Command line arguments

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Command line arguments are directives which are added to the start up command of the game executable. There are directives which change the client's behavior, streamline player login and enable diagnostics.

Command line arguments can be prefixed with either "-" or "/", so these are the same:

/clientport 80
-clientport 80

Arguments can be separated by space (" ") or colon (":"), so these are the same:

-clientport 80

Using command line arguments[edit]

Windows via shortcut

You can execute switches directly from your Guild Wars 2 shortcut:

  1. Right click on your Guild Wars 2 shortcut and select 'Properties'.
  2. In the 'Target Area' field you will see the location of your Guild Wars 2 executable file:
    ...\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe
  3. Write the desired command line arguments after the quote marks, each beginning with a space:
    "...\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe" -perf -windowed
Windows via start/run

If you don't plan on using an argument frequently, it can be easier to use the Windows' Run command for a single invocation.

  1. Click the "Start" button
  2. Select "Run" (not required for Windows 7)
  3. Enter the path to the GW2.exe in quotes followed by the arguments you wish to use (same as above, but in a single line).
  4. Press enter.
  1. Right/ctrl-click and choose ShowPackageContent
  2. Find Contents>Resources>CiderSettings.plist
  3. Using TextEdit find this line:
  4. <string>--cmdline ""</string>
  5. Add the command line arguments you want between the quotation marks like this:
  6. <string>--cmdline "-testVerticalFov"</string>
Macintosh from terminal shell

Replace "/Applications/Guild\ Wars\" for your game path, and "autologin" for your command line option.

/Applications/Guild\ Wars\ -use-dos-cwd C:Gw2 -- C:\\GW2\\GW2.exe -autologin

Via PATH variables

An alternative is to add the GW2 directory to your user PATH environment variable. This allows gw2 to be executed as a command line command, enabling easy access to arguments. After performing the following, GW2 can be invoked as "gw2 -<argument string>" from the command line:

  1. Start the "run" dialogue, either with Win-R, or by hitting the windows key, entering "run", and hitting enter.
  2. Enter the following command, without quotes: "control sysdm.cpl", and hit enter to run it.
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Press the "Environment variables" button at the bottom.
  5. Double click the PATH variable under "user variables", the top section.
  6. Prefix the list with "<install directory>;" (without quotes and with the semi-colon)

List of command line arguments[edit]


Forces the game to run in 32 bit.

-assetsrv <string>[edit]

Used to specify the IP or DNS to use for downloading assets.

-authsrv [string][edit]

Specifies the IP or DNS that can be used to connect to a login server.


Logs in automatically, if the client has been set to remember the Account Name and Password.


Forces the game to create lossless screenshots as .BMP files. Use for creating high-quality screenshots at the expense of much larger files.

-clientport 80 (or 443)[edit]

Instructs the client to connect to the game servers over port 80 (HTTP) instead of the industry standard gaming port 6112. Some ISPs throttle different port traffic at different times of day so this helps some people get a better connection. (It isn't the default because some ISPs also modify port 80 traffic, which will break the game connection.) In December 2014 an additional valid argument was added "443"; this is the standard HTTPS port, and may be more reliable for some players. It is hoped that port 443 is less likely to be modified by ISPs since it usually passes encrypted traffic that appears to an ISP to be noise.


[verification requested]

Copies all the files in the current dat file to a new dat file.

-dat [string][edit]

Uses the specified file instead of the default GW2.dat file.


Instead of launching the game, this command creates a detailed diagnostic file that contains diagnostic data that can be used for troubleshooting. The file, NetworkDiag.log, will be located in your game directory or "Documents\Guild Wars . If you want to use this feature, be sure to create a separate shortcut for it.


Enables the Direct3D 9c renderer in single-threaded mode. Improves performance in Wine with CSMT.

-email [string][edit]

Used in conjunction with -password and -nopatchui to skip patching and login to the specified account directly.
note: does NOT change email address in Patcher-login screen. Thus it cannot be used WITHOUT -nopatchui.


Uses Forward Rendering instead of Deferred Rendering (unfinished).
  • This currently may lead to shadows and lighting to not appear as expected.
  • It may increase the framerate and responsiveness when using AMD graphics card

-fps [number][edit]

Sets maximum frames per second parameter.
This setting only has an effect while in the character selection screen and resets to the Frame Limiter setting configured in the Graphics Display Options when the game world is entered.


Runs the patch UI only in order to download any available updates; closes immediately without loading the login form.
  • Recommended: Create an extra Guild Wars 2 shortcut (e.g. "Guild Wars 2 Updater") specifically to use this command line switch.


Enables the creation of a log file, used mostly by Support. The path for the generated file usually is:
  • Windows: %APPDATA%\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.log.
Note: %APPDATA% is an Environment Variable, which usually translates into C:\Users\<Your Windows Account Name>\AppData\Roaming by default. See Environment Variable.


Shows diagnostic information during map loads, including load percentages and elapsed time.


Start the client with Windows Media Center compatibility, switching the game to full screen and restarting Media Center (if available) after the client is closed.


Hides the user interface during the update process.
  • This command must be used in conjunction with the -email and -password arguments to function, or it will result in a black screen.


Disables music and background music.


Disables the user interface. This does the same thing as pressing Ctrl Shift H in the game.


Disables audio system completely.

-password [string][edit]

Enables auto-log-in with the specified password and either (A) is used with the -email option or (B) details have previously been saved using the "Remember Account Name" checkbox. This argument must not be preceded by any other argument other than -email. The -nopatchui argument must also be specified for this to work (as of Oct 13, 2012). This argument implies -autologin.
WARNING: This will store your password in the shortcut in plain text, readable by anyone. Putting your password in a shortcut or a batch file makes it easily accessible to anyone who can access your computer. It is strongly recommended not to use this command line due to the nature of your password being exposed in plain text and putting your account information at risk.
"<...>\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe" -email -password 12345 -nopatchui
Note If your password includes spaces, it needs to be enclosed in quote marks.
"<...>\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe" -email -password "1234 5" -nopatchui


Resets game settings.


Start the client, checks the files for errors and repairs them as needed. This can take a long time (1/2 hour or an hour) to run as it checks the entire contents of the 20-30 gigabyte archive.
  • This is rarely necessary as the archive is always checking for errors as it runs; if it finds an error, it will schedule a repair for the next time the game starts.
  • The archive reads and writes certain parts of the disk fairly frequently; if you are getting a lot of disk errors, this is a sign that your drive may be dying.


Opens the Gw2.dat file in shared mode so that it can be accessed from other processes while the game is running.


Spreads user interface across all monitors in a triple monitor setup.


Presents the uninstall dialog. If uninstall is accepted, it deletes the contents of the Guild Wars 2 installation folder except GW2.EXE itself and any manually created subfolders. Contents in subfolders (if any) are not deleted.


Disables the widescreen field-of-view enhancements and restores the original field-of-view.


Used to verify the .dat file.


Forces Guild Wars 2 to run in windowed mode.
In game, you can switch to windowed mode by pressing Alt+Enter or clicking the window icon in the upper right corner.

-umbra gpu[edit]

Forces the use of umbra's GPU accelerated culling.
  • In most cases, using this results in higher cpu usage and lower gpu usage decreasing the frame-rate.

Non-functional command line arguments[edit]

The following arguments are found in the client, but do not produce a verifiable effect. Some worked at one time, but were later removed from the game (usually without explanation).


Used to display the installer dialog.

-audio <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.

-cinema <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.

-combatlog <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


Allowed the game to use Nvidia CUDA processing if available.

-defaultcharname <string>[edit]

String will be entered as the name during character creation.

-defaultLang <string>[edit]

Specified the default language the client will use.


Unknown effects.


Closes launcher or game client immediately after starting it.

-filesrv <string>[edit]

Once used to specify the file server.


used by GW when re-starting gw2.exe after using the "Log Out" button on the character select screen.
Unknown effects.

-lang <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


Specified the location of the local data file.
performs the same function as -dat, does NOT specify the local.dat under My Documents\Guild Wars 2

-map <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


to run 2+ accounts at the same time. Non Functional -July 28,2013


Unknown effects.


Prevented the game from patching on launch (the launcher can get stuck at 0% during checking for updates however).


Displayed performance indicators such as; Triangles, memory usage, frames per second and transfer rate in bytes per second are displayed in multi-colored text in the middle of the right side of the Guild Wars 2 window. Support for this was removed in BWE2.

-portal <string>[edit]

Specified the IP-address or DNS-name to use to connect to a portal server.

-portalalias <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


Enabled by default. Was previously used to test the beta version of the Streaming Client. [1]

-token <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.

-tokenpassword <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


Unknown effects.


Enabled by default. Was previously used to trigger the GUI launcher.


Launched the game using an old style launcher which also allows users to see the old style login screen with music.
Allowed people to use the pre-July 2012 update launcher (which did not check hardware configuration and used a different set of logon fields); was primarily useful for people using Virtual Machine. Disabled as part of the August 21, 2012 update.

-userid <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.