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I know in Guild Wars 2 each race has their own unique 'racial skills', but I am not sure how exactly they are unlocked/applied/used. It would be great to have this information somewhere so people can make decisions as to what race will work well with their profession.

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For skill specific details this is fully covered at the Guild Wars 2 Wiki on the page Racial Skills. The summary from there says:

[Racial Skills] can be equipped on the five last slots of the skill bar, depending on their type. They may have various effects, such as condition removing or changing to a bear form, but they are all projected to be fairly weaker than their counterparts from professions that are specialized in similar skills. Each race has 6 skills. Racial skills will be available from the beginning of the PvE campaign

Skills in this portion of the bar are earned in a similar fashion as skills on the left. Experience and quest completion will unlock them. The first skill is usually granted soon after starting the game and is the top skill in each race from the list below.

As of pre-launch, these are the skills. Click on each race for full details on the skill and how it can be used:

Asura

Utility

  • Pain Inverter
  • Radiation Field
  • Technobabble

Elite

  • Summon 7-Series Golem
  • Summon D-Series Golem
  • Summon Power Suit

Sylvari

Healing

  • Healing Seed

Utility

  • Grasping Vines
  • Seed Turret

Elite

  • Summon Druid Spirit
  • Summon Fern Mastiff
  • Take Root

Norn

Utility

  • Call Owl
  • Call Wurm

Elite

  • Become the Bear (Has Auxilary Sidebar)
  • Become the Raven (Has Auxilary Sidebar)
  • Become the Snow Leopard (Has Auxilary Sidebar)
  • Become the Wolf (Has Auxilary Sidebar)

Charr

Utility

  • Battle Roar
  • Hidden Pistol
  • Shrapnel Mine

Elite

  • Artillery Barrage
  • Charrzooka (Has Auxilary Sidebar)
  • Warband Support

Human

Healing

  • Prayer to Dwayna

Utility

  • Prayer to Kormir
  • Prayer to Lyssa

Elite

  • Avatar of Melandru (Has Auxilary Sidebar)
  • Hounds of Balthazar
  • Reaper of Grenth
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