Guide to running

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Cleanup This article was recently split and has several redundant points, and now needs to be cleaned up, see Running for details.


A good running build accomplishes two goals: Speed and Survivability.


Most professions in Guild Wars have skills that increase movement speed, the exceptions being Monk, Ritualist, and Necromancer. Individual speed boosts vary in intensity, with the fastest rated at 50%. Speed is essential to survivability because the faster a player can get past a group of monsters, the less time that mob has to attack. Therefore, coupling shadow steps with high-intensity speed boosts ensures that the runner will receive minimal impact from a mob. Proper usage of shadow steps and speed boosts to receive as little damage as possible is a practiced art and when mastered, can make tough runs such as Icedome quite simple.


Survivability involves minimizing damage and adverse effects to the character. As discussed above, speed is helpful for surviving but it is not always enough. The problem lies in knockdown, hexes which reduce movement speed, cripple, spells that remove enchantments, and high amounts of damage which occur in a small time frame (e.g. Icedome mobs).

Here is a list of the most common skills used to counter each adverse affect:

Traps can be safely ran over if a character uses a 50% speed boost as they are going over the trap. This is good when going over Pinesoul traps in Lornar's Pass and Frozen Forest.

Armor and Weapons[edit]

Armor and weapon sets increase survivability and energy management, and should complement the skill set as well as the area being ran.


The runner usually outfits their armor with Radiant Insignias and Runes of Attunement for increased energy. Higher energy means the runner can go longer distances at maintained speeds. For areas which are damage-heavy, it may be advisable for the runner to use Survivor Insignias, a Rune of Vigor, and Runes of Vitae. In place of Survivor Insignias, the runner may opt to use insignias which increase armor such as Sentry's Insignias.


The primary weapon of a runner should be a staff. Defensive sets can be used if you are taking too much damage.

Set Forehand Off-hand Notes
Primary Staff
  • Enchantments +20%
  • Insightful (Energy +5)
  • "Hale And Hearty" (Energy +5 for health > 50%)
Unknown Should be your idle weapon while running.
Secondary Sword (Spear or Axe)
  • Health +30
  • Armor +7 (vs. Physical or Elemental)
  • +45 Health (While in a stance or while enchanted)
  • Perfect "Luck of the Draw" (RPD -5, 20% chance)
Equip this for defense.

Choosing skills[edit]

A typical running build will contain at least one speed buff, such as the Dervish's Pious Haste, a source of healing, spell protection, and "I Am Unstoppable!" for anti-knockdown and anti-cripple. Primary or secondary Assassin builds often use Shadow step skills both to increase overall speed and provide moderate healing. Healing can also be achieved via skills such as Shadow Sanctuary and Shroud of Distress. The Assassin and the Dervish have protection against enemy spellcasters through the use of Shadow Form and Vow of Silence respectively.

General running tips[edit]

The following tips will help you no matter what profession you plan to run on.

  • Always be on the move.
    • The reason why most beginner runners die is NOT because of mistimed skills or forgetting to use a certain skill, but because the runner does not get away from monsters fast enough.
    • If you get away fast enough, you usually won't be taking any major damage that needs healing.
    • The only time you need to stop running is when waiting for certain skills to recharge that you will need to get by an upcoming mob.
  • Use shadow steps to jump in and out of mobs or to take shortcuts.
    • Generally your secondary profession should be Assassin if it isn't your primary.
    • Learning how to shadow step properly will help greatly in speed, and is the first bridge between beginner and adept runners.

Learning to run[edit]

Learning alone[edit]

Start with easy runs in order to get familiar with running skills. Running from Lion's Arch to Temple of Ages and then to Sanctum Cay is rather easy, as well as running from Gunnar Hold to Olafstead/Sifhalla. Lion's Arch to Ascalon City and vice-versa is a long but easy run and is interesting since you'll have to face most, if not all, of the common issues during running : interrupts, enchantment removal, cripple, knockdown, stance removals, snares and bodyblock.

  • I Am Unstoppable is the most reliable skill to counter both cripple and knockdown (cripple from Stone Smit rangers, knockdown from hydras and stone summit warriors)
  • Shadow Form is the best against snares (from ice golems and mesmer gargoyles) and most enchantment removals (from stone summit mesmers and Charr mesmers)/interrupts, but need Glyph of Swiftness/Deadly Paradox if you need/want to maintain it.
  • Against stance removal and also bodyblock, keep away from melee foes, since most stance removals come from them. Stances such as Dash or Pious haste have short recharge, and can be renewed quickly if your character has been hit by a wild blow from a Charr, for example.
  • Shroud of Distress synergizes extremely well with Shadow Form and can guarantee your surviability for all low level zones on its own.
  • Against body block, always keep a skill such as death's charge in your skillbar to avoid that kind of situation. Heart of Shadow should work most of the time, but not always.

Last but not least, know the way. Ascalon region can prove to be quite a maze even to experienced players.

Harder runs include Eye of the North outposts, Crystal Desert outposts. The main difference with those is the higher level foes and numerous popups, along with good knowledge of the way. Among the hardest runs are the famous Droknar and Southern Shiverpeaks outposts run which allow to skip up to 14 missions of Prophecies' storyline, or the Kodash or Death Palace runs, allowing early access to vabbian outposts and to ancient and vabbian armor crafters.

Learning from others[edit]

The best way to learn is to have an experienced runner teach you. Another great way is to watch an experienced runner (in real-time or in recorded videos). To observe a runner in real-time, die and then click on the runner's name in the Party List. You will be able see what skills they are using and where they use them, giving you an idea of what you should do to succeed.

Game Configuration[edit]

Note that these changes can hinder you in non-running activities, e.g. speed clearing and PvP


Navigate to the "General" tab of the game options. Make sure the following options have checkmarks in the checkboxes beside them.

  • Disable Mouse Walking (Disabling this prevents accidental movement via mouse clicks.)
  • Double Click to Attack/Interact (Having this option enabled allows you to target an enemy and not move there by clicking on them once. This prevents lag created by auto-moving to a target via clicking the target once. You can still auto-run to the target by double clicking them.)

Make sure the following options do NOT have checkmarks in the checkboxes beside them

  • Auto-target foes when there’s no chosen target (Disabling this prevents the game from choosing your target. The player should always be in control of target selection.)
  • Auto-target NPC’s, items, and interactive objects when there’s no chosen target (Disabling this prevents the game from choosing your target. The player should always be in control of target selection.)


Runners use many different controls which most people never even use.

Navigate to the "Controls" tab of the game options. Make sure the following controls have keys assigned to them.

  • Targeting: Show Targets (Using this allows you to show all the enemies within your range. Once highlighted with a keyboard key, you are free to click the name of any enemy to target them.)
  • Targeting: Show Others (Using this allows you to show all the allies within your range. Once highlighted with a keyboard key, you are free to click the name of any ally to target them.)

A combination of keyboard and mouse should be used. Skills should be used with keyboard when possible, and moving can be done either with mouse or the keyboard depending on your personal preference.


Having a screen that is easy to see is more beneficial to a runner.

Navigate to the "Graphics" tab of the game options. Make sure the following option does NOT have a checkmark in the checkbox beside it.

  • Enable post-process effects (Using post-processing creates an annoying glow and also displays the full effects of being drunk. To make running easier, it is suggested that post processing is disabled.)

Some Texmod modifications can be used to ease the view of the game while running. Some modifications of note:


A small interface with minimal miscellaneous information is best suited for running. Consider removing the following elements:

  • Hints
  • Notifications
  • Dialogues 1 & 2
  • Mission Progress
  • Experience Bar
  • Performance Monitor
  • Damage Monitor
  • Mission Goals

Sizing and positioning of certain elements in your interface is also quite important.

  • Compass (Semi-large and positioned close to your Target Display.)
  • Energy/Health Bars (Don’t need to be big but keep them near your skill bar.)
  • Skill Bar (adjust so you can accurately see the recharges of each skill.)


  • In the past, there have been Running guilds within the community.
  • If you are just starting out learning to run, try one of the easier runs, e.g. Ascalon City to Lion's Arch.

See also[edit]