- Looks aren't everything: Use PvP only characters for your first few weeks of PvP. Although your PvE chars look heaps better, its a lot harder to make minor modifications to improve your build.
- Learn to walk before you run: I highly recommend using some of the more common and proven builds before going too wild with your own creations. You can find a lot of them here.
- Watch and learn: One of the coolest things in Guild Wars is that you can observe the skills that other players are using. If you get beaten by a better player, click on them and write down their skills and sequence in which they use them whilst they decimate your team mates. Then roll the same build they used and try it for yourself. By playing as the build that beat you, you will learn all of the limitations and ways of beating the build next time you face it.
- Always take res: This applies to every class except Monk. Monk's should never take res, because whilst they are resurrecting, the rest of their team is dying. Plus it allows for an extra useful skill slot. Any other class however should be carrying a res sig. Sacrificing one skill slot in order to have one other team mate back and fighting beside you when the heat is on, is definitely worth it.
- No healing no glory: A self-heal is always important, but if you don't get a monk or rit on your RA team, you're not going to win too many games. If you want gladiator points, it's best to either play as a monk or leave at the end of your game and re-enter.
- Keep up with the meta-game: Skill balancing happens all the time. As a result certain builds become better and others disappear completely. Make sure you pay attention to the Guild Wars PvP forums so that you don't get left behind.
- Don't be discouraged: It doesn't matter how many guides you read, your not going to be good until you get in there and get your hands dirty. Practice makes perfect, and dying will only make you a stronger player. Ignore the people that flame you for making a mistake or being new, because soon you will be kicking their ass.
- Learn from death: Why did you die? Could it have been avoided? How?
- Know your short cuts: One of the main differences between a novice player an a good player is their use of the shortcut keys. Learn them and use them.
- Knowledge is power: There are many class specific guides around that can teach you useful tactics. You can find a few here.
- Know your enemy: Each class in Guild Wars has its own weakness. Warriors are weak against elemental damage (unless they are wearing Sentinel's), so use an elemental weapon when fighting one. Vice versa for a Ranger. Elementalists have long cast times, so interrupt them. As I said before, the easiest way to learn your foes weakness is to play as them.
- Know your hexes: If a paragon can't talk (Vocal Minority) he's not much use. If a caster can't cast (Backfire), what good is he. Get to know your hexes by their icon, so that you know how to respond to them quickly. For example, if Ineptitude is placed on you as a melee char, simply stop attacking until it fades. If Diversion falls on you mid cast, the 'Esc' key is your friend.
- Know your conditions: If a melee char can't see (Blind), he's not much use. Same goes for a dazed caster. Knowing exactly which conditions effect your build is very important. Make sure you have a backup plan if you are shutdown by a condition.
- Call and follow called targets: The quickest way to kill someone is to all attack them at the same time. If your target is low on health, press 'Ctrl + Space' to call them as a target to your team mates. Team work is the key to success.
- Know the kill order: In RA, you should always pick your targets in the following order: (Monks/Ritualists), Mesmers, (Necromancers/Elementalists/Assassins), (Dervishes/Paragons/Rangers), Warriors. Get the healers out of the way first, then make your way down the squishy/threat ladder. Naturally this order can be changed if a particular opponent is causing your team grief.
- Change targets: If your target has protected itself, don't just stand there swinging aimlessly, change your target. A monk can easily keep themselves alive against 3 warriors with one Guardian. If you can't remove their defense swap your target. This will allow you to do maximum dps for the entire round. A monk will quickly use their energy up trying to keep more than one person alive.
- Listen to your team: Always keep an eye on the chat. Your team mates will often let you know if something is causing them grief. If a hex or condition is shutting you down, 'Ctrl + left click' it's icon. Your healer or another team mate may be able to help you out.
- Assist your healer: If your healer is struggling to keep you alive, pull back out of harms way for a bit and let them get their energy back. Do what you can to relieve any pressure that maybe causing them issues. If you need healing, run toward your healer, not away from them.
- Learn to kite: Sometimes the best defensive option is to simply run around. This doesn't always work, but it can buy you valuable time. Be careful not to chase someone who is kiting too far away from your healer, as this can lead to disaster.
- Play with you mates in RA: It is actually possible to be placed on the same team as your mates when you enter into RA, but its not guaranteed. To increase your chances all you need to do is go to a district that is either vacant or has very few people. Synchronize with your friends and all press 'enter' at the same time. Watch the counter count down and at the three second mark, press 'cancel' and 'enter' again. This usually works well with two people, but your chances decrease with each extra person.
Most importantly, have fun. Unfortunately this guide only covers the basics, but it should be a good start. If you disagree with any part of this guide, or can think of a few additions, please post your comments.