Graphical user interface

From Guild Wars 2 Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The graphical user interface (GUI) is information added to the screen which allows a player to interact with the world and to see their actions and the actions of others. There are three different types of information display; information overlays, permanent elements, and temporary windows and panels. Permanent elements on the screen display information to the user and allow mouse based interaction with the game. Temporary panels and windows are opened by the player and provide detailed information and more complex game actions. Overlay information allows the player to understand the game world, see the effects of their actions and the actions of others.

The game allows some customization of the permanent parts of the display such as altering the size but most cannot be moved. Temporary elements can be moved and resized.

All keyboard shortcuts provided in this article are the game defaults, see the article on keyboard controls to learn more about the keys provided for different actions.

Overlay information[edit]


As damage is dealt or received floating text appears above the target or character. This text is color-coded in the following ways:

  • White: damage dealt
  • Red: damage received
  • Green: healing received
Critical hit.

When your attack is a critical hit the damage dealt is shown in larger text and is highlighted with a red splash.

NPC and player information[edit]

All NPCs and players in the world can be highlighted to determine whether they are enemy or friendly, and to get basic information, such as name, guild, level, and role. Holding Left Ctrl displays names for nearby enemies, holding Left Alt displays information for friendlies. NPCs such as vendors, scouts or those with role in an event or personal story appear with an additional icon indicating their role even if they are not currently highlighted by the player.

Color of the information and character highlight is used to indicate the relationship to the player:

Color Character relationship
Red Hostile enemy
Yellow Neutral, turns hostile if attacked
Green NPC ally
Cyan Player ally
Gold Player guild member
Blue Party member
Your pets
Your minions
White Critter, neutral and dies in one hit

The currently selected target is marked with a small downwards pointing arrow above the head and a circle around the feet, both in the color of the relationship. A called target(Ctrl+T) gets a large red target reticule icon above their head.

Interaction indicators[edit]

A combo applied Blindness.

An area of effect is marked on the ground. The shape of the area is indicated by a colored outline: Red for harmful effects, white for neutral and beneficial effects.

If a skill combo occurs both the player who placed the initial field effect and the player who interacted with it are shown a combo icon which states the effect which was applied to the target.

Downed players and pets are marked with icons.


When the player is under certain effects the edges of the screen is modified to indicate the effect.

  • Normal damage is indicated with increasing shades of red.
  • The blind condition is indicated by darkened and fading edges.
  • The dazed condition is indicated by purple-pink edges.

Permanent elements[edit]

Skill bar[edit]

Skill bar.jpg

The skill bar displays icons of currently equipped skills. Slots are numbered from 0 to 9; they can be activated by clicking on the skill icon or pressing on the relevant keyboard shortcut:

  • 15 Weapon skills: Slots one to five activate weapon related attacks.
    • By default, the first skill auto attacks after attacking a foe.
  • 6 Healing skill: The sixth slot (immediately to the right of the health globe) is a designated healing skill.
  • 79 Utility skills: Slots seven through nine represent the character's utility skills.
  • 0 Elite skill: The last slot is for the character's elite skill.

Most skills are automatically targeted, while some are manually targeted as indicated by the target reticule around their skill number. Manually targeted skills need to be aimed at a location, at hostile or friendly target's location.

The skill bar indicates whether the target is out of range when a red bar appears under the skill.

Health globe[edit]

The red health globe divides the skill bar in two halves and is a visual indicator of the character's current health relative to their maximum health. Your current health is also displayed as a white number at the center of the globe.

Endurance bar[edit]

The endurance bar is the beige semicircle above the health globe. It shows how much endurance a character has available for dodging. A player is able to dodge twice without waiting for endurance regeneration, this is indicated by the line through the semicircle.

Mechanic bar[edit]

The mechanic bar (F1F5) appears above the weapon skills (left of the health globe). Its features depend on the character's profession mechanic:

Effects monitor[edit]

The effects monitor shows current conditions, boons, and other effects on the character. This appears above the healing and utility skills.

Weapon switch[edit]

Weapon Swap Button.png Weapon drop button.png or ` key

  • The weapon sets switch button (to the left of the skill bar) switches between the two active weapon sets. The feature is unlocked at Level 15, but is not available to elementalists, engineers, or revenants which have access to attunements, kits, and legends, respectively.
  • After picking up an environmental weapon (or other non-weapon item) the weapon set switch changes to a drop icon. Clicking it drops the item and restores the currently equipped weapon (and skills).
    • 15 In addition, holding an environmental weapon changes your available weapon skills.


The compass.

The compass shows an overhead view of various features centered around the player character. Covered locations are hidden until they are revealed after the character travels nearby; this applies to underground and underwater passages. Zoomed in, the range of the compass is 2500 units, representing 63 meters/208 feet.[1] If pulled upwards it will attach itself to the top right of the screen (it can be moved back to the bottom right by dragging the dark bar that appears on the right of the compass when hovering over it).

Many of the compass icons will display a symbol next to it to show the relative altitude between it and the player character.

  • ˄ = icon is above player character, symbol appears to the upper right of the icon
  • ˅ = icon is below player character, symbol appears to the lower left of the icon

The altitude symbols appear when the player character icon is within a variable distance of the other icon. The player character icon must be within its diameter of a fallen ally to show the altitude marker while an Equipment Repair NPC altitude marker will be displayed at more than 10 player character icon diameters (PCID).

The compass shares much of its information and graphical markers with the larger map interface. In addition to the map icons shown on the normal map the compass also shows harvesting nodes.

  • Mine resource (map icon).png
    — Ore
  • Wood resource (map icon).png
    — Wood
  • Plant resource (map icon).png
    — Plants

Holding down Shift allows a player to ping points or draw white lines on the compass, by clicking or dragging over it. Clicking on the compass while holding Alt will place a personal waypoint that displays an icon for the player and all party members, both on the compass and on the world map.

Event assistant[edit]

Event assist.jpg
Event assist completed.jpg

The event assistant shows the current objectives of the player, such as events in the area. The messages in the event assistant are color coded:

After each event's completion, a medal will appear showing the character's level of participation. (Successfully completed heart tasks will also show a filled heart.) Rewards are indicated as follows:

  • Experience.png
    — The amount of experience earned.
  • Karma.png — The amount of karma earned.
  • Gold coin Silver coin Copper coin — The number of coins earned - gold, silver, and/or copper.


Achievements can be displayed using the Watch List in the hero panel. If no achievements are selected and Daily Completionist has not be completed, daily achievements are shown depending on a player's current game type: PvE, WvW or PvP.

Content Guide[edit]

The content guide acts as a compass that points towards the nearest story instance starting point, event or map completion objective, depending on its setting:

  • Default - Will point only towards the next story objective until all available story is complete.
  • Off - Disables the content guide altogether.
  • Disable Personal Story - The content guide ignores story objectives, and prioritizes objectives as follows:
    • Renown hearts based on distance to the character and character level.
    • Nearest event within the currently revealed parts of the map.
    • Other map completion objectives and unexplored areas.
  • Disable Events and Personal Story - The content guide will only point towards map completion objectives, prioritizing hearts based on distance and character level.

When no more story is available and the content guide is set to default, it will behave the same when as when it's set to "Disable Personal Story".

When no more story is available and all objectives in a map are completed, the guide will attempt to point towards zoning portals leading to other maps with missing objectives.

Target display[edit]

Target information.

The target display is located in the top center of the screen and provides information about the currently selected enemy or ally. Displayed are the target's name, a portrait, current health, effects, level, rank, and abilities.

Experience bar[edit]

The experience bar starts on the left with the number of the character's current level. The bar fills towards the right side of the screen where the next level's number is situated. Once the bar fills to 100%, the character will advance to the next level. If the character level has been dynamically adjusted the effective level is bracketed and marked in green next to the actual level.

During Structured PvP the experience bar is replaced with a PvP Rank bar, which shows your progress to the next rank increase.

Chat box[edit]

2011 June chat.jpg

The chat box contains a history of chat that has taken place within a finite amount of time. By default, it is situated in the bottom left corner of the HUD. If pulled upwards it will attach itself to the top left of the screen.

Menu bar[edit]

Menu bar.jpg

The menu bar is located at the top left of the screen. It provides links to temporary panels which provide game information. Clicking each icon opens a panel, many of the panels also have a default keyboard shortcut. From left to right, the icons represent:

The menu bar is used to communicate some information. If action is required on the hero panel, such as allocating traits, a red exclamation mark is added to the icon. If the inventory is full it is surrounded by a red box . The number of unread mail messages is marked on the mail icon with a red number.



After joining a party, the party display appears on the top left and shows the avatars, health, professions, and levels of your party members. It also shows speech bubbles when party members send a chat message and effects currently on the party member.

  • P, by default, brings up the party panel.

Moving of permanent elements[edit]

The position of the permanent elements party display and chat box can be exchanged by holding the left mouse button on a specific spot on the chat box. The possible move is announced by display of a wireframe in the area of the party display, where the chat box might be moved to. Dragging the cursor to the location exchanges the elements. The same may be applied to compass and event assistant, where the compass holds the spot for exchanging them.

Temporary windows and panels[edit]

In addition to the panels listed above which are available by activating icons on the menu bar there are other temporary information and interaction windows.

Player Interaction[edit]

Players can interact with each other by right-clicking their name or portrait in the target display, a member of a party, contacts, guild panel, or chat. This will bring a dropdown list of actions that can be done with the player.

There are a set of actions always available to players:

  • Whisper - Whisper the target player in chat
  • Join Party - Requests a party invite, either joining a party or someone joining your party
  • Send Mail - Mail the target player a message
  • Add Friend - Add target player to your friends list
  • Guild Invite - Invite the target player to your guild if you have proper privileges
  • Block - Adds the target player to your block list, you will not see what they say in chat and they cannot contact you in any way.
  • Report - Report target player for improper conduct.


Pressing M opens the game map. It is similar to the compass but allows the player to see more of the area at once.


When you talk to a vendor a vendor panel is opened.

Unclaimed loot[edit]

When a corpse is looted the loot is displayed in an unclaimed loot window.


To take a screenshot without GUI, either toggle the GUI with Control+Shift+H or press Control+Shift+Print screen for a single screenshot. This creates a normal quality JPEG. Stereoscopic (3D) screenshots can be created by assigning it to a keybind. The user may append "-bmp" to the command line to take all screenshots in the lossless bitmap format.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reddit AMA - All Questions + Answers, Guild Wars 2 Guru