Interruption is a core game mechanic. It is also a tactic and an action that prevents a foe from completing their current action. An interrupt can be triggered by a skill or an effect. Some interrupts affect only spells or attack skills, while others will not interrupt unless certain prerequisites are met.
Actions that can be interrupted include any skill with an activation time and all attacks. Interrupts will only trigger if they successfully interrupt a skill or action. You cannot interrupt a character who is running, using an emote, or activating a skill without an activation time. Knock downs, death, skill failure, and skill disabling (e.g. Blackout) can stop an action from completing, but they are not considered interrupts; skills that prevent interrupts (such as Mantra of Resolve) are ineffective against these actions.
If you are interrupted:
- Your character staggers back for a split second, your activation bar halts and flashes purple, and your casting symbol "pops".
- Your current skill ends and it cannot be activated again until it has recharged.
- Any skills waiting to be activated will be un-queued.
Techniques for successful interrupting
- Practice: It is critical to practice your timing. The Grawls and Grawl Ulodytes outside of Sardelac Sanitarium make excellent targets; they are relatively weak and cast plenty of spells.
- Adjust your user interface: Increase the size of your Skill Monitor so it will be easier to see when the enemy is using a skill.
- Choose the right time and the right skill: A good interrupter can stop many actions; a great interrupter stops many of the critical ones.
- Avoid predicting: Avoid the temptation to predict the next skill all the time — it is often better to allow the skill to activate than to waste the interrupt, the energy, and the aftercast delay.
- Avoid interrupting low-impact actions: It is usually more important to interrupt a Meteor Shower than an Aura of Restoration, so try not to interrupt just because you can. Note that there are several skills that interrupt and disable, which are useful for stopping low recharge, often used skills.
- Attack skills can be interrupted: Keep in mind that their effects are triggered halfway into the casting time. For this reason it can be difficult to successfully interrupt them.
- Close distance for projectiles: Projectile interrupts (e.g. Savage Shot) need time to travel to your target; you can increase the chance of successfully interrupting by being close to the target.
- Use audio cues: Learn the sounds that can help you determine what skills are being used. For example, Resurrection Chant gives off a loud, distinct jingly/windy noise that gives it away.
- Use visual cues: Skill animations for certain longer casting skills are also distinct and can help in switching to the proper target for an interrupt. For example, the animation for Resurrection Signet is unique.
- Rangers can be less cautious using interrupts because many of their interrupting skills have lower recharges than those of other professions and do damage regardless of whether they successfully interrupt.
- Time your interrupts to coincide with the ending of knock downs and punishment effects (e.g. Diversion or Blackout) dished out by yourself, or your allies.
- Know your enemy: Some actions can be predicted. Knowing your enemy helps you determine when and how they are likely to act.
- Learn the skill chains used by your opponents. For example, if the opposing infuser is in the habit of always using Word of Healing on themselves, immediately after infusing, you can get in the habit of interrupting it after your team spikes. Another example is against caster spikes where they will often follow their first spell with a second.
- Learn opponent counter measures: If you know an opponent will try to counter a particular skill, you can cancel your first skill midway and interrupt their counter. An example would be an elementalist using Gale to interrupt your Diversion or Apply Poison. Canceling your own skill and using an interrupt will stop Gale.
- PvE players use interrupts as a means of shutting down targets permanently or almost permanently using two basic techniques:
- Use AoE interrupts: Focus on shutting down larger groups of enemies in order to mitigate their collective damage and/or healing capabilities. Commonly used skills include Panic, Psychic Instability, and Cry of Frustration.
- Use strong single target interrupt effects: Shutting down a single powerful foe can often turn the tide of battle, especially if that foe has particularly harmful abilities (e.g. Kanaxai), large amount of health (e.g. Rotscale), or helps the enemy group survive (e.g. Fozzy Yeoryios). Long-lasting interrupts include Broad Head Arrow, Power Block (shuts down casters), and Shivers of Dread (to allow team members with cold-damage weapons to shut down a target foe).
Certain skills which interrupt also have an effect that occurs along with the interruption. All interruption skills which feature an additional effect fall into the category of spells, signets or attack skills. The behavior of these skills is noted below:
Spells and Signets that cause direct interruption
- Any spell or signet that causes direct interruption and has an effect in addition to its interruption will trigger that additional effect so long as the condition for interruption is met and so long as that additional effect is not a knockdown.
Attack Skills that cause direct interruption
- Any attack skill which causes direct interruption will also cause its additional effects so long as the condition for interruption is met and so long as that additional effect is not an increased disable time.
- In the case of Exhausting Assault, a target who is casting a spell yet is not interrupted will still suffer exhaustion.
- In the case of Distracting Shot, a target who is using a skill yet is not interrupted will not have that skill become disabled.
- In the case of Savage Slash, a target who is casting a spell yet is not interrupted will still receive additional damage.
Hexes that cause interruption upon a condition being met
- There are five hex skills which conditionally cause an interruption.
- Clumsiness and Wandering Eye are immune to all forms of interruption prevention. A target who is hexed with either of these spells will always be interrupted and suffer the respective damage.
- Shivers of Dread and its duplicate cause energy loss regardless of interruption so long as the condition for interruption is met.
- Rust is technically a hex spell, yet unlike the above hex spells, causes a direct interruption, and so behaves in line with the aforementioned category of spells and signets.
- In the case of Frustration, the additional damage will be dealt regardless of interruption so long as the skill used to interrupt meets its own condition for interruption.
- In the case of Simple Thievery, if a skill is prevented from being interrupted (i.e under the effects of Mantra of Concentration), that skill will not be disabled and Simple Thievery will not become a copy of that skill.
- Some secondary effects of interrupt skills are triggered even if the interrupt is unsuccessful. This has led to speculation as to whether these are truly interrupt effects, a problem with the concise or full description, or a bug. See this user page for additional details, research, and discussion.
Interrupts with a secondary effect
These skills cause a secondary effect which, according to the concise description, appears to be dependent on successful interruption.
|Spell. Interrupt a skill. Interruption effect: disables interrupted skill (+5...11...12 seconds) for target foe and all foes in the area.||10||¼||20||Domination MagicZ||Factions|
|Bow Attack. Interrupts a spell. Interruption effect: inflicts Dazed condition (5...17...20 seconds). Hits for only 1...13...16 damage.||25||½||5||MarksmanshipZ||Core|
|Spell. If target foe is using a skill, that foe and all foes in the area are interrupted and take 15...63...75 damage.||10||¼||15||Domination MagicZ||Core|
|Sword Attack. Interrupts target foe. Interruption effect: disables this foe's attack skills (0...2...3 second[s]) if that action was an attack.||5||½||20||StrengthZ||Eye of the North|
|Axe Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: interrupted skill is disabled for +20 seconds.||6||Axe MasteryZ||Core|
|Pet Attack. Deals +1...10...12 damage. Interrupts a skill. Interruption effect: interrupted skill is disabled for +20 seconds.||5||20||Beast MasteryZ||Core|
|Bow Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: +10...34...40 damage if you interrupt a skill.||10||½||15||MarksmanshipZ||Eye of the North|
|Lead Attack. Interrupts an action. If the interrupted action was a spell, it is disabled (3...9...10 seconds).||5||10||Dagger MasteryZ||Factions|
|Bow Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: interrupted skill is disabled for +20 seconds. Hits for only 1...13...16 damage.||5||½||10||ExpertiseZ||Core|
|Melee Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: Disables interrupted skill (20 seconds) if target foe has Cracked Armor. Deals no damage.||5||½||15||Z||Eye of the North|
|Dual Attack. Interrupts an action. Inflicts 10 Overcast if the interrupted action was a spell. Must follow a lead attack.||5||½||8||Dagger MasteryZ||Factions|
|Signet. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: you gain 3...13...15 Energy if the action was a spell.||¼||30||Inspiration MagicZ||Core|
|Scythe Attack. Interrupts an action. If you are enchanted, the interrupted skill is disabled for an additional 1...8...10 second[s]. This attack does 50% of normal damage.||5||½||15||Scythe MasteryZ||Nightfall|
|Elite Bow Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: an interrupted spell is disabled for +10 seconds. Unblockable.||10||½||5||Z||Nightfall|
|Spell. Interrupts a spell or chant. Interruption effect: you gain 1...25...31 Energy.||5||¼||20||Inspiration MagicZ||Core|
|Elite Hex Spell. Interrupts a spell or chant. Interruption effect: -2 Energy degeneration (4...9...10 seconds).||10||¼||10||Domination MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Spell. Interrupts a spell or chant. Interruption effect: causes 3...14...17 Energy loss.||10||¼||20||Domination MagicZ||Prophecies|
|Elite Hex Spell. Interrupt a spell or a chant. Interruption effect: steal 5...13...15 Energy whenever target foe casts a spell (10 seconds).||5||¼||20||Inspiration MagicZ||Factions|
|Spell. Interrupts a spell or chant. Interruption effect: interrupted spell or chant is disabled for +5...11...13 seconds.||5||¼||12||Domination MagicZ||Eye of the North|
|Spell. Interrupts a spell or chant. Interruption effect: target foe gains 10...6...5 Energy.||5||¼||7||Fast CastingZ||Factions|
|Spell. Interrupts a spell or chant. Interruption effect: deals 30...102...120 damage.||5||¼||12||Domination MagicZ||Core|
|Elite Spell. Interrupts a skill. Interruption effect: disables interrupted skill (+5...11...12 seconds). Your other skills are disabled (8 seconds).||10||¼||2||Domination MagicZ||Factions|
|Elite Spell. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: if the action is a skill, cause knockdown for 2...4...4 seconds on target foe and all nearby foes. 50% failure chance unless Fast Casting 5 or higher.||5||¼||12||Fast CastingZ||Factions|
|Bow Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: deals +13...25...28 damage if action was a spell.||10||½||5||MarksmanshipZ||Core|
|Sword Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: deals +1...32...40 damage if action was a spell.||5||½||15||SwordsmanshipZ||Core|
|Signet. Interrupts an attack for target foe and all adjacent foes. Interruption effect: deals 15...51...60 damage; knocks down foes using attack skills.||¼||8||Illusion MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Signet. Interrupts a spell. Can interrupt any skill if target foe is hexed. Interruption effect: deals 10...43...51 damage.||¼||15||Domination MagicZ||Factions|
|Signet. Interrupts a spell. Interruption effect: target foe's spell is disabled for 1...4...5 seconds for each signet you have equipped.||¼||15||Domination MagicZ||Eye of the North|
|Elite Melee Attack. Interrupts an action. Inflicts Dazed condition (10 seconds) if target is casting a spell.||9||½||Z||Prophecies|
|Elite Spell. Interrupts a skill. Interruption effect: also interrupts other foes in the area, and you steal 0...4...5 Energy from all foes in the area.||5||¼||15||Inspiration MagicZ||Nightfall|
|Elite Off-Hand Attack. Interrupts a spell. Inflicts Dazed and Blindness conditions (1...8...10 seconds). Must follow a lead attack.||15||20||Dagger MasteryZ||Factions|
|Hex Spell. (10 seconds.) Initial effect: interrupts a skill. End effect: interrupts a skill.||5||¼||15||Z||Nightfall|
List of interrupt skills
|The Guild Wars 2 Wiki has an article on Interrupt.|