Players can customize the music they want to hear in-game by adding playlists (and sound files) to the Guild Wars 2 documents folder.
- Find the
Musicfolder in the GW2 documents folder. The default location is
Users\[Your Name]\Documents\Guild Wars 2, next to the
Screensfolder (i.e. where GW2 places your screenshots. Please note that this will vary depending on your operating system. For Windows XP for example, it is in Program Files\Guild Wars 2. In Win7 it is in Documents\Guild Wars 2.).
- Create a playlist with an appropriate name and type (see below).
- Add any media to the folder as needed. (Although your playlist can point to the default location of sound files on the hard drive.)
If you create a playlist called
Ambient.m3u, the game will play that while you travel around the world (instead of the default ambient music).
To test how this feature works, create a playlist called
MainMenu. Then export that playlist to the
Music folder mentioned above in Customizing step 1. Load the game and the selected music should now play on the character selection screen.
- Order of Songs
You can open the playlist file with a basic text editor, such as Notepad, to see what order the files have been placed in. Guild Wars 2 will usually play the file at the top first, and for MainMenu and BossBattle it will never randomize the order after that; for all other playlists, after the first song plays, the next is chosen at random. The same song can be chosen more than once before going through the entire playlist, or even repeated several times. Songs will continue to be chosen at random until a new playlist is accessed (say, Underwater), at which point the first song of that playlist will play.
Certain areas in the game, such as Heart of the Mists and most Dungeons, have their own soundtrack that ignores any custom playlists. Other places in Guild Wars 2 do not have music at all, such as some parts of the Dragonbrand. When entering these areas, custom playlists will only continue to play until the end of the current song.
Some cutscenes, such as viewing Vistas, will end the current song and advance it to the next one after they finish.
 Available playlists
The game currently recognizes eight playlists:
|Ambient||Default playlist when no other criteria are met|
|Battle||"Large" fights involving many foes (~5 or more enemies); some personal story steps; PvP|
|BossBattle||World bosses and some Dungeon bosses; some personal story steps; some Activities|
|City||When inside one of the main cities, such as The Black Citadel, but not always|
|Defeated||Upon being Defeated|
|MainMenu||At the character select screen|
|NightTime||When in some explorable areas and it is nighttime (the moon is out)|
|Underwater||Any time the breathing apparatus is equipped. Overrides most other playlists|
Each playlist can designate a primary and secondary playlist to look for. Most playlists default to Ambient if they do not exist; this allows you to create just one custom playlist to override the in-game music.
 Supported media
- Playlist formats
- Audio types
Anything covered by FMOD (by default) including:
Many old-school formats are also supported including .mid or .it files. Native iTunes playlists are not supported. .m4a files are not supported.
- If using an m3u playlist, files with a hash sign (#) in either the filename or the generated "extra info" (artist or display title) may cause that playlist to function improperly or not at all.
- For example, "Mozart Piano Sonata #2.mp3" should be renamed to "Mozart Piano Sonato No 2.mp3" or such, for both the filename and display title.
- Music files with the character ' (apostrophe) in their names work (e.g. Gwen's Theme.mp3); however, care must be taken with some text editors to make sure it's the proper apostrophe character, and not a "smart quote" used by many editors. If you're having issues, you can use the
- Music files with special characters (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc.) in the file and metadata might not work. Remove these from the file, and it will work.
- BossBattle playlist does not play the songs randomly like other playlists would. Adding the one second "silence" .mp3 to the beginning of the playlist does not resolve the issue.
- If the playlist does not play, open the playlist file in a text editor and check that the media src tag points to the correct location for the music. ie. src="C:\Users\Public\Music\Song.mp3"
- Other types of metadata not commonly found on songs may cause the playlist to skip over them.
- For example, some audio files may have "LOOPSTART" and "LOOPEND" defined in the metadata to allow other games to loop them as background music continuously. Guild Wars 2 does not support this, but seems to have problems with custom soundtrack songs that have such metadata.