Command line arguments

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Command-Line Arguments are directives which are added to the start up command of the game executable. There are directives which change the client's behavior, streamline player login and enable diagnostics.

Command line arguments can be prefixed with either "-" or "/", so these are the same:

/clientport 80
-clientport 80

Arguments can be separated by space (" ") or colon (":"), so these are the same:

-clientport 80

Using Command-Line Arguments[edit]

Windows via shortcut

You can execute switches directly from your Guild Wars 2 shortcut:

  1. Right click on your Guild Wars 2 shortcut and select 'Properties'.
  2. In the 'Target Area' field you will see the location of your Guild Wars 2 executable file:
    ...\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe
  3. Write the desired command line arguments after the quote marks, each beginning with a space:
    "...\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe" -perf -windowed
Windows via start/run

If you don't plan on using an argument frequently, it can be easier to use the Windows' Run command for a single invocation.

  1. Click the "Start" button
  2. Select "Run" (not required for Windows 7)
  3. Enter the path to the GW2.exe in quotes followed by the arguments you wish to use (same as above, but in a single line).
  4. Press enter.
  1. Right/ctrl-click and choose ShowPackageContent
  2. Find Contents>Resources>CiderSettings.plist
  3. Using TextEdit find this line:
  4. <string>--cmdline ""</string>
  5. Add the command line arguments you want between the quotation marks like this:
  6. <string>--cmdline "-testVerticalFov"</string>
macOS from terminal shell

Replace "/Applications/Guild\ Wars\" for your game path, and "autologin" for your command line option.

  • 32-bit client
    /Applications/Guild\ Wars\ -use-dos-cwd C:Gw2 -- C:\\GW2\\GW2.exe -autologin
  • 64-bit client
    /Applications/Guild\ Wars\ 2\ -autologin
Via PATH variables

An alternative is to add the GW2 directory to your user PATH environment variable. This allows gw2 to be executed as a command line command, enabling easy access to arguments. After performing the following, GW2 can be invoked as "gw2 -<argument string>" from the command line:

  1. Start the "run" dialogue, either with Win-R, or by hitting the windows key, entering "run", and hitting enter.
  2. Enter the following command, without quotes: "control sysdm.cpl", and hit enter to run it.
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Press the "Environment variables" button at the bottom.
  5. Double click the PATH variable under "user variables", the top section.
  6. Prefix the list with "<install directory>;" (without quotes and with the semi-colon)
Via Settings.json

Added with the June 2017 PvP Feature Pack, Settings.json is a file that can be placed in the following locations:

  • For Windows: %APPDATA%\Guild Wars 2\Settings.json
  • For macOS:
    • 32-bit: ~/Library/Application Support/Guild Wars 2/p_drive/User/Application Data/Guild Wars 2/Settings.json
    • 64-bit: ~/Library/Application Support/Guild Wars 2/Settings.json

A Settings.json must be valid JSON or it will be ignored without warning. Here is an example one:


List of Command-Line Arguments[edit]


Forces the game to run in 32-bit mode.

-assetsrv <string>[edit]

Used to specify the IP-address or DNS-name to use for downloading assets.

-authsrv [string][edit]

Specifies the IP or DNS that can be used to connect to a login server.


Logs in automatically, if the client has been set to remember the Account Name and Password.


Forces the game to create lossless screenshots as .BMP files.
  • Used for creating higher-quality screenshots at the expense of much larger files.

-clientport 80[edit]

Instructs the client to connect to the game servers over port 80 (HTTP) instead of 6112 (commonly used for games).
  • Some ISPs may prioritize traffic at certain times, and some networks may block port 6112. This may be useful to avoid such scenarios.
  • Some ISPs, networks, and other forms of MITM attacks may modify traffic on port 80 which will lead to issues with the GW2 client if this option is used.

-clientport 443[edit]

Instructs the client to connect to the game servers over port 443 (HTTPS) instead of 6112 (commonly used for games).
  • Some ISPs may prioritize traffic at certain times, and some networks may block port 6112. This may be useful to avoid such scenarios.
  • Some ISPs, networks, and other forms of MITM attacks may modify traffic on port 443 which will lead to issues with the GW2 client if this option is used (this is less-likely to occur than with port 80).


[verification requested]

Copies all the files in the current dat file to a new dat file.

-dat [string][edit]

Uses the specified file instead of the default GW2.dat file.


Instead of launching the game, this command creates a detailed diagnostic file that contains diagnostic data that can be used for troubleshooting. The file, NetworkDiag.log, will be located in your game directory or "Documents\Guild Wars . If you want to use this feature, be sure to create a separate shortcut for it.


Enables the Direct3D 9c renderer in single-threaded mode.
  • This improves performance while running under Wine in most cases.


Uses Forward Rendering instead of Deferred Rendering.
  • Shadows and lighting may not render properly.
  • This may improve overall framerate for certain graphics cards.

-fps [number][edit]

Sets maximum frames per second parameter.
This setting only has an effect while in the character selection screen and resets to the Frame Limiter setting configured in the Graphics Display Options when the game world is entered.


Runs the patch UI only in order to download any available updates; closes immediately without loading the login form.
  • Recommended: Create an extra Guild Wars 2 shortcut (e.g. "Guild Wars 2 Updater") specifically to use this command line switch.


Enables the creation of a log file, used mostly by Support. The path for the generated file usually is:
  • Windows: %APPDATA%\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.log.
  • macOS:
    • 32-bit: ~/Library/Application Support/Guild Wars 2/p_drive/User/Application Data/Guild Wars 2/Gw2.log
    • 64-bit: ~/Library/Application Support/Guild Wars 2/Gw2.log
Note: %APPDATA% is an Environment Variable, which usually translates into C:\Users\<Your Windows Account Name>\AppData\Roaming by default. See Environment Variable.


Shows diagnostic information during map loads, including load percentages and elapsed time.


Start the client with Windows Media Center compatibility, switching the game to full screen and restarting Media Center (if available) after the client is closed.


Disable delta patching when updating game files.


Hides the user interface during the update process.
  • This command must be used in conjunction with the -email and -password arguments to function, or it will result in a black screen.


Disables music and background music.


Disables the user interface. This does the same thing as pressing Ctrl Shift H in the game.


Disables audio system completely.

-portal <string>[edit]

Used to specify the IP-address or DNS-name to use for connecting to a portal/gate server.


Resets game settings.


Start the client, checks the files for errors and repairs them as needed. This can take a long time (1/2 hour or an hour) to run as it checks the entire contents of the 20-30 gigabyte archive.
  • This is rarely necessary as the archive is always checking for errors as it runs; if it finds an error, it will schedule a repair for the next time the game starts.
  • The archive reads and writes certain parts of the disk fairly frequently; if you are getting a lot of disk errors, this is a sign that your drive may be dying.


Opens the Gw2.dat file in shared mode so that it can be accessed from other processes while the game is running.


Spreads user interface across all monitors in a triple monitor setup.


Presents the uninstall dialog. If uninstall is accepted, it deletes the contents of the Guild Wars 2 installation folder except GW2.EXE itself and any manually created subfolders. Contents in subfolders (if any) are not deleted.


Disables the widescreen field-of-view enhancements and restores the original field-of-view.


Used to verify the .dat file.


Forces Guild Wars 2 to run in windowed mode.
In game, you can switch to windowed mode by pressing Alt+Enter or clicking the window icon in the upper right corner.

-umbra gpu[edit]

Forces the use of Umbra's GPU accelerated culling.
  • This may result in higher CPU usage, lower GPU usage, and an overall decrease in framerate.

Deprecated Command-Line Arguments[edit]

The following arguments are found in the client, but do not produce a verifiable effect. Some worked at one time, but were later removed from the game (usually without explanation).


Used to display the installer dialog.

-audio <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.

-cinema <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.

-combatlog <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


Allows the game to offload some processing through the use of NVIDIA CUDA. CUDA does not appear to do anything noticeable, but CUDA is used in programming the GPU architecture of a Nvidia graphics processing unit.

-defaultcharname <string>[edit]

String will be entered as the name during character creation.

-defaultLang <string>[edit]

Specified the default language the client will use.

-email [string][edit]

Used in conjunction with -password and -nopatchui to skip patching and login to the specified account directly.
note: does NOT change email address in Patcher-login screen. Thus it cannot be used WITHOUT -nopatchui.

Disabled as part of the January 22, 2019 update due security reasons.[1]


Unknown effects.


Closes launcher or game client immediately after starting it.

-filesrv <string>[edit]

Once used to specify the file server.


used by GW when re-starting gw2.exe after using the "Log Out" button on the character select screen.
Unknown effects.

-lang <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


Specified the location of the local data file.
performs the same function as -dat, does NOT specify the local.dat under My Documents\Guild Wars 2

-map <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


to run 2+ accounts at the same time. Non Functional -July 28,2013


Prevented the game from patching on launch (the launcher can get stuck at 0% during checking for updates however).

-password [string][edit]

Enabled auto-log-in with the specified password and either (A) was used with the -email option or (B) details have previously been saved using the "Remember Account Name" checkbox. This argument must not be preceded by any other argument other than -email. The -nopatchui argument must also be specified for this to work (as of Oct 13, 2012). This argument implies -autologin.
WARNING: This will store your password in the shortcut in plain text, readable by anyone. Putting your password in a shortcut or a batch file makes it easily accessible to anyone who can access your computer. It is strongly recommended not to use this command line due to the nature of your password being exposed in plain text and putting your account information at risk.
"<...>\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe" -email -password 12345 -nopatchui
Note If your password includes spaces, it needs to be enclosed in quote marks.
"<...>\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe" -email -password "1234 5" -nopatchui

Disabled as part of the January 22, 2019 update due security reasons.[1]


Displayed performance indicators such as; Triangles, memory usage, frames per second and transfer rate in bytes per second are displayed in multi-colored text in the middle of the right side of the Guild Wars 2 window. Support for this was removed in BWE2.

-portalalias <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


Enabled by default. Was previously used to test the beta version of the Streaming Client. [1]

-token <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.

-tokenpassword <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.


Unknown effects.


Enabled by default. Was previously used to trigger the GUI launcher.


Launched the game using an old style launcher which also allows users to see the old style login screen with music.
Allowed people to use the pre-July 2012 update launcher (which did not check hardware configuration and used a different set of logon fields); was primarily useful for people using Virtual Machine. Disabled as part of the August 21, 2012 update.

-userid <string>[edit]

Unknown effects.