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Disambig icon.png This article is about beta tests run by ArenaNet pre-release. For the Asura Personal Story quest, see Beta Test.

Guild Wars 2 entered the beta testing stage in December 2011. There were several types of beta events:

  • Closed beta (CB) — These are invitation-only tests; discussion of their content is protected by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
  • Beta weekend events (BWE) — All players that pre-purchased Guild Wars 2 may participate. Players may share media and impressions from these events.
  • Stress tests — These are not true events, but are really just short testing sessions usually lasting a few hours to test the performance of game servers. NDAs are selectively applied to this type of beta event.
  • Open beta (OB) — These are completely open tests where every player of Guild Wars 2 in good standing may participate, even those who have not pre-purchased the associated expansion or are on a free-to-play account. Also classified by ArenaNet as 'Preview Weekend Experience'.

End of Dragons[edit]

Elite Specialization Beta Events[edit]

Four elite specialization beta events were available to all players, including free to play players. During each beta event, players were given access to three beta character slots that allowed them to create fully equipped level 80 beta characters that could access a selection of the then current iterrations of the upcoming End of Dragons elite specializations to try them in existing PvE, World vs. World, Player vs. Player, and open-world content.[1]

Beta Character Limitations
  • Progress is not carried over from beta characters to live characters.
  • Beta characters do not share normal account-wide inventory with non-beta characters, e.g., wallet, shared inventory slots, and bank access.
  • Beta characters cannot access the trading post.
  • Beta characters cannot mail gold or items.
  • Beta characters have access to a copy of your account's Legendary Armory. Legendary items newly added to your Legendary Armory while a beta event is in progress will not be usable by beta characters during that beta event.
  • Beta characters cannot enter guild halls as of August 17.
  • Beta characters cannot participate in ranked PvP matches as of September 21.

Beta Event 1: August 17, 2021 — August 21, 2021[edit]

During this beta event players had access to the three elite specializations for the Mesmer, Necromancer and Guardian.

Beta Event 2: September 21, 2021 — September 25, 2021[edit]

During this beta event players had access to the three elite specializations for the Revenant, Warrior and Elementalist.

Beta Event 3: October 26, 2021 — October 30, 2021[edit]

During this beta event players had access to the three elite specializations for the Thief, Ranger and Engineer.

Beta Event 4: November 30, 2021 — December 4, 2021[edit]

During this beta event players had access to all elite specializations and to the Siege Turtle.[2][3]

Path of Fire[edit]

Preview Weekend Events[edit]

BWE1 — August 11, 2017[edit]

Access to the second Guild Wars 2 expansion, Path of Fire is open to all players in good standing on the weekend of August 11-13, 2017 with the first open-world map (Crystal Oasis) and the new Mount system being shown off to all players.

BWE2 — August 18, 2017[edit]

Access to the new Elite specializations included with Path of Fire will be granted to all players in good standing on demo characters in both PvP and WvW game modes on the weekend of August 18-20, 2017.

Heart of Thorns[edit]

Closed beta tests[edit]

CBT1 — March 24, 2015[edit]

Access to the first Heart of Thorns closed beta was granted to a selected few pulled from the pool of existing players and additional users who were signed up for the newsletter.[5]

This beta allowed players to explore limited areas in Verdant Brink in Heart of Maguuma as well as play a demo of the first story instance. The revenant was a playable-profession.

CBT2 — May 26, 2015[edit]

Guaranteed access to this closed beta was granted to players who received a Portal to the Heart of Maguuma between April 28 and May 10, 2015 and some players who signed up for the newsletter also received access.

This beta was similar to the previous version, with additional areas and activities of Verdant Brink unlocked. The Mastery interface was redesigned and the story instance was extended.

Stronghold tests[edit]

Events for the structured PvP game mode feature the Battle of Champion's Dusk.

Desert Borderlands tests[edit]

Events for the World versus World Desert Borderlands are limited to invited players only.

Beta weekend events[edit]

Accounts that have pre-purchased Heart of Thorns gain access to each Beta weekend event.

BWE1 — August 7-10, 2015[edit]

The first public Beta Weekend Event was from August 7 at 19:00 to August 10 at 19:00

BWE2 — September 4-6, 2015[edit]

The second public Beta Weekend Event was from September 4 at 19:00 to September 6 at 6:59

  • Beta characters (4 slots) were available to accounts that have prepurchased and can play in every game mode, gaining access to:
  • Stronghold was active for all players

BWE3 — October 2-4, 2015[edit]

The third public Beta Weekend Event was from October 2 at 19:00 to October 4 at 6:59

Other pre-release events[edit]

  • Revenant Test Weekend (July 10-13, 2015) — players who pre-purchased the game gain access to the revenant profession and are able to play in all game modes


Closed beta tests[edit]

CBT1 — December 16, 2011[edit]

ArenaNet announced on the 14th of December, 2011, that closed beta testing would start on that Friday, the 16th. Aside from the date, nothing else was known about this first closed beta event. [6]

CBT2 — February 17–19, 2012[edit]

The test in February was the first widely-publicized closed beta; various members of the media were invited to take part.[7] While the non-disclosure agreement surrounding was not lifted[8], select members of the press were allowed to talk about their experiences with the beta starting on Monday, February 20. The following is a partial list of their reports:

Closed beta registration[edit]

On the 22nd of February, ArenaNet offered players the opportunity to register to participate in future beta events; they received over 1 million applications in a little over 48 hours.[9] Registration has since closed; invitees to future closed beta tests will be chosen from the original pool.

CBT3 — March 23—25, 2012[edit]

The third closed beta event included selected members of the press and a large number of players selected from the registration pool above. Testing followed a similar pattern to the second. Although invited players were covered by the NDA, individual publications were cleared to release relevant media beginning on March 26.

This event concluded with an Inquest Invasion of Divinity's Reach.

Beta weekend events[edit]

For access to the client or for troubleshooting common issues with installing or running the client, refer to Getting Started.

Beta weekend events ran between noon Pacific time on the designated Friday and ended at 11:59 p.m. Pacific on the following Sunday. Participation in all public beta events was guaranteed to those who pre-purchased Guild Wars 2.[10] Additionally, ArenaNet selectively invited additional players who registered for beta testing for one or more such beta events. The beta testing registration was announced on February 22, 2012 and was opened for 48 hours.[11]

Beta weekend events were not restricted by non-disclosure agreements; players are free to share their experiences.

BWE1 — April 27–29, 2012[edit]

The first Beta Weekend Event began on Friday, April 27, at noon PDT (UTC-7) (start time for other timezones) and ended on Sunday, April 29, at 11:59 p.m. PDT (UTC-7) (end time for other timezones).

Special codes were handed out to visitors of PAX East 2012. These were handed out on cards that contained three codes saying "One for you, and two for your buddies." These codes allowed access into the first Beta Weekend Event only.

See also:

BWE2 — June 8-10, 2012[edit]

The second Beta Weekend Event began on Friday, June 8, at noon PDT (UTC-7) (start time for other timezones) and ended on Sunday, June 10, at 11:59 p.m. PDT (UTC-7) (end time for other timezones). Shortly before the event, ArenaNet published a list of known issues.

Notable features & changes[edit]
  • Notable changes:
    • Characters created during the first BWE were still available for this event, allowing players to continue through to higher level areas. Like the previous BWE, only charr, human and norn races were available for character creation.
    • Transfers between worlds were free until halfway through the event (June 10, 6PM PDT). For the second half, transfers required payment of 1800 Gem.png and could only be made once.
    • Every account received 500 Gem.png for free and each was offered an additional 2,000 Gem.png for providing a valid credit card. (Unspent gems from the original BWE did not carry forward).[13][14]
    • Updated the PvP reward system for Structured PvP and added automated 5v5 tournaments.
    • Several junk items were removed and replaced with the Deleted Item object.
    • The feature where dye seeds were taken to an NPC to grow for 24 hours has been removed. Players could now double-click on the item to gain its benefits.
    • Added tiers to both utility skills and elite skills as well as the trait system. Players were required to re-assign their points in these areas from the last BWE.
    • The Black Lion Trading Company out of Lion's Arch officially took over operations of the Gem Store, Currency Exchange, and Trading Post.
    • Other systems such as combat, chat, key-binding and the user interface also saw notable changes.
  • Additional content:
  • Servers/connectivity:
    • Doubled the number of available home worlds from 48 to 96; several European-based servers were designated as French or German.
    • Updated the overflow system to reduce the likelihood of ending up in an overflow and to make it easier for groups to stay together.

The Beta Weekend finale took place on June 10, 11:20pm PST, where the branded minions of Kralkatorrik invaded the Plains of Ashford during the simultaneous events Repel the invading dragon forces and Destroy and corrupt everything in your master's image. If a player was killed by one of the branded, they would turn into one themselves. Subsequently, characters would receive a set of five skills to use and had their affinity changed to hostile, allowing them to attack unaffected characters.

BWE3 — July 20-22, 2012[edit]

ArenaNet announced[15] on June 28, 2012 that the third and final Beta Weekend Event would take place from Friday, July 20 at noon PDT (UTC-7) (start time for other timezones) and end on Sunday, July 22, at 11:59 p.m. PDT (UTC-7) (end time for other timezones).

Notable features & changes[edit]
  • All characters and account data were wiped before this event, except for the contacts list.
  • Some worlds, such as Kaineng and Sharpe's Corner, were not available for selection during this beta, resulting in increased populations on the remaining worlds.
  • The Gem Store allowed gems to be purchased, either directly with a credit card or through PayPal.
    • Any gems purchased during BWE3 will be re-credited to your account on launch.
  • Additional content:
  • The weekend concluded with the finale "Hunger Royale" in which players were split into teams. They were given supplies and food, but after the food ran out, they were left with a debuff that slowly killed you of hunger.
See also

Stress tests[edit]

Stress tests were minor beta tests that ran for a limited time (less than 24 hours). They focused on collecting data about server performance and testing improvements to the game's infrastructure. Public stress tests were open to all players who have pre-purchased a copy of Guild Wars 2.

  • An invitation-only, closed stress test took place on 13th of April, 2012.[16]
  • The first public stress test was on 14th of May, 2012, from 11 AM - 6 PM PDT (-7 GMT).[17]
  • The second stress test was on 27th of June, 2012, originally scheduled from 10 AM - 2 PM PDT (-7 GMT)[18] but extended to 10 AM - 3 PM PDT (-7 GMT).[19]
  • The third stress test was on August 2nd, 2012, from 12 PM - 4 PM PDT. [20]
  • The fourth stress test was on August 9th, 2012, from 12 PM - 4 PM PDT. [21]
  • The fifth stress test was on August 10th, 2012, from 4 PM - 8 PM PDT. [22]
  • The sixth stress test was held on August 12th, 2012, from 11 AM - 12 PM PDT. [23]
  • The seventh stress test was held on August 15th, 2012, from 12 PM - 4 PM PDT. [24]
  • The eighth stress test was held on August 21st, 2012, from 12 PM - 4 PM PDT, but was extended to 6 PM PDT. [25]
  • The ninth stress test was held on August 22, 2012, from 9:10 PM PDT - 10:10 PM PDT. [26]
  • The tenth stress test was held on August 23, 2012, from 1:20 PM PDT - 2:20 PM PDT. [27]


  • ArenaNet sometimes referred to their non-closed beta events as public beta events, indicating that they were open to the general public who pre-purchased the game.

See also[edit]