World is the term used to indicate the group of players on your team in World versus World; it has little impact on open world PvE. There are 51 worlds in the two regions in the Western Hemisphere: 24 in the North America (NA) region and 27 in the European (EU) region; players share instances with others from the same region, but never with those from other regions. The Chinese version of the game is setup in a third region and does not share any resources with the NA or EU regions.
Mechanics and terminology
- Home world: Players choose a "home world" when logging in to the game for the first time; this determines the world you represent during World versus World. All of your characters are bound to the same world. You can change the home world by paying a transfer fee.
- Region: This indicates the location of the data center that stores your account information; it has nothing directly to do with your geographical location. Players from one region cannot enter the same maps as those from any other, e.g. those with NA home worlds cannot play with those based on EU ones.
- Players can transfer from NA to EU worlds and vice-versa, but not between China and the EU/NA regions.
- Similarly, the EU & NA regions share a Trading Post while the China region has its own.
- Megaserver: unlike many other MMOs, all players from the same region are able to play together automatically. When players enter a zone, they are placed into the same instance as everyone else in the same region, until the game determines that the map is getting full, at which point it creates a new instance. One is able to type "/ip" to find out the map IP address if necessary(most player use the last set of digits before the ":" e.g. 188.8.131.52:0, 124 is the digit people usually use).
- When there are multiple versions of the map, the game attempts to put you in the same map alongside your friends, guildmates, and members of the same world; in the EU region, priority is also given to those using the same supported language, i.e. English, French, German, or Spanish.
- To join party members on a different version of the map, right-click their name or portrait in the party UI and choose Join In [zone name]. If the map is full, keep trying until you succeed, as there are always people entering and leaving each instance.
- Server: Players often use the term server as a synonym for world, comparing them to servers in other MMOs. However, in Guild Wars 2, map instances are created on a virtual server shared by all worlds. Players can use the /ip chat command to display the IP address of the instance their character is in.
- Guesting: Guesting allows you to temporarily change your associated world, thus affecting one of the factors affecting which instance you are placed in. Players are not allowed to play for a different team in World versus World or to guest from NA to EU or vice versa. Due to the megaserver system, most players will never need to guest.
- To begin guesting, start at the character selection screen and choose World Selection in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Click on the Guest button for the world you wish to guest to and confirm your choice. The game will place a suitcase icon symbol next to the guest world.
- The next character you play will be guesting on that world and continue to do so until you logout, change characters, or restart the current character. To guest again (or with another character), repeat the same steps. You are eligible to guest as many times as you like, but you may only choose up to two guest worlds every 24 hours.
- Caution: Double-check when guesting that you have not accidentally started the transfer process; the buttons are very close together and the prompts are similar.
To transfer to a different world, go to the character selection screen (usingor when you first log in) and select the desired world; you will be logged out while the game makes these changes, which might take 5-30 minutes. You can transfer once every seven days at a cost determined by the destination world population. Free accounts cannot transfer to different worlds. Given the WvW restrictions below, there is almost no conceivable reason to transfer realms, and support cannot help you or refund your realm transfer. Proceed with caution.
- Standard transfer fees
Please be aware of the following:
- Transfers to any game world — whether free or paid for with gems — are allowed only if the population of the world is at less than capacity.
- Transfers to any game world — whether free or paid for with gems — are allowed only once per seven days.
- You cannot delete all your characters to get a free transfer. 
Accounts without active characters
When starting your account you are allowed to freely change between the open worlds. After creating a character your world will be locked.
Free accounts are able to choose their world when first set up; however, they cannot transfer to a different world by normal methods. They can request a one-time free transfer via support.
After upgrading to a paid account, they receive one free transfer to any non-full world.
List of worlds
The 51 worlds are organized by region and official language designations.
|Devona's Rest 1||—||—|
|Ehmry Bay 2||—||—|
|Ferguson's Crossing 3||—||—|
|Gate of Madness||—||—|
|Henge of Denravi||—||—|
|Isle of Janthir||—||—|
|Sanctum of Rall 4||—||—|
|Sea of Sorrows||—||—|
27 worlds, 13 with a specific language focus
|Fissure of Woe||—||—|
|Ring of Fire||—||—|
|Ruins of Surmia||—||—|
|Whiteside Ridge 5||—||—|
|Baruch Bay 6||ES||—|
Origin of names
Each world is named after a location in the world of Tyria with a few exceptions, named after the following people:
- 1 Devona, an NPC and later henchman from the Guild Wars series
- 2 Kevin Ehmry, a former ArenaNet employee.
- 3 Mike Ferguson, a former ArenaNet employee.
- 4 Roger "Oldroar" Rall, a fan who died before the game was released.  
- 5 Chris Whiteside, a former ArenaNet employee.
- 6 Stefan Baruch, one of the henchmen from Guild Wars Prophecies.
Starting on April 22nd, 2016, a new beta feature was introduced to link Worlds. The main idea was to improve the WvW balance: "We used factors like the world's current rank and population numbers to define pairings."
Below is a list of worlds that are currently linked. These currently change every 2 months on the last Friday of every odd numbered month. The tables are sorted by the rank match-up which changes weekly.
- A Full world is a world with a number of active WvW players above a certain threshold. You cannot transfer to a world that is listed as Full.
- Players have designated certain worlds with tags that they feel will help others find a world whose players match their own interests, e.g. role playing or Polish speakers. However, the wiki does not list them for several reasons: they are unofficial, subject to change without warning, and unverifiable (e.g. no one can say that World A has more Esperanto-speakers than World B or whether World C has "a lot" of role players).
- Due to concerns about the effect of frequent transfers on World versus World, ArenaNet imposed a 24-hour waiting period on changing worlds; this was later extended to 7-days for the same reason.
- Before the January 28, 2013 update, it was free to transfer worlds within the relevant waiting period.
- Prior to the introduction of the megaserver system, each world had its own instance for each zone in PvE and in the Heart of the Mists. When the map was full, an overflow map would be created. This caused several issues, including: (1) players in high-population worlds could find themselves on an overflow map instead of their home world's instance, especial during Living Story or world boss events; (2) those in low-population worlds could find their instances feeling nearly empty; and (3) guesting was often required so that you could join friends who had other home worlds.
- Prior to the September 2014 Feature Pack, influence was tied to specific worlds and guilds often had trouble getting members into the same instance during guild missions.
- Before the July 28, 2015 update, a world population was determined by the population levels from across all game modes. Currently, only the WvW population determines the world population.
- Originally there were worlds called Sharp's Corner, Shosha's Hollow, Massey's Grotto, Loew's Point, Frazar Lake, Fort Witter, Bearce Falls, Dragrimmar, and Bauer's Pass. These worlds were removed after the third beta weekend event.
- Early in the game's history, ArenaNet offered incentives for players to transfer to lower population worlds, including waiving transfer costs. For example, during WvW tournaments, pricing was altered to encourage movement to lower-ranked worlds and discourage people from transferring to better-ranked worlds just for the tournament rewards.
- ^ Senior GM Xajjah states you can no longer transfer for free by deleting all characters
- ^ Free2Play accounts are eligible for one-time world transfer, requested via the support
- ^ The Wild Boar Inn blogpost
- ^ SanctumOfRall.com 'About' page
- ^ The World vs. World Team explains the World Linking Beta
- ^ World Population Changes Are Coming: A "Full" Server
- ^ Free World Transfers Limited to Once Every 24 Hours Guild Wars 2 Guru
- ^ Free World Transfers: Limited to Once Every 7 Days Guild Wars 2