Guild Wars Tips, Tricks, and Terms

Normally I like to have at least a logical flow and thematic consistency to what I write, but that’s not quite what I have here.  I can’t quite figure out a way to make all of the information below thematically cohesive.  Instead, this will be mostly a list of tips and other tidbits about the game that would be good to know.

Useful Keys to Know

Left click: This is how you interact with the world, not right click. Space bar will also interact with whatever item/NPC you have highlighted. Rejoice! No jumping puzzles, since, y’know, no jumping.

Oh, "steel" chest, not "steal" chest. My bad.

Oh, “steel” chest, not “steal” chest. My bad.

U: Opens mission map. You can zoom in and out on this map (but not the normal minimap) and it will show you in real time what parts of the world you’ve explored.  Plus, it shows your path via a trail of red dots, so you know exactly where you came from.

Y: Minion monitor. Only useful for some professions. Gives you a list of minions and their current HP.

Alt: Holding it down will display friendly NPC nameplates, party member nameplates, interactable items, and loot. It has a pretty big radius, so you can see where these things are. Click on the nameplate to move there.

Ctrl: Holding it down displays other players’ nameplates in towns and hostile NPC nameplates in explorable areas. Also, holding it down and double clicking a nameplate will “call out” the target. Your NPC allies will try to attack this target and other players can press T to target your called target.

P: Party menu. You will probably have this open all the time, but in case you forget, it’s the P key.

N: Social panel, if you have friends. Otherwise, it’s the lonely panel.

I unlocked this on my necromancer, not my mesmer. That should tell you how often this particular one is useful.

I unlocked this on my necromancer, not my mesmer. That should tell you how often this particular one is useful.

Terms to Know

As I mentioned in my character article, “unlock” has a specific meaning in Guild Wars.  Whenever you get, identify, or buy some things for the first time, you will unlock it for your account.  This includes skills, Xunlai storage, and gear modifications.  Any PVP-only characters you make automatically have access to what you’ve unlocked, so it is very relevant to them.  It is kinda important to RP characters when it comes to heroes, but is almost irrelevant otherwise.

1 platinum (plat, k) is 1000 gold (g).  You can have 100 platinum on any character at any given time and up to 1000 platinum in your bank.  Players who get close to this cap often buy/trade very rare materials (like the Globs of Ectoplasm or “ectos” I referenced in one of my sign offs) to stay under cap while still retaining their wealth, in a sense.  This also occurs whenever players trade items they deem to be worth more than 100 plat.


The first thing I recommend you spend money on is the Xunlai chest.  This is an account-wide bank.  You must pay 50 gold to the Xunlai agent nearby each chest to unlock it and each subsequent Role-Playing character must also pay 50 gold to access it.  However, all items and gold in there can be accessed by any character on your account.  Also, you will want to pay the additional 50 gold to unlock/get access to materials storage.  On this special pane, you can store up to 250 of each material type.  Anything above 250 will take up spots in your bank or inventory.

If only it went up to 999.

If only it went up to 999.

I already mentioned the “/wiki” command from in game to take you to the Guild Wars wiki.  There is another website I want to point out: one for character builds.  Here you can find a catalogue of builds for Guild Wars.  You have to keep in mind that all of this is “end game” stuff or in other words, you’re level 20 and have all the skills you need.  Even looking at them early on can be beneficial though as you can see which skills have synergy and what your profession is capable of.

Something to keep in mind about hostile NPCs is that they too are a particular profession.  Sometimes it will be obvious, like when they’re explicitly called “Bandit Monk” or such.  Other times, it will not be so easy.  “Aloe Husk” for example does not conjure up a particular profession in my mind, but maybe I’m just weird.  You’ll have to wait for them to use a skill before you can know.  The reason you want to know this is for assigning target priority.

Generally speaking, monks and mesmers should be your first targets as the former can heal and the latter can just screw with your entire team.  Later on, when enemy elementalists get access to stronger skills, you’ll want to add them as a priority as well.  Getting AoE nuked and knocked down is not fun.  Most other professions can get dangerous, of course, but won’t cause your group to wipe as much as those three can if unchecked.

Fill in the blank: Highway to the ______

Fill in the blank: Highway to the ______

You can fast travel to any town or outpost by opening the map (M) and double-clicking the marker corresponding to where you want to go.  You can also click on it once and then select travel.  Unlike Guild Wars 2, this travel is free, but you cannot fast travel to explorable areas.

There are chests out around explorable areas that require keys in order to open.  Generally, I recommend just ignoring these unless you happen to have picked up a key as a drop.

If you’re looking to avoid fights, watch your minimap.  Around your character is a white circle called the “Danger Zone.”  No, I’m not kidding.  Any red dots (hostile NPCs) that enter that circle will aggro your group.  It’s also a good guideline for how far your ranged attacks can go.  Keep in mind that your allies have these also, meaning to avoid combat, you must keep hostiles out of danger zones you cannot see, too.

The /dance command varies by profession.  Very important to know.

Feel free to leave comments, questions, compliments, or your own tips below.

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