Guild Wars 2 on Wine

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Warning Warning: Running Guild Wars 2 on a non-Windows operating system, or with any other computer that does not meet the system requirements, is completely unsupported by ArenaNet and NCSoft.

Using the Wine software, Guild Wars 2 can be run on UNIX-like operating systems, such as OS X or those built on the Linux kernel. Though this is unsupported by ArenaNet and NCSoft, various people have reported excellent results running Guild Wars 2 on GNU/Linux.[1][2][3]

How it Works[edit]

Many people believe Wine emulates a Windows environment and that this will result in slower performance than on native Windows. Though Wine can indeed result in slightly slower performance than a native environment, the difference is unlikely to be noticeable because Wine is not an emulator. Wine works by taking the Win32 system calls and redirecting them to your system's native Unix (or Linux) system calls. Wine is more of a compatibility layer than an emulator. Any performance issues under Wine are likely caused by unoptimized graphics card drivers in Linux, which are in general inferior to the proprietary Windows offerings - even when using fglrx for ATI-users or Nvidia's native Linux drivers.

Mac users, too, should notice a difference in performance between OS X and Windows on the same machine, though less significant. While Apple provides good OpenGL drivers for their systems, they aren't up to date with upstream OpenGL and OS X isn't particularly designed for gaming.

Though performance is generally comparable between Windows and Wine, this does not mean the experience will be bug-free. There are currently many known Guild Wars 2 graphical bugs, though the game is considered playable both on WineHQ and on the Crossover database, where both consider it silver.


To run Guild Wars 2 on a non-Windows operating system, you will need to install Wine on your system. Most GNU/Linux distributions offer an installation method of their own; it is advised you use it. Otherwise, you may download it at the official website and follow instructions there. Additionally, you may need to install a proprietary graphics card driver for Guild Wars 2 to function properly. Again, it is recommended you use the installation method or package manager of your own GNU/Linux distribution. For vanilla Ubuntu users, this means using the jockey-gtk tool which is called "Additional Drivers" in the menu.

OS X users may attempt to run Guild Wars 2 using Wineskin; see below for further information.

Running Guild Wars 2 on Linux-based systems by installing it and Wine manually[edit]

Guild Wars 2 can be installed by downloading the Guild Wars 2 Client (available here) to a folder of your choosing, and executing the following command. You may need to replace "Gw2.exe" with the full location of the file if you're not running Wine from the same folder.

wine Gw2.exe -dx9single

The launcher will start and download the necessary data. To run Guild Wars 2, executing the very same command should suffice.

For convenience, in most systems you can also create a desktop shortcut or a link in your Start menu to launch Guild Wars 2. Just make sure that your link executes the above command. When updating, the patcher may crash after a while; however, you can just restart it and continue the download.

Guild Wars 2 Icon for GNU/Linux[edit]

You can use these PNG files on GNU/Linux for your GW2 .desktop files. Different desktop environments will likely have different methods of doing this.

Running on a separate X server[edit]

If you run Guild Wars 2 on a separate X server, it doesn't interrupt other applications on other X servers. If Wine or Guild Wars 2 crashes on one X server, the other remains unaffected. Since separate X servers can be used with different window managers, or even without one, keys can be rebound and not get in the way of playing Guild Wars. If you usually run a compositing window manager (e.g. compiz), you might also see a speed increase, as the visual effect can be disabled on the other X server. On the other hand, minimizing Guild Wars or switching to window mode won't work as expected any more - but you can switch between your regular desktop and Guild Wars anytime usually by using Ctrl-Alt-F7 / -F8 (your mileage may vary). Multiple X servers can also affect overall performance on slower machines.

If you like those features, do as follows: Create a text file containing the command to start Guild Wars 2.

WINEDEBUG=-all wine ~/Gw2.exe

You may need to replace "~/Gw2.exe" with the location you downloaded Gw2.exe to, if it's not located directly in your home folder.

If you are running Ubuntu, you may have to add an extra prefix command to get sound:

WINEDEBUG=-all /usr/bin/ck-launch-session wine ~/Gw2.exe

Save the text file, for example as ~/run_guildwars2, and make it executable.

chmod +x ~/run_guildwars2

To start a second X server with Guild Wars running, execute this command (or add a corresponding shortcut or menu entry):

xinit ~/run_guildwars2 -- :1 -nolisten tcp -br

Note that you may need to enable auto-play to prevent the second X server from closing when the launcher closes.

It may be required to allow normal users to start an X-server, to do this edit the file "/etc/X11/Xwrapper.config" to say "allowed_users=anybody" instead of "allowed_users=console". On Debian based Systems (e.g. *buntu) you can also run the command below to show a neat selection screen.

dpkg-reconfigure x11-common


Crashing Launcher[edit]

As mentioned above the launcher/patcher continuously crashes while downloading. The following helped me to avoid continuous restart of the launcher:

  • setup virtual windows machine in Virtualbox
  • install GW2 using Wine or PlayOnLinux
  • create symbolic link to the installation folder in home directory (only required if the path to installation folder is not accepted by next step)
  • set installation (or link) folder as shared folder with the virtual machine (requires guest additions to be installed)
  • install/update GW2 in virtual machine using shared folder and enjoy playing on Linux using Wine/PlayOnLinux

Freezing Desktop[edit]

This can usually be fixed by running the launcher in a virtual desktop. This can either be achieved by ticking the corresponding option in the Play4Linux settings / winecfg or by using the following command line:

wine explorer desktop=gw2,1024x768 ~/Gw2.exe

Running Guild Wars 2 on Linux-based systems or on OS X using the PlayOn Wine Frontends[edit]

PlayOnLinux is a Crossover-like front-end for Wine that simplifies the installation process of Guild Wars 2. You'll need to download and install PlayOnLinux using binaries available from the PlayOnLinux website or from your distribution's repositories. If you're using Ubuntu, PlayOnLinux is available on the Ubuntu Software Centre. PlayOnMac is a version of PlayOnLinux that has been compiled for Macintosh computers, and is available for download here. PlayOnLinux and PlayOnMac share identical interfaces, and the following instructions should work for both versions.

To install Guild Wars 2 using PlayOnLinux, download, install and launch PlayOnLinux and follow the first run wizard. Then, wait for the message "Refreshing PlayOnLinux" to go away from the bottom pane of the PlayOnLinux window. Once it is finished refreshing, click the "Install" button at the top of the window. This will open a new window. Select "Games" from the sidebar, and select "Guild Wars 2" from the list. (If it does not appear, you will need to check the "Testing" search option.) This will launch a step-by-step wizard that will automatically download and install pre-requisites like DirectX dlls and the Guild Wars 2 installer for you. Once the wizard is complete, Guild Wars 2 will appear in the list of games in your PlayOnLinux main window. Double-clicking it will launch the launcher for Guild Wars 2.

If you use PlayOnLinux, there is no need to manually create .desktop files or set icons for these files, since this is done for you by the wizard.

Note that in some cases playing on fullscreen might freeze your screen. If this happen when you start the game, open the Wine configuration menu for Guild Wars 2 in PlayOn and enable "Emulate a virtual desktop" with your screen resolution as size.

Running Guild Wars 2 on OS X using WineSkin[edit]

You may attempt to run Guild Wars 2 on a Mac using Wineskin.[4] To do this, download Wineskin Winery and install it as you would any other application.

Launch Wineskin Winery and add an engine with the + button. Select the newest one (tested on WS9Wine1.5.2). Then, click "Create New Blank Wrapper", and name it Guild Wars 2. The program will attempt to install a .NET and a Gecko package; cancel both of these. When Wineskin is finished creating the wrapper, it will give you the option to open Finder to the wrapper's location (the default path is /User/Applications/Wineskin/Guild Wars Do this, and drag the wrapper to your normal Applications folder for easy access.

Double-click on the wrapper to run the Wineskin setup wizard. Select "Advanced" and in the "Windows EXE" textbox paste the following:

/Program Files/Guild Wars 2/Gw2.exe

Some users report that putting this command in the EXE flags box can improve the gameplay experience:


You may set an icon for your wrapper if you wish using the "Browse" button in the bottom right-hand corner of the Configuration pane. Icons formatted for Mac are available in the section below.

At the bottom of the Wineskin Advanced window, select "Set Screen Options" and make sure the "Decorate Windows" box is checked. Now, exit Wineskin. Right-click on your wrapper and select "Show Package Contents". Double-click the alias called "drive_c" and open Program Files. Create a new folder here, and name it "Guild Wars 2" (without quotes). Then, drag your Guild Wars 2 resources (the GW2.dat file and GW2.exe) into this folder. Now, when you double-click your wrapper, Guild Wars 2 should launch.

Guild Wars 2 Icon for OS X[edit]

You can use this ICNS file on a Mac for your GW2 Wineskin or WineBottler app.

Guild Wars 2 OS X Beta Client[edit]

Arenanet have recently released a Beta Client for Mac. More information here. here.


Guild Wars 2 experiences some bugs and issues when running in Wine. They are currently best documented at Guild Wars 2's WineHQ and Crossover profiles. Some can be solved with program arguments, like the freezing during character creation or a black screen when launching the game, which can be solved with the "-dx9single" flag. Others are hardware dependent, like the NVIDIA precipitation bug. For more information on these bugs and fixes, visit one of the two profiles above.

If your game is running slow in Wineskin, try this:

At some point you should be able to access the Wineskin Advanced Settings. Go to the Tools tab and select Winetricks. Search for "directx9" (it will appear under DLLs), select the checkbox next to its name, and press Run. It might take a few minutes to download and extract, but eventually you'll be presented with the familiar DirectX patcher UI. Install it, then close Winetricks. Now "Test Run" your new Guild Wars 2 wrapper to start patching.

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ Guild Wars 2 on Linux - Youtube
  2. ^ WineDB entry for Guild Wars 2
  3. ^ Guild Wars 2 on Linux - It Works -
  4. ^ Discussion on Reddit