Graphical user interface

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The graphical user interface (GUI) is the interface displayed on top of the player's view of the world. The interface features overlay information, head-up display (HUD) elements (such as the skill bar), and movable panels. It is primarily mouse-driven, but certain functions may be assigned keyboard shortcuts (some of which are bound by default).

Note: All keyboard shortcuts provided in this article are the game's default bindings.

Overlay information[edit]


A player character's nameplate

All NPCs and player characters in the world have nameplates denoting various bits of information about them, including their name and level. For players, the number can be yellow instead of green, indicating the number of unlocked Masteries instead of their level. NPCs have their role displayed along with their name (such as '[Merchant]' ), while players have their current title listed under their name if the player chooses to display one, and represented guild name and tag displayed. If a player's character has attained world completion, that character will have a small star displayed on their nameplate as well, to the left of character level. A miniature health-bar is also shown.

Unless a character is selected, only the name and guild tag portion of their nameplate is displayed. Holding Left Alt displays the whole nameplates of nearby allies. Holding Left Ctrl displays the whole nameplates of nearby enemies. Options exist to have nameplates be shown all the time for enemies or allies.

Certain special or functional NPCs have an icon displayed above their head, regardless of whether they are selected. These include vendors, scouts, NPCs with roles in events, key personal story characters, and many others. Downed players and pets also have an icon displayed above their heads.

The currently selected target is marked with a small downwards pointing arrow above the head and a circle around the feet.

Targets may be called on selected NPCs and players with Ctrl+T, which displays a large red Call Target.png target reticle above their head. Other players may then switch straight to this target by pressing T.

Players can choose to display a Commander tag (red).png Commander tag or Mentoring Badge.png Mentoring Badge above their heads to make it easier for other players to find and follow them.

During PvP League seasons players will have a badge next to their name depending on which division they're in. Bronze Division Badge.png Silver Division Badge.png Gold Division Badge.png Platinum Division Badge.png Legendary Division Badge (Season Five).png After a PvP season has ended, players will have the badge for the division they were in when the season ended.

Character nameplates are color-coded based on their relationship with the player character at that time:

  • Red text — Hostile enemy.
  • Yellow text — Neutral (turns hostile if attacked). Inanimate.
  • Green text — NPC ally.
  • Teal text — Player ally.
  • Gold text — Fellow player guild member.
  • Blue text — Party member. Your pet. Your minion.
  • White text — Ambient creature, neutral and dies in one hit.

Note: Nameplates should not be confused with the target indicator.

Combat indicators[edit]

Critical hit floating text.
A skill combo icon with the name of the resulting effect.

Floating combat text appears above in-world elements as damage is dealt or received. This text is color-coded as follows:

  • White text — damage dealt.
  • Yellow text — barrier damage dealt.
  • Red text — damage received.
  • Green text — healing provided or received.
  • Light blue text — barrier applied to allies.
  • Critical hits are shown with slightly larger text in a red splash
  • If a skill combo occurs, a heart-shaped icon and the name of the resulting effect are shown


Adjusting HUD elements[edit]

The position and size of certain HUD elements can be changed. These elements include the chat panel and the compass. Both can be resized within certain bounds, and can have their positions swapped with other elements on the same respective sides of the screen.

The chat panel can be swapped with the party interface by dragging on the space to the right of the chat tabs. Drag it towards the party interface until a white rectangular outline appears. Then release the mouse button and the elements will swap places.

The compass can be swapped with the elements in the top-right corner of the screen in exactly the same manner.

Skill bar[edit]

Primary article: Skill bar
The skill bar of a guardian.

The skill bar displays the icons of a character's currently equipped skills. Skills can be activated by clicking on their icon, or by pressing their assigned keyboard shortcut - which is displayed beneath the skill icon.

  • 15 Weapon skills: Slots one to five activate weapon related attacks.
    • By default, the first skill auto-attacks after attacking a foe.
    • The auto attack skill can be changed by pressing Left Ctrl+Right-Click while the cursor is over a different skill icon (except for targeted skills).
  • 6 Healing skill: The sixth slot (immediately to the right of the health orb) is a designated healing skill.
  • 79 Utility skills: Slots seven through nine represent the character's utility skills.
  • 0 Elite skill: The last slot is for the character's elite skill.

Skills that require the player to target them have a red target reticule around the keyboard shortcut, below the skill icon.

The skill bar indicates whether the selected target is out of range of a skill by showing a red line beneath that skill's icon.

Weapon swap[edit]

Primary article: Weapon swap
Weapon Swap button.
Drop button.

The weapon swap button (to the left of the skill bar) switches between the two equipped weapon sets. The feature is unlocked at level 10, it is bound by default to `. Both the elementalist and engineer professions, who have access to attunements and kits respectively, can't swap their weapon sets while in combat or inside a started PVP match.

After picking up a bundle (or other non-weapon items) the weapon swap button changes to a drop button. In addition, holding a bundle changes your available weapon skills (15). Clicking the drop button drops the held item and restores the currently equipped weapon's skills.

Template select[edit]

Primary article: Template

The template select is located directly above the weapon swap button. This selection provides quick access to changing your character's available build templates and equipment templates.

Mount button[edit]

The skill bar of a roller beetle.
Primary article: Mount

The mount button (to the right of the skill bar) summons and mounts your current mount selection. Mounts can be activated (mounted) by clicking on their icon, or by pressing their assigned keyboard shortcut - which is displayed beneath the mount icon. Mounting your mount will active the mount's skill bar and the button will change to the dismount button.

Above the mount button is a mount select that allows you to change the current mount for which the button will use.

Novelty button[edit]

Primary article: Novelty

The novelty button is directly below the mount button. The button is a generic symbol with a select adjacent to it. The button activates the currently selected novelty. The select allows you to change the type of novelty activated by the button (e.g. tonic, toy). Individual novelties must be changed in the hero panel.

Profession mechanic bar[edit]

Primary article: Profession mechanic

The profession mechanic bar (F1F5) appears above the weapon skills (to the upper-left of the health orb). Its features depend on the character's profession mechanic:

Elite specializations have the capability of altering the contents of the profession mechanic bar.

Special action skill[edit]

See also: Special action skill

In certain content, a special action skill will appear above the profession mechanic bar. This button follows the same principles as typical skill bar skills.

Active effects monitor[edit]

See also: Effect

The active effects monitor shows current conditions, boons, and other effects on the character. This appears above the right-hand side of the skill bar - the healing and utility skills.

Health orb[edit]

See also: Health

The red health orb divides the skill bar into two halves. It is a visual indicator of the player character's current health relative to their maximum health. The current health value is also displayed as a white number in the center of the orb. Hovering over the orb displays a tooltip showing the character's current and maximum health.

A little Repairs shield yellow damage.png yellow shield is displayed below the orb if the character has some damaged armor, as a result of being defeated. If an armor piece is broken, the shield becomes cracked and red. Repairs shield red broken.png Hovering the icon shows what piece of armor is damaged/broken. Damaged or broken armor may be repaired at no cost at Equipment Repairs NPCs or anvils spread around the world.

Endurance bar[edit]

See also: Endurance

The endurance bar is the yellow arc above the health orb. It shows how much endurance the player character has available for dodging. A player is able to dodge twice without waiting for endurance regeneration, which is indicated by the line through the center of the arc.

Experience bar[edit]

Left side of the Experience bar.
Right side of the Experience bar.

The experience bar runs along the entire bottom edge of the screen, beneath the skill bar. Hovering over the bar displays a tooltip showing the current progress towards the next level.

On the left end is the player's current level. This number is accompanied by the player's effective level in green, if the player character's level has been dynamically adjusted.

The amount of the bar filled with experience depicts the character's progress towards the item displayed at the right end of the experience bar. If the player character is below level 80, the right end of the experience bar shows the next level. If the player character has reached level 80, the experience bar shows progress on the current mastery track while playing Heart of Thorns or Path of Fire material.

During structured PvP the experience bar is replaced with a PvP Rank bar, which shows your progress to the next rank increase.


The compass.

The compass shows an overhead view of various features centered around the player character. Locations obscured from above are revealed after the character travels nearby - this applies primarily to underground and underwater passages. Zoomed in, the horizontal and vertical range of the compass is 4250 units and the diagonal range is 6000 units.

On the right-hand side are the following icons:

  • Zoom In - Zooms in by one notch.
  • Zoom Out - Zooms out by one notch.
  • Pan to Story - Pans the view of the compass to the location of the next personal story step.
  • Toggle Rotation / Pan to Character - Toggles whether upwards on the compass is always north, or the direction the camera is facing in. If the character is not in the central position on the compass, pans the view to the character.
  • World Map - Opens the fullscreen world map; shortcut M.

The compass can also be configured to display a clock in the corner, either displaying local time, server time or Tyrian time. Whether the clock is in 12 or 24-hour format depends on the system time settings - configured outside of the game. Tyrian time refers to the in-game time cycle as seen by the in-game day/night cycle.

The compass shares much of its information and graphical markers with the larger map interface. In addition to the icons shown on the world map, the compass also shows:

Many of the compass icons will display a symbol next to it to show the relative altitude between it and the player character:

  • Above.png - Item is above player character
  • Below.png - Item is below player character

Like with the world map, holding down Shift allows a player to ping points,or draw white lines by clicking and dragging with the right mouse button. Clicking on the compass while holding Alt will place a personal waypoint that displays an icon for the player and all party members, both on the compass and on the world map. Commanders have the capabilities of placing additional icons for their squad members to see.

Content guide[edit]

The Content Guide points the way to nearby events, renown hearts, scouts, and unexplored areas. Check here if you're ever lost and looking for something to do!

— In-game description.

The content guide acts as a compass that points towards the nearest story instance starting point, event or map completion objective, depending on its setting:

  • Default - Will point only towards the next story objective until all available story is complete.
  • Off - Disables the content guide altogether.
  • Disable Personal Story - The content guide ignores story objectives, and prioritizes objectives as follows:
    • Renown hearts based on distance to the character and character level.
    • Nearest event within the currently revealed parts of the map.
    • Other map completion objectives and unexplored areas.
  • Disable Events and Personal Story - The content guide will only point towards map completion objectives, prioritizing hearts based on distance and character level.

When no more story is available and the content guide is set to default, it will behave the same when as when it's set to "Disable Personal Story".

When no more story is available and all objectives in a map are completed, the guide will attempt to point towards zoning portals leading to other maps with missing objectives.

Event involvement[edit]

Event assistant.
Event completion medal.

The event assistant shows the current objectives of the player, such as events in the area. The messages in the event assistant are color coded:

After each event's completion, a medal will appear showing the character's level of participation. (Successfully completed heart tasks will also show a filled heart.) Rewards are indicated as follows:

  • Experience.png — The amount of experience earned.
  • Karma.png — The amount of karma earned.
  • Gold coin Silver coin Copper coin — The number of coins earned - gold, silver, or copper.

Pinned achievements[edit]

Achievements can be displayed using the Watch List in the hero panel. If no achievements are selected and Daily Completionist has not be completed, daily achievements are shown depending on a player's current game type: PvE, WvW or PvP.

Target indicator[edit]

Target information.

The target display is located in the top center of the screen and provides information about the currently selected enemy or ally. Displayed are the target's name, a portrait, current health, effects, level, rank, abilities and Defiance bar if any.

Player interaction[edit]

Players can interact with each other by right-clicking their name or portrait in the target display, a member of a party, contacts, guild panel, or chat. This will bring a dropdown list of actions that can be done with the player.

There are a set of actions always available to players:

  • Whisper - Whisper the target player in chat
  • Join Party - Requests a party invite, either joining a party or someone joining your party
  • Send Mail - Mail the target player a message
  • Add Friend - Add target player to your friends list
  • Guild Invite - Invite the target player to your guild if you have proper privileges
  • Block - Adds the target player to your block list, you will not see what they say in chat and they cannot contact you in any way.
  • Report - Report target player for improper conduct.

Chat panel[edit]

The chat panel in its default state.

The chat panel contains a history of in-game chat for the duration of the login session. By default, it is situated in the bottom left corner of the HUD. If pulled upwards it will attach itself to the top left of the screen.

Menu bar[edit]

The menu bar.

The menu bar is located in the top-left corner of the screen. The icons provide links to the various game UI panels.

Icon Name Shortcut Explanation
Options Menu Bar icon.png Game menu Esc Opens a panel with links for options, account settings, support, and to log out of the game.
Contacts Menu Bar icon.png Contacts and LFG Y Opens a panel for contacts and the Looking For Group tool.
Hero panel Menu Bar icon.png Hero H Opens a panel with information about the character and account.

Trading Post Pickup.png Indicates that there are hero points available to spend or that specialization traits have not been fully chosen.

Inventory Menu Bar icon.png Inventory I Opens a panel to show items in the character's inventory. The icon is tinted red when the inventory is full.
Mail Menu Bar icon.png Mail no default Opens a panel to read or send mail. Displays a number when there is unread mail.
Guild panel Menu Bar icon.png Guild G Opens a panel with guild information, shows currently active guild upgrades.
WvW Menu Bar icon.png World vs. World B Opens a panel with World versus World information and access to the game mode.
PvP Menu Bar icon.png PvP no default Opens a panel with Structured PvP information and access to the game mode.
Black Lion Menu Bar icon.png Black Lion Trading Company O Opens a panel that includes the Gem Store, Currency exchange and Trading Post.

Trading Post Pickup.png Indicates that there are items or coins to be picked up from the Trading Post. Hovering over it indicates which.
Trading Post Gift.png Points out that there are complimentary gifts available in the Gem Store.
Trading Post New.png Light blue background indicates that there are new items in the Gem Store.

Note: For new players, some of the icons will not be available until their first character reaches a certain level. See Level Rewards for more details.


Party interface.

After joining a party, the party display appears on the top left and shows the avatars, health, professions, and levels of your party members. It also shows speech bubbles when party members send a chat message and effects currently on the party member.

  • P, by default, brings up the party panel.

Screen edge[edit]

When the player is under certain effects the edges of the screen is modified to indicate the effect.

  • Normal damage is indicated with increasing shades of red.
  • The blind condition is indicated by darkened and fading edges.
  • The dazed condition is indicated by purple-pink edges.



When you talk to a vendor, a vendor panel is opened.

Unclaimed loot[edit]

If auto-loot is disabled, an unclaimed loot window is displayed when a corpse is searched. This lists the items found on the body, which may optionally be taken.

Other elements[edit]

In addition to the panels listed above which are available by activating icons on the menu bar there are other temporary information and interaction windows.


Pressing M opens the game map. It functions similarly to the compass, but can zoom out to reveal the entire world map.


Blue skill tooltip text indicates that the skill is affected by traits.


To take a screenshot without GUI, either toggle the GUI with Control+Shift+H or press Control+Shift+Print screen for a single screenshot. This creates a normal quality JPEG. Stereoscopic (3D) screenshots can be created by assigning it to a keybind. The user may append "-bmp" to the command line to take all screenshots in the lossless bitmap format.

See also[edit]