A character's home instance will change based on their progress and actions in their personal story. For example, character actions could determine the presence or absence of non-player characters, special merchants or even buildings.
The home instance may be upgraded with the addition of gathering nodes. These can be purchased from Vendors, via the Trading Post, through the Gem Store or as a drop from a Black Lion Chest. There are no free nodes to start with.
Players can invite others to visit their home instance. If a character visits a home instance in a city other than their home city (for example, a charr visiting Salma District), they will see a basic version of the district without any story-related changes. However, most upgrades are available to all characters in the account and visitors to the instance.
|Applied Development Lab
|A laboratory in Rata Sum.
|Magicat Court Waypoint —
|The barracks in the Black Citadel.
|Hero's Waypoint —
|Residential district in the north part of Divinity's Reach.
|Salma Waypoint —
|Upper levels of The Great Lodge of Hoelbrak.
|Great Lodge Waypoint —
|A garden nestled in the roots of the Grove.
|Ronan's Waypoint —
List of home instance upgrades
Upgrades can be added to home instances for all characters on the account. When entering as a group, the instance owner's upgrades will appear and can be used by other party members. Harvesting nodes and chests can only be gathered once per day per account. It is not possible to have two copies of the same node.
Gem Store upgrades
These upgrades can be added by purchasing the relevant upgrade from the Gem Store.
Black Lion Chest upgrades
These upgrades can be added by earning the relevant consumable from achievements.
|Lumps of Aurillium + gemstones
|No Mask Left Behind
|Enchanted Treasure Chest 
|Garden Plot Deed
|Gift of Candy Corn 
|Blood and Madness (2013 achievements)#achievement99913
|Gift of Magnanimity
|For the Children!
|Gift of Quartz 
|Quartz Crystals + Charged Quartz Crystals
|Gift of Sprockets 
|Watchwork Sprockets + Blade Shards
|The Origins of Madness Completionist
|Krait Obelisk Shard 
|Place of power
|The Nightmare Unveiled Mastery
|Personal Bandit Chest
|Point of No Return
- ^ When visiting another player's home instance, this node can only be used if it's also unlocked on your account.
- ^ a b These nodes require historical achievements but can also be purchased from vendors.
- ^ a b These nodes can also be purchased from vendors.
These upgrades can be added by purchasing the relevant consumable from various vendors.
These upgrades can be obtained as loot.
|TP buy price
|TP sell price
|Hatched Chili Pepper Node 
|List of possible acquisition
- ^ Can alternately be purchased from a vendor; see vendor section above
- Primary article: Hungry cat scavenger hunt
- Primary article: Unlockable home instance characters
- Ambient creatures, various friendly NPCs that on interaction will do little more than provide a greeting.
- Personality, a hidden mechanic, combining dignity, charm (charisma) and ferocity; may be boosted by certain home instance NPCs.
- Personal story NPCs, presence depends on the character completing a particular chapter in their personal story. Every chapter adds at least 1 NPC to the story instance. For example:
- Various Services are available in some, but not all home instances.
- M.O.X. will join your home instance after completing Heart of the Volcano (for the character that completed the chapter).
- Various cats will join your instance after feeding hungry cats found around Tyria. (The asura home instance comes with one cat, but is not part of the hungry cats.)
- After obtaining a garden plot, a Gardener will move in to take care of it. If the account has purchased a Black Lion Garden Plot Deed, you will also gain a Launchpad to Garden in Salma District, a Launch-Mushroom to Garden in Dreamer's Terrace, and a Raven Statue in Hunter's Hearth, for quick access.
- Achievement NPCs
- Ridhais will join your home instance while doing Knight of the Thorn achievements.
- Mechanist Ninn will join your home instance while doing Current Events achievements.
- Seimur Oxbone will join your home instance while doing Gourmet Training with your own Cooking Station and will become a Master Chef only for the owner.
- Masters of Om in every home instance as part of Belcher's Bluff
- Newborn Siege Turtle Hatchling after finishing A Strange Diet achievement.
- Certain personal story instances take place in the home instance instead of a separate instance.
- The Home Portal Stone allows players to instantly travel to the home instance and return to their original location.
- The following home instance items are not available through the API: End of Dragons Expedition Contract, Feline Dispersing Emitter, Feline Water Pistol, Feline Holoscepter.
- Gathering nodes from Season 3 of the Living World will award you with small amount of Unbound Magic while nodes from Season 4 of the Living World will award you with small amount of Volatile Magic.