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A screenshot is a stillframe image of in-game action saved in the game's Screenshots subfolder. Screenshots allow players to document events, treasure memories, provide evidence for abuses, or just create Guild Wars-based user art. The default screenshot button is Print Screen (usually located above the numeric keypad on keyboards, and usually labelled as "PrtScn").

Currently, screenshots are saved in JPEG format, but can be saved as bitmaps by editing the game's command line with the -BMP parameter.

The naming scheme for screenshots is gwXXX.jpg. XXX is replaced by a three digit number, which counts from 001 to 999. When you run past 999 screens, a new folder will appear, and all of your screenshots from then on out will be saved to there.

Screenshots are automatically saved into one folder. The full path of the screenshot, including the name of it, shows up in your chat dialogue when you take a screenshot. The default locations are:

  • Windows XP: C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\Screens
  • Windows Vista/Windows 7: C:\Users\<YourUserName>\Documents\Guild Wars\Screens
  • Steam: C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\guild wars\Screens

Tips on screen capturing[edit]

  • For highest quality screenshots you should capture them in the .bmp format. See Command line.
  • For high quality screenshots, Graphic options (F11/Graphics) should be set as follows:
    • Anti-Aliasing - highest option available with your video card
    • Visual Quality - 3/4 to highest quality or higher
    • Terrain Quality - High
    • Reflections - All
    • Texture Quality - High
    • Shadow Quality - Off
    • Shader Quality - High
    • Enable Wait for vertical sync
    • Disable Post processing effects
    • Enable Use best texture filtering
  • Press Shift + Print Screen to hide the game interface during the capture, so you get a clean shot.
  • You can also toggle the game interface off (and back on again) by pressing Ctrl + Shift + H.
  • Watch for the mouse hover. A mouse hovering over objects will make them glow (sometimes covering their details).
  • Depending on the performance of your computer and the graphics settings, the capture will not take place in the instant you press the key, but up to half a second later. This is important to know when trying to capture moving objects, such as dancing players.
  • When setting up a scene to take a capture, take heed of the direction from which the light comes. Capturing images of objects with backlight will make them lose a lot of detail due to shadows. NPCs will turn towards you when talked to. This can be used to make them face the light.
  • When choosing a location to take screenshots, take heed of the color and brightness of the light. Some areas are brighter than others and in many places the light is strongly hued.


  • If you have Windows XP, you must be running on an administrator account. Non-administrative accounts may not write to the Program Files folder or subfolders, which is where screenshots are saved. Installing Guild Wars to an alternate location (such as My Documents\Guild Wars) may prevent this.
  • If you're running Guild Wars on Windows Vista and the images are saved to the Program Files directory or not saved at all, it might be caused by the Application Compatibility setting being set to to Windows XP. If you must use application compatibility to run the game, right-click the game and select Run as Administrator so that it can write to the Program Files folder. You may need to confirm a UAC request.
  • Windows 7's Desktop Composition prevents DirectX full-screen windows from being copied to the clipboard correctly. Screenshots will still be saved to C:\Users\[username]\Documents\Guild Wars\Screenshots, but pasting a raw capture (into Paint, for example) will not work. To work around this, run Guild Wars in Windowed Borderless or Windowed Fullscreen mode.
  • While running Windows on a Mac through Bootcamp (specifically on MacBooks without the print screen key included on the keyboard), one can use Shift + fn + F11 to take a screenshot.


  • As of the January 19, 2007 update, screenshots are saved as JPG files. Before the update, bitmap files were used, which provided higher quality uncompressed images at the expense of greater disk space consumption. There is a command line parameter to make screenshots save as higher-quality bitmaps.

See also[edit]

Guild Wars files