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Within the context of Guild Wars, a nerf describes a game mechanic change made by ArenaNet which lessens the effectiveness of anything within the game, this includes skills, builds or tactics.


  • If a spell or skill gets updated to damage or heal for less, cost more to cast, or has a longer recharge, it has been nerfed.
  • The change in mob reaction to AoE damage causing them to scatter when in the AoE effect.
  • The change in mob mechanics when attacking as a group, especially when a player is solo farming. Some enemies will refrain from fighting to heal then rejoin the fight as other members of their group withdraw.

The opposite of a nerf is a buff.

A nerf is often viewed in a negative light. When changes are made to the game it can make a particular style of play or build that is a part of a farm or a run to become unviable.


  • The term "nerf" originates in various internet gaming from the NERF line of toys. To "nerf", in essence, is to take something powerful and alter it into something basic or harmless, in the same way that the Nerf company does with weapons, and various balls.