – Major trait – Gain 3 initiative on weapon swap while in combat


  • Kleptomaniac – Minor trait – Stealing gives you 3 initiative
  • Preparedness – Minor trait – Increases maximum initiative by 3
  • Lead Attacks – Minor trait – Increases damage by 1% per initiative
  • Initial Strike – Major trait – Attacks with the first weapon skill slot have a 7% change to regain 1 initiative
  • Hastened Replenishment – Major trait – You receive 4 initiative when using a heal skill

Skills that Impact Initiative

A thief begins to accumulate skill points once they reach level 5 and gain one per level thereafter. However, there are so many useful skills that you will want to earn additional points to grab them all. Luckily, Guild Wars 2 offers players the chance to earn additional skill points through the use of skill challenges. Below are the skills that a thief can get that will impact initiative.

Utility Skills

  • Infiltrator’s Signet – Passive: Regenerates one extra initiative every 10 seconds. Active: Shadowstep to foe
  • Roll for Initiative – Evade backwards to regain initiative and recover from crippled, chilled, and immobile
  • GW2 Ranger Guide

    The ranger in Guild Wars 2 excels at both melee and ranged combat, and is the game’s only true pet class. Rangers also make effective use of a suite of Traps that are capable of crippling foes, or spreading various Conditions to further augment the damage caused by their core weapon attacks.

    GW2 Ranger Icon

    Ranger Quick Facts

    • One of GW2’s three Adventurer professions
    • Able to wear Medium armor
    • Able to charm Animal Companions to fight beside them in combat
    • Offers a highly mobile, evasive combat style in melee
    • Able to equip both short- and longbows to excel at ranged combat
    • Uses a variety of Traps to cripple and damage foes
    • Can summon Spirits to support allies
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