Level 80 isn't the end of your journey. Experience the ever-changing world through Living World stories and adventures. You can access Living World episodes in your story journal.
— Level 80 rewards.
The Living World in Guild Wars 2 is the series of story and content releases that serve as the ongoing storyline between expansions, detailing the effects of the previous expansion and leading into the next. Episodic releases of Living World are grouped into seasons, with each episode bringing new story missions and other features, including playable zones, masteries, equipment, achievements etc.
Each Living World episode is free for all players who logged into a character during its initial release window. Afterwards every episode becomes a permanent addition to the game and can be purchased and replayed at any time, except for the first season which is free for everyone permanently.
Since the release of End of Dragons, all upcoming content releases are no longer labelled as Living World, and all owners of the related expansion will gain access to the content for free upon purchase of the expansion, meaning there is no pressure to log in to unlock it and no gem cost for missed story chapter unlocks.
Seasons of Living World
The Living World episodes are grouped into seasons. This is their list relative to the core game and required expansions in story order, each with summaries of the storylines:
- End of Dragons
- Instead of separate Living World releases, additional post-expansion content is automatically bundled with the expansion for free.
Unlocking Living World episodes
Episodes of the Living World must be unlocked in order to play them. Unlocked episodes can be accessed by any level 80 character on the account; with the exception of Season 1 and Season 2, however, they require expansions to be played. There are three methods for unlocking episodes:
- Episodes can be unlocked for free by any account simply by logging in to any character during the episode's original release window. This lasts until the next episode is released; episodes are generally on a cadence to be released two to four months apart.
- After the release window, players can unlock the episode for 200 . The journal will indicate this with a "lock" icon and a "Buy Now" button.
- Once all of a season's episodes are released, players can also buy the entire season as a discounted bundle in the Upgrades section of the Gem Store. The bundle price will depend on how many episodes the player still needs to unlock, but it will be equivalent to 160 per episode. The currently available bundles are:
- See also: Story Journal#Storylines
The Icebrood Saga (Season 5)
- The Living World was originally introduced as the "Living Story", but ArenaNet switched to "Living World" and stopped using Living Story partway through Season 1 (confirmation in July 2013). However, players often continue using Living Story to refer to the Living World releases.
- The original Season 1 releases of the Living World were largely temporary, but were remade into permanent content that started with Flame and Frost in the April 19, 2022 game update and ended with the Battle for Lion's Arch in the November 8, 2022 game update.
- Initially, Living World releases were a mix of new story and new features. In Season 2, new features were dropped from Living World updates and were bundled together in releases like the April 2014 Feature Pack. Starting in Season 3, this has been reverted and new features are bundled into an update whenever they are ready.
- Season 1 is currently the only Living World season that is completely free for all players.
- Living World Return
- Expansion — lists Guild Wars 2 expansions
- Release — lists past, current, and scheduled storylines for the Living World and festivals
- Side Stories - small living world events that occurred during Seasons 3 and 4
- Story characters
- The Living Story in Guild Wars 2 | GuildWars2.com
- Living World in Guild Wars 2 | GuildWars2.com
- Recap: The Living World of Guild Wars 2 | GuildWars2.com