To purchase a new skill, move your mouse over its icon and a blue button giving you the option to “Buy” that skill will appear. Clicking on this will bring up a confirmation option to either complete or cancel the purchase.
All professions will start the game with one healing skill automatically unlocked, with two additional heals that can be purchased with skill points. The first of these will cost 1 point, with the second costing 3 points. Depending on your character race, you may have an additional racial heal skill that will also cost 3 points to unlock.
Unlike utility and elite skills, there are no tiered restrictions on when you can purchase new heal skills. As long as you have enough points, you can unlock them in any order you choose.
You unlock your first utility skill slot at level 5, with the second unlock at level 10, and the final slot unlocked at level 20. The process of purchasing new utility skills is similar to healing skills, with one major difference.
Utility skills are broken down into three tiers, and you must purchase 5 skills in a tier before you can progress to the next tier. First tier skills cost only 1 point each, with the second tier costing 3 points each, and the final tier skills will cost 6 points each.
Please note that within a given tier, there are not restrictions on which order skills can be purchased. This allows for a certain amount of flexibility in terms of which specific skills you earn as you advance your character, rather than being a more rigid progression like you would see in most other MMOGs.
The final skill type you can purchase with skill points are called Elite skills. These are much more powerful than your normal utility skills, and won’t unlock for you to purchase and use until level 30. Each profession has a total of 3 elite skills, with two in the first tier and 1 in the second tier. You will also have additional elite skills that you can purchase and use in PvE and WvW gameplay based on the race of your character.
There are a number of different types of skill challenges, some being more difficult to complete than others. Some of the more basic challenges will require you to interact with a friendly NPC and defeat them in combat. Others might require you to fight your way deep within a cave or structure, defeat a more difficult creature type, or even interact (commune) with a specific object.
Many of these skill challenges can be completed while solo, though there will be cases where completing the challenge might require the efforts of a group. Since the more difficult challenges tend to be considered mini dynamic events and will also reward you with XP or even other rewards, you usually shouldn’t have a problem finding other players to participate as they can still benefit even after having obtained that particular skill point.