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Some enemies aggro when players attack other foes they are allied with, indicated by crossed swords icon.

Aggro refers to gaining, controlling and losing the aggression of hostile NPCs and any related mechanics in general.

Generic NPC enemies will typically select targets based primarily on a range calculation, meaning the character or allied NPC such as minion or pet closest to the hostile NPC will hold its attention.[1] Additionally, some NPCs are stationary, while others have a defined movement path or a defined aggression territory.

There are additional factors which influence enemy aggression, and some creatures have unique aggro conditions and mechanics.[2] For example, many raid and strike mission boss encounters have special Fixated effects, designed to provide a controllable aggro mechanic.


While in combat, player characters and other creatures will generate threat against enemies. The player or creature with the highest threat will gain the aggro of the enemy or enemies if there are no other factors that may direct the enemies' aggro elsewhere (see below).

Threat table[edit]

Most hostile NPC enemies maintain an internal threat table which functions on a simple priority-queue principle: The head of the queue is occupied by the player that has the most threat and the tail of the queue is occupied by the player that has accumulated the least threat. The amount of threat does not only include damage-per-second; many NPCs are attracted to certain conditions, such as proximity, total damage dealt over time, or if a player has a high amount of toughness.

Gaining threat[edit]

There are multiple ways to increase threat generation towards an enemy. These are typically cumulative. The actual aggro effectiveness of various threats depends on multiple factors which can vary greatly between enemies.

  • Having the highest score in a certain defensive attribute such as toughness. [3]
  • Being the closest or farthest target (e.g. Captain Mai Trin's pistol shot is usually aimed towards the person farthest from her).
  • Dealing the most damage or attacks in a certain amount of time or in total (e.g. the Thaumanova Anomaly).
  • Having the lowest character level (Mastery level is not counted).
  • Attacking a related enemy, for example part of the same event (e.g. attacking a Toxic Knight during a Toxic Offshoot event can cause a Toxic Nimross to rush to the location).
  • (Rarely) Being in downed state. (e.g. Legendary Bandit Executioners will focus downed state players, becoming temporarily vulnerable to crowd control skills.) Such a high spike in aggro is very rarely seen.

Unconfirmed factors:

Losing threat[edit]

Players who have gained unwanted threat or aggro can lose it in several ways. Effects can be cumulative or they can be ignored by specific enemies.

  • Gaining Stealth will immediately drop aggro, but may not cause threat generation to decrease.
  • Dealing less damage
  • Moving far away or to a place enemies cannot reach
  • Being downed[verification requested]

Aggro and tanking[edit]

There are multiple ways to gain and hold the aggro of a hostile enemy. The actual effectiveness of each condition depends on the enemy creature's A.I. and other factors.

  • Being Fixated.png Fixated
  • Using Taunt.png Taunt (Does not work against enemies with a defiance bar)
  • Individually scripted decisions and other mechanics. For example:
  • Having the highest score in a certain attribute, usually toughness.
  • Being the closest or furthest target.
  • Dealing the most damage or number of attacks in a certain time period.
  • Having the lowest character level (Mastery level is not counted).
  • Maintaining threat on the enemy (see above).

Enemies who no longer have aggro to any players or creatures will leave combat and either begin regenerating to full health or despawn until the encounter is properly reset.


Tanking is often done to prevent dangerous enemies from downing less survivable characters or from defeating mission-crucial NPCs. Tanking in Guild Wars 2 does not require for a character to be a specific profession.[4]

Tanking may also be a mandatory combat mechanic in certain encounters, for which players will need to prepare accordingly. Certain raid and fractal bosses in particular have highly specified conditions for which player they will focus on. Tanks are often required to make use of defensive skills and effects, positioning so that the battle is advantageous to the player's side, or perform other encounter-specific strategies and mechanics.

See also[edit]