Every profession in Guild Wars 2 has some unique abilities that set them apart from other professions, and in the case of the Thief, that unique talent is the ability to steal. The Thief's ability to steal allows the player to steal something from an opponent and then use that item. Most of the time, the item gained is some form of weapon that can be used against the opponent, but sometimes it can be in the form of a boost.
To steal, the Thief activates the ability by pressing F1, which allows the Thief to shadowstep up to the foe and steal the item. The range for stealing is a healthy 900 with a cooldown of 45 seconds. Once you've stolen from a foe, you can use the item gained by hitting F1 again. Each creature that you face in Guild Wars 2 seems to have certain items associated with them. For example: moa birds tend to give feathers that you throw or eggs you can eat
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