- "AoE" and "Aoe" redirects here. For the skills, see Air of Enchantment or Armor of Earth.
- This article is about area of effect in general. For area damage over time skills and monsters' "AoE scatter" behavior, see area damage over time.
To fight effectively, you must study the circles of effect. As you approach your opponents, you become more dangerous to them, but they are more dangerous to you. In a similar manner, as you approach your allies, they can help you more, and you can help them more. There are four main areas of effect in combat, three of which we have demonstrated in our circles here. "Adjacent" applies to anyone close enough for you to swing a weapon at. "Nearby" is the next largest area of effect, and "in the area" describes the largest area of effect. The range of the fourth effect, "Earshot," equals the white circle known as the "danger zone" on your Compass.
— Nagozi or Nalah
Area of effect refers to skills or other gameplay mechanics that affect creatures in a specific range to the target. Area of effect mechanics in Guild Wars have seven possible ranges.
From smallest to largest:
- Adjacent to target
- The standard area of effect for melee attacks, touch skills, and scythe radius. Skills that target others and say "adjacent" usually use this range instead.
- Skill descriptions sometimes use, "target foe and adjacent foes."
- Roughly 1/9 the size of the aggro bubble, larger than melee/touch range, but smaller than nearby (2/3). Skills that target oneself use this version of adjacent.
- Skill descriptions sometimes use, "foes adjacent to target."
- Roughly 1/6 the size of the aggro bubble or 1.5x adjacent.
- Skill descriptions use "nearby" foes or "near the target."
- In the Area
- Roughly 2/9 the size of the aggro bubble, exactly 2x adjacent, and the largest area of effect that any offensive spell currently has (e.g. Deep Freeze). Ward and well spells have this area of effect.
- Skill descriptions use "in this location or initial location."
- Roughly the size of the aggro bubble, and the largest standard area of effect. Since the aggro bubble is drawn on the compass, it's easy to guess the range in the middle of action.
- Most shouts have this range, and most ritualist skills that require spirits specify that they must be "within earshot".
- Spirit range
- Unless otherwise specified, all passive spirits (e.g. Life) affect an area of 2.7x the aggro bubble and about 3/5 the compass range. This covers a distance about the size of the compass center to halfway between the end of the aggro bubble and the compass' end. This also is the minimum distance at which any two spirits with the same name created by members of the same party can coexist.
- Ritiual skill descriptions use, "within range" or "in range".
- Four spirits affect a smaller area:
- Party area
- The largest in the game, and only for skills that affect the whole party (e.g. Heal Party). It is just larger than the range of the compass. When party members who are too far away have their names turn gray in the party window, they are out of party range. This is also the maximum range in which enchantments can be maintained.
 Number of skills
| AoE size
|| Number of skills
| Adjacent to target
| In the Area
| Spirit range
| Party area
- Spells which target a foe with area damage over time at a location, such as Fire Storm, take place where the foe was when casting finished. The spell doesn't fail if the target dies before the casting finishes and continues as normal until the effect itself finishes.
- Compass is 4.4 times the size of the aggro bubble or inversely, the aggro bubble is about 2/9 the size of the compass.
- Lightning Javelin has an unique area of effect.
 See also