Command line arguments

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:Disambig icon.png This article is about command line of Guild Wars executable file. For commands in Chat window, see Special command.

There are multiple command line arguments which may be used to change the game's behavior during the start-up. These arguments can be set in the properties window of the game shortcut.


Instead of using the command line, you can execute switches directly from your Guild Wars shortcut:

  1. Right click on your Guild Wars shortcut and select 'Properties'.
  2. In the 'Target Area' field you will see the location of your Guild Wars executable file:
    "<...>\Guild Wars\Gw.exe"
  3. Write the desired command line arguments after the quote marks, each beginning with a space:
    "<...>\Guild Wars\Gw.exe" -perf -windowed

If you don't plan on using an argument frequently, it can be easier to use the Run command for a single invocation. To do this, click the "Start" button and select "Run", and enter the same line you would use to make a shortcut: the full path of Gw.exe in quotes, followed by the arguments.



Forces the game to create screenshots as .BMP files. Use for creating high-quality screenshots at the expense of much larger files.

-character "<character-name-string>"[edit]

Automatically fills the client’s security question field with the specified name, first and last, as entered between the quotation marks. Enables auto-log-in if used in conjunction with -email and -password. If the name matches one of the characters on the account, it will be selected after logging in. Otherwise, no character will be selected after logging in.
Note: This is still required despite character names' removal as a log-in requirement in the September 30th, 2020 Update. However, it does not need to actually match one of the character names on the account.


Creates, at startup, a detailed diagnostic logfile which contains data about connection tests and hardware information, located in your game directory (..\Guild Wars\NetworkDiag.log). Useful for determining what is wrong when Guild Wars is not functioning properly.
Important: The program terminates after the logfile is created; since Guild Wars will not be able run with this parameter on, make sure to remove it once Guild Wars has finished creating the logfile.
Note: It is also possible to run the Guild Wars diagnostic utility by clicking the "Test My Computer" link on the login screen.


Forces the use of old DirectSound software mixer. Good for users whose computers are not compatible with the newer version.
Also necessary for Creative ALchemy to work in Windows 7 and Vista.


Useful for troubleshooting. Forces DirectX 8 compatibility; good for users whose computers are not compatible with the newer version. Using this switch with -noshaders may improve performance as well.
Note: DirectX 8 support was removed on June 12, 2019, so this likely no longer has an effect.

-email <string>[edit]

Sets the e-mail address, as specified in <string>, on the log-in screen. Combine with -character and -password to create an auto-log-in shortcut for a specific account.

-fps <number>[edit]

Limits the frame rate to <number> frames per second, saving computer resources.


Tells the game to use `` to connect instead of ``.


Forces the game to download all known updates.
  • The program terminates after the update is completed; Guild Wars will not be able to run with this parameter on.
    • Recommended: Create an extra Guild Wars shortcut (e.g. "Guild Wars Updater") specifically to use this command line switch.
  • -image updates gw.dat; after updating, that file can be be transferred over to other machines.
    • There can be up to 4 gigabytes of data to download. Once -image completes, the exact file size of gw.dat will vary across installations.


Instructs the client to use the highest level of "LOD" (level of detail). 3D assets will be rendered instead of 2D "imposters". There can still be some "popping" as some art assets move into and out of the edges of the view or a bump in the terrain. (Note: -lodfull was removed on May 9, 2018 and then re-added on May 16th, 2018).


Start the client with Windows Media Center compatibility, switching the game to full screen and restarting Media Center (if available) after the client is closed.
Note: This argument is added to the desktop shortcut by default in some cases.


Disables audio output, but still processes audio data internally (so for instance, lip syncing will still function).


Was used to test the new authentication system.[1] This option was enabled by default in the February 22, 2012 update.


Forces the client to use the old authentication system. (No longer works.)


Troubleshooting option. Using this switch with -dx8 may improve performance as well.


Disables audio system completely.


Disables the user interface, producing the same effect as when one pushes Ctrl + Shift + H in-game to toggle it.

-password <string>[edit]

Enables auto-log-in if <string> is the correct password for the account, and either (A) is used with -character and -email or (B) details have previously been saved using the "Remember Account Name and Security Answer" checkbox.
Warning: Putting your password in a shortcut or a batch file makes it easily accessible to everybody with access to your computer. Never use this option if you are sharing your computer with other people whom you do not trust.

Usage note: if your password contains spaces, put " at the start and end of your password. Example: -password "1234 5" . These quotation symbols are not required if there are no spaces in your password. Example: -password 12345 .


Displays performance indicators. Triangles, frames per second and transfer rate in bytes per second are displayed in white text in the upper-right corner of the Guild Wars window.


Resets all preferences that are stored locally in the game's .dat file.
This command can be utilized to debug issues launching the game.


Attempts to fix the GW.dat file, in which all update information is stored.
If installed by CD/DVD it will ask for the install disk (disk 1).
Warning: If a lot of content has already been downloaded through updates, be prepared for a long wait as Guild Wars reconstructs the file.


Useful for troubleshooting. Attempts to use an ASIO driver in software mode.


Attempts to use the Windows Multimedia audio driver in software mode.


Uninstalls Guild Wars.


Prompts for install disk (disk 1) to update gw.dat


Forces Guild Wars to run in windowed mode.
Note: You can easily switch to windowed mode by pressing ALT + Enter or clicking the window icon in the upper right corner while the game is already running.


Forces Guild Wars to run in windowed fullscreen mode.

Unusable switches[edit]

The following command line arguments are known to exist but have no known use:

  • -authsrv
  • -exit
  • -map
  • -port
  • -resetmap
  • -sndfastbuf


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