An instance is a copy of a game area which is created and maintained by the server for use by a small group of players. Others who enter the same area are given their own copy of the same area so are not visible to other groups already in the same area.
Guild Wars 2 is mostly persistent and only uses instances for certain content.
- Creating an instance
- When a player in a party attempts to enter an instance, all other party members in the same location will be prompted to join.
- All members of the party must be in the same zone, but not necessarily the same instance within that zone.
- Each party member has about 15 seconds to accept. If any party member declines or the timer expires, then all other party members will enter the instance.
- Closing an instance
- If all party members leave an instance, the instance will be closed and progress will be lost.
- If the host leaves the instance or party, then all other party members will be automatically kicked out of the instance. This does not apply to dungeons as of September 2014 Feature Pack.
List of instanced locations
- Dungeons — dungeons are designed and balanced to be a challenge for a small group so are instanced to support this.
- Personal story — Much of the personal story occurs in instances so the player can participate in a story where they are the hero.
- Home instance — A portion of each race's capital city is instanced per character. This means there is a part of the city which updates as the character plays through the game.
- Structured PvP — Each match is limited to the amount of players active. Players can join Custom Arenas while a match is already in progress.
- Many instances are shown on the map as being inside an existing map's or section's area with an exclusion zone marked out visibly. Some areas, such as the Chantry of Secrets, do not have this marking.