Running the game

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System requirements[edit]

Official specification for Guild Wars.[1] On January 1, 2021, official support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP will be dropped.[2]

Component Minimum Recommended
Operating system Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 Windows Vista/7
Processor Intel Pentium III 800 MHz or equivalent Intel Pentium III 1.0 GHz or equivalent
RAM 512 MB 512 MB
Hard drive space 5 GB available 5 GB available
Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 3 or 4 MX Series (32 MB of VRAM)
or ATI Radeon 8500
NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti Series (64 MB of VRAM)
or ATI Radeon 9000
Sound card 16-bit 16-bit
Internet connection 56k Broadband
Input Keyboard and mouse
CD-ROM drive (required for installation of physical editions)


For help with problems running the game when your system meets the above system requirements, look at the official support site, where you can also ask for help from a support representative if you cannot find a solution to your problem on the support database.

Command line arguments[edit]

Command line arguments are startup parameters that can be used to alter the game's behavior.


Guild Wars currently supports several different languages. These include English, Korean, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Bork! Bork! Bork!. Audio language is available in English, Korean, French, German, Italian and Spanish and can be freely mixed together (e.g. Korean text and German voices).

Running the game on unsupported systems[edit]

Warning-Logo.png Warning: ArenaNet & NCSoft do not support running Guild Wars on other operating systems. Use at your own risk; Support will not be able to help you.

Info-Logo.png Note: While some players have reported playing the game using sub-minimum systems, you should expect poor performance, crashes, and other issues.

Unsupported graphics cards[edit]


Intel graphics cards are not officially supported.

  • However, all Intel GMA900 or higher graphics processors are believed to be able to run Guild Wars, but the graphics are sometimes buggy; third party software may be necessary to prevent crashes in certain areas.
  • All 9xx and Core 2 chipsets with integrated graphics include an appropriate graphics processor, it applies to all new Intel chipsets with integrated graphics from 2005 onward and some new chipsets with integrated graphics from 2004.
  • See also: Intel GMA Performance Tweaks in Guild Wars Guru archive (Describes using 3D-Analyze to tweak the Intel GMA3100 graphics card to work with GW).

Unsupported operating systems[edit]

Older versions of Windows[edit]

As of late 2019, versions of Windows prior to Windows 2000 ceased to be supported. On January 1, 2021, internal testing for Windows 2000 and Windows XP will be dropped. While the game may continue to run on those systems, only Windows Vista or newer will receive official support.[2]

Linux (any variation)[edit]

Players have reported success on Linux using Wine, CrossOver, or using a virtual machine.


Players have reported success on Apple systems based on Intel microchips, using Wine, CrossOver, virtual machine, or dual-booting into Windows (e.g. using Boot Camp).

Known issues[edit]
  • Loading screen: The loading screen goes black before loading the destination.
    • If this happens, change the compatibility of gw.exe from Windows XP... to Windows Vista... (and chose your service pack).
      • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (and beyond) offers an option for Windows 7 compatibility, which will also resolve the loading screen problem.
    • This does not work for all video cards.
  • Template folder locations: the template folders can be located in different directories, depending on the compatibility mode chosen. If you change the mode, the location will change. The likely locations are:
    • C:\Programs\Guild Wars\Templates (XP compatibility)
    • C:\Users\NAME\Documents\Guild Wars\Templates (Vista compatibility)
    • C:\Users\NAME\Documents\Guild Wars\Templates (Windows 7 compatibility)
  • Windows desktop flash: This sometimes happens when the game loads a new zone in Windows 7 under Service Pack 3 or later.
    • Suggested approach: find your GW.exe file, right-click to chose properties, then select the Compatibility tab. Choose "Run this program in comparability mode:" for "Windows Vista (Service Pack 2)".

Mobile Drives (Mobile HDD, Flash Drives)[edit]

The game can be run off any removable disk (e.g. Mobile HDD, Flash Drives, ...) even if the game has not been previously installed. After running Guild Wars off a mobile drive first time, the game will leave shortcut in the Start Menu and make changes to the registry. The machine must otherwise meet the same requirements listed above (OS, graphics).

Alternatively, you can copy your Guild Wars program folder from one machine to the removable disk and from the removable to another machine.

Networked Hard Drives[edit]

The game can also be run from a networked location or networked hard drive, although you should expect performance issues due to lag within your Local Area Network (LAN); it takes a long time to transfer data from the multi-gigabyte gw.dat file.

Make sure that the drive is properly shared and accessible from any machine on that network. To launch, browse to the Guild Wars directory. This method also leaves shortcuts and registry changes.