A zone, also referred to as a "map", is the primary division of the open world or a playable instance, and allows open-ended travel and exploration within it. Zone as a type of location is comprised of a number of smaller areas; multiple zones form a region. Moving between zones is possible either through portals that connect neighboring zones, or by using waypoints.
Each zone comes with its own set of activities and objectives. In addition to the dynamic events populated in its borders, five measures of completion can be specifically associated with a zone:
- Hero Challenges often present a puzzle or a Veteran foe to a character, completion of which earns another Hero point.
- Renown Hearts ask characters to complete tasks in their environs.
- Points of Interest mark out special locations to be explored.
- Waypoints provide instant, safe travel to places previously discovered - for a price.
- Vistas provide a graphical showcase of given locations in the environment.
Bringing up the world map will show a breakdown of the character's progress for the current zone. Upon map completion, the character receives a reward of some items and crafting materials, experience, and coin. This milestone is also acknowledged by the Tyrian Explorers Society with a letter of recognition.
List of zones
Historical zones are not listed here. For the differences between mechanical and geographical regions, see Region.
Open world refers to persistent public PvE zones where you can randomly encounter other players. Every open world zone has a recommended difficulty range, expressed as the recommended level player characters should reach before traveling there. The monsters and the recommended level for renown hearts and dynamic events in an area will be between the given levels. The dynamic level adjustment in the game will put characters at the recommended level for an area if their current level exceeds it. Recommended levels are generally expressed in multiples of 5.
Original release zones
|Loading screen||City||Mechanical region||Geographical region||Notes|
|Black Citadel||Ascalon||Ascalon||Capital city of the charr|
|Divinity's Reach||Kryta||Kryta||Capital city of the humans|
|Hoelbrak||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains||Capital city of the norn|
|Lion's Arch||Kryta||Kryta||Central hub for Tyria|
|Rata Sum||Maguuma Jungle||Tarnished Coast||Capital city of the asura|
|The Grove||Maguuma Jungle||Tarnished Coast||Capital city of the sylvari|
All zones added to the game through various releases and expansions after the original game's launch are scaled for level 80. Most of them require having a specific expansion or Living World episode unlocked, and have one or more achievement categories connected to it.
Lobbies and outposts
Similarly to cities, lobbies and outposts are mostly combat-free open-world areas with various services. However, they are often smaller, they often don't have map completion, and they tend to serve as staging points for specific game modes or activities. The main permanently available lobbies and outposts in PvE are:
|Loading screen||Lobby||Access requirement||Mechanical region||Geographical region||Notes|
|Memory of Old Lion's Arch||Kryta||Kryta||Vision of the version of Lion's Arch from the game's launch.|
|Dragon's Stand (Heart of Thorns)||Heart of Maguuma||Heart of Maguuma||Lobby for the final Heart of Thorns story mission.|
|Lion's Arch Aerodrome||
(Released before Living World Season 3)
|Kryta||Kryta||Lobby and staging ground for raids.|
|Eye of the North||Shiverpeak Mountains||Far Shiverpeaks||Staging ground for the story, strike missions and dragon response missions in the Icebrood Saga and group instances from Living World Season 1.|
Can be upgraded by purchases through vendors.
|Arborstone||Cantha||The Echovald Forest||Hub for Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons and staging ground for related strike missions.|
Can be upgraded by training the Arborstone Revitalization mastery track, and it has an associated achievement category Arborstone.
|The Wizard's Tower||Horn of Maguuma||Horn of Maguuma||Hub for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure and staging ground for related strike missions.|
Has map completion rewards. Can be slightly upgraded by training the Astral Ward mastery track, and it has an associated achievement category The Wizard's Tower.
Some zones have two distinct versions, public and private. Public versions function similarly to open-world zones, where you can enter them and will be randomly matched up with other players. Alternatively, a squad can open a private instanced version that cannot be entered by other players. These zones typically revolve around completing a series of events and killing a boss, and the instance, whether public or private, will in some cases automatically close after completion. This system is used for some Strike Missions and Dragon Response Missions, as well as the following zones:
|Loading screen||Zone||Access requirement||Mechanical region||Geographical region||Achievements|
|The Tower of Nightmares||Kryta||Kryta|| Tower of Nightmares|
The Nightmares Within
|The Twisted Marionette||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains|| The Origins of Madness|
Revenge of the Marionette
|The Battle for Lion's Arch||Kryta||Kryta|| Escape from Lion's Arch|
The Battle for Lion's Arch
|Dragonstorm||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains||Dragonstorm|
These open-world zones are only available during specific festivals.
|Loading screen||Zone||Festival||Mechanical region||Geographical region||Notes|
|Labyrinthine Cliffs||Maguuma Jungle||Steamspur Mountains,
|Mad King's Labyrinth||Mad King's Realm||Mad King's Realm,
|Also connects to the Mad King's Raceway.|
|The Crown Pavilion||Kryta||Kryta|
|Hub||Super Adventure Box||Virtual reality,
|Lobby and staging ground for Super Adventure Box.|
Lounges are exclusive convenience areas with various services and portals to other areas. They usually require an item purchased from the Gem Store to enter. Most lobbies are located within other zones but some have their own instances. (See Lounge for their full list and comparison.)
|Zone||Mechanical region||Geographical region||Notes|
|Mistlock Sanctuary||Fractals of the Mists||The Mists, Fractals of the Mists||Also serves as a lobby and staging ground for Fractals of the Mists.|
|Noble's Folly||Heart of Maguuma||Heart of Maguuma|
|Thousand Seas Pavilion||Cantha||The Mists|
Miscellaneous open-world zones
|Zone||Access requirement||Mechanical region||Geographical region||Notes|
None (Released in Living World Season 4)
|Mad King's Realm||The Mists||Accessed during Rift events throughout Tyria.|
The recommended level for the zone is expressed as a caption on world map, below the zone name. The caption is color coded based on the difference between player's current level and the zone's recommended level, as follow:
|Level difference |
|-8 or less||-7||-6||-5||-4||-3||-2||-1||0||+1||+2||+3||+4||+5||+6||+7||+8||+9||+10 or more|
|Grey||Green||Light Green||Greenish White||White||Light Pink||Pink||Light Red||Red||Deep Red||Magenta|
Many story steps of personal story, expansions, Living World or Side Stories take place in separate zones. Some of these zones are located in otherwise unreachable places despite appearing on the world map, most notably:
|Story zone||Mechanical region||Geographical region|
|Claw Island||Kryta||Sea of Sorrows|
|Fahranur, the First City||Crystal Desert||Isle of Istan|
Home instances are personal instances located in each of the major cities, although they can be entered in a party. They will change depending on progress in personal story, certain achievements and account-wide unlocks. They can be accessed by all accounts.
|Loading screen||Home instance||Mechanical region||Geographical region|
|Applied Development Lab||Maguuma Jungle||Tarnished Coast|
|Dreamer's Terrace||Maguuma Jungle||Tarnished Coast|
|Hunter's Hearth||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains|
- Guild Halls
Guild halls are zones owned by a guild where its members can meet and socialize. They must be captured by the guild first, and afterwards they can be upgraded and decorated. They also appear on the world map, and can be accessed by all accounts.
|Guild hall||Mechanical region||Geographical region|
|Gilded Hollow||Heart of Maguuma||Heart of Maguuma|
|Lost Precipice||Heart of Maguuma||Maguuma Wastes|
|Windswept Haven||Crystal Desert||Vabbi|
|Isle of Reflection||Cantha||Shing Jea Island|
- Guild Challenges
|Guild Challenge||Mechanical region||Geographical region|
|Branded for Termination||Ascalon||Ascalon|
|Deep Trouble||Maguuma Jungle||Steamspur Mountains|
|Save Our Supplies||Ascalon||Ascalon|
|Scratch Sentry Defense||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains|
|Southsun Crab Toss||Kryta||Sea of Sorrows|
- Guild Puzzle
|Guild Puzzle||Mechanical region||Geographical region|
|Angvar's Trove||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains|
|Proxemics Lab||Maguuma Jungle||Maguuma Wastes|
Dungeons are instances intended for a party. They feature dynamic level adjustment down to the dungeon path's level, and they include map completion objectives that don't count towards world completion.
|Dungeon||Access requirement||Mechanical region||Geographical region|
|Twilight Arbor||None||Maguuma Jungle||Tarnished Coast|
|Sorrow's Embrace||None||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains|
|Citadel of Flame||None||Ascalon||Ascalon|
|Honor of the Waves||None||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains|
|Crucible of Eternity||None||Maguuma Jungle||Steamspur Mountains|
|The Ruined City of Arah||None||Ruins of Orr||Ruins of Orr|
|Fractals of the Mists||None||Fractals of the Mists||The Mists|
|Ascent to Madness||Mad King's Realm||Mad King's Realm, The Mists|
|Tixx's Infinirarium||Wintersday Celebration||Kryta|
|Raid||Access requirement||Mechanical region||Geographical region|
|Spirit Vale||Heart of Maguuma||Heart of Maguuma|
|Salvation Pass||Heart of Maguuma||Heart of Maguuma|
|Stronghold of the Faithful||Heart of Maguuma||Heart of Maguuma|
|Bastion of the Penitent||Heart of Maguuma||Woodland Cascades|
|Hall of Chains||Crystal Desert||The Mists|
|Mythwright Gambit||Crystal Desert||Mystic Forge|
|The Key of Ahdashim||Crystal Desert||Vabbi|
Strike Missions are instances intended for a squad of level 80 characters. Some Strike Missions can also be available in a public version, where players will be matched up randomly similarly to open-world zones.
Dragon Response Missions
Dragon Response Missions are instances intended for a party of level 80 characters. Dragon Response Missions are also available in a public version, where players will be matched up randomly similarly to open-world zones.
|Dragon Response Mission||Access requirement||Mechanical region||Geographical region|
|Metrica Province||Maguuma Jungle||Tarnished Coast|
|Brisban Wildlands||Maguuma Jungle||Tarnished Coast|
|Fields of Ruin||Ascalon||Ascalon|
|Thunderhead Peaks||Shiverpeak Mountains||Deldrimor Front|
|Snowden Drifts||Shiverpeak Mountains||Shiverpeak Mountains|
|Caledon Forest||Maguuma Jungle||Tarnished Coast|
See also hybrid instances, which are available both in public open-world versions and private squad instances.
World versus World
All World versus World zones are located in the World vs. World region of The Mists. These zones include map completion objectives but don't count towards world completion. All players here are scaled to level 80.
|Eternal Battlegrounds||Central core combat map|
|Blue Alpine Borderlands||Eastern core combat map|
|Red Desert Borderlands||Northern core combat map|
|Green Alpine Borderlands||Western core combat map|
|Obsidian Sanctum||Jumping puzzle combat map|
|Edge of the Mists||Special combat map|
|Armistice Bastion||Lounge, entry requires purchase of a lounge pass|
|Heart of the Mists||Lobby|
|Asura Arena||Team Deathmatch arena|
|Auric Span||Team Deathmatch arena|
|Battle of Champion's Dusk||Stronghold arena|
|Battle of Kyhlo||Conquest arena|
|Courtyard||Murderball and Team Deathmatch arena|
|Djinn's Dominion||Conquest arena|
|Eternal Coliseum||Conquest arena|
|Forest of Niflhel||Conquest arena|
|Hall of the Mists||Team Deathmatch arena|
|Legacy of the Foefire||Conquest arena|
|Revenge of the Capricorn||Conquest arena|
|Spirit Watch||Conquest arena|
|Temple of the Silent Storm||Conquest arena|
Activities are small mini-games. Most activities feature some sort of PvP, or at least a competitive scoreboard.