World is the term used to indicate the group of players on your team in World versus World; it has little impact on open world PvE. There are 51 worlds in the two regions in the Western Hemisphere: 24 in the North America (NA) region and 27 in the European (EU) region; players share instances with others from the same region, but never with those from other regions.
Mechanics and terminology
- Home world: Players choose a "home world" when logging in to the game for the first time; this determines the server you represent during World versus World and your Power of the Mists bonuses. All of your characters are bound to the same world. You can change the home world by paying a transfer fee.
- Region: This indicates the location of the data center that stores your account information; it has nothing directly to do with your geographical location. Players from one region cannot enter the same maps as those from any other, e.g. those with NA home worlds cannot play with those based on EU ones. Players can transfer from NA to EU worlds and vice-versa, but not between China and the EU/NA regions. Similarly, the EU & NA regions share a Trading Post while the China region has its own.
- Megaserver: unlike many other MMOs, all players from the same region are able to play together automatically. When players enter a zone, they are placed into the same instance as everyone else in the same region, until the game determines that the map is getting full, at which point it creates a new instance.
- When there are multiple versions of the map, the game attempts to put you in the same map alongside your friends, guildmates, and members of the same world; in the EU region, priority is also given to those using the same supported language, i.e. English, French, German, or Spanish.
- To join party members on a different version of the map by right-click their name or portrait in the party UI and choose Join In [zone name]. If the map is full, keep trying until you succeed, as there are always people entering and leaving each instance.
- Server: Players often use the term server as a synonym for world, comparing them to servers in other MMOs. However, in Guild Wars 2, map instances are created on a virtual server shared by all worlds. Players can use the chat command to display the IP address of the instance their character is in.
- Guesting: Guesting allows you to temporarily change your associated world, thus affecting one of the factors affecting which instance you are placed in. It does not allow you to play for a different team in World versus World. Due to the megaserver system, most players will never need to guest.
- To begin guesting, start at the character selection screen and choose World Selection. Click on the Guest button for the world you wish to guest to and confirm your choice. the game will place a suitcase icon symbol next to the guest world.
- The next character you play will be guesting on that server and continue to do so until you logout, change characters, or restart the current character. To guest again (or with another character), repeat the same steps. You are eligible to guest as many times as you like, but you may only choose up to two guest worlds every 24 hours.
- Caution: Double-check when guesting that you have not accidentally started the transfer process; the buttons are very close together and the prompts are similar.
To transfer to a different world, go to the character selection screen (usingor when you first logon) and select the desired world; you will be logged out while the game makes these changes, which might take 5-30 minutes. You can transfer once every seven days at a cost determined by the destination server population.
- Standard transfer fees
- Discount and premium fees
- Periodically, ArenaNet will offer incentives for players to transfer to lower population worlds, including waiving transfer costs.
- During WvW tournaments, Arenanet will change the pricing to encourage movement to lower-ranked servers and discourage people from transferring to better-ranked servers just for the tournament rewards.
Accounts without active characters
The transfer fee is waived for accounts without any active characters. This allows players just starting out to change to another world that is not full. You also can transfer without cost if you delete all your existing characters. The next time you log on without any characters, you will be prompted to choose a new home world.  Please be aware of the following:
- Transfers to any game world — whether free or paid for with gems — are allowed only if the population of the world is at less than capacity.
- Transfers to any game world — whether free or paid for with gems — are allowed only once per seven days.
- If you decide to delete the characters on your account, Customer Support cannot restore them, in whole or in part.
- Items left on the characters will be deleted and cannot be restored. Move items to your personal account bank to preserve them.
List of worlds
The 51 servers are organized by region and official language designations.
- Anvil Rock
- Borlis Pass
- Crystal Desert
- Devona's Rest
- Ehmry Bay1
- Eredon Terrace
- Ferguson's Crossing2
- Fort Aspenwood
- Gate of Madness
- Henge of Denravi
- Isle of Janthir
- Jade Quarry
- Northern Shiverpeaks
- Sanctum of Rall3
- Sea of Sorrows
- Sorrow's Furnace
- Stormbluff Isle
- Tarnished Coast
- Yak's Bend
27 worlds, 13 with a specific language focus
- Aurora Glade
- Far Shiverpeaks
- Fissure of Woe
- Gunnar's Hold
- Piken Square
- Ring of Fire
- Ruins of Surmia
- Seafarer's Rest
- Whiteside Ridge4
- French (FR)
- Augury Rock
- Fort Ranik
- Jade Sea
- Vizunah Square
- German (DE)
- Abaddon's Mouth
- Drakkar Lake
- Elona Reach
- Miller's Sound
- Spanish (ES)
- Baruch Bay5
Origin of names
Each world is named after a location in the world of Tyria with a few exceptions, named after the following people:
- 1 Kevin Ehmry, an ArenaNet employee.
- 2 Mike Ferguson, an ArenaNet employee.
- 3 Roger "Oldroar" Rall, a fan who died before the game was released.  
- 4 Chris Whiteside, an ArenaNet employee.
- 5 Stefan Baruch, one of the henchmen from Guild Wars Prophecies.
- You cannot move to a world that is listed as Full. However, that status varies throughout the day and tends to drop during off-peak hours, i.e. if you are unable to transfer, try again when there are fewer people playing, e.g. extremely early in the morning for the region's datacenter, i.e. 0400-0600 UTC for the EU.
- Players have designated certain worlds with tags that they feel will help others find a server whose players match their own interests, e.g. role playing or Polish speakers. However, the wiki does not list them for several reasons: they are unofficial, subject to change without warning, and unverifiable (e.g. no one can say that World A has more Esperanto-speakers than World B or whether World C has "a lot" of role players).
- The Chinese version of the game is setup in a third region.
- Due to concerns about the effect of frequent transfers on World versus World, ArenaNet imposed a 24-hour waiting period on changing worlds; this was later extended to 7-days for the same reason.
- Before January 28, 2013 it was free to transfer worlds within the relevant waiting period.
- Prior to the introduction of the megaserver system, each world had its own instance for each zone in PvE and in the Heart of the Mists. When the map was full, an overflow map would be created. This caused several issues, including: (1) players in high-population worlds could find themselves on an overflow map instead of their home world's instance, especial during Living Story or world boss events; (2) those in low-population worlds could find their instances feeling nearly empty; and (3) guesting was often required so that you could join friends who had other home worlds.
- Prior to the September 2014 Feature Pack, influence was tied to specific worlds and guilds often had trouble getting members into the same instance during guild missions.